Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Darkness Falls

When I went to the Isle of Man to do this film I had no idea what was in front of me. It was myself, my Myles who was 4 at the time and our nanny Alyce. I had never heard of this exotic place and had wild imaginings as to what it would be like, most of which were realized after a very long flight when we arrived and found ourselves driving on an island with the deepest shades of green I had ever seen or smelled. Rocky pathways, nature  dominating with miles and miles of beauty, quaint and vital all at once. Traveling gets one out of the sleeping bubble of one's limited, self-centered existence. To see such a place existed somewhere other than in my dreams was astonishing. It made me feel that dreams were real, that out here beyond Michigan and California were many worlds to explore.

A diverse mix of people and cultures came together to become the family of this production. People from England, Scotland, Ireland and America. Beautiful lyrical accents and pronunciations that took a bit of time to bend one's ear around.  Yet, I felt so oddly at home with all these people. I belonged here somehow. I knew I had lived many lives with the people on this side of the world. Somehow, in my body sat a deep recognition that was quite new to me. It is always a surprise to travel to far away places and feel right at home. I have also at times experienced the opposite but those are others stories to be shared at another time.

During the production our little trio lived within a sweet, three bedroom house that sat on a golf course. My Myles wreaked utter havoc on this golf course, as for him it was a huge playground where he would find these little white treasure balls. He delighted in collecting them in his shirt and running back to our house with some angry golfers hot on his trail. He fancied them being dinosaur eggs as this was his utter obsession as a little one. He knew all the dinosaur's names, and if they were carnivores of herbivores. And proudly proclaimed (and does to this day) that HE is only a carnivore. It is still a fight to get the young man to eat a salad.

When I was offered this film I was told that a then somewhat unknown, but wonderful actor was doing one of the leading roles. His name was Ray Winstone.  I was told to rent Gary Oldman's directorial debut called "Nil by Mouth," because he had the leading role in that as well.  I have always loved Gary Oldman.  He is simply brilliant, deep and poignant in whatever he touches. The film is a brutal documentryesque piece of an abusive household, it is said to be semi-autobiographical.  It was heart wretchingly difficult to watch in many instances. And Ray was like a force of nature.  For me it was one of those moments where I was excited and frightened all at once, and I knew I had to work with this man.

The script was interesting as well, a psychological drama that took place mostly in one house where my wealthy husband and I are held hostage by Ray, a man with a secret and a score to settle with my husband (played by Tim Dutton). As the wife, I am completely in the dark about it.  I felt it would be a challenge but with good actors  it could be really interesting.  I knew nothing about the director Gerry Lively but my faith in Ray Winstone outshone any doubts. God knows I had worked with directors in the past who were not great but was still able to do something good in spite of them. Sad but true.

The first day on the set I had a scene with Ray. I was swimming alone in our indoor pool and he comes in and surprises/upsets me. His character was very unlike Ray. He played a quiet, internal and persnickety kind of lunar type of person. Whereas Ray is a sort of cockney, East-end boy who will not balk at "glassing someone in the head" who randomly upsets him in a pub  (as happened at least one time that I know of during filming.) I noticed Ray was getting increasingly frustrated as the director spoke to him, (you have to know that following his experience with Gary Oldman would be a hard act to follow). And I was determined to get close to this incredible man, so I asked him what was going on. He promptly and conspiratorially replied with the nickname he had already given me,"Awwwww, he's givin' me some dodgy direction Shers.... Best not listen to him."

I fell in love with him. Not in a sexual way but just his character. He was so unique. I felt oddly protected by him. I knew he had my back and this proved to be true in more ways than one. Not to mention that was my introduction to one of my favorite words that I still use to this day. Dodgy. Such a perfect word to describe many situations. Ray would remind me that the real beauty is in the imperfections of people, of their actual faces, bodies and characters.  Not to be sold the bullshit bill of goods Hollywood tried to sell me. I have a scar on the top of my nose between my eyes and a bump on my nose and Ray used to say that these were his favorite parts of my face. He believed that the director was "not a proper man" because he had no children. Ray was so thoroughly himself.......courageous, raw, flawed, deep, honest, sometimes scary, self destructive, a father of two daughters (at that point), a husband........ a PROPER man.

During my most difficult scene it was this proper man, Ray, that held the key to my completely letting go and going into a realm I have rarely visited in my work. It is difficult to have all the elements in place and trust enough to go really deep....   The entire film led to this moment for my character, the wife, who would now find out that her husband had been having an affair with Ray's wife and on an outing had been in a car accident where she was killed. He with his money had covered the entire event up. We did a take and I was not connected. I had since come to not rely on the director but on myself and on my fellow actors, especially Ray. But I was floundering here and it was bordering on melodrama. I was simply lost and went to the one I knew could help me. My RayMan.

I remember the feelings.....upset, lost, scared. The director after this one take was gonna move on, lame as he was, when it was just ok. I said I wanted another pass at the scene and went to privately talk with Ray. I begged please help me. That was awful and I am now getting dodgy direction if any at all. We huddled like a little mini football team head to head and he whispered to me in his darling accent. "Right, a man in this scene. Do not think of yourself as a woman at all. Be a man and kill the motherfucker. Go at him the way another man would if confronted with this. Be physical."

It was not just the words but the energy behind what he said. He opened a door in me. Through my utter trust and respect of him. From the weeks of building a relationship. From walking through much in an honest way together he never rejected me for my honesty. He loved and embraced me for it. And now he was pushing me with mutual respect and love to allow myself to go deeper into the unknown and not to feel the need or have the limitations of being a "woman" while doing it.

The next take was a bit of a blur for me. Years of rage built up, of being lied to and being fucked with. The terrible injustices personally and collectively that I felt came flying out. I was like a wild animal. I do remember at one point holding my belly on the verge of literally throwing up. Thank God Ray had warned Tim (the husband) that I would definitely be getting physical and would be all over and I was. He also told the DP (who was using a hand held camera to follow me) that a lot of the marks (where an actor rehearses to be in the scene at certain points) were more than likely not going to be observed.  He had my back....again.

At the end of the scene the crew burst into unprompted applause. I was sweaty, crying, laughing and ended up in a heap in first Ray's then my beloved makeup artist Kate's arms. It was nothing less than cathartic. Of course the uptight director did not completely approve. After all it was NOT as we rehearsed it. And he would not know magic if it bit him in the ass. He off centered asked the DP if he got it on film. And said,"Well....I didn't know THAT was gonna happen!" You cannot please everyone all the time. And I knew something special had happened during that scene and was grateful to have been able to go that far. Thinking of myself as a man in difficult scenes has become a kind of go-to tool for me in the rest of this crazy work I do. It stays with me always.

There was also a sort of theme of "death" around this trip that I only now can see in retrospect. It came in three fold. One element of this  experience had to do with a desire to move to London upon finishing filming.  Upon finishing the shooting, I moved into a flat in Knightsbridge with my son and nanny and had my mother begin to pack up my home. I got an agent there and I landed three jobs on beautiful little films. I then started to look for a flat to live in for a longer lease than the week to week I was occupying. During all of this I was drinking a lot, as is an English past time, and had a cold deep in my lungs that I could not seem to shake. There was a deep chill in the air of the city that went all the way to my bones. Not like Michigan, it went much deeper. I seemed to never be able to get warm bundled up as I often was.

Walking through the city, hailing the old-school black cabs, shopping at Harvey Nick's (my favorite store), it was all so familiar. The city holds so much history I could feel the ghosts of years gone by. The lyrical conversing everywhere was like a soundtrack. The unfortunate smell of "fags"(cigarettes as they are called there) permeating all restaurants.   I walked around as if it were another part of me that was existing here... and it was.  I was reliving past lives that the veil would not allow me to get a clear, logical glimpse of, but the feelings demanded acknowledgement. I confirmed to myself there had been many lives I had lived here......but another deep knowing came to me. That I would die in this city earlier than was intended if I were to stay.

So as is the case in my life, I was divinely protected and blocked through a series of events to not actually make the move. After many tearful goodbyes to my new found friends, the city and the seeming ghosts from the past, I reluctantly packed up and headed back to the city of lost angels. I was able to keep in touch for a while with my English counter parts and some even came to visit me. But life consumes and we all eventually got back onto our respective hamster wheels and sadly lost actual touch. But the memories live strongly in my heart and I hope in theirs as well. No one ever since called me Shers.....and no one better ever, lest they get a glass to the head.

The second element to this theme of death happened while we were filming, when Princess Diana was killed.  Production shut down for a few days and I barely left my bed except to make another pot of soup. That is my comfort food and has been since I was a young child. I'm happy, I make soup. I'm sad, I make soup. Its 100 degrees outside, I make soup. I have been known in 5 star hotels to buy a crock pot, and all the ingredients and make soup. C'est moi. This time was no different. It was devastating. I don't think I knew how much Princess Diana meant to me before this. How I had taken her and her presence for granted. Why are human beings like that? Why must something be taken for us to then see its beauty? Arrogant, ignorant creatures are we at times. I have often thought to myself I don't want to be one of those people that must get gravely ill to see and embrace the beauty of my life.

I feel it was even more intense because we were across the water from London, where there was a collective morning unlike one I had experienced in my life. We were all moving through the air as if it was thick like water. We felt light, unreal and heavy all at the same time. Whatever you did Diana's face would appear in your consciousness. As if you personally knew her. And to me her ghost seemed to be screaming out that this was not an accident. How many people have we seen go like this. With an air of conspiracy around them. It's as if you can be truly good but you must hide it well because those powers that want control will take you down. All of us, once we got over the utter horror and shock felt certain this was foul play. But  it would go hidden with all the other dirty secrets of a governing bodies that seek to control the masses.

The third element that completes the triad of the death theme was that of a young woman who worked on the set assisting wardrobe. A pretty "bird" (as the English call women) that seemed to have her entire life in front of her. Her name eludes me but I see her pretty face in my mind's eye. She used to be a model I was told. She was early to mid twenties at best. I was not as close to her as some of the others but we did spend a good amount of time together. After a night of partying on the Isle during filming, the birds including her came with a tale to tell.

They shared that the night before, after going to a few pubs they were exiting a place very loudly and drunkenly. This was the norm, a film production descending upon a small, quiet town. With all its pomp, pageantry and self important mind set. Our theme song of this shoot was a bawdy:

"I have whiskey drink, I have a vodka drink. Danny boy. Danny boy. Danny boy.
I get knocked down, but I get up again and you're never gonna get me down. " etc.

Whenever it came on we would scream, sing and dance to it. If it was not played it would surely be requested again and again. It was our anthem. Even at our flat, if it came on Myles and I would sing it and scream it and jump up and down. Literally. To this day when I occasionally hear it, it evokes a joy and a rebelliousness in me!

So back to the story, as these birds boisterously left a pub it seems they awoke an older woman that lived nearby that had been peacefully asleep. She angrily told them from her second story window to quiet down because the rest of the Isle was asleep. This apparently ignited an anger in the young woman in question and set her off on a verbal tirade with words spoken that would prove to be more poignant than any of us ever could've imagined. They shared with me what they said to her the next morning on the set laughing, and filled with bravado, "Shut up old woman, you're just jealous because we're young and beautiful and you're old and ugly and you have no life anymore. So bugger off!!!!"

The young woman  in question said this with a kind of arrogance and self absorption that only a young person has. Dripping with the sarcasm of an "I know it all" mindset. One that is certain all is as consumed with her as she is with herself. It is a special kind of ugly for it's lack of conscience and holds zero regard for anyone else. It contains a sense of entitlement and an insatiable hole to get more, more, more of whatever it wants at the expense of whomever and whatever. I have since known other people like this which has made it much easier to identify now. In that moment, I am sure I laughed at the crazy ramblings of the birds. But a few months later those laughs would turn to shock, horror and many tears.

Once home from the Isle and London itself, my house unpacked after the premature boxing I forced my poor mother to do convinced I was moving.  Myles beginning his first year of kindergarten. Busy, as was the norm....  I got a long distance call that rocked my world. It was Tara one of the birds and the key hair person from the film. She was affectionately known as my self proclaimed "sister from another planet" with her birthday a day after mine. I loved her and was closest to her of my English friends. Now here she was sobbing on the end of a dodgy cell phone connection from London. She reminded me that the young woman had moved into her flat with her upon returning from the Isle. Through her sobs and the crackling of the phone line I made out that the young woman was now dead.  And to my horror, it was sweet Tara who had found her.

Many stories and speculations flooded in and out over the next few days as my phone bill soared to unbelievable heights. But after the police hunted down the young woman's boyfriend the pieces began to come together. Apparently this young woman with all her beauty and bravado had a huge hole inside of her and decided she wanted to die. She had fought with the boyfriend and supposedly got him to strangle her to death. Of course only the two of them knew the honest specifics of that fateful day.  There in poor Tara's flat, on Tara's bed, forever haunting Tara's life with a memory that to the normal balanced person is unthinkable, save moments when one feels wronged by the world and wonder "wouldn't they be sad if I died."

I believe that is somewhat normal. What is not normal is to go the Syd and Nancy route. And to choose to take others with you and ruin their lives on some level. Or at least alter them until through therapy and a clear vision they can leave it where it the past. Viewing the passed soul with compassion and knowing at least they are now free from the suffering this life presented them with.

I, to this day am haunted and amazed at the power of the spoken word. That this now deceased young woman only a few months ago screamed at this older woman, "You're just jealous because we're young and beautiful and you're old and ugly and you have no life." The irony cannot go unnoticed. That she is now in the ground and I am certain the older woman finished out her life peacefully on the Isle. That possibly spewing that kind of ugliness is  detrimental to one's health. There are so many ways to consider the connection between these events. I believe there are no accidents and that we are accountable for out actions while we are here live on the planet. That everything you do will come back to you. This is the most bizarrely blatant case I recall from my life.

So Darkness Falls, as was the name of this rarely seen film, was appropriate on many levels. That light will always prevail and darkness WILL fall. That it fell upon Princess Diana and on the pretty young bird in wardrobe. I take peace in believing that she flew away to her source, the only place that can ultimately fill the hole. One has the right to make that choice, that ultimate choice. At least she did not leave behind casualties of sweet innocent children who would forever wonder if it had to do with them. And wrongly so.  She left some friends like me and as adults we hurt and learn from it all. Of course her family as well, but I knew nothing of them. God blesses them as well. But make no mistake.....darkness falls.....again and again. Praise GOD!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oh, To Dream...

As my sweet household slumbers in these wee morning hours, I sit sipping my morning coffee feeling contented and peaceful. The sliding glass door to our yard is open and the air is cool on my bare feet touching the wood floor. I hear some birds occasionally tweeting their morning signals of light and the beginning of a new day. They seem as happy as I that the sun has not reached its merciless highs that it will as the day proceeds. Content to soak up this refreshingly cool and quiet time of day. It is my favorite time of day. Before all the deafening hummmm of people's technology and appliances drowns out the subtle birds and breeze. Before the rushed energy of the have nots and gottas do's is awakened.

A yappy dog is barking and even that seems in sync with it all. How do I sustain this moment? Why must everything change and change? Yet how god-awful and boring if it did not. It just seems to me that I have struggled for so long... Since I was a young child and realized that I was kind of on my own. An alien in my own family and needed to seek out a more evolved tribe of which to be a part. I have been seeking this tribe for most of my life.  I have found one in my man, my children and a few friends. I have even found some of them here on this God box... Oddly enough.

I always wonder when the amazingly perfect chapters of my life will start. You know women, the ones that we were fed as little girls. The ones that start with........"And they lived HAPPILY ever after." Those that mark the beginning of a new life where there is only positive beautiful things happening. Where I will run through a field of white flowers and tall, warm high grass. Where there is a weeping willow before me with a small pond that it dips into for a sip of the cool clean water. Where the sky is blue and the sun beats warmly on my head and shoulders. Where some beautiful inspired Kate Bush Wuthering Heights play and I dance a strange eclectic ballet of my own making as I do only when I am certain no one can see me.

Then I awaken from this dream and into another as I hear my Christian James at the top of the stairs. I go to him and as I see his beautiful, still half asleep 3 year old face my heart jumps. He stands there in a white wife beater and red skull and crossbones pj shorts awaiting me cradling his long lean clone of daddy body down the stairs. I bury my face into his sweet smelling hair, caressing his soft skin and again I wish to be nowhere but here. This a different kind of heaven but equally if not more potent.

He climbs into our big red ice cooler and hides inside it with sheer delight. His world at this age is always new and joyful. For he feels what he feels as he feels it, expresses it fully and LOUDLY, then moves gracefully into the next moment.  I admire him so. I learn from him all day long. And diligently do my job as I did with my now 16 year let them know how deeply and truly they are loved. How lucky I am to be graced and blessed with both of their presences in my life. I give them my heart, my body, my everything. And in return I open to a love unlike anything I have ever known and am then able to go deeper into my existing relationships.

As I am writing right now, my boy nurses from one side to the other. Taking ownership of what he believes to be his and his alone much to daddy's dismay. What has been his domain since he was only hours new to this planet. It brings him health and great security. I am in awe that my 45 year old body can provide for him this way. As I did for my other son who is as healthy as he is not by accident. Another miracle. It is no less than this. The miraculous in the seeming mundane. A few minutes of nourishment and he is off, back to the yard, chasing the cat, climbing into the red cooler......this is my running through the fields. His talking and humming is my Kate Bush. My soundtrack in these moments.

His stare, be it long or short brings me into the grace of this moment. The smile in his eyes. The deep knowing. The spirit. He has rescued me from Hollywood and all its lies and trappings. As my Myles tried to. But without an in tact, true blue man to assist it was not possible. Besides, then I was still seeking the golden ring. I still thought it held something that would fill me. Now I know better. I see the young start ups and am thankful to not be them. Thankful to not be the "ingenue." Thankful to be a woman, a mother, an awake spirit not asleep to the lies anymore. Be they from a fairy tale, a bullshit business based on illusions and ego or a family as dysfunctional and lost as most are. I am free.

So what I see is that it is all a dream. Some light and some dark but all equally beautiful.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A sacred space.

As is usual I received a few comments that were bothersome that I would like to address in a blog. I want to reiterate for those new to this blog that it is MINE to do with it as I see fit. I realize that my being deeply honest is a threat to some, especially those who feel the need to wear a mask and hide their dirty little secrets. I do not choose to do that in my life. I am an open book and will write a memoir that is just that. Starting with my childhood and how that manifests in ways in my life. Here I post beginning seeds of that memoir.

To comment on what something may or may not do to my relationship is quite arrogant. My man actually wrote about the porno issue and his lack of ability to tell the truth on HIS blog before I did. He does not have the fatal flaw of cowardice.  Obviously he and I are on the same page. Some of you may choose to live your life another way and that is fine. Truth has many faces. But this is my face and my space to share. If it is offensive to you somehow, I suggest you just don't come here to read my truth at all. But to criticize, to tell me particular entry is more of a "talk with girlfriends" or a diary entry is ludicrous and only speaks to the manner in which you live your life.

In fact, I have an entry that is called Dear Dairy because that is my goal here, to share , with no holes barred. This is also how I live my life having been born into great lies and dysfunction. It is the people with this hush attitude that are part of the great die off that the world is experiencing. The fearful, don't let them see you sweat breed that is miserably asleep. I live to blast all that bullshit into pieces and for the most part have readers that are of the new breed that want to do the same. They are my tribe and I love and cherish their support.  They have responded with deep truths of their own and THAT is the forum I choose to set up here and inhabit.

So go back to the sleep, from whence you came. Go back to your cherished pornography, go back to your life with you cracked mask firmly in place. Good luck with it all. But stay off of this sacred space where my tribe and I share the real deal. It is our birth right to step into that truth, the only real power we have and will not be criticized by the likes of you. I will delete any messages that share this stale, old, dying point of view. As I did in the spoken of case.

We are the future in all the glory that is here and coming in daily. We all grow here and dance in the light of the truth. And yes that means we can see the cockroaches scrambling to hide in the darkness of their masks. But they better move fast because we will squash them if they try ti infect this new breed with their sleep and lies.

That is all for now......

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alleged, might just be a ledge.

This morning I went to my second AA morning meeting. I have found or rather it has found me. Five minutes from my home. Interesting people with really honest shares. I am home....again. I was sober a few times in the career of my life. The most amount of time  I ever stayed  sober was just over a year. Then my beloved sponsor Tanya moved to New York so I used it as an excuse to jump off the wagon. She had kind of become my higher power. She had everything that I wanted. Then I lost her. It triggered what for me is a core issue.  One of a few actually.

So it was more  than just me just going back to my old destructive ways . It was a deep feeling of being abandoned, yet again. And so as a result, abandoning myself. This is another old pattern of mine. To believe I am not worthy of love. To look for my well being based on the outside instead of my inside. To fill the wrong hole. To believe all the false beliefs that were installed into me as a result of my young parents and their lost lives. Lineages are a bitch.

 My drugs of choice have always been smoking pot and drinking alcohol. Mostly wine. Less alcohol content. Yea, that sounds good. But all it means is that you need to drink more of it. Addictions can come in so many different sizes and shapes. Sugar, sex, food, negative thoughts, people pleasing, exercise, cleaning, computers, iphones, texting, tweeting, porno, ice cream, chocolate, buying shoes, buying clothes, hoarding.......this list could go on forever. If everyone is really honest with themselves they will find a few things that they have an addictive relationship with. It's human. But some are more dangerous than others.

For some people drinking is just a social thing. For me it was a way of life. I am by nature too sensitive and shy. So these "spirits ' enter me and I can let go. But the real question I have begun to ask is what am I letting go of ? Why do I need what is essentially a poison to let go?  Why not just let go and let God..... It seems I am running but from what and to where?  Wherever I go, there I am. So I made the decision to run no more.

At my meeting this morning in question..... some people spoke honestly of the insanity that ensued from their drinking. They spoke of the ways that drinking almost killed them. I thought to myself smugly, well, I had a high bottom. I never did anything that insane. Drinking or using never almost got to the point of killing me!!! These people are certainly far worse off then I. Psychic amnesia was filtering into me from my disease.

A few hours later I was speaking with a best friend/sister Joanie  explaining the whys of my decision to stop. Explaining the high bottom theory.  Which basically means that I was a high functioning addict. We then moved onto my recent influx of blogging and she said I really needed to start my memoir. That I had already begun with my blog. I just needed to expand more on the stories.We shared about the title  "Postcards from the ledge" based on the wonderful Carrie Fisher book. That she had addictions and was in the Hollywood scene and all. It was familiar however unoriginal in terms of actors with addictions and self destructive behavior.  But the Gods as they often do knew better regarding the blog title. It was not arbitrary.  There was a much deeper meaning  to it and one that had eluded me until that moment.

I had come up with the title in jest. As a kind of nod to Carrie Fisher's book/experience. As our conversation continued through the grocery store, a  memory came back to me that filled me with embarrassment and shame. I stopped and shuddered. Trying to shake off the memory. Wondering dare I tell my friend.......but dove in as is usually the case with me.

So the story goes:

 When I was making the film Boxing Helena I had a hotel room on the 20th floor.  Everyone also was staying across the street at a less than acceptable hotel. Elizabeth had rubbed off on me after all.  My room had a beautiful marble bathroom, goose down duvet covered comforters on a king size bed and a very large balcony that overlooked the city.  I had brought my white, deaf, blue eyed kitten Ophelia who had indeed gone mad at the hands of dear Hamlet.

One night she had escaped from the room onto the balcony and was now scaling a foot wide wall to an area where night lights illuminated the greats heights of the Nikko Buckshead, Georgia. I in my alcohol/pot induced heroic delusions of grandeur followed her out there determined to save her. On my hands and knees I went out right after her with my poor friend Susanlinn crying on the balcony behind me frightened. Rightly so. She had the brains that my addictions had erased in that moment.

I remember being up there still. It was a bit windy and that seemed to be my only worry. That and the fact that my girlfriend would not let go of my foot making it all the more difficult. The lights were so bright and hot with many bugs buzzing around them.  Ophelia was drawn to them like the moth to the flame.  I was drawn to dangerous situations too it would seem. As I grabbed her I wondered how now I would get back. Only one way, backwards while she howled her odd meow and dug her claws deep into my arm. Thank God for this film, my arms were barely seen or required..

The next day as I returned from the set and opened my traditional bottle of vino and rolled a joint. I steeped onto my balcony to find  there was now barbed wire across the entire area and a sign in bold letters to stop my demons from me performing another idiotic act like that again. Thanks to my friend.
Unfortunately the barbed wire only could contain what may happen there on the balcony. I needed it for the whole of my life for there were many situations to come.

 As I stood there in the grocery in a refrigerated section I was frozen.  Not from the chill in the air of the freezers but the chill in my bones that I too had indeed put my own life in danger. My ego of the earlier time at the meeting tucked its tail between its legs and disappeared for now. How badly I had lied to myself about that. How many countless other times had I refused to remember.

I feel it is essential to shine a light on my life as a whole. As I write my memoir it will be a life story. And how I believe my childhood (and everyone else's) informs my adult life. What core issues helped to create the emotional makeup that I struggle with everyday. This is how I was taught by my beloved teacher. This is my version of turning, facing and slaying my own dragons.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The best laid plans of mice and men.

I have a confession.....when I got the script for "Of mice and men" I had never even read the book.  I am a high school drop out and when I did drop in between all my crazy teenage dramas, reading was not my strong suit. So all I knew was that this was written by a classic American writer John Steinbeck. And that the amazing John Malkovich would be starring in the lead role. With his dear friend Gary Sinise directing and starring in it as well. That they came out of the prestigious Steppenwolf theatre in Chicago. a dirty word to me. I could barely act on film but in the theatre. Never. Too many people watching you at one time. I got nervous when there were too many people on the set. I am not a ham. That is not what has kept me acting all these years. It has been to look at all my stuff so I did not go crazy in my life. Hmmmmmm, I don't think it worked.

I remember sitting on my bed in my cool little house on Cynthia street in West Hollywood. It was post "Twin Peaks"," Ruby" and "Diary of a Hit man" that my dear teacher directed me in with Forrest Whitaker. I was now mother to not only my Persian cat, Chanel but a beautiful young Akita male named Yogi. Named because he was a great teacher of patience for me. He always made me feel so safe living alone as I did.

Upon closing the last page and reading poor, sweet Lenny's inevitable demise I cried and cried and cried. To me it was a real love story between two friends. Best friends. On the surface it looked as though Lenny needed George more than the other way around. But I felt differently. They both equally needed each other, took care of each other, were life partners until the last breath. I often wondered what would become of poor George with Lenny gone. I feel he was not long on the earth after that. That he'd never make old bones.

My hair was still in a Cruella DeVille mode. I has bleached only the hair line around my face for Ruby and wore a wig over the rest. This was to avoid having a lace front wig glued to my head as is the practice. And I liked this odd look anyway. Best of both worlds. But not for auditioning for most roles I came to find out.

When I went in to meet and audition for Gary I had to put a temporary color over the platinum blond. I think we still had to do more filming or re shoots or something. So it looked a little dodgy to me but I went with it. It was better than walking in looking like a calico cat for a piece of classic American literature.

It went well and I was asked to screen test for the role with John. It was between me and two other girls. One an unknown who knew the guys from Steppenwolf.......shit!!!! The other I do not remember who it was or if I even knew. I was told later that Diane Lane was asked to test but she would not. Her loss , I"m afraid. I would have done anything to be a part of such a beautifully written, heartfelt story with this amazing cast.

It has only happened two times in my 26 year career that the director made the call to me personally to say I had gotten the role and this time was the first. It came out of nowhere and at a painful time in my life. The man I had been dating a year left me for Julia Roberts....another blog for another time.  I answered my phone and was shocked to hear Gary's scratchy voice on the other end. He simply said,"Will you be in my movie?"I am sure he never heard the same after my screaming shrieks of delight.

And so it began...... I felt so proud. I felt accomplished. John Malkovich. My first love Johnny had turned me onto him. It was one of his favorite actors and for good reason. He was and is a wonderfully unforgettable actor. He was also quite kind and low key at the screen test.

We would be filming in the Santa Inez valley. I had not ever been there. It was the perfect location with  farm land for as far as the eye could see. The production had rented me a house. Me, my best friend from high school Susie and Yogi, my Akita set out for location to settle into farm life. With one old school local store where the guys would actually meet and throw horse shoes. A millions of stars in the sky every night, I could escape the pain of my life and express it in the pain of anothers.

It was idyllic. We ran around in summer dresses and boots. Otherwise your feet would get filthy as there were many dirt paths and roads. You could smell the green in the air. And a kind of sun stroked grass.The fine  granulars of dirt seemed to get everywhere. In your ears, eyes and hair. It was all oddly charming. It made my job so much easier with all my senses responding to all of this new input.

The creating of Curley's wife......

We played very subtle but specifically with her look. Each seen carefully thought out. The most vibrant we would see her is the very first time she appears on screen and meets Lenny and George. A dress with fuchsia-purple flowers on it. And even a strong colored lip to match. Her hair finger waved to match all the movie magazines that with her records were the only joy this abused young woman had known.

 It was kind of a psychological thing that I had worked and plotted out with my beloved teacher Roy London who was still alive at the time. Gary and the costume and hair dept embraced it whole heartedly. Nothing was arbitrary.  They could only see her outside at that point. Judging this book by its cover.  And she was a threat. Because not only was she pretty but she was also needy and open. Although the later was yet to be revealed.

In each following scene, she would become less and less outwardly made up and more and more inwardly opened and revealed. That is the real beauty anyway. All the way until her very last scene where she was in a white dress with little, tiny red dots all over it. Almost like the red cross. As undone and vulnerable as we have seen her. Just kind of coming apart.

Another deeply touching thing is that Gary decided that Daisy [as I named her because she was always just called Curley's wife] was going to be written another scene to deepen an understanding of her. This was not in the book. I was so flattered. Another point for the "sad angel." And later as the film was too long, the studio suggested this scene be cut as it was not in the original. But Gary refused to cut it and found other places to trim and leave what little we saw of Daisy in tact. My hero...

 It was a scene where after Lenny broke Curley's hand and he and George are talking outside, she comes over to them to talk and connect. To tell them that Curley had broken all her records. She is crying and then she thanks Lenny for hurting him. They reject her and she runs away..... Its heartbreaking. Well, it felt that way. I don't see my work. I just feel it.

My final scene with John was the most difficult. It was a very long scene, many pages. It was also so hot in the barn. I felt so raw doing it. And I was beating myself up wanting it to be so perfect. Wanting John's and Gary's approval. Maybe I wanted my own. I should've known that whatever I do I never feel it is good enough. Again, my training.

 "No artist is pleased.... there is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."
                                                   Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille

We shot all day. During my close up I will never forget the kindness of sweet John. I would be thinking, planning, stressing and he would tickle me and say relax, you know this. He was the type who would do the most magical takes, then walk over to his chair, sit down and read the paper. Or want to talk about the latest. He loved gossip. He was so much fun to work with.

This was the time of the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings and we would gather at my house sometimes to watch the latest footage.  The ultimate gossip. John came over and would make his amazing bruschetta. My best friend would bring us amazing pasta sauce from our favorite restaurant in LA, Madeo. We'd sit around the best thing there was to watch on TV at that point. A sign of the reality TV craze to come. John would say again and again,"They know they fucked!!!" It was our little groups general consensus.

My friend Susie was ever present but sort in the background. So John called her the ranch wife. He said years down the line he would hear a news story of how Susie pulled out a shotgun and blew many people away.  Funny for she is sweet and mild mannered and polite. But she will eternally be..... The ranch wife. We still laugh about this. So far, she has not lost it. But did, by her own admission come close a few times. Who hasn't???

The story would not be complete if I did not say that I was not completely proud of all of my actions while I was making this film. I would not hurt anyone to say why specifically. But if you happen to read this, I am deeply sorry for my at times young and selfish actions. I deeply apologize for that.  To the rest of you, none a yo business. I intended to be a good girl and tried....but the best laid plans....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The woman, not the legend.

When I realized that I was actually gonna play the role of Elizabeth Taylor in a mini-series, my heart literally skipped a beat. Or two or ten or twenty!!! Sure there were artists in the hair and makeup department that could help me to transform. Combined with a great director of photography, that part did not scare me. I knew they existed and the right team would be assembled.

The real question was how to play this legend. How to hit the high and low points of her life in an 8 week shoot. Playing her 15 years old to 65. It was a daunting task but I was ready to take it on. Or so I thought. It was truly the most difficult role I have ever played in my career as an actor.

At the core of my endless research was the mantra: I want to discover and illuminate the WOMAN not the legend/icon. That was the most I could give this experience. There are so many misconceptions about people in the public eye. I have had them directed at me. And directed them about others that I look up to as well. This was not the mistake I wanted to make. I was determined.

I really hoped Elizabeth would meet and speak to me. I was told she would only do this if (a) certain things were removed from the script and (b) if she were compensated monetarily. This is what I was told anyway. We could not accommodate her wishes unfortunately. The fact that I was on my own only motivated me even more to keep the integrity of the piece in tact. Which during the process turned to be a fight at times.

The original script was quite good. By a well know writer who later took his name off because the producer kept rewriting scenes. Literally, himself. On the back of a truck with a small table and a haggard assistant at his side as he barked out orders. It was crazy and ridiculous. Thank God I had a good, strong lawyer at the time. And his work was cut out for him on this one.

The first issue to tackle before filming was the fact that Elizabeth had an ever changing accent. Sometimes it was there in full force, other times it was gone completely. It often coincided with who she was married to at the time. So how to play that without just being called inconsistent as the actor??!!!!

It was decided by my dialect coach and I that I would always have a slight but distinct accent. So we worked for weeks and she accompanied me on the set as well. Thank God. First problem solved but many more were to come fast and furious.

We started shooting very quickly it felt. I was flying by the seat of my pants. When you play someone as well know as she is, the wardrobe had to be meticulously accurate. This called for endless fittings as most of the costumes needed to be made from scratch.

The first day on the set of what would be 6 day work weeks for 8 weeks was chaotic. Keep in mind that as an actor your day does not end when the filming ends. You need to study for the next day. And in my case I need to always look at the next 3 days so I can get the words in my head and begin to memorize. And with an accent. At the time my first born was only about 1 and still nursing. It was consuming on every level.

So the very first day started out funky. They put me into a tiny, dodgy and septic smelling trailer. I was so angry. My dear makeup artist (and i do mean artist she was nominated for her work on the show) said to me she was going to teach me two very important words. "Prairie Scooner." What?? That was the name of a beautiful trailer that even had the ability to get wider if the space permitted. And that with all this intense work and time on the set and constant fittings IN my trailer and my baby coming, it was the least they could do.

I promptly called my managers,agent and lawyer and when I arrived the next day on the set there she was. Beautiful, big and gleaming. Also wide as all hell and not smelly. Now THIS is what Elizabeth deserved! Remember, I had a young child at this time who spent a lot of time on the set with me. Still nursing as he was and the love of my life. With a brutal schedule this would be the case and he and I deserved to be taken care of appropriately.

The schedule was always hectic. Many scenes per day. Wardrobe fittings between scenes. I was dropping weight like crazy. Not because I wanted to. Because it was exhausting and I was being pulled in many directions constantly. Not to mention a series of "husbands" coming on and off the set wanting to rehearse, give me their notes, or in the case of the actor playing Richard Burton just drink alcohol 24/7. Method acting? Or just an excuse to be loaded all the time, don't know, don't care.

I love the Katherine Hepburn quote: Acting makes a woman more of a woman and a man more of a woman. Sad but true.

The character of Elizabeth as a woman was like my own mother in many ways minus a successful career. Many husbands, lots of glamour and makeup, certain addictions and a lot of men and children left as causalities of a narcissistic lifestyle. This proved to put a stress on my psyche unlike any other I had ever experienced before or since on a set. It took therapy later to realize what was actually going on.

I have never before or since shut down a set. On this show it happened two times that I can remember. The body and the mind do not remember really painful things. That you will learn if you have had a baby or someone close to you does. Without drugs. It is interesting how it works. Or a severe car accident, you just kind of black out. So I don't remember it all really specifi
cally but what I do, I will share here and now.

The personal notes of my heart and soul the work was hitting combined with the intense schedule and the fierce commitment to myself to do this woman and her life justice even though she did not want me to make this movie almost put me over the edge. No, it did put me over the edge but I bounced back.

About halfway through the filming was when it got really bad. I remember thinking I am only halfway through her will I finish this thing. I was about 100 lbs and looked so worn out. My philosophy teacher got mad at me and said: Its not like you are playing Joan of Arc. She was a proper broad who spoke like a sailor and could drink most men under the table. Stop killing yourself for this role. But I did not listen. To me her humanity made her a saint.

In my research I stumbled upon a piece of candid footage that was for me a photograph into the woman. It became the touchstone of who she was and was seared into my memory. She was boarding her and Richards yacht, the Kalizma. Named after a few letters of each of their children's names. And with shaky, hand held footage I saw the woman I was seeking to play and understand. A photographer accidentally called Richard "Mr. Taylor". Bad move.

Her head whipped around and with a snarl on her lips all of her seeming refinement had vanished. She sought the offense with fire in her eyes and venomously asked: What did you say. He stumbled and spattered his apologies. Her reply to his I'm sorry was simply but powerfully: You better be.

There she was peeking out from all the Hollywood bullshit glamour. A tigress for the one she loved. She'd have taken him out. It was palpable her energy. Her passion. I loved her in that moment more than any other. There was the real Elizabeth. Only ever to be seen on film in my opinion in "Who's afraid of Virginia Wolfe." That is her. To me anyway.

You must keep in mind that she was of the age of Hollywood packaging their stars. That meant to great lengths they would go to control the image. Dressing them and in most cases controlling almost every aspect of their lives. I often feel that is why as she got older her clothes got more character and kind of odd. Because she would no longer be "styled" by someone. Left to her own devices there were some interesting fashion statements. But I loved them because it is in some of those clothes you get to see the real Elizabeth. The one packaged by God, if you will, not the studio.

So I remember I got sick with a cold/flu thing going around and could barely get out of bed. I did so and was barely functioning on the set. My manager was new in my life so I called the one person I have counted on my entire life to help me. My oldest big brother Leo. He promptly came to the set, took one look at me and basically told the producer that he was taking me home. NOW. That a doctor would meet us at my house. He wrapped me up, put me in his car and away we went. My hero....

The doctor demanded that I take the next few days off. Since I was in 95 0/0 of the scenes production had to shut down as well based on locations and other points. I remember being in bed, wondering how I would ever get through the second half of this filming.

My immune system already having been compromised the next time this happened was even stranger. I was doing a scene with the actor playing Eddie Fisher and breaking up with him. I was all dressed up in a canary yellow dress, make up perfect, hair an updo dream. But as I tried again and again to do my close up I was told I was looking into the lens instead of at the actor. During most close ups, the actor off camera is put as close to lens as possible so the feeling are deeply conveyed and that much more potent.

I fought and told them they were ridiculous, that I was NOT doing that. I was a professional and I knew not to look into the lens. We all began arguing and fighting and I felt that I was losing my mind. Again my brother came to the rescue never having seen his little sister in such a state. He removed me from the set again as the producer protested asking if we couldn't just finish this scene. Leo would have hurt him if he was not such an old man.

Once home my doctor made another house call and declared that I had "stress fatigue syndrome." What?? He shared that this is something that soldiers at war get. Their brain shuts down and their body just keeps going but rather inefficiently. WOW. It oddly rang true. Although it seemed odd to compare making a movie to war. Yet it had been a war of sorts. And emotions are fragile when pushed too much, hence nervous breakdowns. So production shut down for the second time.

Later in a therapy session the truth of what was happening the latter time had been made clear. This man, this actor, reminded me of my second father. Someone I had loved deeply and who my mother had left for another man, hurting him deeply. A part of me hated her for that. In some weird abstract way I could not do it to him. I could not look in his eyes and do what she had done. I had a physiological response. The wounds go deep if one has the courage to look.

There are more stories from this experience but I fear its gone on too long already. So I will close with a verifying moment for me. I used to see this old, well known dermatologist. I was at his office after the show had aired getting a treatment. As I waited the door opened and an attractive older woman peeked her head in. She said she was a friend of Elizabeth's. That although she had never contacted me, she was pleased with the end result. What more could I ask for.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here we "grow" again.

There seems to me to be such a huge chasm between positive and negative right now. Its like I am on a bizarre and surreal roller coaster ride. On one hand- I am encounter great beauty and piercing light, so deep that it hurts. On the other, a rage and darkness so potent I want to run and hide....but I will not.

I know that both of these exist within me and in all of us really. I can deal with my own most of the time but others psychic attacks are more challenging for me. I can be moved by the love I experience but shaken to the core by the rage coming at me from the outside.

Why do I seem to get more affected by the later? Why can't I just not take it personally and move on, being soothed by all that is good in my life. It by far outweighs the bad. Is it that I have more darkness and rage in me than I care to acknowledge? Or that it keeps all the false beliefs I have about myself firmly in place so I never move forward into real joy in my life?

Am I the only one who experiences this dilemma? Of course not, although my ego would say otherwise I know it is just another lie it tells me to stay in the drivers seat as I try to continually try to pull it out while going 110 on the freeway of this crazy life we are all dealing with right now. That is a run on sentence but oh well.....

There was a series of events back to back in the past 2 weeks that blew my mind. They were not random or coincidence as some would try to dismiss them. They were deeply and intrinsically connected in ways that are for the most part not in my conscious sight. They created or more accurately illuminated another tangled web in my psyche. Uhhhh, more work to do. Hence the title of this blog, here we grow again.

It started with my man lying to me [again] about watching porno. Something I find disgusting and degrading to women. Not to mention the fact that I believe it lets horrible energy into ones being. Making love is the most one can give another physically and spiritually to another. To me it is scared. This world has turned that to into a "profit" while securing the patriarch, yet again.

So yes he lied to me, face to face, eye to eye, and it hurt. I understand that he has had very little examples of experience of truth in his life, even as a child. But I have been truthful with him in all ways and he knows lies are something I find almost impossible to tolerate. And did so anyway.

In all fairness, its important to share that I do not have the healthiest relationship with sex either. I grew up with little to no room to discover me that way because of the suffocating nature of my mothers relationship to it. I explored it in some of my films in an effort to understand and accept it more not because I was so comfortable with my body, or a sex kitten or whatever other bizarre labels people put on me as a result.

So he lied and my trust in our relationship was compromised. Along with igniting some of my intense issues around it.

A few days later I had a meeting for possibly being packaged in a pilot for a funny tv show with someone who I had worked with before who shall remain nameless. This man is someone that was in big trouble when we worked together. Having problems with serious drugs and in a strange, sick relationship. But a part of me fell in love with him.

I have a big mouth ,as you know and I cared for him enough to say somethings to him while we worked together. To my pleasant surprise he is now sober for over a year and did not hate me for the things I said. So we with the would be producer met for a lunchish thing to reconnect.

There is a storm around him still. I was so happy to see him yet all my desires to try to save him kicked in again. As if I could..... I honestly know that we have known each other in another life. There was immense energy between us from the first time we met. He is attractive , has a good heart, is sexy and trouble.

When we worked together I remember I kept telling myself not to be stupid. And had to consciously not hang out with him. It was difficult but I knew it would end ugly. Watching his life descend into mayhem the past few I was thankful I had listened to my instincts.

But now here he was in front of me again. Almost the same temptation. Don't get me wrong, I have not and never will cheat on my man. If it does not work out with us, I will leave with my integrity firmly intact. Soap operas in my life hold no glamour for me anymore. I simply feel that it is essential for me to illuminate my truth and my struggles, for me. And maybe some of you will relate.

Sitting next to him, everything came rushing back. That combined with the knowledge that he was just as confused as before. That his sobriety has not yet given him a sort of emotional sobriety. I loved him, hated him and was scared of him all at once. But love as always prevailed....

So I had some wine to try to get through it. These "spirits" only seem to make things worse is what I keep coming to these days. He buffered what I said to him over and over. Joking how I had gotten in his face all those years ago, telling stories of my first love Johnny and his Hilter wife and remembering playing super heroes with my first son Myles, that Myles to this day has never forgotten.

You see he is like this. Completely unforgettable. But he in his heart does not know or believe this to be true. After being 30 minutes late, he jumped up 10 minutes into our conversation and said he needed to buy cigarettes. When he came back he brought two pairs of sunglasses he had just purchased. One for his asst who was there with us and another for himself, that he promptly put on.

They were mirrored and I said I am so not gonna sit here looking at myself in your glasses. Please note he did not have them on OUTSIDE but put them on once he sat down with us. I want to see your eyes. He got a little irritated with me as people do because I want to "see" them and be "seen" by them. I want to connect in a real way. Nobody did in my life as a child and I had no control over that. But as an adult I do have more control over that and do my best to keep it real.

He then said sheepishly the most honest thing he said through our time together:
"I want to wear them so you don't see a sadness in my eyes." Sweet man, I did not have the heart to share that I had already seen it. From the moment I met him all those years ago, to seeing him walk into the restaurant late, to the moment we said goodbye and he looked over his shoulder saying I'll call you tonight. You better answer. He never called and I knew he wouldn't. Its ok though..... I still love his heart even if he does not.

The next day I began to get very aggressive comments on this blog....again. And some of my dear friends came to defense. It got worse and worse. It became sexual, racist and violent by the time I got my man to block and report this person. But not before as I showed him the person's name, his page came up with a picture of his private parts exposed. Amazing. This I did not want or need to see.

As if the words were not ugly enough.... that added insult to injury. Especially given the situation with my man. And the confused nature of my friend. The light dancing with the dark. It just all came together into this ugly distorted ball of.....well, I don't know what. I am still digesting it. The god's have a sense of humor but do I??!!!

So yes, I am growing and walking towards light as I asked my friend to do. I said to him didn't you go dark enough???? But with all of this maybe it is ME I was really asking that question of.
Everything is always a mirror of ones own stuff, I believe. This is both comforting and frightening. I wish I knew how to sum all of this up but I do not.

I then went to the Twin Peaks festival in Snoqualmie Washington and was met with such kindness and love. Good people with good energy. In one of the most magical places on the earth. I had a gorgeous waterfall outside my window and it was my baby's 3rd birthday that our little family celebrated. Amazing beauty.

But received ugly posts on my facebook from a different person for not sending him an autographed pic. There are so many examples of these extreme dualities in the past month for me even beyond what I have written about. I wish I could untangle this knot and have more clarity and peace with it.

Maybe it is just a constant reminder that all exists on this planet. That I cannot hide from it. As sometimes I would like to in a bubble. I think of an amazing piece of the Bhagavad Gita: This is only the end of the it. But now that I remembered it, I have more peace.

"Even murders and rapists,
tyrants, the most cruel fanatics,
ultimately know redemption
through my love, if they surrender

to my harsh but healing graces.
Passing through excruciating
transformation, they find freedom
and their hearts find peace within them.

I am always with all beings;
I abandon no one. And
however great your inner darkness,
you are never separate from me.

Let your thoughts flow past you, calmly;
keep me near, at every moment;
trust me with your life, because I
AM you, more than you yourself are."

And so it is....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Walk towards light....

This planet that we are living on is a dramatic pace. I see people all around me catching the wave of a beautiful transitional and sometimes extremely painful evolution of humanity. Personal and collective. Through connections with whomever comes into the sphere of my life,be it a waitress to an executive (although there is NO difference between them) there is a palpable seeking and searching for a new path. A need for questions deep inside to be answered. A desire to not experience so much pain. A questioning of the choices they are making in their lives. And in a rare situation, a person who has achieved all they thought they needed to be "happy" yet, alas, they are not.

Rumi, one of my favorite writers attributes this to the fact that we are "plucked from our source" where we are in communion with our source in a tangible way. That when we come here, all we see in separation. Seeming separation anyway. We are always with our source. Yet we feel abandoned in a strange new world. That when we came from a light, spirit we are dense and heavy. Sound familiar???

After much seeking in my life I always had the question that few could speak to in a way that made sense to me. Or resonated with my heart because most esoteric concepts are far beyond my little computer mind anyway. I never bought that we had to come here to "learn something." I believe we ALL come from source/GOD/supreme being/tree (hehehe) it matters not what you call it. And since we come from that and ARE that and that is perfect, this idea that we are flawed and now need to be fixed and learn seemed like bullshit to me.

The concept that resonates with me the most is that GOD being one and infinite seeks to experience itself. It seeks the mirror of itself. And so being infinite an abundance of things are created. People of different shapes, sizes and colors. displays of it everywhere you look. And on this plane of duality some will be "beautiful" and some may be not so "beautiful."

It seems we all just want the beautiful states of being. And seek to hang onto them with such intensity that we make our lives so much harder than they need to be. And we lose in the process because no state is sustainable. This is the concept the Buddhists call staying in the center of the wheel. The wheel of life which inevitably goes up and down. If ones hangs onto the outside of the wheel there is a series of ups and downs. But the center keeps you just that. Centered, watching and observing but not going up and down constantly. Allowing all that is this experience.

We are "Spiritual beings having a human experience, not human beings having a spiritual experience." An amazing quote that I am not sure where it originated. Possibly Rumi, as well.

This does not mean that one does not feel and becomes a sort of zombie. It means that we experience less pain with the inevitable things that occur in our lives. We need to be like that of a child. They feel all their feelings fully, then move on. Without holding an inner account to beat themselves or someone (a loved one, a co-worker, a friend) with.

The holding of these accounts can also bastardize your future because "state your limitations and they will surely be yours." We are ALL GOD. And we create everyday, every moment with out thoughts, words and actions. Even the secret thoughts that we keep deep inside, ashamed for anyone to see or hear. They unconsciously inform all we do. All that comes to us. Stop blaming. Its us.

First we blame our parents, then we blame ourselves, then we stop blaming.

This is quite empowering. Everything is a mirror, so when we look at whats is in our lives, we brought it in. Also, we have the power to change it all. In the moment we decide to do so. In every moment there is an infinite amount of choices that can be made. Walk towards light. That is simple concept and a real leveler in the madness of all the voices in one's head. And in the madness that we are all going to experience in this lifetime. For we are gonna see some amazing and crazy and at times scary things.

Just ask yourself,"Am I walking towards light."

It makes for a heaven on earth experience. Yes, it may be that you don't want to in this life. That you want to walk towards darkness. That is your choice. You will end up back at the source anyway. But I choose to walk towards light.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Moments from Peaks pilot.

Going to film the pilot of Twin Peaks (then being called Northwest passage) was an exciting time for me. It was of course a huge nod towards feeling like a legitimate actress to be working with David. And to have the role, small as it was to have been written for me. I only wished in my heart that it was bigger. Little did I know....

I had no idea how long moments in Davids world could last an eternity. What is on the screen feels so much more than even in the original first draft of the pilot that I received where I think I had two scenes. David strung together a series of was so cool.

Strange little scenarios like with the pencil & the Styrofoam coffee cup. Its makes my heart rate increase to think about it. I have not seen a lot of my work. Never wanted to. Sometimes photographs from promotions of a particular job pop into my mind. But most of all I am left with the feeling I had when doing the actual scenes.

So when I think of that scene..... with the coffee cup....I just keep smiling because it was so much fun to make the woman with me so nervous. Forgive me because I cannot remember her name. But we had fun. I see in my minds eye all the goings on of the crew in the lodge, my Daddy's lodge. It was just a fun world, with the murder and all. And being a troublemaker...hehehe. My brothers always felt Audrey was very much the little sister they remember growing up.

I don't get to see David as much as I'd like to these days but when I think of him I smile deeply, into my soul. He is authentic, vulnerable and an artist in his life of seeing beauty in everything. He even sees the beauty in what most call darkness. But dark is just another form of light after all. It all comes from the source. He has soul based reasons for embracing and exploring deep in himself the dark corners and that was one of the most enriching life lessons for me in working with and getting to know him.

I've said it before, I will always be in love with him on a certain level. He made me believe that I was special. The last time I saw him, as I left with tears in my eyes, I hugged him and said thank you for believing in me when no one did. His reply embraced me as he always did from day one. He said,"Sherilyn, there's a lot to believe in!!!"

I love you DKL!!!

Continuing in the lodge....trotting off into see these Norwegians (but more motivated to fuck with her Daddy) bored somehow by life. Actually as I write I realize Audrey reminds me a little of another character I played. Curly's wife in Of Mice and Men. She was less of a victim but both of them posed a threat to the men around them because of their vulnerability and accessibility. Hmmmmmmm, that sounds film familiar.

Again it was a small moment that the grace of David made timeless. I was excited because I got to wear my own favorite pale pink cashmere vintage sweater. But my poor sweater took a beating and was forever changed by the experience much in the same way that I was.

So in this scene I was to go in curious. Browse over the smorgasbord set out for them, exhale sadly, a sort of damsel in distress. Knowing full well that my Daddy wanted them to know nothing of the murder. And once noticed, deliver the knockout punch.

Once I had their attention after another sad sigh I leaned against the wall. This is where my sweater saw its final moments. David had the wardrobe dept tie my sweater into a big, big, bigger knot behind my back. Tight, tight, tighter...hehehe. I couldn't have had my whole back flat on the wall if I wanted. But the effect was, well, effective. Need I say more.

This is the only line reading David ever gave me. As if I cared at all that it was one. I did not. One would be foolish to question his brilliance. I had two or three lines. I don't remember exactly but I know the last one was what he focused on. Not even the last line but the last word. He said stretch it out as long as you can. It went something like this.

The Norwegian head man:
"Pretty little girl is something wrong?"

Audrey Horne:
"They found my friend. (sniff,sniff) In the lake. (sniff) She'd been mmmuuuuuurrrrdddeeerrrreeeeddddd!"

Cut. Print. David loved it and that was good enough for me. Even if it did cost me my sweater.

Then there were the saddle shoes. From the get go David insisted I must have them. Audrey must have saddle shoes. Period. The end. Well, in Seattle for some reason this proved to be almost impossible. But he was relentless and eventually the wardrobe got a pair of white oxfords and painted the black on them.

My own custom shoes. Cool. I never got it really until we did my first shot and I came out of the lodge and hoped into my limousine. The first time I did it much too fast. David lovingly instructed me. He encouraged me to sashay out, hop in the car with my feet still out of the car on the ground, stay there a few beats, then swing them into the car and close the door. I think he even did a shot of my shoes, they got their own close up.

I just showed up and did as Dr. David told me to do. I knew I was clay in the hands of a master and all I could think was.....finally. Finally I get to work with a true artist. I hate to use that word as it is so overused especially in this bullshit business. But he is truly one. Did I say I love him????

There are so many more memories....snow on the ground.....much times spent with James......avoiding parties and Kyle a bit on the make.....I even had an emergency wisdom teeth removal during the filming. But that is all for now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

With eyes to see....

Is it me or is the world and life SO much more difficult than its ever been. I felt sick at some of the weird responses to my last post and kind of went into hiding. I begin to question if this blog is smart to put myself and my truth out there. You see, it is fragile. Like me. I am just a fragile and somewhat lost person bumping around a crazy world.

Then I miss having a place to share. When I hear others experiencing similar things, I feel a little less crazy. I remember that a lot of this is the sign of the times. I guess I am still contracted. I sit here and do not know what to write. It just does not feel as safe somehow. I am too sensitive. I need a thicker skin.

I will carry on nonetheless.......

I sometimes can step so deeply into the moment that it brings tears to my eyes. All the beauty that is here. All the beauty that the screaming hall of scholars in my mind (as I am fond of calling them) DROWN it out. But when this feeling the moment occurs, I feel so free. So thankful for everything. I can really see the trees, the flowers, feel the air, hear the sounds and reject nothing. The way life itself does this. It rejects nothing.

Why is man so arrogant? Why do we accept what we like and reject all else. Like chopping off the Dobermans tail and ears. Oh yes, it SO much better that way. WHAT? I had the horrible misfortune of taking my brothers dogs puppies to the vet to get their tails and their duke claws snipped off.

I unfortunately did not get out the door quick enough to avoid the agonizing squeals as they did the deed to one of those poor puppies. The sound haunts me to this day. It is my silence of the lambs.....

It was similar to my baby Christian James first birthday party. It was planned stupidly NOT in our home and was a disaster for too many reasons to go into. But as we left the house and were packing up our car to escape....... I could hear all the balloons we had ordered for the party being popped, killed, destroyed, again and again.

It SO brought back these moments of horror for me and confirmed that this was not the place to have had my boys party. I did not listen to my instincts. I try to do better with that now.

The instinctive/conscience voice is a quiet voice and usually the first thought that arises. Then the mind and the ego come charging in, hot on its trail and desperate to create a problem/drama that it can now solve.

It is quite a trip being a human....being. With all my years of searching, it is still hardest to turn knowledge into being. And silly of me most likely to feel there is something I can do to make this happen.

It seems in this moment in my life, everything leads back to the fact that I have zero control over anything. And I mean anything. That I never did and never will. That I am not breathing, I am being breathed.

It is so obvious when my heart does what it does with no help from me. All senses firing away with nothing to do with me. It is as I always come back to .....we are the miracle we are looking for.

Then why so sad and confused.....because for me this has not turned into being. But I have faith that it will. Life has not forgotten me or any of us. It will just never look the way that we think it should.

Its better.....but only with eyes to see.

I do completely believe the saying:

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

God bless.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dear Diary....

I have been on a self imposed sabbatical...from technology, from life in some ways. I often times feel the need to do this. It is not calculated or planned at all. It just happens. I must also admit that drinking wine and smoking pot play a part. It is like the rhythms of life, like the in and out of ones breath. Or the beating of the heart. The coming and going of the waves on the beach. There is an expansion followed by a contraction. This is a common theme in my life.

As I come out of this contracted state, I look back and try to understand what prompted it. A lot has transpired in the past months and especially got heated up around my birthday in extremes. I am thankful that I had the sense to warn my mother that there would be a Quatro backlash because of my ' Who cares if my aunt is Suzi Quatro blog." My poor mom was blasted for it, directly and covertly. Ridiculous really, I am a 45 year old woman. If they felt something, they could say it to me. And would be met with my truth, that I can and will share whether they like it or not.

This is yet another theme in my life....people NOT addressing their issues with me to me. Even when my brothers get mad at me they rarely tell me. They just call my mother to tell her I am crazy or whatever. I am not really sure what that is about. Why don't people just deal directly and go to the source? Why do they all go and vomit all over my mother??? It is odd and I do not get it. Sorry Mom that you are somehow always in the line fire, taking bullets intended for me.

I am sure part of this recent Quatro reaction has to do with the fact that my aunts are in process with getting music they recorded a hundred years ago out into the public. That they do not want anything "negative" to be floating around. [ As if their attitudes and attacks are not] It all seems to me to be born of the same 'famous' virus that infects the family. It is all so ass backwards..... based on facade.

I have learned so much from doing this blog. Especially from the comments and responses to it. After years of hiding and trying to be pretty, smart, famous...... I have never been more seen, heard and accepted. As I expose all my warts as honestly as I can. What an amazing verification. And how it flies in the faces of all that other bullshit. It is a sad when ones life is built with a house of cards. I build mine now brick by brick. I fear not the big bad wolf anymore, my house is almost complete.

Yet, the old order will fight as it is doing. It will fight to not be exposed. To keep its mask firmly in place. To hide all its ugly parts that are more human than the ones they elevate to mythical proportions. To their own minds. I am not this. Just a girl/woman from Michigan doing the best I can. Sometimes failing miserably, sometimes not.

I believe I have a fear of real power. Not the overpowering in your face one...I am adept at that. But real power based on love.... and in truth. I feel that I was growing a lot before the contraction and got scared on some level. That is why I retreated in to mans land. There was no man or woman or connection in this land. Just days melting into days, weeks into weeks.

I struggle with ways to take a little bit of the edge off. I have been sober at different times in my life but not right now. I like to drink wine. And sometimes smoke pot. But it seems to me that the tail is wagging the dog. It does not help that I have almost chronic back pain from my injury on the set last year but it would be lying to act as if that if the problem.

The problem is much bigger than that. I am not even completely clear WHAT the problem is. I want to spell it out clearly but I realize that I cannot. I suppose a part of it is that I feel things really deeply and it can serve to buffer that. That I do not trust life and get scared when I never know what tomorrow holds. That I try to do too much all the time and sometimes do not know how to unwind.

All of these sound good, reasonable..... But accurate? I don't really know. Then I wonder why do I feel I need a reason. I hold this false belief that when I understand something then I can get beyond it. I realize it may not always be the case. And yet I will still walk down that path at times. Its one of the ways that I lie to myself.

Maybe the beauty is so full and complete that I don't know how to accept it. That it is so foreign to my life experience I fear it will not last and so I put layers between myself and it to shield myself. From the inevitable let down when it all goes pear shaped. When it is all I really want. I am self sabotaging a blissful state of being, a life I have always dreamed of.

I suppose this is another nonsensical rant. It is my way back to writing. I sometimes do not know what to write..... But write I must for it does fill me in a way that nothing else can.

Sending love and light out to the world...

Friday, February 5, 2010

A demon from my childhood still haunts

I dream...... I dream deeply and almost always remember my dreams. I interpret them myself. Not with a book. I feel we can more personally understand our dreams if we are willing to look into them honestly. The symbolism that my dreams show me is startling and poignant and last nights was no different. That is why I must get it out and write it. I am not sure that I am gonna share this..... I will just write it down for now.

Please keep in mind that obviously dreams can be quite fragmented. I will do my best to put the pieces together as cohesively as possible. But again, dreams just kind of jump around. Maybe I will just flow with the dream as it is , then break it down in another blog as I did with my Rachel/Vicky one.

The dream:

I must be pregnant in my dream because my mother is planning a baby shower for me. She has a cold attitude towards me as she does at this moment in my life [not the dream] because I got in a fight with her and unleashed some of my childhood anger onto her. In my dream, she has a friend with her, they say they are going to a movie.

My mother pulls out a tray of feminine bows, crowns, packages for the shower but says she has not planned when and where it will be. I suggest a place. She just has an attitude. As people start to arrive I realize that the party is today, here at our home and was meant to be a surprise. I feel funny because I am not ready, just in sweats or pajamas or something.

I see my brothers dressed up in ties. I ask them are they here for my baby shower. Yes, of course they say. It seems someone dangerous is arriving and my older brother wants to deal with it. So I tell him I will get my gun. As I go into an armoire to get it, now there are two guns. One is very small. The other a bigger hand gun that looks like something Dirty Harry used to carry. I know the small only has two bullets but the bigger one has 6 or eight and is automatic.

As I pull the guns out, a lot of people come to look. They are all intrigued and want to touch the guns. I do not let them. I hand the one to Leo and decide to find a hiding place for the other. As I look for it I see that my house it is in utter disarray. It seems to be under construction or something. I wonder why my family chose to have the party here when the house looked like this. Literally rooms were in the process of being rebuilt.

My third stepfather Gary Stewart, a messed up demon like man arrived at the party. I somehow got my guns back because I knew he was there for me. I knew that I was in danger. He has come to me in other dreams to haunt me and try to hurt me. In fact, he came a few nights before this dream as well. My shrink always says that when one has a dream like this, it is important in the dream that you are fighting. Not just a victim. I am proud to say that I have been fighting him like a formidable banshee in the past few!!!!!

There were two flights of stairs, as I went towards one he went towards the other to try to cut me off. But I was two steps ahead of him intellectually so I made noises as if I was going up them and came back down and quickly hid my two guns so he could not use them on me. I am not sure why I did not just shoot him then and there. It seemed that there was a little game of wits, of cat and mouse happening. I was somewhat surrounded by family, although at this point no one seemed to be coming to my rescue.

I often times would scream for my mother since this was HER significant relationship, hoping she would deal with it but she never came. Not surprising given my childhood. This was my experience time and time again.

When he realized I had duped him, he raced downstairs and actually complimented my moxie. He said that was really smart how I had tricked him that way. Then asked where the guns were. I said hidden from you. He looked around for them but to no avail.

Then Gary grabbed me and took me down stairs to the basement, where I had been relegated to much of my young life. It was like a "last meal" situation. Make no mistake, my life was in danger with this man and I knew it. With his crazy behavior I worried as a child as well.

At a certain point some people came to my rescue. They were supposed to be family of some sort but I did not recognize them. There were three of them and they were youngish men. They came with a bigger, older man who I hoped would stay with them. I knew they did not stand a chance againist Gary.

The older man told me to go. That they would take care of this. I knew they would literally be killed. It was like anyone that came around Hannibal Lecter. You knew it was all over. I just hoped I could survive as Clarice did. The older man came with me, more bad news for the others. Gary sat there calmly, with a sick smile. It was a game to him.

As we tried to climb the dilapidated stairs, all of the sudden had a baby in my arms. I was only looking ahead, plotting exactly what I needed to do next. I would grab the guns and get to my car, put the baby securely in and get away as quick as possible.

As soon as I got to the top and sprinted to escape, I could hear the chaos and death downstairs ensue. It was awful and I felt guilty. I did not know how to help them. I could only help myself and my baby now and get out as quick as possible. The house now seemed deserted. Even the older man behind me was becoming another causality, I could hear his cries too.

Somehow I got us successfully to my car and we took off. I knew this was not the end. It was weird because I woke up a few times in the middle of dreaming and would fall back out and pick up where I had left off. I believe there was such a break here.

Now I was in a kind of a park, on the run. The baby no longer with me. Someone gave me a horse to ride. And so I rode as fast as I could. I did not see Gary behind me at this point but I could feel his presence. I knew this was not over.

It all gets a bit blurry here but what I remember next is that I made my way back to my house. The one under construction. There were people there who I knew and who knew the battle I was in the midst of. I was talking to them. Armed and ready when Gary burst in the door.

This time he was on a horse with full white face and a sort of bizarre, tribal war paint. Very ominous and scary. He methodically got off his horse and came towards me to kill me. I pulled out my bigger gun and shot him a number of times in the chest. He fell to the ground.......

Only a moment of relief because then he got and said that I cannot kill him and pulled out a large sword. Now it really got surreal . I looked at him and said [with a few supporting people around me] no, you are not alive. You are dead. He became kind of translucent and I felt he did not have power over me anymore.... He would appear and disappear.....

Then we did something I had done in my recent inner child workshop. We all put our hands together and declared that we were not releasing all this negative stuff into the cosmos, threw our hands collectively up towards the heavens with a yelp.


And then I awoke......

I have been haunted by it. Trying to understand its meaning....more will be revealed.

Listen to your dreams...... They have great wisdom....