Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mad Men Season 4 Premiere: Don Has Lost Some Sexy

I finally was able to tear myself away from my computer screen long enough to watch the season 4 premiere of the brilliance that is Mad Men. I am a huge fan of the show and have been counting down for several months. I was not disappointed. Matt Weiner told what this season will explore in the first line, "Who is Don Draper?"We thought we knew, but now everything has changed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Something Actually Useful For You Artsy Folks Out There

Came across this site the other day and I was excited so I thought I'd share. The blog is called Mira's List and it has information about grants, fellowships, and residencies for artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians. It's a great resource. So visit the blog if you're interested in dough to create your work.

Denmark Dreamin'

So I'm looking for a job. My dream job (television writer) is possibly years away and my comfortable graduate assistant job is ending in three weeks. So I need some gainful employment so I can stay in New York and NOT go back to my parents' house in Michigan weeping. But you know what...? Day jobs suck and I don't wanna get one! There, I said it. And what? I don't want one. I want to be a writer. That's all. I know I HAVE to get a day job, but it's my blog and I can whine if I want to. Now, if you are one of the lucky people that has your dream job, congrats. But, for the rest of us, especially those of us who want to act, write, sing or dance, these day jobs can be draining. I yearn to have the freedom to do what I love, instead of being trapped in some filler job waiting and dreaming of being anywhere, but where I am. I really am not a lazy person. I just hate being caged in.

I saw this episode of Oprah a few months back about "the happiest place on Earth." And no, I'm not talking Disney, folks. I'm talking Denmark. In Denmark, college is free. In fact, you get PAID to go to college. There's universal health care. AND get this, if you lose your job, the government pays up to 90% of your salary for up to four years and helps you find a job. Socialism rocks! Imagine if you didn't have to worry about health care or student loans. Imagine not having to worry about losing your house because you lost your job. And since everyone makes about the same amount of money, imagine being motivated by your passion and not your pocketbook, when choosing a career. So, Denmark, you definitely could use more black folks and I could help you out with that:)

Friday, July 23, 2010

MAD MEN - "I'm not perfect, Pete"

This is one of my favorite scenes from season two of Mad Men. What starts off as a skeevy seduction attempt from Pete, turns into a shocking confession from Peggy. Peggy is my favorite female character on the show, because she so ahead of her time. She knows what she wants and goes for it at a time when women weren't supposed to want anything but a husband and babies. In this scene, I love how the control shifts from Pete to Peggy. You can almost see Pete shrink. Of course this scene is well-written, but my favorite bit is probably how Pete reacts to Peggy's bombshell. Oh! AND when Peggy says, "Pete, I could have had you in my life forever if I wanted too." I was like, "Hell, yeah! Alright, gurl! Let. him. know!"

 If you crazy Mad Men-heads have a suggestion for a great scene, post below.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lisbon is Magic

Castelo Sao Jorge in Lisbon

A couple years back I decided to be a Viking and strike out on my own on a mini grand tour. I went to England and Portugal, and Lisbon captured my heart. This is the view from the castle Sao Jorge. The guy is just some dude who is living life not knowing that I have a picture of him on my computer.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Secret Behind the Sexyface

I was checking out Funny or Die, as I often do whilst procrastinating, and I saw this video starring Zoe Saldana, Kate Bosworth, and Janeane Garafolo. I admit I thought that there was no freakin' way this could be funny. AND that the video was probably from some random child of a famous director who bribed his dad's movie star friends to be in his lame sketch. Yes, this is how my mind works. But, I was surprised that I got a few chuckles and maybe even a hearty guffaw out of this. Thought I'd share. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What's YOUR Type?

So, I'm a little obsessed with personality tests. I must have taken dozens of them trying to figure out why I do the things I do and what I can work on. I'm an INFP which stands for Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving. This means I'm an idealistic dreamer that hates conflict and loves harmony. Sounds nice, huh? It also means I'm stubborn, bad with money and need constant praise. **Sigh** What's your type? If you want to know, you can take a personality test here and post your findings in comments.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Funniest/Cutest Boy Rapper! He's 7.

I saw this on Jezebel and almost passed out from the cuteness. Enjoy!

Renewing the Love for New York

I've been living in New York for seven years now and most of the time I love my city. However, sometimes I get that itch that makes me fed up and want to hop on the next flight from JFK going anywhere but here. It usually happens after inadvertantly seeing yet another homeless penis or dealing with train traffic and rude cab drivers on the way to my tiny over-priced apartment. So, sometimes I like to renew my vows to New York by going off the beaten path and exploring the lesser known parts of the City. Time Out New York has a very cool feature called great walks.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

How Facebook is Like Kryptonite to the Fledgling Artist

"Facebook is Kryptonite? But why?" you might ask. "Facebook is such a great way to stay in touch, network and you can even play strangely addicting games about farms and sorority girls." All these things are true, BUT there is also a way that Facebook can seriously effing screw up your life and make you feel like a loser. Let me expound.

Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell - Wheels of a Dream

Two of my favorite Broadway actors of all time in my favorite Broadway musical of all time.

Tennessee Williams

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love me some Tennessee Williams. His dialogue is like poetry and the characters he creates are so rich and complex, especially his female characters. Any actress who has stepped into the skin of Blanche Dubois, Laura Wingfield or Alma Winemiller  can attest to the joyful challenge that playing these fragile misfits presents. Any writer who has read his plays should admit that he has created some of the greatest characters of all time. Even his titles are dope: Streetcar Named Desire? Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? Summer and Smoke? Amazing!Yeah... as you can see I'm totally gay for him. I guess that doesn't make sense. I'm straight for him? Whatever, I pray to the writing gods that someday my writing will approach a quarter of his brilliance. His boldness, authenticity and sheer genius inspire me and remind me that words can be magic.

"I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really".--Tennessee Williams 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

For Your Viewing Pleasure...The Hot Old Spice Man

Rarely can a commercial turn you on and make you laugh at the same time. Actually it's hard for a commercial to do either. This commercial cracks me up and has me craving some sexual chocolate...enjoy girls and gays

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Phenomenal Woman

Dorothy Dandridge was a gorgeous and talented actress who never realized her full potential for stardom due to her race. She experienced all sorts of indignities due to racism including having a "white" pool scrubbed because she dipped her toe in. I'm thankful that she paved the way so that I could have the opportunities that I have today.

Janelle Monáe - Tightrope ft. Big Boi [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

I'm into Janelle Monae's voice and unique style. I love me some Beyonce, but it's nice to see a female artist who doesn't feel the need to gyrate and roll around on the floor clothed in a leotard and sparkles. That is the new pop star uniform after all. I'm looking at you too Gaga! Work it Ms. Monae!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Artist's Way

In an attempt to get back in touch with my creativity, I'm re-doing the Artist's Way. It's an amazing workbook that uses exercises and inspirational musings to inspire the creativity that can lie dormant within. I completed the entire program a few years back and it was helpful in helping me get back in touch with my creativity when I had all but given up on it. It's great for anyone who is looking to explore the artistic piece of themselves. If you bust out laughing at new agey, spiritual psychobabble, this is not the book for you. I love that kind of shit and even I think the book gets a little to precious in spots. But, right now, I need to stop thinking of writing as simply a profession that's causing me a headache and rediscover my passion for it. So bright and early tomorrow I'm gonna start into it. I will let you know how it goes.

Quotation Motivation

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that other people want what they want. Indeed, the moment that an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist, and becomes a dull or an amusing craftsman, an honest or a dishonest tradesman."  --Oscar Wilde

Writerly Wisdom

Criticism is as useful as praise. I eat it like fuel. I'm the little engine that runs on hate. My productivity spikes when I've got something to prove, and it seems like I always do. --Diablo Cody

Mini Panic Attack

So my boyfriend is always saying I should try to relax more and not freak out so much about the million things I have to do. However as you can guess from the title of this blog, that's not so easy for me. So I decided to make a list of all the things I should be doing in the next few months. Maybe it won't be so bad when I look at in black and white?  HUGE...ass.. mistake.  I nearly gave myself a coronary. Check it out.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Unwanted Advice

I was working at Law school commencement this year. Although I’ve graduated, I’m holding on to my graduate assistant job for dear life until they drag me kicking and screaming into the real world. This posh-looking fellow was waiting for a friend by the gate where I was working and we struck up a conversation. He asked me if I was a student and what I was studying. I told him I’d just graduated with an MFA Screenwriting. A look of confusion fluttered across his face. Y’all artsy folk know what I’m talking about. That look that says, “Why would any sane person think that they can do that for a living?” I sigh internally. And if I had any doubt about what he was thinking, this gentleman says. “Are there any jobs doing that?” I proceeded to tell him that yes there are and I plan on getting one. So he says, “That’s a really tough business. Good luck with that.” In other words, “This bitch is delusional and should try to get a real job.” Why is it that when you tell some people that you are doing something artistic, they feel the need to remind you how hard it is like you don’t already know? Why emphasize the negative, dude? For real. I’ve been told by strangers, friends and family alike that what I’m doing is let’s see... impractical, unrealistic, a waste of my intelligence and basically frivolous. Would I go up to a lawyer and be all like, “I’ve read a bunch of research that says that attorneys are on average the most unhappy professionals and have a crazy high suicide rate. Are you feeling the need to slit your wrists today?” I love what I do. And once I get where I’m going, it’ll be amazing to see how cool these same folks will think my career is. Oh well until I get there, as my friend Tati says, “I’d rather be depressed about my bank account than depressed about my life.” Snarky comments are like dirt off my shoulder, man. Although if I’m honest it does get to me sometimes. Then I have to remember that what we do may seem crazy to some, but even they would admit that it’s also pretty damn brave.

Welcome to my Fevered Brain

See Grace. See Grace act and write. See Grace happy. See Grace go a little insane.
Hello all. Anyone who has ever tried to be any kind of artist knows how tough can be. I’m an actress, screenwriter, director and occasionally consider myself a singer. Yeah. Not a practical title in the bunch. But, I frankly had no choice in the matter. Cubicles make me itchy and besides ever since I can remember, I’ve loved stories and storytelling. I was a weird outcast type of kid who played with Barbies until I was fourteen and would rather spend time locked her room with her imagination than be bothered with any type of human contact. Oh and did I forget to mention that I was an ebony goddess? As long as I can remember I wondered why there weren’t more people like me on TV and in the movies and it just stuck in my craw (Sorry, my Midwestern-ness comes in bursts at times). I couldn’t get over it and I always felt that TV and film had more power than people gave it credit for. TV and movies decided who was brave and beautiful who was noble and virtuous. These mediums also seemed to determine who was evil or ghetto or violent or angry. Yeah…my people usually lost that battle and represented the latter and rarely the former. So I have had this burning desire to want to change things and the shit won't go away. I want to bring a more diverse array of characters and stories to masses. Besides that, I wanna make people laugh their asses off or cry like Tiger Wood after getting caught with all those skanks. I want to get in your mind, son! Your hearts! So I got a BFA in acting and a BA in English. I moved to New York and got an MFA in Screenwriting from a pretentious, but wonderful school. And now here I am; newly finished with my over-priced schooling and trying to figure out how to negotiate this industry as an artist, a woman, and a person of color. I’m trying to figure out how to get my foot in the door, but still be me. And it would help if I could pay some bills along the way. Okaaay? So, this blog is about my thoughts on art, the craft of writing, on life as an artist, on this industry, and being in the scary and exhilarating position of beginning my journey as a screenwriter in this business. Read on, if you like what you see.
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