No Place For Alice

alice-in-wonderland-30327__340A former student wanted help breaking into the entertainment industry. Her plan included calling studios and setting up appointments with studio executives.

I’m mystified why people imagine they can navigate the entertainment industry with ease. Particularly my students. Haven’t I warned them enough? Didn’t I tell them repeatedly they need a body of work before they come to L.A.? And none of it matters if they don’t have the right introductions. And none of that matters if they don’t have the right experience.

Make your own path, I pled. Shoot your own films. Get a presence that draws talented people to you. Then network the hell out of yourself. Continue reading “No Place For Alice”

Shadow Moment

Seeds of doubt

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This was me as a shadow girl.

At 16, after careful study of the Bible and much prayer, I took an oath in front of the congregation on a Sunday morning in June. To me it was as serious as joining a convent. I pledged to give my life to the church and save my body for marriage.

Continue reading “Shadow Moment”

We Strive To Be Ourselves

Hunter Thompson’s work is a beacon in the black. This letter, written to a friend in 1958, might have been written to all blind souls tossing about in the midnight sea. Here is a brief piece.

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Let’s assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all pre-defined paths, of course). And let’s assume that you can’t see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN — and here is the essence of all I’ve said — you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH.

Naturally, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. You’ve lived a relatively narrow life, a vertical rather than a horizontal existence. So it isn’t any too difficult to understand why you seem to feel the way you do. But a man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.

So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life.

I’m overwhelmed with gratitude at having found these words tonight. Now if that could just pay my bills.

What Shame Looks Like

I wear a denim mini skirt in the summer because L.A. is very hot. I’m not trying to be sexy. One day I walked up a staircase as a man walked down.

imgresHe had stringy white hair and a white 5 o’clock shadow. He wore a straw hat, a Hawaiian shirt and shorts. I did not like the look of him, but that might be something I’m laying over the memory because of what happened next.

I felt weird, so pulled my skirt snug around my thighs and looked down. He was looking at my bare thighs and deeper, into the center of me.

And in that split second we locked eyes. Continue reading “What Shame Looks Like”

Perhaps Something New

imagesI take comfort in this quiet space. I live in a traffic clogged cacophony. It’s hard to think in this city, hard to find a space to breathe without fighting traffic to get there. We must get creative and clear the space ourselves. Here is mine and here I am free to find some movement and push this stagnant energy around.

Perhaps something can come of it. Continue reading “Perhaps Something New”

Gangrene

“No, he thought, wimageshen everything you do, you do too long, and do too late, you can’t expect to find the people still there. The people are all gone now. The party’s over and you are with your hostess now.”

It is true that with suffering comes depth. I used to be ashamed of it, but I know now that without it, I would know very little. I see distances further than I have traveled, which is to say I have earned a certain insight into my fellow human beings.

I feel that way as I reread Hemingway this week. Now that I’m older I understand his stories in ways I could not have as a child in my twenties. I teach children in their twenties and they think they know so much. I suppose I did too. A know-it-all-ripe-fuck who, if I didn’t like it or didn’t understand it, put no value in it. What will our world be like when they’re in charge? How could it be worse than the world we’ve created? I think what most of us don’t understand is that everything we do today creates a very specific kind of future. Regrets are inevitable because we’re so stupid in our youth.

Harry is left with his wife and memories of all of the things he did not write. His end is fitting, gangrene from an infection that started with a scratch he was too proud to do clean and bandage. Nothing noble in that, in spite of all his bravado. The truth outs in the end. And the gangrene a symbol for all he did not do and will never do. That’s what it’s like when we fail to live up to our potential. Something I fear. Something that drives me. Something that breathes down my neck like my own mortality.

Breaking News: Auguste Rodin Hides Out In Los Angeles

municipal_artLos Angeles hides her secrets well, especially on a quiet Thursday in July. Atop a hill, facing the Hollywood sign sits Barnsdall Park, an unassuming place often taken for granted by those who know it and invisible to those who don’t. A thick canopy of trees shades walkways and tiny wrought iron tables and chairs perfect for a picnic for two. There’s a theatre, a building where kids learn how to paint, and its crown jewel, the Los Angeles Municipal Arts Museum Gallery—a cumbersome name for such an elegant and modern space. Continue reading “Breaking News: Auguste Rodin Hides Out In Los Angeles”

Salon: 5 Reasons Chris Christie Might Be Lying

5 Reasons Chris Christie Might Be Lyingchris_christie8-620x412

In January, following Chris Christie’s initial press conference I wrote this article for Salon and based my findings in a book called Liespotting, Proven Techniques To Detect Deception, by Pamela Meyer. It won Editor’s Pick, trended for over a week and earned me a Spotlight appearance on The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.

MSNBC: Is Chris Christie Lying? The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell

n_lw_4christie_130113MSNBC, Is Chris Christie Lying? The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell

Following my popular article for Salon, The 5 Reasons Chris Christie Might Be Lying, I was invited to speak in a Spotlight segment for MSNBC’s The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.

 

Salon: “The Internship” Teaches Gen Xers To Get Along With millennials

internship1-620x412“The Internship” Teaches Gen Xers To Get Along With millennials

In an Arts and Culture piece I wrote for Salon, I analyzed the real life ways that Gen Xers and millennials interact in the work place and explored the ways in which the film offers insight that might improve the relationship between the two generations.