Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out With the Old, In With the New

I have been on Facebook today cleaning out my account and responding to folks and I have seen many people post that 2009 wasn't a very good year for them, and they are all feeling like 2010 will be a great year. As I have written before in this blog, 2009 wasn't my greatest year. Even though I didn't meet all my goals, I met some of them, and some unexpected things occurred that I am so grateful for. I was at The Bodhi Tree this morning and along with purchasing more incense, I could open an incense store, I also picked up "Man's Search For Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. The book talks about Dr. Frankl's experiences in concentration camps, including Auschwitz. He talks about the fact that we cannot avoid suffering, but we can choose how to deal with it, find meaning in it and move forward with renewed purpose. He also believes that our primary drive is in the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

Dealing has been a major theme for me in my acting this year - coming to the table and taking what I am handed and running with it. That has been such a profound shift for me to just deal and focus on getting my needs met from my partner, whatever the conversation is, instead of worrying "does the casting director like me". I think we all have to take the fuck 'em/fuck it attitude and enjoy our process, our experience and take the pressure off whether something doesn't go right or worrying whether someone likes us or not. So here's to enjoying our process, living our lives the best we can, and taking the fuck 'em/fuck it position - this is our show, we have to live for ourselves, and we have to put ourselves first. Selfish? No way. Remember, we have to put our needs first so that we can take care of others next.

I want to wish you all a very happy new year, success and abundance in 2010 and I look forward to bringing you more notes on life as a spiritual creative, actress and human being just trying to "be" and enjoying just that.

Goin' To The Dogs

My friend Deb was walking her dog, Radar, recently, and he was attacked by two pekingese. My dog, Folsom, was attacked two years ago. There are countless accounts of dogs being attacked by other dogs - sometimes the incident is minor, sometimes not. I think we forget that having a dog is such a blessing - they love us unconditionally - no strings attached. A dog is a privilege and a responsibility. Love and nurture your dog, be grateful for your dog, care for your dog. Life is too short not to.

And so, I leave you with the following...

Unconditional Love

When a dog offers you his heart
Accept it with a smile
For his love will last a lifetime -
Which is such a little while.

When a dog offers you his heart
Take it gladly and with pride
For he will be a faithful friend
Ever by your side.

A dog loves you because you're you -
Not for how you speak or what job you do
You could be short, tall, thin or fat
Or ugly as sin, he doesn't care about that.

A dog knows if you're good or bad
He can see inside your soul
When he decides you're okay
To earn your love is his main goal.

When you're sad, he'll comfort you
And kiss away each tear
You may even wake up in the morning
With a cold nose in your ear.

When eventually the time comes
And the lights in his eyes dim
A new star will shine in Heaven
In remembrance of him.

You'll gaze up at the midnight sky
And you will hear him say -
"I'm so glad you were my human
We'll meet again some day!"

So, if this poem has caused a tear to fall
That's because you love the dog who's giving you his all
Go travel on together, happily paw in glove
He's the only one who'll ever give you unconditional love.

When a dog offers you his heart
Accept it with a smile
For his love will last a lifetime -
Which is such a little while.

By Hazel Harris-Lane

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting To The Core Of The Matter

Happy Holidays to everyone! I wish you peace, joy and love during this holiday season. My husband doesn't believe me, but, prior to this year, I had never watched "It's A Wonderful Life" straight through. It was great to finally watch it straight through as well as watching my other favorites, "A Christmas Story" and "Miracle on 34th Street". When I say "Miracle on 34th Street", I am referring to the original, the one with Edmund Gwenn, who won the Oscar for his portrayal of Kris Kringle.

I have found at the end of the year, I do somewhat of a re-group - I review the year to re-visit my successes, my failures, my in-processes and I always manage to get back to my core - my core is my spirituality. I have done a lot of reading over the past few days - I have read "Conscious Creation" (by Dee Wallace) and "The Power of Awareness" (by Neville), and I am currently reading "Journey To Enlightenment" (by Ross Bishop). I recommend you purchase all three books from Amazon (save some money in the process).

I am having difficulty reading the last book because I am actually absorbing every word of this book - so I stop and really let it sink in which takes me more time but it is so worth it - and I swear the chapter called "The Misunderstanding" was written about me and is speaking directly to me. This book is all about choosing whether to live in what the author calls "God-Space", living a life of compassion, love and gratitude, or living a life in the shadow of fear, emotions and the ego. It talks about problems form because of limiting beliefs we all have that we cling to. Problems we encounter in life are signs from the Universe to change these beliefs or the problems will snowball into crises. Enlightenment asks us to deal with our limiting beliefs and fears, and in doing so, we move out of the shadow of fear and back into a life of compassion and love. This book is "The Secret" with a shot of reality. I say that because while I enjoyed "The Secret" very much, it oversimplified things. It stated to manifest your desires, you had to think positive, do your affirmations, visualize, and constantly think about your desires, and you would receive. However, if you are consciously thinking about these things but subconsciously you are saying that "I am not worthy to receive because I do not deserve them", your conscious and subconscious cancel each other out, and the result is that the Universe does not deliver because it is confused over what you want. So, the trick is to change your beliefs to those grounded in love, compassion and gratitude while focusing on your desires, and you will manifest your desires sooner.

However, this is easier said than done because we all resist change, we especially resist change in beliefs we have held with us for years. 2009 was not a good year for me because I resisted a lot - in my acting goals, in my health goals, in my financial goals - and while I saw some progress, I saw a lot of areas where I was "stuck". We all go through these moments. I have learned that staying in the moment is a big component to stay in light and love. My desires are to be a sought-after character actress who has more than enough paid acting work that will sustain me, to be healthy and maintain a fit weight through sound nutrition and daily exercise, and be full of love, compassion and gratitude. Profess your desires to the Universe. Let me know your progress.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Gratitude in Los Angeles

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. I spent a quiet Thanksgiving with my husband, Jeff, and our poodle, Folsom.

In a very ego-intensive entertainment industry I am a part of, in order for me to keep my sanity, I am grateful each day but I don't only think it - I say it. The words "I am grateful every day" are the first line of my affirmations, which I say at least 5 times every day.

In addition to spending time with my family, I worked at my catering job for a local catering company, who I have worked for off and on the past 3 years. I love working residential parties. I love to help - my reward is seeing guests enjoy themselves. The family I worked for on Thursday was nothing but gracious, friendly, happy, and the list goes on. They get what life's all about - they are grateful and they live in the moment.

2009 has not been the best for me financially - I had very limited work in film and TV - I have not been alone in that regard - but I had a really successful year with my tutoring business. In essence, I am meeting my goal of having the majority of my 2009 revenues come from entrepreneurial activities. You see, I used to have a 40+ hour/week job as a management consultant. The job was my first priority and my acting followed. The economic slow down really slowed down my revenues - I used to make a six-figure salary and by the end of this year, I will have made 2/3 of that. The funny thing is letting go of all that money got me out of my head and I got so in tune with my acting instrument that I really enjoyed experiencing life, have become really comfortable in my body, learned it felt good to get out of my head and I have made a habit of being in the moment. I heard a great quote while watching TV today - "In order to be happy, one must be willing to let go off everything." I've heard this quote many times. Sometimes, we just have to let go and deal with life and get rid of the "who cares", you know that thing we let preoccupy us when we are in our head.

While I could compare myself to others and let it consume me, I choose to think about all the things I am grateful for and list them. And, when I think about that, I realize that I did do quite a bit. Have you ever noticed that when you are truly grateful, there's all this peace, love and joy that fills your body? Have you also noticed that when you are grateful, wonderful opportunities and events come your way?

Some of the things I am so grateful for include: my husband, my dog, my family and friends, my coaches, my tutoring clients, the acting work I did do this year, my unions, being able to sell our Ohio home in a very depressed market, my health, and new opportunities.

What are you grateful for?

Have fun in everything you do and enjoy life to the fullest!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Resiliency in Los Angeles

I like reading. Because of how busy I am, I do a lot of my reading online. One of my favorite blogs to read is my pal, David Dean Bottrell's blog, Parts and Labor. David is a gifted actor and writer. You might remember his eery, but spot-on portrayal of Lincoln Meyer on ABC's "Boston Legal". David is inspiring and has a way of saying what many of us Hollywood creatives are thinking. He is our mouthpiece.

David's message today really hit the nail on the head - we hold our destiny in our hands. While the economy may be taking its toll on Hollywood, it is up to us to do something about it - we can see the glass as half-empty - "I'm not getting any auditions", "I haven't booked a gig for a long time", etc. - or see the glass as half-full - "I need to stay visible", "I need to re-invent me".

Isn't being/staying visible the name of the game in Hollywood? This is where it starts. We have to build word of mouth to stay visible.

The ways I stay visible these days are: writing a column for a national online Marketing publication (I write about marketing my actor business), this blog, do readings for local writers groups, perform with my theatre company, and attend casting director workshops. I have also started an actor's business group and an actor's workout group for professional actors.

We need to be, as Alec Baldwin says in "Glengarry Glen Ross"..."A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing." What that means for an actor is to think strategically and always be creating, always be visible, always be building word of mouth. Actors must be resilient and steadfast. But, we need to mix it up and be creative in the process.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

How Do Spirituality and Creativity Go Together?

One of my favorite quotes comes from my good friends at lululemon is: creativity is maximized when you live in the moment.. When you are conscious of your breathing (i.e. taking long deep breaths), you are focused on the task at hand and you are out of your head, you are present. This usually also means you are attuned to a higher power - whatever that is for you - your spirituality.

What is this marriage of creativity and spirituality? Working with your creativity is working with your soul which is working with creativity. Working with and nurturing both will lead you to new places for outer and inner self-discovery. Today, we have a guest writer, Adrienne Carlson, who writes for Online Christian Colleges and who talks about the connection between creativity and spirituality...

How Spirituality Enhances Creativity

You would think the two are miles apart, but then, the mind has a way of playing tricks on us when it comes to vague and unquantifiable entities like spirituality and creativity. While one refers to your relationship with God, the other focuses on the ability of your mind to let go and think out of the box, in an unconventional and non-traditional manner. But, if you think harder and more deeply, you’re bound to see that a belief in a being that is higher than us leads to the profound realization that there are no barriers to thought or achievement, and this is when creativity soars.

Spirituality enhances creativity because:

* It teaches dedication: When you believe in God or a higher being, you are true to your conscience and believe in working hard and with the highest degree of dedication. This in turn boosts your creativity because the will to achieve is the biggest driver of this talent.

* It encourages honesty: When you are spiritually inclined, you are true to yourself and your religion, and therefore to your work too. This allows you to concentrate only on the job at hand and you’re able to achieve perfection because your mind is free from all other thoughts except the one that your creativity is focused on.

* It releases you from inhibitions: When you’re able to pray without inhibition, the same sense of abandon allows you to think without inhibition too. You know you can try anything, even if it seems atrocious and unconventional, because creativity has neither boundaries nor borders. And when you allow your mind to wander freely even as it remains focused on the job you must do, that’s when creativity is at its best.

* It prods you to go the extra mile: Spiritual guidance tells us that we must work hard in order to deserve and earn goodwill and riches, both the financial and emotional kind. And to do this, we must go the extra mile instead of shirking responsibility and trying to avoid honest work. When you strive hard to do your best, your creativity comes to the fore and dazzles with its brilliance.

* It teaches you to be grateful: When you’re spiritual, you don’t let success go to your head. Rather, you are grateful for the talent that God has blessed you with and you remain humble. You don’t let conceit and pride take over, and this helps creativity flourish even more.

Adrienne welcomes any comments and questions and can be reached here.

A very big thank you to Adrienne on such a wonderful topic.

Happy October everyone. One thing I miss about the East is seeing the changing colors of the leaves in fall. Don't take that precious sight for granted. Don't take anything for granted. Like Tim McGraw says in his song, "live life like you were dying".

Peace and Love to you all.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


On September 11, 2001 at approximately 8:45am EST, America was changed forever when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower and hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower at approximately 9:05am EST; hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 hit the pentagon at approximately 9:30am EST; and hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, PA, which is about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Fast-forward eight years and here we are, September 11, 2009. The memories are as vivid today as they were that day. I was in Pittsburgh, I just started in a VP of Marketing role three months earlier and my office was in a high-rise in downtown Pittsburgh. I was being the good girl that day and decided to take the bus. I remember it was about 8:45am when a colleague said that the World Trade Center had been hit. I think those of us not in NYC or closeby were thinking "yeah, right". I remember getting on line and just having my eyes glued to the computer or the TV when I finally got home. I remember immediately calling my husband, who was in Livermore, CA at the time - it was before 6am there - and I told him to turn on the TV and be safe! My drama didn't end there. Because we were in Pittsburgh and Flight 93 was so close to Pittsburgh, and our building was practically next door to the US Steel building, the largest building in downtown Pittsburgh, our building was evacuated. In fact, the entire downtown was evacuated, and it took me 3 hours to get back home.

I listened to a lot of radio yesterday and there was a lot of reminiscing of that fateful day. I was listening to KABC and Joe Scarborough had someone from MSNBC on who was working for Bloomberg News at the time. The most eery thing he said was that he was texting people in the World Trade Center that day about financial matters and what was going on immediately after the hit - many of those people perished. Wow, it makes me think a lot of the "drama" in my life is just white noise, and just doesn't matter.

I remember exactly what I was doing on September 11, 2001. So, for this post, I decided to ask some friends how they remember 9/11 and this is what they shared...

Mark Kinsey Stephenson - "My alarm clock went off and the radio news turned on. As I blinked my eyes open, I heard the announcer mention something about New York City under attack. What immediately came to mind was Orson Welles and that this prank wasn't funny, so I wandered over to the TV, flipped on one of the local LA channels and from that point through the rest of the day became horrified, watching and praying. I was also grateful that my dear friend, Camille Renna, from NY, was no longer alive to witness it."

Julia Flint - "I had just moved to LA, and I was working for a company in Connecticut. I tried to dial in to their computer that morning and couldn't get through. Then I tried to call them and all the phones were down. Then I tried to call other friends in Connecticut, same thing. (I have family and friends in NY and CT.) I turned on the news, just as they ran the footage of the first plane. I didn't understand what was happening. The newscasters didn't either. It was all a jumble of information. Frankly, I don't remember what happened after that, as I went into some sort of shocked panic. It was a day that changed our lives forever, from our traveling methods, to removal of some of our rights as citizens, to an implied (whether admitted or not) racial profiling, to anger at gov't officials, to that pervasive fear. But it also brought our country together, at least for a time (I will never forget being in New York shortly afterward -- the feeling of humanity/unity was overwhelming)."

David Dean Bottrell - "For some reason, I didn't turn on the news that morning, so I didn't hear about it until I was in my car and happened to turn on the radio. It was about 8:30 PST. At first (with no visuals) I didn't believe it. Planes had hit buildings before and the buildings hadn't collapsed. It wasn't until I got home and saw the footage that it became real."

Caroline Bielskis - "Although this day is marked with an event that has led to much negativity (pain, fear, hate, anger...), it is also marked with many positive things! Birthdays, for one. And, in 1906, Mahatma Gandhi initiated 'Satyagraha‘, which formed the basis of the modern non-violent resistance movement. In 1989, the ‘ Iron Curtain‘ between communist Hungary and Austria opened, paving the way for the fall of the Berlin Wall."

Neil Hunt - "I was at work, at first we thought it had been a light aircraft that hit the towers, then when we heard a second aircraft hit, we all thought what the hell was going on"

Lindy S. Hudis - "I was still in bed catching up on my sleep, as I had a night job at the time. The phone kept ringing and ringing and I had no idea what was going on. Then, my husband, Steve, told me to turn on the tv and I did and could not believe what I was seeing."

Margaret Chaidez - " I thought it was a commuter plane at first. I remember the whole day and how the world slowed down for a week."


"My cousin was killed in the Pentagon that day. He would have retired from the army in another 3 months. It really is ironic that he had received a purple heart in Vietnam only to die while sitting at his desk on American soil." - Johnny Dam

I think everyone I have talked with about 9/11 says the same thing - they were so amazed to see how strong we were as a nation and how we came together and helped each other. It shouldn't take a tragedy of this magnitude to bring us together. Let's love and protect each other, always.

Do you remember what you were doing on 9/11 or have a 9/11 story of your own? Send it to me. I would love to hear what touched you that day.

Peace and love to all of you!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Follow Up

Happy September. Gosh, can you believe it. September is kind of a renewal for me - getting back to the task at hand after the summer break. The only summer break I took was time from my standing tutor students. Yes, I tutor. My favorite subjects to tutor are Math, English, biosciences (like Biology and Chemistry), History, Advanced Placement (AP) courses and prepping students for their ACT and SAT tests. My life as a tutor in the summer is similar to that of a teacher - when there is no school, there is relatively little teaching or tutoring. I say relatively little because I still managed to have two new students during the summer - the ones that wanted to get a head start on tricky topics or refresh before they start classes. I love to tutor - my fulfillment is helping a student to learn and seeing the excitement in their eyes when they are learning. This week I will start working with my standing tutor students again. The new school year starts - it's time to renew dedication to learning. I'm also looking forward to the new tutoring opportunities I will have.

That was the only summer break I took.

As Susyn, the actor, I didn't take a break. As actors, we constantly are working our actor craft and actor business. We are entrepreneurs - we are the ones that make it happen so we have to work hard - learn and practice what we learn; AND be present. My daily goal is do at least one thing for my actor craft and at least one thing for my actor business. In addition, I try to follow Coach Jim Valvano's very poignant advice - to laugh, think and cry and do it daily.

As an actor, being present also helps me see the many opportunities that I might miss if I wasn't present. An actor also must focus on their actor business. I am an actor because I love being an actor and getting paid for what I love to do - act. To be paid, I have to search out opportunities and before I can be paid, I must develop and cultivate relationships. Cultivating relationships is the only way to sustain your business - and this applies to any business. This is especially true in the entertainment industry, which is a very project-intensive and entrepreneurial industry.

In my opinion, the guru of relationship-building is Keith Ferrazzi. I have been following him for a long time. Read his blog. Once there, check out his new book, "Who's Got Your Back". In one of his recent blog posts, Keith says that following up is the way to stand out from the crowd, it is the key to success in any field. There is a lot of clutter in any industry. To stand out, we have to be unique to get noticed. So, follow up.

Ideas for following up? When you meet someone at an event, do you send them a note 24-48 hours after meeting them? Do you send thank-you notes to casting directors or agents you meet to thank them for meeting you? Do you follow up submissions to industry peeps (agent, CD, producer, director, fellow actor, etc.)? Social media is a great follow up tool - do you forward info or show praise or gratitude for an interesting comment to individuals you met through Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.? Email, Internet, phone, face-to-face are all great follow-up touch points. The keys to follow-up are timeliness, consistency and brevity.

So, does following up work? My answer is one word - absolutely. Here's a recent story for you. I have been lucky so far in my acting career to have had multiple agents. The majority of my agents have come from my following up on submissions that I have sent. There is a set of rules in the entertainment industry - started by who, noone knows - one of which is to not call to follow up. Rules? My stance is to break the rules - you have to be unique, while being professional, to stand out from the crowd. Anyway, this summer I wanted to switch agents so I did my research of agents I wanted to target, sent my headshot and resume along with a "to-the-point" cover letter. I paced myself - I sent my submission packages in a 3-week span. As a result, I was called in from the cover letter but my plan was to follow-up with every agent I didn't hear from. I made those calls, again I paced myself so I didn't overwhelm me! I actually secured more agent meetings and I ultimately signed with a great agent who I wanted to be with and who gets me (actors remember two things about agents - (1) they are a business partner, not a be-all-end-all solution -- you still have to run your business, success is in your hands, and (2) sign with an agent who gets you and you get them -- the relationship must be win-win). So, did I do anything special in the agent meetings? You bet. I researched everything I could find about the agent prior to the meeting and I again referred to Keith Ferrazzi - make the meeting about them and find out what's important to them and what's going on in their business. The meetings were good. The meeting that I had with the agent I chose was great - the connection we immediately had was great. The connection is the key to a great meeting.

It has been proven that we get ahead faster and more effectively by following up. But, we have to be strategic about following up. I have a plan on who I want to meet and I target those individuals. Otherwise, I would not have a focus, get overwhelmed and be ineffective. Start small. And, remember the rule of 7: it takes at least 7 times to "touch" your contact (or buyer) to gain trust and ultimately be in a position to sell. This is where the follow up comes in. And, remember that snail-mail, email, Internet, social media, telephone, face-to-face are all great channels you can use to follow up with someone. Be unique. Mix it up. Remember to be professional, and not a pest.

As a tutor, I'm also an entrepreneur - I have to generate business all the time and I am not able to do that without following up. So, again, it's all in developing and cultivating relationships.

The follow up is first about gaining trust, not getting what you want. Getting what you want happens after you make it about them.

So, remember, ultimately it's all about who knows you, not who you know.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Trust, But Verify

Ronald Reagan's presidency began while I was at the University of Colorado. I majored in Economics, and I never thought his "Reaganomics" plan would work, even though I was able to triple my salary while he was President. One take away from the Reagan years for me was his famous quote "Trust, But Verify". I value that quote and heed the advice in both my personal and professional relationships.

That advice has really come in handy as I navigate the waters of the entertainment industry. Relationships are a two-way street. Maybe, I'm an idealist, but deep down I believe each person ultimately wants to have a win-win relationship with whomever they are in that relationship with. As long as we understand the purpose for the relationship, and we strive for win-win, we will be successful. If we get in our head and the ego starts controlling things, we lose the objectivity and "I" becomes more important than "them" and things go awry. If you keep the course, stay present and maintain focus on the goal, things can be beautiful. Of course, not all relationships are meant to be, but putting these things in place will give you a fighting chance.

There are many relationships in the entertainment industry. One relationship I am questioning these days is that of the professional actor and student filmmaker. As a professional actor, I enjoy appearing in student films because I see many advantages - I am acting in a fun (life's too short to do things that you don't love and aren't fun) project, meeting new people (perhaps a future Steven Spielberg or Nora Ephron in the making is directing), obtaining additional footage for my reel, the film might get noticed while on the festival circuit, and I'm working (albeit usually not paid but I'm doing what I love and I'm having fun).

Lately, there are a few film schools in town whose student filmmakers are getting bad reputations as being very disrespectful to the actors they book to work on their projects - they aren't caring for their resources. Case in point, this weekend, I was to do a student film with one of these schools. Initially, I took an objective approach. The student filmmaker contacted me to be one of the leads. After learning about the project, I was excited to film it. However, after all the miscues on the student director's part, way too many to list here, I decided enough was enough and I did not do the project. This film project provided a whole new meaning to "Murphy's Law". The moral of the story: film students - please learn to take care of the actors and treat us with respect. That means have a plan, communicate and deliver on all of your promises.

My takeaway? I'm going to continue to do student films, but I am going to be much more picky than I have been - trust, but verify.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Life In The Comfort Zone

Have the good economic years caused us to be complacent and we now complain about the economy in the lean years because we now have to work harder? There is a book called "Danger In The Comfort Zone". It is about how workers believe they are entitled to work and getting rewarded without earning it. I bought the book sometime in the 90's but it is as much applicable today, maybe more, as it was back then. I spent years developing and extending brands and now I am very interested in personal brands - in fact, I have written articles lately about the concept. Today, businesses and individuals have to strive to build their brand each and everyday by proving they are trustworthy, credible and can add value. Then, you will stand out and be noticed. They really have to, like I still say, "underpromise and overdeliver". Have you noticed that during our latest recession, customer service has become worse and companies, in general, have become disrespectful of customers? Nonverbal communication can be more powerful than verbal communication. Nonresponsiveness can be interpreted as no interest in having you as a repeat customer or a customer at all. Doesn't the recession make it harder for companies to make and/or keep sales? Then why drive away potential sales??

Marketing Profs in one of their newsletters today entitled "Stop Blaming the Recession" suggests that people should stop blaming the recession and look in the mirror. They say "the simple act of blurting out "recession" seems to cover a number of professional failures that might just be our own fault." They cite some examples of succeeding in the current economy and stop making excuses are:

-Learn something new. Go beyond your comfort zone so you stand out.

-Work harder. Don't take anything for granted; promptly follow up on every lead and return every call, even if you're not sure it will deliver results. Surround yourself with colleagues who share your particular determination and commitment.

-Take risks.

I'll add a fourth one - Put yourself out there - Be visible - Help someone in the process.

Monday, August 17, 2009

RIP John Hughes

We lost Director John Hughes on August 6, 2009. He was an AMAZING filmmaker. He directed Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty In Pink, among others. He really got that teens and young adults have some complex issues that they are dealing with. I loved his exploration of relationships. IMDb says he started the Brat Pack movement. My favorite character has to be Jon Cryer as the Duckman in Pretty in Pink. Goodbye John, we'll miss you!

Live Long and Prosper

Everyday I look at my strategic plan for my acting career. It's a binder not only filled with things to keep my acting craft and acting business going forward, but it helps me keep my spirituality on track. And of course I also put nuggets of information I find that I want to keep close to me.

Today, I decided to revise my mantra, which I seem to do on a regular basis these days. While searching on Google, I found an interesting article about abundance and prosperity. You can find that article here.

The main points as I see them are:

1. Prosperity is a mental and spiritual endeavor before it is a physical one.
2. There are six "stairway to the stars" steps:

a. Determine what your relationship with money is. What is money to you? What do you think and feel about rich people? Are you jealous of what others have? Answer these questions to be able to move to the next step.

b. Clean your mental and physical house. You must make room for the new. Mentally review what you have written above and become aware of the persons, places and situations that you need to forgive. You must let go of anger, resentment, hurt, doubt, self-criticism and so on. Parents, society, buddies, social groups all attempt to keep a status quo. Forgiveness is the Golden Key to PROSPERITY. You must realize are in charge of your destiny, noone else is. You make it happen. It takes bravery to let go of old friends and family who are impeding your growth. It is much more comfortable to stay where you are and to blame the economy than to become assertive in your own behalf. You have to let go to move forward. Are you ready to let go? Remember you will be forgiving your self as well as others. Take a moment close your eyes, take a deep breath and every one that comes to mind that you need to forgive in relation to your prosperity forgive them now. Imagine them clearly and say out loud, "I forgive you (insert their name)." Be sure to include yourself either first or last. Forgiveness only has to be done once, however you must mean it. Don't be a packrat. Get rid of stuff you don't need. You must make room - it is a law of the Universe.

c. Know what you want. Imagine you already have it - visualize it, feel it, hear it, taste it, smell it, know it!! The more energy you give to this, the quicker you will manifest this new reality that you have claimed. Act as if - borrowing an actor's credo.

d. Give thanks in ADVANCE for what you have received. You have the desire; the belief and now the expectancy will bring the abundance into your life. Say many times a day, "thank you for _____."

e. Be grateful for everything that happens to you every moment. Begin your day by reciting your list of things you are grateful for and end each day reciting your gratitude. For example, try this prayer at the end of each day: "Dear God, thank you for this day. I have done the best I know how and if I have forgotten something please take care of it for me. I need my rest so that I can awaken and do my best again tomorrow."

f. Develop a way to keep the flow of abundance going in your life. I practice reciting my mantra, journaling, practicing gratitude and being present every day.

What rituals do you practice to keep your flow of abundance going? Let me know.

Happy Monday.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Can You See Me Now?

My new bff is Argentum Photo Lab. Thanks to my pal Deb and the great recommendations from other actors, I decided to try them. My regular headshot reproductions place was acquired by another company, so I had to find a new one. On important stuff, like headshots, car repair, etc., I always seek recommendations. Oh. My. God. The photos are beautiful. They pop even more than they did before. They are so much more natural-looking. The two key ingredients casting directors look for in headshots are those that look natural and pop. Photos are definitely so much better than lithos. I'm so glad to have found my new headshot reproductions place!

Ya Gotta Have Heart

I am excited to share with you an organization called Hollywood Heart. I found out about this group through the Entertainment Industry Foundation because I wanted to volunteer with an arts-related organization. I have volunteered with Hollywood Heart for a couple of years in multiple capacities. I have been a volunteer for years - giving back to the community is something very near and dear to my heart - for a wide variety of wonderful charitable organizations. Hollywood Heart is amazing - to see a child's eyes light up is such a humbling and rewarding experience.

2009 marks the 15th year that Hollywood Heart has run Camp Pacific Heartland in partnership with One Heartland, a camp for kids ages 7-15 who are infected/impacted by HIV/AIDS and the 2nd year Hollywood Heart has run Camp Hollywood Heart, an arts camp for teens ages 15-20 who are impacted by HIV/AIDS. You can read all about these camps here.

Having heart in Hollywood goes beyond charities. A friend of mine wrote a fantastic article for the Huffington Post where he discusses the fact that if you are in the entertainment industry, you want to be in the industry and you are willing to work to get into and stay in the industry, you will survive.

Our industry is just like any other industry - we have business cycles, we have to re-invent ourselves to stay competitive and it's all about the money. The economy is going through another business cycle low, we will bounce back. So, have heart and today, try feeling more by being present to you and your environment - things will be put in perspective for you - you are a great human being on a great planet - go ahead and seize the day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The 'Burgh in the Biz

It is great to see so many Pittsburghers are in the entertainment industry. I found the lists on Pitt in Hollywood and Steeltown Entertainment Project. Of course a lot of these people may have only gone to school in Pittsburgh or were born in Pittsburgh and moved. Then, there are some native Pittsburghers. I consider Pittsburgh my second home - all my relatives are from here, I spent time in Pittsburgh every summer, my husband is from Pittsburgh and we lived in the 'burgh for years. And I have kept my Junior League of Pittsburgh membership because those are my sisters and it's a great group doing great things for the Pittsburgh community since 1922. As far as us Pittsburghers who are in the entertainment biz, I would like to see a strong Pittsburgh contingent in LA form a group so we can all stay in touch here.

The thing about Pittsburgh besides my beloved Steelers and Pens, is that it gives you a sense of belonging, community and roots. And, the family and community values that are instilled in you when you live in Pittsburgh stay with you forever. As far as Pittsburghese goes, you'll never hear me say 'yinz or n'at but Stillers, pop and Gint Iggle do "pop" up from time to time. Check out Pittsburghese for an interesting take. The most beautiful vision is coming out of the Fort Pitt Tunnels from the airport and seeing the amazing Pittsburgh skyline. Of course, I could talk about the 'burgh forever.

I'm originally a Southeasterner (Williamsburg, baby), a little Michigander, a lot Coloradan and whole lot of Pittsburgh. Makes me feel like a Primanti sandwich, huh??

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Good Week

The first two days of this week have been full of pleasant surprises. I have 3 new clients, was asked to re-join an old theatre company and had a wonderful audition. I also revised my strategic marketing plan (which I do on a very regular basis) and am doing a lot of actor marketing for myself. I am feeling very liberated and in a very take charge mode. I think sometimes as actors we feel we do not have control over our careers and end up becoming quite passive. I took a workshop at the SAG Conservatory summer sessions earlier this month from an audition coach who struck a chord in me - my audition is mine, I get to control the time I'm in the room. How many times do we get in our head and worry about will they like me, do they want to see this or that? It IS all about me, what I am doing, am I listening, am I connecting, am I having fun.

I'm cranking up Yogi Berra's quote a notch by saying that "Acting is 90% mental and the other half is physical."

I'm starting my rounds of casting director workshops - I took a long hiatus as I was moving into a new home and we all know how daunting a task that is. I feel in a good place and I think it has to do with being objective about life, enjoying the process and forgetting about the outcome - and that's what creativity is all about.

And I must say a big RIP to Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, Billy Mays, Fred Travalena - I'm sure I'm missing lots, and I've already listed great icons. Life is so precious - we really have to live life like we were dying.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pittsburgh - City of Champions

It is so great that Pittsburgh is home to the World Champs Pittsburgh Steelers and Stanley Cup champs Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh to me is the epitome of what life is all about - enjoying our experiences and taking care of each other in the process.

My So-Called Marketing Life

I am so happy to be writing a regular article for Marketing Profs, one of the two best online resources on the subject of marketing today. The other being Marketing Sherpa. I have been a published writer since 2001 and floated in and out of writing for trades depending on my available time. To create the tone of the column, I am pulling from my years of being a corporate marketing director, marketing consultant and actor.

In my latest article, I wrote about the power of branding from an actor's perspective, even though the same takeaways apply to small and Fortune 500 businesses. The takeaways are:

1. Treat a brand for what it is. Your brand is your uniqueness so identifying and capitalizing on it is paramount to being able to differentiate yourself from the clutter.

2. Network. Be visible. Be a problem-solver. Go to where your target market is and engage with them. Help them.

3. Follow up. Stay in contact and top of mind.

4. Test, Revise, Test. Always be in a position of giving your customers what they want, so be comfortable with improving on your product and promotional materials all the time.

I also have a new web site. It is in the "in progress" phase. It is located here. Please visit often as we are updating content regularly.

Have a super weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Strange Days

It's been disheartening having to hear that both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died today. Farrah Fawcett - what can I say, I wanted to be Jill Munroe. I loved Charlie's Angels. And Michael was an icon, he was bigger than life.

I can't believe it has been over 2 months since I last posted. Much has occurred, Mother's Day came and went, my Aunt Sylvia died, we moved into a new place (I strongly believe in the power of feng shui and positive energy because I have been feeling so good since moving into the new place), SAG voted to approve the new TV/Theatrical contract, and Father's Day. On the SAG front, I am happy that resolution occurred. I hope this new contract is good for our union. I'm looking forward to two years where SAG can come together with the DGA, WGA and AFTRA and present a united front when we meet with producers. SAG elections are coming up and once again Membership First will be duking it out with Unite For Strength for control of the board. I hope we can minimize the infighting and stand together to make our union better.

I was happy to catch the new "Star Trek" movie (AKA prequel, Star Trek XI) this past weekend. It was amazing - JJ Abrams is amazing or "fascinating" as Spock would say. The best part was to see the new Spock (Zachary Quinto - it's great that he's from Pittsburgh!) and old Spock (Leonard Nimoy) together in the film -- it was sort of like the passing of the torch, if you will. I read an interview that Zachary had to have his eye brows shaved and have his hair cut for the Spock hairdo - oh my goodness. We'll have to wait and see what's up for ST - I also heard that Paramount wants to see a script for the sequel by Christmas.

I think the most greatest feat that has happened recently is that my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup - not only is it the third Stanley Cup for the franchise, it may mark the first time a player/owner has won the cup (trivia question in the making?) and it also provides a nice send-off to say goodbye to the old Civic Arena and welcome the new arena, Consol Energy Center. Congrats, guys.

Things have been quiet this summer so far. I will be in a staged reading of "12 Angry Women" - I play Juror 6 - on July 25 at The Complex on Santa Monica Blvd. I'll be posting more details as we get closer to the date.

Peace and love.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Easter

I know Easter 2009 was April 12, but it's never too early or too late to talk about Easter.

Easter to me is a time of renewal and transformation. I think that is why Spring is my favorite season. I was raised a Lutheran so I try my best to follow the holidays and rituals I followed as a child. Easter is no exception. I watched a lot of religious-themed films on TBN (the network has some great programming. Check it out here. I didn't realize the network is headquartered south of Los Angeles, in Santa Ana. What a treat.) ABC (I can't miss my annual viewing of The Ten Commandments and see Yvonne DeCarlo - my goodness, she was a beautiful woman.) and some great documentaries on some of other networks. I have a lot of networks on my TV and I did have a lot of Easter viewing at my discretion - my husband works for Time Warner Cable and free cable is one of the perks - sometimes it can be overwhelming with all the programming choices I get to pick from!

The crucifixion always spooks me. I think that is why I can't watch "The Passion of the Christ". I feel so very guilty watching the crucifixion depicted in films, but I know within my heart as a Christian, that Christ had to be crucified for me to have eternal life. It is such a cleansing feeling.

One ritual we have continued to follow is Easter Brunch. This year, we took the Easter Brunch Cruise with Hornblower Cruises in Newport Beach (this was actually a recommendation from one of my tutor students). They are also in Marina Del Rey, San Francisco, Berkeley and San Diego. I highly recommend taking a cruise with them. Here's a shout out to Hornblower for a fantastic time.

I have also re-energized myself through daily exercise. Half because I gained weight and half because it grounds me and keeps me centered in my spirituality. I am so grateful that I re-discovered my love of yoga, especially kundalini yoga - kundalini combines two loves - yoga and meditation. I also have re-discovered walking - being close to nature is another way for me to center myself in my spirituality. My third way is music. I am a big fan of classical and meditation music. My fourth way is to talk to God and the angels. I am a big fan of angels and Doreen Virtue. And, the fifth way that I center in my spirituality is spending a great amount of time with my dog, Folsom. He is my canine soul mate.

Being centered in my spirituality for me also means I am centered in my creativity. The two go hand-in-hand. I cannot have one without the other. They are my alpha and omega.

I want to send a special shout out to God Mythology blog for mentioning The Spiritual Creative.

Last, I want to leave you with something that happened to me recently. I wasn't able to move into a better place in my acting until I let go of something. I surrendered. I let go of the need to control, for me, that was going into my head. Lent is about surrender, letting go, because once we do this there is the transformation, the Easter in all of us, waiting to happen. Easter is in each of us - every day. Enjoy your Easter as you travel your path.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring

I love Google for many reasons. One of my favorites is to see the different logos that Google marks for certain events. I just loved this one this morning to announce Spring. Spring represents renewal and transformation for me.

As creatives, a key requirement for us to get to the next level is going through the fire (Ever hear the phrase, trial by fire?)- fire usually represents itself in the form of challenges, failures, mistakes, etc. - the good news is that we are so refreshed and stronger when we come out the other side.

I used to have fears about doing things for my acting career. My fear in acting has been - I have to audition perfectly or the casting director, producer, director, etc. won't like me and if they don't like me, they won't hire me. Then, I read a very important quote one day: "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong". We all have fears as creatives, but we need to let go of our fears and concentrate on our art.

As creatives, we are on a journey, we will have good days and not so good days. We can't worry about past mistakes or be anxious about the future - we have to just BE. Surrendering and releasing our fears will transform and renew us. It is a cycle: we are on our path, we stumble, we get back up, we are stronger, we move on. It's a beautiful path we are on. And each one of is beautiful.

What is your favorite thing about Spring? What was your trial by fire this week and how did you transform yourself?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

RIP Natasha Richardson

Natasha Richardson, Tony-winning actress, died yesterday (March 18, 2009). She was involved in a skiing accident. Details of her death are unknown. The details really don't matter. The important thing is that she was only 45 years old. So young. So talented. (If you get a chance to see her portrayal of Patty Hearst, it is a must see. Her filmography is listed here). So beautiful. As much as we like to think we do, we do not have ultimate control over our lives so we have to make each day count and follow Tim McGraw's advice "live life - like you were dying".

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday The 13th - Part Deux

I can't believe it has been a whole month since writing. The end of February and March thus far have been good. In addition to successes in my acting career, we finally realized a big goal of ours - we sold our home in Beavercreek, OH. We put our home on the market last May and we thought 9 months on the market was long, even for Ohio standards. But recently, a friend of mine who lives in Cleveland, said that 9 months is relatively short, considering our economy.

I have a lot of gratitude these days not only for selling the house, but for my life in general. It is truly amazing how surrendering and just letting go can attract so many wonderful things into your life.

Do you twitter? I hope you do. Twitter is a wonderful tool. Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables folks to send and read other users' updates known as tweets. It's a great publicity tool. It's a great way to stay in touch. It has so many wonderful benefits. It's an experience in and of itself. And, it's free. If you scroll down to the bottom of my blog, you will find a "follow me" link. I would love to connect with you on Twitter. You can see what I'm up to when I am not communicating via my blog. Happy tweeting.

I love I order from them regularly - at least 3-4 times a year. And recently, I bought Dr. Wayne Dyer's audio tape of his book, "You'll See It When You Believe It". I wouldn't consider myself a fan, but he does have good things to say - I have two of his audio tapes and one of his card decks. He says the mind is a powerful tool (another great book on the subject is "As A Man Thinketh"). What we think about, we manifest. So true. Think about it. It makes sense.

Spring is approaching. Actually, our first taste was this past weekend with changing our clocks for Daylight Savings Time. I now always remember we lose an hour in the Spring ("spring forward" - lose an hour) and gain an hour in the Fall ("fall back" - gain an hour). Spring is for renewal. Spring is exciting for me not only because of the men's and women's NCAA and NIT College Basketball Tournaments, NHL Playoffs, NFL Draft, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, but also because it's a time to renew ourselves in Nature and in our own lives. Sometimes that means we have to walk through the fire to be renewed. I used to be afraid of losses or failures - but now I welcome them because I know that when I come out of the experience, I will feel cleansed and renewed, and have this amazing strength because I will know that I have grown.

I wish you all well on your journey to renew yourselves.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday The 13th

I was thinking today about what Friday the 13th means to me.

Some might be chomping at the bit to catch the latest installment of Friday the 13th at the local cinema. Or if you are in California, are you waiting with bated breath to see whether the California State government will or won't increase taxes (personally, I think when a government is out of money, wants to issue IOU's for income tax refunds and then wants to increase taxes to fix the deficit, there's a problem somewhere. I thought the government is for the people not the other way around?)? Or are you waiting to see what happens with the recession? Or are you gearing up for a long weekend?

I choose to look at today with an open mind - looking at all the wonderful opportunities this new day brings. But, remaining present, not looking back to yesterday or forward to tomorrow.

Opportunities are right in front of us. But, for whatever reason, we go about the day with blinders on. In essence, we are resistant.

This started me thinking about Sonia Ricotti's wonderful book, The Law of Attraction Plain and Simple. You can order the book here. The web site is filled with other great resources as well, including a free newsletter that you can sign up for.

I guess you could call this book an extension of The Secret. Ms. Ricotti continues to discuss the law of attraction which is defined as "we attract into our life what we direct our conscious attention to." As an example, I focused on wanting to be on the last season of Boston Legal and I was.

I remember having a breakthrough of my own at the end of the year right around the time I read this book and the chapter entitled "Letting Go" really hit home for me. It was about letting go and just being, but it also talked about Resistance.

According to the book,"whenever you are feeling uncomfortable, unhappy, or any other negative emotion, you are resisting something in your life" and "resisting emits negative energy and attracts more of the same negative situations in your life". It also means you are trying to control something. And if you are controlling something you can't let go. Resistance also results in not noticing the wonderful opportunities you are faced with each and every day. Acceptance and letting go allows you to surrender to the beauty all around you and presents that openness you need to be your genuine, creative self.

We are human so we will have negative emotions. Emotions are experiences. We are not our emotions. Let them pass through. Try this technique the next time a negative emotion hits you - backtrack to determine the root cause of your discomfort. What are you trying to resist? Breathe deeply and let go. See, what happens. I think you will find you will be in a state of bliss and you will see all the wonderful opportunities ahead of you.

Here's to your bliss!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Be Present

I have had the opportunity to read several books on living in the now and the how's and why's of being present. I think Eckhart Tolle's comment in Stillness Speaks stands out: "True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found".

Being present has to do with right now, not regrets from the past or anxiety for the future. It's amazing thinking back to all the things that I - for whatever reason - spent wasted energy fretting about. All the time I spent worrying about the past or the future resulted in losing precious present moments. Ironically, all the things I worried about were irrelevant and inconsequential. The only thing that matters is living or being - focusing on what's happening in the Now.

So what does the phrase "be present" really mean? To me, it means getting out of my head and focusing on just being a human being, not doing anything. It's that feeling of bliss you find when you are meditating, practicing yoga or just focusing on something (athletes call it "being in the zone".) without thinking.

So, what techniques can help help you be present?

Here are my top 10 ways to stay present:

1. Think less. Feel more. This is called "getting out of your head".
2. Focus on something or someone.
3.Practice Conscious Breathing. Take deep breaths regularly throughout the day. Breathe in for a count of 10. Breathe out for a count of 10.
4. Meditate.
5. Practice yoga.
6. Exercise regularly.
7. Get out into nature - walk with your dog, take a hike, go to a botanical garden, etc.
8. Help someone.
9. Be open-minded about solutions and ideas. See things from a different perspective.
10.Write in a journal.

How do you stay present?

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's a Glorious Day in Six-Burgh!

It's a glorious day in Pittsburgh or should I say Six-burgh?! The Pittsburgh Steelers have won their 6th World Championship and Santonio Holmes is MVP!! Did you watch the Super Bowl Commercials? I thought the commercials were a little subdued this year, but that Troy Polamalu commercial was very creative! Which commercial was your favorite this year? What's your favorite all-time Super Bowl commercial? I'd love to hear.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow - six more weeks of winter. Oops. If I was PP, I'm not too sure if I'd like being hoisted up in the air like that. Punxsutawney is north of Pittsburgh. Check out the website. It's a total party up there. A whole festival with lots of events.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Creatives of the Week

James Earl Jones received his long overdue Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild this past Sunday, January 25. James Earl Jones is one of my favorite actors. As Shelley Fabares says, "he's an actor's actor" which is so true - he's very versatile - many know his voice as Darth Vader - not everyone knows his complete body of work or that he is a strong advocate for literacy. Below is my top list of actors and actresses in no particular order:

1. James Earl Jones
2. Jessica Lange
3. Ralph Fiennes
4. Joanne Woodward
5. Paul Newman (RIP)
6. Laura Linney
7. Phillip Seymour Hoffman
8. Bette Davis
9. Maggie Smith
10. Alan Rickman
11. Dustin Hoffman
12. Meryl Streep

Creatives aren't afraid to test and tweak. It's not about perfection, it's about being open to new ideas, new perspectives, change. That's what my hairdresser, Jez and the gang at Fusion do. Every time I come in to get my hair done, Jez is always tweaking. That's a true creative. Check Fusion out!

And, I would be remiss in not mentioning the true creative of the NFL, Charles Richard "Dick" LeBeau, who, according to current ESPN analyst and former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Ron Jaworski, is "...arguably the best ever to coach defense...He has done it on such a consistent basis over a long period of time." He was also a great player for the Detroit Lions. So here's to you, Mr. LeBeau, future HOFer and defensive coordinator of the 6-time Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

11 Steps for Boosting Creativity

I was sleuthing on the Internet and found 10 Steps for
Boosting Creativity from Jeffrey Baumgartner's site.

Of course, I added some creative nuggets of my own below:

1. Listen to music by Johann Sebastian Bach or Ludwig van Beethoven.

2. Brainstorm. If properly carried out, brainstorming can help you not only come up with loads of new ideas, but it can help you decide which is best.

3. Always carry a small notebook and a pen or pencil around with you. That way, if you are struck by an idea, you can quickly note it down. Consider having it on your night stand - I have had some great ideas in the middle of the night or right when waking up.

4. If you're stuck for an idea, open a dictionary, randomly select a word and then try to formulate ideas incorporating this word. You'd be surprised how well this works. The concept is based on a simple but little known truth: freedom inhibits creativity. There are nothing like restrictions to get you thinking.

5. Define your problem. Grab a sheet of paper, electronic notebook, computer or whatever you use to make notes, and define your problem in detail. You'll probably find ideas positively spewing out once you've done this.

6. If you can't think, get out in nature. Walk. A change of atmosphere is good for you and gentle exercise helps shake up the brain cells. They say being out in nature helps a person's creative juices flow.

7. Don't watch TV. Experiments performed by the JPB Creative Laboratory show that watching TV causes your brain to slowly trickle out your ears and/or nose. It's not pretty, but it happens.

8. Don't do drugs. People on drugs think they are creative. To everyone else, they seem like people on drugs. Get your ideas the natural, old fashioned way - listen to your head or listen to your heart or maybe do both.

9. Read as much as you can about everything possible. Books exercise your brain, provide inspiration and fill you with information that allows you to make creative connections easily.

10. Exercise your brain. Brains, like bodies, need exercise to keep fit. If you don't exercise your brain, it will get flabby and useless. Exercise your brain by reading a lot (see above), talking to clever people and disagreeing with people - arguing can be a terrific way to give your brain cells a workout. But note, arguing about politics or film directors is good for you; bickering over who should clean the dishes is not.

11. Breathe and just be. Take 15 minutes for you every day, breathe and be, you'll be amazed at what this opens up for you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock's birthday is tomorrow, January 28. He is my favorite artist. While there have been many abstract expressionists, he epitomizes them all. The film, "Pollock", in which Ed Harris directs and stars, and in which Marcia Gay Harden won her academy award, is a must see. I stumbled upon a great Jackson Pollock site check it out here - draw your own Pollock-esque abstract art. Now, that's creative!


Greetings. Namaste. Hi.

I'm Susyn Elise Duris, a film, TV and stage actress. I'm on an incredible journey of exploring my creativity and spirituality to see how far I can go - my goal is to be the best actress I can be by being the best human being I can be.

I have 3 roles that I enjoy and I am proud of: (1)I consider myself a storyteller, not just an actor, (2) I am a student of life and (3) I am a consultant, I love helping people.

Several people have asked me "when are you starting a blog?" and I kept saying "when the time is right". Well, the time is right.

There are many "acting" blogs out there authored by my fellow actors. Many are diaries of the actor's journey. There are many "creativity" and "spirituality" blogs.

My blog is different. It will focus on creatives of every sort. Mr. Webster tells us that a creative is "that which results from originality of thought, expression."

You don't have to be an actor, artist, dancer, musician or something having to do with the arts to be creative. If you express yourself, you are being a creative.

This blog will also provide resources, anecdotes and other information gems to help you as you continue on your spiritual and creative journey.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you and helping you on your journey.