The other day I posted a very glamourous video of me hosting a red-carpet party during Grammy week here in Hollywood, interviewing nominees and other very glamourous looking people.
A High School friend commented how "lucky" I was. I replied, "Tell me I’m lucky when I start getting paid for all of the hard work I do."
Yes, paid. That’s right people. After 12 years in Los Angeles, and THOUSANDS of hosting events, and countless ‘celebrity’ interviews, I’m still just looking to get PAID FOR WORKING.
90% of the work I do is UNPAID. I don’t know of any other career outside of Hosting/Acting/Music/Art that expects people to work for FREE.
That particular event, I found out about 5 hours before the show, that I’d be working. Luckily for me, I was able to pull something out of my closet, and had just gotten my nails done. Super lucky, that one of my BFF’s Marisa McCabe, is a phenomenal makeup artist and was able to cut her errands short on her day off, to do my hair and makeup.
I then rushed home so the producer could pick me up. We went to the party, he barely spoke to me the whole time as he was obviously not interested in the event he had assigned me to, (he had just come from a few grammy gifting suites and covering all sorts of more glamourous events), and I fought to have elbow room in the press line of this red-carpet event, where most of the people I interviewed (and I’m just being honest), had less career credits than myself…
What was supposed to start at 6:00 didnt’ start till 7:30, and what was supposed to be over by 8:00, lasted till 10:00. I wasn’t offered anything to drink, eat, any sort of gift bags or the like, and didn’t even get a photo of myself on the red-carpet.
But oh the end result, does look glamourous.
The reality is, that yesterday I had $2.00 to my name. I’m not exaggerating either. $2.00 That includes my life savings, my bonds, my 401k, my retirement plan, etc etc.
I had $2.00. And it had been that way since the Wed prior (almost a week), but since I was sick in bed with the flu for 4 days, that $2 lasted all week.
Yesterday, $1,149 worth of checks from my freelance promo jobs came in. I filled up my gas tank, and then drove around Hollywood making payents on Utility bills, saving my cell phone from deactivation, and western unioning my late car payment, and now today. I have $19 left.
One of my most immediate goals, is to bring the reality of my life and finances MUCH closer to the appearance…. and I am done, finsished, wont do it, uh oh, working for FREE.
I have too much experience, intelligence, footage, and natural talent (especially hosting), to be working for free.
<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Leah. She’s pretty rad and has an INCREDIBLY random life. Like, no - for reals … did you know she has an obsession with vampires, psychics, and tarot card readers … and she had more sex as a teenager than in her 30s … anddddd she even had two ex boyfriends die violently - one from a heroin overdose, and the other was murdered. Holy moly roli poli oli - that shit be cray cray. Either way, she’s now here to write about her life, love, and all things nerd. I only have one more thing left to say … HIT IT LEAH!! </editorsnote>
As promised…. a blog about Valentine’s Day… Yippee!
I love holidays, like every holiday; especially if you can dress up, and for me that’s pretty much all of them. Christmas, Halloween, New Years, St. Patrick’s Day, Fourth of July… any chance to dress up in some sort of color coordinated clothing makes me happy. Really happy.
Valentine’s day of course.. is pink and red, and girlie bows, and socks with hearts on them… all sorts of colorful awesome things to choose from.
As a little girl, my Dad always made sure to not only honor my Mom with flowers and candy, and cards, but me and my sisters got gifts too. Always.
I’m a total romantic nerdy fool and I’ve always, always, loved love.
Until one year, I decided I didn’t.
After having my heart ripped out, stomped on, desecrated on, chewed up and spit out, one too many times, I decided Valentine’s day was the absolute god-awful, worst holiday ever known to man. And to show just how much I hated this holiday and the notion of finding one true romantic love, I made a pretty bold statement, in the form of a Photo Shoot.
I sought out this amazing photographer on www.modelmayhem.com , Evelyn DePaganel who was doing a calendar shoot, and I volunteered to be her Valentine’s model.
I travelled to New York, and we got down to business… creating, expressing, and capturing, the pain of this holiday for so, so, many people.
That was 2006.
And every year since then on Valentine’s Day, I change my profile photo to reflect the sorrow of this holiday.
Valentine’s Day 2010 perhaps being the worst of all; and one day, I will write about the circumstances leading up to it, but suffice it to say, that V-Day 2010, found me literally on the floor of my living room, shoving as many McDonald’s French Fries down my throat as I could, hoping and praying that I would simply choke on them. True Story.
Not long after that incident, I took a self-imposed year-long hiatus from Hollywood, to spend time in my hometown of Aston, PA (just outside of Philly), with my family.
Which brings us to the shift…?
Last year on Valentine’s Day, I literally felt something shift. Beings that I was ‘home’ recovering from all sorts of depression, exhaustion, and Hollywood fatigue, add to that fact that I am the only one of 5 siblings who is still single, I felt my entire family brace themselves for Valentine’s Day. I’m sure they were thinking I would be incredibly sad, that yet another year passed for me with no one (romantically) to share my love with. They all seemed to be tip-toeing around the subject, ready to offer warmth and console when the “day” arrived.
But you know what? I woke up on Valentine’s Day last year, and felt SO happy, and so much love for myself, it was like a cloud had just been lifted, and I was able to just enjoy the day and treat myself. I made an appointment at a fancy spa, using a gift certificate my parents had given me for Xmas, and after my day at the spa, (where I treated myself to a few extra treatments), I headed straight to the nail salon. And then, just as I was heading home, I recv’d an invite from my brother to come have dinner with him and his wife, and my parents at his house. Normally, I would have said no, hating the fifth-wheel syndrome, but instead I said yes, and I had a lovely Valentine’s meal with two amazing couples, who I happen to be related to.
The past year, has been spent continuing to heal my heart, continuing to battle the emotional binge eating I found myself involved in to compensate for the heart hurts, and I am really excited to say that this year, I am TOTALLY looking forward to Valentine’s Day. I bought myself a groupon to a spa, and afterwards I am attending a Valentine’s Day workshop at www.GoldenBrigeYoga.com, and after that, I have a really awesome girlfriend visiting from Nashville who has invited me to have a girl’s night slumber party at her upscale hotel. (Her hubby is back in Nashville, so I’m going to be her Valentine’s date).
I feel good… I feel happy. I feel like… maybe, just maybe it’s true that time heals all wounds.
I feel ready to celebrate.
Happy Valentine’s Day to the entire Talk Nerdy To Me, Lover family… make it a good one, celebrate you!
(written for my weekly column, Adventures in Randomness and Rock n Roll for Jen Friel’s Talk Nerdy To Me, Lover )
Happy February TNTML Community.. I’m tempted to talk about Valentine’s Day, but I’ll save that post for next week.
January for me, was all about tech conventions. I spent 6 days in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show working as a promotional model for Blackberry, which I told ya a little about in my first post for TNTML (http://tinyurl.com/7m23zqu).
I was home in LA for a week after CES, and then it was off to Anaheim California for The NAMM Showwww.namm.org What is NAMM you ask? Well Namm, is where the rock n roll community, meet the geek community, meet the tech community, and they all converge for 5 days for music, tech talk, vendors, merchants, performances, autograph signings, and general schmoozing, boozing, and people watching! Officialy known as The National Association of Music Merchants.
NAMM is awesome, and if you are in the music industry at all, you owe it to yourself to check it out at least once.
I moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 1999, and just a few short months later, the rock n roll community began buzzing about NAMM… what is NAMM I wanted to know… and how do I get there? At this point, although I had just been on tour with Poison for 2 months, I wasn’t really officially a part of the music Industry, or the entertainment industry in general. I was honestly just a huge rock fan, with dreams of meeting her rock n roll prince under the neon lights of the Sunset Strip, just like in my favorite music videos.
Flashback about 9 months earlier to Philadelphia… an acquaintance of mine invited me to a show at the Trocadero. Some “new” band called Kid Rock was headlining and she had won tickets. We got there as the show was ending, and this part is really fuzzy, but somehow, her and I ended up chilling on the bus with Mr. Rock and his merry cohorts for a few hours. This was right at the time when their first album had just gone gold, and they had received (I think that night) a phone call inviting them to perform at Woodstock ‘99. They were on cloud nine.
The gal I was with, and Mr. Rock, hit it off so much (that night), that they sent the tour bus on to New York without them, as Kid Rock decided to rent a room that night to get to know my friend a little better. I was invited to stay, as was his guitar player, a guy named Jason. Anyways, long story short, my evening was relatively tame. Jason and I kept to our side of the bed, and the other two dissapeared into the bathroom for a very long time. I had my own car with me, so once the birds began chirping, I quietly slipped out and drove home, figuring they’d make sure the girl I was with got a taxi home, before they flew out to meet up with the rest of the band. They did.
Over the course of the next year.. I ran into them a few more times… culminating in my very first NAMM.
See, the thing about musicians, they tour so much, that the people they see on tour, do become like a bunch of misfit family members, and even more so, when you bond in say you’re hometown, and then run into each other in another state. Now Phily aint Detroit and vice versa.. but neither city are LA… so when I ran into the Kid Rock team in LA… it was like a meeting of old friends.. and next thing I know, I found myself driving to Anaheim in a convertible rental car, with a guy who was managing some of the band’s stuff at the time.
I remember this day so freakin’ vividly, and I’m not sure why. I had been up all night, partying with the KR camp, and partaking in their party goods of choice at the time… the partying continued on into the next day, oh who am I kidding, the partying continued all weekend.. and at the convention itself.
I was wearing dungaree overalls, which were very popular at the time. I was much thinner, and did the whole half-shirt under the overalls, so that you could see the entire sides of my waist, and probably the strings of my g-string. My hair was down to my ass, blonde streaks on either side of my face, with the ends died purple.. and I walked around that convention, with my purple/john lennon/round sunglasses on (inside), like I was some sort of rock goddess…. So strange that I remember every detail, but I do.
I remember every detail about my outfit that day, but that’s about it. lol Seriously. I have no idea what I did, who I spoke to, or what I saw at NAMM. But, I know I was there with the Kid Rock family.
Anyway, point is, a lot has changed since that first NAMM experience.
Now, I go there, sober, to truly network, talk about business opportunities, see old friends, and lately as a host, I go to interview musicians, artists, vendors, and friends.
This past year, was no different. I only managed to make it there for one day, but I had plenty of adventures. NAMM 2012
Oh, and just as a DISCLAIMER: I doubt any one in the Kid Rock Camp 2012, would know my name, or remember the above story from 1999/2000.. but it was fun while it lasted.
As many of you are aware, on the referral of a friend, I traveled to New York City in September 2011 for a meeting about a potential new film project. I then signed on-board to produce and act in the feature film, "Untold", written and directed by Gina M. Garcia. Untold, being the feature film based on a true story, that I raved about to my entire network, as I truly believed in the project, and wanted each of you to know about this powerful story. Many of you also met Gina M. Garcia, as I welcomed her to stay in my LA home for a week during pre-production in October 2011.
After working diligently on this project for four months, I am sorry to say, that I completely misjudged the character, integrity, professionalism, and work-ethics of Ms. Gina M. Garcia.
Without going into too much detail, she basically used my services and contacts until a better option came along, and when pressed to honor my original contract, or meet face to face to discuss things, Ms. Garcia ignored and avoided me for 3 weeks… and then made up falsehoods about my character and actions and reasons for what she termed my ‘termination’.
Or in plain English, she hired me to work on her project for four months, and then walked away without honoring my contract or paying me the full rate agreed upon.
I am still hoping to hear from Ms. Garcia, and her new team of producers John K. Duncan and Scott M. O’Neal in order to settle this professionally and fairly. The only thing I am asking for is to be properly compensated and credited for the 4 months of work I put into the project.
The story itself is an amazing one, and the cast is strong, I wish them much success with these roles.
I will update as further details come in, but I do hope this can be settled out of court.