Recently I was asked to decorate a “wife beater” t-shirt by my friend, artist Susan Woldman, for a charity called “Beauty Cares.” The purpose of the group is to help raise awareness of women who have suffered domestic violence. I wrote “wife hugger” on my t-shirt, hoping that might be a fun new name we could try out instead of “wife beater,” which is so gross. “Sleeveless tank” is probably more appropriate, but what the hey! Jon made one too!
You can read all about Beauty Cares here, but also check out the “8 Warning Signs That Indicate You Are In an Unhealthy Relationship.” I hate to say it, but I know for SURE I have experienced ALL of these. Thank god I left those relationships.
I really like that the charity also helps women feel better about themselves by giving them a bit of a makeover. I know it sounds frivolous at first, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that the reason I stayed in unhealthy relationships was partly because I didn’t feel like I was worth better. When I actually allowed myself to look in the mirror and say, “GIRL, YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN THIS,” I allowed myself to leave and look for someone who could treat me with love and respect. Feeling like I looked good helped with this. I guess it’s a matter of pride. Personal pride is very important.
But beauty is also an INSIDE job. We may be all prettied up on the outside, but if we don’t feel beautiful on the inside, it’s like wearing a mask. How to feel pretty on the inside? Prayer helps, as does letting in all the nice things people may have said to you in your life. LET IT IN. I know it’s hard. Trust me. It’s much easier to let the ego go wild and believe all the bad things people say, so sometimes, I make a list. Another thing is to try and stop being so hard on yourself. Every time you have a negative thought, either say a little prayer, or replace it with a positive one. It really works.
Here is Susan’s table, covered with our art! We had such a fun time making these t-shirts. I highly recommend making some art when you feel bad. It’s a great way to turn the day around!
Wishing you a BEAUTY-FULL day!
Okay. You’ve all heard the news, All My Children is going to be a bit more risqué than usual. Yep. I am not the first to mention it, but I thought I might be one of the first to put it on the table for discussion. Let’s talk about sex, and about sex in our dramatic entertainment. Too much? Not enough? Well you can bet I have an opinion.
My opinion is this: sex is a good thing, wait, scratch that, sex is a GREAT thing! It’s a healthy impulse and a wonderful way to enjoy being, well, about as close as you can get to someone. Frankly, I think we have WAY too MUCH violence and way too LITTLE love making in our entertainment. This is probably because we are a country based on a puritan ethos that doesn’t really want to admit, we ALL LIKE SEX.
Do I recommend using birth control? YOU BET. Do I recommend only having sex when you are ready with someone that you truly CARE about? ABSO-F-ING-LUTELY. Is the young generation having a sexual revolution that no one is really TALKING ABOUT? ONE MILLION TIMES YES.
On another note: do you remember when the soaps were mostly LOVE stories, all leading up to the big moment when the characters would make love? Weren’t those FUN stories to watch? It wasn’t disgusting it was beautiful. I don’t know where those moments went but I am sure happy they are coming back. Passion is important!
I think it’s just as important to remember that as everyone has a different taste in clothes, so we all have a different taste in our fantasies and our lovemaking style. You can learn a lot about a person when you learn these details. When you look at a story from a sexual point of view, these choices are as much a part of a character as their fears, hopes and dreams.
Nudity-smooditty. So WHAT. The human body is beautiful and I will admit that I like to look at it, whether it’s a beautiful man or a beautiful woman. And it doesn’t matter what age they are as long as they are an appropriate age and a consenting adult.
Sexiness is beautiful. It is something we can and should ALL enjoy, no matter what age we are. Why not let ourselves relax a little? It might just make for a happier world!
(I swear I am hearing Barry White applauding right now!)
First off, a million ‘thank you’s’ to all the folks who have written to me either here on my site or on Facebook or Twitter to tell me how happy and excited they are about All My Children and One Life to Live being brought back from the dead (in pure soap opera style) only to live again on the Internet.
It was thrilling to walk into the production offices today and see so many faces that I have known from behind the scenes. One person said to me, “It’s like coming home” (and I don’t mean like the movie but I had to link to it because it’s just so awesome). Both my fiancee Jon (yeah, that guy I’m cuddling) and I know how meaningful soaps can be – we met on the set of As the World Turns! Now I can’t imagine my life without him. (Yep, I’m going to marry that man!)
People who work in daytime are a special lot. It’s hard for me to put my finger on it, but suffice it to say, we work hard, laugh hard, and love hard! Just like you, we are fans of “the stories,” and feel deeply for the characters who act them out. (I get very emotional when I see David Canary, for example). By sharing these stories with you, the audience, I feel like we have become one big, crazy family. (Just when you thought you’d got out…)
As much we are all so excited, some people are feeling a little freaked out about the soaps being on the Internet. A few people have asked me “How am I going to watch them NOW? Why aren’t they on TV? Argh!” This is again, where family comes in.
Do you remember when your aunt or grandma or mom called you into the living room to look at her soap opera on the TV, screaming, “OH MY GOD YOU’VE GOT TO SEE THIS” and that moment when you frantically queried, “What’s happening? Who is that? TELL ME EVERYTHING!” Well the same thing is going to happen, only now it might be in reverse. Your niece or daughter, or grand daughter might now be the one hollering, “OMG! You’ve got to see this!” while pulling out her laptop, tablet, or smart phone. It’s not so different: it’s still a generational connection that is going to occur, it’s just coming to you via a different mechanism.
Maybe you are one of those people who are far more web savvy and I say to you, “Bravo! Tell me everything!” I hear you can get something that will hook the Internet up to your TV (one is called Apple TV) so if you NEED to watch it right away through your TV SCREEN, then you will be able to. THAT SAID, the shows WILL be on cable TV after they have showed on the Internet for awhile. but if you want to be the first to see it… all you need is an internet connection. Yep, I hear it will be FREE.
There are also a lot of people who are talking about certain changes they have heard about and are freaked out by. I would ask you to keep an open mind. One of the great things about the Internet (and there are many IMHO) is the fact that there is so much freedom. With that freedom comes a lot of creative opportunity and new choices that the production team can make that they never were allowed to before. Personally, I think that’s exciting! The possibilities are endless!
Please remember, Agnes Nixon is working on every single story and element. Since she built both OLTL and AMC, I would encourage you to trust in Agnes and go along for the ride! I mean, c’mon… hasn’t she done pretty great so far?
Finally: Isn’t it just AMAZING that these shows are going to get a chance to continue? I am honored to be a part of this incredible moment in time. #soexcited
Jon and I are very excited to start our first day at the Macon Film Festival with our, well, HIS film How We Got Away With It. I can say “our” because I am officially an associate producer on the film. How did I get that title? Well, it’s an odd one, but it basically means I was the mother behind the machine. I lived with this film since Jon decided to make it happen, night and day, and helped with any and all details, from the sublime (like talking about the meaning and purpose of the film) to the ridiculous (I put stickers on postcards last night)!
Today we are going to be interviewed by the local ABC/FOX affiliate about the film and our involvement in the festival. Jon’s two short films were both accepted at MAGA in recent years, so we feel like we are officially a part of the Macon Film Fest family! It’s a really cool festival, one that we feel really captures the pure spirit of Independent Film Making.
Our screening today is at 4:15PM at 567 Center for Renewal. We hope if you are in the area you might consider taking 90 minutes out of your day to come see it. Jon will be taking questions afterwords if you would like to hang out and say hi.
Later, we will be attending the screening of Crystal Chappel’s “The Grove” at The Cox Capital Theater at 8PM, after which I will be a part of a Q and A panel to discuss how she created this latest project and her thoughts on Internet serials.
Here we are with one of the heads of the festival, Terrell Sandefur. Check out the festival on Facebook!
I turned my book in to my agent last night. All 306 pages of it. Granted four or so of those pages are the title page and the table of contents, but it’s still quite a tome!
I’m sure an editor will have a few suggestions to make, pages they will want to cut, and changes they will want me to implement, but this phase is one in which I say, “Okay, I have poured over every word. It is complete as I can make it. Let’s take the next step.”
It is a strange feeling, this cross roads. I miss the book already. In writing, I spent a lot of time with my past. As you may have figured out, the book is about my youth. My upbringing to be exact, and the myriad of experiences I had as a child actor in Hollywood. It is about abuse of innocence on one level, but on another level it is about the deep love and loyalty I had for my mother, and the grief I felt when she died. She was a complex person, flawed in many ways. She left me with feelings that took me years to understand.
Perhaps now is the moment for me to realize that while I have done what I can to stop the legacy of the family disease of alcoholism, my love for her and her love for me was pure and good on a core level. It lives on inside me as I choose to forgive all she could not do or be.
I am also grateful that I had some amazing experiences in show business. Although I may have been very young, I got to be a part of movie and television history now and then, something most people don’t get the chance to do. “There’s no business like show business,” that is for sure, but I think I have come out of this investigation with more love, not less, for the acting profession. Actors are miners of emotional caves, artists who create new people out of thin air. What a beautiful way to make a living!
Today I choose to live in the hope that this book will touch you, inspire you, or move you in some important way in your life. I think it will be an individual journey for all who read it. I want you to come into my story, which is in a way, a story so many of us have had to live through. In doing so, and by sharing your stories (like you did on my Detachment blog) you will help me heal.
Thank you for sharing my journey with me.
I grew up in an alcoholic household. My dad was a blackout drinker who could not quit. My mom drank too, but mostly struggled heavily with the issues that pertain to living with an alcoholic.
(PS: Both my parents are long dead, so it isn’t going to bother them that I am sharing this.)
As I got older I found myself struggling, too: at work and in my personal life I found myself caring too much about certain people, or tortured by situations that I knew I could not control. I found help in a lot of places but one place in particular really made a difference in my life. Al-Anon.
I am posting some advice from a wonderful pamphlet I have been carrying around for almost 20 years. I found it at an Al-Anon group and I am sharing it in the chance you or someone you know might find it as useful as I did.
Al-Anon is an anonymous, non-profit group that helps the families living with the disease of alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a family disease. Living with the effects of someone else’s drinking is too devastating for most people to bear without help. In Al-Anon we learn individuals are not responsible for another person’s disease or recovery from it. We let go of our obsession with another’s behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, guided with dignity and rights; lives guided by a power greater than ourselves.
In Al-Anon we learn:
Not to suffer because of the actions or reactions of other people; not to allow ourselves to be used or abused by other’s in the interest of another’s recovery; not to do for other’s what they could do for themselves; not to manipulate situations so other’s will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not drink; not to cover up for anyone’s mistakes or misdeeds; not to create a crisis; not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural course of events.
Detachment is neither kind or unkind. It does not imply judgement or condemnation of the person from which we are detaching. It is simply a means that allows us to separate ourselves from the adverse effects that another person’s alcoholism can have upon our lives.
Detachment helps families look at their situations realistically and objectively, thereby making intelligent decisions possible.
Not only am I a huge fan of this song, this video that the Seattle Children’s Hospital made takes it to a whole other level. It’s so moving I thought I would share it with all of you.
Watch this video and be inspired!
So I decided to create a new photo shoot for myself. I know, it sounds so vain, right? But I am a big believer in the power of the image, and how we really need to take control of how we want to be seen. The first step is to sit back and think about WHO we are, WHO we would LIKE to be, and what is blocking us from becoming THAT FABULOUS.
One of my main blocks is my fear of other’s jealousy/judgement. I have been through hell and back, like many people have been through hell and back. I have worked my ass off, like many people have. I have paid my dues and then some, like other’s have. Why are people sometimes so mean to me? Why do I f-ing care?
I have to make a pledge to myself that I am going to give up control of what other people might think or say about me. I am not trying to take anything away from anybody else. I am trying to create something beautiful and inspiring by using myself and my life as my canvas. Sure, there will be haters, but what am I gonna do? NOT be fabulous? Stay in my house and wear my bathrobe all day? Become a bitter bitch with a chip on her shoulder? To hell with THAT.
I’m sure some people are wondering, “Why doesn’t she just shut up and be an actress/Barbie and be grateful?” Well, the fact is: I just can’t. I did that for years as a child actor and it crushed my soul. I am a person with ideas. I like to share them. So sue me.
Because I am almost done with my book, and I KNOW I am going to release it this year, I want to have some pictures of myself as a grown woman who is proud of herself. Images that reflect what I believe about women these days, and myself in particular.
This is what I want others to see when they look at these pictures:
~ a very strong, grown woman who has fought to retain her femininity.
~ a woman with a sense of humor about herself.
~ a woman with no shame about her sexual nature.
~ a woman who has NOT cut off her big nose to spite her face.
~ A REAL, over-40 woman who you couldn’t pay to be 20 again.
~ a woman who is not trying to be a reflection of a man’s fantasy.
My hope is that when other women, both young and old, see these pictures and read my book, they will think: I CAN DO THIS, TOO. I want other women to know that no matter what they have been through, no matter how awful, that they can still FEEL BEAUTIFUL and WORTHY and GOOD about themselves.
Because the bottom line is when WE feel good about ourselves, we are able to have the strength to build a more beautiful world – both for ourselves, and others.
And what’s wrong with that?