Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brunch Of Champions

Yesterday I was back again at one of Hollywood's annual, pre-Oscar bashes:  Barry Diller's pre-Oscar luncheon in honor of Vanity Fair's editor-in-chief, Graydon Carter.  And, yes, as always, the biggest of Hollywood's bigwigs were there, chowin' down on fried chicken, chili, mac & cheese and decadent desserts!  And, oh, also lots & lots of schmoozing!!!!  I know of at least one "guest" who was escorted off Barry's extraordinary property because said "guest" WASN'T invited!!!  No, I wasn't a guest either, but since I was there, making the Bloody Marys, I got to stay!  Haaa! --- I saw Oprah there.  And her bff, Gayle.  And Anderson Cooper.  That's about it, though, because I usually just stay in the garage, pumpin' out the spirits.  I've grown a bit long in the tooth for star-gazing.  At this point, don't really wanna see 'em till I work WITH them!  And NOT makin'/servin' 'em Bloody Marys!  Although, I must admit, my Bloody Marys are hottttt!!! --- Every time I've been at Barry's phenomenal estate, I always fantasize about sitting him down for a brief moment and asking him, "Are you living your best life?"

Ain't No Singer Fab Enough

At 1:05 AM yesterday morning I was in 7th Heaven as I watched Oprah's interview with legendary songstress, Diana Ross!!  The diva looked great and sounded great!  I couldn't get over how friggin' energetic and bouncy she was.  And her energy and vitality really stood out when Billy Dee Williams was brought out onto the stage to surprise her.  He, on the other hand, was overweight and moved slowly.  The complete contrast to Diana's spunky and youthful appearance! --- All five of Diana's children and one grandchild were in attendance, too.  I got a kick out of listening to each of them tell a little something about what they think of having her as a mother.  She sure seems to be one heck of an adoring and nurturing parent!  Her daughter, Tracy, said that Diana told her children that she was earning her money for herself, so they'd better get good jobs!!!  Haaa!  I'm tellin' you, Oprah's shows this season have been pretty dang good.  I plan to watch her show till the bittersweet end!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Opposite Of Right

For years, I've looked at the careers and personal lives of my Fraternity Brothers and siblings and folks on the telly and wondered, "How did all those people go right and I went wrong?"  Well, after talking to a dear friend, I clearly see now that when others went right, I simply went LEFT.  Never wrong!  Just LEFT.  And from what the street sign above denotes, goin' LEFT ain't such a bad direction to take after all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My LIFE Is...


Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Let There Be Peace

Today was Part Two of Iyanla Vanzant's interview with Oprah.  And, quite honestly, I loved it.  I truly, truly like the woman Iyanla presents herself to be.  It was almost heartbreaking to see how her life has changed as a result of her poor, business decisions.  However, I can't feel too bad for her because she truly seems to have acquired a peace of mind she didn't have when she was swimming in professional success.  I felt a kindred spirit with her as I am now not living as "high on the hog" as I've lived in years past.  And, like her, I realize that my current lack of professional success (and monetary insufficiency) is temporary.  --- I have no idea what the future will bring, but I do know that for the here and now, I'm going to live as honestly and as lovingly as I can.  And to those who think they know me and judge me negatively/harshly for not living as they think I should live, I have but one phrase for you:  God didn't give me breath for YOUR understanding & approval.  Period. --- Iyanla, I wish you the very best.  You deserve it.
Iyanla's latest book: PEACE From BROKEN PIECES...

Keeping Up With The KarMILLIONS!

Folks can say whatever they want about the Kardashian family, but the mother, Kris, has her finger on the pulse of pop culture and obviously knows how to make a buck!  65 MILLION BUCKS to be precise!  Commenters on every blog known to man rips this family to shreds.  And I suspect said commenters are doing so while worrying about how they'll pay their own mortgages, and their children's school expenses, etc.  I doubt the Kardashian family has ANY of those worries, so my humble advice to those who only spew venom about them, thinking about the Kardashian family should be the LEAST of your concerns!  Especially if you aren't in a position to pay ALL your bills AND save some coins WITHOUT issue!!!!  Honestly, why be concerned about the lives of those who CAN!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Time Keeps On Slippin', Slippin'

I created a vision board back in 2008.  On it, I placed all the major goals I wanted to achieve.  By year's end, I hadn't accomplished ANY of 'em.  Not one.  So, I changed the year to 2009.  By year's end, I had completed only one---my screenplay, Miss Juanita.  So, I changed the year to 2010.  By year's end, I had completed only one---my novel, The Genesis & Revelations Of River M. Nile.  Now, I've changed the year to 2011.  Since 2008 I've wanted to visit eight, particular families at their homes. I wanted to simply step into their home lives for a weekend or so.  Well, as I look at my vision board now, I realize that within the three years I've desired to visit these families, three of the families are no longer.  Divorce and/or separation split them up.  What this means to me is that if I had truly made it a priority to visit with these families back in 2008, I would've been able to experience them when they were whole.  Now, because I allowed procrastination to get the better of me, I can't visit them the way they were.  Lesson learned:  time waits for no one.  And, when I say/feel that I want to do something, I MUST do it!  Admittedly, it's hard to break old habits.  But, if I ever expect to live my highest/best life, I had better DO so!  NOW!  Not tomorrow.  Not next week.  Not next month.  NOW!  RIGHT NOW!

Don't Worry About Me; I'll Manage!

I incorporated my talent management firm, Miss Juanita Management, Inc. (named after my beloved, decased mommy) back on October 20th, 2007.  I had such huge expectations for my business.  I had planned to serve as Hollywood's go-to, talent manager for non-white actors.  I wanted to see what I could do to make the thousands of invisible, non-white actors & actresses in this town---visible.  I jumped through all the required hoops to obtain access to audition notices and the such.  I read various industry publications to familiarize myself with who's who in this town.  But it didn't take me long to recognize that the people who truly moved mountains in this town DON'T look like me.  And don't come from similar backgrounds to mine.  What they did possess similar to me was the desire to do something creative in this town.  So, that was our single similarity I clung to for survival as a Hollywood, talent manager.  However, over time, I could see that the battle I had waged against the status quo was consuming me.  Drowning me, actually.  My clients would book a job here and there, but not enough to sustain themselves as working actors.  And most assuredly not enough to sustain me!  I found myself hustling like a mad man during the day with talent management duties and hustling even harder at night with cater-waiter duties!  Yep, you heard me!  I had to resort back to cater-waitering to pay my bills.  And, even with that work, I still got behind financially.  Something had to give!  And that something was my client roster.  I had to accept that if I was going to earn any money as a manager, I was going to have to sign white actors.  So, I did just that.  And, in time, the single, young, white actor I signed was screen-tested to be a lead in a tv pilot.  The show was about identical twins, so his twin brother (who wasn't an actor) flew in and learned his lines (by the skin of his teeth) so that he, too, screen-tested beside his brother.  Neither were members of SAG.  But both were young.  White.  And male.   The Hollywood JACKPOT!!!  The pilot didn't get picked up, so that was that.  Shortly thereafter, I decided to close my business.  I wasn't going to file bankruptcy in order to get non-white actors a job on television and film.  Well, fast-forward to today and I still harbor an itching desire to continue what I started.  Call me crazy, but I still find myself drawn to knowing what's being developed and cast.  And, from time to time, I still make calls to get a few folks into casting offices!  Maybe this work is my destiny.  My calling.  Whatever the heck it is, I hope and pray something jumps off PRONTO!  'Cause this ol' dude ain't broke.  But his cash has been on a much-too-long leave of absence!!!  Haaa!  But don't worry about me.  Somehow.  Some way.  I'll manage.  :)  --- Maybe even till I'm on the same level as the Hollywood, Talent Manager ALL-STARS---PAST & PRESENT!!!!!
Bernie Brillstein (R.I.P.)
Sandy Gallin
Rick Yorn
Geyer Kosinski
Benny Medina
Cynthia Pett-Dante
The most interesting fact about the Hollywood, talent manager moguls pictured above is that I've met each and every one of 'em....So what that our initial meetings were me asking, "Would you like coffee or tea?"  ---  But don't worry about me.  I'll MANAGE!!  'Cause you-know-who AIN'T sung just yet!!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Her Very Words

When my life isn't going precisely as I'd like, I know I can ALWAYS put a smile on my face by reminiscing about Mama's "famous" quotes (even if I don't fully understand 'em!):

A drunk man tells you his sober thoughts.
Meaning: Whatever a drunk person tells you, he MEANS it!

A bird in the hand beats two in the bush.
Meaning: If the chubby chick wants you and two, skinny chicks only sorta like you, go with the chubby chick before you wound up with NONE!

A raggedy ride beats a dressed-up walk.
Meaning: It's better to drive a beat-up, old car everywhere you go than to wear a three-piece suit and have to WALK!

If you're mad, scratch your ass and get glad.
Meaning:  Nobody really gives a damn that you're mad!

If you find a dummy, bump his head.
Meaning: If you encounter a foolish person, treat him foolishly.

Romance without finance is a nuisance.
Meaning:  Dating someone who has no money will get on your damn nerves!

Looks like dammit, I'll bite you.
Meaning: A person, place or thing has a wretched appearance!

Being poor ain't a disgrace.  It's just a damn inconvenience.
Meaning: Self-explanatory!

God helps the rich 'cause the poor can beg.
Meaning: Self-explanatory (but oh, so politicially INCORRECT!)

Thinking Of You

Lenny Kravitz says PRECISELY what I'd like to say to MY mama, MISS JUANITA:

Tell me, Mama, is your life a better change?
And tell me, Mama,
Would you live your life the same?
Or come back and rearrange?
Tell me, Mama, how is freedom?
Oh, I'm thinking of you
And all the things that you wanted me to be.
And I'm trying now.
Oh, I'm thinking of you
And all the things that you wanted me to be, yeah.
Tell me, Mama,
Are the colors deeper shades?
And tell me, Mama,
Are there great big brass parades?
Does the sun shine night and day?
Tell me, Mama, no more sleeping.
And tell me, Mama, no more weeping.
I'm thinking of you
And all the things that you wanted me to be.
And I'm trying now.
Oh I'm thinking of you
And all the things that you wanted me to be.
And I'm trying now
Oh I'm thinking of you
And all the things that you wanted me to be.
And I'm trying now.
Oh I'm thinking of you
And all the things that you wanted me to be, yeah.
Hey, Mama, hey, Mama, Mama
No, no, no, no, no.
Oh no, no, no, no, no.
Hey
Tell me, Mama, is it just the way they say?
Tell me, Mama.
And tell me, Mama, are you missing me the way
That I'm missing you today?
Tell me, Mama, can you hear me?
Oh, I'm thinking of you
And all the things that you wanted me to be.
And I'm trying now.
Oh, I'm thinking of you.
Thinking of you.
Mama, I know I'm not everything you wanted me to be, but I'm truly working on being all the man I want to be.  And, when I'm there, I'm 100% positive that'll be the man you'd want me to be.  I love you.  And miss you.  And am always thinking of you.
And tell me, Mama, are you missing me the way that I'm missing you today???

Going Against...

In order to get anything done to the level I want it done, I clearly see I'm gonna have to go against the natural order of things!  Today, one of my friends crashed an audition for a film he and I just know he's PERFECT for!  However, waiting on the casting director to schedule an audition for him just wasn't happening!  So, he went to the casting office TWICE on his own accord.  The first time he simply left his headshot.  We received no response.  So, he went back today!  And when he arrived, the character he's perfect for was actually being auditioned!  So, he signed himself in and waited till his name was called.  He went in and, according to the casting director, nailed it!  Now, if getting this role is meant to be, it will be!  I believe he's gonna get it!!!  'Cause he had the balls to go for it and NOT wait for someone to call him to the table!  Yep!  Going against the natural order of things appears to be the ONLY way he and I are gonna know the professional success we long for.  And DESERVE!!!  Let the record state, our NEW mantra is:  DARE TO GO AGAINST THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS!!!  But, try NOT to tell too many folks!!!  :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Iyanla Ain't Oprah

I just finished watching author/motivational speaker/life coach, Iyanla Vanzant, on OPRAH.  The two discussed why Iyanla hasn't been back on the show in eleven years.  I've gotta admit, the hour was fascinating for me.  I could've listened to those ladies talk for another hour.  And, as fate would have it, I'll get that chance when part two of their discussion airs next Wednesday.  Any number of times I thought Iyanla skirted the issue that she had given Oprah an ultimatum about either having Oprah produce a show for her right then and there, or she was going elsewhere.  Apparently Oprah heard an ultimatum, too, and let Iyanla go.  Iyanla wound up in the uncaring hands of Barbara Walters.  And there is where she languished until she crashed and burned.  Her show was cancelled within six months.  By her own admission, she was treated horrendously.  Barbara Walters et. al didn't want Iyanla to be Iyanla.  They wanted her to be Oprah.  And nobody does Oprah better than Oprah, so Iyanla's show failed.  --- I walked away from this first part of their interview liking Iyanla now as much as I did in years past.  The lady is special.  That much hasn't changed.  Oprah now has her own network, so I have a sneaking suspicion that Iyanla just might very well get her own show---produced by Oprah---on O.W.N.---before all is said and done.  And when/if she does, I know for sure that the show will represent EVERYTHING Iyanla is.  And NONE of what Barbara Walters et. al wanted her to be.  'Cause NOBODY can truly succeed at being SOMEBODY he/she isn't.  NOBODY!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Own Show

Although I wasn't selected to be one of the 10 finalists on Oprah's Your Own Show, I still watch the show.  And, truth be told, by watching it, I believe I'm learning a lot about putting a talk show together.  And about being a host.  Am I in love with any of the contestants?  No, not especially.  If I had to choose one to win, though, I'd have to say I like the big gal, Terey Summers, best.
She has a warmth and relatability factor that I...uh...relate to! --- Watching the show doesn't make me envious of those who were/are on it.  I'm genuinely happy for them.  And I look forward to watching the premiere episode of whomever is chosen the winner.  There are three contestants left, so the end is rapidly approaching.  It'll be interesting to see what becomes of the winner and those who were booted off the show. --- I have to admit, though, that I wasn't all that thrilled with the two folks who were the actual  hosts of the show!
Yes, Nancy O'Dell looks pretty damn good to me.  But a 40+-yr-old woman, who is ALWAYS clad in  mini dresses undoubtedly sold in the Junior Dept., gets verrrrry old verrrry quickly.  And listening to a screechy, unnervingly fey male say just about anything also wears on the nerves.  But, hey, who am I to talk?  Those two HAVE hosting gigs!  Perhaps I'd have one helluva hosting career if I turned up the "screeching" AND wore tight, short dresses my dang self!  Hmmm.  Perhaps the combination of the two is a sure-fire way of gettin' me MY OWN SHOW!!!  :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

What Will Be, Will Be

I've gotta keep this fact in my head and in my heart at all times!  It'll keep me from losing my natural mind!!  Sing it, Doris!!!

Will You Be My VALENTINE????

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to one and all!  One of my dearest friends sent me the link to her lovely daughter's self-penned, Valentine's Day ditty!  And I LOVE it!!!  So, I ask you again, "Will you be my Valentine?"  And, even if you say, no, you're still MINE!!!!  Haaaaa! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Beau Knows

One of my closest friends has a dilemma.  For the first time in his life, he is cohabitating with someone he's dating.  His beau loves him.  I truly believe that.  Everything the beau says and does illustrates that.  So, what's the problem, you ask?  The heartbreaking reality is that my friend doesn't feel the same way.  And, although it ravages his beau's heart immeasurably to think about it, the beau knows.  I'm convinced the "other" person always knows.  They may not always want to accept what they know.  But they know.  I remember years ago, wearing the same shoes as the beau.  I knew.  But I hoped and prayed that what I knew would one day change.  But change rarely comes.  At least, the change the heartbroken want.  I used to sit in my Jersey City condo alone.  In the middle of the floor.  In the dark.  And listen to Bonnie Raitt sing to me what I knew.  But didn't want to know. -- I wonder if my friend's beau is familiar with Bonnie's song.  Even if he isn't, I'm 100% sure he's familiar with its message.  Like the commercial said, "[Beau] knows."  And, like I say, I know the beau wishes like hell he didn't.

Father Doesn't Know Best

Yesterday, a former co-worker sent me a link to his blog.  He wanted me to read his latest posting about his aching desire to know the father who abandoned him.  Over the years, the man has let him down time and time again.  Yet, my former co-worker STILL harbors hope that the man will one day embrace him as his son.  Oh, how his words almost moved me to tears.  After reading it, I truly wished I was his father.  Read his blog posting HERE!!!  And, if you have children, hug them, tell them and SHOW them you love them.  NOW!!!!!!  'Cause even if they're adults with children of their own, they STILL want to know their own parents love them!!!!  Oh, how I wish I was Sean's father.     

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chameleon

Meryl Streep will be portraying Margaret Thatcher in the upcoming film, THE IRON LADY.  I wanna see her portray Maya Angelou or Ella Fitzgerald.  'Cause, if she can pull either of those roles off, I'll then know that the lady can become ANYBODY!!  What a talent!!!

Me And Mr. & Mrs. Jones

On a daily basis I see folks on television and in real life who appear to be mega-successful in their careers.  They drive expensive cars, wear expensive clothes and live in expensive homes.  As much as I think my life would be soooo much better if I had what I think they "have," I realize that it does me NO good to envy them.  'Cause truth be told, green just ain't my color and, at the moment, I can't afford to replace my wardrobe every time I see someone who appears to be living better than I am/do.  So, there you have it!  Keepin' up with the Joneses just ain't my thing!

If At First You Don't Succeed...

I'm not there yet, but I'm gettin' better at it!!!!

Thank You For Shopping Walmart

After landing her new job as a Walmart greeter, this sweet retiree I know lasted less than three hours on the job.  About an hour & a half into her first day, a very loud, unattractive & mean-spirited woman burst into the store with her two kids, yelling obscenities at them all the way through the entrance.
The sweet retiree said pleasantly, "Good morning, and welcome to Walmart.
Nice children you have there.  They're twins, right?"
The mean-spirited woman stopped yelling long enough to grunt, "Hell no, they ain't twins!  The oldest one's nine, and the other one's six.  Why the hell would you think they're twins?  Are you blind, stupid or both?"
The sweet retiree replied, "I'm neither blind nor stupid, ma'am.  I just assumed they were twins 'cause I'm sure NOBODY is blind or stupid enough to sleep with you twice!" 
The sweet retiree is now working at TARGET.  ;)  Haaa!

Monday, February 7, 2011

*SSHOLES!

I just watched two, *SSHOLES with road rage rippin' up my street!  One of them slammed on his breaks so that the other would either hit him from behind or...well, I don't know what else he could have expected.  I'll call that *sshole the, "the white dude."  The guy behind him, "the black dude," immediately raced in front of the white dude.  The white dude tried to pass him, but the black dude cut in front of him again.  This allowed the white dude to quickly turn onto another street.  Of course, the *sshole, black dude immediately did some quick maneuvering to turn onto the same street.  By the time I walked up to that street to see what was up (yeah, I just HAD to see!), the white dude had turned his car around and raced back onto my street.  The black dude was pulled over on the side of this side street with his blinkers flashing.  I don't know what transpired before I could get to that street to see them.  But I do know that both of them will have one hell of a tale to relay to friends and family tonight.  And I'm sure both their tales will be 5% fact and 95% FICTION!  *SSHOLES!!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lean On Me

13-yr-old Nadin Khoury got the shock of his life earlier this week when pro-football player, DeSean Jackson, and two of his teammates were introduced to him on live television (ABC's The View).  Back in January, Nadin was bullied by seven, older, male students from his school.  The older boys dragged him through the snow and tossed him up into a tree.  When he got down from the tree, they hung him from a tall, metal fence.  A fence that could've pierced his body and caused fatal harm.  The not-the-brightest boys videotaped the entire incident and uploaded the video to YouTube.  That's what got them in trouble.  Since Nadin is making the rounds, telling his story, the producers of The View knew he's a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and, DeSean Jackson, in particular.  So, the show arranged for Desean to come onto the show and present Nadin with season tickets to the Eagles' games and the jersey off his back (literally)!  While watching this exchange, I sat and cried like a baby.  Yes, as I grow older, I'm also growing more sensitive.  It saddens me beyond description when I hear about how downright cruel unkind people are to each other.  I'm ecstatic that this young boy got something great out of a horrible situation.  Indeed, there are blessings everywhere we go.  In everything we endure.  We simply have to be still to recognize them.  God bless Nadin Khoury.  And God bless DeSean for making the little boy's eyes light up like a Christmas tree in the wake of what could've been a horrific tragedy. 

Everybody And Their Mama

Seems like everybody and their mama has a flat screen tv these days.  Well, I'm not one of those folks.  Not yet anyway!!!  I gotta admit, though, they sure do look nice.  I reckon I'll get one someday.  Yeah, some day after I get another car!!!

With This Ring, I Do Not Wed

I'm off to work a memorial reception for a young lady who was thisclose to getting married, but her fiance died unexpectedly.  Wow!  I know great food won't bring him back, but that's about all I can offer in her time of grief!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lucifer LLC

If I don't hurry up and make the transition into a tv hosting and/or voice-over career PRONTO, there's only ONE place I can think of that hires DAILY!!!!

Fact

No other way to say it!

Traveling Man

One of my close associates has hit me up, asking to crash at my place for an indefinite amount of time.  He has said a month or for two weeks if I could do it.  Well, I have decided not to host him.  And the truest reason is because there are already two of us here and the place simply isn't roomy enough.  He would have to sleep in the living room.  And store his belongings in the living room.  The place would look a wreck.  I don't even have a couch for him to sleep on! --- I don't know the particulars of his current living situation, but I gather it's not to his liking or not to the liking of his hosts. Thus, he has wants to bail.  I hope & pray that God and The Universe aren't upset with me for denying him a place to lie his head.  If I could, I'd put him up in a hotel for a month or a couple of weeks at the very least.  For longer than I care to remember, there were at one time three people living here.  And during that time, I felt horrible about myself.  Just horrible.  I'm not willlingly going to live that existence again.  No, I'm just not.

It's All Right...It's All Right

Interviewing prospective tenants is an interesting endeavor.  What I've found is that most of them are searching.  For professional fulfillment.  For financial security.  Perhaps even for a sense of purpose.  A 27-yr-old, aspiring muscian showed up a couple days ago.  He had come via the subway.  Earlier in the day he had fallen off a borrowed skateboard and scraped himself up.  He showed me the scrapes and I immediately gave him some Band Aids to cover them.  I asked him some pointed questions about who he is and what he wants out of life.  Apparently my questions truly touched a nerve because, before I knew it, he was crying.  I heard his voice breaking, but wasn't sure what that was about.  Then I saw the tears.  At one point he simply stopped talking and cried.  It was at that time that I walked up to him.  And embraced him.  Hugged him like he was someone I love.  I knew he needed it.  This town can and has broken many a spirit.  But as long as those of us who choose to remain here hold steadfast to our dreams, we can achieve some level of fulfillment.  Of course we need some kind human suport, too.  The kid didn't wound up renting from me.  But he wasn't here to do that anyway.  Nope.  God & The Universe brought him to my doorstep so that he could talk and cry out all the frustration and pain he has harbored inside since he arrived in L.A from Alabama.  He has since asked me to be a Facebook friend.  I intend to keep up with his progress.  I can tell he's a kind fella.  My only hope is that he grow to realize that despite whatever becomes of his music career, he is MORE than any career he could EVER have.  SIGNIFICANTLY more!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

I love New York City.  I love Jersey City.  I love Fairfield, CT.  I love Indianapolis, too.  But I don't love walking or driving around in snow.  And each of those cities has more then their share of it right about now.  I gotta admit, though, I sure think the snow at least looks pretty!!!!!  Haaa!