Monday, December 28, 2009

A special kind of ugly.

Before I did Twin Peaks, I filmed a Roger Corman movie in Lima, Peru. It was called Crime Zone, and it was a futuristic, post-apocalyptic action love story. The lead character's names were Bone [absurd, I know] and Helen. Which was my grandmothers name. I must admit that it was forgettable and remains so to this day. Even for me. I cannot remember what it was about or what drew me to it. Maybe I was just not getting the roles I wanted and this was post Two Moon Junction so anything was better than that. But the experience of shooting however,was very memorable and has a story to tell.

The only notable person in the film was David Carradine. He would be there for the shortest amount of time. In and out, filming his scenes as quick as possible. The first time they made me up in my Madonna look, short platinum blond hair, bustier and all, he simply looked at me and uttered from his perpetual drunken stupor ," Now that's gilding the lily."

I do remember that my character, Helen was strong. She was not taking shit from anyone. She was a whore of course, its Hollywood after all. And she got to dance which was a lot of fun. The production embraced me and my super short blond hair and in return, I embraced them. After a meeting with the Latino director, I was offered the role. But there would be a price to pay. There always was.

This was only my second trip to a third world country. It was difficult, and I was sick the entire time I was down there. It is impossible to avoid the water, try as you may. I have many memories of being hunched down in a ball holding my aching belly. The one sentence I learned which was essential to my trip there was,"Donde esta bano?" For those who don't know : this simply means where is the bathroom.

Then there was the director, who married as he was, still pursued me with a vengeance. It is a delicate line to walk with a Latino man, the director, in HIS country, me being maybe 21ish and trying to get through a difficult shoot. He was married to a really sweet and beautiful young woman. We even had a friendship of sorts. This, of course meant little to nothing in his eyes. She was a prize he had won and now he was on the hunt to conquer me . I am sure I was not the first he pursued, nor the last.

As is always the case, there was a few beautiful people working on the film. I refer to them as bright lights, angels there to help in whatever ways they could. One was my make up artist. I cannot remember her name but she was so kind, like a Momma or a Grandma. I will refer to her from now on as my angel. She had short blond hair like my own. But I was only a third of her age. I will never forget her. She would call me her,"Ninnita, poquitta, chicka- ditta." And demonstrate with her hands that I was a little, young one.... And I was.

She loved me and cared for me with language barrier fully in tact. We communicated with our eyes and our hands. We loved each other and felt oddly related. I can see her face in my mind's eye.... I could tell when she was inevitably having a bad day and would help however I could. And she did the same for me when things got tough on the set. But she was an older woman in an old school Latino man's world. So the help she could give was limited for her. But she helped in the best way possible, she comforted me and loved me and walked through everything I did like an angel at my side. Expressing and reflecting it all in her blue eyes.

Making this movie was guerrilla filmaking at its finest. So redunkulous. Trying to be futuristic, post apocalyptic with no money in Peru was hysterical at times and tragic at others. It was a comedy of errors.

As I continued to put the director off, he became more frustrated and resentful. One day he took me out to get an ice cream under the guise of talking about the film, then expressed his frustration to me. I was at the time madly in love with my first, Johnny. I was NOT on the market in any way. I had developed a friendship with one of the actors (I shall refer to him as M.S.) who was a "bad guy" in the film. Not the love interest. I went to him at times for advice around this situation. We had actually bonded and become friends, or so I thought.

One night in the bar that had become our home away from home, M.S. and i were hanging out. What with no tv and a front door to the hotel that was firmly bolted closed with a thick lead bar after 9 pm, this was the place to connect with others. It was a resturant/bar. The steak entrecote saved my ass the entire time we were there. It was a steak covered with about 40 cloves of garlic and I ate it with a vengenance hoping the garlic would kill all the parasites that seemed to be invading my body at an alarming pace.

In addition to the food and drink the bar offered some interesting entertainment. There was a nightly show that proved to be quite the spectacle to behold while it lasted. D.Carradine and his wife, Antoinette set up camp in the bar 24/7. They drank like fish and this was their aquarium. Antoinette, literally danced half dressed on the tables. Enough alcohol consumed it was always the same. The shoes would come off and it was on. Always encouraging all that would listen to join them in yet another round. Gilded lily or not, we were all invited. If they were sick during their stint in Lima it could only have been alcohol poison. Nothing else could live under those conditions I believe.

On one fateful night my hanging out with M.S turned into an argument. My intuition was rearing its head again and I with no tact was on it. He was obsessed with becoming a star. And I felt he might not make it. [Which, by the by, he did not] So as he went on and on, I said ...Well what if you don't become a star. What will you do? What else interests you? I will be, he demanded. But I kept pushing and it went on and on and on. Stalemate.

Even given this disagreement the evening did not end bad. We had built a friendship where we shared truth with one another. It was just a feeling that I had and I was trying to get him to look at other options. Few aspiring actors actually do make it. I was not trying to hurt him but get him to expand his vision, young as I was. He was a bit older than I, maybe in his early 30's. I can't be sure because he hid his age like most in Hollywood do. With the exception of moi. I am 44 and will be 45 on Feb 1.

By now, my rejection of the directors endless come-ons had made him angry. A deep, seething anger from a man that usually got what he wanted especially in his own country. But I was different. I'm Ammeerriikin!!! So he decided to write a new scene for the film. A scene where my friend M.S. basically attacks me. He had observed that M.S. and I had become close and was jealous of that as well.

The scene was awful and unnecessary. M.S. basically sticks his hand up my short skirt and then at a later point in the abuse tries to choke me. I immediately saw what the director was doing. I was young but not stupid. He wanted to see me hurt. He and his ego were transparent but only to me. I was playing Helen and she was tough so I put on my mask and went for it. I would not let him get to me.

M.S. saw this as a big opportunity for him. A big scene to show his stuff. He assumed that it was written because he was doing so well in his role that the producers wanted more of him in the film. His sad and desperate desire was misleading him again. Led astray as he was, he took advantage of his moment completely. The director was wise enough to have seen his desperate need to be a star and that combined with our budding friendship fueled with his crushed ego. He proceeded to exploit and blow apart whatever had been built in the past month. And now had a partner in crime.

The scene felt like a rape of sorts. As many have over the years. The director did take after take after take, enjoying my pain. Physical and emotional as it was. An actor must never hurt another actor. Here in fucking Lima, Peru [as I had grown fond of calling it] all of this unwritten etiquette was gone out the window. It was a surreal experience that I just kept willing myself to get through. I remember seeing my angel arguing with the director but not knowing why.... This actor, if you can call him that was desperate. He hurt me in a number of different ways that night on the set. In the name of a career that never would be.

When we finally finished the scene, I ran out of the nasty warehouse we were shooting in. I will never forget it. My angel tried to stop me with tears in her eyes..... I motioned that I needed some space. She hovered from afar, standing guard to the best of her abilities. I ran out of the building and as far as I could get. I have often bolted I realize and run as far and as fast as I can. As if I can escape the ugliness I am a part of.

Exhausted, I kind of squatted down in the weeds that were at least 2 feet tall. I cried and cried but then I looked at the blue black sky with the moon shining brightly. A peace fell over me. There was a defining silence, a loud hummmmm. I felt connected to God. I had survived, I thought. They can hurt me and my body but they cannot ever hurt or touch my soul. I will heal and just fly away like a bird. I will fly away....

I do not like to look in mirrors on the set. So when I got back to my room i was astonished as i went to take a shower and wash all the ugliness off of my body that I had bruises up and down my neck. This motherfucker had been bruising me. And he could not be doing the scene over and over and not SEE what he was doing to me. Now I understood more of what my angel had been speaking aggressively about to the director. I was livid. I called M.S. and told him what a pathetic schmuck he was. It was incredible to me what lengths one would go to for fame.

The rest of the shoot was not so connected emotionally. I showed up, professional as always and got out as quick as possible. M.S. had been revealed for who he really was. Just full of B.S. My beloved man, my first love eternally Johnny, showed up and we got engaged. He came immediately when I shared the hell I had been through. I flew away with my soul intact. I flew jut like I knew I could....

I had learned firsthand how ugly that kind of desperate need for fame was. I knew I did not have that inside of me. Nor would I ever. I was not sure at that point why I was acting or if I even wanted to keep doing it. That was a special kind of ugly. One that I never wanted to grow inside of me. And it never did.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

R.Rachel and V.Vicky deconstructed.

It is essential that before reading this blog you have read 2 others. First: " I have rage." Then : "Introducing Raging Rachel and Vicious Vicky." In this blog, I will attempt to show how these parts of me informed [ sometimes subtly sometimes NOT so subtly] the "I have rage" blog. To illustrate for you and for me the insidious nature of their brilliance. By analyzing and exposing it, I hope to chip away at not being held hostage by these two anymore. And possibly give them the love that they are ultimately seeking. Because I believe that love is really ALL there is.

Form here on in:
The original blog shall remain in black.
Rachel's voice will be written about and comment on in this red.
Vicky's voice will be written about and commented on in this green.
Back to purple to sum it all up.
And away we go......

I am feeling rage right now. I am infuriated by peoples sleep and lack of need to be honest. People who walk through life with their mask firmly in place. Maybe I am SO mad because I did it for so long. I don't know . It ALWAYS has to do with us I feel. But I do know that it threatens to rip apart SO much in my life.

Here Rachel proudly introduces herself with part of her name RAGING Rachel. Proud of her name, her calling card. Judging of others, she is simply superior and all are beneath her. False humility that MAYBE she did it but only MAYBE. There always is an accusation to all the lame "others" that do this and are below her. It threatens to rip her life apart and is her threat, and her intention.

I am no good at saying things tactfully. But I am working on it. I call it as I see it, and as you have heard me say, I get in big trouble for that. And yet, I do not give a shit . I want to be with peeps who get me and who speak their truth as well. They do not have to agree with me. In fact it's better when they do not for I can learn from another perspective. But they must have the courage to say what's up. Truthfully.

This is Vicky. She is the wiser of the two. Less obvious and more covert. They say with twins in the womb, the stronger and smarter one pushes the other out first to get a lay of the land, check to see if its safe. This is she. Here she feigns honesty. She fluctuates between seeing herself and saying she is right and will continue just as she has in the past. She enlists others to do as she does. Tempts others, are you at MY level?! She acts as if she wants others to disagree with her but will take you down when you do. And ends with the most distorted word of all....truthfully.

I seriously would rather be alone than deal with bullshit small talk, jokes and lies. For me, peeps come together to share TRUTH not false bravado. I am bored by the human condition and no longer am claiming it as my own.

More Vicky here again. Elitist and better than all. Again with the T word. Setting herself outside of the human condition. That takes a special kind of ego.

I step OUT of the tribe and that condition. In fact, I RUN out of it. I would rather be alone with my truth then surrounded by masses in their collective sleep. Their collective fear. Their masks. Their collective bullshit. I am declaring that I am officially over it all. I say this to the universe and all who care to listen.

Now she is picking up steam in her self-righteousness. And isolating into being alone just the way she likes it with nobody to question her dogmatic thinking. Their this and their that. Such judgement, I am great she seems to scream. I am above it all. She is obviously really scared and frightened that she is none of these things. True power does not behave this way. It does not need to. It, like the statues of Christ, bows his head in humility of his power. [just a reference, don't freak]

I am fueled by the support I have gotten from having the courage to actually put my truth out there. This is a part of each and everyone of you. And has been reflected in my shares. Not "blogs" but shares. I am here only to illuminate MY human struggle in hopes that a) I can be clearer and that b) you can be touched and inspired to declare your own.

Vicky, Vicky, icky Vicky. Self important, self righteous, selfish and self involved. Its all about me. A wolf in sheep's clothing. Her sheep has also been consumed by this wolf. The lamb represents the soul. The wolf the instinctive, animalistic body. The lamb and the wolf must learn to lay together.

Nobody is better than or more important a person than ANYONE else!! And celebrity does not mean shit. I know this to be true. I hope you do too. Sending love and light out in a crazy time here on this planet and in this lifetime.

Well, I have learned a few things. That Vicky is far more prevalent and in charge than Rachel. That Rachel's bark is worse than her bite. That the brilliance and danger resides more in the vicious part that is so smart. Like a lawyer she twists things to suit her. She enlists others to do the same. And the word "truth" is always peppering her fights.

And yet, I am not certain this is all true. It seems to be evolving. Maybe Vicky is the weaker of the two. I guess I don't really know. Maybe they dance between the two. There seems to be some biblical references that came out of me. Oh well, they just did. If they offend, so be it. Rachel or Vicky.

I wonder where these voices come from. A person in my life from my past? Or just born to protect me? I feel as a child I was never heard, so once I was big enough to be heard I may have developed these two sisters. I also feel now as I walk through this process that [as a wise reader of my blog shared] maybe they do not need to be killed. As Rachel suggested. But to be loved and tamed.

I do not know how to do that for now. I take it all one day at a time. I try to not be as reactive, that is certain. I believe there is a collective body of fear and negativity that once I go that far into, makes it even harder to get out of.

So this self analysis done, I go into my day. Hopefully all the more wise, or at least a little bit more wise. And with more compassion.....for me and all the characters that inhabit me.

Introducing Raging Rachel and Vicious Vicky

So through my never ending self inquiry I have recently discovered that I have two evil twins that live inside of my head. I have named them Raging Rachel and Vicious Vicky. They are just what their names say they are. You don't ever want to meet them, I promise you that. I think they may have had a hand in writing my last blog, "I have rage."

At the moment they are hurling insults at me that I dare even write this for the world to read. "As if the world reads YOUR blog," they shout. But one of my dearest friends and teachers Roy London taught me that I must grab my demons & monsters by the head and pull them out of the cave to get a good look at them. He said doing that will diminish their power. And so I shall.

I believe that it is essential to learn ones truth and to share it BUT not to bludgeon people with it as I do sometimes. This word is very potent for me : bludgeon as I first read it used in a book about a the serial killer, Ted Bundy. He was the stereotype, a typical somewhat good looking white man who had taken it to the street.

During one of his horrific killing sprees after he had already killed one person ( that not having been enough to fill his hole) he fled with the blood of one victim still on his hands to some college girls apt, grabbed what he could find, a piece of firewood and "bludgeoned" two more to death.

Over the years of my life Rachel and Vicky have reared their ugly heads up too many times to count, hurt too many people and got me in awful situations in the name of the truth. That is you see part of their brilliance. They say....well its the truth. Like J. Nicholson,"You cant handle the truth!!!" They snarl and spit like mad dogs with self righteous arrogance.

A part of me hides when they come out. I am actually afraid of them too. When they thought I would fail at something, they have suggested different ways to hurt myself to avoid things. Thank God I did not listen. At least in this moment I cannot think of a time I did. And yet because I allowed the attacks to place, I guess I did listen. Ugh. "Shame on you!" My grandma would say if she were still alive.

You see for a long time now, I thought this was strength. What a load of shit. Another lie I was telling to myself. It is true weakness to attack anyone at anytime with your own unexamined and misplaced rage. I am over it. I will no longer allow Rachel and Vicky to weave their tangled webs. I need an exorcism. Know any good shamans?

It is dark nights of the soul when one sees themselves truly. Or maybe that is just my experience. I am not a bad person but I can be quite hurtful when they take over. They come out when I feel hurt or threatened. They say the meanest things imaginable. I often get attacked by them as I am right now. Nobody wants to show the ugly parts of themselves but I defer to my teacher because he has never led me astray.

They have appointed themselves to stand guard over my heart and never let anyone get too close. Only my kids are really close to me. And my Dylan has gotten closer than anyone but at a great price. We are meant to be transformational in each others lives. And that we are. But I have hurt him so. I wonder why he is still here. And thank GOD everyday.

The twins work hard at having a self fulfilling prophecy: That I am not lovable, that all men leave, that I am worthless. They have come a breath away from bringing this to fruition. Now they are being exposed. I had done so well for awhile, then last night they came out in full force. I find them to be stronger, darker and at their worse as I consume wine. I have chosen to stop that. Its like a dark energy comes with it.

I feel that the world has great light coming in right now. But that makes us be able to see more of the dark. Huge polarities exist and for me I must be so cautious. And conscious. And connected to the light and my truth. The true truth, not the one the twins preach. The one centered on love and compassion.

If only one could just set down their baggage from childhood. Like returning from a trip, walking up the driveway, into your front door and just putting down the suitcase. The relief of it. The feeling of lightness one feels. I long for it and am actively working to do just that. This has been 44 yrs of this shit.

It seems I have been fighting for so long in my life. I keep waiting for the chapter where it all gets really good. But happiness only comes in moments for me. Rachel and Vicky are too threatened by real joy and happiness.

They know that now that they are exposed, they will die. I am killing them. Putting them to sleep like an old dog that is sick and it is at the point where it is the only humane thing left to do.

So this is their swan song. What was born to protect a child from fucked situations ,now is at war with me the grown woman and happiness in my life. They will not win. They are old and are being put down. I will not miss them for unlike a dog, they were never friends even to me. They are my worst enemies.

I am sure some may read this and feel I am really fucked up. Emotionally unstable. And sometimes I am, like you aren't?!!! hehehe What I am is a living, breathing woman who is looking at herself and working hard to transform into the woman I have always wanted to be. A woman who lives NOT from her head but from her heart.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I have rage....

I am feeling rage right now. I am infuriated by peoples sleep and lack of need to be honest. People who walk through life with their mask firmly in place. Maybe I am SO mad because I did it for so long. I don't know . It ALWAYS has to do with us I feel. But I do know that it threatens to rip apart SO much in my life.

I am no good at saying things tactfully. But I am working on it. I call it as I see it, and as you have heard me say, I get in big trouble for that. And yet, I do not give a shit . I want to be with peeps who get me and who speak their truth as well. They do not have to agree with me. In fact its better when they do not for I can learn from another perspective. But they must have the courage to say whats up. Truthfully.

I seriously would rather be alone than deal with bullshit small talk, jokes and lies. For me, peeps come together to share TRUTH not false bravado. I am bored by the human condition and no longer am claiming it as my own.

I step OUT of the tribe and that condition. In fact, I RUN out of it. I would rather be alone with my truth then surrounded by masses in their collective sleep. Their collective fear. Their masks. Their collective bullshit. I am declaring that I am officially over it all. I say this to the universe and all who care to listen.

I am fueled by the support I have gotten from having the courage to actually put my truth out there. This is a part of each and everyone of you. And has been reflected in my shares. Not "blogs" but shares. I am here only to illuminate MY human struggle in hopes that a. I can be clearer and that b. you can be touched and inspired to declare your own.

Nobody is better than or more important a person than ANYONE else!! And celebrity does not mean shit. I know this to be true. I hope you do too. Sending love and light out in a crazy time here on this planet and in this lifetime.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The job that changed my life

When I was about 22 or 23 I believe.... I had been kicking around in Hollywoodland for a few years. Getting a few roles here and there. Sometimes being exploited and feeling quite disillusioned. I just wasn't passionate about the work yet. I had not met the teacher that would change my relationship to acting and ultimately my life. The late, great Roy London. Or gotten the job that would do the same. Giving me the opportunity to swim in the greatness and brilliance of others. That was about to change.

It was about this time that I had met a manager who said a some things that had a profound effect on me. In all honesty she was pursuing me because of my ex boyfriend Johnny . I believe she hoped to connect with him. She did not know the status of our relations, that we were no longer together and I did not tell her. It was OK because in the process of her working the angle, I got valuable, desperately needed input. Some tangible tools that would help to the trajectory of my career.

I was at that point so desperate to be liked and to be loved and to be seen. ugh, yes, still. I would go to auditions and when the casting directors would ask the perfunctory,"Do you have any questions about the character?" A question that they NEVER want you to answer with anything other than NO. I would answer with,"Well, how do you see her?" Naively hopeful that if I could fulfill their vision I might get the job and get the validation I seemed to constantly need.

This is disastrous for an actor. You see, the key to great acting I was later to discover is to illuminate the human struggle. YOUR human struggle. YOUR life. YOUR direct experience. No ones imagination is as interesting as the plain truth. To look at something about your life that you are actually dealing with in that time. Not some bullshit past, dog that died in childhood thing. Not that I am knocking The Method, but I am.

It was relevant when it came into being, which was the 1950's. But we are ,as a world and a society a far cry from that . Back then it was remarkable for a man to show emotion at all. Now people, sometimes complete strangers give us more information about their personal life than we ever want to know. With the exploitation of lives and emotional unrest everywhere on supposed reality tv.

So there I was, desperate to please and be liked and most of all....get the job. The results...not so great. I got harsh feedback at times. One heartbreaking one I remember was that I lacked depth and intensity. Or a common one, that I was too green. Funny because now one cannot not be too green. I wonder what they say to the newbies now.

It hurt me deeply yet I also knew a lot of their criticism was correct. And I simply did not have the tools to actually change it. This is where the manager came into play. She had invited me to her annual Christmas party. I got all dressed to the nines and showed up. Scared..... and more than likely I slipped in and out of my shy/mute state as there were celebrities everywhere. I was Johnnyless which I am sure did not make the manager happy.

I can only remember Willem Dafoe being there. I liked him and his work. But I felt nervous because he had done Platoon with Johnny. At a certain point during the filming while they were in the Philippines I had broken up in what was essentially a dear john letter. Literally and figuratively. Only to come back together once he returned.

I had just felt abandoned by him. He was my first love and for him to go and be gone for 2 months was more than my lack of maturity could tolerate. So what that he wrote me and sent pictures from the film with my name written across his helmet. Still, I wanted to hurt him and I had. I always intended to be with him when he returned. Upon his return we immediately holed up in a hotel close to the airport and came back together.

So Willem Dafoe represented a difficult time in my life and every time I looked at him, I felt it. I don't even think he noticed me. I believe the wonderful Andy Garcia was there as well. But I cannot be certain. I stayed for a bit, drank some vino and then escaped.

Escape is an apropos word because I have never been a social creature. I isolate, that is just me. I don't like bullshit and small talk. I still avoid really social situations. Unless it is with like minded people and we can have real conversation. This is limiting and I am trying to look at it a different way. I am trying to look between the lines, share whatever and know sometimes that is enough. I don't have to have poignant conversation all the time. And I am learning to laugh again and have fun.

A few days later, I was summoned to the managers office for a meeting. Maybe she wanted to rep me? I was excited with the ever present nerves of a young Michigan girl who was completely out of here element. I never in a million years would have thought that I would be an actress when I was a young person. Never. I did not choose it, it chose me.

She did not want to rep me, not yet. She said what a lot of people in her position are fond of saying." You are a project away from us working together." Which is shorthand for, there is too much work to do with you at your current state and once you are discovered, I'll jump on the bandwagon because I have not an original belief in my head. Sorry, but that is how I see it. Most Hollywoodlanders need those creative few show them whats up. Then, when it is sufficiently safe, they jump on board with false bravado and bullshit stories of how they knew and believed in you way back when.

Thank god I was soon to meet one such director but the managers words would help to make this connection stick. She said that she had been observing me at her party. That it was obvious that I was trying to be a "good girl." To be "liked." That I was putting on a mask basically. She shared that the good directors want to work with the actors who" know who they are authentically and show up that way. "

In others words, if I am shy, that is how I should show up. If I am a bitch or rude by nature, don't curb it. If I am a jokey kind of girl or an airhead without affectation but in my essence , that is how I must show up.

WOW. She had given me permission to just be me. That I was actually enough. It blew my mind. I was still so young and was not sure who I was. Moving around so much as a young girl, I was constantly changing myself to fit into a new social group at a new school. Old catholic money one year, new Jewish community the next. It was mind boggling and that combined with my very young childhood [another blog all unto itself] added to a loss of my identity.

So I did some soul searching. And I realized that when I first met people, I was shy. That was at least one truth I could grasp. That I and been entering auditions all positive and happy and bright. Regardless of what I was feeling. It was all so false. No wonder I was often rejected. That and the fact that as an aspiring actress you receive mostly rejection. Its the nature of the beast.

The other thing I did was not share my truth about what I had read. I would act like I liked the script even if I did not. There could be no real communication about the project unless I showed up honestly. Easier said then done. This one would be a tricky line to walk. But what I was doing was not working.

I digested this new information for a bit but in a short amount of time I would put it to the test. I was called excitedly by my agent. I had a meeting with an amazing filmmaker who was doing a tv series. David Lynch. Now I was not too familiar with his work, but I had seen the unforgettable and incredibly disturbing Blue Velvet. My agent encouraged me to rent The Elephant Man and I did.

I was touched so deeply to the very core of my being by this film. It was so different in tone from Blue Velvet. This man was a great director. My god. What a heartbreaking film. How much truth and depth..... I will never forget it and although it is absolutely difficult to watch at times, it is one of my favorite films.

I love most films like this. They resonate with me. Moments so personal , so painful they are actually hard to watch. They pierce ones soul. Like in Truly, Madly, Deeply when she is sobbing so hard you begin to as well. Like being at a birth of child and you find yourself bearing down and pushing as the mother to be does so. Another film I adore is Who's afraid of Virginia Wolfe.

Having played Elizabeth Taylor and vigilantly searching for the woman and not the legend/icon. I personally found this to be the role that came closest to revealing the woman. Not to mention the intense dynamic that existed between she and Richard Burton. Especially in the later days. That and some candid, unrehearsed footage of her were the keys for me. And I love her to this day.

While I watched David's second film, the script was being sent to me. I usually had to go get my scripts, they were not being delivered....yet. But since it was Sir David Lynch, they made an exception. After the emotional film, I am sure I most likely put on a pot of chicken soup, a constant in my life even today, I sat and awaited the arrival of the holy grail. It was not at that point called Twin Peaks. It was something with northern in it, but I cannot remember it. Maybe Northwest passage?!

I had not to date met a truly great director. Not one. I was scared. All that the manager had said was running through my mind. I started to contemplate what I might wear. But quickly realized I needed to read the script first. I was told it would not be a reading, just a meeting. That was not how this unique man worked. He would simply have meetings and in talking to you would decide if and where you fit into the beautiful world he was creating.

As I read the script I must admit that I did not find it so incredible. It was no Elephant Man. My agent kept referencing Peyton Place but this meant nothing to this young person. It read like a soap opera. Hence the reference but Blue Velvet meets Peyton Place. That was the one line pitch. I challenge anyone to have read it , in and of itself and guessed what it turned into. I inexperienced as I was could not see it. But was excited nonetheless. Be the magical hand of David Lynch would be touching it.

So there were the three options of roles for me as far as I could tell. The dead girl, Laura Palmer. The sweet girl who always cried, Donna Hayward. Or the sexy waitress who was being abused by her mean husband, Shelley. Sorry, I cannot remember her last name. [A tweetybird reminded me its Shelley Johnson. Thank you] Although in my life I was most like Donna, I did not think I could carry a show the way she had to. Let alone cry scene after scene. I would more than likely be seen as Shelley.

You see, there was NO AUDREY HORNE at this point. Sad but true. But ultimately not so sad as it turned out, right!!!!!

I remember sitting in the waiting room at Propaganda Films. My heart pounding out of my chest. Looking around at a few other girls no doubt experiencing the same emotions. Remembering what the manager said. Just be yourself. Just be yourself, was my mantra. Then my name was called. ldgutikehgsvrjmthnjbhvgfdsguritoyuiytyrtefwgshdjfmgnbvcdh!!!!!

The head shot they had was me in a black turtleneck with very short platinum blond hair. Very overexposed and artsy. It was why David brought me in. My hair had since been dyed to it dark color again. David immediately spoke of that. In fact, he did most the talking because I was being as I am in my life....shy. How I had to fight every impulse to be chipper and all this other stuff I had pretended to be in auditions and my young life up until now. And if forced him to talk more than he was accustomed to.

He said the picture reminded him of his daughter with the blond hair and all . A woman would I would come to know, love and work on one of my most intense jobs with. Boxing Helena. She is simply brilliant. Of course I am speaking of Jennifer Lynch. Again, this is another blog altogether. But did you know that Jen wrote the book of Laura Palmer's diary that came out while the show aired?! A little trivia.

David was kind and funny. Not at all what I expected. He was quirky but in an innocent way. I thought he'd be dark but he was not. Only the recesses of his mind were. Who's are not. And he had the courage to look at it. Through his work. The best description I have ever heard of him was Jimmy Stewart from Mars. That is the perfect one, to me.

Then he asked if I liked the script. Uh-oh!!!!!! The moment of truth. So far, I was true to me. Would I share my perspective? Could I??? It was nothing less than a character defining moment. A turning point in my life. The beginning of telling the truth. I said there, a huge lump in my throat, I felt like I couldn't breathe. He stared at me with a slight smile, prompting.....

I finally said.... well..... yea..... I thought it was ok...... He just looked at me. Not upset but wanting to hear more of my inexperienced perspective. And....... it seems like everyone is sleeping with everyone else. He smiled and seemed to appreciated my honesty. We finished and I left. Relieved to be finished and prayerful that it went well.

I got home to find an urgent message on my answering machine. My agent. Call asap. I was told that although it seemed that David was not offended, the casting director was outraged. She said I should've been more positive and tried to talk more and have more energy. It was devastating. Maybe that stupid fucking manager was wrong. Clearly she was and I blew a huge opportunity in the process.

I don't remember how long it was before I got the next call. But I do remember feeling lost and depressed. Wondering if I should even do this stupid Hollywood thing. Pulled out chicken soup again and isolated .

But the magic call came. One of the few I can count on one hand in this business that I will not ever forget. It seemed that the casting person was wrong. So wrong. That David loved me, wanted me on the show and was actually WRITING a role for me!!!!!!!! WHAT???!!!!!

I remember where I was standing as I got that call. I freaked out. I played it cool on the phone, mocking the casting directors earlier criticism. Hung up and lost it!!!! Jumping, screaming, laughing and crying. So much so that my crazy neighbor knocked on my door to check that I was ok. She then joined me in my celebratory dance and busted into some praise God's.

That David Lynch saw something in me that no one really had, save my dear agent of many years, was astounding to me. I am forever indebted to him. And frankly, I kind fell a little in love with him. As a patient does with a doctor that saves her and nurses her back to health.

It seemed for the moment, I had been saved.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The mask continues to come off. A rant.

So last night I made the mistake of taking in some judgemental comments about the fact that I am sharing my DIRECT experience with PRN. It was frankly the first negative feedback I have gotten. Although oddly enough the reader kept reading and felt the need to leave four posts, two on two different blogs.

That it upset me so much simply speaks to a habit which is not great of mine. To dismiss the good that is said or seen in me and masturbate with the bad. Keep in mind, it was the only person who wrote ugly things. So I thank the person who shared because I got to see another part of myself to work on.

I promised myself I would not read comments for this very reason and am contemplating not reading anymore. But that would give them and my false beliefs about myself too much power. I will simply continue as I did with the one in question and gladly DELETE these judgements. Because, you see, this is MY blog and I share on it MY truth. And last time I checked I live in America where I am allowed to do so.

What I have shared so far has not disparaging in any way. So I put out my disclaimer to all who visit this site that I did in my very first blog. I say that if what I write is a problem for you, simply do not read. I will continue to share my truth about PRN and the many other subjects that I have addressed with unwavering honesty. If you do not have something nice to say don't.

I would share that in my experience, one should take their laser like analysis of others and put it on themselves. I experience in my life that people do so much projection of their own issues onto others. I once heard and never forgot: The bigger the reaction, the more personal the material. A good thing to keep in mind.

I also feel it is a time on the planet where we are all needing to look at and deal with our own personal stuff. You know, the stuff conscious and unconscious that informs everything we say and do. The stuff we avoid or where a mask to pretend it does not exist.... I feel it is wise to get clean and clear. I am fond of saying that we can do it with willingness and grace, or be pulled along kicking and screaming. But make no mistake, it is the sign of times and the current will pull you, like it or not. You make a choice of how that will look.

To put my focus on myself regarding my reaction to the ugly words...... I have always had insight and been beat up for stating it. I am the one screaming that the emperor is naked and speaking to the pink elephant in the room. It would never be my intention to hurt anyone. And I do not feel I have in this instance. Nor will I hurt myself by not honoring my truth and my desire to share it. I believe it is a uniting force. It is how I worked as an actress but I had to weave my truth between the lines of another. Now, I am discovering the courage to just say my truth with my own words and will not be silenced by judgmental and fearful people.

So to close, if you take issue with my words or story, it is very simple.....don't read it. And for all those who have read, followed and got it. I am eternally grateful to you all. You are assisting me forging a new path. One that is headed towards light. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

With much love and light.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Princeland cont

OK, here we go back to Princeland. This is a story that will have many installments as it was a long relationship and I am trying to find a way to tell it....the best and most honest way that I can do so....

Driving to the recording studio I had stopped channeling Helen Keller and was back to my chatty and somewhat loud self. We girls from Michigan tend to be that way. Just plain LOUD!!!
So as I was zipping along through the Los Angeles streets in my little cream corvette [baby your much too fast!] I was feeling like I was living a dream. A rather loud one at that...

The night was crisp and seemed so bright although it was the wee hours of the morning. The streets we pretty empty but I was full. Full of excitement and desire and amazement. The moon glowed and the stars twinkled. Or maybe it was just the shine coming off my new found friend.

My mind was racing with millions of thoughts.... I wondered what would happen next. I wondered why he wanted us to come with him.Why us??? Why not the masses who approached him at the bar??? I was after all just a young, inexperienced and unsophisticated girl from Michigan. Yes, just a girl, not even a woman yet. Not even close. Growing up in middle America allows one to grow up more slowly than in L.A. And I had only been here a few months. My head kept spinning trying to figure it all out.

There must be something I was missing, I thought. We are following this man to the recording studio? Not stalking like the crazed fans that we were, no, we were invited??!!! I surmised from my eternally boring lack of self worth place that PRN must be into my friend Judy. A beautiful, statuesque mil ado woman with exotic features to match no other. Yes, she was my brothers girlfriend but they were not exclusive. I have to admit she was cool but there was the eternal haze of Valium around her which I found unattractive. But most did not notice, they just thought she was really mellow. It was the 80's after all and most people were high on something.

I am fond of using peoples initials. PRN stands for Prince Rogers Nelson. Yes, it is his birth name. His father was a musician, a funny, funky and at times volatile man. Purple Rain is quite autobiographical and was meant to be about he and Vanity. Replaced by the awful [my opinion] Apollonia. Even though the name comes from Godfather II where Micheal Corleone goes to Sicily and marries a young woman who gets blown up in a car shortly there after, to me she was still, just, Yuck. Also the film contains the ever present added ingredient of Hollywood "based on a true story" bullshit.

To be with PRN in his environment is to enter a kingdom like no other. From the inside of the limo to the decor of his Minneapolis home. Or a temporarily inhabited hotel room to a recording studio. His unique mark permeates all time and space. All 5 senses are engaged. There are gorgeous colors, pillows, silks, feathers. Candles everywhere day or night, a habit I cannot shake myself. Incredible smells of perfume, incense and beauty. In this place,yes, beauty actually has a smell. Dark, warm and inviting colors. And, of course, the funky back beat from the very soul of the man.

We took the right off of Sunset on Cherokee and an immediate left into a private, gated parking lot that Chick motioned for us to follow them into. As I shakily parked, a feeling it took awhile for me to conquer being around him, PRN waited patiently. He immediately shared that he had been here recording for days . Sometimes he'd record all night and come back right after a brief nap or a trip to a local club for inspiration as was the case tonight. This was what I affectionately came to call Princetime. And it was odd hours.

I recently heard that Micheal Jackson would keep similar hours. And was said to believe that when God gave him a song if he didn't write it down immediately, God would give it to PRN. I believe that it is the other way around actually. But I guess I am biased. Chris Rock has a funny rif about this. He said that in the 80's everyone would fight about who was cooler, PRN or MJ. Well, guess what, he says.... Prince won!!!!! I agree completely. RIP-MJ.

It was an old red brick building where many high level musicians came to record over the years. We went through a series of locked, gated doors to get to the entrance of an outdoor corridor that had 4 or 5 different door leading to separate recording studios. This area had a few benches and a basketball net that PRN would frequent . He loved basketball and once confided that he played in school until everyone kept growing taller than he so he had to stop much to his dismay. To release some energy, or just have a break he'd go out there and play. Like any guy, right?

Only what he was taking a break from was a kind of genius that is rare. One that I was soon to observe firsthand. He taught himself to play every instrument as a young teenager. At this point he was recording for his next album. Or maybe it was for The Time, one of the many bands he created. He also has an unlimited vocal range. Who knows if this devotion and drive came from the disappointment of having to quit basketball or the pain in his life at home or just the deep human need to be creative and connect with people.....I don't know. But I was deeply moved by it all.

As we entered his particular studio, the first one on the left, his music filled the room. He would over the years use the same studio, a creature of habit like myself. The technician had been hard at work editing the track they had been focused on to PRN's specifications. He was a perfectionist as you might have guessed, clear and clean. He did not indulge in drugs at all and barely drank. Only a little Remy Martin sometimes.

It was in this moment that I first glimpsed the professional musician who demanded the same of others as he did himself. The techie had NOT listened to what he had been told to do and was instantly corrected and put back on task. PRN knew what he wanted it to sound like and did not want this techie's input. Not offensively, just TRUE to his vision. An example for me of a commitment to his voice/his truth and a work ethic that influenced the rest of my life. He simply did not need to be liked by this man. It was an amazing level of self respect.

Of course, I had gone mute, again. But it never seemed to bother him. Like he could see a me inside that I had not even discovered myself. Years later he would say to me....."I would put you in a movie and make you a star, but I am having too much fun watching you do it all by yourself." I guess he watched me blossom in a lot of ways into a woman and a professional one at that. As I write, I am discovering what a deep effect he had on me on all of these levels. I am excited to continue to realize more.

Are you?????

The technician back on track, it was time to add the drums to the track of guitar PRN had recorded before meeting us at the bar. He sat and played, I watched...... It was not a complex beat but just right. He never seems to feel the need to over do it. It is so interesting to watch and hear a song come together. To feel the pieces fitting and complimenting each other.

The drums complete, it did not take long it was on to the next piece. They had a few cokes bottles with different amounts of liquid in them and he tapped them with silverware for the next track. It was simply amazing. It sounded so great. In remembering, it was for a song for The Time. Listen to "Cool" and you will hear it. It is immediately recognizable if you know what to listen for.

This went on a few hours what with recording and editing and all. Much to my frustration Judy was going down and wanted to go home to bed. I could've stayed all night but in my muted state, I just shrugged and followed her lead. So we said our farewells and left. Was it disappointment I was seeing on his face? I could not tell. He did not seem to resist or try to encourage us to stay.

I felt sick to my stomach. I was certain this was the only time I'd ever see this magical man again in my life. It made me sad. I walked as slowly as I could to the car ignoring the complaints of Judy and her withdrawal shakes in the cool air. We climbed in my car and I went to back up when Chick appeared at my window and knocked.

"Prince wants to know if he can call you, Sherri?" Uhhhhh, of course. I stammered and fumbled for something to write on. I was all thumbs and nothing about me was cool. Thank God Chick had all bases covered. He smiled amused at my behavior, no doubt he'd witnessed it before in countless others. And he handed me a pen and paper. Uhhhhh, [next problem] I almost could not remember my phone number but at least my voice had returned.... Although now my brain was MIA. Uhhhhh...... Then Judy came out of her haze and saved me. She gave my number and we were off into the night. In my little cream corvette.

We sang together blasting my now declared theme song. "Little red corvette, baby your much to fast, yes you are." The sky starting to wake up with gorgeous shades of orange and red. I loud and proud from Michigan. Judy a little hazy but fueled by the fact that she'd be home soon so her Valium supply could be refreshed.

Many adventures to follow......before and during..... when in a year or so I met my very first true love and very first long term 3 1/2 year committed relationship with "The world's sexiest man" according to People mag. To me, he was just my Johnny and we were just two young people from small towns with stars in our eyes and dreams of becoming actors. We met through our agency and were cast in an AFI film.......directed by Laurie Frank. She is fond of saying,"There is casting. And then there is DIVINE casting."

But that is another story.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blah, blah, blah

It is still dark outside. I have been awake since 4am. I reworked some of my Prince blog. I will need to do that more often, there were a lot of dumb mistakes. Sorry. I am worried, I am a worrier. I know this is not a real word but I don't care. Its all so redunkulous. Capice, redunkulous? My absolute favorite new word. This is a kind of meaningless rant, you may anat to move on to a different blog.... Your choice, but don't say that I didn't warn you.

I do not know what the next days, months, years of my life hold. I know that I never really knew anyway, it just felt more comfortable thinking I did. I don't know that I want to act again after all these years of doing it. I certainly will only do it on my terms. In other words, I will only commit if I really love the role and the people involved. Feel an honest level of commitment and integrity in the project. It seems reasonable but trust me that in Hollywood, it is rare.

I want to write in a professional capacity but have no idea if it is possible. Or what form that might take. I always thought that my ideal man-partner would be a writer. That is me, always looking outside for the answers that can only be found inside. Now I think that the writer-partner I have been looking for is me.

After running from me for so many years this is a somewhat startling realization. Am I really all I have been seeking all this time. Like the proverbial running on a hamster wheel? It seems to simple. And quite anti climatic. I guess I should've made that right turn at Albuquerque.

I thought of writing a tell all book. To finance then directing a few documentary ideas that have been close to my heart. Or maybe a tell some. Some people would be mad or hurt, I am certain. It is not what would stop me though. I say my truth, I can't help myself. I frankly have no idea what it is that stops me right now.

Maybe that I am a full time mother right now of a 15 and a 2 year old. That I am taking care of them and juggling a confusing relationship. Sometimes love is not enough. Sad but true. I have no idea whatsoever if this relationship will work out. I am tired of working. It seems I work at everything. I wait for the chapter of my life when things get easier, lighter, with less work. It never comes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Prince: A magical, mystery ride.

I was 18 and had moved here, fresh out of Michigan for only a few months when we met. Coming from the home of Motown I was a lover of Prince ...anything and everything he did. What a carpet I would cut to his funky beats in my bedroom. How many nightclubs I had snuck into and as they spun only a few notes of his unique music I would be up, screaming and running to the dance floor. He was the prince, my prince ...I would fantasize. I thought he was so beautiful, so sexy, so well, soooooooo! I did not dream of Leif Garrett or whoever the teen mags showed, I dreamed of Prince. He was my Prince Charming.

I went with my oldest brother Leo, also a huge fan [Sorry but Micheal who????] to see his Controversy show while we were still living in Michigan. Vanity 6 played first, then The Time, then the man of the hour. It was fantastic. All music penned by my Prince, I was in awe and in love. I watched him running around backstage and playing with the gorgeous Vanity. They looked like a perfect couple, their kids would've been scary beautiful for sure. Thankfully for me, it never went that far. But back then, as just another fan behind the railing, what did I know.

So now, in the city of Lost Angels I was. Just another angel among the masses and as lost as the next..... still sneaking into nightclubs and being a crazy 18 year old. One night me and my brothers girlfriend Judy went to dance at Carlos and Charlies. It was on the infamous Sunset Blvd and was an exclusive nightclub above a restaurant. Dressed beyond my 18 years in my hot 80's garb, a white leather mini and matching motorcycle jacket. Camisole, inspired by Vanity 6, a look Madonna would later steal as her own as she stole MANY things from my Prince. And short sexy silver and white boots. It was on, crouton. Dancing, drinking, and gasping as I looked over and saw my Prince walk in the door. I almost died and am certain I cried.

He was small, my size, not the giant from the concert I remembered. He had on colorful clothes and high heeled boots which did little to increase his physical stature. He was still a god to me. As pretty as I thought he'd be. Maybe prettier. And oh, so sexy. The club parted like the red sea as he made his way to a great table right next to the dance floor where he could partake of a favorite habit of his. Watching people dance, sometimes getting up himself. Seeing what the pulse of the crowd was in terms of what music they were listening too.

The DJ would of course begin spinning as many of his records as he could get away with. Not realizing that it irritated Prince a bit because to him all of his current music on the radio is very old now. He has written so much new music since then and does not even like the old stuff anymore. He is prolific. Has 100 times mores music that anybody has or will ever hear. Some is simply for his own enjoyment. But he did enjoy when the people danced to it with enthusiasm, which was partly fueled by the fact that he was sitting right there.

Some of the women were simply embarrassing themselves, bumping and grinding frenetically, desperate for a glance from him. He is a somewhat shy man and that was just a turn off. "Act your age, baby, not your shoe size & maybe we can do the town!" He would almost always say no thanks when people came and asked him to dance. Drunk, overt, slutty girls on drugs did not interest him in the slightest. This was after all part of the research for his artistry.

There was no entourage, just a huge bodyguard with long white hair and a mustache. He looked like he was in a motorcycle gang, threatening. A part of Hell's Angel's in the city of Lost Angels. I would later get to know his name was Chick. He was a gentle giant but took care of the business of keeping the prince safe at all costs. Lets face it, drunk fans can be a bit daunting. In a word...R-U-N !!!!

Judy and I watched him from the background for awhile. Truth be told, I could not take my eyes off of him. Then Judy, bold as she was with the ever present valium in her bloodstream wanted to go ask him to come sit with us. Oh my!!! He won't. Are you crazy I asked her!!! Why would he??? He has turned down WHATEVER the numerous girls that had approached him asked. God no!!! Just leave it Judy. My night had been made just laying my eyes upon him..... But Judy would not take no for an answer and literally dragged me over to him.

As we stood in front of him ,Chick arose the ever vigilant protector of the crown. I froze. Deer caught in the headlights. Heart pounding out of my chest. I had never been this close to a star, let alone THE star. The star of my secret love and fantasies..... She said simply,"Do you want to come sit with us?" It seemed an eternity before he answered. The pulse of the music unable to beat the rate of my heart. My mouth turned dry as sandpaper. Standing there, ugh, what should I do with my hands. A selfconcious thought I often had when first started doing film work as an actress. I nudged Judy, lets just go I indicated. He looked me up and down, then Judy.......Then stood up and said,"OK." And followed us to our humble table.

I think I barely spoke three words but I danced with he and Judy. Then with just him. He had golden eyes that were playful and mischieveous. He would watch me as I moved around him to the beat. I thought I was Vanity, I rocked. I shimmied and shook and felt so alive. I had so much fun. Sure I had gone mute but I still had fun. That ever illusive fun I seem to have lost the ability to have now as a 44 year old woman.

He was also very smart and funny when he did speak over the blaringly loud music. He was wise and flippant and would tell jokes. He had this low kind of husky sexy voice. Not high pitched like a woman's as I would later experience MJ to have when I met him with Prince. He was simply cool. Either you are or you aren't and he was. Still is. "I'm so cool...ow.ow.ow. Ain't nobody bad like me!"

The crazy part came a little bit later when he asked if we wanted to come to the recording studio with him. Jesus, what was happening. This was not, could not be real. Of course we took the invitation floating on cloud 9, hoped in my little cream corvette and off went following he and Chick in his limo.

This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship/relationship that would span the next decade of my life...

to be continued...... hehehe....if you like??!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FUN I say. [Recently revised 11/24]

A few months ago my man of 3 years and the father of our 2 year old called to declare that we were gonna have a date that evening. And we were gonna have FUN!!! Even if it kills us, I thought but dared not say it. You see, our relationship has moved at warp speed and been quite tumultuous. So to do this after a week of fighting, of potential break ups, of all of was not easy for me to jump on board wholeheartedly.

As he came home and we gathered our stuff there was a strained feeling in the air. He kept laughing uncharacteristically loud. It felt forced, determined as he was to have that fun he spoke of. He is a passive kind of person. And has a tendency to people please and leave his truth on the doorstep. He is NOT this guy in front of me right now. I almost feel shy around him in this current incarnation. Who is this man???

I start to I really know him at all? Does he know me? Let alone like me? Sometimes it seems like he does not. And if we are both still discovering who we are, what if we find out that we don't fit..... Stop it I thought. So I pulled myself out of this introspection to get on with our date of "fun".

We arrived at the restaurant after some small talk on my part and a lot of boisterous laughing on his. It was still unclear to me who he was....

"Where would you like to sit? Inside or out?" Uh-oh. A potentially un-fun moment in the date. It was still very hot outside and where I knew it will get cool soon, it had not yet. I hate the heat. I am a Michigan girl at heart. So, I know he wants to be outside so I relent. Or more honestly, I lie. But he knows me better than I give credit and makes an executive decision to eat inside instead. Smart move, I am beginning to recognize him now.

I have a deep fear. One of many actually. I fear that I do not know HOW to have fun anymore. Maybe that is why I felt a shyness then. That and I have a tendency to go mute in the face of bullshit. How can we be denying the extreme things we have been talking about and dealing with lately??!!! Fun, fun, fun.

An interesting moment shifted the tone when our waitress first came over to us. Tall and pretty with a head full of messily pinned up ringlets everywhere. She was thin like an ostrich. After she introduced herself she exclaimed,"We are short one busboy so we are all running around but its gonna be FUN!" We laughed. Maybe honestly for the first time that evening. It seemed some unseen force was helping us after all.

So we ate.....oysters, clam chowder, crab cakes and spinach salad. We shared our meal, as always. I have no memory of what we spoke of during our meal but I am sure it was light. An avoidance of any of the real issues that were on the table, so to speak. We had a plan and we were sticking to it. The wine loosened me up at bit. I was not sure of anything in my life in that moment. I was scared and scarred. And most of all....too old to feel this way.

As we walked into a bowling alley, there was the sound of crashing pins, laughing, talking and cheering. With all this activity I realized I missed this. I used to go bowling with my brothers and our father. I excitedly give my shoe size anticipating a pair of cute bowling shoes. I like them, always have.

The man hands me a pair, shiny, clean and surprising not stinky. I feel like a child. Why would clean bowling shoes produce such joy in me? Dark blue and deep burgundy with bold white pipping. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.... Like I was trying a new pair of Manolos...... I savor the moment. They fit perfect and make my feet look small even after having gained a shoe size after schlepping two babies in my body over the past 16 years.

Shoes in place, it is time to move on to the next ritual bowling experience. The choosing of a ball. I try many, first I go for the colors I like. A girl through and through. But of course the ones I am drawn to are Too heavy. With my recent injury I realize I must go with the lightest ball they have. A mere 6 lbs and this cuts down my color choices significantly. Bummer. But I manage to find a bright orange one. I am now drawn to orange as I realized it is the color of the Tibetan monks, a powerful color.

As I tested my swing with it I was flooded with memories of what my father taught me about the key to bowling.
Keep your wrist straight. That's all. Just always keep it straight with follow through. I did a few practice swings and was ready to go. No Laverne and Shirley episode here. I used to get a lot of gutter balls until that golden key was given to me.

These were unfortunately the kind of keys my parents gave to me. No wonder I am such a mess. Ones that really did not matter much unless [in this case] I was in a bowling alley. These crumbs meant the world to me though. Another memory of the bowling experience came as my brothers and I fought to write our own names on the score keeping screen. My family has always called me Sherri. But up until then, I spelled it Sheri. Well, my father corrected me. He said I was named Sheryl, but would always be called Sherri. With two R's. Sheryl for the catholic, appropriate version though. Like Christopher to be called Chris.

He said this with such passion and conviction, I would never forget it. Or maybe it was that he was focused on me at all created the moment of importance that really did not exist. Perception.

This bowling is an event for me. You see,I stand on the outskirts of life. I rarely go into the city to party, to connect. My fear freezes me. To "stand" is to be more active than a "couch potato."

I remember this picture of me as a 3 year old girl. My dress is so short, too short. I am clearly in need of some new, larger sized clothes. Neglect. My white maryjanes are beaten to a pulp.....

I was directed by my grandfather to,"Stand up straight !!!" So there I am, arms pinned to my sides. My legs tightly pulled together. So much tension that my shoulders are almost up to my ears. I am standing as straight as physically possible. Desperate to please. To be seen as a good girl. A lovable girl. As a pretty girl. Pretty is important to this family. Boys should be strong and unemotional and girls....pretty.

Another crumb bestowed upon me by my never present mother was that I had "naturally curly hair!" This crumb of attention became my calling. I would tell anyone who would listen this piece of wisdom my mother had bestowed upon me. I would run up to complete strangers on the playground:
"My mommy says I have naturally curly hair," I would pridefully exclaim and then run off to continue to play.

It seems in retrospect I was screaming I AM IMPORTANT!!! I have something special. Look at me . Watch me. SEE ME. Because I felt invisible. A little person that nobody wanted to take care of. So the crumb became my own little feasts. And during my feasts, I had FUN. Or did I?

All the ritualistic choices made, it was now time to put my fathers wisdom to work. Would I just throw a bunch of gutters? would I score some strikes? I hoped for the best but anticipated the worst. Kind of mirrors the patterns of my own thought processes. And that of my life. I suppose we all have a variety ups and downs. Good scores and some, not so much. Is everything connected or is this just the way my brain works.

Well, it turned out I owe my father a big thanks. I did really well. No gutters and a few strikes and spares. Hey, it seems it is a new day. No more gutters of life. I am going for the strikes. And as insignificant as the feasts of my crumbs seemed, they gave me something to hold onto where there was very little. And something is better than nothing.

I hope I will find out.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What the fuck too so long???!!!

Wow...... I promised myself that I would not read comments but after waiting so long to actually write again, I did. A secret self sabotage, I thought people would mirror my lack of worth, dodgy uneducated writing skills, you name it..... only to be shocked to the point of tears. So I sit hear, tears drying, Wall-e playing for my "what can i fuck with next", angel 2 year old boy. Yes, yes I know, a contradiction. I seem to be a walking one. I need to thank you who have shared these kind words with me. It is astounding to me that complete strangers seem to actually care and sometimes have kinder words than those close to me. It shows me that we are all connected and there is much love in this world. Thank you.

I need to remember this right now because I have just been passing out of a kind of dark night of my soul. A time where I watched my world crumbling around me, and where I have accountability for some of it, as is often the case, it takes more than one to create a storm. Yet in my self hate and lack of self worth, for a period of time I let ALL the blame fall on me. It almost took me down. I thought I was seriously losing my mind, was certain I did not deserve to live and was completely unstable. I have never experienced anything like this before in my life.

I have read it is called a phoenix process. A death and a rebirth but fuck, labor HURTS. I went so low that I believe I went into a sort of collective body of fear and negativity....... And am thankful to have turned a corner, gotten my power/truth back. I learned a lot about myself and am showing up in my life in a different way. It is not always easy because old habits are hard to break but I am day by day feeling more grounded and actually, God forbid, loving myself.... All of me. How shocking.....

My grandmother was a mother figure for me.....for better or worse. As she was dying of cancer I flew back and forth to Texas [NOT my hometown but where she resided] to be with her as much as possible for her last months in this life. I was 28 then and frightened to lose the strongest, most stable element of my life since my childhood. As I told her I was afraid and what would I do without her, she assured me that all would be fine. Then she said what I have never forgotten.... She said that there is only LOVE. That is all that mattered because it was behind everything. EVERYTHING. I realize this is not a new concept. Shortly after she passed I was pregnant with my first son.

My mentor, friend, teacher and father figure was a great man named Roy London. He too began his swan song shortly after my grandmother flew away. My heart was breaking wide open. But someone said that if your heart breaks enough, it starts to look like lace....... I saw Roy as much as possible fighting morning sickness and the heart break. I was told a story by his lover that I will also not ever forget.

In the last few days of my sweet Roy's life, he had a burst of energy and keep trying to get out of his hospice bed. He said he had made a mistake and needed to teach one more class before he died. He said he had been wrong. That all this time he thought it was power or love that was the motivation behind all scenes, scripts, stories. And that now he knew.... it was love. It had always been love and always would be. That that was all there is...

So the same message from two of the most loved and influential people in my life. In retrospect, other than a burning bush???? Turning knowledge into being seems a difficult task. And maybe its not something we can do, but that it does us. When the time is right. Those deaths took place 16 years ago and I am finally getting it on a deep level. I guess I am a slow learner.

So I think of another quote by a wonderful teacher on the planet right now. His name is Jeff Foster. He says:
"Love is not something you can do. Its all there is."

I will close with that. Happy to have actually written again with more to come. At least a few a week. And again, thank you, thank you, thank you for the LOVE you have all shown me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My pity party, reaching for my voice

A wise man once shared that he feels there is no such thing as "writer's block", but that you simply don't have anything to say. I suppose that is where I have been. I got injured doing a stupid episode of a cable tv show and was basically thrown 5 feet across the room and fractured my tailbone. Also smashed into a potted plant on the ground on my mid back and altogether shocked my body, mind and spirit.

Woe is me. In a big way. This post is my pity party. It sucks being injured and especially at the hands of although someone I liked, I felt it was irresponsible. There is NEVER any reason to hurt another actor, even if the script demands, which this did not. Just a little to pumped up and into it , I suppose at my expense.

This situation has evoked something I had never experienced....panic attacks. Fun. Not sure why, but they just come up. Maybe because it was so unexpected at such a crucial part of the body, the tailbone, that is connected to...well...only everything. So I try to go one day at a time and heal. I m told it takes a long time. How fun.

I guess this is God's way of forcing me to slow down and to look at me and ask for help. I have discovered that I have a deep lack of self care/self love. I always knew it was there, but it is screaming at me now. You see, I am a micromanaging and very controlling person. So an injury is crazy making for a woman like me.

Then there is the joy of dealing with Workman's comp. And where they have for the most part been so helpful, lets face it....with all the fraud around this you meet some pretty shitty doctors who clearly don't even give a damn about you and at times downright lie about the actually injury. One in particular will be receiving a letter from me. Not because I feel I could ever change his willy ways but for ME.

It seems a well known fact but bears mentioning, those who cheat the system, screw it for those who have real injuries and need help. Oh well. I have been as I said taken care of so far so good. And even managed to find a good, kind doctor [on the approved list] so all is proceeded as it should.

So much for keeping my weight down. Not being able to move much in the past month has been disastrous. I feel like I have gained 300lbs. It actually closer to 10 but at 5"4, that a lot. But after starting physical therapy I will start moving again, starting today.

It seems to me that this is a boring blog so I apologize but it is simply where I am at the moment. The cool thing is that as I am writing, I just got a message from a fan in response to my complaining about the heat to"sit in front of a fan and update my blog." The beautiful, ironic part is that is EXACTLY what I am doing, even with the fan.

And so there is a GOD and we are all one and connected. I promise my next update to be ........hopefully more specific......more real..... but I am just continuing to pick up the bat.

One of my most revealing moments about me, to me was in a fight with some guy I was dating, it doesn't matter about what but I shouted at him with passion and misplaced strength,"You could NEVER say anything to me I haven't already said to myself!!!"

Get it, got it good.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In the RED

So, you definitely know you've spent too much money in a store when upon arriving home, there is a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of champagne waiting for you.  Not from a lover or a secret admirer and its not even your birthday. But FROM the STORE you just assaulted with your credit card.  Such was the case in my ,"I don't look at price tags" days. The days of wine and roses. Days long gone. 

As me and my best friend blazed into the Beverly Center in my Range Rover one fine afternoon and strutted up the all too slow moving escalator, I was prepared to do some serious damage. And damage, I did. But as always, most of the damage was done to myself. I didn't know how or where but I was poised, ready to strike, Gold Amex in hand. I know you're surprised it wasn't the Platinum, but they had not come out yet...Gold was at that point, top of the line. And I wielded it with great pride. So as I sashayed around I found my mark. One of the most expensive stores in the place,  of course, which has since gone out of business.

A place that would clothe you from head to toe.  It was like when they dress you for a film, but you don't pay. In fact you get paid. EXCEPT that I would be the one paying. This was lost in the translation. I mean this store suits you from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet, and everything in between.  Start with a possible hat, necklace, scarf, blouse, jacket, trousers, belt, shoes, socks, underwear.  You name it. Lets start with casual wear [pink cashmere sweater outfit to fly in], smart appt/audition outfit[Dolce Gabana navy suit] . You think they'd have given me some free clothes since I did an add campaign for them but, no. Gucci dress [de rigueur sexy number for whatever !!!]. Manolo Blahnik's up the ass [the Jimmy Choo of yesterday]  Too much to remember, really.  But the list went on and on and on.

As my dear friend recalls it, I walked around in a kind if trance ,  my eyes glazed over and whatever they brought [the three salesgirls running amok] I just kept saying yes, uunnhhuunnn, OK!!!  Once one of the great outfits was established, then came the shoes, oh, the PERFECT necklace, they need a belt and a bra with sufficent uplift power. Think Madonna pointed titties. Things flying fast and furious as the stack of take homes got bigger and bigger. I have done many a rushed fittings for filming but these people had it down to a science. Shorten the length wearing a heel, [I am only 5"4 after all] and on to the next,next, next.

Of course in addition to my seek and destroy my bank account attitude under the guise, gee, aren't I in and cool, part of what was fueling me was  a seemingly endless supply of caffe lattes. How many was that, my third.  No, fourth... Like  being at a bar with a cute guy, having so much "fun" you just keep drinking  and drinking until you are sick at the end of the night, or worse, in the public bathroom.  Intimate with the cold white toilet. Silly me, I was hoping to be so with the cute, sensitive ponytail guy. [Another scary 80's fact]  And I now wonder : was it the booze that had me tossing my cookies or the sick fact that my head, face, hands etc were in a public toilet that thousands of asses have occupied...ugh...good times. I don't wish to be 20 again.

That  glorious and memorable day, the bill exceeded even my  great expectations. I had to actually pull a second Amex to cover it all, to my shame this one was NOT gold. I may be blacking it out, like a woman after giving birth not allowing herself to remember the really painful parts...but I think I had to actually put a few things back. Horror of all horrors. But to be fair to me, I can't be certain that occurred.  So please don't hold it against me.

The want and the need thing is strong, in all of us.  And the actual difference between what we "want" and "need" get incredibly distorted. At least for me it does. The HOW it manifests is individual though. But it all stems from the same place. Rumi calls it a longing to belong to oneself.  And yes, we are programmed ....... "they" want to keep us two all important things. Scared and consuming.  I was one of the biggest supporters. But I think I tried to hide the scared with all of my needs/wants.  I was scared that I did not fit in, just a girl high school drop out from Michigan.  Scared I did not have the right clothes, shoes, hair, makeup,  or things to say. The only one that really fed me and kept me growing was seeking the right things to say....because in general, that put me on a sort of spiritual path. For lack of a better phrase. 

My experience with wanting is that I see something I feel I must have. Lets say a Juicy Couture, black short sleeved, polka dotted, terrycloth sweatshirt with a hood but not the shorts [hint,hint...a little too specific]... Anyway, I want it. And think of how cute I will look in it, and the places I can wear it, that it can be dressed up or  dressed down, I build my case of why it MUST be mine.  And so on and so on. Then comes the worry, if I cannot get it. The ways to get some money for it. The sadness of not being able to get it. The self loathing. The pity party for me. It is a very negative experience. Over a freaking terrycloth hoodie. See the madness??!!!

The opposite is that I see it, I want it, I get it!!! She shoots, she SCORES!!! Fans applaud!!!!YYYAAAAAAAA!!!!   Then another kind of madness ensues. Yes, it feels good to have it as I literally skip out the store. Won't I be so cute in this, HAH I got it,  I can't wait to wear it. Where will I wear, when will I wearit, should I just slip it on and wear it out??!!! Lijke as a kid I used to do with a new pair of shoes, only to find that they hurt my little fat feet. [another blog altogether] But as I am just about out the door of the store with my new Juicy hoodie in hand....something catches my eye.......what's that? The newest baggy" boyfriend jeans" that all magazines have been showing and made by J Brand??!!! Uhhhhh... I want those..... Do I return the hoodie.... And it all starts all over again.

Or there is the scenario that with the much coveted hoodie at my home. I am just NOT wearing it. Why you ask? Because I must find the absolute perfect occassion to wear it to. I don't want to waste my first time wearing out for all the world to see afterall. This is the kind of obsessive shit that actually occupies my mind, I am sorry to say. If you feel bad for me, feel free to purchase the Juicy hoodie on line. I know I will feel so much better and so might you.

It is, as a great writer  I worked with once eloquently called it: Filling the wrong hole. This I tried to do in many different ways for a long time. And still at times fall prey to its craziness. A dear makeup artist friend of mine once heard me obsessing over a particular skirt I saw in a magazine and simply said... Will that skirt complete you. YES!!! I shouted at her. YES it will. It is the missing link. The fucking skirt IS the missing link in my life and will make all my problems, sadnesses and shortcomings go far far away.... Of course I got her point  but I was young and dumb and thought part of it was she was just jealous because she couldn't see a designer skirt in Vogue and have it summoned to her as I could. OWWWWWW, lucky me. 

Wise people have said that what happens between getting the things we want and then them not being enough[ and that can last a minute or days, weeks or months] is that we simply STOP wanting.  We just STOP WANTING>>>>> In that is a calm, a peace, a sense of completion. A stopping of the seeking to fill the wrong hole. Not a completion because we got the shirt, car, man...fill in the blank. But a stopping to the endless want. Stemming from what I have is not enough.

With all this "STUFF" in the world how do we navigate it all .  How do we not buy into it when it is constantly being shoved down our throats?  And what will really complete us? One thing is for sure, no person completes us. {Hate that Jerry McGuire line, sooo awful!!!} No job or career completes us. Not even a child completes us, but it comes closer for me than anything else ever has.  

What if..... we are already complete. What if, all of this is a pack of lies. That you need to grow and learn and change where you are in your life. What if you are exactly where you are supposed to be and whatever you think, that you have never made any mistakes in your life. NOT ONE. I know many find this impossible and even arrogant and offensive. Oh I'm sorry, am I knocking on the door of you possibly releasing your cherished suffering? Your sob stories of how hard your life has been. The same stories you have told people over and over, embellishing them a little each time for dramatic effect and to up the sympathy level. 

I speak to what I have direct experience with. All people do this. But the trying to escape IS our pain and suffering. The nonacceptance for our life, exactly as it is, IS the pain and suffering.  The bludgeoning of ourselves, of our supposedly wrong choices, or even egotistically making all we do more than it is worth, IS the pain and suffering. It is, what it is, as it is. So move on. Sometimes its great and sometimes it sucks. So be it. What is with all the labels designed to falsely elevate or  drag us into the mud. Each as much sleep as the other.

Enough is enough. I say what we are trying to escape to is here, right now but only when it is seen with clarity. The clarity being an acceptance. Of whatever is happening, right now.  And the peace that will come along with it. And it will never look the way we think it should. Never. What we are seeking is so simple and so present that we miss it. Like the fish in the sea who can't find the water because he is swimming in it. For those of you who are happy where you are, how wonderful, God bless. But for those of us who still seek some future date for things to be perfect, you are missing the perfection right now. Even if it shows up on this planet of duality as pain, joy, sadness, ecstasy, love, be it. Feel. Love. Be a human....being. And live and let live.

As my philosophy teacher used to say to all of his students:

Everything is in the moment, except you.