Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'M A "RAGER"... this book has me figured out.

Mandy here.  The travel bug was shoved under the covers for a little while as I tried to come up with my life plan.  Still looking for a job, still trying to figure out where to live. Lotsa things going on right now. Lease is up. Again.. don't have a job.. dying to travel. Not sure what kind of job I want.. Day job, night job? 9-5 office? Night job.. serving? to make more money? School is definitely going to be thrown in the mix for this summer session or fall depending on transcripts being transferred.. so many choices.. so many options... it's overwhelming and stressful.  I have been reading this awesome book called "I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was."  I highly recommend it to everyone and anyone.  I read a really awesome chapter last night that discusses the person that "rages against the ordinary."  Nothing is ever good enough for this person.  They want immediate success, gratification.  They want shortcuts.. for some reason this person feels they are different--they want to be different.  They want to excel and they have huge ambitions.. crazy, lofty dreams.  This is a lot to copy and paste but I just have to..

If you're in a rage against the ordinary, you don't want to be a painter; you want to be the greatest painter.  You don't want to be a powerful businessperson; you want to be the most powerful businessperson.  Glory is so important to you that you're impatient with the chores and details that make life work.  You avoid anything that hints at the ordinary on your way to glory, which results in a terribly precarious existence.  You deserve a big hit, and you want it now.  You don't have time or inclination to build the foundation of skills and know-how that would actually get you a hit.
By the way, there's nothing wrong with a rager's dreams.  They're magnificent and well worth going after.  But a rager's dream comes with its particular pitfalls.  One of these pitfalls is that anything less than the top feels pointless.  Starting at the bottom, apprenticing his way to becoming a master at his craft is intolerable; a rager needs to feel he's a master before he really is-and this is a recipe for frustration and rejection.
Big, troubling feelings gnaw at a rager's insides most of the time.

The chapter is much bigger than that and really goes in great depth and detail.  Of course it discusses the various ways/reasons people become ragers.  The author even describes 3 very different main events/things that happen in childhood that cause a rager to be a rager.  Funny thing is I had all 3 things happen to me.  I could relate to all of them and felt like someone was taking the words out of my mouth and extracting the thoughts out of my mind.  It all makes sense.  I don't usually 100% buy into shrinks and what they say about your childhood having such a huge impact on how and why you are the way you are today but I think this author is dead on.  It was scary accurate and describes exactly how I feel.  I won't bore you with all the details but hopefully I'll be able to work thru my childhood issues and traumas to get my life together.  Because if you know me you know that right now I have changed my mind a million times in a million different directions.  I'm impulsive, always looking for immediate gratification. I want it now.  I don't want to be normal.  Normal isn't good enough. I want to travel, I want to have freedom. I want to be my own boss. I want I want I want. I always thought it was ambition and drive that I have (which it is) BUT it has definitely stemmed and been amplified by a few major events/happenings in my childhood.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Febrauary

Jay here...can't believe it is already the second week in February.  The weather feels like summer is around the corner.  I have been working so much, have had company and am looking for new as much as I am inspired to update you on what's been goin on...time for shift 2 of the day.  Will update soon :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Never Gonna Be The Perfect Time...

Mandy here. Contemplating. As Usual..
I tried to have a relaxing day. Jay and I were able to reconnect a bit and get a much needed mani/pedi at the salon down the road from us.  I will admit I decided to copy her with the color nail polish she picked out... the girl has good taste, what can I say? Anyways we had a nice time catching up seeing as she has been outta town for a good 5 days.  Later this evening I got a massage and that was amazing.. also very relaxing to say the least.
Even in a day full of relaxing treatments I found myself uptight.  The lease is up in a month.  4 weeks from today-- it's just crazy.. I can't believe I've been living in LA for 6 months.  Anyways the point is I wanna throw... yes I said throw.. not to be confused with "organize then place" my items in storage and just GO.  I'm getting restless!
I'm very impulsive but I know the value in planning.  There's endless research to do when deciding to flee the country!!!... from reading others blogs/stories to price comparisons/deal hunting to the hot spots you just can't miss to volunteer opportunities to the logistics of getting around.. I could go on for days you get the point! Where to start? It's overwhelming and I'm someone who likes to be a perfectionist and take advantage of resources and strategic planning to maximize both savings and time but sometimes I feel like you just have to pick up and go.   I suppose there is that happy medium.. some planning... but a lot of "figuring out as you go" as well.
Also you ask yourself is it really the best time in my life? And I feel like the answer will always be yes because otherwise it will always be no.  There will ALWAYS be 100 reasons/excuses why it's not a good time to travel. But let's face it people we never know what day will be our last and everyone I have ever talked to (or just read their story) has never regretted their travels! No matter what you live, learn, and experience. Or if you are Julia Roberts you eat pray and love... either way I WANT IT!
I took this picture last February.  It was a snowstorm in Chicago.. I left work and booked a flight that night for a week in Mexico. One of the best decisions I ever made. It was an amazing week...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Someday we'll be together :)

Jay here...feels like forever since my last blog...have had so much to write but mom's internet has been down.  My brain is moving at a very intense speed while I debate my next move (in every way). 

 "It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis. "
-- Margaret Bonnano
I re read that quote to remind myself to live in the moment instead of worrying about tomorrow.  It used to be so easy, now I spend a large portion of time wondering, dreaming, brewing.  It's driving me wild, yet I can't shut it off.  Guess I should embrace it...

I ended up coming home a couple days ago to see someone I really care about who had to go through something untimely rough.  I am happy that I came, I know what it feels like to go through a loss and whenever possible if I can be there for those I care about, I want to.  I mean that in the most selfless way. Life is precious and I find it so important to remind those people you care about how much they mean to you as often as you can.   (for those who actually read this---thank you and cheers).

So being home makes me feel lots of emotions, mostly good ones.  I love my family and friends, my world up here is solid and delicious.  Yet, I don't live here anymore.  My life is consumed by two opposing worlds and I am caught in the middle.  It's an oxymoron.  Sometimes I wish I could control my feelings and passions...but I can't.  They run much deeper than my thoughts could fathom.  Everytime I come home, I am torn.  Should I move back and try to accomplish my goals here around my biggest support system, be a bigger fish in a smaller pond or really break the mold and stay where I am and become a great white shark in the big deep sea....the wheels are turning and I am burning for the answers. 

Mandy and I have been filming randomly over the past few months....stupid things, real things, happy, sad, good or bad, but none the less it started as a way for us to look at ourselves and just laugh.  We are working on compiling old and new footage to evolve into our own little documentary...

So for prince charming out there and all those million dollars we are working towards.... in the words of my girl Diana Ross ...someday we'll be together :)

I read something I want to share...

From the book I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher :

When we're children we have a couple of very big jobs to do.  We have to find out what our people want from us and we have to find out what we want. When our first job stops us from doing our second, we get lost.  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

If you don't like crying babies just get drunk!

Mandy here. Dropped Jay off at the aiport just a few moments ago. She's headed back home for a couple days.  I was jamming to her music on the long drive back just completely zoning out... you know how that goes when you forgot how you got home or what way you took? I was kinda jealous I wasn't at the airport.  I know most people hate airports but I love them.... ok, ok I mean sometimes it sucks when you are on a few hours of sleep and have a long lay over or whatever and they have shitty food and expensive drinks... that part might suck a little. BUT... the general vibe... I like to people watch and wonder where they are going, what they are doing, who they are.  I must say that every person I've ever met, talked to, or became friends with from the airport has been a very interesting, unique person!

When I walk through the airport I just get so excited to be going somewhere else.  I would say I enjoy breaking routine but I really haven't had a routine in the last 3 years so I can't use that...haha... I'm not sure what it is... It just feels right... It's exciting...I walk by different gates and see different destinations and think hmmm maybe I should try to sneak on this plane to vegas or I still haven't been to Denver.  Most of the time though I wish I was in the international terminal!!!! soon enough, soon enough!

While I am a very independent person I will say I'm sick of being at the airport alone. There has only been a few times when I'm not alone and those actually have been some of the best times.  I remember one time I flew into Atlanta from Chicago and met up in Atlanta with my sister and her bf we had a couple hours to kill so we found a southern bar with brisket and beer! By the way the brisket was terrible.. ALL fat no meat. EWWWW. But we had the best of time in preparation for vegas... we got really drunk and them stumbled to the gate almost missing our flight...Man is it hard to roll a carry on thru a completely full plane all the way to row 27.  :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who's comin with me? (Mandy at least I hope ;)

Jay here...Welcome to Hollywood, the city of angels and the one place where if you dream something, you can actually do long as you have a nice bank account or as Mandy so nicely points out--CONNECTIONS.  Something's gotta give, I tell myself.  It's been a year here, a solid year of hustle and rejection...of course I have landed a few great jobs in this industry, but a few commercials and apperances on TV aren't going to pay my rent alone for the year.

My jaw is killing me right now, from the past 12 hours of working with a fake smile on my face while grinding my teeth trying to pretend like I actually enjoy what I am doing.  (I must be a great actor because people constantly tell me how nice it is to see a waitress who just loves what she does....)

To be sincere, I love helping people and used to love serving...but it has fully consumed my life.  I wake up, make coffee, hit up facebook, walk dog for a bit, go to restaurant 1, work out after work to de-stress, run home to eat and take my lil pup outside, then rush off to restaurant 2.  It's much harder than I thought it would be...(making it, that is).  

I get home and pour a Jameson, listen to some maroon 5 or some other lyrical genius while I sit and try to invent this "idea" that I know is burning inside me.  It's as if I am stuck inside a brick wall with my feet pinned to the ground, yet I can see the sky above and I know I can get there somehow!  This is not me.  I am always the person cheering others up, pushing for more, inspiring and being inspired.  When did I lose it?  Or is this part of that whole, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" stuff.

The best part is that I know, I am more certain than anything else, I have what it takes to break a mold and be a pioneer---but in what way??? That is the tricky part which I am sure we all face and most of us end up sacrificing a dream for comfort.  That is not me!  I have always lived life on the edge, taking chances and risking all that I may or may not have for something (or someone in some cases) that I am passionate about.

Everything will be just fine and I know things happen for a reason.  It is difficult to see people I look up to (i.e. David Spade, Jon Lovitz, John Lithgow, Britney Spears etc etc etc) on a daily basis and face the fact that I haven't yet done something big enough to be working with these people (for the most part).  Instead, I am taking orders, memorizing what kind of soups they like and remembering what drinks they had last week.  When I am lucky, one of them talks to me as a peer and offers me some grand advice about not giving up on a dream.  That inspires me.  Like a lightening bolt crashing over my head...WAKE UP are here, following your biggest dream and conquering your greatest challenge...and you are surrounded by the people who have been in your same shoes and now ...they made it.  It's a good feeling :)

Anyways, I feel similar to the character Jerry Miguire right now...I am so trapped, yet so inspired to just risk EVERYTHING and jump!  (When I say jump I mean plunge into the unknown, take a huge chance that scares me but intrigues me at the same time, not some creepy metaphor).  That is exactly what I am doing....I remember a conversation I had with Mark Cuban (and yes I am name dropping cuz he is effin doing it big).  He told me the best advice and I am taking it to heart.  Screw waiting around for agents and producers to call me and do things for me...I am my own producer, and I have all that it takes to record, document and entertain others on my own.  I can be a shoulder to cry on, or the greatest event of your life...either way I am spending the next few days writing, researching and getting ready to embark on something that will change my life...and hopefully yours.  Who's with me???

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I know someone who knows someone...

Mandy here. Was shooting a pilot today for a reality tv show... it was fun pretty much because I was able to work with an awesome girl.  My friend Natasha and I met while shooting a pilot several months ago and we hit it off splendidly.  We have since become good friends. For those of you who know me well I moved to LA in August 2010 for acting (of course). This again was one of the many times in my life where I thought I had it all figured out... I thought I had finally made up my mind. I mean who cares if 99% (or whatever the scary exact percentage is) don't make it.  I made my decision because I thought 1. You can be someone different every day... live thru a character vicariously... experience and feel their hardships and happy times 2. You can meet tons of new, different, exciting people and learn from them 3.  It's a challenge 4. The obvious financial benefit 5. TRAVEL of course 6. It's just plan fun to read a script and act it out 7. You are doing something different every day 8.  Sometimes you are able to learn a new language, skill, etc  9.  Now that I look back I am sure I wanted to be something really special and important... a role model and something people looked up to..

Anyways what ended up happening was I got out here did a few reality tv shows and got a few other jobs and realized that it just wasn't what I wanted for several reasons really... 1. surprisingly I realized I had low confidence... nervous about what people thought of me... my resume... did I have enough experience? why was I better for this part than someone else? 2. I got real... okay, okay so maybe I ignored the stats before but then I thought wow.... I can't invest all of this time and energy and not make it.  I should have thought of that more before huh? Impulsivity I suppose.. just wanted to escape Chicago life.  I saw the benefits and ignored the cons. took a blind risk. To my credit though I figured I'd find something else to love if it failed. I do love movies. Production was definitely an option for a back up plan (AND STILL IS!)  3. I took a super intense class by arguably the best most amazing teacher in Hollywood (Howard Fine) and ultimately ended up hating it. I didn't want to mentally, emotionally revisit things that really made me cry made me depressed... I didn't really wanna feel it after all. I didn't know acting really was emotionally draining to that severe extent when you are really in it and I didn't know I had so many scars. 4. My mom lost her job of 15 years and doesn't have a degree. I don't have a degree and solid work experience. Her situation really affected me and made me realize I gotta get it together find what I love, what's realistic, and what will provide me with money and is secure in any economy.  5. I could go on with more reasons but the last one I will list is the obvious "Hollywood" drama.
Back to today... Natasha and I were sitting down having lunch with production and we were grilling them... pitching ideas..etc.  When we asked them how they got their jobs 3 out of the 3 guys said it was from knowing someone who got them the job.  I thought to myself that's awesome to have connections and I can say I wish I had some connections in that department but I don't.  I just found it interesting. People and their connections... It's kinda disappointing that people get jobs simply because they know a friend who gets them an "in" and yes I'll admit.. this is from a completely jealous standpoint because I don't have the connections... lol. At least not out in LA.. out in this industry. 

The cool part of the day was that Natasha and I did such a great job several months back that we were invited to come back and shoot another pilot (which again is why I was there today) I initially turned it down until the producers mentioned that Natasha was gonna do it and they liked us together... I thought what the heck sounds fun if Natasha will be there.  We did have a great time... didn't have to do much work and got paid. End of story. If only I knew someone who knew someone who knew someone.. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

“Don't be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams...”

Jay here...Had a semi-mini break down today...been working doubles for the last week, and yet I am barely gonna make rent and bills...trying not to stress, keeping my eye on the prize and reminding myself of a quote from Finding Nemo that my best friend and I always sing, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."  I need to remind myself why I am here... I didn't move to LA to be a slave, I moved here to see my name on billboards and inspire others to do what they love!  How crazy that it all seems so attainable from afar, yet, once you actually take the realize all those cliche sayings actually meant something.  Anywho, realized I am not going to let my financial stress get the best of my inspiration, my lovely roomie Mandy and I are working on a documentary...and I promise it will fill all your juicy reality TV needs ;) Keep ya posted...

Hot Chocolate over Peanuts. NO BRAINER

Mandy here. What a long day... but relaxing now with a hot chocolate with a shot of espresso.. which doesn't make sense because I'm on 4 hours of sleep and really should be catching up on sleep.. not drinking coffee!!!! But the coffee tastes good and I can't sleep... too much on my mind.
Lease is up in about a month... I've been in LA for nearly 6 months and really haven't gotten a job here... sure I have gotten an odd job here or there and am doing another one tomorrow.... reality tv can be entertaining but it's not something I can say I'm proud of.  Today briefly I entertained the idea of getting a job with health insurance and really great benefits for a fortune 500 company that is you know on that list for the best companies to work for. I even met with a friend who works for this unnamed company to speak to him about the job, the options, the pros/cons, application process, etc. etc. Getting the down low... ya know making an effort to "get normal" get a job... get it together you know??
Well comes to find out the position starts at $8.25/hr. Jay cracks me up every time she comes home and bitches about "working for peanuts" I picture her cute little voice saying that phrase over and over and I can't help but smile inside.. (I mean I feel bad and all but it's just such a funny saying to me for some reason) Anyways my point here is that I thought to myself... I am not working for peanuts.
Look I am not bashing anyone for working for that amount of money... they have great benefits... potential to move up within the company.. they have stability... consistency... routine.. something I can't say I have. So, in a way I am jealous of those people. I wish I could just settle for working for peanuts but I can't :(  I 'm obsessed with the idea of making some serious bucks without a college degree or solid work experience in any area of expertise.. yep that's me... I'm a realist. bah!
The problem is I have changed my mind a million times.  I have a real estate sales license, a health and life insurance sales license, use to sell home cleaning products, went to college briefly for management, worked at a bank, in various restaurants, at a strip club, and the list goes on.  I was going to go to school to be a make up artist, I thought I wanted to be an actress, I have seriously planned out and thought about being a personal trainer, a chef, a fat bakery owner, a housewife, a nurse, a vet tech, a restaurant owner, a gardener, a travel agent, a flight attendant and a psychologist.  Most recently I thought I should join the Airforce because I don't know what the hell to do with myself... I can't make a decision. Even when I do make a decision it changes the next day or the next week. It's kinda scary.... but I'm trying to embrace it instead of fighting it.... like I have been for the past two years. I'm done fighting.. I'm rolling with it....

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today...

Jay here...Happy Sunday everyone!  Time to start a new week and set some new goals to achieve.  Just got home from Sunday morning church ritual.  Today, however, something happened so small, yet so significant.  Mandy and Jason joined me which was nice, it always feels great to have people in their 20's who actually choose to go to church.  The message from father John was given in a slow and drawn out way, but the meaning was quite important.  People are constantly rushing around, stressed and jumping from one thing to the next.  This way of living tends to make people to feel anxious, flustered and unaccomplished.  The sermon was a reminder to take 10 minutes each morning when you wake up to prepare yourself mentally, physically and spiritually for the day.  I can admit that on most days I give myself 5 minutes to have just enough time to make my coffee and throw my work clothes on, leaving my drive to put make up on and fix my hair...(I can put on mascara in motion without a mirror!)  I notice on the days I spend time preparing for the day, my days run smooth and I feel a sense of calm and readiness.  After church, I called my YiaYia and Pappou (Greek grandparents) to say hi, and for the first time in my entire life, my grandfather told me he loved me.  It made me want to jump up and hug someone.  At church today, I lit a candle for my friends grandfather who just had a stroke.  He is very close to his grandfather and I feel bad knowing what he may have to go through.  I believe loss is the hardest struggle we face.  Yet, on a positive note, it is always that reminder and wake up call which pushes people to embrace what they do have.

On another page... Last night, got home from the restaurant 1:30am as usual, and realized how awful it is that I work like an elephant...stomping and slaving around so much, for peanuts.  Coming home only to feel stressed and needing a drink. Sitting up having the usual Jameson and coke, I decided I want to make a change.  As humbling as the past year in LA has been, it has also been a wake up call reminding me to live again.  I have become that mouse on a wheel, running around and around not even doing what I came here to do.  "Following your dreams." I remember telling myself that I would always follow my dreams and not listen to what others say or let anyone change my course.

Thinking about all this reminds me of when I lived the most in my was when I was 17, just graduated from high school and went to Greece, alone.  It was the best few months of my life.  I had no idea what to expect, where I was going, who I would meet, and the life changing experience I would endure.  I grew into the person I am today and I owe myself a pat on the back for taking that risk...when all my friends were starting college, I decided to just jump ship and it was the best decision I have ever made.  I am thinking of this now because I am ready for another one of those experiences...I want to inspire, be inspired and make a change.  The time is now....get ready. Mandy and I came from two different parts of the country and we have so many of the same goals.  I remember how my mom always told me, "things happen for a reason...," and, "Some people will come into your life for a reason, some for a season, and some stay forever..." I think Mandy and I met to inspire each other and take a chance, make that change.  Are you ready for this journey????  We are!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

And you thought Disney was for kids?

Mandy here... Friday night.. 10pm ish... pretty typical for me to be home in a pair of sweats... but it's all good. I can justify it today. Got up at 6:30am with Jay. We hit up the DisneyLand audition... DisneyLand PARIS audition to be exact. It's pretty much what sprung me outta bed... 

Well let's just say it was inspiring... you see... we have talked so much about traveling, about living, about searching for happiness, love, culture, and for simply the unknown.. however we, like many people, get so caught up in the day to day going through the motions.  Being at the Disney Audition not only made us feel like kids again but reminded us what life is about.. living. Did you hear that or did you just read it? Do you remember what living feels like??? Because sometimes I am convinced I have forgotten. 

Sometimes I do what others want, what I think is socially acceptable, what I think I "should" do.  I am a classic people pleaser... someone who has searched for acceptance and friends and for attention and love without even being aware I was doing it. Well I am here to say I've been there done that... time to search for me, for what I want, to grow, to learn, to live.. to TRULY not care what others follow my heart.. my crazy irrational, inconsistent devil/angel voices.  Because if there's one thing I'm certain of it's this... If you aren't happy with yourself the relationships you form with others are almost meaningless to a certain degree. 

Shit, I just realized I am sounding like a real debbie downer.  Here I go again.. what I should sound like? There is no should! no no no! It's coming out as I type...Maybe I went off on a little tangent. Point is I just wanna get out there and conquer the world. I wanna feel it.  I feel like I've been in a little bubble for a while and I'm over it! I wanna see what others eat, I wanna know what others know, I wanna see how they live, what they value, how they think, how they dress, how they carry themselves. I wanna travel. I wanna pick up and leave right now. It was this time last year that I picked up and went to Mexico the next day. That trip was sweet... till I got my super expensive, insanely comfortable, surprisingly fashionable Aldo heels stolen.  Then the trip got sweeter because I walked into my 5 star hotel bare foot and realized it didn't matter. 

Good times are coming..... Will you keep up?