Alternative Facts In The Upside Down

    The earth is flat.  Climate change isn’t real. Donald Trump respects women more than anybody.    There are people who not only believe these statements, but also defend them as truths. There are photos of a disc-like earth floating in space all over the Internet. Conspiracy theorists speculate that the earth is in fact, not round and that NASA has been fooling us all along.  There are people, including successful politicians who state that climate change hasn’t been proven, even though it has, time and time again. And even if it is real, it’s not as bad as we think, even though it’s much worse than we can even imagine.  There are people who believe Donald Trump respects women, even though there is ample evidence in his own words that he doesn’t. These same people would say that this evidence is “fake news” or “locker room talk.” Yesterday Kelly Ann Conway introduced the term “alternative facts.” This term is stunning in it’s un-apologetic nature, shocking to say the least. However, this is a thread that has been carefully woven through our culture for some time now. This division that we are experiencing, is in part due to out willingness to buy into an alternative reality, to accept spin as fact, and allow ourselves to reward or even worship those who exploit our greatest fears. We are upside down, the blood rushing to our heads, unable to see or think clearly. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt disoriented, where … Continue reading

2016 Year End Wrap Up

  January 1rst 2016. Stephanie and her dog Rocky met us at the Ventura Dog Beach. A place where in my near future I would be taking Jack on many adventures. But I didn’t know this then. All I knew is that I needed to heal. I was still very raw from losing my baby girl in September and even though I had hope I would make it through and eventually get my shit together, most days I felt like the odds were stacked against me.  I put one foot in front of the other, as they say, and woke up each day seeing it as an opportunity to find joy in spending time with the people I love and working on things I felt passionate about. Easy does it… The year started off with a lot of pictures of Jack. He can’t help it. He looks good at every angle. He’s the ultimate emotional support dog, with his goofy grin and playful demeanor. I can’t tell you how many compliments this dude gets on a daily basis.  I joined the Film Fatales and wasn’t long after, that I hosted an event in my backyard. There were 30 female filmmakers there, including Lesli Linka Glatter who humbly acted like she was one of us. God, I love that woman. We talked about creating your own content and the successes of women who had created their own TV shows. That night, I made a commitment to myself to see Hey Day … Continue reading

Equal Means Equal… dammit.

Before seeing the incredible documentary Equal Means Equal, I had no idea that in 2016, women do NOT have equal rights under the constitution. The documentary also touches on all of the situations in our society that are affected by this including; violence against women, the fight for equal pay, reproductive rights, sexual assault, and healthcare for women. I was compelled to dig deeper… Here is my interview with Kamala Lopez (Equal Means Equal Director/Ex Producer) and Suzanne Whang (Actor/Comedian/Activist):   Hi ladies, I wanted to do this interview in a round table sort of discussion because I saw your film (Kamala) when Suzanne had a screening at her house.   K: Which is so great! And exactly the idea! My dream is that we have all these groups of women who are hosting parties and working together to continue to build this movement.   Me: And it really is like this circle of inspiration…Especially when women hold each other up, so thank you both of you for talking to me today.   K: Of course, I love this!   S: Yes! Thank you for doing it!   Me: What is your hope for the impact of your film? Do you suggest that people do their own home screenings?   K: Yes, that’s exactly it. The thing is, we are in a society right now where it’s so top-heavy in terms of power. If you want to get any information out, it can only come from the people. We are … Continue reading

Cult Vibes

We’ve all heard of Waco, Polygamist sects and cult-like religions. Some of them have ended in death and or have been exposed for rape and abuse. We all shake our heads and say, “how does that happen?” We wonder how the members of that particular cult are able to buy into the ideologies that make them do these crazy things. Why the mass suicides, why do women let their children be abused?   I’d like to talk about the not so obvious cult like groups, in an attempt to answer those questions. They all use the same tactics; charismatic leaders, buzzwords, indoctrinations, mob mentality, group pressure and exclusivity. It’s the mentality of, “I know best. Follow me and you will be one of the special ones.” But here’s the kicker… you have to BELIEVE it and in order to be trustworthy and stay in the group, you must share this GIFT with the world.   I was born and raised Catholic, baptized with Godparents and the whole shebang. We went to church on Easter and for midnight mass like a lot of good Catholics do. I believed in God but I didn’t know much about the Bible, just that I wanted to follow the rules and be a good person… whatever that meant.   So when I arrived in Ney York City as an 18-year-old freshman at NYU, I had no idea that I would be the prime target of a Christian cult. I knew one person close to my … Continue reading

VCR to DVR

Before I got my job on GH when I was 7, I was already training to be an Olympic gymnast. All that really means, is you get picked out of a crowd and a really special trainer loosely claims you. I remember sitting in an office where my mother described to this trainer what this new acting job would entail. He looked at me as if you say, “Well, you’ve already made your decision. You can’t do both.” In fact, I didn’t have much control over this decision. I only knew I wanted it all. Huh- nothing’s changed in that department. So, I became an actress and stopped training as a gymnast. But I never stopped flipping. Up until a couple years ago I could still do an ariel with ease. I’m obsessed with the sport and have followed every single Olympics from VCR to DVR. My mother reminded me last week how my Grandma would tape the entire Olympics for me, “We have the tapes somewhere, all those labels…,” my mom cackled. Of course, I always watch them live, but I would watch the tapes and study them, imagining how it would feel floating from the high bar to the low bar. The 2016 Olympics have been exciting for me. Even though we all knew Simone was going to win, it was still a thrill to see her do it (crush it). It was great to see the reigning champ Gabby back, and Aly really impressed me with how she’s … Continue reading

George

  Thank you George for being there yesterday with me. I was rattled and when you said “I saw that son of a bitch” I didn’t feel so alone. When you stopped your station-wagon to give me the description of the vehicle that hit me, I wasn’t thinking about the $500 deductible that I would have to pay to get my car fixed. You told me your name and I was immediately comforted. Little did you know… George is my favorite name. I was in shock and angry that the Tesla that hit me thought we were playing bumper cars, except my car didn’t have a side bumper and we weren’t at Disneyland. I was emotional because I was reminded of my PTSD  that and I am vulnerable whether or not this was a tragic accident. Nobody got hurt, but the blatant disregard of speeding away, after at the very least, ruining somebody’s day is hard to swallow. And George, you gave me exactly what I needed in that moment. You were angry for me and protective of me in a way that was so endearing,especially coming from a stranger. When it comes down to it, it’s so basic isn’t it? Being reckless has consequences and we have to be held accountable in order to heal those wounds. Granted, the situation would be a lot worse if I didn’t have the money to get my car fixed. I’m privileged in that way. What if that wasn’t the case? What if- … Continue reading

My Name Is Kimberly

  I’ve always hated my name. When I think of a “Kimberly”, I see a blonde cheerleader type, bubbly and sweet and ready to count all the ways in which she loves you. I’m not this type. I have brown hair, I’m a total tomboy and I make you earn my love.   My mother wanted to name me Kendall, which I would’ve preferred, but my father wanted to name me Melba after his mother who had passed away when he was only 19. As a compromise, they decided on Kimberly. It was a popular name at the time. It was 1978. Kimberly, Stephanie, and Jennifer were modern names compared to Ruth, Barbara and Francis, so…. I get it.   Side Note: Years later I named my English Mastiff Melba, after my grandmother who I never met. The old gal lived till she was 13 and half.   It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I began to investigate my name and the meaning behind it. I had assumed all this time that it was a boring white name with no real cultural juice to it, which me brings to the other reason my name felt so ordinary to me. My brothers are half Samoan and they are aptly named Kevica and Manaia-Sieva. Yup. I got stuck with good ol’ pom pom shakin’, Kimberly.   When I finally got past all the hate and actually looked it up, I found out that my name meant “Royalty” or “The Crown Jewel.” … Continue reading

Silicon Beach

Anyone remember that part in BACK TO THE FUTURE where Marty goes to the future and finds that creepy sign in front of his neighborhood? Remember that feeling? Like the aliens had moved into his neighborhood and taken over? Well- that’s kinda what I felt like when I saw this sign on the way to pick up my friend at the airport. Silicon Beach, eh? Has a nice ring to it, I must say. So, why does it make me feel so icky inside? If you’ve lived in Venice in the last 10-20 years, you may understand why I might feel this way. If you haven’t, then you’ll have to indulge me as I go on my little rant. Some of you may have seen that Google, Snapchat and Hulu as well as many other tech companies are taking over much of the westside including, the famously eclectic Venice and until now, the pretty boring Playa Vista. You may have not known this because it doesn’t really effect you one way or the other. But it is happening. And it’s happening in a big way. It’s affecting the Venice culture in a way that one can’t ignore while walking down Abbott Kinney Blvd, now called “the most famous block in LA.” Today, the ROOSTERFISH, a local gay bar (THE gay bar) announced they will be closing in May due to increased rent. Although it is a gay bar, I used to hang there with my friends on the patio. They … Continue reading

2015 Year End Wrap Up (The Discovery of DJ Bellum and other fun facts about being an adult)

The best and the worst of 2015 is enough to define me for at least the next 5 years. Although I sincerely hope that is not the case. I’m not sure is it’s a product of getting older or being more aware, but what I learned this year, is that things can turn on a dime and that it’s my responsibility to sit in those moments, no matter how micro they might be so that I don’t get whiplash.   I honestly can’t remember my mindset at the beginning of the year except to say, I was gonna DO SOME THANGS. Meaning, it was now or never as far as career and relationship went. “Time’s a wastin” as my momma says, and it was time to get on with things. On January 12th, I got a call (I know cause it was my mom’s birthday). It was the offer to direct an episode of “Pretty Little Liars.” So right there, my year was made.   Over the next several months, I prepared. I watched every single episode of the show as well as wrote some scripts of my own to get the creative juices flowing. This was such a dream come true, I didn’t want to blow it. Just to give you an idea about how that phone call felt, well- it was like the hottest dude ever, the one who had been denying me for the last three years, got down on his knee and said… “Will you marry … Continue reading

Sinea

I like bad ass women. You probably know this if you’ve read any of my blogs. These women come in all shapes, ages and professions. I don’t seek them out but sometimes one hits me over the head with their bravery, tenacity or grace… like this one did. This is the first interview in which I plan to do a series of women who inspire me. This piece is about a 25 year old woman, Sinea who I met through one of my good friends. When I first met her a few months ago, there was something about her, some sparkle and intelligence which prompted me to act like an old lady and say “Oh sweetheart, I wish I had it together like you when I was your age.” When you start calling people “sweetheart” and using phrases like “when I was your age”, well, it’s time to throw in the towel and just own the fact that you are now THAT girl. Shortly after we met. my friend (who is a family friend of Sinea) informed me that on Saturday May 23rd Sinea had been in a horrible car accident in Mexico and was at UCLA hospital with multiple injuries. The driver was in a coma with a 50/50 chance of survival. My heart sank. After 3 weeks in the hospital, Sinea was ready to come home and her family was unable to provide a place for her to stay. So my friend opened up her home to Sinea … Continue reading