Sunday, December 29, 2013

10 Years Ago, I Escaped From the South

I forget the exact date I moved from the South to CT to start law school but 10 years ago today, I know what I was doing.

I was living in a hotel room in Branford, CT. I had a king sized bed (which made me wistful for a boyfriend or a guy I could hang out with for sexy time), cable TV and the means to hook up my VCR and what what I wanted since I'd included the things I needed to move into an apartment. Fortunately, I made sure to also bring my huge fur coat. That thing finally started to get some wear when I moved to CT since I needed it for the massive snows and cold temperatures that were a foreign concept in Atlanta.

After spending the holidays in NC and knowing law school classes started January 5th, I had to get my butt moving so I made sure to hit the road as soon as possible. I remember going either on the 27th or the 28th.

Unfortunately, I had a small mishap in Trevose, Pennsylvania and had to stay in a hotel there overnight + get my car looked at before going back on the road. That freaked me out since I had no money for things & stuff like that always makes you edgy, especially when you're on your own hundreds of miles away from anyone who could help you. Adventure is the name of the game there.

Still, when I finally got back on the road I felt a natural high when I crossed the George Washington Bridge in NYC. It was like having tons of money in your pocket or getting a really great orgasm. I also felt like "Finally, my life is starting to begin." Before going to Atlanta, I feel like I never got to start my life & going to CT was just more of this "living my life" stuff vs. living my parents' life.

The downside of 10 years ago today was the "hurry up & wait." You know that feeling, right? You know all this stuff is going to happen and you have to engage in tons of preparation but you can't actually do it today b/c it's the holidays or no one is available or whatever else. I had books to buy, an apartment to search for, a roommate to meet, and quite a bit of time to kill. Hours & days dragged on.

10 years later, I've been feeling a similar feeling. Maybe it's just the inevitable after Christmas/before New Year's stuff?

One thing I did 10 years ago was go to the Times Square ball drop for New Year's Eve. I left around 4 or 5 to get to the city from MetroNorth & had dinner before going to stand. I ended up at West 47th but did get a view of the ball drop. The main reason I went was because I had the choice of going to the ball drop or sitting all alone in my hotel room; which would you have picked?

Going to the ball drop is interesting & going by yourself is even more of an event. First off, you'd better have a very strong bladder & go before you join the crowd. If you move out of the crowd to go to the bathroom, you will never get your spot back. Lost a few people in our crowd because they went to the bathroom & I didn't see them come back to our spot.

Second, you'd better wear comfortable shoes. You'll be standing for a very long time if you do this. I was on my feet for a good 6+ hours & there's no seating unless you thought to bring your own. Even then, it gets crazy packed so you won't want to do too much sitting. I crouched a few times to rest myself but the NYC streets are not super clean and things get dropped easily in that crowd so formally sitting down isn't really going to happen when you're out there.

Third, don't fucking smoke or bring your little kids!! This is one of those situations where you don't go doing things to piss other people off. Your little kids will end up getting hurt; in fact, I think people bringing little kids to stand in the Times Square crowd ought to get arrested for child endangerment. We also don't want to smell your drifting cigarette smoke; I commented myself that there ought to be a section for smokers in the crowd along with those who want to smell the smoke so the smokers can puff away & not infect the rest of us with secondhand smoke if we don't want it. If your child can't stand for long periods of time on his/her own, there's no reason to make that kid suffer the hours in that mess. Let those kids watch it on TV with their parents instead of indulging some parent's attempt to endanger their kids with the smokers blowing smoke, the drinkers drinking & the massively packed crowd that consistently moves ever closer to get the best view.

Finally, you'll get to meet interesting people and hear interesting conversations. When I went, I ended up in a crowd with some teachers who were definitely not acting very teacher-like. I didn't care since they apparently taught younger kids & I'm not a prudish person but there was drinking and some conversation that wasn't remotely child friendly. The crowd kept moving from time to time but I figured these teachers needed a break & it was New Year's, after all. Plus, I later met a teacher who told me about some very freaky sexual proclivities but did take me out on my first Valentine's Day in CT after hearing about my horrible history with them in college.

You'd think I'd have chatted with people or met some hot guy when I was in Times Square that night but I didn't. That sort of thing seems to happen more when I'm not looking for it. I could (and still can) have a simple conversation with a guy, having no romantic designs or intent & the next thing you know that guy wants my phone number or tells me he'd like to sleep with me (I hear that & think "Yeah, you & plenty of others"). I had some opportunities for great places to have sex stories & never got to actually have sex in those places, including my king sized bed in the hotel room in Branford.

Reflecting on my life then & now, I'm not sure there's too much of a difference. I'm married and I live in NYC, have cats and more stability but there's still the "hurry up & wait," the waiting for my life to truly begin in some ways and waiting to find out about important opportunities I was told about before. The adventures are different but I still try to make sure I have them since I refuse to become boring or dull. Why, however, does it feel like everyone wants me to become dull and boring? It's just not who I am & I know I'll never be that way, even when I start looking like an old lady (assuming I live that long). I was living down to the penny then & I definitely feel like I'm doing that now. Maybe now there's more potential to do things, though. At least, I like to hope so.

Here's hoping 2014 will be better than 2013 was, at least in my personal life. It seems I'm doing the right thing in re-evaluating things & making the choices I have. There's still work to be done in so many places & if I've learned anything, it's that life is way too short not to live as you want + without pain, misery, heartache, etc.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Politics of Gift Giving; Can't We Just Listen to People's Preferences?

Today, I went through my first Christmas since my father died & after all kinds of shit has been going down (read earlier posts if you care for the details). Nothing has changed regarding my stance with my in-laws and everyone in my family was content with not exchanging gifts. We did anyway but gave out modest lists & told them they didn't have to put themselves in a financial bind to get us gifts. We also didn't spend a fortune on those we did get gifts for since we do have bills to pay ourselves & again, I'm not a present whore.

In fact, I'm just not all that materialistic. I care much more about how someone treats me day to day than if they get me a Christmas or birthday gift.

Know what really pisses me off? When you tell someone not to get you a gift & then they do it anyway. It's usually not someone who just wants to get a gift & has no expectation of a return gift but instead a greedhead who's just trying to extort presents from you when you never asked for shit from them. Conventional wisdom says do NOT get someone a gift if you expect one in return or you expect the person to spend the same amount on you. In my case, you'd definitely better not do that b/c if you violate "no gifts" with me I'm not spending my money getting you something just b/c you got me something. If you're going to get pissed off b/c you got me a gift I never asked for & then I don't reciprocate, you might as well save that money & pay your bills or get that new shirt you've been eying.

My husband is apparently a typical man, according to Cracked. I read this article not long ago & #3 definitely applies to him when getting a gift from someone he never expected one from or who isn't on the list of people he knows + regards well enough to go get a decent gift for.

It's one thing to reciprocate in business or for your landlord. We have a decent landlord & in NYC, there's that whole nasty tipping culture (especially during the holidays). If I knew what kind of cookies his family liked, I'd made those since I'm a damn good cook & people rave over my cooking. I also have some great recipes & would be super happy if I could try out something I've not done before or I couldn't feasibly have for me and my husband. If not cookies, I'm sure there is some other Christmas appropriate dish I could make. I saw a recipe for a creme brulee treat with egg nog on this carton of egg nog my husband got for me that I plan to save & hope to make sometime for myself.

I feel like the problems come in with relatives. Outside my immediate family, mine have never really exchanged gifts & I just don't care about getting or giving them when someone isn't a fixture in my life, isn't someone I'd take my problems to or anyone who seems to care all that much about my personal happiness/emotional state.

I say if you're going to spend your money on gifts, it should be on gifts for people you honestly care about & who you want to get for.

Do you think someone who you can't be honest with or who only makes an effort on special occasions is someone who should be on the gift giving list? If you don't know their tastes & preferences or could ask them for a list of what they want without them getting pissed off, what is the point? I feel like some of these people giving me unsolicited gifts impose this ridiculous obligation of reciprocation & expect me to spend the same amount of money on them (which I feel is a total waste of money that could be used for better things like living expenses). Or maybe it's just my husband being a typical guy & acting that way toward his relatives.

I outright said "no gifts" to my husband since I despise this political crap & hate the obligation imposed on me when I've had things going on. Plus, there's the whole not being materialistic, not needing all that much & the fact that if you can't give based on the recipient's preferences/tastes, why bother at all? I don't buy gifts based on pushing my personal agenda; I buy for what I think my recipient will like. Gifts from me involve time & effort; within my family, some of them are staples of long standing tradition (particularly my mom's Star Trek ornament, which I've gotten for her every single year since working retail in high school).

My husband said he was going to get a gift for my family after opening our Christmas box today. I told him "don't you dare" since they said not to do that & he'd just be imposing this obligation on them (I'd told my mother she didn't need to spend a lot on us since I know they've got financial strife of their own to deal with, especially with my father gone). He claims he's doing it anyway but when I spoke to my mother today, she told me not to do that & I relayed the message. Don't know if he got it but I asked him how he felt when he told someone not to get him a gift & they do it anyway. I asked whether he feels that's disrespectful to him since I think it's totally disrespectful to me when you ignore my wishes & feel his doing that would impose the same obligation on them when they already have economic issues to contend with.

He told me he's used to people ignoring his wishes. I think that's sad & no one should have to get used to that.

So if you want to show me you care, show it in your actions the rest of the year. I learned a lot about who is a friend or not by who was emotionally present, who was encouraging, supportive, tried making me feel better, offering kind words, gave me some empathy and generally giving me proof that not everyone on the planet is an asshole. It would have been totally unnecessary for any of them to get me a Christmas gift since they already gave me the gift of being a real friend, not some acquaintance I have to put on a happy face for.

I'm just done with putting on shows & politics in general for my personal life. We have to do enough of that shit in our business lives so why are we doing that at home & in families? Try having close family die when you're younger like me & see how eager you are to engage in that nonsense afterwards. I keep making new contacts by the day (since people with drive never sleep or stand still) & don't have time for it in my friendship circle either. I've had enough fake friends in my life & I will surely get more of them; that comes from having my former friend of 20+ years doing a total personality 180.

Quality, not quantity. That's where my head space is. Toxicity also has no place in this life I've been fortunate enough to get to keep living. Have had a ton of time to do lots of heavy thinking & self-realization. I also keep finding out more people I know are going through major life changes. In particular, I learned about 2 people who recently got divorced or are in that process after being married for 20+ years (one contact got served divorce papers yesterday; I pointed out that since he's also creative, he should definitely turn to that since some of the greatest works out there came from someone being in a major crisis or severe life trauma; I guess one bright side is that my writing should be better than ever & my creative well is so much more full than the average person's).

If that doesn't tell you life isn't static, I'm not sure what does. My latest Twitter follower is also someone who is chronicling the experience of getting a divorce from a psychotic ex. Interpret that as you wish.

So when you're giving someone a gift when they say don't do it, you're not being nice. You're being an asshole if you're doing that expecting a gift in return from the person (which 90% of humanity seems to be in my experience). Let me repeat this: when I say "don't get me a gift" and we have no further discussion on this, DON'T GET ME A FUCKING GIFT!!!!!! There is no hidden meaning or secret message with me. I have no time for martyr crap or mind games; what I say is what I mean. Yes, I realize I may be one of the only women who says what she means & perhaps that partially explains why I'm still getting hit on all the time.

If you give me an unexpected gift & then say "You don't have to get me anything so don't feel obligated to do it" while showing me that in your actions, we'll be fine. If you truly mean it, that's okay. What I don't appreciate is people buying you a gift to fish for one out of you. That's extortion & it's completely out of the spirit of Christmas.

I also don't want a gift you only gave me out of obligation, not because you really cared. It's not my job or anyone else's in life to assuage your personal guilt or sense of duty. Please spare me. It's more political nonsense I don't need or want in my private life. Oh, and you're totally piling on this year.

With that mindset, do you see why a person might be pissed at you for springing unexpected gifts expecting something in return? Don't you dare be the asshole doing that to others, especially to those dealing with the grief process! It won't be appreciated.

Stuff like this is just one example of a married person problem that makes me long for my single days. Thankfully, my immediate family has some maturity on this or I'd also long to be completely isolated from the human race.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Creativity & Messages From the Universe

Nearly a week ago, I had maybe the most personal experience I have ever had with an employment recruiter. I called to follow up on a job ad I saw on Monday and talked to this guy directly, who asked me to send all my resumes (yep, all 4 of them) to see if he might be able to help me in a job hunt.

On Wednesday, I ended up having some things to do and decided while I was going to get my headshots printed (I had to get them in before 12 to pick them up after 5, when therapy would be over & then go uptown for a rehearsal for the next City Bar show) I would see about meeting this recruiter since he'd wanted to meet with me, I could kill some time instead of wasting travel money and I could avoid another trip into the city if he was free. It turns out he was so I made that happen. Unfortunately, I have to get my headshots this week since my resume in a Word format was 2 pages while the version I had at home was 1 page. My problem with an entertainment resume is that I have a lot of special skills & distinct information that should be mentioned which when adding up training and roles, puts me at 2 pages unless I make small margins and lessen the type font.

Somehow, I never have the problem of a resume being too small; mine are always too large with very little information I can feasibly cut. I still have to get my writing resume onto 1 page and have no clue what to omit to make that happen.

Anyhow, I had this meeting with the recruiter. He tells me that I'm far more creative & innovative than him. This very thing, however, is apparently a huge problem in any job I'd want to do and as I suspected, the very thing I'd be suited for is something no employer would actually let me do (since I'm not a 5 year old, actually know what I'm talking about when I speak & violate rules on legal "pedigree" and traditional paths). The conversation ended up getting a bit personal, maybe too personal since at one point I felt the urge to burst into tears. It depressed me since it made me feel that there is no way in Hell I can work for anyone other than myself, no employer could ever appreciate me & the demand that I go find a steady paying job is never going to be fulfilled.

However, the good thing about this recruiter is that he said he got it & something in my voice told him he should meet with me. He also told me he had no clue how to help me though he could listen to me talk all day. Okay.

I was also told to stay in touch & I guess I will since this is the first recruiter I've ever met who got it. Few people I meet outside the creative world really get me, what I do, what I stand for or how my mindset works even though I don't think I'm that hard to figure out. I simply don't have time for bullshit, know how to think & am not a follower. If you can remember these 3 things & respect them, we're good. Those are the people I cherish & respect.

One of my friends even said I have my own box I'm that unique & different from everyone else.

I should probably just pay some of these people to talk to the jerks who think I should go get a job in some law firm or can go easily do just any old steady paying job. Definitely thinking of making that offer to one of my City Bar colleagues who actually knows BigLaw & confirmed exactly what I knew; perhaps hearing it from these people would make these fuckers realize that maybe I know what I'm doing in my life & have some self-awareness, okay?

This weekend, I also read this article & can tell you with authority it's 100% accurate. When I responded to job ads from law firms seeking "hip lawyers," I never got a response. Stories I've read about the operations of law firms and even looking at their websites confirm this a million times over. Stories people have told me about their working experiences at these places confirm that I don't want to be there. I've not bought into the lie that employers value creativity for many years so I see no need for any of them to lie to me about it. To me, that lie is just part of the big dog & pony show I don't care for in the first place.

And you know something? I don't have any passion for many of these employers I see posting jobs I could feasibly do. I looked on LinkedIn job ads yesterday & realized that few of these companies had given me anything to care about or feel any passion for. If I can't get behind what your company does or your mission or feel like what you're doing has value in society, why should I apply? You don't want me to work there because I have a brain in the first place & dare to not be some befuddled little weakling. My lack of passion is just another big reason I shouldn't be there.

I really don't think I lost my father & cousin in these past few months to keep doing the same old shit. I didn't have mortality shine right in my face (my cousin was the same age as my sister) to listen to assholes who just want me to be part of their misery club instead of actually CARING about whether I'm happy or not. My mentality has changed & I realized I have to admit that to myself. I also realized things about my self-perception have changed. I'm starting to see myself as designers, models, fashion industry colleagues and guys legitimately attracted to me see me; this is a drastic turn from thinking I had goth tendencies or belonged in crowds that I really don't.

Call me stubborn but I also don't believe that happiness & personal fulfillment are things you have to buy or are only for rich people. I reject that idea. I'd rather be dead than giving up everything I worked for & give a damn about. For me, what is the point if you are miserable & don't have a single source of joy in your life? Giving up any part of what I do creatively would take away my sources of joy & I feel it's wrong to ask anyone to do that.

Then, I saw a post from a Facebook friend who's an actress (along with a fellow natural redhead) that she had recently lost her job & was concerned about this (as most of us would be).

It gets better. Her boss directly made fun of her for her acting ambitions & sounded just like many of these law firm partners I hear about who've asked my attorney colleagues why they're "wasting their time" on creative pursuits or told them those pursuits were frivolous.

However, she got 3 auditions and a movie offer. One comment on this said that the universe was telling her she didn't need to be at that job & she was on the right path with pursuing acting.

I do also believe the universe gives you messages. For instance, something told me on Saturday to refill my business cards before going out to watch a show I was to review for Woman Around Town (a blog I've written some pieces for in the past few months). Sure enough, I ended up meeting another attorney who was sitting near me for the show & had a great conversation. I've had something tell me to go out or do things many times and ended up having some meaningful conversation or later having a great event happen in my life.

I wasn't even going to interview for the internship position at One Way years ago since I thought I'd have to work in New Jersey & couldn't do that but something told me to go anyway. I did and the rest is history.

The universe has done everything but grabbed me by the shoulders & shaken me while slapping me in the face and say "You need to work for yourself, not chasing after jobs in Corporate America." The evidence just adds up & I don't think you can attribute it to coincidence. The question in my brain is how to get others to understand that; maybe paying those people who say that I wouldn't fit into particular jobs to explain this to those types isn't such a bad idea.

Seriously, though I don't think anyone should ignore their intuition. Sometimes it's accurate and right. Maybe there's also an element of positive thinking in some of this but I also believe in the power of positive thinking considering it does tie in with self-fulfilling prophecy, which is a proven & studied psychological concept.

God, sometimes being both left & right brained sucks! Being the first to do things can also suck.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Dark Side of Central Casting: My Take

So this is one of those situations where I'm duty bound to speak up. After all, I have a partnership in a film company & am an attorney known for being very much pro-creatives.

A friend of mine was recently terminated from there without ANY due process or opportunity to face his accuser. If you want the details, you can read them in this petition on

Some background for non-actors & entertainment people:

1. In order to get jobs in the film & TV world or have a true shot at being famous, you have to start out as an extra. The only time you don't is if you personally know or are related to a higher up in the industry who loves you dearly. The exception fits maybe 15% of people at best.

The rest of you slobs are going to have to go through a background casting company.

2. Central Casting is the largest background casting company in this country. They have the most established name & their LA office has been around for eons.

3. Central Casting is very strict when it comes to professionalism among background actors. Perfectly understandable since that's their reputation & companies like mine don't want to deal with a company that doesn't recruit good background people or who brings in folk who are disruptive, rude, etc.

If you act up, Central Casting can & will blacklist you.

4. Being blacklisted by Central Casting means you'd better kiss your dreams of stardom good-bye. People in the business talk & if you've got no reputation behind you or a bad one, you can consider yourself a permanent persona non grata.

Any other information can be found by reading the petition or going back and reading other posts about my experiences with Central Casting doing extra work.

Nearly every single actor I know of in NYC has done at least one background gig through Central Casting. If there's an actor in NYC who hasn't & is new to the industry, I'd be shocked. There are some good things about them but my friend's situation makes it solid that I can't work with them anymore.

My friend was a "Core Background" on a few shows. This means you aren't just any old extra coming in for a day & leaving but the production specifically wants you throughout their filming. When you are specifically wanted for a project, that means you're expected to be available & a production has invested some time and consideration into you. You're expected to show up, be professional & it's not a status you'd get by just phoning it in.

This particular friend is someone whose professionalism is not in dispute. I have gotten a sixth sense on professionalism in my years doing this & considering I introduced him to the CEO of my company (which does not happen unless I think you're going to make me look good & won't waste his time), I know the person who started this little chain reaction is full of shit or Central Casting in LA has royally fucked up & defamed my friend.

Apparently what happened was some wardrobe person claimed some incident happened & Central Casting's LA office was informed.

Never mind that all the events took place in NY and the people at the NY office were just as stunned as my friend to hear about this. He didn't even get a warning or an opportunity to appeal or face this accuser. To my knowledge, he's not even aware of what was said or exactly what the complaint was.

Some facts about film & TV productions:

1. Crew departments can be huge. The heads of these departments aren't always on the set and likely don't work on the mere background actors.

2. I have never personally had issues with wardrobe people. I actually tend to like them since doing that requires a fashion sense & I appreciate others who have that since plenty of people I encounter don't. It's a common ground type thing. More wardrobe people end up complimenting clothes I bring for roles I do. The respect thing has to shine through since I know it's not an easy job & if I'm thinking something looks great, that's a sign of talent.

However, the people doing these jobs are likely not on a first name basis with the executives or producers financing the whole thing. Some are definitely not appreciated or treated with respect.

Considering I once went to use a Lifebooker voucher & the guy doing my hair was a hair person on a cable TV series and has a very impressive track record, I don't think these people are exactly living in mansions or doing lines of coke off the boobs of prostitutes on a nightly basis.

3. Some people in these departments are not seasoned pros or industry experts. Most jobs are obtained in entertainment (especially in the mainstream world) because you were a good PA, not because you were an outsider who had great skills. Being a good PA does not mean you were professional & polite to people; you might have just slept your way into a job or made sure to be nice to the higher ups but treated everyone else like crap.

I do recall that one PA from a gig making disparaging remarks about extras and my comment that he never knows who he might be talking to. That little schooling exercise was fun & if he was smart, he learned not to have those conversations about background folk in their earshot since the next one could be an exec like me. Entertainment attorneys are a bit more respected than a lot of people in the industry, as I've mentioned before.

4. Despite this fact, these people will be believed before any background person in a dispute as far as Central Casting is concerned. Why they don't get that not all these people are saints or have ethics, I have no idea.

5. Productions have budgets & schedules. No sane producer or executive wants their budget & schedule messed up. This is why screening is very important for everyone. Set fights are a pain for everyone, make working that much harder & can lead to going over budget. If we have a team set, we like to keep that going & maintain that status quo until we get done with the production.

So why is this an issue for me? Many reasons. This will require wearing a few hats.

As an actress, don't really like the idea that someone's jealousy of my career, my looks, what I had for breakfast, my coat, whatever is going to lead to false complaints against me. That impacts my ability to get work.

While this isn't a personal concern to me these days since I've already done enough extra work to get my learning experience about being on set & can't do it anymore due to being recognized by people, it is a very real concern to other actors who aren't natural redheads or in the position I am. How are they to get experience on a set or learn about that experience firsthand? How are they going to pay their bills since Central Casting doesn't make you work for no pay & their checks are actually good?

As an attorney, this sounds a hell of a lot like carte blanche to defame others at your leisure. There is no accountability to these crew members or from Central Casting for sabotaging someone else's career. This sounds like a system rife for abuse. Oh, and the actor's union (SAG-AFTRA) has apparently been aware of it for about 10 years but still refuses to do ANYTHING about it (sort of furthering my union hatred & definitely not enticing me to join it). My friend wonders if the union's refusal to actually, oh, ADVOCATE for him has anything to do with a recent decision he made to go Fi-Core.

Going "fi-core" is something these unions hate since that means you can work on both union & non-union projects. You don't get to vote or use union protections if someone messes with you but you are treated as though you were union for payments, insurance & in working. Personally, if I join SAG-AFTRA I would go Fi-Core. Hello, entertainment attorney?! Hello, film exec?! I'm intimidating enough on my own & have my own attorney contacts. Don't need your little union & you're not going to sell me on something I don't need. This is not even the first story I've heard about the actor's union not being as great as people make it out to be.

If Central Casting can have policies against sexual harassment, they certainly can have a system where a crew member having a bad hair day or who's irritable from having no sleep the night before can't go getting people blacklisted without sufficient cause. Other unions don't let you fire someone without cause; in fact, they make it next to impossible to get rid of bad apples.

As a film exec, however much I might like & adore you as a person crew member you have no business making decisions on talent hiring/firing at any level. If you are a crew PA, you have even less right to do that. You are NOT the director. You are NOT a producer. This is NOT YOUR job!!!

You are supposed to direct those concerns & complaints to the director/executive in charge. Then, THEY take care of hiring/firing. Would you be permitted to fire a lead actor on the spot for any reason you felt like? Not on any film set I know of or was ever involved in. The producer outranks you. The director outranks you. This is reality so step off!!

Why, Central Casting, do you wish to convey this executive level privilege onto mere crew members and support staff? THEY are not dealing with the cost of the filming, accounting for budget overages or the costs involved in replacing the core background folk they have decided to unilaterally banish.

Dear crew member: If you want to be able to hire & fire, go be a producer. See how hard that job is. Try raising the money, being accountable to a network/investors/other money people, creating and enforcing budgets, learning about the financial rules and tax incentives, securing the insurance, handling the legal matters, etc. You'll find it's not nearly so easy as doing the crew tasks & you'll be facing a LOT more responsibility.

I think about my company's films & plenty of people involved as crew in those projects are not people we'd want to give talent hire/fire privileges to. We don't know them well enough to assess if they'd make the choices we would. We don't know if they have a clue of how to manage people or make a set run properly.

Also, why in God's name would you WANT hire/fire privileges if you're just a crew member? We don't need you getting stressed out over that stuff; we want you to focus on the task you were hired for & let us handle it. Some of us are pros at dealing with conflict.

As someone partially responsible for it, you don't want to volunteer for those tasks. You're getting off far easier not having to be the person in charge, especially with a larger production.

A good exec or producer would investigate these charges before going to Central Casting. I'm not sure if any such person was involved but in my friend's case, they apparently were not. This was some "gotcha" from the LA offices. My friend doesn't even know what show this was on.

So, aspiring actors beware: even if you're a sweetheart to everyone & don't cause any trouble some hating jerk with a mean streak can vanquish you just for existing and for any old reason they invent. Central Casting won't have your back & SAG-AFTRA won't have your back even while you pay them thousands to join their "union."

This was my friend's first offense & he wasn't even given a warning. He got instant termination.

If you find that state of events bullshit, even if you don't know this guy personally, you should sign that petition. There's a principle at work & if it could happen to him, it could happen to anyone. That includes you & your friends.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Demise of Thanksgiving: Die, Black Friday! -- In My Case, The Term Is Just Morbid

My alterna-Thanksgiving plans have actually been going pretty good. Went to a movie earlier today at Cinema Village. They were playing I Am Divine, a documentary on Divine (go look her up if you don't know who she is; if you're an attorney who doesn't work in entertainment & you actually know who Divine is, I will not only be shocked but I will give you points).

Someone I know was actually interviewed for the documentary, which I did not expect. It's not someone who's a friend but it's also not someone who's gotten on my black list or who I wish bad on. Guess I should get used to that; seems to be one more sign I'm making it regardless of what any money driven person has to say about it.

As we were going to this theater, which took us past Union Square, I saw mindless zombie assholes trying to shop. On our way, I saw some people trying to get in one of the bigger complexes right there & tugging on the locked door. I yell "It wouldn't kill you not to shop on Thanksgiving!" as I walk by. I felt these jerks deserved it & if we don't want retailers to be open then, we should be chewing out the assholes who equate Wal-Mart with the hospital or the police station.

That documentary was awesome, by the way & totally worth seeing. My husband & I were the only 2 people in the theater. Had it been something we didn't enjoy & my husband made a move, I'd have totally gone for it. After all, I did end up making out through an entire movie & then some on my first date with Vampire Boy. It was back in the days when a weekday afternoon ticket to the movies was affordable. I couldn't tell you what happened in the movie & it wasn't something I particularly wanted to see but had gotten invited to + thought the guy was cute so I went. Not to mention being a 20 year old on vacation from college & trying to kill time while waiting for Godiva to call her in for work. I remember the day itself very well since I'd also applied for a bank teller job earlier in the day & had to drive early in the morning.

You also have to remember I hated being in NC & Vampire Boy did as well so that instantly sparked good feeling between us. I've wanted to do that again with my husband so I could have new memories of something I liked doing but it hasn't happened due to movie ticket prices being too much & no good cheap movie theaters nearby. Guess those who want to make out in theaters just have to recreate that experience at home or in their cars, where we ended up after the movie. I feel like it marks the end of an ear & that kind of sucks.

Another end of an era apparently started this year with retailers opening on Thanksgiving. When we left the theater, I saw some jerks leaving and more entering Forever 21, which was open. I yelled loudly "You're part of the problem!" as we went to the subway. I wondered why my husband wasn't amused or commenting himself since I know he despises that crap himself. He claimed it wouldn't do any good. I say you have to confront assholes causing the problems if you want to affect change & point out they are indeed at fault.

I also feel entitled to do it considering I lost my father in June & just learned on Tuesday that my cousin died. He was the same age as my sister & was one of the only cousins we saw that often as kids. Plus, he & his brother were the only cousins we had within our age range. We weren't close as adults but that definitely hits close to home since if my sister died, that would be devastating. This cousin also had drug issues but he didn't try killing himself a bunch of times or tell people he wanted to die. He was medicating from injuries he got in a car accident ages ago. To my knowledge, he wasn't a depressed person; I just couldn't be around him because I like having my law license and the nature of what I do limits who can feasibly be in my life. Plus, dealing with my father means I don't deal with anyone else's issues & just because others are in denial doesn't mean I have to stick around for it.

In case you can't tell, I totally don't do Black Friday & hate it. I'm a cheapskate bargain hunter myself but I'm also a fan of sleeping in my warm bed, getting up later & not being pestered by the general populace. I also avoid putting myself into conflict situations where I know bad things are going to happen; dragging me into them is plain stupid so I opt to avoid them & let the conflict come to me before I act. Plus, there's the Internet.

Tell me, big box retailers. Why the hell do you need employees to come in against their will for no overtime pay when you have websites for customers to shop from? Can't you do deals on there & divert your traffic elsewhere instead of shitting on people's holidays b/c they are "peasants" or more accurately "garbage" to you? How many of you executives or higher ups worked this week? How many are working on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, for that matter? If you personally aren't willing to work on a holiday, you have no business telling anyone else to do so.

Wal-Mart does NOT = a hospital. Restaurants are one thing. Bars are one thing. Movie theaters are one thing. We went to the movies but it's not like employees have to be in your face the entire time. They merely take your tickets or sell food & you are on your own quietly watching the movie. The transaction is very different. I think bars & restaurants are different b/c some people hate their families or have no place to go & shouldn't be deprived of their alcohol if it keeps them from going on a mass killing spree. Not to mention the families like my aunt's or mine who just lost major relatives & don't feel in the holiday spirit. I keep thinking about last Thanksgiving since that's the last time I got to see my father alive.

It actually was a good Thanksgiving even though I'm never going to be a fan of NC. We didn't get into fights & conversation went well. I found out my paternal grandmother's full name so I could research if the story about her being Miss Atlanta, GA back in the day is true or another tall tale from my father's side of the family (they're known for those, though if my looks are any indication [I'm apparently the spitting image of my aunt in her youth] it very well could be true). At least as I do things in this business, I'll have headshots and IMDB to provide a record of me taking advantage of that beauty and getting to use it professionally while no one else has gotten the opportunity.

My sister says my father wanted my cousin up there & she's probably right. He had a close relationship with the guy & considering he & my sister were the same age, I'm sure my father thought of him as the son he never had. My cousin & my father did have things in common.

Yesterday, a thought also occurred to me on all these deaths: no one in my life or related to me with a substance abuse problem is alive anymore. I also feel like I should become some grief expert or the go-to person if there's a death in your family. I already feel like the go-to person for crisis in other areas. I need a nickname but I don't think "The Misery Chick" fits; I'm not miserable or obsessed with death, not even close. A black cloud? I hope not since I don't feel like my personal life should affect my career; it's been a 180 from my personal life & one of the things keeping me going in all this. So I'm not sure.

I also know that I don't want fake sympathy or people to feel bad because they feel it's their "duty" or they "should." Spare me the bullshit & don't offer condolences unless you actually mean it. I'm not a person of ceremony & am not swallowing BS out of "duty" or "obligation." Just isn't in my character, I suppose.

I also am not a piece of glass or a piece of steel: I'm not going to fall apart but that doesn't mean I don't have feelings.

Tomorrow, I'm staying at home & relaxing away from the shopping hell. If you're smart, you'll do the same.

Paying Managers to Be Babies: Why?

Last week, I went to a fashion show at the Dream Downtown in NYC. The week before, I'd personally modeled in a show there for Wicked Threads, a great brand you may want to check out. The designer is awesome & those shows have been some of the easiest I have done due to the lack of pressure and stress involved (at least as non-stressful as being a model in a fashion show gets). I personally had no problems and saw no issues with the venue; in fact, it's a very classy looking and gorgeous venue with ambiance & views. The ladies room is also one of the nicest I have been in NYC.

That week was part of my 4 days of crazy busy since I was in another show the next night at the Empire Hotel, was doing a TV appearance the next day, went to see Bayside! The Musical! that night (it was hilarious but oh, so wrong; don't go if you're easily offended or toting young kids/people who have zero sense of humor) & then had my photo shoot to finally do my comp card. After all that, I decided to take a bit of a breather & no one had asked me to model or posted anything saying they needed models so I decided to go to a fashion show that Friday as a spectator. I'd also known about it in advance & when you tell me about something in advance, I'm far more likely to make an effort to attend.

My husband also had an event to go to (and ended up networking; I told him I think my influence rubbed off on him) so no reason for me to sit at home. Plus, I've been going to events to try networking & build contacts.

You know what's great about going to fashion shows if you're a girly girl? You can get away with a lot as long as your outfit is semi-dressy. I also decided to try putting my hair up & didn't totally screw it up even though I'm nowhere close to good at creating an updo. Since I love a free opportunity to dress up, my going to fashion shows just makes sense for that alone. I also knew someone who was modeling in that show & worked with one of the designers before so I wanted to attend to support these people.

Other people I knew were in attendance so I talked to them & even met some new people. One photographer I hadn't met before actually came up to me & asked why I wasn't modeling that evening. I said "Nobody asked me," which was true.

Turns out it may have been a good thing I wasn't modeling that night. The show I was at was shut down by the venue's manager in the middle of the second show.

To put this in some context, the show that was interrupted was a swimsuit show. Lingerie & swimsuit shows are apparently more attended since people (men, in particular) like to see attractive young women in less clothing. The fact that I have worn less clothing in shows I've done is a compliment in my book since if I didn't have the body, no designer would want me going out on the runway representing his/her brand (especially in underwear or the like). There are also quite a few drinkers in the fashion world. Getting free drinks is a major issue after a show & I've seen people get mad if you aren't doing that for models and people involved in the shows.

Not to mention that fashion people have contacts, looks & some even have money. That would be the crowd any high level venue would want to attract & keep as customers. I don't recall hearing about Studio 54 being horrid to fashion people though they built their business around keeping people out & being exclusive. I have been to a number of fashion shows in my time (even before I was modeling in them myself) & that has never happened at any show I went to or participated in.

Well, for whatever reason, the manager at the venue we were at decided to curse out the designer, shoved a model, banished all the photographers (and I knew at least one who was there) & open the curtain where models were in stages of undress. Apparently, the night crowd was more important than this fashion show or maintaining goodwill at this high level event. I saw the organizer of the event later on (who is a Facebook friend I hadn't previously met in person) & told her if they wanted to look into legal action to contact me since I know a ton of attorneys and happen to be an entertainment one myself.

I also made sure to mention this little failing on Yelp and on their Facebook page along with telling the model I knew that if the girl who got shoved or anyone else wanted to pursue legal action, they could contact me. That really pisses me off since I have modeled myself & this jerk easily could have tried that with me. If he had, he'd have lived to regret it & I surely would have told him he just shoved an attorney.

This was far worse than what I saw when I did the show at the Empire Hotel the week before. That manager, a woman, apparently had a problem with the designer pulling out clothes to show models who were waiting outside the bathroom (since we were told we couldn't stay in the bathroom once we had changed & obviously couldn't go out where the general public was since you can't have people seeing your outfit before a fashion show). We end up getting moved to a darkened area with almost no lighting for anyone to see dresses & with no actual bathroom or formal changing area. There were gaps between this part & the part where we had to come out to model (which was quite lighted & filled with members of the general public alongside photographers, who we're used to seeing & aren't being a bunch of leering creepers trying to see naked ladies for sport). There wasn't really a changing area per se so we were getting dressed in this darkness near the non-curtained windows (though we were at the rooftop on a very high floor).

Now, one thing you should know about being a model is you can't be one of those super bashful girls when it comes to changing clothes. You're not likely to get a private changing area & junior high changing may not work for you depending on the outfit. I'm an expert in junior high changing (this is when you change your clothes in plain sight & do it without any glimpse of private parts) but there are garments you can't do that with. Sports bras are one of them. Pantyhose would be another.

If you've been to Joyce Leslie & tried anything on, you can't be bashful there either since they don't have fitting rooms but instead have one large room that women folk have to change in (at least at the one I went to near 8th Street & I was trying on a bra that day). Being in entertainment or going to Joyce Leslie should cure you of that bashfulness about changing in front of other women; you're too busy trying to get yourself ready & as others would point out "we all have the same stuff" so it's not worth freaking out over.

At the same time, there is a principle at work so I made sure to mention it to someone I knew. Still need to work on that Yelp review but been so busy lately with other things.

All these events irk me for another reason, though. Why in God's name are these managers being paid a salary by these venues to be shitty to guests? There are far more mature ways to handle a conflict than cursing someone out, shoving people, invading their privacy & so forth. I own a business & if I had a manager doing that in my business, I would fire their ass in a second. I don't know if they have contracts for the events but regardless, what about hospitality? These jerks are in the hospitality business; you're supposed to be NICE to people in it. If you hate people, don't work in that field. Come to think of it, there are lots of fields you should stay out of if you hate people. Not those who have done something to piss you off or are liars/jerks/etc.: I'm referring to hating people as your default position.

How many people are unemployed or underemployed in NYC? How many would do twice the work at half the pay & be damn appreciative and glad to have a job in the first place? What business owner would pay a manager to be a dickhead to people who are bringing crowds, alcohol sales & the like to their venue? What did I just say about fashion people & fashion shows? Why in the Hell would you want to alienate those people? You should be doing everything you can to make those people happy & get them to come back, invite their friends, talk you up & have a positive experience.

Not to mention the legal liability involved in making people change clothes in the dark, shoving women wearing very high heels & breaching contracts (oral or written). What if someone had gotten injured & ended up having to go to the hospital? Guess who'd be getting sued? The shitty manager might get named but the venue has deeper pockets so YOU owner(s) would be fucked over in that situation.

So along with bad PR, legal liability, potential backlash in desired demographics (I also don't advise pissing off photographers since they're actually fun people), high employee turnover (since God help the people who have to work for these assholes; the other staff members involved in these incidents were fine, including the security people) & creating a workplace where immaturity is allowed among so-called "professionals," why in the world would anyone with half a brain keep that kind of manager employed in their company? I, as a model, would certainly not feel comfortable modeling at the Dream Hotel Downtown if that asshole was in charge since who knows if that fucker would go invade MY privacy or lay a hand on ME? Where's the safety to models & anyone else providing entertainment at an event? If I'm thinking this, you know others have to be as well.

If someone told me "Oh, they were drunk," that would make me even less happy with a venue. How many episodes of Bar Rescue do you see where Jon Taffer is berating an owner for letting employees drink on the job & lecturing people about drinking at work? That's just announcing your workplace is unprofessional & a lawsuit waiting to happen.

The next day, still fired up from the Dream Downtown incident the night before, I went to Target & ended up calling up the manager to complain about a lazy fuck who refused to provide me with service when I asked for a rain check on an item. He apparently thought I was supposed to go get him an item number from a section when I don't work at Target, wouldn't know where the item number was & there's no real staffing in the section. He couldn't even be bothered to get a circular to look for the item! I would never have done that when I worked in retail & gee, we have phones so he could have called and tried to get the information but just wanted to be lazy.

At the end of the day, my attitude is "I earned my position & had to work for my paycheck. You need to be doing the same or getting the hell out of the way so someone who gives a damn will actually do the job." You have no sympathy from me when you're being unprofessional, rude, nasty, etc. & you work in customer service or hospitality. Low wages, my ass!

I worked in retail for 7 years & I didn't take out my unhappiness or attitude about my employer onto the customers (I also didn't hate my job or take one I know I would hate 100%). It's not their fault YOU hate your life or your job. That's a problem YOU need to deal with. Either make an attempt to change your lot in life or accept it; regardless, don't come bitching to customers about it. They do not care. Why is it that I got this lesson at 15 while there are people far older than I am now who don't get it? If you are a manager & you try defending laziness/unprofessionalism/so on & so forth against me & mine, I will give you hell for it. Just a fair warning.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dragging Men Shopping & Not Wanting to Be a Brawn Person

This is my first attempt to get some blog posts out of me before I explode. The past 4 days were super crazy busy so didn't have any time until now to start with this.

In the midst of the craziness (or maybe before it started), I saw this post from 1,000 Ways to Die (the show may have ended but they still have a presence on Facebook) about men being dragged shopping by women. That is something that puzzles me since I have never made a man go shopping with me. I actually prefer to shop alone since I do have a good sense of style & know what works for me or not. I usually don't need other opinions & to quote Margaret Cho "Men do not want to go shopping. If they do, they're gay."

Now if I had some gay male friends who'd go shopping with me & really wanted to go, I'd certainly take any of them who asked. I don't, though. Most of the men in my life are straight. I wouldn't make a guy friend go shopping with me since I don't keep friends I hate.

The biggest reason I don't get that whole thing goes back to my teenage years. When I was 15 years old, I got a job at JcPenney. I was hired to work in the Lingerie/Sleepwear section, though it was part of 3 girly departments (the other 2 were Handbags/Accessories & Hosiery). Hosiery was the department where you managed a till & could easily get bored. It was a very easy section to work in & you didn't have to do much. The upside was you had a view of the main drag of the store so you could people watch often. I usually ended up doing that, especially when cute guys walked by. Some of them probably checked me out but at that time, my parents would never have let me date anyone I met at work since that guy likely would have been older.

One of the big things that happened in Lingerie/Sleepwear was you'd see men & boys with pained expressions on their faces in the section because women dragged them there. They would usually sit in the chairs we had out. The chairs were conveniently located near our registers. Sometimes they started conversations with us but I always felt compelled to talk to them since as a sales associate, it was my job to make customers feel good about being in the store vs. wishing they were in the electric chair instead.

I vowed that if I ever got a boyfriend, I was NOT going to make him go shopping with me. I didn't want to ever make a guy get that pained expression on his face like I'd seen so many times at work. I was also doing my own shopping for clothes at that time & was fashionable even then. Case in point: I won "Best Dressed" in my high school's pageant my senior year & still have the sash from it. People also complimented my clothes at random back then & still do today.

It seems I'm in the minority on this one along with the subject of watching chick flicks; that's something else I won't make a guy do. I mean, if you're dating someone, married to them or at least having sex with them (assuming you don't just sleep with guys you hate) why would you want to torture someone like that? I'd only do that if I hated someone & then I'd have to get that device from A Clockwork Orange so my victim couldn't close his eyes.

Now I do expect a guy is not going to make me watch movies I have no interest in. If he did, all bets would be off there. Equal rights, slick!

Shopping I'm not so picky about since that's not something I mind doing & if you ask, I'll give you my opinion. Not sure that guys I know scramble around for my opinions on clothes but if one actually does, I'll share. I do have some theories on certain fashions but probably mentioned them already or it's for another post.

As we know, shopping is a bitch for skinny people. I recently found out I weight less than 100 pounds seemingly out of nowhere. I didn't turn vegan or start eating 100% organic (can't afford it) but it does mean I'm going to have more haters. I wondered if I was just going to waste away & die that way or if I was a medical oddity but my husband pointed out something that maybe I should have considered: we've not been eating take out or restaurant food that much recently. Could explain this weight loss, right? I don't formally exercise per se other than stuff I do to live life like lugging a very heavy suitcase today for a photo shoot. When I got done, the inside of my elbow was hurting from me wheeling the suitcase down the street.

For some reason, my husband wants to turn me into a brawn person but hasn't it ever occurred to him or anyone else that maybe I don't want to be a female bodybuilder? Maybe I'm happy as I am & like my body as is. I even have shape in places that made my religious family insist I cover up & provoke hatred or dirty thoughts in a good chunk of the populace. I also ask "aren't beauty & brains enough?" That's apparently a combination nearing the rarity of naturally red hair, at least to hear some guys (including one of my exes) talk.

A person needs to have a few flaws & weaknesses; otherwise, you're dealing with a robot since no one is perfect. I don't care who you're talking about since there's at least one flaw or weakness in everyone. Being able to admit this means you have some character. Otherwise, I guess not admitting to your faults is your flaw: you have no character.

In closing, no one needs to be asking me to lift heavy objects or suggesting I apply for jobs where you have to be able to lift at least 50 pounds. I'm not an ant!

Asking me to lift 30 pounds is also too much. Two words to remember when asking this sort of thing of little tiny folk like me: Chivalry & Sadist. If you ask me to do that, I will call you a sadist & an idiot. If you're a guy, I will totally think you lack chivalry & are an asshole.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Conflict Free Holidays & Married People Problems

Back when my father died in June, I decided it was time to do something I've been dying to do for years: have holidays by ourselves. The husband & I were forced to do that one year when we were in a car accident on our way to Thanksgiving in Long Island. We ended up having pasta for Thanksgiving since that's what we had in the house and going to the local hospital to make sure he wasn't suffering from whiplash. We were driving in the rain on 15 in Connecticut and ended up hitting the car in front of us after our car hydroplaned.

Later, I did a make-up Thanksgiving for us complete with a HoneyBaked turkey, mashed potatoes, corn & pumpkin pie I made myself that I'd normally have for my family's Thanksgivings. That was a huge thing I'd missed with Thanksgiving with my in-laws: no homemade pumpkin pie & no Cool Whip. Well, for our make-up Thanksgiving I did it MY way. It was great & since then I've been dying to have our own holidays just the two of us.

Thanksgiving at my in-laws' house has typically consisted of extended family. That was never the case when I was growing up. Our Thanksgiving holiday was strictly immediate family & later friends or significant others of ours. We NEVER saw my relatives. The same goes for Christmas.

Why, you may ask? Because my grandparents were long since dead, my uncle lived far away & didn't get along with my father AND my father's siblings didn't get along with my mother. My parents & other relatives chose not to put themselves through the emotional torture & we had more peaceful holidays on our own. Or at least, relatively peaceful since my father did like to get drunk and show his butt on holidays. You at least didn't have to deal with gossip & nastiness behind your back and got good food at our house. My father also wasn't around later on & had calmed down in later years; last year's Thanksgiving was a good one since my husband got to have Honeybaked Ham (which he loves & never gets to have on his holidays).

My in-laws, however, have shown me without a doubt that they don't welcome, respect or give a damn about me. Apparently they mistake me for someone who gives a damn about their opinion or their commentary. They also seem to think they can censor my art & tell me what to think or feel.

You might notice some censor bars in recent posts. This is because my husband asked me to do this after getting a message from one of these jerks. To my knowledge, it was not a message of love or concern for the situation; instead it was meddling nonsense that should have been shut down with an "MYOB" (mind your own business, for those not in the know). Or perhaps an "MYOFB" would have worked also (you can guess what the "F" stands for).

Why these people care to read my blog, I have no idea. I would freely say anything I write here directly to their faces if prompted or asked. Plus, I've not heard any apologies or statements that my feelings and mindset on them & my idea of my place is wrong. Way to make me feel welcome or that I should bother going to any family function! That just tells me I'm doing the right thing in opting to do my own thing & not go someplace where I'm not welcome.

Since I did that make-up Thanksgiving and later made my own turkey breast, I know I can cook the main dish. I also don't get to see my childhood family because of my husband's schedule & had to fight to go last year. Plus, I've been married for 7 years; I think it's long past time for us as married people to do our own holidays. I think being married & especially all the strife I've been going through this year entitles me not to have to deal with anyone else's bullshit, melodrama & other things that are going to make holidays worse for me. If you were me, would YOU stand for this?

I also know of many people who have no place to go for holidays, have horrible relationships with their families or just get sick of them after a while & wanted to have a little safe zone for them. The only rule I've got is no bringing conflict.

I know tons of single people want to get married, especially single women. You people idealize marriage & married life, partly because the media & society tells you to. Let me tell you right now that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

I like to think I don't idealize single life too much (I did live it for a lot of years myself in Atlanta & while living on my own) but there are things I miss in it.

I definitely miss not having to deal with in-laws at all though I told my husband from Day One that I wouldn't put up with disrespect from in-laws & would end the relationship in an instant if they won out over me. In-laws trying to put the Hays Code or prior restraint on me is definitely included in that; you'd think I was dealing with teenagers or little kids instead of grown people here. For me & from my experience hearing about them, it's like dealing with abusive parents you don't get to shut down yourself b/c "it's not your place." If you don't have a strong spouse who stands up for you, you are royally screwed. Just ask the people I saw dealing with it; just look at Mama's Family.

The self-sufficiency is also nice; as I've told single friends, if you marry someone their problems become YOUR problems. Even if you are the most well adjusted, beloved person on Earth if your spouse is having a bad day it's going to affect you as well. I think everyone should have to live on their own for at least a year before they ever get married. Manage their own household, pay their own bills, do their own day to day life stuff without Mommy & Daddy holding their hands. No one should be going from their parent's house to a marital home. It just causes problems, especially for women. Unless you want to do a lot of Mommyesque stuff, you don't want a man who hasn't had to take care of himself for a while.

Some of my single friends are bound to hear about my stuff & then turn around thanking their lucky stars every morning that they don't have to deal with married people problems. I'll just be happy if they take my wisdom on the subject seriously & not fuck things up for themselves.

Maybe a family friend had it right when she refused to be with a guy whose parents were still living. One requirement of dating her was your parents had to be dead since she had to deal with a lot of shit from her family. Perhaps an orphan who just took care of himself & had no family would be fine as well (the male version of Carrie Bradshaw in that regard; no one ever says a word about her family or if she has any & there's nothing about in-laws meddling in her relationships). One thing I can say is I'm not censoring my blog or writing it to cater to a pack of busybodies who refuse to behave like mature adults or dial direct. Nor am I going to infantalize myself for anyone's family. You take me for who I am or screw off.

Married people would probably be much happier if they took that stance. It seems like sooner or later you have to stand up to your family & say "No more! I'm an adult & you can't treat me like that. MYOB/piss off/whatever choice statement applies to the situation!" I don't have children so why should I tolerate in-law garbage? If I did, I'd never want to show a kid that it's okay for anyone to abuse you or treat you like crap for any reason; abiding this shit would be doing just that & don't we have enough screwed up people in this world without adding on?

If you're thinking of asserting yourself, I highly recommend it. If only more of us were truly authentic in our lives. As a person, it's done wonders for my mental state.

I'd still love to meet someone with a functional family. It would give me some renewed hope in humanity & perhaps let me dare to believe that not all families are made up of the immature, petty & emotionally bankrupt (or at least not use my current belief as a reason to never, ever remarry or seriously date if I end up having to flee from this marriage). Oh well, at least I'm doing some fun stuff in the next few days & making career progress. I'll remember who believed in me & who didn't.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dependency: The Most Loaded State of Being Ever

A few thoughts come to mind after ending this Halloween. I didn't have a "traditional" Halloween though I could have gone to a free Halloween party & dressed up + have all my costume stuff in easy reach. Here's why:

1. I found out on Monday I have pinkeye. The last time I had it was in elementary school. I was literally attending a religious private school at the time & it was the late '80s. Not even sure how many times I got it but at least twice.

My father even took me & my sister to Shoney's for lunch one day when I was out of school due to pinkeye. Why was my sister present? She was the queen of faking sick when we were kids since she hated going to school. I hated the social aspects of school & dealing with my horrid classmates but I didn't mind the schoolwork part; my sister was the total opposite. She decided to fake sick on this particular day & getting pinkeye again over 20 years later reminded me of that trip. It's one of those few pleasant memories I have of my father from childhood.

The upside on this whole pinkeye thing is that I now know of a local ophthalmologist if my husband gets it (he's certain he will since he likes to sleep on my pillow at night) & you'd never know I had to look at me. When I had it as a kid, my eyes would look horrible. You'd be able to tell in a second I wasn't well.

2. I was in a lingerie fashion show yesterday. In fact, I wore an outfit that I called my dominatrix look. There were no mirrors so when I came out of the changing room & immediately had my picture taken with one of the other models, I was a little nervous.

But then I got into the role & the show was a ton of fun. A random guy asked me if I'd take a picture with him & he'd flipped the camera to face us. I looked at myself & noticed I was smiling. When I saw this, I thought to myself "There's no way I can stop doing this. I enjoy it way too much."

Modeling has been one of those things keeping me sane & giving me hope for the future. It's probably built up my self-esteem & got rid of the ugly girl complex for good (since you can't be effective at it if you're self-conscious or doubt your own beauty; as they say, the camera doesn't lie).

3. I went to a Halloween party last Friday night & dressed up. Ironically, I was in a fashion show the next night & had a glitter pattern on my face that would have looked great with my costume. It still worked in the show, though & I got some great shots from it. Apparently, I've even mastered walking like a model since one girl I was working with yesterday told me her boyfriend said to her that I "walk like a model." How awesome is that?

I also did some networking & met people at this party. See, women like to know they are appreciated and that guys (or girls if they're lesbians) think they look hot. Even being married, I always appreciate that. For me, it's insurance against jerky behavior. You treat me like shit & there's no reason for me to spend tons of time crying over you.

I also had to go to the cardiologist & for marriage counseling on Halloween. Not sure what type of omen that was but maybe it was good since thus far, my heart's in good shape. I just have to get one more thing to make 100% certain but the certainty now is pretty high.

As for marriage counseling, I'm glad I got the things I had to say out there. If my husband follows up on things, maybe it can be workable but since I don't feel secure that I'm not going to be treated as a sugar baby he wants to rid himself of or that he won't engage in emotional abuse against me again there's still work to be done.

We are also much more different that I would have thought. Maybe part of it is the change in my mental state & acting to stand up for myself against obnoxious behavior no matter where at this point.

I still feel I'm acting consistent with who I am but I've just refused to give up fun for myself because my husband won't do something. He got all POed when I told him about dancing with someone who pulled me into it when I was leaving yesterday's fashion show. I said that if he's not going to dance with me somewhere & some other guy asks me, I will accept provided it's not club dancing. I told my husband he'd better be doing club dancing with me (grinding, you know); it's in his best interest to do that w/me anyway.

The guy who did have me dance with him last night told me I was a good dancer. I always considered myself decent. Not great but not horrifically shitty, either. Guess those 2 years of dance class in high school & dancing at all those college frat parties + clubs paid off. I suppose that was another benefit of sorority membership for me; I would see my sisters at parties, hang out with them and as part of being in that scene would get asked to dance by guys (usually from other schools) or dance with my friends. Still need some gay male friends who like going to clubs & can dance at least as well as me, ideally better.

Today,as I was dealing with all this with my husband in counseling & thinking about the session I was reminded of when I dated Condo Man & how that relationship ended. He said similar to me & was trying to make my life suck by trying to take away money I was trying to save from my job to move for the next chapter. I got fed up & out of there very quickly. In fact, I ended up moving someplace that was much closer to work than his was. I felt that was sabotage & told my husband that some of the statements he made to me lately were threats and an attempt to sabotage me.

I realized that I'd fled from an emotionally abusive jerk in that case & could do it again if I had to. Friends of mine reminded me I'm a fighter & the irony is none of them knew me when I was dating Condo Man.

It feels sad to me that even if you're married, it seems you can't let your guard down. You can't not earn income, even if you're the best cook, the best financial planner, the most organized person & have a great vision.

I'm really hoping that's not how my marriage is going to turn out. A "give up your vision & career so I can do what I want" attitude. Since when should I be forced to do that if the person asking has no passion or vision for a career? Myopic views aren't a turn on, either. It's hardly excuse making when someone tells you their student loan lenders are going to take a huge cut of money if they're at a W-2 generating job; that's simple reality for most attorneys. We can't exactly go work as burger flippers unless we just pay student loan lenders & that's not accomplishing anything if you're seeking more income for your household.

Apparently, there's mutual anger between us though there's still some love. This is probably accurate. I also know there are interests we will never share & parts of my life he'll never want to be part of, even though when I started out on things I never wanted my husband feeling excluded or like he couldn't go to things.

He also did admit something I was sure of & people outright told me but that I didn't know for certain; he's uncomfortable with me modeling & not really supportive of it. At least he does know I'm not giving it up & hasn't asked me to. I think he knows if he did it would be like telling me I can't be friends with people he doesn't like: an instant dealbreaker that will cause me to leave. Emotional abuse is also a biggie since I explained to him I dealt with it enough in childhood & refuse to do it now.

I also really hope he's kidding me about being bipolar since if he in fact is & knowing he would never take medication for mental illness, that's something else I can't do. If you want to call me heartless for that, then you try living the childhood I had, getting out of it & then ask yourself if you want to go through more emotional abuse, verbal abuse and other problems coming from living with someone who refuses to get help for serious problems. History can only take you so far, as I found out when my former childhood best friend decided to show her ass at my sister's wedding after totally dropping the ball on everything & trying to inject herself into my face when I clearly didn't want her there.

Part of me also thinks it's dickish for him to pull this whole "it's your turn to support ME" stuff when things are where they are & my father just died, leaving my childhood family in turmoil. That really bothers me on multiple levels & probably has contributed to anger on my part.

If things don't work out here, I'm never getting married again & will totally feel a long term relationship would be a waste. I'm not going to be able to get over that whole concept of dependency; it's a part of marriage but you're supposed to be okay with it & revere your spouse, not keep a running tally of how many years you earned the money while they didn't or throwing your job in their face while they try finding one & have no luck. Sorry, but no one deserves that. The spouse might as well be your sugar mommy or daddy & cut the pretense of actually giving a damn about you or your feelings if (s)he is going to do that.

Plus, to me dependency = vulnerability & that is something I have a very hard time with. I've had to force myself to get over that as of late with friends since it's not healthy to have no one you can fall apart around without them judging you or holding it against you later (not everyone can afford therapy & I'm the type who needs to talk things out). Friends are also a lower stakes proposition than a serious romantic relationship since you can have more of them & I'd like to hope if my friends have a true crisis, they will feel they can come to me without discomfort.

I'm also not sure if love = dependency. After all, loving someone means you're dependent on how you're treated by someone else. I just feel like I wouldn't be able to really love anyone fully if this becomes another situation I have to flee for my own well being & survival. The story continues but it feels like you can never, ever be dependent with anyone (even the people we think of as being "safe" to be dependent on).

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Big Picture Stuff & Trying to Define Success

Thursday would have been my father's 60th birthday; if you read this blog regularly, saw that entry or know me in real life, you know he died in June. I was trying to keep the day free since I wasn't sure how I'd feel. I ended up being asked to do paying work so I spent some of my day on that. Then my husband asks me, the sick woman he gave his cold to, to do dishes & other domestic tasks (I'm pretty sure he also asked me to make HIS tea even though he swore he didn't).

Actually had a great conversation with the person I'm doing paid work for. He pointed out some things that are completely accurate from my vantage point & it made me feel really good to hear it. It was further confirmation that I'm exactly where I belong & am no dummy here. My therapist also read the Yelp review I wrote on her (which was 100% truthful) & she told me yesterday that I am a writer.

My husband & I are finally going to go to marriage counseling. I'm proud & happy that he admitted there are problems in this marriage & he took the initiative to set that up with someone who may be compatible with who we are + take our insurance. I definitely think his stunt last week was a turning point, at least for me.

One big thing I absolutely won't put up with from anyone is abuse; emotional abuse is most certainly included in that. I had to put up with enough emotional abuse from my father & then I was a child who had no say or options to leave (though I did tell my mother when I was 7 that she should get a divorce & probably kept saying that over the years or asking why she wouldn't leave). As an adult, that is simply not going to fly with me from anyone. I don't care if you've been married 100 years or 100 seconds; no one deserves that. I have a lot to say about where I see problems and what I will and won't put up with.

Today's conversation kind of further proves that no one should dare accuse me of living in a delusion when I say my entertainment pursuits are going to pay off & that I'm just where I need to be professionally speaking. It's one thing to hear it from the world at large; it's another to hear it from your family members or your relatives. Calling my career a hobby or me delusional on this one is extremely offensive & means I won't be dealing with you since that shows me you've got zero respect toward me as a person or for any creative talents I have.

It seems like a lot of people in my life are in the midst of major transitions & changes. I sort of wonder if I'm going to be one of them in the near future; I honestly don't know how things are going to go but this status quo isn't going to cut it. Between me & my sister, I wonder whether these men think that because our father is dead they now get to treat us like shit since he's not around to kick their butts. If they think that's the case, they'll be in for some very sad realities.

I'm also the type of person who never hung around bullshit. My affection for a guy faded very quickly if I was disrespected, lied to, or the guy did something horrid. Now I was more often the dumpee than the dumper but when I was feeling oppressed or angry or hurt & the guy never acknowledged or respected my feelings, I was out the door. I also never tolerated anyone's attempts to control me or tell me what to do (I still won't). There's one definitive sign that it's over: when you're crying after you've had sex with someone. Once you do that, you have to face the fact that it's over & done.

As I told a friend of mine, if this marriage ended I'd probably never want to get married again. I wouldn't be helpless & figure my friends won't let me cede to that feeling but I think I'd only want open marriage if I ever got close enough to anyone again to want even a slight commitment. I'm still shocked I got close enough to my husband to have a relationship with him since I never was able to do that with anyone else, even when I wasn't looking for Mr. Right Now. I'm not even sure I ever looked for Mr. Right since I felt Mr. Right was a myth.

Now for some reason the Biography channel is showing that old show Confessions of a Matchmaker, which I remember watching years ago back when it aired. I think my husband may have found it. I was watching an episode where she's trying to help this guy who is a "deluded" musician because he works in a music store & is trying to be a rocker. He'd apparently had an album but they didn't go into too much detail about what he did, if he had gigs, what he was trying to do, who he knew, anything like that. The matchmaker was just dismissing him as delusional because of his age (within my range, by the way) & because of his day job in retail.

It's been my contention that success isn't something with a quantifiable definition, especially in the entertainment field. You can make money at it but not be famous & you can also be famous but broke. You can win awards, get great opportunities & have lots of contacts while having to take a day job. I just don't define it by money & if you did that in entertainment, most of the people in it would be "failures" by that definition.

Recently, I read this book about the oral history of Nickelodeon's early days. One fact I learned was that a lot of people doing the shows many of us know and love form that time were working for passion, not money. I don't think anyone would have called those people "failures" back in the day & I'm sure most wouldn't now.

See what I mean about success not being defined by money? At the end of the day, I'm pretty sure it's what each person personally defines as success. You might think I'm "successful" but perhaps I don't, just like I might call myself a success even if someone else wouldn't. It sounds a little New Age but I do think there's no real quantifiable definition of it, just a perception that everyone has to define for themselves.

Oh, and let me also say that I think the people who define success by a paycheck are the same people who have zero creative talent, would never get the opportunities our innovators get & may very well know this fact (while also hating it). The people who don't think that way are a breath of fresh air to people in my industry, let me tell you.

Since getting back to this post a few days later (my schedule is literally that insane these days) I'm still in the midst of waiting for what life is going to bring. I guess in some way we all are.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunglasses: A Symbolism Story

Until taking high school English & learning about it, I didn't really appreciate the concept of symbolism. After that, I started to notice little symbolism stories in my own life. The absolute best one was when I lost the diamond ring I bought myself years before on the same weekend my then-boyfriend said he cheated on me. I think I told it before but if I didn't, I have to someday.

The latest one concerns my former childhood best friend. Maybe now we ought to call her a train wreck or someone TLC ought to be contacting with a contract for a reality show. From her latest antics, they really ought to. She's apparently managed to make one acquaintance who I felt ought to get a reality show w/her sister look functional by comparison (she's the one who had to fight to get a tubal after having 4 kids & limited means to raise them).

Many moons ago (or at least it feels that way), before she went insane my ex-friend gave me a pair of sunglasses. They weren't really The Angry Redheaded Lawyer's style (my style is very eclectic & different from the pack's) but I said "Thank you" and took them just the same.

If you read "The Wedding Saga" series here, you know that friendship has definitively been history for a while. gets so much better.

Remember when I mentioned my sister finding out her husband had been having less than clean conversations with other women on Facebook? Well, guess who he decided to have one of these conversations with? Guess who responded to these overtures & said nothing to my sister? You got it, this ex-friend.

My sister, for God only knows what reason, decided not to tell this bitch to suck it or fuck off or drop dead like 95% of us would have. No, she decided to still talk to her though on a more limited basis.

Two thoughts occurred to me at hearing this:

1. My BIL could do so much better than ex-friend. If he were single, had no kids, dressed nicely & came to a fashion show, he could probably have a shot with a fashion model. I know them, you know. Plus, I have the wingwoman skills. Oh, hell I'll be a bitch & say it: this ex-friend was a size 22 at the wedding. I am (and was) a size 2.

Looking back these days, maybe my ex-friend had more luck with guys than me back in the day because she had fewer standards than me. I was picky, wasn't going to have sex with them & according to people I know (and even someone who reached out to my sister later), guys were intimidated of me & insecure around me being who I am. Older guys checked me out but I had no skill to pursue that and no one really pursued me until college.

2. My sister ought to be nominated for sainthood. The reason will be even more obvious soon.

Fast forward to this month: the ex-friend had the baby with her illegal fling who I guarantee isn't nearly as good looking as most of my guy friends & certainly not any male models I've worked with. She contacts my sister (AFTER the revelation of her little conversation with my BIL which my sister found out about & not from the ex-friend) to ask her to get a free bassinet my sister is trying to sell. This after she apparently owes my sister money from that wedding.

My mother apparently told my sister she was done with this ex-friend after the ex-friend showed her ass at the wedding (the incident referenced later in the saga & to which everyone who's heard that tale sides with me, including many impartial third parties). My sister simply opted not to return that phone call.

Apparently, ex-friend was around when my sister lost her first husband but I think that ex-friend used up the goodwill from that ages ago. Recently, we crossed 10 years since this guy died; I don't think you can do the shit she did & get to remain in someone's good graces because you comforted them when their first husband died.

As far as I'm concerned, the only thing my sister owes this ex-friend is not shooting her on sight (mostly so my sister doesn't have to go to jail). Anything else is fair game.

Now, for the symbolism. I started wearing these sunglasses & didn't really care if they got messed up or lost screws (as most of my sunglasses invariably have happen) since I was just using them in the meantime before wearing newer ones I got that are in keeping with my style. I had been wearing them for the longest time just because. Certainly anyone who saw me in them figured they weren't really my aesthetic.

A few days ago, I came home & had the sunglasses in my purse. I open them up to find this:

I have no clue how that happened. I wouldn't be able to physically break them myself, my purse had been closed when I discovered this & I'd worn them home a few minutes earlier. The cats didn't sit on them or my purse. I'm still puzzled over it.

I still have to get the screws out so I can save them or maybe put them into some other sunglasses in a style I like. I just think this is interesting. Don't you? Whose sunglasses break apart like that with no prior evidence of this?

This ex-friend is also a huge reason I'm selective about who gets to come into or stay in my life along with convinced that no one should get to stay in your life simply because they've been there forever if they no longer fit within it. Friends of mine certainly better know if they don't that they're in a privileged place & past goodwill isn't going to keep them around forever. Guess my sister got the whole saintly stuff when it comes to people while I got the "no mercy" gene.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Why I Won't Be Your Manager, Being an Inadvertent Wingwoman & The Job I Want But Will Never Get From a BigLaw Employer

Lately, life has been rather busy with my freelance gig. I also went to a model casting I heard about on Thursday night, which I figured was going to be a short term type thing with no networking involved but ended up having free food that was pretty decent and led to my meeting someone in the talent management arena who said she recognized me. We had a lovely conversation & I've got more people to follow up with (likely now or sometime after my husband goes back to his dreaded job; at least he's been acting more like his normal self, though we still have that whole fiscal responsibility issue to address--today's my anniversary, by the way).

I also am no longer managing my first client. This is better anyway since she found someone more suited for the role, I am who I am and since being a manager isn't about promoting your own career, it was just too much anyway. We're still friends, though.

Since then, I've now vowed not to be anyone's manager again unless I retire from what I already do.

This means not doing any type of creative pursuit and certainly not being a partner in a film production company. Otherwise, I'm going to be way too focused on representing myself and getting ahead for myself.

Plus, I'm just worn down from being anyone's Mommy. I'm sick of doing that for my husband and have stepped back from things I would have done in the past. He even asked me if I networked for him at the event I went to on Thursday; I told him that since he doesn't want to work in the entertainment industry with its permanent freelance nature & is not into fashion, I did not. I also mentioned that he doesn't even know what he wants to do so how am I supposed to help him on that front? Plus, let me tell you self-sufficiency is a turn on for any mature, functional woman (me included). In fact, it's not just a turn on for me; it's a dealbreaker. I can't deal with that type of dependency. I heard a song by The Waitresses recently called "Go On." There are lyrics in there I'm sure many of you girls can relate to about guys. Particularly "another [guy] gets dependent" and "Am I a magnet for losers? A net for the helpless? I'm no social worker." Hear, hear! It also strikes me that a friend of mine was actually BEING a friend to me back in the day rather that just trying to break up my relationship for selfish reasons (or at least it was this friend not trying 100% to break it up).

The Waitresses have other songs, as I discovered in Song Pop. Go hear them. Just like The Specials, there's some good writing on issues that relate to things in life you don't hear about all the time. I also happen to like Mary J. Blige since she has some depressing songs but they have depth & I can relate to a lot of them having grown up where I did.

Yeah, I'm plain too worn out to do that so I think it's time I took care of myself & let my own career go where it goes.

On Friday, I went to karaoke with my husband as we often do. We have a karaoke place not far from our house that we've been to so much, they no longer check our IDs when we go in. This week, a friend of my husband's he's been trying to get there for ages showed up & brought his friend. My husband said this friend (who he worked with at another branch in the library) was proficient at getting women. Apparently, though I helped his friend get a hook up without trying.

Here's what happened.

The girl his friend was talking to gets up & sings a Talking Heads song. I'm a huge fan of their music & have every single song from that group. If Song Pop got a Talking Heads category, I could get 4 stars in it very quickly & kill most people in it. I also told my husband if I ever end up in a coma, he should make sure to have Talking Heads playing.

I don't feel I could sing Talking Heads well but this girl did it. She also happened to be the very first person I'd ever seen do Talking Heads at karaoke; no small feat considering I've been to karaoke tons of times in various cities along the East Coast.

I said "Points from me for picking Talking Heads." I also figure if you're going to sing something by them, you've got some taste. We had a brief conversation, I told her about my husband knowing the guys involved with the karaoke & giving them songs before. She said "We need to get all their songs in there." I said "Yeah," since I think that would rock especially if you see Talking Heads songs you don't see elsewhere. This place has a cool selection of songs & I have found a few that I've not seen elsewhere.

After I had this conversation, I legitimately had to use the bathroom. Lucky for me, there was no line.

I come back and my husband tells me his friend's friend and this girl are making out. He claimed that I apparently helped this guy get laid even though I didn't set out to do that. I just complimented the girl on her song choice in a spirit of sincerity.

This story confirms that I could totally do wingwoman work & should get paid for it. I applied at a few places and got interest in the past but nothing ever worked out from it. I'm not sure if you have to get licensing for it if you want to do it on a freelance basis by yourself. Getting a company name could help & I know that costs money but it seems like a possible avenue I should investigate. Plus, I've got the model cred officially this time.

So if you're going to karaoke & need a wingwoman, I can totally do it since I'm a semi-pro singer & know a lot about what makes it good or bad when you're in front of an audience. I also have the necessary stage presence because of my whole entertainment background & there's that model cred. Finally, I'm well aware I'm a rare breed (at least if the older guy I met while at karaoke is speaking accurately): a woman with good looks AND intelligence.

Speaking of jobs, I found a listing for the elusive one I'd love to do in a law firm. I actually saw a Craig's List post for it and had to wait until Friday to apply due to life happening. I also needed some time to craft my strategy.

Looking at the description I was thinking "I can totally do this." After all, I have been a partner in my own business for nearly 6 years, have had my law license for about the same time, managed to get some respect in the legal community by being me (and if you've read this blog, you know how hard that task is; I would have told you it was impossible a few years ago) & have had people from the traditional legal world listen to what I have to say, even though I'm not some BigLaw type.

I applied but in my honest view, I've got a better chance at winning the lottery or being abducted by space aliens than getting an interview for it. First off, this is at Morrison & Foerster LLP a.k.a. a BigLaw firm. They're part of that whole evil empire that shuns creativity, people who aren't from T1 schools/weren't on law review/don't come from millions of dollars to make either of those things happen, thinking outside the box, attractive women, assertive types & pretty much anything else you can think of that would describe me 100% accurately.

Second, I'm not impressed with BigLaw or anyone in it. I will not kiss your ass & I will not let you treat me like crap. I don't care where you went to law school, what your class rank was or any of that garbage. I care about how you act as a person & if you're a jerk to me, I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire. Magnanimity is not a trait I have or aspire to. That would be my sister: she's far more magnanimous than I & clearly has a much greater tolerance for BS from others. It takes a lot to really get on my bad side but once you do, God help you. When I hear anything about BigLaw, I figure they expect some fancy little ass kissing presentation where you grovel at their feet and refer to them as "Your Excellency." Sorry, but that's not who I am.

Finally, from reading the ad I feel like they focus on creating client relations by technical measures & there's a director to report to. It feels like a conflict between book smarts & street smarts. I have the street smarts considering I've been networking on my own for free just to enhance myself and my business; that bridge isn't going to get built if you're just sitting on your butt & looking at the lumber, you know. You have to BUILD it and put in the work to make it strong. I also have yet to meet any successful networker who has developed rapport or built authentic relationships by using technical measures and sophisticated metrics. You build those relationships by being a good person: having empathy, doing things the other person would find helpful, inviting them to events you're involved in, talking about things other than their legal problems, being laidback but not too much. There's a balancing act involved & you need some warmth along with genuine affection/respect for people if you're going to do it well.

Guess that's also an issue I take: I don't feel the world of BigLaw has respect for me or my contemporaries.

Now I have encountered people who worked in BigLaw (even as attorneys) who weren't total assholes fitting my image of BigLaw. That was the spirit in which I chose to apply. There's also the idea of never getting things if you don't ask so I figured applying wouldn't hurt.

However, I did it by being myself & by pitching the idea that my being an outsider is the precise reason why you should be talking to me. My demographic is different, I have a different manner from your crowd & I'm better at creating authentic relationships. I hear things from people that they'd never feel comfortable telling you, I have likeability & if I'm working with you, that reflects better on you since perhaps a fellow BigLaw hater will give you a chance if you have a representative who isn't conforming to that mold.

Either these people will shock me & get in touch with me or they'll live up to my low expectations and do precisely what I expect. You can't make phone calls for this one & I have no direct contacts to this firm (though if I asked, I'm sure there's a contact someplace with some insight; wish I knew someone who had worked in the NY office to tell me if my negative views are accurate or about this particular Director of Client Relations since I have no time for incompetent blowhards who know less than I do, have zero imagination & would hate me on sight but for some reason would get to supervise ME).

Maybe knowing that I've done what I have but these people haven't & probably couldn't is another reason I have some clashes with that world. Who knows if some of them aren't the haters who bitched & moaned when I refused to kiss their asses or assume they were God while I was a poor, stupid simpleton?

At least I have a general title for it & know it exists but I don't see a BigLaw place considering me unless my best friend was a partner in the law firm with a huge share or a partner there was a huge fan of my creative output or my film company's creative output. Am I wrong? Prove it. You can offer to help me out on this or show me by word & deed that I'm wrong. Otherwise, you're not likely to convince me I shouldn't start expecting the spaceship to come take me away before getting a call from this firm.