Tag Archives: twitter

Working On Priorities (or Adding And Taking Away)

Happy September! The beginning of a month brings the end to one monthly challenge and the beginning to another. And this time, my monthly challenges are related to each other. When I started doing monthly challenges, they were such huge things. Now, I’m getting to where I’ve made a lot of major changes and now I’m focusing on the small things. Sometimes it’s tough for me to remember that small changes can matter as much as big ones, but I’m glad I’m able to focus on changing things in my life even when it’s on such a small scale.

My monthly challenge in August was to work on seeing what things I’m doing every day that isn’t making me happy anymore. This was a tough challenge to decide to do because I don’t like being a quitter and not doing something anymore makes me feel like I gave up on myself. But it was getting to a point in my life where I was looking at my daily reminders and it was stressing me out too much. And it’s not benefitting me if doing those things every day was causing me stress.

I tried to be as nonjudgmental as possible this past month to see what I wanted to keep and what I felt ok not doing anymore. And it came down to 3 things that I felt ok taking off my daily reminders. The first thing I got rid of was my daily reminder to weigh myself. I used to get some peace out of weighing myself every day and being able to track how fluctuations happen. But that stopped being a good thing after I stopped taking birth control pills. I now have weight fluctuations due to my hormones and I haven’t gotten my mind to catch up with that idea yet. And until that happens, I don’t want to feel guilty for not weighing myself every day. I do still weigh myself most days, but I don’t feel like I need a reminder to do it anymore.

The next one that I got rid of was a reminder to do yoga every day. I haven’t done this is a while and I had the reminder on my phone. It was making me feel bad that I didn’t do it because I know I should get back into it. But my schedule and life have been hectic lately and it comes down to not wanting to feel guilty about not doing it. So it is off my schedule now and maybe in the future I will put it back on. But I might change it to be from a daily reminder to something I remind myself to do a few times a week.

The last one I took off of my reminders it to be mindful before eating, specifically mindfulness before dinner. I have more recently added to take breathing breaks to my schedule. I put those on my reminders at the times that are usually the most difficult for me. Having those as a part of my daily reminders (and I do take those breathing breaks and they do tend to help) has made the mindfulness before dinner reminder not something as important to me.

While I spent this past month taking things off of my schedule, this month I’m focusing on adding something to my schedule. I’ve talked about wanting to be more active in SAGAFTRA several times in the past. And that’s what my challenge for September is going to be about. While I can’t control when meetings, mixers, or events happen; I can still stay active every day as a union member.

I thought about what ways I could be involved every day and there were a few ideas that came to me. But I want to start small while I figure out what the best option will be for me. So the idea that I came up with is sending out at least one tweet every day that is union related. That could be something like news, a victory the union has won, or something that is relevant for SAG-AFTRA members to know about. I have a feeling that most of the time I will be retweeting something I see, but that’s ok. The important thing is that I want to be putting out a positive message for SAG-AFTRA members (and all union members) every day.

I might use Hootsuite to schedule tweets to do this, but since things can change so quickly and the news cycle is not as long as it used to be I might just have to be more active on twitter in general to see what I want to share. This isn’t a bad thing for me since I have wanted to be more involved with twitter and not just be passive reading other people’s tweets. I want to be a good messenger and I think doing union related tweets daily will be a great way for me to do that.

Watching The Oscars (or Costumes and Twitter)

I’m sure by now you have all seen and read about what happened at the Oscars. If you haven’t here’s a great article about how the wrong film was announced as best picture, how it happened, and what was done to try to correct it. While that is a huge part of what happened at the Oscars, that was only a small time at the party I was at.

I went to Chris and Marie’s house for the Oscars as I have every year for a long time. It’s a great party every year and I’m always looking forward to it. The group of people who go to the party are a mix of those of us who take the Oscars very seriously and those who aren’t super into the awards but love any opportunity to dress up and hang out.

I had an idea for a costume around New Year’s Eve, but it seemed too complicated for me to figure out how to make and I gave up on it. I had another idea for a costume and even went out and bought things for it, but I decided that I wouldn’t be comfortable in the costume. I started researching what movies came out in 2016 (since the only rule for costumes is that it needs to be related to a movie that came out in the past year), and finally found the perfect idea for me!

I went as Anthony Weiner’s twitter account (inspired by the documentary “Weiner”). I had a dry erase board with his twitter profile picture where people could write tweets and I wrote on tape on my body a couple of statements Anthony Weiner had made after his scandals were in the news. It was another easy/lazy costume, but fortunately people at the party found it really clever and fun.

As always, Chris and Marie decorated their house and yard for the party. This year, the theme was Arrival and they did an amazing job making decorations that were exactly like the movie. I especially loved the photo set up they made with the aliens from the movie!

Since there is a mix of people at the party, the viewing areas are split up. There is the quiet room and the regular viewing area. The quiet room used to be much more quiet, but over the years we’ve gotten a bit chattier. We are still very quiet during all the speeches, but we will occasionally talk or say a comment during the show. And of course we are super chatty during the commercials. But my favorite party of the quiet room is that the video is projected onto the wall of a room so we have a giant screen to watch on!

We have ballots to use for the guess the winners contest at the party, but pretty quickly I knew I wasn’t going to do so well with that. While “La La Land” wasn’t my favorite movie of the year, I knew so many critics loved it and I assumed it was going to win more awards than it did. I also hadn’t seen all of the animated, documentary, or short films so for many of those I had to guess. But so many people and films that I wanted to win did and I was really enjoying the show.

Then there was the moment when the wrong movie was announced as Best Picture. I don’t think I’ve heard so much screaming before during the Oscars. We were all so confused (as was probably everyone watching) and we couldn’t believe what was happening. I’m glad that the error was corrected during the show so the producers from “Moonlight” could get up and speak, but I know that it was a moment during the ceremony that will not be forgotten. I know it was an honest mistake, but it was a big mistake.

I think everyone was in shock after the awards were done, but we all headed to the backyard to start the costume contest. We all go around and announce what our costumes are so we can vote. When I announced my costume, I got a bunch of laughs, but I knew that my costume wasn’t going to be a winner. So many people had amazing costumes and I was just happy to see how creative other people can be.

I loved my friend Regan’s Hidden Figures costume (she was with some friends who played other characters from the movie). Their group got first place in the costume contest.

And the funniest costume I saw was actually the costume I was originally thinking of doing! When I went to see Dr. Strange, I immediately thought how cool it would be to go as the cape from the movie. I was trying to figure out how to make a cape look like it was levitating in front of me, but I never could figure out a simple enough solution. But my friend Andy figured out a really easy way to do it and I think his costume looked so much better than anything I could have done!

After the costume winners were announced, the party started to wind down pretty quickly. Most of the people at the party had to work the next morning (I had an early workout the next morning) so a lot of people were trying to get home. I left pretty early too, but since that’s when most people were leaving I didn’t feel like I was missing too much of the party. I went around saying goodbye to all of my friends and walked out to my car.

On a random side note, this was the first party since my car died on New Year’s Eve and it was a little stressful driving home. Even though I have a totally different car, I was still paranoid something would happen on my drive home. I’m sure I’ll feel like that for a while because things like that stick with me. But I got home safely and I’m so glad that I have a car that doesn’t have any problems!

Overall, it was yet another amazing party for the Oscars. I love getting together to watch the show and it makes me feel a part of an amazing community. Most of us know at least one person who works at the Oscars (I know 3 or 4), and we love getting to celebrate movies and be proud of our friends who are there. Hopefully one day I’ll get to attend the show in person, but I know if that happens I’ll probably miss going to the party since that’s what I look forward to each year!

Realizing My Reach (or Geeking Out Over A Tweet)

I know that people read this blog. I check my site stats (sometimes a bit obsessively), I have friends and family comment to me in real life about something I said on here, and I have people comment on the blog itself. I know that some people think that I’m brave for what I’m writing on here, but I’m just trying to be honest with myself. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone.

But even though I’m doing this more for myself than anyone else, sometimes knowing that somebody read your blog can just change your day.

Yesterday, I had an @ reply come through on twitter. Not an uncommon occurrence, and I didn’t check it right away. But once I did check my replies, I had a little freakout.

This is what I saw:

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Jennifer Weiner is one of my all time favorite writers (I mentioned her in this post a while back). I can’t believe that she reads my blog! I’m still kind of geeking out over the fact that she follows me on twitter!

And even though I know that a bunch of you read this (obviously, otherwise you wouldn’t be seeing this post), knowing that one person who I truly look up to reads this (and without me personally sending her the posts to read) just freaks me out a little bit.

I am careful with what I say on here without trying to censor myself. I know that for any future jobs when potential employers google my name that this blog will come up. I try to be honest but not hurtful.

I know that anybody in the world can read this. And for some posts, I hope that lots of people read it and get inspired, hope, or knowledge from it. That’s why I’m being so open about things. For so long, I was quiet about all my struggles. And I thought that I was the only one going through them. But as I open up other people come forward and share their struggles as well. It’s so refreshing to live a more honest life and have more honest people surrounding me.

Quick note I wanted to add on here after I wrote this post on Thursday morning. I went out to lunch with my parents Thursday afternoon (I’ll share that story next week). I mentioned to my mom about Jennifer Weiner tweeting at me, and my mom mentioned how she was just starting one of her books, “The Next Best Thing”. I love when my life comes full circle like that!

LA Actors Tweetup (or My LA Family)

On Monday, after hearing about what happened in Boston, a lot of people I know wanted to spend time with their family. None of my family is very local (I couldn’t drive down to San Diego after working an 8 hour day and then needing to work the next day), so spending time with them wasn’t an option.

Fortunately, that night was the LA Actors Tweetup. I think I’ve mentioned the tweetup before, but it pretty much is just a fun group that gets together every month or so. Yes, most of us are actors and are on twitter, but everyone is welcome.

The tweetups starting back in 2010, and it was at a very weird point in my life. It was right after my friendship with my college best friend ended, and I kind of lost all my friends and social life when that happened. So I went to the tweetups very open to meeting new people and making new friends, and I’m so glad that I did! Some of my best friends now are people I’ve met through the tweetups!

So Monday, after my shift at work was over, I headed out to Busby’s East, where pretty much all the tweetups happen. I had a really great time  that nights, and it was exactly what I needed after reading everything that was going on in Boston.

I got to see Gedaly, who I’m pretty sure I met through the tweetups (sometimes it’s hard to remember!), who gave me some great advice about this blog and my actor website.

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He’s actually checking out the blog in this picture.

I also got a chance to catch up with Ben, who is one of the creators of the tweetup event.

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I stayed as late as I could, but I had to get home so I could get up early enough the next day do get everything I done that I needed to do before my work shift started (I already miss unemployment!). But Ben promised to wear my name tag to promote my twitter account after I left.

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This was exactly what I needed to do on Monday night. Good friends, good conversation, and a lot of fun.

And if any of you are in the LA area and want to come to the next tweetup, check out the website. The tweetups are about every 6 weeks and the next one will be on June 3rd. I hope to see some readers there then!

A Book Nerd’s Dream (or My Fabulous Lunch With Lindsey Kelk)

I’ve previously mentioned on here that I’m a bit of a book nerd. In that previous post, I mention how I love Lindsey Kelk‘s I Heart series.

Well I was able to connect with Lindsey over twitter (and you all know how much I love twitter!). She had mentioned being in LA for something, and I asked her if she would be doing a reader event while in LA. She wasn’t, but somehow over a bunch of tweets, we ended up making plans to get lunch together!

We decided to go to La Sandia (based on it being Mexican food and there being a lot of parking right there). And I have to say, walking up to meet Lindsey at the restaurant, I was nervous.

Obviously, I’m a fan of hers, but I didn’t want to be a creepy fan.

Well, lucky for me, I didn’t nerd out too much over lunch. Lindsey was so nice and friendly toward me from the get go. We spent a lot of time just chatting about life and our mutual hatred toward some certain reality stars.

We did chat a bit about her books. Mostly about how she’s got a deadline coming up and needed to get on it. And since so much of the other stuff we were talking about (like my online dating experiences) were so funny, I was more than happy to talk about “normal” things and not “fan” things.

Best of all, I found out that she is a Disneyland person too! So we made plans to go to Disneyland when she is in LA next month!

We ended up having lunch for about 4 hours and then parted ways, but I’m totally looking forward to our Disneyland adventure soon!

As I was driving home, I was thinking about how star struck I get about authors. I don’t really get that way over actors. But maybe it’s because I look at actors as my peers and they are doing things that I want to and can see myself doing.

I don’t think I could ever write a book. The way that authors create an entire world and make you fall in love with their characters is incredible!

I’m so glad that I was not a creepy weirdo fan at my lunch. I knew it was a possibility, but Lindsey was so cool, she totally put me at ease right away.

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And if you haven’t read one of Lindsey’s books yet, shame on you, and go get a copy of the first book in her I Heart series now!

The Fear of Missing Out (or The Power of No)

For a long time, if someone invited me to something or asked me to help them out, I’d say yes pretty much any time.

You need someone to take you to the airport? Of course.

You’re birthday party is coming up and need a designated driver? Not a problem.

You want me in your student film? Totally!

If there was a party or event on a night that I wasn’t out-of-town, I was there. Part of the reason was because after my friendship with my college best friend ended, I realized that I was lacking a bit in Los Angeles friends. So I went outside of my comfort zone to try to meet new people.

And I’m super grateful I did that, because I have an amazing group of friends now, most of whom I met at various parties and events.

I don’t know if it’s an actor thing that I’m always saying yes to things. You never know who might be at that event that could be the person who changes your career or knows of the perfect part for you. It does happen. I met my agents because of a co-worker I met when I did Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios in 2007. If I didn’t do HHN, I doubt I would have my agents (who I absolutely love!).

But lately I’ve been trying to take back some power and say no to opportunities that don’t exactly fit me or my schedule. For example, this past Monday was the LA Actor Tweetup. I love going to the tweetups, and I’ve pretty much never missed one.

However, this Monday I was working until 8:30 and on work nights I try to be in bed by 11:30. By the time I would have gotten to the tweetup, I would have only spent about 30 minutes there before I would have gone home so I could eat a late dinner.

Could I have done that? Sure. But I really didn’t feel like going in to say hello just to have to say goodbye a few minutes later. So I went straight home from work, had my late dinner, and was in bed when I was hoping to be.

As far as acting jobs go, I’ve pretty much said sure to all that have been offered to me. My agents are aware of things I’m not really willing to do (nudity and shave my head are the two main ones), so I’m not auditioning for things that I would necessarily have a problem with. The only acting job I have turned down was for a webseries that I self-submitted on. At the audition, I put my agents’ contact information down instead of my own, and when the director called to book me, he was very furious that he had to go through my agents. When I finally talked to him, he said the only way he would still book me is if I didn’t tell my agents I was working on this and to give him my personal phone number and address.

Obviously a ton of red flags went up with that, so I turned down the job (I think my agents called him back and said that I suddenly had to join the union so I was unable to book non-union any more).

I’m trying not to think about who I might have met at the tweeup this week and what I missed out on. There is plenty of other events in the future that I know I’ll go to. And it did kind of feel good to say no to something when I really didn’t feel like going.

Sharing With The World (or The Screening Finally Happened)!

Tuesday evening was the screening for “140Characters: A Documentary About Twitter” which I helped to create and produce. I was so happy to be able to share the documentary with the world! We have been working on it for so long, but it was worth it!

We screened at the Autry Screening Room, and the first thing I saw was a couple of our awesome posters.

 

I was pretty busy working at the screening, so I didn’t get a ton of pictures. It seemed like everyone liked the film. There were moments where everyone was laughing, and during the more somber parts it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

After the film, we got a nice loud round of applause. Even though I have seem our film what seems like 100s of times looking things over, it’s so different seeing it on a big screen. As soon as the opening credits came up, tears came to my eyes I because I was just so happy!

After the screening, there was a Q&A with the production team as well as the subjects. Most of the questions were focused on our subjects which included Heather Spohr of The Spohrs Are Multiplying as well as Friends of Maddie and Dave Danhi of The Grilled Cheese Truck.

We did manage to get a group photo after (sorry it’s blurry, I forgot my regular camera).

 

After the Q&A, we gathered outside for some more photos.

Here I am with the wonderful Heather Spohr (who inspired me to start this blog).

 

And here I am with fellow bloggers J and Matt Logelin.

 

There was an outing to a bar after the screening, but because I had an early day at work the next morning, I couldn’t make it.

To my readers who made it to the screening, thank you! I wish I could have chatted more with everyone there, but it was a bit crazy. And if you couldn’t make it but want to see the documentary, we are selling copies of it on our website.

Even though it was fun being behind the camera this time, I can’t wait to be in front of it again soon!

Debate (or Making Politics More Fun)

Last night was another presidential debate. I’ll admit that I’m not the most educated person when it comes to politics, but I’m trying.

I’ve voted in each election that I could, and I do have some strong opinions on things. I’m not going to share those on here, but if you really care what I think, you can see my tweets.

Last night’s debate was the first time that I was home for the entire thing. And I was watching it while I kept twitter open. The tweets that were coming through were pretty damn funny.

Having twitter as a live commentator made the debate so much more fun and in some ways easier to follow. I did write some snarky tweets, but there were some things that were said that made me pretty mad.

I highly recommend that if you aren’t on twitter, get on there before the next debate next week. If you follow the hashtag #debate, you’ll be able to follow everyone who is talking about it. If you don’t know how to get on twitter and you want my help, let me know. I’m more than happy to help any of my readers.

No matter who you want to vote for, please vote. If you don’t, then you better not complain for the next 4 years.

Also, on a selfish note, I had a tweet go a little crazy last night. I’m pretty excited that something that I said got a lot of people talking. That’s just amazing and proves how interactive politics have become.

#140Characters (or How To See The Documentary That I Produced)

I love twitter. Honestly love it. Right now, the push notifications for my twitter app on my iPhone isn’t working and I’m getting crazy frustrated about that.

Over a year ago, a few friends and I got together and discussed how much we loved twitter and how it’s done some amazing things for people. And we decided to make a documentary about the positive power of twitter.

We worked really hard on it. We got some amazing people to share their story and we filmed a little bit of all of their lives.

And now, we are ready to share this amazing project with the world!

I’m super excited to share with all of you the first screening of “#140Characters: A Documentary About Twitter”.

(Our fabulous movie poster)

You are all welcome to attend the screening. It will be on October 30th and free tickets are available here.

If you’d like to check out our trailer, you can see that here.

Please feel free to share this information with anyone. We want to share this movie with the world.

I’m so proud of this project. I’m normally not behind the camera, but I feel so strongly about this subject that I had to be part of it.

Check out the trailer, get your free tickets (only free until Oct. 20th), and I hope that I’ll see a bunch of you there on the 30th!

 

Thank You (or I Should Have Done This Sooner)

I’m feeling so loved after writing yesterday’s post. Thank you all so much.

When I wrote it, I deleted and re-wrote it several times. I wondered if I should really put it all out there. I wondered if anyone would read it. I wondered what people would think.

And what I got was a lot of love and support. Thank you all for the comments, tweets (BTW, you can follow me on twitter, I’m @thejenlevin), Facebook posts, emails, and texts. I read every single thing sent to me, and several of them made me tear up. I know that I made the right decision by being this honest this early in my blogging experience.

I’m feeling so free and energized now. I never knew that by holding that in, I was hurting myself so much.

I hope that I can inspire at least one of you to go and put your whole self out there. Even if you are scared about being judged, know that the person who is judging you the hardest is yourself.

I know that after yesterday, my confidence has grown so much. I feel a lot more sure of myself. I know that it sounds so cheesy saying all of this, but it’s true. And I would have never believed this if it wasn’t happening to me.

Thank you again all so much. I hope that you are going to continue reading my journey. It’s really only just begun.