The Belly of the Beast

(Source: Futurama FOX and Facebook.)

I booked my first job of the year yesterday morning. While I won’t share what the project is about, it does have a possibility of the footage being used on a national scale, which means it will also be my highest paying job. Needless to say, I was excited.

Then that bubble got popped. Later on I caught an article about James Franco and his involvement with teen girls and a revelation by Ally Sheedy. I guess it was a good thing I never worked on his project. Still I am complicit because I paid money to train at his school, paid money to see his film, and wrote a whole praise post about him.

Given how terrible the abuses are in this industry, it makes me wonder if I really should stay in? I know it’s wrong to assume that everyone in the industry is like that, or to try an jump ship so soon after making gains, but I just don’t know. All I do know is that I feel like a piece of crap right now.

Some Thoughts…

(Source: Facebook.)

I don’t have TV in my home right now. I haven’t had access since before I got laid off from my job and became homeless. Which leads me to watching everything by way of digital streaming and DVD. I didn’t watch the Golden Globes because of limited access, however, I tried to keep up with the program by way of recorded highlights and Twitter. There were two major takeaways I wanted to address because they involve a bit of shaming, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy.

First: Why are we shaming actresses who are not wearing black?

It wasn’t required dress code for the Golden Globes. It was an option to wear if you wanted to stand in solidarity with the women who were abused. That’s not an open invitation to abuse more women who chose not to wear black. We don’t know their stories or motivations as to why. Truthfully, it’s not our business to know. Much of the shaming came from other women too, which is incredibly disappointing and hypocritical.

Second: I understand the point Natalie Portman was trying to get across.

She was genuinely trying to call out the selection committee for not choosing any women directors for a nomination. Yeah that is wrong. The people that are siding with her, missed that major point and for some reason got mad at the nominees. Lest we not forget, Guillermo Del Toro, who is from Mexico; the country which bigoted constituents from my country are rallying to build a wall against; the country which our current leadership says has “Bad Hombres” coming from there; the country which our leadership deemed so dangerous, that they have emboldened ICE more than ever to rip families (including women) apart, and wrongfully profiled legal American citizens…

won.

Sometimes we get caught up in the marginalization of women that we forget about other marginalized groups as well. But I have already addressed that issue a few posts ago.

(Source: Facebook.)

James Bond Needs to Die

(Source: Facebook.)

Let me clarify, first, by saying I’m a big fan of the Bond movies…but I’m tired of them. All of this speculation going around the internet about who the next Bond should be is the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’ve gone on record on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook crying out that Bond needs to die. I will go further in detail here.

Spectre:

The most recent film in the franchise is the one that did it in for me. Besides the fact that they pulled the storyline from the 3rd Austin Powers installment, they wrote a terrible Bond Girl:

Bond’s main squeeze is a classic example of telling you that a female character is strong/intelligent/empowered but having her get beaten down/captured at almost every opportunity. Lea Seydoux’s Dr. Madeleine Swann is the most useless “tag-along girl” that James Bond has had in decades.

(Source: Forbes.com contributor Scott Mendelson.)

The biggest issue I have with the franchise is that 50% of the films are actually any good. With that being said, why to we want to put a black man or woman in the starrer role that could potentially flop? Why do we need to reboot at all? There are so many options and stories to tell in the Spy genre, that we really don’t need another Bond.

(Source: IMDb.com Jeffrey Wright in Casino Royale.)

If anything, the production company should make a Felix Leiter film. Felix is the U.S. equivalent of James Bond and is a C.I.A. agent. The name Felix is unisex so the character can be a he or a she. With that in mind, and with a little bit of bias, I would like the character to continue to be portrayed by Jeffrey Wright. I say with bias because he and my uncle attended school together as kids and he has always been kind, even years later (when my uncle told us that he bumped into him in L.A.)

But I digress. It’s not my decision to make how they go forward with the films. Though my attendance to the newest film is questionable at best.

Bots

(Source: Facebook.)

This meme was originally tweeted out in response to Don Cheadle’s retweeting of a random bot on Twitter. It was directed to the bot and not to Mr. Cheadle. I decided not to sully Mr. Cheadle’s tweet with my response and instead, I’m using it here. Why? Let me share the tweet. Just so you know, Don Cheadle is a real person, David Goodman in this account is not:

(Source: Twitter.)

So, a few thoughts…First and foremost, I’m getting super tired and annoyed with bots and real people telling celebrities, who engage in politics, to shut up and entertain. They are tax paying citizens just like the rest of us. Believe it or not, I get tax deductions taken out of my acting checks and so do they. It’s also very rude to say that all an actor, musician, athlete, celebrity of any sort is only there to be a minion and entertain you. Especially since you have no idea where they came from or how they became celebrities in the first place. Some come from wealthy families, others like myself, came from the dirt. Either way it’s still a job, so we are working just like anyone else on this planet.

Second, I’m getting REALLY sick and tired of troll accounts and bots that are coming out of the woodwork on all forms of social media. They are doing the absolute MOST to divide and piss everyone off. For example: yesterday, a troll account tried to spread a rumor that black women were boycotting the upcoming Black Panther movie. The reason was that Michael B. Jordan, who plays the villain in the film, has a non-black girlfriend in real life.

(Source: Facebook.)

Seriously?! No black women are boycotting this movie! We don’t care! We are watching this film! And yet, a bunch of men on Twitter believed it and tried to drag us! 🤦🏽‍♀️

(Source: Tenor.)

Aren’t people aware that there are more sinister things at work here? These distractions are placed there to ruin us and they’re working. Bots like the one Mr. Cheadle retweeted, should not have had any sort of engagement whatsoever, and yet here we are. He has a massive platform and now that bot has more exposure. That means more fake profiles and cyberattacks.

Instead, here is a good rule of thumb: just block them. It’s not like the admins of Twitter are really doing anything to solve the problem anyhow.

Stans

(Source: Urban Dictionary, contributed by Terminator-C)

As I logged onto Twitter this morning I saw a massive outcry about a video posted by YouTuber Logan Paul. Apparently he and his crew went to a forest in Japan that is said to be haunted by people who commit suicide there and no one is permitted to enter the forest. Not only did Paul and his crew break the rules, they also discovered a corpse that was hanging from a tree, then proceeded to laugh and joke about it. This is troubling as hell, but not as troubling as the fans who are defending him; which is what I want to talk about today.

We have a huge problem with Stanning here in the U.S. currently, and it has become increasingly frustrating and damaging to the human spirit as a whole. So far I have read online from a few of his Stans:

“He is just trying to raise awareness for suicide.”

“Laughing and joking is just a way to cope with something so shocking.”

My favorite one…”he is literally trying to save the world by raising awareness.”

(Source: Facebook.)

Nah.

What he attempted to do was give a half-assed lecture about suicide awareness as justification to post the videos and display his douchebaggery. He was not trying to save the world and only regretted the backlash he received from followers that are not Stans. His apology was equally as shitty.

(Source: Facebook.)

So what is the psychology behind Stanning? That I can’t explain. Though I do notice that it tends to happen, more often than not, to public people who see little to no repercussions for their actions. Even with this kind of backlash, Logan Paul will be able to worm his way out of it somehow and maybe that’s why they root for him…because they want to be able to get away with bad behavior.

(Source: Purplekecleon Tumblr.)

Even I had an exchange with a Stan. You can see in the comments section of my post “Dear Amber Rose” which they could not defend her rude comments about the women from Philadelphia. However if I listened to the rest of her interview it would somehow redeem her in my eyes. I took their recommendation and watched the whole interview and the result I came to was that her rude comment about Philly women contradicts her overall feminist message. No, she didn’t win me over.

(Source: Facebook.)

Which leads me to some thoughts about my situation. As you well know, I too work in the entertainment industry. I want to create good content and generate an audience that supports me and keeps me working. However, I don’t want to get to the point where I believe I’m untouchable. It’s already been a struggle to get to where I’m at presently, and sustaining it will be even harder. It may have to come down to whether the pressure to sustain is greater than the loss of leaving. While I’m not famous by any means, I think I will have to walk away if it comes to the point where I’m too comfortable to defend the indefensible, or I’m too passive and let Stans run wild.

In any case, it’s not healthy. No one should be held at the same pedestal as a Deity, no matter how famous or important you are.

Hollywood Feminism

(Source: The View ABC.)

I really wanted to avoid posting about this topic at all, however I cannot hold in what I feel about this anymore. Why? Let me show you the photo:

(Source: LA Times. What’s wrong with this picture?)

The reason why I call it “Hollywood Feminism” is due to the new wave of feminism made cool again, by famous women who are not of color, wealthy, cisgendered, and contemptuous of women who do sex work. We applaud these women and give them a damn medal, but the voices of women of color, transgender, and sex workers are missing. It just makes me want to throw up.

I will be flamed for this post, but I don’t care anymore. It makes it next to impossible for me to fight for the movement, when at the end of the day, my voice is neglected to be heard. No one cares, no one believes me, I don’t matter. So why should I bother?

(Source: Snapchat.)

There are ways to improve this narrative that is healthy for all: Like INCLUDING WOMEN OF COLOR IN THESE INTERVIEWS. Believe us when we also report that we have been sexually assaulted (side eyeing you Lena Dunham.)

Hire us, stop casting us in stereotypical roles, or whitewashing roles that are meant for us. Allow us to tell original stories and not reboot crap all of the time. It’s amazing what difference it will make in the long run.

End Rant.

Money Management

(Source: Facebook.)

It’s looking like I’m going to stay stateside. I had a conference call with my family yesterday and the money situation is so bad, that I’m not sure I would make it to February. My family would prefer that I still go as they are not happy about my decision (with the exception of my dad, who like me, sees that it is not sustainable.)

I still plan to go to school and I want to start in September of 2018; when the course cycle starts. Until then, there are some things I want to do here to make myself better prepared for success. Besides submitting my paperwork for the union, I also want to take a personal finance course. They offer these for free or low cost in my city.

I figure this would be a benefit to me since I have a hard time managing a varied income. When I worked traditional jobs, I was accustomed to seeing a regular check bi-weekly or weekly. When it was structured like that, it was very easy to stay on top of bills and manage a savings. Things went downhill after I was laid off and had to work jobs and gigs with varied incomes. Working at Starbucks did provide me some structure, but I made so little money that my financial situation was not improving. It’s been a scramble since then.

All of this came about when I watched a video by Marie Forleo. She talked about using her regular income to support her art, as opposed to having her art support her. As a result, she had less stress and was able to build her art/business into something that could actually support her. This is something I really want as I’m tired of struggling.

I’m Stuck…

(Source: Someecards.)

The decision to go to school is rapidly approaching and this is everything I have ever wanted. However something else came up that I have always wanted too: my union eligibility.

(Source: Memegenerator.net)

Why not both? There are a lot of factors that come into play:

•Money. I don’t have an abundance of it and I don’t have the good credit needed to take out a loan for either school or for my initiation fee. All of it will come out of my pocket. I’m stuck in an either/or situation.

•I won’t be able to take advantage of my union membership fully if I’m out of the country and in school. I’m not saying they aren’t available, on the contrary, SAG is a world-wide union. However, my school schedule will be a full course load and they have a strict attendance policy. This means I won’t be able to miss any days to shoot, otherwise I will fail the course. Plus, in order to work in my new country, I have to be approved for a work permit. Which could take up to two months for that to happen, and I’m only permitted to work 20 hours a week during the semester.

• There are more gigs stateside that I am a better fit for. (Believe me, I checked.) Working on some of those with a union contract would greatly improve my financial situation.

• I was supposed to be fully eligible back in September, but the production company cut my shoot schedule from 3 days, down to 2. The fact that I earned my last waiver so late in the year, and so close to when I would have just said yes, and take off for Ireland gives me major pause. I feel like I’m on the cusp of something big here and I don’t know what it is.

•But still, it’s Ireland and what I really wanted. I collapsed and had a nervous breakdown when I couldn’t go. To just turn it away now would be insane. I don’t think the scholarship offer is set in stone if I need to push back my start date. But I really can’t afford to start right now either.

Needless to say, I’m sick and guilty about the whole situation. What do I do?

After Audition Review, Life Assessment and Self-Care

(Source: Someecards.)

As expected, I bombed my audition. I forgot the words to my monologue and my song, and just couldn’t recover. My nerves got the best of me, as well as the feeling of a panic attack coming on. Oh well.

If there was ever a better reason for more training, this is it. My lack of experience showed it’s ass last night. After my horrible audition, I had to go out to work in the snow, to put out real estate signs (the reality of being kind of a loser hit me right there and then.)

(Source: Spongebob Squarepants and Nickelodeon.)

I’m going to have to make some assessments about what I’m doing with my life and work; because even though I’m making some ground, I have to wade through a lot of crap to get there. No, I don’t expect to have things come easy. However, I shouldn’t be left worse off than when I started. A woman I follow by the name of Lux Atl (she’s an awesome lady) on social media asked an open question: how did you grow in 2017? I really didn’t have a good takeaway. Yes, I have had some damn good things happen to me this year; but the steps for me to get there left me angrier, sadder, less trusting, and for the most part…exhausted. I don’t feel like that is a good sign of growth, and trying to practice gratitude under those circumstances makes me feel more guilty that I’m worn out.

(Source: Facebook.)

So where does that leave me right now? Well, I decided to practice some self-care today by going to the Christmas Village in Center City between my work shifts at the Playhouse. I figure if I take in some of the sights and the sounds, I could possibly get into the Christmas spirit. I also may pop by a consignment store too for a pair of new jeans since I’m on my third busted denim casualty of the year.

Getting Ready For My Audition

(Source: Thespian Peacock Tumblr and Pinterest.)

I’m super nervous about tonight. The weather is absolute crap right now and I have to walk through this frozen tundra after I get off the train to get to the audition site. Plus I’ve been practicing my monologue and 30 seconds of a song, it’s just not clicking. I’m still going to go tonight, but it already feels like a wash.

For my monologue, I went with Orlando’s opening monologue in As You Like It. The casting group wanted a monologue from one of Shakespeare’s comedies and I have performed it before. My song is Who Wants To Live Forever by Queen. Both pieces are a total scramble in my mind right now.

I was hoping this would run smoother, but no…

(Source: Facebook and Tyler Perry.)