Tears, Breasts and Babies: Reasons Why Women Don’t Belong in Hollywood

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(This article was originally published in The Indie Chicks 7/30/15)

“Women don’t go to movies.” “Women aren’t interested in making movies.” “Women are too emotional to be directors.”  Oh, and my personal fave: “Women can’t hold cameras because their breasts get in the way.”

It’s exhausting talking about the sexism that pervades Hollywood. It’s not up for debate, look at the statistics, it’s a thing:

Out of 87 Oscar ceremonies, how many women have taken home Best Director trophies? A whopping grand total of 1. In 2013 of the 16 biggest paychecks earned by actors per film, how many were women? Zilch. But at least we have a ton of female protagonists on screen these days, right? Funny you should ask: Of last year’s top 100 films, only 12 featured female protagonists.

Hollywood is a boy’s club.

Personally, I never set out to carry a torch as a female filmmaker. I came to LA simply to be an actor/singer. I fell into writing and producing when I realized that being an actress can be soul sucking, depressingly competitive and demeaning- EVEN when you “make it.” Maggie Gyllennhaal was keeping it real when she admitted that at  37 she was told she was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55.

Maybe laugh instead of cry, right? Either way, this town doesn’t seem to be changing. Not quickly, anyway.

When my writing and producing partner, Sara Fletcher, and I created our short film, “The Girl in the Green Dress” about 2 isolated 1950s housewives experiencing a bit of a taboo connection– we thought, “Wouldn’t it would be cool to do a period piece and dive into a world that is nothing like our own?

The truth is, the confining world of a fifties housewife is not as far a cry from my own world as I’d like to think. I’ve been bullied by male filmmakers into submission. I’ve been sexually harassed during auditions. I’ve played parts that have made me feel dirty and cheap.  As a woman in Hollywood in 2015, I, too, have felt isolated.

In fact, our director, Johanna Goldstein was right there with us. “ As a woman director I’ve had my judgment and abilities questioned in a way that I’ve never seen my male counterparts experience. The issue could be as small and seemingly innocuous as an assumption that female directors are more inclined toward drama and romance than sci-fi and thrillers (my favorite genres).”

So what do we do?

I’m not going to claim to have the magic fix. But here’s what I’m going to say:

It’s not a fluke that the female driven Hunger Games franchise kills it every time. It’s no mistake that Sandra Bullock’s performance and star power pulled in over $716 million for Gravity.

It’s not a revelation that comedy heavyweight Judd Apatow’s most successful film is Bridesmaids.

We, women, are half the damn population of moviegoers! We are half of all film students! We have the innate ability to tell stories about well-rounded female characters who aren’t there simply to serve a dramatic function relating to love and sex. We have perspectives uniquely our own because we are mothers and daughters and sisters and grandmothers. We have stories inside us that are poignant and epic and life-changing.

So to all our female filmmakers out there: keep fighting, keep muscling your way in. Continue telling your stories, even if it means shooting it on your phone or some camcorder you found in the garage. Don’t let the stats deter you.

And female moviegoers: please support your female filmmakers. As Martha M. Lauzeen says, vote with your dollars.  A win for one of us is a win for all of us.

Right now, more than ever, we need each other. Hollywood needs us.

They not only need us, they WANT us. They just don’t know it yet.

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The Hollywood School for Success and Happiness: Part 2

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(This article was originally posted in The Indie Chicks Magazine, 12/7/13)

Once again, I’m here to share my findings from the years I’ve put into reaching for my dream: Stardom. My journey hasn’t been easy; hasn’t gone according to plan. Still, I’m going to go out on a limb and bet that your journey, no matter what you do or where you’re from, has had its challenges as well. See, I believe that Hollywood is a weird microcosm of the rest of the world’s rat race. Navigating this city has made me into quite the fighter. I may no longer be bright eyed and bushy tailed, but I am, for the first time in my life, a businesswoman. I’m CEO of my own damn enterprise. And whether you know it or not, so are you. So start building your dream. Or like Tony Gaskins says, someone will hire you to build theirs. Ready? Almost. The University of Hollywood has a few more lessons to teach:

Make Your Own Luck
Some actors handle the waiting and struggle better than I do. I get antsy, frustrated and sad. I discovered the cure to this restlessness is keeping busy and especially, creative. If no one is casting you, create the project and cast yourself. I wanted so badly to be in a musical series or film because I’m a singer. I have never dreamt of being a writer or producer, but when I couldn’t get in for the projects I wanted, I created my own musical web series, “Destroy the Alpha Gammas” with a role I formatted to my own strengths. It was a huge amount of work but it has also resulted in a ton of press for myself, not to mention the opportunity to perform in something that showcases my skills. I was tired of waiting. So stop waiting and start doing. The elevator to success is broken? Take the stairs.

Capitalize On What Makes You Different
I’ve been told that I’m not special. I guess, on paper, I’m a dime a dozen. I’ve had to evaluate: What makes me unique? I’ve really only got 2 things I can think of: I sing, and I’m half Nicaraguan. Neither are that money, but it’s all I got! So you better believe I exploit the hell out of them! I’ll bet you have something very cool, very interesting about you, and I promise you, it’s an asset and a blessing-and it just might be your ticket. Don’t run from what makes you different; find a way to make it your calling card. Danny DeVito did. So did Ellen Degeneres. Lena Dunham. Why do we love them? Because they embrace who they are, what makes them unique, and it gives us the freedom to do the same!

Dump Your Plans -Marry Your Goals
I always dreamt of getting a record deal by age 19. I finally got that record deal when I was 23. I thought to myself, “It’s about damn time!” I have lost years to make up for! But by 24 the label had folded and I was back to square one. I felt like a divorcee; like damaged goods. I was devastated. Since forever I had had this very clear idea, PLAN, of how my life would turn out. The reality was such a departure from my plan that I felt like a failure. As I began to heal, I decided to let go of this blueprint I had designed for myself and start simply working my ass off towards my dreams. I don’t care when and I don’t care how, but I’m going to make it happen. And as long as I’m fighting in the trenches, I’m not a failure. So set goals for yourself and spend every day working towards them. When you get there, it may not look the way you always expected it to, but it will look the way it was always meant to.
Don’t Treat Your Passion Like Your Hobby
Unless you’re satisfied with it being nothing more than a hobby, treat your passion with more respect. Here’s the reality: no one is handing out jobs-in any field. It’s all tough. But if you’re working a day job while pining away for another profession, I hope as soon as you clock out that you are treating your fledgling career with as much respect as your bill paying job. That’s one of the hardest things about LA- It’s a full time job just getting by: paying your rent, utilities, food, car, insurance… When do you have time to make any headway in the most competitive industry in the world? And here’s the answer: you make the time. From what I’ve observed, people don’t leave LA and head back home because they don’t love acting anymore. They don’t give up because they couldn’t take the rejection. They give up because they are tired of fighting just to stay afloat. It has gotten to the point that they do a whole lot of waiting tables and very little actual acting. I get it. So here’s your tough love: Treat your dream like your number 1 job. Don’t let your day job fool you into thinking it’s the most important thing in your life. It’s not. Unless you let it be.

Donate Your Services
Anytime I hear snobby thoughts in my head, I think of my friend Sara Fletcher. Sara has voiced characters on Family Guy. She plays a mermaid this season on Grimm. She was the star of a show on Comedy Central. She works more consistently as an actress than almost anyone I know. Yet, Sara won’t even say no to being an extra on a friends’ project. She played a lead in my web series for no pay. She loves being on set. She loves to work. She doesn’t act like she’s better than anything or anybody and for that reason, who doesn’t want to work with her? She knows the value of investing- she knows that there’s more to life than money. If you’re willing to take a chance and put in the work and time, often times you will be rewarded. I’m sure you’re very talented yourself, but until you’re making the big bucks, don’t think that working for free devalues you. Work because you love it and because you are good at it, and the world will take notice.

Get A Life
This was a concept introduced to me by an amazing acting teacher, Cynthia Szigeti, and it is some of the best advice I have ever recieved. Cynthia said that if you want to make it in show biz, get a life. An apartment you like, friends you like, a boyfriend or girlfriend you like, because you’re going to be here for a while. If you put all your energy, time, self-worth into your career, you will burn out. You will give up and you will head home. Instead, carve out a happy little existence for yourself. Get comfortable. Learn to enjoy the journey. I know it’s easier said than done. Have faith that you will get there, and set up shop. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but who doesn’t love an adventure?

Off you go! Chase those dreams to the end of the earth! And if you end up chasing them all the way to Hollywood, give me a call.

The Hollywood School for Success and Happiness

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(This article was originally posted in The Indie Chicks Magazine 10/30/13)

No huge secret: it’s tough to make it in show business. The thing no one tells you: it’s tough to survive on a daily basis in show business, to stay healthy, happy, inspired and sane. I may not have “made it” in Hollywood just yet, but I have learned a thing or two about survival. On my quest for my dreams, success and contentment, I’ve learned many a lesson the hard way. I hope I can help you cut a few corners on your quest, regardless of your profession or location. So here you go, the tips and tricks on getting ahead while not losing your head courtesy of The University of Hollywood. You didn’t get it from me.

It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows YOU
People love to throw around that old adage, “It’s who you know.” But the truth is, lots of people move out here without knowing anyone and do big things! So don’t get all bent outta shape because someone is the boss’s daughter (or girlfriend). Instead, focus on not only getting to know people, but also working hard and building an awesome reputation for yourself. Do the work, be cool and easy going in the process and more work will follow.

Be a “Yes” Person
In other words, get out there. When people invite you places, GO. Go even if you don’t know them very well and it could be awkward. Yes, even if you don’t feel like getting up or getting ready or you had a long day. Listen to Nike and JUST DO IT. You might make a new friend, discover a cool spot, make a new business contact, and have some good food, whatever! It builds character and enriches your life, even if it’s just about getting in the habit of doing something spontaneous or scary. Plus, it’s cool to be the person that shows up. People that show up are a dying breed. In LA, they are practically unheard of.

You Don’t Need a Million Friends
Be cool with everyone, but not everyone needs to be your BFF. It’s OK to peace out on friendships that aren’t adding value to your life. Limit your friends to the people, who support you, make you laugh, and inspire you. When you have big goals and lots of work to do, it’s quality not quantity when it comes to your circle. It’s ok to give priority to the people that make you feel good.

Dress the Part
There’s a great saying: “There are no ugly women, just lazy women.”

Don’t be lazy. Put in the effort: do your hair, put on your makeup, and wear that cute outfit. I know some of you are hating this one, but hear me out: I’m not saying girlify yourself to attract a man or impress a woman. Do it because it makes you feel confident. When you look your best and know it, you can’t help but feel great! You walk with a swing in your step. You smile more. Who doesn’t want to be around that?

Don’t Be a Hater
So you know somebody who just skates by without working hard/putting in the time/having any talent – whatever. We all do. It’s annoying, it’s frustrating, and it probably makes you feel like throwing in the towel. And complaining. A lot. And being generally negative about them, yourself, the business, and life, but don’t. Fight the urge. Everyone is on their own path. You are exactly where you are meant to be right now. Brad Pitt was the El Pollo Loco Chicken on the street corner while trying to make it. The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies waited on a very famous (and very rude) Julia Roberts while she was a struggling actress in New York. You’re going to get yours. Don’t be a rain-cloudy drag in the process. Celebrate other people’s successes and know that it’s going to be that much sweeter when it’s time to celebrate yours.

Be Your Own Biggest Fan
Speilberg got rejected from film school 3 times. Disney was told a mouse would never work. Seinfeld was booed off stage. Most people would shrug, say they gave it a good shot, and switch careers. Not because they no longer want it, but because the world has told them it’s just not happening. The truth is, the more you want something, the more obstacles you will face. So start building that thick skin and tell yourself that in the process of fighting for greatness you will be criticized but the only one that can stop you is YOU. You deserve that role, dammit, because you’re awesome and work hard. So study, get good. And know, in your heart, that you’ve got what it takes.

So there you go! I hope I’ve illuminated some concepts, or at least reminded you of those you already know. No matter what you’re aiming for, whether it be a promotion, weight loss or meeting The One, my hope is that you continue on and keep your head up. Your dreams are for the taking.

I think you’re ready. Next week you’ll be advancing to level 2. Let’s get a little deeper, a little more personal for your second lesson at The University of Hollywood.

An Actor’s Lesson: Learning to say “NO”

I’ve come to a valuable realization. Let me explain.

When you decide you want to be an actor, you are told (somewhat) what your future will look like. You will move to LA (Or New York, London etc…) and you will get an agent. Then you will audition a lot. You will be rejected often, but over time you will build a resume and a reputation and gradually the jobs will become bigger and more frequent and at some point you will be a working actor! YAY!

More or less, am I right?

Here’s the thing: Getting an agent is hard. They don’t tell you that. I’ve pounded the pavement for years and have had many agents. I figured out that the secret to this (other than being outrageously gorgeous and amazing and having killer credits, which if this is you- congrats, bitch) is persistence. There are LOTS of agents in this town. Keep at it and you’re bound to get one.

The BIGGEST misconception that many actors wrestle is this notion that since you have reps, you will get auditions! The cliche actor convo goes something like this:
“Who are you with?” “I’m with Rising Starz Talent but they never get me out. I need a new agent. Do you like yours?” “Nope. I’m looking to switch, too.” Typical.

Then I figured it out: You gotta be your OWN damn agent. They aren’t miracle workers! If you aren’t super unique, experienced, or crazy connected, how are they supposed to have you auditioning several times a week against the big kids? No one tells you this, but even when you have an agent and a manger, chances are, you STILL hustle your ass off. BIG lesson for me.

SO…I started producing my own stuff and somehow MIRACULOUSLY the stars finally aligned and I started auditioning. A lot. Now with that comes another dilemma: Why am I not booking??? Do I suck? Am I fat? Who the F*** is getting these parts?!

It has created a panic in me that had me taking every part that came my way. The problem with this is that not all projects: Pay, are artistically stimulating, are quality products that you want people to see. (REAL TALK)

Suddenly it hit me: After all the hours I have been spending learning lines, driving to auditions and callbacks and then DAYS on set—I could be clocking hours on MY projects (I have several in the works) that WILL challenge me and- not to sound like a complete dick buuuuut- will look better than the vast majority of the smaller projects I audition for.

So here it is: I’ve decided to prioritize, focus and learn to say “NO”. No bitch! I don’t need to do every project that comes my way. I have too much to do. Things I am SO excited about that will force me out of my comfort zone and showcase me in a way I’ve never been showcased before. Projects I believe NEED to be made. Projects I am PROUD of.

From now on, I’m only going to learn lines and audition for projects I am passionate about and will add to my range or reputation, stuff I am STOKED to be a part of.

In college my professor, Tom Bradac, who I truly love said this: “Please, people. One of these days, determine what you’re worth.”

I’ve often pondered this and never completely applied it. All I knew was, I am an actor and I WANT TO WORK. Well today I am deciding that I am an actor, but I’m also an artist and I’m worth more than playing gratuitous sexy roles or appearing in projects that look like they were shot by my cat on an iPhone. Sounds elementary, but I’m JUST getting it.

So please, actors, I encourage you to do the same. Life (not to mention our YOUTH) is too short to let anxiety run the show. Relax. Follow your heart and passion and believe that it will happen as long as you work hard and keep on keepin on. I’ll let you know how it works out for me 😉

Where to Eat in LA!

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I love to eat. I love everything from trendy sushi spots to Olive Garden. People ask me my favorite places to eat in my area all the time so here ya go! Keep in mind, in LA you rarely leave your ‘hood. If you live west, you stay west. Live in the valley? I’m gonna bet you generally wine and dine in the valley. I live in West Hollywood so I tend to frequent only spots in weho/Hollywood area!

La Poubelle (French)

http://www.lapoubellebistro.com

Located in Franklin Village, My boyfriend and I do date nights here often. It’s dim lit, the cocktails are great and it’s super romantic. UCB, an awesome comedy troupe/school/theater is right next door.  For an awesome date, go to dinner then catch a show! You Must Try: Their truffle brussel sprout leaves. Thank me later.

Vintage Enoteca (Italian Fusion)

http://vintageenoteca.com

My favorite neighborhood spot. The sangria during happy hour is sweet and amazing. It has a seasonal menu that is constantly changing so I’m always excited to try the new items and never get bored.  Love their flatbreads and pastas. You Must Try: The deviled eggs. I don’t even love deviled eggs, but I LOVE theirs.

The Churchill (American)

http://www.the-churchill.com

People often come here to drink because it’s a cool vibe and has a huge bar area, but the food is actually ridic! If you are like me and constantly trying to eat low-carb, you will LOVE it here because they have a TON of yummy veggie sides. I love their meatballs and I usually get a chopped salad or tons of sides like caramelized carrots or asparagus.  All the girls I bring here are always in heaven. You must try: the inca smash cocktail—especially if you love blackberries!

Delancey (Pizza)

http://delanceyhollywood.com

Another great date place! Candlelit, intimate, great food, super chill atmosphere. STILL, last time I was there I brought my family who was visiting, sitting nearby was Michelle Williams, Josh Jackson, Busy Phillips and Diane Krueger.  I promise though, Delancey manages to be cool without being TOOO sceney. You Must Try: The Mercer Pizza is my fave! Carmelized onions, bacon, gorgonzola..mmmmm…..

Ruen Pair (Thai)

http://ruenpair.menutoeat.com

Best, most authentic Thai in Thai town! Not fancy at all. No frills. Very inexpensive, HUGE portions, fast service. Must Try: Pad Ka Prow: spicy basil ground chicken. They do it right!

Bao (Dim Sum)

http://www.baodimsum.com

I’m big on dim sum because I’m from San Francisco. Dim sum is my JAM. This place is amazing. Everything is good! Great to go with friends and order a ton of stuff to try. You can’t go wrong! Must Try: The dessert milk buns and the Chinese Chicken salad

Salt’s Cure (American, Butcher)

http://saltscure.com

Meat lovers will love this place. It’s a few blocks from my house so my boyfriend and I go for brunch. It’s cool and hipster-y but the food is cooked right behind the counter, down home, comfort food.   Makes you feel like they butchered the animal out back. Small menu, cool specials, NOT for vegetarians or picky orderers! MUST try: the breakfast sausage. REDIC.

Bld (American)

http://www.bldrestaurant.com

My go-to brunch spot. Anytime an out of towner comes to visit, I take them here. It can be a bit of a wait on the weekends, but it’s worth it! The food is fresh and delicious and accessible for picky eaters. Wednesday nights the pastry chef makes gourmet doughnuts. C’mon. You must try: The Morrocan lamb burger

Sugarfish (Sushi)

http://www.sugarfishsushi.com

Alright, gotta have ONE super trendy spot on here! It’s LA, after all. Here’s the thing about Sugarfish, even though there’s a ton of hype: It’s earned. My boyfriend  is Japanese and he knows his sushi. The sushi at this place is just so clean and fresh and awesome. I am not super crazy adventurous with sushi, my boyfriend will try AN-Y-THING, I don’t like fishy tasting stuff.  I’m never scared to try anything at Sugarfish, though, because it’s all so good! You Must Try: The Trust Me (if you’re hungry) or The Trust Me Light.  Get a little bit of everything with these prix-fixed dinners.

Have a spot you absolutely love that I didn’t mention? Would love to know!  Hook me up: leahmckendrick@gmail.com

Staying Skinny

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It’s a battle!  Whether I like it or not, It’s part of what I do as an actor.  Duh.  It can be hard and I get insecure all the time!  A lot lately, actually.

I’d always been secure about my size, I’m naturally thin.  I never used to own a scale or worry about it.  I’m famous for eating anything and everything and I love fast food.  I’ve always been the friend that demands we hit up the Wendy’s drive through after a night out.  Well, I’m not 21 anymore and for the first time, I can see it!  I’m not able to get away with murder anymore.  The other day I had a freak out because since the holidays my clothes have not really been fitting me!

People ask me how I stay thin and I USED to say, “I work out a lot”.  That’s not really true.  I would say that though, hoping people would just think, “She earned it, I can too.”  instead of “that Jack in the Box eating bitch!”  My metabolism has most definitely slowed, but I still need to stay thin!  So here is the TRUTH.  Here are my tips, and keep in mind, I’m not a personal trainer, just an actress.

-Do stuff with friends.  In LA we have a hiking spot called Runyon Canyon.  I ask a friend to go with me and most of the time you just talk and catch up.  You feel great afterwards and don’t feel bad about eating all day!  Plus, you want and need to see your friends anyway!

-Take dance class!  If you live in LA or NY, there are certain studios where the DANCER dancers go, and that can be really intimidating!  Find out where there are studios with fun classes that are more for people looking for a good time or a great work out.  You won’t feel self conscious and you can have fun with it.  Try hip hop, or sexy burlesque or grab a girlfriend and do a pole dancing class!

-Don’t deny yourself anything.  If I say absolutely no to pizza, burgers, sweets:  I’m miserable.  So swap them out for something less dangerous.  Instead of cookies have frozen yogurt.  Share the burger with someone and order a huge salad.  Make your own pizza at home and load it up with fresh veggies.  I have VERY LITTLE self restraint when it comes to food so I have to figure out what tastes good, makes me happy and doesn’t make me feel like I’m depriving myself.

-Don’t eat late at night.  This is a HARD one but here’s a tip I’ve told a lot of people and they’ve told me it works for them also.  Late at night I will get cravings even though I’m not particularly hungry.  I want ice cream and/or chips usually.  I try not to keep that stuff in the house but if it’s there, I WANT IT.  So here ya go:  If you have a salty craving, eat some olives.  I always have a jar of them and I’ll eat them one at a time and they are so salty and yummy after a couple I’m usually happy.  Sometimes I’ll also have a bit of turkey with it.  Easy, quick, satisfying!  When I’m craving sweet, I love vanilla greek yogurt.  It’s so thick and creamy it always feels decadent.  Another one I’ve done,  I stole from Natalie Portman.  When she was losing weight for Black Swan, if she got hungry at night, she would drink milk. I’m not telling you to go hungry.  If you are hungry, EAT!  But if you are eating out of boredom or out of habit, like me:  Don’t warm up those leftovers, nosh.

-Alcohol.  I don’t believe in cutting out alcohol.  Works for some people, very impressive, power to them!  But not to sound like an alcoholic, alcohol is a part of my social life.  I meet my friends for happy hour.  We have wine at my house…  Nothing wrong with it!  I love trying new weird cocktails everywhere I go: DANGEROUS.  Those signature cocktails are usually loaded with TONS of sugar.  I love them!  This is a hard one for me.  Vodka sodas suck and bore me.  So make a compromise:  Have one cocktail and then switch.  Red wine instead of white.  Skinny margarita instead of regular.  Just remember: just because it’s a liquid doesn’t mean it’s not packed with naughty stuff.  Enjoy yourself but don’t go crazy!

-Get in a little bit every day.  If you live in LA like me, you probably never walk anywhere.  It’s the culture!  But find a way to get active every day that is painless and easy.  Walk to the nail salon.  Take the stairs at the movies.  Run on the treadmill for 20 min.  I love crunches because my stomach is always my biggest concern.  It’s not about becoming a crazy body builder that works out for 90 minutes every day, it’s about taking opportunities to get out of your car and using your feet.

-Desperate times call for desperate measures: yep I’m going to say it.  When you really want to look good for something, cut out carbs.  This is SOOOOO hard.  When I was getting ready for a role last year, I did it and I was so busy the 2 weeks leading up to shooting that I actually stuck to it and I looked GOOD, not gonna lie!  It’s hard.  I LOVE thai food.  If you love thai food too, I would recommend having a lot of that because there are a lot of yummy dishes, just don’t get the rice!  I would eat a lot of pa gra pow: a chicken and basil dish.  And I love green beans and tofu.  Other suggestions: lettuce wraps, tuna filled avocados, Chicken breast and salad…You get it!  If you’ve got a pool party coming up, give it a shot!

 

At the end of the day, it’s not about looking like a Victoria’s Secret model.  They are freaks of nature plus they make millions to STAY looking like that!  That must be tough.

Your goal should be to feel sexy and look your best.  Don’t you feel awesome after you just worked out?  I know I do.  So get out there, get active, and eat food that tastes GOOD to you. Life is meant to be enjoyed!

I hope this helps!

 

 

Miley Isn’t bad for Feminism, But BASHING Miley IS

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I’m going to start by saying, I truly get both sides.

I’m a weird anomaly because I’m a trashy pop singer BUT I minored in Women’s Studies and Sociology in college.  I am a proud feminist.

Many feminists believe that Miley is terrible for women everywhere because she is over-sexualized, giving in to the media’s pressures to put her goods on display and placing the importance on twerking on married men rather than her music.

Others believe she is young and beautiful and is just having a good time being a bit of a hot mess.  She does what she wants!

What do I think?  The BEAUTY of being a woman today is that Miley, like the rest of us, has OPTIONS!  Covered-up-Lorde is successful.  Miley is successful.  Adele is successful.  Rihanna is successful.  You do NOT have to get half naked to sell records.  You also do NOT need to cover up every last inch of skin.  Female artists today can do whatever the hell they want to.

When I do my videos and my shows I’m definitely on Miley’s side of the spectrum.  And I plan it all that way.  I feel freer in less clothing.  I feel sexier and more powerful and more MYSELF.  Who is anyone to tell me to cover up?  I’m an ARTIST and I need to express myself!  I’m not hurting anyone!  You don’t like me?  Don’t watch me.  Very simple.  And you know what else?  It’s not my job or Britney’s or Miley’s or ANYONE’S to raise the youth of America.  It’s the job of your parents.  I loved Britney growing up but my Mom was right there to tell me I couldn’t wear that stuff until I was 18!

I happen to be one of those feminists that believes that Miley sets a POSITIVE example, in a way.  She is uninhibited.  She is not trapped in her body.  She RUNS her business.  She chooses her looks and her singles.  This girl has been in the business forever.  She earned it.

I urge females to refrain from the bashing.  Miley’s not your thing?  No problem, go watch something else.  You have choices.  But the media LOVES to pit females against one another.  How about we just support each other and all of our differences in tastes, opinions, creations…etc.

Because when you have that wild night and decide to dance on that table top, you can guarantee I will be rooting you on!  And so will Miley.

Real Life Mean Girls

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I’ve been lucky in my life that I feel I have and have always had a lot of love.  I’m close to my parents.  I’m close to my little sister.  I have friends that have been my friends for like 20 years.  There are never enough hours in a day or months in a year to spend all the time I want to spend with all the people I love.

I got an email from a “friend” a month or so ago that ripped me apart as a person.  It was super hurtful and plain mean.  I wouldn’t say those things to anyone.  When you get an email like that you think, oh my God, am I horrible person?  Do I use people?  Am I a raging bitch?  My friends and boyfriend and sister were like, that email is bullshit.  And then I realized: the email wasn’t just bullshit, it was wrong.  I know me, and the truth is, I LIKE me.  And the people I care about LIKE me.  The people I don’t care about may not.  But you can’t be a gold coin to everyone!  Now if someone who was important in my life, like my best friend Aerie came to me and said, I feel like you’re being judgmental (which she HAS said in the past) then I stop and think and change.  Because I love her and don’t want to ever lose her.  But she would NEVER call me names.  NEVER rip me apart as a person.  And the truth is, she ACTUALLY knows me.

This might sound harsh, but no one needs a million friends.  No one needs BAD friends.  I for sure don’t.  I had been distancing myself from that person who wrote me for months, knowing already what was later clarified.  I don’t need ANYONE around me that feels threatened, jealous, hurt, angry etc…  I know who I am.  I work hard, I have SPECIFIC goals and I’m an artist.  Life has enough challenges, your friends should only push you and encourage you, not add to your problems!

So maybe it was a great email. 🙂  Lesson learned.

The Ugly Stuff I’d Never Share on Facebook

Do you read the Bob Lefsetz newsletter?

If you don’t and you’re in the music business, START now:  Lefsetz Letter

I’ve only been reading his letter for a couple months, but I have to say, I’ve learned a TON.  I love him, that genius.  You know what he keeps drilling in that I just can’t seem to apply to my life?  To be HONEST. To be REAL.  To show the ugly, vulerable, not-so-glam reality of a musician’s life.

Here’s the thing, I don’t consider myself fake.  Maybe I am!  I don’t lie, but I’m definitely not an open book.  People think that I am super confident, super happy and content all the time, that my life seems awesome-probably all based on what they see on Facebook!  HAHA!

I run into people all the time and they are like, “You seem to be doing GREAT!  Saw your pics from (_____).  You’re a busy girl!”  And I’m like, hell yeah!  I’ve done my job, I look busy and cool!  But the reality is, as an artist, I’m doing a shitty job!  Bob talks about how the industry of today is completely different because the fans have direct access to the artist, with twitter and instagram etc…  The fans feel close to the artist—if the artist let’s the fans get close.

I guess I’m afraid to let people get too close because I’ve been burned in the past.  I think deep down I think that anything I expose CAN and WILL be used against me in some way.  And I gotta get the F*** over that!  Some people are going to hate me, no matter what I do.  So here ya go, some honest junk I’d rather not talk about:

I’m moving in with my boyfriend.  I’m scared shitless.  Breakups suck already, why do you gotta add moving to that process? Why do I think about breaking up when things are going great?  Because I’ve got issues, obviously!

A few moths ago I was at work, doing makeup, and I got a million emails from youtube saying I’d gotten comments on my music videos.  I glanced at one and saw that it was something really mean like, “This girl is sooo gross!  She sucks!!  My ears are bleeding!”  I know, kinda funny but also fuckin rude!!  I had to get my friend Ashley to go on and block the person and handle it since I was at work…  Then this chick (or dude) made ANOTHER name to go and talk more smack on my videos!  All I could think was, NEVER in my LIFE ever would I do that to someone!  I don’t dislike ANYONE enough to put that kind of effort into being mean!  That’s the reality of doing what I do!  You probably didn’t see those comments cause I deleted that shit! lol

At the end of the day, I just want to make my parents proud.  Most of what I’ve done, my parents haven’t seen.  Not because they aren’t supportive, they are.  But they def aren’t going to go looking me up, looking at my website or my videos or anything like that.  I don’t show them my stuff too often because honestly, they just don’t seem to really get it.  They love me and tell me they are proud of me, but I can’t wait for the day that they can just turn on the TV and watch me.

It freaks me out that my friends are getting married.  I wish I was ready for that, but I’m not.  Not even close.  I think in my brain, marriage to me is settling down-in every way.  I know it’s not like you give up your career or anything when you get married-but in my head that’s what it is.  It’s not that I love to struggle, I just don’t want to lose momentum.  I don’t want to get married, move, have babies, do ANYTHING until I’m in a place that I feel accomplished.  Does that make sense?  I guess put simply, my career is the love of my life.  Sad and lonely, I know!

One time I performed at The Troubadour and it was so great, I had a lot of friends come out and they were so loving and encouraging and proud of me.  I cried the whole drive home because I said to myself, “Who cares?  Nothing to be proud of.  It’s not the MTV VMA’s.”  No matter what I do, it’s never enough.  I’m happy for a minute, but when you have dreams as big as mine, it means you’re constantly hungry and constantly dissatisfied.

Feel closer to me now?

And one last thing, I NEVER share this, but here you go!  The audition I put on tape today in my bathroom!  GHE-TTO!  Can you tell?  HaHa!