Friday, February 27, 2015

Can't Post Today

Sorry. In New Orleans for the Southern Sideshow Hootenanny this week with NO time to write. A lot of driving --

This picture is during a break from driving...

Monday, February 23, 2015

FINALLY : This Year's Father Daughter Dance!

Sorry! Have been off schedule from posting twice a week as I originally planned -- but, after today, we should be back on track!
Matching corsages seemed VERY important this year!

Friday the 13th was the annual Father Daughter Dance at my daughter's all-girl academy. Once again, the pressure was on to make sure she had a wonderful experience.

Luckily, I thrive under pressure!!

No. Not really. Was very stressful. BUT we were intent on having a good time, and so that is exactly what we set out to do.

Last year there was a huge snowstorm that made the evening a little more stressful as I tried to get us to the restaurant, the dance, to another restaurant, and then home. Of course, all those places were very spread out from each other, so it was very difficult. This year, we opted to keep everything closer to the actual dance location.

Luckily - no snow storm! Unfortunately - sub-zero temperatures made being outside uncomfortable, to say the least!

Also, since the happens just before Valentine's Day, flower prices are through the roof! Last year, getting the corsages was pretty expensive, and we were not quite happy as we would have liked with it - so this year we took advantage of buying lots of flowers to hand make a couple of corsages exactly like we wanted.

Last year's picture at home before leaving. What a cutie!

This year's picture... She is growing up!
We were lucky we had much of the day to prepare. There was no school that day, so there was time for my daughter to really enjoy the excitement of getting ready for the big day: an outfit to pick out, bathing & primping, hair getting done...

I, too, took time to groom - showering, shaving, oiling up my hair and beard. Checking and rechecking my suit to make sure it was pressed (and lint rolling off any stray dog hair -- which is ALL over the place at our house). Shining shoes (mine AND hers). If you are wondering, I did check with my daughter a couple of times to make sure I was groomed enough (yes, I did offer to shave my beard if she wanted me to - but she did not), and that she approved of my outfit and accessory choices.

Time for pictures from her mother and the grandparents (who came to watch her prepare, adding to the festivities), then off to dinner.

Now, last year we went to a very upscale Japanese restaurant before the dance, and afterward went to a diner for milkshakes. Originally, my daughter wanted to head back to the sushi restaurant, but after reminding her how tired she was by the end of the evening last year and discussing how she would have to choose only one restaurant to go to - she opted for milkshakes beforehand!

Since I was not specific on how many milkshakes she could have - it got a little out of control.
So of course, being my daughter, she was double-fisting milkshakes through dinner and seriously ready to party by the time we got to the dance.

And a little indulgence... Every girl likes getting a ring.
Especially one out of the gumball machine by the door.
The first bit of the dance was filled with little girls running all over the dance floor - a lot of sitting around and waiting for something to happen. Then, at last, the DJ really got the music going - and everyone hit the floor dancing. It pretty much did not stop all night!

It is funny, though, how it seemed that when he played "old school" - some Missy Elliot (expertly edited for content, btw), Kriss Kross, and some others - that was when everybody really hit the floor!

My daughter's only complaint last year was that they never played any slow songs - so she never had a chance to just have a dance with me. I do not know if that was something that other people said, too - but this year the DJ made sure to play a couple of songs (I am sure typical ones for a bride's dance with her father at wedding receptions) so we could all have a quiet dance moment with our own daughter. It was great! But it did make me a little sad, too - that my girl is growing up.

One thing I really enjoy about this dance is seeing the excitement of the girls hanging there with their dads. Many of these dads wore outfits matching their daughter's outfits (my kudos to the father there with his three daughters - he managed to coordinate everything!). They escorted their daughters from room to room. Made sure they had everything they needed. Even while the girls were on the floor dancing to Justin Bieber & Katy Perry (which few self-respecting men would do), the dads were clustered around the floor, taking pictures & video, all looking very proud.

I should know - I was one of them.

So we were at the dance until it was over, over. My lovely date worn out by so much dancing and fun -- we were off to go home, where she fell asleep sharing my chair with me as we recounted our fun times for her mother. All in all - a perfect evening!

Honestly, Dad, I've just had enough of your crap.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hot? It's a Trap! (Here's How Not To Fall Into It)

Admit it! There's nothing sexier than a side ponytail!
Takes some serious confidence to rock that thing....

It looks as though originally this post went up online before I had actually finished it! Sorry about that folks. Here is the real post:

I was having a conversation this Halloween season with one of my cast members about an issue that I want to let everyone know about. I think it is important to keep in mind, especially when you have to deal with people who are in entertainment. And that is the issue of dealing with a really hot people!

I realize that that may seem sort of stupid, except, think about it...

Haven't you always wondered about how people in the movie and TV industry are always getting married, then divorced, then a married again, then having affairs, and then getting caught up in some other nonsense? It is the "hot person quotient," as I like to call it. It goes something like this:

One of my early acting teachers taught me a very good lesson, that if you are really going to go anywhere in the entertainment industry, when you walk into a room all eyes should look your way.  Everyone who sees you should either want you, or want to be with you. It is all about that confidence. It is all about having that certain something that makes people interested in you. And that can go for all kinds of people, not just people with good looks. It means people with a good personality. Sometimes, it's just that "certain something."

So my conversation with my cast member during Halloween was about how not to fall into the "hot trap." See, it is very easy to get that initial interest in someone and then for its to spiral out of control. That feeling you get when you look at them, in their costume and their make up and their character, is sort of overwhelming. It is supposed to be overwhelming! That is the entire point of putting them on a stage in front of you in the first place.

Please note: this just does not apply to performers, this also applies to service industries that deep and on getting you interested in order to influence you to byproduct. This means bartenders, waitresses, dancers, DJs, at Cetera -- all of them are also supposed to make you want to meet them, want to be with them. At least, if they are doing their job right!

Not everyone realizes this, but when you are doing a show, or shooting a television show or movie, you're in a very enclosed space with these very dynamic people with big egos in a really intense process. That is why you have these affairs, and these flings that are such a big deal to the press. You are in an altered state of reality. And that's what I was telling my cast member (and anyone else who will listen), these intense feelings that happen are not necessarily true feelings about the true nature of the person. They are really just "the feelings" in this moment.

But the flame that burns twice as hot, burns half as long!

For the audience of those performers, there is this interest and obsession. That is why sometimes you get weirdest stockers. Because the emotions that the performance, and the performer, bring out in the person watching what is going on can be just as strong as the real thing. Sometimes even stronger. There is also this sense of intimacy, that is not a real intimacy. When you're watching the performer in the movie theater, or they are in your home on your television, or they are with in distance that you can touch them on a stage, you feel like you know them while you are watching them. They are bringing out an emotional response in you. Which is what they are supposed to do, but remember that they are not sharing that same emotional experience with you. They are just providing it to you. There are many performers that I personally know, who are nothing like any of the characters they have ever portrayed. That guy on that television show that you like, may have aged 20 or 30 years since the time you watched it! While it is a great legacy that the performance still affects you, it is a problem if you cannot differentiate between the performer, and the role.

My son is experiencing some of this all ready, even at just nine years old. We had to some shows in Tennessee, and he was having little girls who had watched our performances hanging around the stage after the show to want to talk to him. Some of them even brought him little gifts! While he was flattered, he was also a little uncomfortable. When I talked to him about it he told me, "I don't know those girls. I don't even know their names! But they want to talk to me."

He felt that weird feeling that many a performer has, when you are in a crowd of people you don't know, and yet you see people looking at you with recognition in their eyes. That is something that sets off the ego that all performers have. 

I talked to him about it, just the same as I talk to my other cast members about this, to explore the feelings that he had about it. And, more importantly, to put those feelings in perspective! These sorts of interactions are normal. As performers, we depend on reaching that connection with our audience and other performers on stage. So those sorts of feelings are bound to come up! Really, it just comes down to how you handle it. What I told my son, is that you half to keep the emotions of the other person in mind, and to treat them gently and with respect. It is always about respect for the other person.

I am not saying that these feelings are bad, or that these types of feelings are wrong in anyway, shape or form. What I am doing is giving you my tip: and my tip is, know the nature of the beast. Understanding about what you are getting into will make it better for you and for that other person you are obsessing about in the long run.

Look at this crew! They are all so hot, how can you resist ANY of them?!

Are You Confident? Prove It!

Yeah. I've got some time for confidence before my 3:30...


Since starting this blog, I have spent some time perusing websites and blogs for tips on dating - trying to weed through what I think is good advice, and what is not. There is some great advice out there!

There is also some really horrible advice. Some of the worst advice I have seen was the advice to fake confidence if you do not have it. This is something I definitely disagree with! Confidence should be your main goal at all times.

This week I really began working on habits with my children. We created a calendar for them to track how long their daily practice sessions last (if you did not know, my son is the world's youngest professional knife thrower). The idea with this calendar is, of course, to help build habits of regular practicing with them.

Creating habits is the most important thing to do. Creating confidence is a habit!

There is nothing more attractive than confidence. Confidence in your self. Confidence in your books. Confidence in what you do. And all of that has to come from within, it is something that cannot be influenced by the outside as much as people often feel it is.

Make no mistake, certainly there are those who mistake confidence for pride. Or mistake it for being overbearing or overconfident. I am afraid that a lot of people in the world do not know what real confidence looks like, because the world is so caught up in bragging. It is not bragging to own up to your accomplishments. It is not bragging when you list your credentials in an argument or discussion to prove that you know what you are talking about.

It is confidence that allows me to run my business, what allows me to search for new business, and why I finished graduate school. It is confidence that allows me to step in front of any audience any time even with no notice, and put on a great show for them. I worked a very long time to gain confidence in my abilities and skills. Because, of course, I worked on them, nurtured them, and made them what they are today.

It is that confidence that made of my children's mother be attracted to me. It is that confidence that makes people like me when they see me on stage. I don't need to fake it, and I realize how powerful real confidence is. I want you to have that same confidence in your self! Just like I want my children to have it as well.

There is no reason for you not to be confident right now. I'm not saying go and boast about all of the cool things you have done, I am saying that you should always look at your accomplishments, and take some pride in them.

Do not be afraid to look in a mirror, look in your own eyes, and let your self have the confidence that you should. Know that in the world there are a lot of people who, for what ever reason, will not allow themselves to have confidence in what they do and who they are. And that is what it boils down to, not letting someone else dictate whether or not you are confident. That confidence has to come from inside you.

Do not let some other person dictate to you whether or not you should be confident. The key the confidence is knowing your self.

There is real power in knowing your self and being confident in your abilities, your looks, and your self. Explore those possibilities! You are never going to be good at dating someone else, unless you are happy with your self!

It takes a lot of confidence to rock this 'stache!