We Can Do It!

This isn’t a post specific to performing or the arts, but one that I think is relevant and important for us all to not only keep in mind but also to spread around like wildfire (but a good wildfire.)

I was at Target tonight with my grandmother.  She was telling me how her age spots made her feel embarrassed and insecure.  “You know, grandma… we are our own worst critics.  We all have things about ourselves that we don’t like, and we fixate on them when we look in the mirror.  But you know, most people out there don’t notice them at all, and if they do, they don’t care!  And if they do care, well then screw em.  You are beautiful, people tell me that about you all the time.”  She replied, “Thank you, mija, I don’t feel that way.”

We were in the cosmetics department and I passed a blown up picture of a model.  “Look, grandma.  THIS is not real.  She is probably a beautiful girl, but this is photo shopped.  No one looks like that, it’s just an unattainable ideal and I’m ashamed that we allow ourselves to buy into it and to teach and pressure our children that this is what they have to live up to.”

“There are a couple of photo series out there right now that feature photoshop jobs (before and after) on models and celebrities.  It’s insane what they do to them. Even women who are thin and beautiful undergo dramatic changes.  The naturally thin become withering waifs with anatomically incorrect hips and ribs.  It’s upsetting and its not fair.”

(Also, see celebrity images on Buzzfeed and gifs on Likes.com)

A woman nearby overhead me on my soap box.  “Excuse me, but I just haven’t heard anyone talk like that since I was in college, and it’s just really refreshing to hear, wow.  No one talks like that!”  I went on to have a conversation with this woman, about how it’s so easy to get sucked in, but what a disgrace it was to be allowing our daughters to inherit this insanity.  “Wow,” she said, “I really needed to hear that today.”

Later on, on my way to the check out counter, I ran into her again.  She confided in me that the reason she was at Target tonight was to fix a fumbled dye job that she had done on herself.  She then revealed some personal things to me, including a dramatic weight gain after an injury killed her sports career in college.  As of today, she lost 150 of the 200 pounds that she’d gained, and ditched an awful relationship.  She was on her way, but still found many days a struggle.  “I used to be positive like you, but at some point I just got really depressed and that all went away.”

“Oh, I hear you,” I told her.  “Even I have my days: ‘I’LL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH!  HOW CAN I DIG MYSELF OUT OF THIS HOLE, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE! I’M JUST NOT ENOUGH!’  Yeah, I know those days.  But allow yourself to have that day.  And then tomorrow, get over it and do something better.”

“I’ve found, keeping a simple mantra makes it easier to overcome those voices of doubt. ‘Fake It Till You Make It’ or ‘Just Do It’ are favorites of mine.”

She looked like she was going to cry, which made me want to cry.  We hugged it out, and went our separate ways.  I left Target feeling like I’d changed someone’s life, even just slightly.  I don’t want to preach about changing the world, or getting people to buy into your ideas or politics or religion, but I think we can all agree that spreading EMPOWERMENT to ourselves and those around us has no agenda and would make us all better.

This past week I was looking for TV sitcom scenes for the a Teens Acting Class I teach.  Now my parameters were fairly narrow, as I have all girls, all teens, and needed comedic sitcom style.  However, I was SHOCKED to find how many sitcoms, even those with a strong female lead, failed to pass the Bechdel test (1. It has to have at least two women in it, 2. who talk to each other, 3. about something besides a man).  Most shows that I found featured scenes that were boy and boy, boy and girl, boy and parent, girl and parent.  I WAS able to find enough scenes, and only ONE of them was about a boy issue, so I’d say it was a successful hunt over all.  But I was still very disturbed by how difficult it was to find even the few that I did.

The time is now, ladies.  We need to stop tearing each other apart and competing with each other, and instead LIFT each other up and CELEBRATE ourselves as unique, beautiful, smart, powerful people, each with something different and wonderful to contribute!

Be empowered. Don’t hold back.

Some empowering tunes:

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

 

Unpretty

 

Check out this confident woman who doesn’t give a shit:

 

 

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Lottery for The Book of Mormon at the Pantages Theatre, Hollywood

The Book of Mormon, currently at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood (Hollywood Blvd and Vine St) till May 11, is not to be missed!  We won the ticket lottery, held daily before shows!  Sign ups start 2.5 hours before show time.  A half hour later, they will draw names for whatever tickets they have available (for us it was 26 seats, all front row.)  Each name may purchase 1 or 2 tickets, for $25 each (cash only.)

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(Logo is property of The Book of Mormon)

I thought on a Tuesday after a rain that our odds would be better–nay!  At 6pm when the drawing began, I estimated 80-100 other hopefuls with wide eyes and big dreams, all hoping for the prize just as much as I was.  Anyway, the point is, try not to get your hopes up, but keep trying!  It’s all luck.  If you live in LA, just keep trying!  After the lottery was drawn, they DID offer the remaining people the option to buy a number of tickets for $45 (still an excellent price!), which we would have taken advantage of had we not won (BUT WE DID, WE WON!!!)

I LOVED this show!  I spent most of the show with my jaw dropped and a smile on my face (yes, at the same time), laughing bellowing man laughs, and either slapping my knee all over the place, pointing furiously, or raising my hands and arms to the sky: a salute I like to call a cross between “Oh no, they didn’t!” and “YES, JESUS!”)  My boyfriend–who is not at all a theatre person–also loved it, although he expresses himself simply with laughter like a normal person.

I feel I must show my appreciation for the cast by pointing out how PHYSICAL the show is.  The movement and dancing, the singing and harmonies… it is PHY.SY.CAL!  Those Mormons are working their butts off, so when that curtain call starts to play, you’d better JUMP TO STANDING!!!  They earn it!!  Six nights and 8 shows week!

Click here for more INFORMATION.

The cast will move south to the Segerstrom Center of Costa Mesa (formerly the Orange County Performing Arts Center) from May 13-25, however it appears that lottery tickets may not be available, so get them while you can in Hollywood!

**Disclaimer:  May not be suited for parties easily offended or sensitive to adult content and language.  May be inappropriate for children.  It is generally a good idea research content of any production before becoming a patron.**

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The Book of Mormon OBC performs “Hello!” at the Tony Awards! (featuring Ricky Martin, Matthew Broderick, and other surprise guests!)

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Jack of All Trades

Lately I’ve been struggling with this artist life. That’s not a surprise. And as we all know by now, life isn’t fair. But I’m going to rant about it anyway.

It’s not enough to be talented, we have to have money to provide a life so that we can cultivate that talent and wait for our big break. It’s not enough to be pretty, we must also be thin. It’s not enough to have one job, we must have five. It’s not enough to have four jobs and wear seven different hats, we must also cook and clean and make a home. It’s not enough to be making enough to pay rent, you have to make enough to pay your student loans and credit cards, and then after that, phone, electric, groceries, gasoline…

The pressure never ends, and the work never ends. And sometimes it just feels like it’s all too much. No one will ever appreciate this work for what it is, unless it gets out that you were living in your car, or cleaning houses, or something that seems like rock bottom.

The other problems with being everything for everyone, are these: 1) They will always expect you to handle everything and you’ll never get any help, and 2) You relinquish “me” time. The Jack of All Trades is the master of none. So then how can you push your product, if the quality is not kept up to standards?

You thought this would end with some philosophical uplifting “it’ll all work out in the end” line, but the reality is, that’s not true. It’s not necessarily false either, it’s just unknown. I like to think that balance will restore order, and that handling things one at a time is the most organized way to work through issues, but my truth in this moment is that I’m tired. I’m tired of struggling. I’m tired of having so much to give and not being able to give it. I’m tired of being everything for everyone else, and not having time to work on myself. I’m tired of feeling inadequate and handicapped by debt and fatigue. I’m tired of taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back, or visa versa.

I need something to change, I just have to figure out what it is.

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Unforeseen Circumstances – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Failure.

As an artist, especially as a vocalist or an actor, dealing with failure is part of the job.  “Well, failure is part of EVERYONE’S journey,” you might say.  Ah, yes, true.  However, as an entertainer, when you fail at your work, you fail at being YOU.  It’s not as if you made a mistake on paperwork, or ordered the wrong shipment, or made a Freudian slip in the workplace.  Hell, even flubbing a line here and there or cracking a note is something we all experience and move on from and laugh about after (if we’re not being fined… and even then…)  Here’s a youtube video of some news bloopers to illustrate my point:

Notice how these little mistakes are usually laughed off and do not directly reflect the anchor or the reporter or their ability to do their job adequately.

So I’m talking about a REAL performance failure.  The ENTIRE THING went wrong, you were bad, and there’s no going back.  It’s not just a mistake, it’s YOU.  You didn’t do a bad thing–YOU were what was bad about it.  This girl knows what I mean:

Ok, so she’s not a singer or actor, but this is an example of TOTAL FAILURE and how it reflects on you PERSONALLY.  This girl was labelled as DUMB DA-DUMB DUMB DUMBY–IMMEDIATELY1  And it wasn’t because she made a mistake.  It’s because she, herself, was awful.  And there’s nothing to hide behind.  A visual artist may be able to hide out in a corner while someone judges their work.  A musician can hide behind an instrument and chalk it up to needing practice and it’s regarded as a hobby that either needs more attention, or should be put on the shelf forever.  But if you have a bad acting or singing experience, that’s YOU.  Your voice.  Excuses can be made and parallels can be drawn, however, it’s NOT the same as any other medium or profession, and unfortunately there’s no way to properly describe the feeling to those who’ve not experienced (or have even dreamed of experiencing) it themselves.  And no one will ever say, “Oh she just needs more practice,” or, “maybe she’s tired and had a long day or little sleep,” or, “Boy, she’s been sitting there for a long time, she probably would have been amazing if she had been able to come straight from a warm up room!” or, “maybe she needed some water and there was none to be found!”  No.  Singing specifically is regarded differently than any other professions or mediums.  There is no benefit of the doubt and no one will make excuses for you.  You’re either good, or you’re bad, or you’re not worth a second glance, which is bad.  It’s mortifying.  I recently had such an experience, and I’d like to am going to share it with you with my tail between my legs.

Ok, here goes…

Let me just say, from the moment I woke up that morning (on 2 hours sleep), I knew things were not going to be stellar.  I started to warm up my voice, and I knew they were going to be difficult.  I continued to warm up, and I thought, “Oh, well.  It is what it is.”  So already, we’re off to a GREAT start here (does the sarcasm read there?)  I could make tons of excuses, but no one wants to hear excuses and I don’t like making them.  For me, I went wrong during the intro.  The program had changed at the last minute, and said change required me to be running around during my intro.  As I said before, I was already feeling in a less than great place for this performance, so this was not good.  I got to the mic just in time to take a breathe, albeit a shallow one, and start the verse.  And it all went down hill from there.   I was already out of practice with this style of singing, so the fact that I was unable to take my intro to prepare was a huge disservice to my cause.  And then I was playing catch up from there on.  I had no control of my breathe–the very core of singing!  I wanted to run away, but I had to finish!  To me, this was hands down THE worst performance of my life–INCLUDING when I was an untrained child.  I was MORTIFIED. But I had to keep going.  There are no do-overs.  I smiled, and continued on and did the best I could with the cards I was dealt, but it wasn’t getting any better for me, and I was SO EMBARRASSED.  And all I could do was pummel towards the end, try to smile as to not give way to my struggle, and know that eventually, this would be over.

So I’m at the end of, what I felt was, the worst performance of my life… and now I have to greet people at this event and show my face, when all I want to do is hide.  I’m fighting tears, and I try to confide in someone about how I feel, but soon the guests of the event are starting to move out and people want to talk to you.  How do I face these people??  How can I face anyone after what just happened??  I must run away!

Ha!  No such luck.  People stopped me.  They wanted to talk to me.  They wanted to congratulate me.  Wait, what?  At first I thought they were patronizing me.

“No, you don’t have to say that, it’s alright, I know it was bad *as the tears start to well up in my throat*.”  But no, they actually liked it.  Well, that’s good.  But that doesn’t matter when it was your WORST PERFORMANCE OF ALL TIME!  As a professional and an INSTRUCTOR, this was probably the most embarrassing thing that could have happened to me–this performance invalidates my entire career path.  A “for fun” singer has a job that pays the bills and they sing when they want to, but a “my business card says I’m a singer” carries a lot more pressure in these situations.  Again, there’s nothing to hide behind.  And even more so when you’re a TEACHER of this medium that you so deeply put to shame.  And it doesn’t even matter that these people didn’t know the difference!  I KNEW, and I wanted to crawl up in a dark room somewhere and sleep it away.  I tried to accept their compliments graciously from then on, but every time I shook off the tears, someone ELSE would come up to me and bring it up.  (Again, compliments) But they would only bringing me back to that awful experience, which brought back the uncontrollable tears!  And there was no where I could run.  Everyone is expecting me to act a certain way, and all I want is to escape.  They don’t understand why I’m so disappointed in my performance.  And there’s really no way I can explain to them how it feels or what I’m experiencing.  NO WAY.  The worst part of it, was that it was all out of my control, and I couldn’t say anything to fix it.  Could you imagine me trying to make excuses for myself?  No way!  So here I am, feeling THIS BADLY about the performance, which meant I felt badly about ME.  And it’s VERY difficult to remove yourself from the equation.

“Thank you.”

So then they call me dramatic.  They call me moody.  They look down on me for the way I’m acting.  But I’m not acting.  I’m genuinely and deeply upset, and I’m not allowed to deal with these emotions in a healthy way.  What I SHOULD have done (what I TRIED TO DO) was found a corner, cried it out, and then pulled myself together.  I didn’t want to make a scene–I didn’t want anyone to see me like this, and I certainly didn’t want to draw focus.  But I couldn’t get away from the crowd, so I was forced to attempt bottling up my emotions, and we all know how that can go over for ANYONE.  Actors/artists are not meant to bottle their emotions.  It’s our job to feel.  We spend a lot of time getting to know our bodies and our feelings and learning how to be vulnerable.  So when we ARE vulnerable for real, WE REALLY FEEL IT!  I’m not a person who cares much for absolutes, but I challenge you to find me something that is MORE vulnerable than this experience.  I doubt you’ll find many, and even so, this will rank high on the list.  Because of this, very few people know what this is like to experience, which means very few people understand, which means I end up looking like a huge drama queen, no matter what I say or do.  Which could turn into a very Existential discussion on whether what any of us say or do really means anything at all… but that’s not really here nor there.

My point is that, bad performances happen.  And no one on the outside will ever understand what it’s like to experience this.  And they’ll never know your back story.  You can even tell them, and they’ll have no idea what any of it means or how it’s relevant, and they most likely can’t begin to imagine what it feels like.  AND they’ll be quick to judge you.  All you can do is appreciate that it’s over, move forward, and lastly… You just have to accept that no one will ever get it.  They just have nothing to compare it to, and so cannot possibly fathom what it’s like.  Ultimately, you are a black sheep and very few people have walked a mile in your shoes.  They only see that your shoes are dirty, and they judge you for that.

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Back In Business, And Ain’t It Grand!

Hello, My Darlings.

I’ve been MIA, and for that I apologize.  Nick and I have been busy building up our new entertainment business!  I’m sure most of you either know or can imagine that starting up a small business is exhausting both mentally and financially.  Whew!  But we know we can expect great things to come from it.  And although my depleted bank account is screaming at me like someone else’s child on an airplane, we’re staying positive and excited for the future, and only crying a LITTLE bit!  (To check out a little of what we’ve been working on, check out retro-soul.com!)

Also, my personal website is up at Michelle-Hernandez.com!  Thank you, Lisa at Starving Artists Web Design!  We love our new sites!

Wow, I really haven’t written since the Les Miz trailer, how embarrassing.  WELL, since then, Anne won the Oscar so she sure showed us all.  I was actually very pleased with her performance!  I thought she did an excellent job!  Not everyone felt the same, but once again, art is subjective.  I did hear that they used a different vocal take for that trailer… Which maaaaakes me wooooonder if they set it all up… Made us expect her to suck, so when she was good, it made her look even BETTER as our expectations were low.

Speaking of Lowered Expectations, how bout a throwback clip from the youtube?

Yeah, you’re welcome.

I’ll keep this short for now, although you can expect more rants and raves from me soon.  I’ve got my sassy pants on and an ass that won’t quit.   Deal with it.

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At The End of the Day

This post comes a bit late, but I have things to say about it.

Recently, the teaser trailer for the “Les Miserable” movie musical was released. Of course, it aired to mixed responses and reviews. This trailer, from casting to production to public opinion, is the PERFECT testament to the frustrated life of a performer. The movie looks extremely promising.  The trailer offers only a glimpse of what’s to come, though you can already tell, visually, it will leave nothing to be desired.  And if we were talking about a non-musical representation of the story, I doubt there would be any criticism at all (and most likely very little press, remember the version from the 90’s? Barely? That’s what I thought.) However, as always in a movie musical (and rightfully so), the attention is directed to the vocal chops of the main actors.  The teaser sets the montage of scenes to an abridged version Anne Hathaway’s big number, “I Dreamed A Dream”.  Anne’s acting, for me, is the high point here. This, as public opinion starts to weigh in, is where it becomes increasingly harder to maintain objectivity, as passion (whatever that passion may be towards) tends to blind objectivity.  The rumor is that director Tom Hopper wanted the actors to sing live,  capturing their raw performance, versus lip singing to previously recorded tracks, as is usually done.  I both love and hate this idea, and “Les Miserable” is probably one of the hardest, yet one of the most appropriate musicals for this this technique.

In the theater world, Les Miserable is referred to as an “Epic Musical”.  Everything about it, from story, to score and orchestration, to acting, to vocals, to costumes, to sets and special effects is EPIC.  I mean, it’s three hours long.  EPIC.  For a brief history of the show, this review gives a pretty good summary:

Les Miserable is what we Show People call a “Pop Opera”, although it’s neither pop nor opera.  Most of the dialogue is sung, unlike the stereotypical jazz-hand ridden musical. Also, the score is [more] classically orchestrated. It requires a powerhouse vocal technique.  You’d never let Brittany Spears sing “O, Mio Bambino Caro,” just as you wouldn’t want her to sing “The Phantom of the Opera” (although we, the [theater] people, were not thrilled with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s casting for the movie… but I digress).  Even a decent to good pop singer like Katy Perry or Christina Aguilera would most likely have a hard time with classically written repertoire.  It’s just a different skill set, and therefore the wrong choice for the casting, unless they HAVE in fact been trained in that style, in which case, go girls.  The casting of the weak, relatively unknown Emmy Rossum as Christine in the “Phantom of the Opera” movie was a choice none of us understood.  That’s between god and Andrew Lloyd Webber.  She sure is pretty…

Back to the Les Mis movie.  I love the idea of using the live vocal performance.  “Les Miserable” IS SOOOO dramatic, and I can see how lip singing to pre-recorded tracks would inhibiting the performance.  Broadway performers do it 8 times a week live, so why shouldn’t they try to recreate that and bring it to a wider audience.  And good for them for not supporting pitch correction and manipulated falsities.  Here’s why I hate it. If you’re casting film actors, with limited vocal skills, of COURSE they’re going to sound shaky and flat in a live recording, ESPECIALLY when they’re in the midst of an emotional performance.  And if it’s ridden with pitch issues, I know I’m not alone when I say that I’ll most likely be removed from experience of their performance and instead only focused on the flaws.  Mistakes are made, even by professional singers, and when emotions start to take over, the vocals will not always be on point.  Also, a mistake or sour note during a live performance may be forgotten as time goes on, but in a film it’s captured forever and can be re-lived again and again and again thanks to Tivo.  Now, most trained musical actors know how to use their breath and their technique to achieve both emotion and vocal excellence, however, an “actor who can sing” will most likely not have the same skill set or tool belt.  Many will argue, “I’ve heard Anne sing and she IS trained, she’s wonderful!” I’m here to tell you as a vocal coach and one who’s spent a LOT of time studying vocal health and technique, from the first few notes, it’s clear that she lacks a strong foundation on vocal basics.  I’m not saying she’s had NO training, I’m sure she’s had some, maybe even quite a bit.  One could get away with that on a lesser musical score.  However, the more difficult the material, the more it will expose your shortcomings.  “But she’s on the verge of tears! Of course she’s shaky!” you say.  It doesn’t matter.  With good vocal technique you can achieve both acting and strong supported vocals.  Like I said, she’s probably had some training, but would you want your surgeon to have had “some” experience, or “some” medical school before he opens you up? Again, I thought her acting was great, and I do expect to really love her in the role, however, for an EPIC Musical, the bar for vocal chops is just going to be much higher.

Here’s Ruthie Henshall performing a simple yet powerful concert version.

Vocals, BAM. Acting, BAM. Celebrity, not bam. When casting celebrities in singing roles, there will always be fans who will defend them till the end.  THAT’S why they’re cast.  Because they already have people who love them no matter what, and they’re going to sell the tickets and create a huge buzz.  For a performer, the fact that most people either don’t notice the severe performance flaws, or that they DO notice them and FORGIVE them because they think that’s the best that can be done is SO frustrating.  Don’t get me started on American Idol or Smash.  But, THAT’S show business.  And while it’s frustrating knowing that there are HUNDREDS of unknowns out there who have could done it better, and that THEY won’t have their chance to shine when some hack from the Disney Channel (you know, for example) is always two steps ahead of them, I have to say that the Celebrity casting IS a positive thing in one way: It’s exposing musical theater, an industry that has seen many downs recently, to a wider audience.  Fans of Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfreid, Hugh Jackman, and Russel Crowe will go see this movie, whereas they may not have with an unknown, yet qualified, cast.  This will open up doors in ways we can’t even imagine.  Perhaps it simply motivates viewers to purchase tickets to touring company when it moves through their town.  Maybe it will inspire new patrons to the arts.  What if it propels young future performers, directors, producers, and patrons into a new direction that changes the face of the arts, and perhaps they wouldn’t have seen the movie had it not featured their favorite Marvel character, Wolverine.  You could look at it as taking away jobs.  But I think (I hope) that it’s really an investment in the future of the industry.  And as much as we poke fun at Susan Boyle, her performance of that song brought attention to a beautiful score.  Look at the movie musical “Chicago”. Had the movie not been such a hit (with half rate singers like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, and the god awful Renee Zelweger), the Broadway production may not be celebrating 15 years and running.  Most musicals are lucky to stay open a few years, and break even at the box office, much less turn a profit. Granted, they’ve been headlining at least one big star since (Jerry Springer, Wayne Brady, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Brook Shields, Lisa Rinna, Joey Lawrence, Melanie Griffith, and even Sophia Vergara, to name a few).  Again, the public will come to see someone they know.  And if that’s keeping a full cast, crew, and production team employed, then it can’t be a bad thing.

THIS is why I would have supported pitch correcting.  You can’t expect movie actors with limited legit vocal training to nail this score.  It’s asking too much.  You wouldn’t put ANY of those actors in a movie version of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”.  No one wants to see that.  But somehow “the musical” seems more accessible and so we allow it.  Fine. F or all the reasons I’ve been over, fine.  But seeing as you’re setting them up for failure, why not just help out a little bit.  Maybe they WANTED us to argue about their chops or lack there of, thus creating a buzz.  Maybe it’s just a big scam to get us all in there to see it and judge for ourselves.

I AM proud of them for reconsidering casting Taylor Swift to play the role of Eponine, another vocally and emotionally challenging lead role.   Samantha Barks, from the UK reality talent show, “I’d Do Anything” will be playing the role.  It’s like American Idol, but the prize is a role in a West End musical.  (They tried a similar show in the states: “You’re the One That I Want” was the same concept, the prizes were the roles of Danny and Sandy in the Grease revival on Broadway.)  Although Barks’ reality show status makes her LESS of an unknown (although completely unknown in the States) compared to Taylor Swift, using Swift would have been a gross mistake performance wise.  Marketing wise, she would have appealed to, so then exposed the movie to, thousands of young girls.  And for that, we thank you.

At The End of the Day, my trained, technical opinion means exactly nothing.

At the end of the Day, comment threads praising or criticizing for WHATEVER reason don’t matter.

At The End of the Day, I’m really glad they’re doing this movie, and I can’t wait to see it.

(I just hope I’m able to enjoy it.)

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What is this Honey, what’s going on here?

I’m a Bitch, I’m a Lover, I’m a Child, I’m a… well, while I’ve not yet conceived, birthed, adopted, or otherwise parented in the legal or biological sense of the word, I certainly maintain a motherly role most of the time, be it to my friends, boyfriend (oy), co-workers, or whoever.   The url for this blog (as you may have noticed) is “Michelle The Entertainer”.  Upon selecting my URL I could have gone many ways; but what did I want to write about?  What would people want to read about?  What could I write that wouldn’t piss people off and get me into trouble?Back in the Live Journal days, I had a juicy little public diary, documenting my every love and loss, my every tear and joy, my every dream achieved and crushed like a bug as I made my way through what seemed like every bachelor in Manhattan (eligible or otherwise).  Sounds a little like “Sex In The City”, you may think.  Well, I had never seen that show until WELL into the good parts of my blog, and I didn’t ever try to emulate it once I had seen it.  My life was just THAT awful, err, I mean interesting, I mean it was a mess.  And my followers seemed to salivate, waiting for the next installment of the ridiculousness.  The thing was, in documenting all the gossip, even using codenames and speaking in metaphors, I always seemed to burn a bridge.  I’d often get myself in trouble with a friend, romantic prospect, roommate, and god knows who else.  So I stopped.  I stopped documenting all the gory details.  Or I’d lock the good entries, so that only people I trusted could read them.  The problem then was that my friends needed an account themselves to read my entries.  I lost more and more followers as I was able to disclose less and less information, and the few posts I made public grew more vague and cryptic as time went on.Since then I’ve tried a couple of theme blogs.  Travel.  Love.  Personal Musings.  But my life is more eclectic than just one of those things.  “Michelle The Entertainer.”  I’m a working Musician.  An Actor, looking for a way in (though I seem to have taken a wrong turn down the Road to Perdition).  A frustrated Victim of the United States’ Great Collegiate Scam (it should be illegal to charge that much for a college education, much less allow a poor 17 year old immigrant’s child to agree to that kind of debt, ESPECIALLY for an arts degree).  I’m opinionated.  I’m open-minded.  I’m my parent’s child, and yet so different.  I love stuff.  I can read people extremely well and understand a great deal of their psychology upon a first meeting.  Some have called me “The Gay Whisperer”.

But again, What could I write about that wouldn’t burn a bridge or cause a WHOLE lot of unnecessary drama.  A typical Aquarius, I’m able to edit myself objectively.  However as an honest, uninhibited progressive, I’ve of course found trouble in what I consider to be mild “non issues” by those who may not be so open-minded.  Prohibition much?

So what the hell is this shit, you may ask.  “Michelle The Entertainer.”  Well, with American Idol and the Kardashians making Celebrity seem like such an accessible career, I’ve found, now more than ever, that there’s a serious misconception of what it’s like to be a professional entertainer.  Daily, random outsiders with zero experience on a stage, in front of a camera, or even at an audition will advise me on how my industry works.  They love to tell me what I “should” be doing.  oh my god what an innovative idea I can’t believe I didn’t think of that.  Please, I don’t come into your office and tell you how to file or whatever.  Especially as an actor/singer, but everyone just thinks they know better than you.  I guess I can see that, of the “star” careers, acting and singing take less OBVIOUS study and skill.  If you haven’t studied for years, you can’t just pick up a violin or sit at a piano and go to town.  With out years of experience, training, study, and practice, you’d have a hard time being able to play at all.  But since most people can talk, and enough can carry a tune, being an actor or a singer would SEEM to be easy enough.  As if I just woke up one day and decided I’d have a band today.  Not that it took any preparation, practice, homework, or experience or anything.  And the $150,000 I spent (and continue to pay) for college training, and private voice lessons since the age of eight, not to mention resume full of work on stage, off stage, and on camera… the nearly 20 years of classes and field work… means NOTHING, because apparently Joe the Plumber knows what I “should” be doing for my acting career.  And he should know, he watches The Bachelor.

So, hopefully without pissing too many people off, this blog will be a testament of an Entertainer.  What we ACTUALLY do.  And everything in between.

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