In My Orbit: Bryan Cranston’s Advice to Aspiring Actors

7 10 2013
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This sage advice from one of my favorite actors can be applied to any profession. Shine. Be who you are. Honor the space. The outcome is not up to you…

Bryan Cranston\’s advice to aspiring actors

via Bryan Cranston’s Advice to Aspiring Actors.

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In My Orbit…

16 04 2012

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There’s been so much floating in my universe, that it has been hard to know where to begin to write. Of course, that results in not writing about anything, which is no solution either. So I have decided to begin categorizing all of my happenings under certain headings within “In My Orbit” (borrowing shamelessly from Douglas Adams, one of my favorite authors). It gives me an excuse to write more, and not feel torn about what to include and/or exclude.

Life

“We have no control over when or how we die, but we do have control over how we live.” — from Fried Chicken and Sympathy

My world has recently been impacted by the death of two dear people: a wonderful man named Jack Gilbert, and my cousin, Ricky Morgan.

Jack Gilbert, 2011

They say dogs know a good person, and dogs and cats loved Jack. Captured by his good friend and mine, Sarah Lucy Beach.

I met Jack Gilbert through Premise, an entertainment industry prayer fellowship. He was one of its leaders, both in role, and in example. I left Premise for a time, and it was due to Jack’s encouragement that I chose to return. Jack shaped lives through his deep commitment to Jesus Christ, and his teaching of screenplay writing at places like Warner Bros., Act One, Azusa Pacific University, and Columbia College Hollywood, among others. But he impacted through his quiet presence, his wisdom, and his delight of the arts, literature, and especially Casablanca! He delighted in bringing people together, whether it was a prayer group, writer’s group, book salon, or a movie. Jack was a great listener, a solid mentor, and from my relationships with others who were his friends, an excellent person. He embodied a life well lived, and his passing has left a huge void not only in the entertainment world, but many lives.

I didn’t know him half as well as others did, but he left a great impression by the weight of his presence and his life. Jack was always a man of grace, nobility, and gentle strength. What I would describe as “Meekness”. Matthew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Jack did inherit the earth, not through a powerhouse position or personality, but by just being, Jack. Now, he has received his ultimate inheritance! It’s bittersweet. He is in Heaven, which is awesome for Him, but the world has lost a tremendous presence and talent. But like all who leave a legacy of righteousness, their work and worth continues, long after they have left this earth. I know that will be the case with Jack.

His close friends and family held a private funeral service, but because of the wealth of his life through his investment in people and the community, there will be a more public memorial in May, that I plan to attend. The older I get, the more deaths I face, the greater importance I place on honoring those who have passed on.

My cousin Ricky died suddenly on Good Friday, and it broke my heart. He was a favorite, and more like another brother than a cousin. Ricky lived with us for a time when I was younger, and he and my brother Theodore were constant companions and running buddies. I probably heard more than a six-year-old should hear about the misadventures of young adult men, but I enjoyed being the mascot. Unlike my sisters, Theodore and Ricky liked my company, and they treated me like a person, rather than a kid who was underfoot.

Mike (left), Aunt Allene (middle), and Ricky at the Foxx Family Reunion, 2005. R.I.P. my cousin.

Ricky was hilarious. He had a sharp wit, a great laugh, and a radiant smile that charmed everyone. Ricky, his mother (my aunt) Allene, and his brother Mike moved on to Northern California, and his absence left a huge hole in my young life. When I moved to California in my adult years, I was able to reconnect with him. He had since moved to Southern California, and with my sister June and her daughter Gabi, we went to visit him and his then-wife. I was writing Fried Chicken and Sympathy during that time, and he was able to share stories, give insight, and piece together some family history that had been missing.

The last time I saw him was at our Foxx Family Reunion in 2005. He looked rested and happy, was his usual chipper and hilarious self, warm, welcoming and loving, as always.  I still cannot believe he is gone, and it is still up in the air about whether there will be a service or memorial where the rest of the family and friends can mourn his loss.

Whether that happens or not, Ricky knew Jesus too, so I will see him again in Heaven, where we can laugh together.

I am thankful for the personal impact of both these men, and that through their death, as well as in their life, they continue to instruct. As Psalm 90:12 states, “So teach us to number our days,that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I am more attuned to counting the cost of my life.

The Universe

Part of the counting of my days is my work with job seekers and career transitioners. One of the ways I do this is my participation (and sometimes chairmanship) of CareerCamp events in Southern California.

CareerCampLA is coming up this Friday, April 20 from 9 am to 12 pm, at Los Angeles Southwest College, 1600 West Imperial Highway, Los Angeles, CA 90044.  Do I need to say it is well worth your time? Trust me, it is.

The day is geared toward “Building the Career That You Deserve” through workshops, seminars and breakout sessions. The agenda is set by the attendees, so you get your most burning questions answered. CareerCamp is a positive event focused on you and your needs in developing your career.

What I love about CareerCamp is that it’s NOT a job fair, but a workshop designed to hone your skills and give you the information you need to make the next step in your career. That next step may be starting your own business, or changing careers–it’s less about enabling and more about empowerment. If you want to be empowered to make the changes necessary to discover your career direction and life’s passion, then register here.

Everything

My world has been transformed by Yoga, and now I am able to lead others through its transformative work. I teach classes at CorePower Yoga in Sherman Oaks on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also teach a Soul Flow class in Northridge on Thursday nights. The Monday 12:00 pm class, and the Soul Flow class are only $10–you can’t get out of Starbucks that cheaply, and its positive effects are better and last longer!

Like the CareerCamps, it is a privilege to help others on a journey of discovery that moves someone closer to their authentic self, and offer inspiration that helps them get a better handle on their purpose in life.

Speaking of that… time to rocket off to CorePower for my Monday classes. Hope to see you around my universe.

 





In My Orbit…

29 10 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s the weekend of All Hallow’s Eve. For you 99 percenters, that’s Halloween.

For certain Christians, this holiday is anathema, while others celebrate, preferring not to toss out good clean fun and fond memories of Halloween’s past for superstition and misplaced hysteria. Thanks to a friend, I got to thinking about those past Halloweens, and how they made a positive impact in my life. So I decided to reclaim the day in my own way. Read about it on my Examiner page: My return to All Hallow’s Eve.

I get to spend the rest of today hobnobbing with women professionals for At The Helm: Women in Biz 2011. Alaia Williams of the Entrepreneur Connection has created an event that will be the talk of the town! A full day of networking with entrepreneurs and industry leaders, engaging in panel discussions geared toward the business person, and a host of speakers from all across the spectrum.

At the top of my list: my friend Susan M. Baker (The Escape Hatcher), Lizzy Shaw (Lizzy Shaw PR), Nailah Blades (Polka Dot Coaching), and Lisa Steadman. But I am particularly excited about the energy and ideas generated when like-minded people come together. You’ll be hearing more about this when it’s all said and done.

Happy Saturday, and Happy Halloween!





Illustrating Absurdity

5 10 2011
Illustrating Absurdity

Chicken crossing by Peter Griffin/publicdomainpictures.net

It’s raining in Los Angeles today. The saving grace  is that we probably won’t have any Anti-Wall Street protesters in front of City Hall whining about the “Capitolist” and imperialism. People cancel appointments rather than drive in the rain around here, so do you think they’re going to make their way to a protest? Oh, I think not.

Manhattan has not fared so well, and I’m sure Wall Street and every other working person they have disrupted for the past two weeks are hoping for snow storms to drive out that lot.

You know your movement is whack when George Soros says he “sympathizes with protesters speaking out against corporate greed in ongoing protests on Wall Street[..]” The man who single-handedly funds many Democrat politician’s campaigns and PAC groups? Are you sh@tting me?

Even more absurd is Michael Moore waxing philosophical about this “movement” ad nauseum. This Fat (literally)-cat filmmaker who lives high on the hog off his returns from propaganda films, while railing against the capitalist system that allows him to rake in those very earnings, has always rung false. He’s a tool, but unfortunately, a loud one.

Alec Baldwin and Susan Sarandon are no better. Say Alec, what’s your annual salary from 30 Rock and all those endorsements, like Capital One?

Now that I’ve expressed my disdain, I’m going to finish an article for my Examiner job so that I can get more virtual pennies. Then it’s off to my other job as a Yoga instructor, where I hope my gas tank lasts to the next pay day.

I might be inclined to protest, but I’m too damn busy trying to earn a living.





In My Orbit…

29 09 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

CareerCampSFV and Social Media and Your Career were huge successes! But after planning two events back-to-back, along with my Yoga classes, writing and stirring all the other pots I have my fingers in, the Girl is, well… tired.

So I’ve been sorta taking the week off. More of a mental vacation than physical, as I still need to teach the Yoga. But I’ve probably taken more naps this week than I have in my entire life! I’ve turned 45 and become a napper–who would have thunk?!

Of course, my life would be remiss if I didn’t get back on the political junkie bandwagon. WARNING: This post will go long, but it will be well worth it!

This started with a Facebook post by my brother-in-law, who I have the utmost respect for in most areas, except his political leanings. I’m the black sheep of the family on a number of fronts, so why should politics be any different?

So he posted this chart (above), allegedly from the United States Department of the Treasury, about who really increased the deficit. Of course, it was the usual “blame Republican Presidents, Democrat Presidents are perfect” stuff.

I have no idea whether this actually came from the U.S. Treasury. Even if it did, we have a Secretary of the Treasury who is a known tax evader, and the height of the propaganda machine that exists in the Obama administration is legend–Can you say Attack Watch.com boys and girls?

I’m more inclined to believe the Heritage Foundation’s numbers. Yes, they are a conservative think-tank, but their work is respected across party lines, and generally reality-based.

Heritage Foundation: The Truth about Obama’s Budget Deficit’s, in Pictures.

So I chimed in on my BOL’s post with these comments. First, that “he’s a disaster”, then, with clarification on whom I considered the disaster and the reasons why I feel this is the case:

“President Obama. Unemployment was less than 6 percent at the end of both those Republican President’s (Reagan/Bush) terms. Businesses were able to grow and hire people. Obama has not been in office for one term and unemployment is 9.2 percent, and 16.9 among African-Americans. He has no interest in creating jobs and he has no interest in helping his people–he only wants to save himself and get re-elected.”

Of course it was met with disagreement by a number of people, and then the discussion went down the rabbit hole of how opposed the President is, and how he is not given a fair chance, “because he’s black!”

SMH.

After another clarifying and challenging comment, I gave up, because I liked my mental vacation better than a fruitless debate.

A nice young man, who happened to see my posts, private-messaged me. He thanked me for my courage in stating my views, and agreed with me that this President is no friend of anyone but himself, and anyone who can keep him in office.

I messaged him back, thanking him for his feedback, and added:

“It makes me very sad that my people are only interested in supporting a ‘Black President’ without looking at his accomplishments or his character, or holding him accountable for all he is not doing for the American people or Black people.”

Sixteen-point-nine percent unemployment among Blacks. Almost double the national average. I don’t even count myself among that number, because I do my own work, and I refuse to be another Black statistic.

And then there was that pathetic speech Obama gave before the Congressional Black Caucus last week. Don’t get me started on how useless this bunch is–that’s a topic for another post. President Obama put on his best black preacher dialect and pulled from folk tales to set his story, then ended it with a most curious charge:

“Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying.”

Take note my AA peeps: This is the thanks you get for turning out in droves in 2008. He’d rather pander to other interest groups, but tell his own people to “stop crying” and “complaining.” Yet, you are still defending him and harping on the old canard of racism instead of calling a spade a spade (Yes, I said it!).

If our President was any other color than what he is, there would be immediate calls for him to step down and let someone of competence run in 2012. Instead, racism is used as an excuse for a piss-poor leader, and your own poor choices.

Still SMH.

Now Janeane Garofalo, great font of political wisdom she is, decided to play the race card concerning Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain–who actually has a real black preacher dialect. Methinks being an actual preacher helps in that regard. From Janeane’s mouth to our ears:

 “Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican party. Conservative movement and tea party movement, one in the same.

“People like Karl Rove liked to keep the racism very covert. And so Herman Cain provides this great opportunity say you can say ‘Look, this is not a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look we have a black man.'”

Racists Republicans Support Cain.

So, Cain is a puppet prop, but all that propping up and fawning over Obama by the Dems because he is black doesn’t count? She calls into account the political side she doesn’t agree with, while ignoring it in her own party.

She doesn’t even deserve a head shake.

Finally, Morgan Freeman, a truly supreme actor who just needs to keep doing that, commented on the nefarious Tea Party and their motivations, and says racism has gotten worse under Obama. Morgan Freeman: Tea Party Racist.

I thought now that we had a Black President that racism as we knew it would no longer exist. So, whose fault is that?

Continually SMH.

 

 





CareerCampSFV is a week away! See what people are saying about CareerCamp

15 09 2011

CareerCampSFV (San Fernando Valley) is coming up, so I wanted to show some highlights from our last CareerCamp back in July, in the Santa Clarita Valley (CCSCV). We had a grand time and people were energized, empowered and inspired in their careers!

The below video link, created by CareerCamp Founder and Chairman Emeritus Douglas E. Welch shows the testimonials of attendees and speakers from CareerCampSCV.

The jobs news is bad, folks–initial jobless claims jumped last week to 428,000–the highest this quarter. But we at CareerCamp International don’t dwell on this! The beauty of the CareerCamps is that it equips individuals to take control of their skills and assets, and in doing that, take control of their future–so they can  build the career they deserve.

Registration is still open for CareerCampSFV on September 24, but may not be for long–don’t miss out on this effective and unique Career Event!

Video: What are people saying about CareerCamp?.





In My Orbit…

6 09 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Girl has been turning faster than usual lately in the thick of planning two Career events.

The first is a Social Media and Your Career panel on Wednesday, September 21. We are a featured part of Social Media Week Los Angeles this year! The Panel includes yours truly, Douglas E. Welch, Susan M. Baker, and Marla Dennis. We will be moderated by Colton Stenke and Denise “The Oracle” Cook.

Registration opens today (Yay!) and I have linked this Event in the sidebar, or you can click here.

I can’t believe that CareerCamp #5 is about to happen on Saturday, September 24. This brainchild of Douglas E. Welch, founder and Chairman Emeritus, continues to grow, and the Girl enjoys being an active part of it!

CareerCampSFV (San Fernando Valley) is back where it all started, in beautiful Northridge, at the Congregational Church of Northridge. For those not familiar, CareerCamp is an unconference dedicated to “helping you build the career you deserve”. The day will include speakers, ad hoc presentations and breakout sessions on all aspects of building your career.

It doesn’t matter whether you are employed or not–the day is for anyone who wants to build and/or improve their career. However, if you are in between successes, CareerCampSFV is right up your alley!

Registration is in the sidebar, or click here.

This testimonial video was created by Sizzle in the Middle‘s Tracy Pattin. It highlights the unique benefits of CareerCamp from the mouths of the attendees.

And here a link to the video from my CareerCampLA discussion, “Building an enduring Career Reputation” back in March. It’s a taste of what you can expect from The Girl at both the Social Media and Your Career panel, and at CareerCampSFV.

These Events are FREE–so if you’re in Los Angeles, clear your schedule and make your way out to Social Media and Your Career on September 21, and CareerCampSFV on September 24!








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