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

The Brand Generation

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Coachella. My experiences there were kind of magical to say the least. However, times have changed my friend, and there’s something about being surrounded by drunk celebrities in the desert that doesn’t really appeal to me anymore. Sure there’s the music and there are the hotel parties afterward, but in it’s recent years I feel as though it’s morphed into this- who can wear the coolest flower crown- kind of event. Granted, I am getting older and I’m aware my view on this may be because I’m not cool anymore. But something else occurred to me while perusing the Instagram photos of the music festival… these kids really know how to BRAND themselves. There’s this very realized version of people, even when they are are so young and it makes sense since they grew up in an age where your persona is everything. Warning: I’m about to sound super old… but I remember way back when people didn’t take pictures of their food or their new hairdos (I did this just yesterday) for all the world to see. Still, what I wore in high school was an expression of who I wanted to be associated with. To be honest, it was a mixture of that and my own creative self at work, mixed with -me trying to be cool. It wasn’t refined. It was more of a rebellion against how people perceived me “The girl next door who contracted AIDS from … Continue reading

2014 Year End Wrap Up

Howdy folks! This year I decided to go through all of my pictures on my phone from 2014 and see if I actually did what I set out to do. I encourage you to do so yourself (it was kinda fun) If there is such a thing as quality time versus quantity, I experienced a rich year full of moments that will go down in the “never forget” column. This was not by accident per se. If you read my year end wrap from last year, you would know that 2013 wasn’t the greatest year for me. But one little gift that defeat and loss can bring is — perspective. I was stripped to the bone, brought back to the basics of life, reminded of what really mattered to me. For me, as for a lot of us, it comes down to spending time with the people that I love. I’m going to give you a taste of what my year was like by showing you pictures of the faces who bring me joy and some of things I encountered on my journey to replenish my spirit and basically GET ON WITH IT. As the great Kin Shriner once said “Change your hair, Change your life.” I started out the year with a hair cut. One of my favorite people Anzhela gave me a cut my long hair into a cute bob on my last day at General Hospital. I was free!!!!!!!!   I got an opportunity to shadow the … Continue reading

On the shoulders of Giants!

  The founder members of the Women’s Steering Committee: Nell Cox, Lynne Littman, Susan Bay, Dolores Ferraro, and Victoria Hochberg.   Last night attended the 35th Anniversary of the Women’s Steering Committee at the DGA. It was a  celebration of sorts. The night was honoring the women who started the committee 35 yrs ago as well as three renowned female Directors: Patty Jenkins (Monster), Mimi Leder (The Leftovers) and Betty Thomas (Private Parts). Yet, there was an undertone of sadness and defeat that was addressed, but not harped on. Yesterday morning, I received the DGA (Directors Guild of America) monthly publication, and on the front cover was the heading- “Employers Make No Improvement in Diversity Hiring In Episodic Television: DGA Report.” This isn’t the first I’ve heard or seen of these bleak numbers. Two % of episodes of television are directed by minority females. The fact that I fall under this category, (yes, I am half Mexican) makes me feel both privileged and terrified. “Privileged” because I’ve been given a shot and am now a member of the DGA, and “terrified” because so many of my colleagues are NOT working as directors and the numbers have not improved significantly in the last few years. In fact, they are getting worse. When I was 17 and made my first film, I had an understanding of how difficult it was to get a film made, mainly because I had to convince 50 of my friends to come to a dingy club in … Continue reading

Just One Of The Guys

“The only difference between you and me. When I look at myself, all I can see… is that I’m just another lady without- a Ba-by.” – Jenny Lewis “Just one of the guys” is the first single released from the album THE VOYAGER by Jenny Lewis. I’ve always been a fan of her and felt a sort of kinship with her. We both grew up as child actresses and have now gone on to the something different. Jenny went on to write and perform music, and I’ve gone from being in front of to behind the camera. In fact, I used to see her at auditions all the time when we were kids and she was always so lovely to me. Granted, we were both 10 but you’d be surprised at how nasty some little girls can be. I was so stoked the first time I saw Jenny perform with her band Rilo Kiley. She looked so comfy up there with her guitar, the only girl in a all guy rock band. I thought… I feel you girl. I’m so happy for you that you broke out of the industry and are doing your thang and doing it soooooo well. I never got a chance to tell her that, but I support her by buying all her albums and signing my heart out to her songs when no one is listening of course. And once again, I have to say… I feel you girl. I am also kinda plagued by … Continue reading

It’s a small world after all.

  This year, I decided to cross something off my bucket list and take a solo European vacation. The idea of challenging myself to travel that far alone and at the same time to have the freedom to do what I wanted to do when I wanted, seemed like a welcomed task to take on. To be frank, I was a little nervous. I went to NYC first to cut my travel time down by 5 hrs. I spent some time with some friends, then took off to Paris, for the first leg of my European adventure. I arrived in Paris, only to find out that the car I had ordered online wasn’t there and my hotel room had been cancelled. I eventually made it to the hotel, where I begged Sefak (pronounced “Say-f*ck)- no joke, to give me a room. He was a sweetheart and knew I was traveling alone, so he helped me out. It was too early to check in (I had taken the red-eye) and I was deliriously tired. I was so high from being in Paris, that the adrenaline kicked in and swept me to the Champ Elysees. It’s the most beautiful street I’ve ever seen in my life. So grand and opulent, I fell in love at first sight with Paris like I knew I would. My friends had warned me that Paris is a romantic city and that I shouldn’t go alone but I was okay with the city itself being my weekend … Continue reading

Out Of Body

  There’s this thing inside our heads. It’s called the brain. The brain is what tethers us to our body, the thing that tells us what we are thinking and feeling. What about the soul? This is something humans have contemplated, debated and searched for since we became aware of ourselves. We know where the brain is, but where exactly is the soul? Is it on our hearts, our stomach, our brain, or all of the above? Does it have a place at all? I’ve been intrigued by the newest discoveries about the inner workings of the brain in the last 5 years. They say the vastness of the inside our electric network that we call the brain can be compared to the known universe. I don’t know about you, but I can barely comprehend Mars, let alone our galaxy and other galaxies beyond our own. I’m not a sci-fi geek per say but I like to think about what my own life means in relation to those around me as well as the stars that I will never touch. Neurophysiologists have discovered a way for paraplegic individuals to move things with their brains. That is, their brains are hooked up to computers, which interpret the signals and move objects outside of themselves. One could say that this is one kind of “out of body experience.” Scientists say that in time, it could be possible for me to be sitting in my own home and think about moving the keys … Continue reading

How I love Jason Thompson (let me count the ways)

I’ve been asked several times, “What’s the hardest part about leaving GH?” The god honest truth is… not being able to see my friend every day. I never expected to become close to Jason, it just happened over time. Jason once said to me, “I’ve haven’t looked at anyone’s face more than yours the past 6 years.” I thought, too bad for him, I think I got the better end of that deal. And I have to say, I’ve never been sick of that face. Who would, right? He’s gorgeous. Right about now, you might be thinking, “Is this a love thing? Are they in love?” I can only speak for myself when I say, no. It’s not like that and that’s why I love Jason so much. We have the kind of friendship where I can say, “I love you” and he doesn’t think I want to bone him. I’ve had the privilege of seeing what’s behind that handsome face. We’ve seen each other at our worst and his “worst” ain’t all that bad. He has a sense of humor that can usually dig him out of most holes. We’ve cried, we’ve yelled at each other, on-screen and off, and we remain friends. When I was a kid, I kept my work life and private life very separate. I had my friends at school and when I went to work, I was surrounded by adults who loved and supported me. It wasn’t until I came back to the show … Continue reading

Social media and other things that make me feel vulnerable

Dear Twitter-verse, Shopping Malls, and “Foreign Sales” You keep me humble and alert. You make me want to reach out and connect and at the same time you make want to hide in a corner with my pacifier. My friends and family know, it’s difficult to get me on the phone. I was the last one out of my friends in high school to get a pager, the last one to get a cell phone. I’ve always hated talking on the phone, unless I’m driving and need something to distract me from my anxiety about traffic. I thought text messaging was invented just for me. I was so grateful when I realized that I could get back to my friend about dinner, without having a 20 min. conversation about where and when. Praise technology. I’ve also always been kind of a private person. When I was young, there were certain things my friends knew but nobody knew who I was dating. I made sure to bring a fake “boyfriend” to the school dances and sneak out the house to meet my real boyfriend at the park or just down the street. Even as an actress as in the public eye, the only person I ever admitted to dating was Freddie Prinze Jr. but only because he talked about it first and I would’ve looked really lame if I had denied it. I still don’t talk about who I’m dating– ever, but over the years I learned to slowly dip my toes, … Continue reading