Sunday, August 30, 2009

Unleash Your Child

I understand that parents may get tired of holding their rambunctious child's hand, but do we seriously need to put kids on leashes?

I've seen these leashes on numerous occasions over the last couple years, but only now have the time (not really) to sit down and write about them. The most recent siting was in the subway system here in NYC: a little kid secured with a monkey backpack--aka harness--and the leash tightly gripped in his mother's hand. As the kid tried to wander up to strangers, the mom would shorten the leash a bit and reel the child in. The kid honestly looked like a dog being roped away from another dog it wanted to sniff. Is this really necessary?

Childrens' acute sense of curiosity matched with their desire to eat things they shouldn't, play with things that could kill them, explore places that could do the same, and fight with complete strangers (ok, maybe kids don't do that) already make them pretty animal-like and when you put them on a leash it just makes it worse. And that creeps me out. A lot.

I wonder how many kids have ate sh*t because their "handler" pulled on the leash too hard? What if you have 3 or 4 kids around "leash" age? You're gonna look like a professional dog walker.

Teach your kids how to stay within a reasonable distance of you, or just hold their hand for crying out loud.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Great video from Kornhaber Brown.

Monday, August 24, 2009


So today I had a total flashback to the early '90s. Take a journey with me back to 1993, when overalls, non-form fitting vests, and backwards baseball caps were hot fashion. The year when the hit show Ghostwriter debuted on PBS. I was about to click the send button on an email today, when a scene from the show, namely when Ghostwriter would appear on the computer screen, popped into my head.

I have not thought, or heard, about that show in years! It was definitely a favorite of mine. Personally, I thought Gabby Fernandez was the coolest kid on the mystery solving team.

Unfortunately, the show didn't exactly launch anyone's acting career. Only Grandma Jenkins, actress Marcella Lowery, and Lenni Frazier, actress Blaze Berdahl, went on to get a few more "significant" gigs after the show was canceled in 1995 due to a lack of funding. Maybe it was m*therf*ckin' Samuel L. Jackson's cameo in 3 episodes (1993) as Reggie Jackson that broke their bank account. Apparently, things were slow for Sammy boy between Patriot Games and Loaded Weapon I. Please send links to those episodes if you can find them!

Oh,'re a trip. WORD!

Wait, which one is Michael Jackson?

I'm really glad they made sure to say that MJ is on the left 'cause otherwise I would've been thoroughly confused.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I did nothing today and it was amazing.

Monday, August 17, 2009


What is happening to the art of conversation? With 140 character limitations, witty--or not so witty--status updates, and text messaging, it seems like we're all trying to outdo each other in who can say the most with the fewest words.

This style of writing, which essentially is our voice, is rewarded by RTs, comments, and the "Bob Smith likes this" acceptance system, so I feel like we're being conditioned into shortening our thoughts and the way we express ourselves.

Some of you are thinking, "...and this is a bad thing?"

It's fine for online communication, but for face-to-face I feel like people are generally losing their ability to carry on an interesting convo.

How we communicate online is starting to bleed over to how we communicate in "real" life. Speaking in soundbites, referencing online resources instead of trying to explain something yourself, and just generally cutting back on the playfulness of language is starting to bother me. I feel like people think they're "talking too long" or think "why should I say more when this person can just go look it up online..."

I know some people are long winded and you wish they'd get cut off at 140 characters, but that's another conversation.

If you're talking to me, then please say more. Unless you truly don't know what the F you're talking about, then don't take the easy road by cutting yourself off and telling me to Google something. Use your brain. Dig that petrified info out of your head and try to express your thoughts, ideas, and opinions about x, y, & z. I won't get mad or think you're an idiot if you say something wrong or that doesn't make sense. In fact, mistakes while speaking usually turn into inside jokes and who doesn't love an inside joke!?!?

One of the best examples of this is my best friend telling me to write a book that wins a "grammy". Even better was the time she meant to say tentacles and said testicles--the context of that conversation really heightened the humor!

This post is about missing long, rambling--but entertaining--conversations that start off discussing Maslow's hierarchy of needs and end with a story about how you went streaking after a Green Day concert. You're not sure how you got there, but the journey from topic A to Z is all that matters. No one broke the flow to verify info online or to check how many comments they got on their latest status update.

Now don't get me wrong. I love how we can communicate online and enjoy the sassy updates and tweets just as much as anyone else. But I am missing REAL conversations, intellectual stimulation, pondering hypothetical situations, and just flat out LMAO moments with other people IN PERSON (not at a computer screen).

I've always been the type of person who likes to hang out 1-on-1 with others, mainly because I've always felt its the best way to really talk and get to know another person. I enjoy going out in groups, but its definitely more difficult to get into deep conversations in that setting unless you "break off" from the others and try to converse on the side.

My favorite thing to do with friends has always been to get a cup of coffee/dinner/drinks and just talk...

Now it's like we're all these hyper communicators who are tweeting, updating, talking, commenting, texting and checking email simultaneously because it's so damn important to let everyone know exactly what you're doing and thinking every minute of the day. Because if you don't then...what?

I really try to put the cell phone down when I'm with other people so I can just "be in the moment" and get back to the basics of human interaction: to share, react, & connect. Fundamentally, that's what all these social sites aim to do. But I've been noticing that the way people write and present themselves online is not always inline with how they speak and present themselves in person!


I think it's because we're becoming so dependent on written words/thoughts/ideas and having extra time to put together what we express that we're struggling with just speaking off the top of our heads!

What do you think?

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I'm playing around with some old's the first little piece I cut together...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Renegade Cabaret

Evening fire escape performances near the new High Line Park. This is so New York.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Humanwire on Rocketboom

Humanwire is Rocketboom's international independent journalism channel. We provide our field correspondents with a professional platform for sharing their work while ensuring full rights are maintained by the journalists.

Humanwire is interested in showing our viewers a spectrum of subject matter from varying regions all over the world. We value stories that cover unusual, fascinating, and timely material. Each week, we run one episode from a different region, covering a different topic. We generally do not run episodes with sexual content or graphic violence.

Humanwire is always searching for new correspondents. Correspondents may send us up to 2 submissions per month, so we suggest that you only submit your best and most relevant material. In the case of a major event, we may contact individual correspondents who are in the region to do special reports.

Humanwire is dedicated to curating interesting and inspiring video reports from around the world. We welcome you to send us your best material and help create a broader audience for independent journalists worldwide.

For examples of previous Humanwire episodes, go here:

For more information about becoming a correspondent, email us at:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


The video was getting way too annoying. So you can watch it HERE instead. Careful - you may end up buying one! Those sneaky bastards - they know how to reel you in: dramatized dog whining.

openFrameworks "Nerd Artist" Zach Lieberman

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Personal Thoughts on a Rainy Day

My Perspective.

I've always been on a fast track. For example, I finished my BA in 3 years and my MA in 1. I viewed college as a time to learn fast so I could go out into the world with a solid education and do cool stuff. My uncle introduced me once as his niece "who thinks the world is going to end tomorrow". I guess I've always felt that I have to make the most of each day because I don't know how much time I have in the world--and there's so much I want to accomplish in my lifetime that I don't want to waste a minute of it doing something meaningless.

This way of thinking is the result of losing my one and only sibling, Gina, to cancer when I was 10 years old. She was only 12. Watching someone suffer & fight for their life for 3.5 years and then lose the battle, especially when they're so young (and when you're so young, too) changes you forever. It changes the way you look at life, people, and yourself. For some, those 3 things become sources of bitterness, resentment, and negativity. For others, those 3 things become sources of joy, motivation, and happiness. Life is challenging enough without tragic events thrown in the mix and it's difficult to pull yourself towards the positive. Tragic events like these morph over time as to how you understand them. Who I am, what I do, and how I do it have all been significantly influenced by this event.

Two quotations I strive to live by are from Albert Pike who said, "What you do for yourself alone dies with you; what you do for others and the world remains and is immortal," and from Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote, "Make the most of yourself for that is all there is of you." Together, I think these two thoughts are good guidelines to reach your full potential as a human being, while making a positive impact on others and, in turn, the world. "World" doesn't need to be literal...that's a bit grandiose..."world" is the circle of influence around you--no matter how big or small--it's important.

How I Ended Up in LA.

In the winter of 2007, I decided to pack up my bags and move from Toledo, OH to Los Angeles, CA in order to advance my career in the entertainment business as a host/actor/model/producer/musician/whatever someone would hire me as. I had been working in local broadcast for nearly 2 years and wanted to put myself in a larger market with more opportunities.

Without too much of a plan, I flew out to LA with two suitcases, my guitar, and enough money to get through about 1.5 months of rent/food. A friend from acting school let me crash on her floor for 3 weeks as I searched Craigslist for a good rooming situation. I slept on an air-mattress that would slowly deflate during the night, so I would wake up with my hip bone against the floor. Luckily, it had a remote control air pump attached. I rented a blue Chevy Malibu (hey, I didn't get to pick what kind--just asked for the cheapest) for the first couple weeks while waiting for my Honda to get shipped out.

From my first week in LA.

Once all of these "life" things got sorted out, I started taking acting classes and worked as a hostess at an Italian restaurant on Melrose Ave. My original "career" plan fell through due to a series of poor advice that I followed from people who I thought knew more than I did about "the business" and about "doing business" in general. The only thing I really got out of it was work as a fit model, where I would try on clothes for designers and they'd make adjustments on me. It was the most money I ever made for putting on clothes. At least I wasn't getting paid to take them off! I worked lots of hours in the restaurant and eventually moved on to another Italian restaurant as a bartender. Taking whatever "opportunities" seemed to come my way, I even worked for 2 weeks as a secretary for a venture capitalist company after being approached in a parking garage by one of the company's employees. It was the most money I had ever made in 14 days for answering phones and ordering lunch, but my schedule was getting out of control, so I quit that job and stuck with making drinks.

The Turning Point.

Four months into my stay, I met an acting coach/actor woman in a gelato bar who recommended that I take classes at the Meisner Center in North Hollywood. I ended up babysitting her son for a couple months in exchange for coaching/business advice until new classes started up in September. Then, from September 2007 - December 2007, I found out why I moved to Los Angeles: it was my time to get broken down.

Broken down only to be built back up--empowered, full of understanding, and with a "toolbox" I did not have before. Those 3 months changed me as a person and as a performer. It is still the most valuable "thing" I did during my two years out West. I got to know myself more in 3 months than in all 23 years of my life. If you haven't put yourself through something like this--a retreat, meditation, class, therapy, etc--I highly recommend it. It will hurt while you're in it, but you will come out healed and ready to take on anything that comes your way. "How you do anything is how you do everything" is one of Meisner's many sayings that force you to look at your core truths. It is so worth your time and money. I cannot stress this enough. Take this class, or at the very least, read his books. You will be thankful.

Your core truths are the foundation for everything you do, think, and feel. If you don't know what they are, you're missing out on knowing the most important person in your life: you.


A few weeks after finishing my class at the Meisner Center, I quit my bartending job and started submitting myself for acting/hosting projects online. I started taking a couple more classes around town so I could network into a group of actors, coaches, and casting directors. I landed a few gigs here and there--some short, independent and student films, local commercials, and hosting spots. Finally, in April of 2008, I got called in for "Vlog Idol" with Mahalo Daily.

Two months later, in June of 2008, I was hired as the host of MD and had my first real full-time gig in LA. Soon I was promoted to Executive Producer and was in charge of researching, producing, writing, hosting, and overseeing edits for the show. I absolutely loved this job. I felt it was the perfect combination of things I enjoy doing. All the various shows, from how-tos, to red carpet events, to interesting people/places around Southern California, I loved meeting new people and learning about all the different subject matter. Unfortunately, in February of 2009, MD decided to go a different direction that eliminated the full time hosting/producing position. It was time, again, for me to find work.

The Search.

From March - June I casually searched for jobs, while pursuing a few personal goals and questioning what I wanted to do with my life. In March, I went to SXSW for networking, fun, and celebrated my 25th birthday at a Divo concert (ask me about gin & tonics), trained for a half-marathon (which I ran in 2:58 in April) and started working as a publicist for writer, Christopher Canole. I got new headshots with photographer/actor Jack Brewer, lost 15 pounds with personal trainer & fitness coach Adam Brewer, and worked 1-on-1 with acting coach Elena K. Smith. My best friend was getting married in June, so I spent a few weeks back in Ohio to help her out as her maid of honor--a role I took very seriously! The people who came into my life during this time period are people who I value tremendously and for whom I am extremely grateful. They helped me in ways that I don't think they even know they did. Hopefully this post gives them a little indication as to how much of an impact that had on me during a very transitional period of my life.

While in Ohio for my best friend's wedding, I find out about Rocketboom's openings and applied immediately. Over 1.5 months, I eventually was hired as a producer for RB and relocated from LA to NYC. And now, here I am. Producing for the award-winning web show from one of the best cities in the world!

Thinking Back.

I came across another great quotation today from Chuang Tzu, “Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.” Maybe this is what put me in such a reflective mood today...that and the rain.

Though I don't fear the world is going to end tomorrow, I do live each day with the philosophy of making the most of myself and having a positive influence on the people around me. One of these posts, I will go into detail about my sister and how her life shaped mine into what it is today. For now, this is just a brief introduction to the most influential person from my life and a summary of what I've been doing over the last 2 years. Of course, there are so many more details I could go into, but those are more for a novel "that wins a grammy" than for a blog.

A couple photos of positive people in my life!

Screen writer and "West Coast Godfather" Chris Canole.

Brothers Jack & Adam Brewer.

See more pictures on my new Facebook Fan Page!

*special note: Through all of my endeavors, my family and friends have been extremely supportive and also helped me tremendously during the ups and downs of my journey. I am sincerely thankful for their generosity and understanding. I couldn't be where I am today without them. No question.

Mom & Dad (and Jen drinking a beer in the background)

Uncle Joe, my "Life Coach"

The Grandparents - seriously my No. 1 fans!

Uncle Jon "You gotta eat."

Thank you all. Who are your biggest influences in life? Share them here on The Dealio.