Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The "Your Turn To Rant" Contest

Got a burning issue that you've just been dying to get off your chest? Maybe you disagree w/one of my views or feel you should cover something I haven't.

Well, now it's your turn to rant.

Send me your best rant on a current event you've personally experienced (as in you or a loved one). It can be on anything from politics to immigration to those pesky kids who won't stop playing on your lawn. Yes, you can disagree w/me!!

The winning rant will get published here & the lucky author will win 4 free tickets to Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage (a $300 value).

If the winner can't get to the show in NYC, then we'll see what we can do.

Contest Rules:

1. You only have to write one rant. If you start following the blog or link to this, you can submit a second entry. You'll have to prove you're doing this, though.

2. No more than 2 authors per rant.

3. Rants must be at least 100 words and no more than 5,000 words. Yes, I'll be counting the words.

4. You must present logical reasoning to support your rant. If it's all “the Bible/Koran/other holy book says this,” I'm not going to bother reading it. Nor do I care what your grandmother, Jesus or George W. Bush have to say; this is YOUR rant. Convince me that I should agree with your views.

5. Keeping w/the above, this isn't a law review article or research paper. Putting me to sleep will not increase your chances of winning.

6. No hate speech, religious sermons or content that would violate Blogger's “Terms and Conditions” or those of other websites. If there's going to be any cult recruitment efforts here, it's going to be from me damn it!

7. Proper English: spelling errors will be corrected but no “leek” or text message speak. If I can't understand it, you can't be considered.

8. Your rant can be posted anonymously but you can't be anonymous in submitting it. I have to be able to get in touch w/you if you want to win.

9. I reserve the right to edit your post for conciseness. If you don't like it, start your own blog & post your rant there.

10. No personal attacks. I will not publish your manifesto against Jenny Smith unless you agree to change the name.

11. No recounts & no whining if you aren't selected.

Rants will be judged by moi & her trusted team on originality, humor, persuasive ability and accessibility to the general public. You can disagree w/my views but you'll need a good argument to back it up & should prepare for me to debate you on it.

The contest ends on January 3, 2011. That should give you a nice post-holiday treat.

How to enter? Simply post a comment to this entry; I won't publish them & will review them for the contest. If you post a comment to a different entry, I may not see the entry so make it easier on yourself okay?

So, on with the rants!!

General Musings Part 12

More stories falling into various categories. Here goes.

Bravo to these flight attendants. They're doing what they have to in order to survive. Anyone finding fault in them doing a sexy calendar to raise $ is just some ugly woman who's insecure about her appearance or someone who's never faced hard times; neither group is one I feel particular sympathy towards.

Speaking of another group of people I have no sympathy for, check this out.

Doesn't this mother sound like a micromanaging harpy out to sue anyone she can? Her child is 17 years old & she wants to dictate policy on perfume scents. What will this child do in college or at a job? Going to sue the company because people aren't catering to your sensitivities??? Mommy going in & doing that will sure make things better! I'm not big on overpowering scents myself but why stop there? Let's get rid of people w/BO, the kids so fat they qualify as blobs, those with overly cheery dispositions early in the morning and perform strip searches complete with searches of lunch bags before anyone enters school.

In case you can't tell, I feel the same about peanut bans. Make the allergy suffers go elsewhere instead of demanding everyone else to accommodate to them since the real world doesn't have "peanut free" zones. If you want to get all bitchy about finding an alternative to peanut butter, I suggest you foot the bill for the extra food costs the parents who can't afford alternatives are being forced to pay because of YOUR child's problem. Until then, keep your big mouth shut. I'd like to ban cole slaw & mayonnaise since I don't care for the smells, but I don't think I'd have much success on that one.

If this kid doesn't want to be known as the henpecked offspring of "that controlling mega-bitch", he might want to talk Mommie Dearest out of this public spectacle. Even Vinton Harper had more of a backbone than this kid seems to have(Mama's Family reference; if you haven't seen the show, go look it up online since that crew makes most people's families look adorable by comparison)! Could you imagine dating someone like this? I couldn't & I was quite willful at that age; in fact, I was pretty saucy by about 6 or so.

Now for more stupid school administration policy.

Yes, because some child can successfully murder a group of school children with some Chapstick. Quick, let's put on the haz-mat suits & hide under our desks! Kids in the old days ate stuff that was in dirt, covered in snot, in fact I once saw a kid on the bus eat a live bee.

If you're that worried about school children sharing lip balm, then it's time for you to start a long vacation at your nearest mental facility. No one should release you without some sessions of shock treatment & perhaps a lobotomy if electric shock doesn't calm you down.

Apparently, text messaging is a new distraction in schools.

Well, where have you been for the past 5 years? This same argument comes up in law schools with the use of laptops. Students use the laptops to play computer games, chat on AIM, catch up on the sports game, anything but do school work. At least, this was the case at my law school. You'd think in college you'd just do that courtesy of the free WiFi instead of wasting your $ paying for text messaging service. Personally, I don't care for texting & while it may come in handy at times I just don't want to pay for it.

Putting your phone at the teacher's desk & getting it after class is over seems fair. It prevents cheating, theft by leaving the phone in a locker & you can call the police if some errant school shooter happens by. To me, leaving your life in the hands of others is stupid as a matter of general common sense. Instead of hoping someone does something for you, you're better off trying to make things happen for yourself like protecting your own safety. Too many stories about the MTA doing nothing while people were hurt in the subway stations & not being held liable under the law support my views on taking care of yourself since no one else will.

This MSN article is another dating advice one that annoyed me.

Ah, Glamour magazine. Basically encouraging women to be dishonest. Be a little helpless doormat & don't consider that maybe men shouldn't do this stuff either. I actually had a boyfriend tell me about wanting to date a friend of mine who was dating his frat brother, expressing regret that he didn't "get to her first." Gee, thanks for taking me as sloppy seconds!

If you can't be personal or honest with someone, then you certainly can't live with him/her. That house of cards falls apart the minute you are in close quarters. For the record, the cat is #1 over some asshole guy who'd just leave in 2 seconds. In a functional relationship, there's no competition b/t your significant other & the pet(s). They are equal. My husband & my kitty are equal: they have different roles & importance to the family. The cat kills vermin that intrude on our peace, warns us about bad people & snuggles up on us at night. Plus, my husband got our cat w/the animal abusing bitch. The cat simply claimed me later on.

Hey, Glamour magazine! Do you think I liked my ex telling me to shave my girly areas so I'd look like a 10 year girl? See, a lot of that goes both ways.

Finally, I was reading entries in this online childfree group I used to belong to but after seeing too many child-hating jerks decided to leave. One of them was discussing an initiative among some companies to allow babies in the workplace.

Not babies in a day care facility at the workplace but putting babies into the workplace of people trying to do jobs.

Could you imagine that in the entertainment field? In some agent's or lawyer's office, that baby would be exposed to so much swearing & vulgar language it would start talking like Tony Soprano when it got old enough. Putting them in some spaces is just downright torture for the baby & everyone within a 2 mile radius such as a CLE course.

I'm all for day care in a separate area in the workplace with qualified caregivers supervising the kids but actual babies in the workspace of others??? Hell, no!!! Who is that stupid? Who cares so little about productivity and the bottom line to approve that one?

I think a better solution would be more generous pregnancy leave for both genders such as in Canada, France & the like, day care in more workplaces (so kids can also socialize with peers & see their parents on lunch breaks) and some compromise on both sides of the table. I don't have all the answers there but I think those are better than just letting babies come into the office with you to rest in your cubicle.

Finally, I've not heard about whether people actually diverted the TSA enhanced search nonsense last week. I hope there was a TON of it. That whole thing bothers me & is just another good reason for me not to fly. I had enough bad experiences with missing luggage, bad landings & total incompetence leading to flight delays, long before the 2006 liquid ban that sounds like just another attempt to extort money from working people by making them buy overpriced beverages at airport shops. Until I know a competent pilot with a private plane & can fly first class, I'm not getting onto an airplane if I can help it.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the contest announcement.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ghostwriters & Plagiarists

As a frequent checker of Craig's List job postings in various skills I have, I tend to see lots of stupid shit posted there. Aside from blatant labor law violations, I used to see a lot more posts from people seeking accomplices to academic dishonesty.

The people trying to get someone else to do their schoolwork, write their papers, etc. just piss me off. Why?

1. I earned my own damn way, motherfucker!!! I didn't have anyone to do my work for me & I had to rely on my own brain to get ahead. I also didn't have a lot of resources that your average person has & had to fight not being from money. If I managed to do my own work & got ahead, then (1) get off your ass, (2) stop being a baby & (3) do you own damn work!!!

2. I don't know about your college or law school but in my college, you could get time extensions if you needed them to get a paper done. If it was the end of the semester, the professor would just give you an incomplete until you turned in the work. Some were extremely flexible on this; I knew a few people who did this & didn't resort to cheating.

Why not do this if you're so "busy"? That ad I posted a while back on the law student trying to get some assistant b/c of being on law review really takes the cake here. Didn't hear back from that flake; probably b/c that moron knew I was right.

3. Ownership: it's not your product if some ghostwriter is doing the work. It belongs to the ghostwriter. I don't care to be abused in that way so that's why I won't do it. If it's your ideas and your views and the person is merely clarifying them in a way you can't, that's different. Lawyers do this all the time.

However, if the person is having to research & creating the work that you're using (as in, it wasn't your idea or views) then you've become a plagiarizing cheat. In particular, if you're doing that to get into a school or to give someone the pretense that you wrote whatever the product was you don't belong in the program.

Even courts won't let you pull one over on the judges if you're appearing pro se (without a lawyer). Some places require you to disclose if you got assistance from an attorney in your papers & in some cases, to name the attorney.

4. Earning your spot: This goes back to #1 a bit but why should you get to cheat your way in to keep or get a spot in a school when someone else who did their own work got turned down? Why does YOUR busy schedule and YOUR life trump everyone else's? There's delegation of duty and then there's outright cheating. Having someone take a test for you? Cheating. Write your paper? Cheating.

Researching your paper (without writing it)? Not so much but what makes you so special to get the extra help when you're a student? Maybe you should reevaluate your priorities b/c the real world is much harder & you'll be a lot busier once you're out of school, especially if you're going to be a lawyer. It's the same as athletes taking steroids; how fair is it to the ones who don't & actually earned their spots?

5. Having a Talent: If you're good at something, it's very hard to find someone just as good or better. If you're going to pay someone to do something, that person needs to be just as good at or better than you at the task. The only people who'd think to hire someone else are no-talents who can't hack it. If you can, then you wouldn't trust someone else's work over your own. You'd never take that risk, no matter how busy you were. You'd cut back on your social life & other tasks to focus on your education.

Lately, I've been seeing ads in this section from law school students trying to get people to do their homework for them. I wonder what a state ethics committee (the group that decides if you ever get to be a practicing lawyer) would have to say about it? I bet they'd be just as disgusted by that as I am. One of these days, I'll have to make these people think I'll agree to work with them so I can report their sorry asses to their school deans & the state ethics committees.

If they find that kosher, then that ethics committee has no business hassling me for college debt I had to incur in order to survive my lower middle class upbringing (particularly when there was nothing else at all in my record that was a "black mark"). Plagiarism/academic dishonesty is a blatant ethics violation & if you want to prove deceit, what's more deceptive than making your school think you did work you didn't bother with?

If someone reports these fuckers for their ads, then they deserve it. You don't get sympathy from me when you're trying to cheat & prove you weren't worthy of being accepted to your school.

These views are why I adamantly refuse to work as a ghostwriter or assist lazy school children. My posts are also written by me & only me. No one writes my work or transcribes it for me. I have the utmost respect for celebrities and well known people who write their own damn books. No ghostwriters, no "with" whomever in teeny tiny print while the famous person's name is bigger than life itself.

I think even if I became mega-busy, I would insist on keeping my integrity by writing my own damn blog & not having a PR team or someone do it for me without IDing him/her first.

I tend to flag those ads & if I had my way, they'd be banished from the site. How do you think your boss would like it if you paid someone else to do your work, show up to the office, etc. but still had to pay YOU for it? Who in their right mind would agree to that? You can't do that as an actor

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person in the world who still has some integrity. I saw an ABA story ages ago where a lot of lawyers talked about not writing their own law school admission essays. Gee law schools, if you don't consider these in admission decisions and/or refuse to punish people for having others do them, then why waste everyone's time asking for them?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Undercover as an Extra - Guess I'm No Longer an "Ugly Girl"

So officially, I can no longer be referred to as an "ugly" girl or someone who is unattractive. Whoever casts extras for Gossip Girl recently picked me to portray a member of the fashion elite i.e. one of the "beautiful people" as part of background work. I was doing this Monday & yesterday in my very first gig as an extra for Central Casting.

You won't read plot lines here since even if I hadn't signed a form agreeing not to discuss it, I know why they don't want that getting out & if it were me, I'd make certain we did the very same thing. I'm going to talk about my human observations & experiences.

Now, I've heard many stories about the experiences of being an extra. How some sets are abusive while some are tons of fun. Different stories from different people I know. As an actress who is also an entertainment law attorney & partner in her own indie film company, there's no real reason I have to do extra work. I don't have to go garner favor from people, I have no shortage of people who think I have talent & when someone is so impressed with you after seeing you audition that they want you to create your own character in their comedy show + say you're almost too good at the lead role, that means you are nobody's slouch.

Let's face it: I'm in the position to get significant creative opportunities your average actor or even actor/attorney in a different field would never get. Even SAG membership is not something I have to go around begging or groveling for since I will have significant chances to get it sooner or later. For those of you outside the industry or who are novices, people would KILL to get into SAG & oftentimes, if you aren't a member you do not get to move up in your career.

The entertainment industry has spoken in many ways but this is the final word: for those of you jerkwads who called me "ugly" as a kid or think redheads aren't pretty, piss off.

Out of all the background people at my 2 days, I was the only natural redhead present out of over 100. The only person with even my hair shade. Actually, that includes everyone working in front of the camera on the show. I also brought 2 wheeled suitcases for wardrobe checks & had a very distinct coat (my fake fur leopard print that I wear when it's subzero outside). Random non-background people w/the show even complimented my ensemble as did the wardrobe people. Even the hair person doing my hair complimented its color. The red hair compliments happen a lot but still, I always respond politely since I never get sick of compliments in general.

So, without further adieu, some observations & comments:

1. Actors are a very, VERY whiny bunch: Don't get mad at me for saying this but the behind the scenes people have a very valid point here.

When I first arrived, I heard some vicious things about Central Casting & a woman working with the wardrobe department. One actress near me was talking about how this woman was evil, that she hated her & that this woman had apparently driven some background person to tears.

My experience was that perhaps this woman was a little brusque when we were determining a line up for coats but was polite to me the next day when she checked me in for the wardrobe match-ups. I have no room to say a word about brusqueness since I'm certainly a ball buster when I have to be. People have certainly taken issue w/my tone on things & I admit to being quite blunt.

The same goes for the first Assistant Director named Peter. He had to tell the background people numerous times to be quiet & instruct us ladies in high heels to walk quietly while going up & down the stairs. After we were done with one particular scene, I heard a different background actress have a HUGE conniption fit over the high heel thing. I also heard some very unflattering remarks about this man from other actors on the talking. I even overheard the director, the legendary Andrew McCarthy of '80s film fame, getting annoyed w/the loud chattering.

If Peter or some friend of his happens to read this, he should know that this entertainment attorney/indie film company executive approves wholeheartedly. He was far more polite than I'd likely have been. I'd have started having people released & encouraged the folk managing the extras to call talkers out in front of everyone. Insubordination doesn't fly with me or in the legal arena & if it happened in my company, I'd hear about it in a moment. You have to nip that in the bud.

Plus, I figured out how to master the quiet shoe thing w/out foam on the bottom: you plant your feet very slowly and/or walk on your toes.

Tell me, is following directions difficult? When they say "don't talk", you don't keep talking. You shut the hell up! That's not hard. When someone tells you to do something, you do your damnedest to make it happen.

I was in one section where I was near an entrance to the set. People kept coming in behind this fabric over the door. After it kept up, I asked the person at the door if we could have a signal or something to alert us when someone was coming in so people at this door wouldn't get hurt. The person agreed to knock. When we heard it, we pulled up the fabric so people could get in. After a point, I felt like they should be paying me for PA work since so many people were going in & out.

Perhaps it's because I'm an industry insider but I believe in not making life more difficult for people. I was on set for a day when Cookies & Cream was being filmed. To my mind, my task was to make sure things were going as they should & our biggest name, Ardie Fuqua, was taken care of. He was nice enough to take time from his schedule to work in our film so it's the least we could do.

I heard a LOT of complaint about changed directions & positions from person to person. A tip to note: things can change on a set. The director may want to try something different or your outfit may be causing a glare someplace. God only knows. Be flexible & don't bitch about it.

Scott Powers of the Scott Powers Studio offers a list of Weekly Tips.

While I don't publicly endorse him since I've never attended any of the forums or used his workshops, I will say that these tips are extremely spot on from my experience as an insider. Many of these tips will tell you similar things that I'm saying: I recall one in particular that says not to trash agencies & others because word does travel and you can be blacklisted. I also don't think he'd publicly support someone like the con artist at the sham TV network I dealt with last year.

Hearing these comments in this capacity is even worse than trashing a former employer in a job interview. I was present & saw the conduct of the people you trashed firsthand so you don't even have the advantage of making me wonder whether some former employer indeed violated labor laws, used racial slurs against you, sexually harassed you, etc.

2. Watch how you treat EVERYONE: This doesn't just go to background people. This goes for PAs, crew folk, directors, ANYONE! I don't care how big a name you are or how known you are. You never know who might be a non-union insider like me. Major big-wigs in this business will instantly be nice to an attorney, especially an entertainment attorney. Even a newbie like me has gotten this sort of treatment & others have told me similar stories. We're not even talking about your average background slave type; I'm speaking of executives, industry veterans, people who might be truly nasty to you if you weren't one. People with very impressive jobs in the business have point blank told me they were impressed with my background or admired me for doing all that I have. I've not even reached my apex yet.

Because I did not walk onto this set with a plan to get fawned over just for my job or my credentials, I only told a few people my second day in. One person from the TV network scam came up to me at lunch yesterday & vouched for me. He said I was actually one of the nicest people w/the company & seemed to care since I warned people about the scam. I pointed out my obligations as an attorney & that I warned people I truly felt had a shot in the business based on their behavior toward me. He did agree not to loudly or publicly out me.

As for the bigger name folk with the show or anyone else, the people getting trashed by the background are the people I'd love to deal with. Those people will get things done & be efficient instead of being too soft or letting anyone ride them. I have to admire that in others since I'm the same way.

I didn't see star trips or rudeness toward me or others from the "names" but no one really acknowledged me either even though the show's director did personally direct me & some other extras in one scene since we were right near the show's action. More on that in a bit.

But for now, they at least did graduate from my disdain to my indifference. Meaning I won't hold your work on a show I don't care for against you but I'm also not going to vouch for you among my partners if you or your agent comes in wanting to work with us. To get me to vouch for you, you'd better reach out to me first instead of expecting a meeting b/c you said you worked w/me & pointing to my IMDB page as evidence (if my gig gets listed there). They'll just ask me about it anyway. Plus, doing that before you speak to the person first is bad form (especially in entertainment).

Oh, and if you're SAG? Don't get cocky about getting to eat lunch first. I saw a SAG guy doing this while us non-union folk were waiting in line? Do you think that after you do that to me, I'm letting you get involved w/my company? Ha! You won't even make it to the audition b/c I'll tell my partners & they'll tell the casting people.

That's a character flaw none of us need or want in our lives. That's a turd who'll abuse PAs & belongs in permanent background limbo. Wish I'd gotten his name but I know what he played (wasn't one of the beautiful people). Star trips: contrary to legend, you'd better not try it with producers, executives, the people who can get you an audition or keep you out permanently. It's happened to countless actors, even big names who got too big for their britches (as my mom would say).

3. PETA has done something vicious to big name TV production companies: The content of my coats was a huge issue. The wardrobe people told me point blank that they couldn't use anything w/real fur. They also had to put me in a different spot b/c of my other coat looking like a real fur coat.

Damn you, PETA! While I'm not anti-animal per se, I'm a pragmatist. I have a real rabbit skin coat that belonged to my husband's grandmother along w/a few real fur items. This coat has probably existed long before I was born so what would you have me do now? It keeps you warm, it has function & when you don't have money, it's not the time to get hung up on particular principles. I would not demand a custom real fur to be made for me but if the animal has long been dead, what good does it do to reject that product when someone else will take it?

I also have a hard time taking PETA seriously when many of the members are hypocrites & attempt to promote censorship + shut down various industries instead of provide a reasoned viewpoint. Whether I eat meat or not is not your business. They're just as bad as religious zealots & I have a huge problem w/anyone daring to control my life.

Unless these people want to start PAYING for my monthly expenses, the extra costs of organic items & generally any cost difference resulting from traditional items vs. organic or animal friendly products for everyone who can't afford it, it's time to shut the hell up. Until you put your money where your mouth is, you have no room to criticize anyone for doing the best they can when they are broke. I will fight anyone to the death on that point.

4. We see right through you: Oh, I do! After mentioning that people treat you different when they hear about a background like mine, many actors joined that chorus of "Oh, I don't suck up to people. I act however they treat me." You don't fool me, kid! I look for behavior, I look for actions. Talk is extremely cheap, especially in the business. Let me see how you conduct yourself & get lessons. I made this disclosure to one person who spent a lot of time not following directions & apparently spoke to the actor who knew me from the scam fest. I'll say this: I didn't hear him trashing folks after that.

One actress I spoke to on this was quite pleasant & had I seen her when I left, I would have given her my card but I'm easy to find. After all, I bought my name for my website domain name & the first results on Google are my film company, LinkedIn profile, etc.

5. Being the only person with your look helps: I got moved up close to the action on Tuesday. I suppose I got some choicer spots the day before but every time I tried turning on my laptop to see if I could get Internet or do some corrections to sample legal documents so I'd have viable samples when I need them, it seems like I was needed on the set. Then I was put in one point & was moved up when Heather, the woman placing extras says "The redhead! Come here."

If I make it to the air, you're most definitely going to see me if you look. If someone's looking for a redhead, chances are you'd see me. As I said, I was also placed in areas close to the action w/very few others around me, in fact making it to the camera. I was put in places enough that she started to know me by name.

At one point, Andrew McCarthy himself directed me & the extras around me for one scene where we were reacting to the main action. I did inject some creativity into mine, sort of doing this slight double take but it was entirely on instinct.

6. Abuse? This is nothing: Going back to #1, I was absolutely right that being a background player was far less demeaning than doing document review (despite better pay for document review). In document review, there was extensive draconian behavior & a particular "little Hitler" who was supervising the only assignment I did. Not to mention the inconsistency of policies. At least when background was told to be quiet, ALL the background had to shut up. They didn't let one or two get away with it like what happened in the assignment I was at when that guy was on his cell phone so loud, you could hear his conversation while the reviewers couldn't talk to their seatmates.

At least in being an extra, you get some flexibility for creativity. I attempted some on my own, perhaps instinctively. You get encouraged to do that in entertainment. In a law firm, HA! They may as well hire robots to be associates. I'm honestly shocked that hasn't happened w/the utter discouragement of creativity in that field.

They don't feed you the things you get from being an extra. No "crafty" breaks w/food & no lavish lunches. You're lucky to get pizza on Fridays & the occasional bagel breakfast. Here? Much better stuff. Partly due to union rules but far superior to what you'd get on document review, which requires just as many hours.

7. SAG vs. Non-Union: If you're SAG, you eat first and get paid more but you work longer hours. I like seeing my husband so I didn't mind going home when I did. Plus, I did get more sleep.

8. If I got famous, I'd need this shirt from T-Shirt Hell: The first day I was on set, we were outside part of the time. I saw tons of onlookers w/cameras taking pictures with flashes. It made me laugh when I figured these people were looking for big shots & likely just got PAs and background people in their shots.

Tuesday, when we were leaving the set, I saw more onlookers in the area we had to travel from.

It also pissed me off, though. I felt like a zoo animal or some celebrity dealing with paparazzi. How do you famous faces deal with it? I'd hate all the restrictions on my life and travel.

I have even more sympathy for it after having to experience it myself but God help you if you ever piss me off. If I'm getting this onslaught on you, that means you did something truly nasty like harming one of my family members/business associates/friends. You'd love my non-star struck family, though. Especially my mother, who's still nobody's "yes woman" & probably explains a lot about why I am as I am.

I also understand why people in the business end up with drug and alcohol addictions. I think I did beforehand but after doing this for 2 days & seeing some of it, I definitely get it.

The verdict: Would I do this again? Sure, if I have time, the right outfit & think a particular background role might be up my alley. I'm married so no nudity, kissing, etc. I also don't think I'd be able to play hooker since I'm a bit more demure & evoke too much class to be truly convincing. I'm not too certain what you'd call "my type" since I do look so different & sort of am a minority unto myself; I'm of the "here I am, decide where you want to put me" school.

So thanks, Central Casting & Gossip Girl extras casting folk for proving to me once and for all that I actually am pretty. That self-esteem boost made my century & will give me ammo against anyone trying to underplay or disparage my looks.

I also saw professionalism, contrary to what any whiny factions might have to say. Apparently, some background people consider this set to be miserable but that really wasn't my experience. I was completely shocked when that actor who recognized me said I was "nice" because I can be very nasty when someone's irked me. Hell, I'm "the enforcer" so anyone doing their own enforcing is okay in my book if our end purpose matches up.

So next time you have the experience of background work or have people come in for it, there may very well be an industry insider in your midst who could make you or break you.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Life Updates, Administrative Stuff, General Musings Part 11

Being the slowpoke on technology that I am, I only recently discovered how to put links into posts without posting the link text on the page. Yes, I'm sad. There's a reason I transferred out of that Computer Programming class in high school. We can't be perfect at everything, you know?

Thank God for the Huffington Post for actually keeping stories I've linked to on here when the Yahoo links are no longer working.

So this week, I'm taking my very first opportunity to do extra work. It's a right of passage that most actors have but I've never actually experienced. I'm not doing it because I have to or am trying to be mega-famous. Nope, I have different reasons.

1. Observation: If you're going to be an executive in a business or a manager, you should see how others conduct their business. In my case, I feel I should see how others conduct their sets, treat their extras, PAs, etc. This way, you've got a better idea of how to do your job when you're running the show or trying to manage it. Call it an "Undercover Boss" experience. I think it'll make me far better as a producer or actor if I've had the experience & know what's kosher vs. what's not. Sure, I've heard a lot of stories but living it is a different story. I feel every CEO or manager should have some experience doing the grunt work since those people make the business run & the decisions you make have a profound effect on how they work.

2. Killing time: Not like I have anything else to do right now.

3. Inspiration for writing/Consider the Possibilities/Networking: My life's incredibly unusual & while I never walk in with expectations, will not get autographs (I don't even watch this show) or otherwise go around making life more difficult for directors, producers, etc. (God knows I'd want to murder someone for doing that to me or mine), it'd be dumb of me to not even bother if the opportunity to network existed. As for telling anyone precisely what I do, that's debatable. Not sure if I want a mob of people on me or not; that will depend on how I'm feeling that day. You certainly don't get inspiration if you just sit at home all day doing nothing.

4. Making a little $: You don't get much doing this non-union but it is something, right?

I also have a book to read, 2 issues of this industry magazine I just got at random & a lot of sample legal documents I should clean up so I can make them viable for my purposes. That's something I've just been too lazy to do & probably should start while I'm playing "hurry up & wait."

Extra work has also got to be less demeaning than document review. Who's going to blackball me for doing it? I have my own gigs going on & if anything, I'd get more respect for not living on some attorney pedestal.

So, situations & stories to rant about. This time, with hyperlinks!

First, a Craig's List ad from some clueless firm that seems to think they are an indie entertainment company:

Small Start-up Int'l Law Firm - College Students or Grads F/T or P/T (Midtown)
Date: 2010-11-11, 11:44AM EST
Reply to: job-bbsmj-2054469118@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Small start-up law firm has an opening for one or more college graduates or students to work as an unpaid interns, full-time (at least 4 days/wk, 10 week min.) or part-time (at least 6 months), flexible hours. Sophisticated international clientele, elegant atmosphere, nice team of experienced corporate/M&A/securities lawyers formerly practicing at prestigious large New York law firms. The firm handles cross-border transactional or business law matters, primarily related to corporate and commercial transactions, financial transactions, investment funds, securities regulation, joint ventures, and international law. Exposure to transactional legal work and methods, but cooperation with clerical duties also required. Must be a 4-year college graduate or be enrolled at a 4-year college and have completed at least one year of college. Strong academics, writing, critical thinking and analytical ability, and organizational skills; self-motivated; fast learner; fluency in Portuguese or Spanish a plus; strong work ethic; computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); positive attitude and other positive attributes or skills will all be considered.

If this position is of interest, please reply by e-mail with your resume, stating your availability and preferred time for an interview on November 22, 23, or 29 if you are a college graduate, or the week of January 10, 2011 if you are a college student, indicate the approximate number of hours or illustrative schedule you can work (we understand it may be subject to change based on academic schedules, exams and priorities), your proposed starting date, and proposed length of your commitment (minimum 6 months for P/T, 10 weeks for F/T). Our reply will contain a link to our website which will allow you to learn more about the firm. If we contact you, you will need to provide: an unofficial copy of your grades and references. You can then also submit any other information you deem relevant (e.g., letters of recommendation, or anything illustrative of the above qualifications).

* Compensation: N/A
* This is an internship job
* Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
* Please, no phone calls about this job!
* Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2054469118

It's been true & remains to be true that your Manhattan law firm does NOT = movie/TV/distribution/post-production/other entertainment industry company. Nor is it equal to some other glamorous profession people kill to get in like fashion, sports or other endeavors. Maybe if you were opening a spy clearing house, you could get away w/this stuff. A law firm, though? Offering an internship to the general public there is an insult. You should get slammed by the Department of Labor.

This article hits close to home since I'm not all that far from Williamsburg & while the chain invasion has happened near me, you'll generally get better services + competence from independently owned stores.

And this Shari Lind they spoke to who moved from the Upper West Side & was begging for the chains to invade while pushing a baby stroller? She's a representation of the gentrification the real NYC residents do NOT want to see & in my book, part of the problem.

I'd love to see her trendy behind stay in Manhattan & away from my affordable neighborhood. I wonder if she's the same type of person who'd want to bring her baby to the bar, then demand everyone not to swear around it. Those people should stay out & stop ruining the neighborhood flavor, driving out the artists + fulfilling Bloomberg's dream of NYC only being inhabited by millionaires like him.

I don't know if this one is for real but if it is, I vote that these people should abort & then get fixed. If you're asking the Internet to make life choices for you, then you're obviously not mature enough to breed.

What do you pro-life types have to say about this? Wouldn't you agree that these morons have no business taking care of a helpless child? How would you explain that to the kid years later? "Oh, we weren't sure if we wanted you & the lovely Internet people voted for us to keep you. So we did. Go thank them. Here are their names."

Finally, this story still has me in shock at the utter stupidity of people as a whole. First off, I just heard a news report tonight that this pastor had a 3 way with his wife + some male church member he was corresponding with through Facebook. If you don't have the self-control to not cheat on your spouse, that doesn't mean other people will do the same because they have a Facebook account. Though if you all agreed to the 3 way, that's not really cheating though maybe you fear God will send down a bolt of lightning on you b/c you have gay tendencies. That's beside the point, though.

Second, I've exhausted the topic of stupidity among particular classes of religious people & ungodly behavior so I'm not going there. However, this pastor obviously hasn't been with us for the past 15-20 years. Remember AOL chat rooms? MySpace? Friendster? Porno sites? NY Undercover did an episode about the lieutenant's daughter being held against her will by some pervert she talked to online who claimed to be a fashion photographer who ended up taking nude pics of her & later raping her. That show's not been in production for at least 10 years.

Scummy behavior has been going on since LONG before the internet existed. The same goes for infidelity. People have cheated on spouses since the dawn of time.

Third, as for some of the religious types claiming that non-religious people have no right to make comments we're reading this in a secular publication & we're in America. That means "free speech exists" & "this is a matter affecting non-religious people" since it's getting major media coverage. So fair game for comment, moron.

If you don't like it, I suggest you move to a country governed by your religion's rule. There isn't one? Then go start it & take some of the busybody fundies with you. Then you can outlaw abortion, pray any & everywhere, whatever your little religious hearts desire.

Until you're willing to do that, keep your trap shut about violating other people's rights (especially mine).

Case in point on how this pastor is full of shit: both my spouse & I have a Facebook. I'm required to have one for business reasons but it's more of a mix of business/personal contacts. Good way to find long lost friends from high school, college, other aspects of life. My sister is on there, entertainment colleagues are there, even some attorneys happy with 21st century technology are there.

When I've seen exes on Facebook, you know what I do? I go straight to the "Block this person" link and block their sorry butt. My husband has done likewise. Great little tool if you don't want to deal w/someone who was a jerk to you or who you just aren't feeling anymore.

No need to share passwords or play Big Brother since that's disrespectful & my husband knows better than that (he had an ex who did this & he felt the request meant she didn't trust him; guess who was being shady?). I find the password demanding control freaks tend to be insecure, cheating scum using such tactics to cover up their own bad behavior.

I suppose it also helps if you don't have unfinished ex business or old flames you'd want to date or whose tongue you want to feel in your mouth. I had that one crush but I couldn't even picture kissing the guy w/out tongue, forget having sex w/him. Isn't that messed up? Plus, I'd be too afraid of getting an STD. I met my husband at a time when I didn't have unresolved ex crap to deal with; too bad more people don't deal with that stuff before getting married. Maybe that would lead to some happier marriages & fewer divorces.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage - How to Do a Show Right

I was given the opportunity to go to this show with my husband earlier this month. While I don't like to report on the banal activities of my life since I don't want random people approaching me (it's creepy), I'll tell you my thoughts about this one both in my capacity as an entertainment professional & as an audience member.

First off, my husband thought this show was funny. He's a hard guy to please. In fact, his abilities to be a natural critic are a reason he's got his own corner for film reviews on the One Way blog. You can read some of his reviews if you doubt that statement.

My being married to him has nothing to do with it since I hate -isms & won't help a no-talent just b/c that person is my friend/family member/fellow attorney (God, especially not them)/whatever. I don't stick my neck out unless I actually believe in someone; in short, I don't bet on losing ponies and would never a business based on nepotism or favoritism.

Second, this is audience participation done right. I saw the whole crowd getting into the show & basically, Eve Plumb is the headliner who does it right. These actors were not phoning it in & genuinely seemed to care about the audience's experience. If they didn't care, then that's a testament to great acting ability.

I worked w/a comedy show in the past & if the audience feedback I've heard is an indication, they could learn a thing or two from this team.

Third, the people working behind the scenes seemed to have that same concern with the audience's experience. We certainly felt welcomed & had our questions answered.

So aside from the professional recognition you see, I'm telling you from my personal & professional view that this was a good show with a sense of comedy + good advice that anyone can enjoy. Hey, if my husband likes it then you're definitely doing some things right!

If you're in the city, feel free to check out the link. If not, I certainly think this show deserves to be a touring performance & perhaps the people there will arrange that for you.

* If you want me to post a banner for your event or give you my impressions, let me know. I work in the industry & support my fellow artists but I'm also honest + usually look for my husband's reaction since again, he's a tough guy to please.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One Style You Don't Want Having a Comeback

That would be hot pants. We were watching The Best of I Love the 70's yesterday on VH1 (I still remember watching the very first I Love the 80s, which was great) & they were talking about hot pants. I pointed out that there's one style from the '70s that hasn't come back. My husband was shocked that was ever kosher since, after all you can see butt cheeks in some of them.

I know for a fact my mother would never have let me leave the house in them. Heck, my high school was whining about girls wearing spaghetti strap tank tops and shorts cut above fingertip length. That was over 10 years ago.

So why should we be glad it's not made a comeback?

1: High obesity rates. Today, you'd see piles of cellulite coming out of them on most people. We're not in a John Waters movie; no one wants to see that. There's enough problems w/people wearing spandex who shouldn't.

2: Hygiene. I would hate sitting on the NYC subway or in a NYC cab wearing them. It would just creep me out & wearing short shorts in the summer is hard enough without getting paranoid about germs on seats. I'm not even talking about the bedbug infestation but that would be even worse.

3: Hassle from men. Considering I've gotten hit on wearing incredibly conservative & even downright dumpy clothing (I even got flashed once in college while walking home from my job at Godiva), could you imagine what would happen if women like me wore hot pants? I think men would start pulling out their private parts while propositioning me. Yes, I appreciate compliments but if you're not married to me, I don't want to see your private parts & sure as hell will not be touching them. My husband would also like a word with you.

I've gotten whistled at just for wearing a skirt.

And if you doubt stuff like this might happen to me, then you've not known me that long or seen these things happen. I'm no liar & I've had witnesses for some of these unusual tales that didn't even happen in NYC.

Because I wasn't born until 1981 & have only seen hot pants worn on television, I'm just curious whether fat women who weren't in the sex industry wore them when they were a fad. I can't imagine my mother ever wearing them, for instance. If she has any tales of youthful adventure, she's never shared them w/me or my sister.

Now I'm not a prude by any stretch & I certainly have my share of revealing clothes but hot pants make my shortest skirt look Christian school appropriate by comparison.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More Ways to Ruin Yourself in the Entertainment Business Before Getting Started

A loyal reader recently sent me this link on how to find anyone's e-mail address.

First off, I'm utterly skeptical about this claim. What if you are a privacy fiend who never uses their real name? This is certainly something I do. If you get my e-mail address, you'd better guard it with your life or I'll definitely repay you for spreading it around like a virus.

If I'm able to locate the CEO of Verizon and the student loan companies to tell them about their asinine policies & what a foolish idea outsourcing is through these methods, then I'll get on board. Otherwise, I'll stick to my own investigative methods.

Second, special rules apply if you are in or want to be part of the entertainment business. Read carefully:

Sending e-mail to a random person whom you don't have a mutual acquaintance with is not acceptable unless:

A) You do the same thing as that person (both are producers, writers, actors, etc.)
B) You are polite; AND
C) You do not make attempts to sell your screenplay, pass off headshots or send repeated unsolicited e-mails

We call this networking. I've done a lot of it since you have to in this business. I don't beg or plead w/anyone; I simply point out that I exist & based on my background, there might be some benefit in knowing me. If someone doesn't take it, then I'll remember that in the future but I won't waste my time w/further communications. They'll just get a shock later. Most people know better than to do this since today's intern could be tomorrow's famous producer/CEO/other high-level muckety muck. Also not smart to piss off an attorney.

If someone says "no unsolicited e-mail," do not (I repeat) DO NOT send your treatment, your headshots, advertisements, etc. to that person. Read company/individual policies carefully & if you want to be successful in this business, you'll follow them.

Aspiring writers: enough w/the unsolicited treatments & movie ideas!!!!!!!! Sending them to a company w/a clearly stated "no unsolicited material" policy is just shooting yourself in the foot. It's the same as an actor who walks onto a set with a diva attitude; it pisses people off. When I say "read the website, don't send this" than means

"Hey, you illiterate! You're pissing people off, I'm having to hear about it & thereby, pissing ME off because you think you deserve special exemptions from established policy. Contrary to what you may think, you are NOT God!"

No one's using your stuff since they don't want to read your idea, get the slightest bit influenced by it & then get hit with a lawsuit for copyright infringement. If you try this & win, you won't work in the business again. You'll just be known as that asshole trying to exploit unsuspecting companies. For this reason, smart companies have a "no unsolicited materials" policy.

Also, fan fiction is a total waste of time due to legal reasons. You don't own that copyright since it's what we in legal land call a derivative work, meaning it derived from someone else's labor. The copyright owners can take your fan fiction, create some great film or TV show & not give the fan fiction author a dime. This is perfectly legal since it's their copyright, not yours.

Take home lesson: create your own damn work with your own characters!!!!!! That way, you can own the copyright & you're not doing someone else's work for them. Use your creative talents to do something new, come up w/a new idea.

Yes, I know getting it isn't easy & there are some shitty writers out there who are in. My husband's insane friend does "Top 10" lists that are far better than the writers on Letterman have come up with. He tried to submit some of them & was rejected, likely for the same reasons.

* Side note: If you are a Letterman Top 10 list writer who'd like to contest this, I'll have my husband forward you these lists sometime amidst the conspiracy theory stories he also gets from said friend. Just give me your info & I'll make it happen.

At the end of the day, though it is what it is & this field is not the cake walk some people think it is. It is long hours, unsteady work/pay & you'd better have a passion for this. It's not playtime & it's not a goof off fest. Writing's incredibly hard, thank you. Still, if you are dedicated enough to get ahead I believe God/the universe helps those who help themselves.

Now to satisfy my furry psycho cat's attention whore tendencies.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Marriage & Staying Together "For the Kids"

Despite being happily married, I'd say I'm overall anti-marriage. Or, more precisely I'm against marriage between people who don't actually live up to what we expect from marriage. I'm not talking about genders or sexual orientation. Gay marriage, open marriage, even polygamous marriage is fine w/me as long as everyone's an equal, doing right by each other, & not being an ass to one of the participants. If you're doing this & you're not psychologically damaging children we're going to have to pay to treat through therapy, the courts, jail time, etc., I have no qualms about you touting your happy marriage to the world. You've earned it.

But when you're an abuser, an addict or just a jerk who's making the home environment a living hell for your partner or your kids, don't you dare act like your union deserves the same respect and regard as my happy marriage. That really pisses me off & should piss people off far more than a happy, consenting, functional union between gay individuals.

I also really, really hate religious types and others who tell people to stay in unhappy marriages "for the kids."

First off, these dingbats have likely never lived that reality. They think children are stupid & can't see when something is a total act for their benefit. They think you can brainwash kids.

I lived this "stay together for the kids" crap. It didn't do me any favors. In fact, it really clouded my view of relationships. What good is having a 2 parent household when those parents are always fighting, you have to flee your home when one gets into an aggressive mood and one allows your peace of mind to be invaded against your will?

I once came very close to getting into a physical fight w/my father. He shoved me into a chair & my mom + sister had to hold me back as I got up & started kicking.

Even my academic adviser in college for psychology agreed that this is a bad idea.

Second, kids aren't stupid. What you're teaching them in this staying together for the kids no matter what shit is "you should be so subservient to a mate that you are no longer a person." If you're a girl seeing your mother treated this way, you're going to think that's acceptable behavior. I never did since I had hostility for her allowing us to live in this dysfunctional space & caring more about my father's presence than our piece of mind.

You also teach your kids that marriage is equal to Hell. My mind equated marriage with giving up my identity, something I refused to do. We even see this in society. How many movies & shows portray men as being whipped and women as total bitches??? This plus my home life really bolstered my position.

When I was 7, I told my mom she should get a divorce. She never did. I wish they had since at least we'd have had a safe home & less psychological fallback from it. Maybe we could have had some better role models & seen a good marriage.

Third, most religions wouldn't condemn you for leaving an abusive marriage. You'd never see the religious folk I know of in the South telling someone to stay in a marriage like my mother's or to put up with domestic abuse. The sane ones admit there are some situations you can't fix and you're better off not putting kids through more psychological trauma. For instance, you can't get marriage counseling if both people aren't willing to fix things or admit there are problems. Did my parents ever get therapy? Does my father even admit to his role in humiliating me & my sister by drinking w/an underage kid in our neighborhood? Ha!

You could get killed if you stay in some situations and it's lunacy to expect someone to stay in a domestic abuse situation. Even a situation like mine could lead to death depending on the alcoholic's temperament.

So I have a very hard time holding back if someone says they're staying together for the kids. I've never heard of a person who lived in a high conflict atmosphere suggesting this & if they did, I'd consider them full of it. From first hand experience, don't do this. The world doesn't need more enablers or anti-marriage types, though they might produce some great creative works. I take this very personally since I lived it & the person w/that snappy solution most likely didn't.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Lawsuit I Said Would Happen

Apparently, one person who was fired for ranting on Facebook on her own time & with her own resources is fighting back.

The National Labor Relations Board is saying this is a 1st Amendment issue. Didn't I call this one? I have to wonder what will happen.

We all know where I stand. Time for the law to catch up & for micromanaging douchebag employer types (and you know who you are) to get a grip. You're making the sane employers who live in the 21st century look bad.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Random Acts That Make You Think

I'm not entirely sure who reads my rant blog, though a few particular people have told me about reading it. Nonetheless, I stand by anything I have or will ever write in it. I also stand by my feelings and my views; I'm not some wimp who tries to backpedal on a viewpoint b/c it's "controversial" or not in line with the PC crowd's way of looking at the world.

That being said, I've decided I really don't care to enhance the causes or interests of those who don't support me. In particular, I think I'll be stepping back from a bar association committee considering what I consider a pretty public "fuck you" I recently got from one of its members. Just goes to show some groups are apparently too set in their ways to truly embrace anyone new or give them equal concern for their events. Other members' events were discussed but mine was conveniently ignored in a message sent to the entire mailing list. Gee, why not just say "No, I don't give a damn about your film company!! Go suck up to me and maybe then I'll care."

You have to understand, I take stuff like that very personally. If you really want to do something nice for me, you'll buy a copy of one of the film company's films or help us make a film happen. That will make me feel like you don't view me as some silly heart hobbyist who's just goofing off & should go "do something serious" like "work in a law firm."

At least some individuals in this committee aren't assholes & have acted like I counted. That's good. The group dynamic, however, is not one I'm good with at all. I've yet to find any group that I could get 100% behind and that didn't do something major to piss me off. Even staying in my sorority chapter became an endurance test later on. It was also a matter of turf since I'd been there first & felt I shouldn't allow myself to be driven out of the chapter I helped found.

Today, another realization struck. My look is just too darn unique to be taken seriously by anyone who does casting or modeling work. I went to one legit agency that seeks fit models & had my headshot handed back to me. I feel like Cher when she talks about how everyone who was considered "pretty" when she was growing up & getting into the business was a blond girl & she wasn't. You're not going to convince me I'm ugly since I get harassed way too much by guys, some of whom are even attractive.

I even had one gentleman try to pick me up on the subway a few weeks back. Look & learn, kids.

So after that & as I was trying to find the closest post office, a random guy compliments my hat. I happen to be a bit of a fashion plate & pride myself on coming up w/a great outfit you won't see 10 other people wearing. I'm also of the school that a designer label doesn't make you fashionable; it just means you're a tool who has money. This guy didn't creep me out (no gold teeth, looked around my age, no nasty sexual remarks or whistling) or attempt to harass me so I mentioned my film company + movies, handed out a business card & basically felt better after my experience w/that one place. My thought was you could find me easily enough online & I'm paranoid so there you go. I appreciate genuine kindness/compliments but getting wolf whistled or harassed by "Hey, Red!" really pisses me off.

First off, most of you aren't hot enough to get away w/that crap. I also never see anyone who looks like a movie star yelling & catcalling like that.

Second, it implies that you think I'm some underling or inferior to you & don't deserve basic human respect.

Any woman who responds to that stuff is an idiot & apparently should be working at the strip club since that's what you'll get there. Maybe it offends me so much b/c I consider a public display like that tantamount to calling me a whore. Most of the men I've gotten this from weren't even construction workers. Food for thought, huh?

Then the day went a little better. I still think it will be a crap shot but figured that my headshots aren't helping me much sitting at my house. I'll remember rejection & throw it in someone's face later.

When I finished that conversation & found the post office, it was right near the bank I'd been at. It also occurred to me I'd have never met this person if I'd not been walking where I was so who knows? Maybe it was the universe at work, telling me not to let that rejection define me. Okay, more accurately I was told "try us in 6 months." 6 months from now, I'm most likely to be doing other things & too busy.

Now, I have to post another entry today since the lawsuit I was waiting on is apparently going to happen.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another Stupid PC Policy

Well, since my car's battery died again (how do city residents deal w/keeping their cars in working order???) & I have to wait to get it jumped off, I have some time on my hands to rant. I've never been a fan of political correctness but just read this today & I have to comment.

Yes, you read right. High schools are now trying to include EVERYONE in their yearbooks multiple times. Sounds like some warm, fuzzy thing right? Because everyone deserves to be in the freaking yearbook!!!

I did a fair amount of activities in high school & did know people on the yearbook. I wouldn't call them close friends but I was friendly enough with them. The girl in charge of the yearbook my senior year told me she had done the layout for a full page ad my parents had bought. I also saw a candid pic that I believe she took since she was a frequent visitor to the site where it was taken; it really sums up my experience that year. By high school, I'd stopped caring who did or didn't like me.

In my senior year, I was just ready to move away & go to college. My goal was to do any activity that struck my interest so I wouldn't have regrets later on. That's why I did stuff like run for Homecoming Queen and be on Academic Competition; if I got to be in the spotlight, I was in. At that point, I knew I wouldn't get booed off the stage since I was getting compliments. I ended up getting a 3rd row entry in my senior yearbook.

Regardless, though I would never have called myself "popular." Known, sure. Popular implied a sense of being liked and I never felt liked by most people. I still don't, in fact.

Overall, I think this is a horrid idea & great example of PC gone stupid.

First off, real life won't give you a trophy just for showing up. You have to get grades in college and law school. Certainly you have to face competition in medical school. Would you want a doctor who only got licensed because of PC bullshit? I certainly wouldn't want that person operating on me or prescribing medication to me. Keep up stuff like this & that's exactly what society will get.

Second, what if you don't want to be in the yearbook? Some people could care less. I didn't really care all that much myself but figured it was one of those things I'd have to deal with as part of doing so many activities.

One comment I read on this story said real life was the same as high school: that who you know is how you get ahead instead of what you know. I think it's more of a combination than one or the other. Some people just elicit respect from others by being who they are, even if you hate their guts. I think I'm one of those since many have told me they admire me for taking stands and being genuine instead of putting on a front for people.

Third, the bullshit of high school doesn't mean a thing afterward. I personally think that if you had to face some adversity, you end up doing a lot better later on than the football star or the head cheerleader. Reality already hit you so you can cope with the hard times & adjusting to the real world. If you were always popular & things came easy to you, then it's going to be a hundred times more difficult. How many times does someone who was tormented in their youth become great & how many football heroes become Al Bundy in their adult lives? In real life, I've seen it a lot.

Getting grades works the same way. I think failure & struggles build character. As long as someone's around to say directly to a victimized person "Don't worry about this bullshit; it will get better," you'll see fewer retaliation measures against people.

If you're reading this & considering your own deadly shooting spree, let me tell you it's much more gratifying to get to tell someone to kiss your ass years later after you've lived out your passion while they live in the past. The lesson on not being nasty to people for no reason comes to life here. People may even grow up & apologize to you later on; that's also gratifying since that's fewer weights on your psyche.

Not to mention maybe you'd get a chance to do what Katy Perry did & make someone look foolish in front of the entire world.

Let me repeat: high school won't mark you for life. Now maybe if you took nudie pics or did something stupid that was posted online, you're going to have more to deal with but enough distance in time and location from those bringing you down & you'll be okay. Going to a major city and meeting different people made a world of difference in my own life.

Find your passion and a place where you fit since life's way too short to trudge around in self-misery.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

General Musings Part 10

Yes, here we go again. Random headlines & my thoughts on them. First a Dear Prudence letter on something you lawyers can relate to:

Dear Prudence,
I am just a little over a year away from becoming a lawyer, and I'm miserable because I hate it. I wasn't forced into the profession. I just mistakenly believed that since I loved to read and debate, law was the natural progression. But I don't like law, and I'm not applying myself to it wholeheartedly. I can't imagine being in this field for the rest of my life or even a few years. My parents have sacrificed and spent so much on my education, and I have no idea how to tell them that I made a mistake. Worse, my mom thinks this is my dream, and I don't have the heart to tell her that it isn't. The only thing that really brings me joy is escaping into books that have nothing to do with law. Please help me.


Dear Inadmissible,
You are not the first young person to find that a profession that looked good from a distance is a miserable fit in reality. You are close to finishing your studies, so you might as well get the degree. Since finding a decent job is eluding many people your age, staying in graduate school a while longer is a pretty good strategy. But getting a law degree doesn't mean you have to spend your life being a lawyer. Sure, your mother may be disappointed, but assure her that when you find a career that suits you better, you know you will benefit from your legal education. That's been the case for a number of people at Slate, from our esteemed founding editor, Michael Kinsley, to my superlative colleagues Dahlia Lithwick and Emily Bazelon—nonpracticing lawyers all. The worlds of business and politics are filled with people with law degrees. At back-to-school night, my daughter's high-school freshman English teacher told us that as a lawyer, she was particularly interested in teaching our children the art of persuasive writing. And since you love escaping into books, you might want to practice law for a few years, then use your experiences to try to create your own literary world, like Scott Turow and John Grisham.


Here's the link & please read the comments.

The comments to this really bothered me as well as this answer. Why? Because these comment givers had no sense of what it's like to be unemployed TODAY & trying to get into a non-traditional legal job TODAY.

The person who made entertainment law sound like such an easy field to get into bothered me enough to create my own profile so I could refute that notion. I never let people think my own career path is mega-easy to get into or that if they do what I did, they'll get the same things. Chances are, it won't happen. To not do that would be irresponsible and bitchy on my part. You also have to be prepared to be broke if you're going to do this; the entertainment field is about passion & regardless of your circumstances, you're paying dues somehow. If it's marching lockstep for a connected or rich parent or having to share a studio in NYC with 4 other people, you're still having to do things you probably hate.

That's not to say you shouldn't aspire to things or can't get into this industry if you really want to w/out sleeping with big wigs or taking drugs but go in with your eyes open, not in a haze of Hollywood glamor. You also fight a battle to be taken seriously in a non-traditional job if you have a JD, as many law school scam bloggers have chronicled based on their experiences. Too much flippancy, coming from an entertainment law lawyer who is living this.

While we're on the subject of the entertainment industry, this just makes me scared for my actors.

I'm certain that at least some of the people we work with could easily become well known & have to deal w/jerky fan behavior. I'd love to know whether the Internet has made it easier for stalkers & cretons to get into the inner circle or if it's not had an effect.

Plus, I'm an extremely protective person. If I like you, no stalker is safe. Messing w/someone I care about is messing w/me. Even my husband is that protective of our actors; he'd beat up stalkers for the people he likes & contribute to the posse if one's needed for someone he feels didn't deserve to be harmed/harassed by the wrongdoer.

Also, if I were this man's wife I'd never tolerate that shit. You'd be gone in a second. Perhaps it's because my mom doesn't give a damn about celebrity or I work in the industry but I don't view anyone through that gauze of celebrity & illusion. You learn firsthand about people being people & if you're behind the scenes, you know how the illusion is created so you can't fall for it. Neither of us have the list of celebrities we'd sleep with; there are none. I also can't hope to work w/anyone if I'd had sexual fantasies about them; my work life & my sex life are discrete + separate categories. You don't muddy those waters.

By the way actors, if you work w/me and I start telling your stalkers that you have a ton of STDs or about creepy stuff that may or may not be true, don't interrupt me. In fact, your managers should back me up & join in. Shattering the illusion may save your life.

Once again, Catholic bishops stay the hell out of politics. In fact, all religions need to stay out of it. Until you have a vagina, shut up about the cost of birth control pills. You know plenty of men won't wear condoms & there are abusive relationships in the world, even in America.

And the statement "Stay the hell out of it!" also goes for abortion issues. When you can get pregnant, then you can talk about it. Until then, shut up or risk angry feminists castrating you, sewing your lips shut, whatever it takes for you to stop foaming at the mouth and trying to set women back to the Stone Age.

Man, I wish stupidity was a capital offense & that we could hang people for it.

Speaking of something patently crappy, here's this.

Even my husband & I who are hard core opposed to illegal immigration support amnesty for people who served this country in the military. If that doesn't prove your commitment to a nation, what on Earth does? Getting a microchip implanted in your body so the government can track you? My father was in the Air Force & a few years back, wanted to go back in but figured he'd be too old at that point.

I don't think being in the military should be a pre-requisite to being a politician but I think military members deserve some respect. I'll bet the pricks who want to deny amnesty for illegals who served in the military never actually served & probably wouldn't either. I've heard enough stories about combat from veterans I know to have respect and appreciation for anyone willing to go through that.

Please, I don't want to see any of my exes. This presumes you actually want to be friends with one. Guess what? Some of us don't.

In fact, my husband has an ex I have to smack if I ever see her since she was abusive to my adorable psycho kitty cat. That bitch also stole my husband's fog machine, which the cat liked playing in the fog for. She should thank her lucky stars I got a fog machine, solutions & cleaner this week during the Halloween discount sales (that's the time to shop; get it at 1/2 off). Otherwise, she'd be paying for the cost from her hide.

The guy at the Spirit Halloween where I bought this machine even said that I should kick this ex's butt for stealing the fog machine & abusing the cat. Okay, she put hair clips on the cat's tail to discipline him!! No animal deserves abuse & I'd like to know how she'd like me sticking clips on her fat butt and restraining her so she couldn't get them off. I'm sure she wouldn't like it. My husband told me she was fat & I'm skinner than most women. Seeing me might be a lot to make this one feel bad but animal abuse doesn't slide w/me.

If I saw most of mine, I'd never talk to them unless it was to say "Fuck you." Not telling an ex off or physically hurting the ex is the best you'll get from me & my husband. Maybe I should just make an assistant do it...that's got to be the ultimate dis.

And, finally this one.

I've got some bad signs of my own:

1. Not getting a paycheck or fighting to get paid for your work.
2. Being asked to break the law or do something shady.
3. Hassle over business reimbursements or not having to present a receipt for business expenses.
4. Your boss hangs out in his darkened office with individuals. That means there's probably dirty stuff going on, or your boss wants it to. If you're the same gender as the victim, this means you won't be taken seriously in your job title.

Since my experiences, I've found that RipOff Report and the court websites are your friend in making sure people are being honest & forthright w/you. If you're not getting paid, get out. Research people very carefully before you deal with them.