Tag Archives: inspiration

SAG Awards (or Being Inspired)

After my podcast hangout, I had to rush back to my house. That night was the SAG Awards and I decided to host a viewing party at my house! I had invited a ton of people to come over and at one point there were 12 people who said they were going to come by. I’m glad that people started to cancel because there was no way that my house could have that many people! In the end, there were 3 of us watching.

All of us got to vote on the SAG Awards, so it was fun to see if who we voted for won. There were a bunch of surprises and we were all pretty chatty while watching. Sometimes, we were commenting so much that we ended up rewinding my DVR so we could catch what we missed. But we were all in a pretty good mood and being chatty was the mood for the night.

Of all the award winner speeches, I think the two that hit me the most were the ones for “Stranger Things” and “Hidden Figures”. I loved that show and that movie and was so happy to see them win. But I didn’t expect the speeches that we got.

If you haven’t seen or read it, the “Stranger Things” speech was a truly inspiring moment in a time where politics are making a lot of people stressed or upset. Here’s just a part of it:

“I would just like to say, in light of all that’s going on in the world today, it’s difficult to celebrate the already celebrated Stranger Things, but this award from you who take your craft seriously and earnestly believe, like me, that great acting can change the world is a call to arms from our fellow craftsmen and women to go deeper. And through our art to battle against fear, self-centeredness and exclusivity of our predominately narcissistic culture and through our craft to cultivate a more empathetic and understanding society by revealing intimate truths that serve as a forceful reminder to folks that when they feel broken and afraid and tired they are not alone. We are united in that we are all human beings and we are all together on this horrible, painful, joyous, exciting and mysterious ride that is being alive.

Now, as we act in the continuing narrative of ‘Stranger Things,’ we 1983 midwesterners will repel bullies. We will shelter freaks and outcasts, those who have no home. We will get past the lies. We will hunt monsters and when we are at a loss amidst the hypocrisy and the casual violence of certain individuals and institutions, we will, as per Chief Jim Hopper, punch some people in the face when they seek to destroy the weak and the disenfranchised and the marginalized. And we will do it all with soul, with heart, and with joy. We thank you for this responsibility. Thank you.” 

This was exactly what so many people needed to hear right now. So many things in politics have been upsetting, but there are people willing to fight for what they believe in. It’s nice not to feel alone and that there is a community that shares my viewpoints.

When “Hidden Figures” won, I didn’t consider it an upset (it’s the movie I voted for), but I think the cast was so shocked that they won. With the controversy of #OscarsSoWhite last year, I think the fear would be that show and films with diverse casts wouldn’t be recognized this year. But I’m glad that it wasn’t the case.

I love the genuine emotion that was in the speech for “Hidden Figures”. The speech was about recognizing those who were not recognized for their accomplishments at the time and the power of coming together. Again, that is exactly the message we need right now. There is so much trying to get us to be against each other and we can’t have that. As a country, we need to come together and work on making sure everyone is living their American dream.

The SAG Awards was much more political than it has been in the past, but I think that was appropriate given the circumstances now. I know some people think that celebrities don’t have a right to share political views (I don’t know why since our current president is known for being a reality TV performer), but I think hearing other people being so passionate in what they believe in is so inspiring. It has encouraged me to speak out more to make sure that my voice is heard and that I’m not a silent bystander.

Besides being so inspired by the speeches, I was inspired to see people who I’ve gotten to work with on tv. I’m working hard on my acting career and I know that eventually I will be at a level of success similar to my friends. But for now, I just have to be so excited when I see them on tv or their names in the credits.

Loving The Olympics (or Feeling Like An Athlete)

I’ve always loved watching both the summer and winter Olympics. I think it’s so amazing to see the athletes competing against each other and the fact that countries are coming together for a single goal. I think I love both the summer and winter games equally and I’m so glad I have a DVR now so I can record everything and watch them when I have a chance (I’m slowly making my way through the various events and I think I’ll be caught up soon).

During the winter games, I love all the skiing events. Even though I haven’t been able to be on the slopes for about half my life, I still consider myself a skier (I wonder how I’d do if I tried it again?). I miss the feeling of going down the mountain and feeling like you are flying and are alone in your own little bubble. It was such a sense of freedom and if I wasn’t high risk for breaking my hip I’d probably still be doing it.

And I’ve always loved gymnastics during the summer games. I think my love for watching the gymnastics really started during the 1996 games in Atlanta. One of the gymnasts on the team, Amy Chow, was from where I was from. And she trained at the gym where I used to take gymnastics class (I didn’t get too far into the sport, but I still can do a couple of tricks). Even though I didn’t really know Amy, it felt like someone who was just like me was out there winning a gold and it was just incredible to watch.

I also love the track events during the summer games. When I was in middle school, I was on the track and field team. I wasn’t a runner even as a kid, so I only did field stuff. And my 2 events were long jump and triple jump. I don’t think I was very good at either, but since there was a lack of participation in triple jump I did occasionally place because last place was still in the top 5. Watching real athletes do those events is so much fun because I remember how hard it was for me to do them.

But this year I’m looking at the Olympics a bit differently. This is the first time that I’ve been working on my fitness as hard as I am while the games are happening. Of course, some of the things are a little overwhelming like how they can do a 10K in the time it takes me to do 1.5 miles at my best speed. Knowing that I’m 3 times slower than an Olympian is a bit weird to think about, but I’m not frustrated by it.

Of course, I’m still loving gymnastics and watching the athletes throw their bodies in the air in ways that seem impossible! I even got into watching diving and trampoline because they have similar elements to gymnastics with the flips and twists. To think how hard they must have trained to get their bodies to do that is insane and sometimes I have to pause my DVR just to get into my head what I just saw.

But this year, I’ve discovered an event that I didn’t really care too much for before but this year has taken on real meaning to me: rowing. I do rowing all the time at Orangetheory and I know how long it takes me to do certain distances on average. Yes, we use a rowing machine, but it’s a water rower so we do have to move the paddle of the machine through water to make it go. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s as close as you can get to being on the water.

I didn’t know this before this year, but all Olympic rowing events are 2,000 meters. That’s a distance we do from time to time at Orangetheory and I know that I will never look at 2,000 meters the same way again. To know that technically I have the endurance to complete an Olympic distance blows my mind!

But the craziest thing to me about watching the rowing was seeing the times that the athletes were getting. While they were faster than I can do (about 2 minutes faster than I can do), they weren’t as much of a difference as I was expecting. And I know some people at Orangetheory that can row 2,000 meters in a similar time to what these athletes did.

Olympic Rowing

Of course, my immediate thought was to message my friends who I know row that fast and joke that they need to start training for the next Olympics! I don’t know how much slower they would be on the water versus the machine, but it still gave me something to think about.

I know I’m not close to being an Olympian, but to know that I’m not 3 or 4 times slower than them makes me feel pretty amazing. I’ve said before that I am starting to feel like an athlete in training versus someone in the gym working out to lose weight. But having this knowledge about rowers makes me think that even more.

I’ve still got a few more days of Olympics to watch and I can’t wait to see what happens. I’ve been so inspired already and any extra inspiration that I can get would be awesome!

Being Proactive (or Bringing Acting To Me)

It’s really tough as an actor when you feel l like you aren’t making any momentum in your career. I haven’t had an audition in a while and that’s a bit frustrating. Right now there are no improv classes at a time that works for me, so I can’t enroll in the next level of classes. I’m not really losing weight so I don’t need new headshots or other things like that. And there’s not too much I can do about those things.

I know that so many people say that actors should focus on creating their own roles and projects, but I’m not a writer. I can write on here and on other blogs, but it doesn’t translate to writing a script. I’ve tried writing even little sketches and even those are difficult for me and I get really annoyed I can’t translate what I want to say to paper.

But I’m lucky that I’ve got several friends who are writer types and want to collaborate with me. And over the past week I’ve been able to find time to meet with a couple of them and now I finally feel like I’m moving forward again

I hate that I have to be really discrete on these projects, but they are all in the super early stages so I don’t want to say too much. I’m not trying to be cool by not sharing things.

With one of my friends, she and I are working together on a non-acting idea. We’ve got an idea for an event we want to do that is somewhat entertainment industry related, but it’s not an acting thing. We came up with this idea super randomly and it snowballed from there. We are coming up with plans and logistics and I really think that this could be something really cool and easy to accomplish this year if we get the right people working with us. Even though it’s not acting specific, because it’s something that seems fun to me it still activates the same creativity side of my brain. She and I are also talking about how we should work on an acting project together, but that’s not the first priority right now.

I also met with a writer friend of mine recently. She and I have discussed doing a project with a bunch of friends in the past and I think that we can finally start working on that idea more. We don’t have an idea for a script or characters, but I think this would be the type of project that we need to be inspired to do and not just write it because we want to write something. Hopefully something soon will inspire us and we will have something fun to work on together this year.

And finally I’ve got a friend who is a writer and just wrote us a short film. He and I had talked on the phone and I guess he got inspired to write a 2 person short film and had me in mind for the other character (he wrote it for me so there are aspects of it that fit me perfectly). He sent me the script as soon as he wrote and I read it, loved it, and emailed him back with a couple of notes. He sent me another version and we decided to meet up to work on it together.

We met on Tuesday after work and discussed ideas and plans for the short film (I’m always a “think big” person so I’ve got big ideas for it). There are a couple of things in the script that could be changed to make a bit more sense (they are all minor things) and we came up with some really funny ideas for the beginning and end of the film to make it a more well-rounded script that would be a great showcase piece for both of us as actors and for him as a writer. If he and I could find a crew to help us shoot this short, I think we could have it done and edited by the summer to share with everyone.

It’s so nice that I’ve been able to have so many friends who are self-motivated like I am but are in the parts of the industry that I’m not so great at. If I had to write my own projects, it would never happen. I would be endlessly frustrated and never finish anything. Or I would just make little improv-based movies which can be fun, but they aren’t always that great without a decent outline to keep the plot on track. Having friends who are strong where I am weak and want to collaborate really is awesome.

I’m hoping that by the end of 2016, whether or not I have another audition, that I’ll have at least 2 projects that I’ve been in this year. It’s totally possible, but I need to just focus on who I know who can work with me and not the fact that I can’t write. If I focus on the positives and work on creating work with others, there’s no reason why I can’t have new credits to my name this year.

Happy Hour Inspiration (or Just Having Fun After Work)

It’s been a while since I had a happy hour outing with my friend Rayshell, so I’m glad that we got to do one this week. We met at Westside Tavern which is pretty close to my house. The last time I was there was with my parents, so I was happy to go back.

As always, it was fun to catch up with Rayshell. We’ve both had some big things happening in our lives and sometimes just seeing news on social media isn’t enough.

We talked about my grandpa some as well as my workouts and new medication. And she talked about some stuff going on in her life like her acting career.

While we were talking about our acting careers, Rayshell said something to me that really inspired me. There’s something that we are hoping to do. And while I can’t share much now, I think that we are getting some really great people interested in this and hopefully our idea will become a reality soon.

I love that just hanging out with a friend and talking about life can inspire something so big in my head. The rest of the dinner, we just talked about this idea and it kind of revitalized me after a kind of crazy day at my day job (it was a day where all the customers were asking questions that either I didn’t know the answers to or could only be answered by the producers at each location).

It was also nice to have something fun in my day when things have been stressful for about 2 weeks. Besides everything with my grandpa, I’m still worried about my grandma and that hasn’t been resolved yet (and probably won’t be for another month or two). Even though it’s important to focus on family and make sure that everyone is taken care of, I need to remember to take time out for myself so I don’t lose myself in worrying about everyone else.

Dinner itself was nice and relaxing. I had been careful what I ate earlier in the day so I could enjoy my meal. And I did make a decent choice (there were definitely much worse entrees I could have chosen) and I enjoyed what I ate. Having meals like this make my boring meals most of the time totally worth it. And those boring meals are necessary if I want to be able to go out for meals and not worry too much about it (although in my head I was still feeling a little guilty because I could have chosen something healthier).

Since Rayshell had to a farther drive home than I did, we didn’t stay at dinner too long. But it really was a perfect hangout to help get me out of the house and back to feeling more normal than I have been.

Inspiration On TV (or I Voted For Her)

With this cleanse, it would be so easy to put my life on hold while I’m doing it. It would be so easy to turn down dinner invites and other social events. But I’m working really hard to not do that.

For the SAG Awards, I invited friends over. Only one friend, Robert, was able to come. But he and I had an awesome time! I love the SAG Awards. I mean, who wouldn’t love an award show that they get to vote for?

While watching the show, Robert and I shared who we had each voted for (sometimes we didn’t remember until they showed all the nominees for a category). A lot of people who I voted for won, which was awesome!

I think one of my favorite moments of the entire show was at the beginning. The first award was for female actor in a comedy series. And Uzo Aduba won for “Orange Is The New Black”. First of all, if you aren’t watching that show, go onto Netflix and watch the first 2 seasons! It’s incredible!

I voted for Uzo Aduba, and while I was happy that she won, that’s not what made it my favorite part. Right before she won, at the start of the show, they did the “I am an actor” introduction. She was one of the actors selected to participate in that segment. And she shared that she got her SAG-AFTRA card on “Orange Is The New Black”.

So her first major project was not only an awesome one, it’s an award-winning project for her (she also won for best cast ensemble for a comedy series).

That gives me so much hope. I know that her story is rare and there is usually a lot more career building before an award-winning performance, but it is possible to book something amazing without having to do a few co-star and guest star roles first.

Whenever I go in for a series regular role during pilot season, I hope more than anything that I will book it. I know a job like that can change my life and my career. But when I see who was cast in the part after pilot season is done, it’s usually someone with an established career. And yes, I am trying to get an established career, it just isn’t easy.

But it is possible for someone with so few credits as me to book one of these series regulars. If I am exactly who they want, the casting directors and producers won’t care what’s on my resume. I have to remind myself this if I get any pilot season auditions this year.

And on a silly note, I also have to share my second favorite part of the SAG Awards. I love getting to see my friend Woody’s name in the credits at the end as one of the producers of the show.


We are coming up on the end of the awards season and with the Oscars coming up soon, I have to hurry up and think about what my costume will be for the party!

Hitting Writer’s Block (or This Is Going To Be Me Rambling)

Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve had people ask me how I come up with things to write about every day.

Sometimes it’s easy. I do something cool, go to an awesome event, or learn something new about myself.

Sometimes I push myself to write about things that I’d rather not admit to the public (let alone myself).

And then there are days like today where honestly I have nothing to write about. I’ve been trying to come up with something for a few hours, and I’ve got nothing. I’m in a good routine in my life right now. I’ve been eating more meals that I cook myself, going to spin class, and been busy working.

I know that I’ll have some fun things to write about tomorrow and for a few days after that because I’ve got some really awesome things coming up. But for now, I’m pretty boring.

So I’m turning to all of you who read this and want to know something. What would you like me to write about? Do you want me to write more things about beauty (I’m hoping to do some more of that soon)? Do you like hearing about my struggles with my weight loss journey? Or do you just like reading whatever crazy things I have to say that day?

While I’m doing this blog partially for me (I’m in a much happier and better place since I’ve started writing), I want to make this blog educational (and maybe inspirational) for others as well.

So I’m open to your feedback! Try to keep it to positives. Like saying what you like or what you’d like to see more of instead of saying what you don’t like.

And I’m going to end this rambling post here. I have a couple of adventures planned for later today and I can’t wait to share them with you all soon!