Monthly Archives: June 2010

How to Deal with the Word NO

Take a look at this. This is what the word No looks like.

It’s not pretty is it? More on this photo later.

No is such a pesky word. I don’t know anyone who isn’t constantly bothered by it. I find that No tends to buzz around me, rather inconspicuously until I decide I want to accomplish something new and exciting. Then as I start to implement my plans, the No buzzing gets louder and louder and I have to keep swatting at it otherwise the No’s get in my eyes or go up my nose and if it’s a bad day, I’ll accidentally swallow one. Yuck. Can someone pass the no spray please?

I decided pretty young I was going to be an international superstar. An unusual career choice for a seven year old but I knew, even at that age, it was not impossible. But when I announced my plans to move to New York City* people reacted as though I was trying to mastermind Pauly Shore’s return to acting. They were angry, confused, hurt, and full of fear. Some tried whatever they could to change my mind and stop me from going. None of their tactics worked. I arrived in NYC on a one way ticket at age 20. Six years in, I’m still here and the world continues to spin. Imagine that.

Chances are if you want to live a life that is outside of the traditional world of college, 9 to 5 and babies you’ll hear No a lot more. Don’t get me wrong, everyone still has to deal with it. But people who want to forge new roads in the world often get hit by a different and much more vicious type of No. For whatever reason, the people who spew out these kind of No’s have deemed your life dream silly/unrealistic/a waste of time/laughable.

How rude!

Since I was so young when I chose my life path, my resistance to all kinds of no’s is strong. In fact, I’ve even come up with a few ways to counteract the people who try to tell you No. At the very least, these techniques will deflect the No back at the person and stun them just long enough for you to make your escape.

Let’s begin.

Pretend you didn’t hear them. If a person says you can’t do something, ask them to repeat themselves. Then ask them to repeat again. And again. If they start to get angry say, “I’m sorry I just don’t understand. Can you repeat that?” Chances are they’ll be aggravated enough to give you what you want or walk away from you.

Act as though it’s a reality/they already said yes. Example. When I was trying to sneak into Wilmer Valderrama’s birthday party a few years ago, the bouncer tried to stop me. To get around him and his No, I simply told him I had been in there the whole night. The bouncer quickly apologized and let me in. I proceeded to take shots with Wilmer and sing him happy birthday.  The trick to this technique is confidence and a super-belief that they’ve already said yes. Any sort of hesitation and you’re a dead duck. It does involve using some jedi mind magic so advanced students only.

Buddy system. This is an extremely versatile technique. Two is always better than one when it comes to trying to get your way. Some nice ways to use this include the double team, wing man/woman, using your friend to guilt your parents and having your weaknesses be your buddy’s strengths.

Listen to it. This is probably something you didn’t expect me to say. However, sometimes a No can be good for you. Spoken at the right time, a No can lead you in an even stronger and more exciting direction than previously imagined. Example. I had just graduated high school and started an acting class in Orlando. My plan was to move straight to NYC after I completed this class. When I asked my acting teacher (a former new york actress herself) for her advice, I did not get the encouragement to go to New York. I was shocked. I considered myself talented and ready for the big leagues. Instead, she told me to go get some life experience first and then move to New York. So I bought a plane ticket to Scotland and didn’t return for six months. She was right. I did need some more life experience and listening to that actually made me more aligned with what I’m supposed to be doing here on earth. Try to only listen to a No when it comes from someone you really respect.

Now about the Daniel Radcliffe photo.

This is when Daniel try to tell me, Sarah Walker, NO!

This is Daniel after his Broadway performance in the show Equus.  There was a mob of salivating teenage girls waiting for him to leave the theater but my best friend and I managed to maneuver around them and snag a spot directly by the stage door. I handed my friend my camera and instructed her to take whatever photo she could (a great example of the buddy system technique at work). As Daniel took his sweet time coming out, his fans became increasingly hysterical. Especially the one that happened to be located directly behind me. She was worried that because she was in the second row, Daniel would overlook her and not sign her playbill. She sobbed as she told me this. Sobbed. I offered to take her playbill and get him to sign it. How nice of me.

Daniel finally came out to sign some playbills. His appearance caused such a stir that 45th street had to be shut down. When he reached me he happily took my playbill and signed it but when I handed him sobbing girl’s playbill he gave me the constipated look that is his Harry Potter trademark.

“Oh, um, I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”

“What?” I stared at him with my deatheater eyes.

“One playbill a person.”

“But it’s not even for me. It’s for her.” If the girl was crying before, she was practically on the ground now heaving with an excessive level of emotion . She pulled herself together enough to look vaguely in his direction and nod.

“I’m sorry, I really can’t.”

I was speechless. Clearly this wasn’t a situation where I was trying to be an autograph hound and make some cash off his signature. There was a crying girl behind me! But my friend being the quick thinker that she is,  snatched the crying girl’s playbill out of my hand and thrust it into Daniel’s face.

“Fine. Sign my playbill.”

I love my friend Reny. Not only did she catch the precise moment of when Daniel told me no on my camera (note the crying girl’s playbill I’m trying to hand him in the right hand corner) she thwarts his no by calling out how ridiculous this whole situation was with one sharp jab of a floppy playbill.  Daniel signed it and aware of how stupid he just sounded, tried to make an awkward joke,  “Ah, you’re a smart one aren’t you?” but nobody laughed.

So let me end this post with a cliched yet true statement.  Don’t take no for answer! Even if it comes from a person who plays the most  magical boy wizard that ever lived.

*New York is an excellent place to begin your int’l superstar career if you’re thinking of having one yourself.

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Gerard Butler. Gerard Butler. Gerard Butler.

Last week I experienced a considerable spike in blog readers. For some reason an old post of mine, https://thatsnotreal.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/gerard-butler-wants-you-to-have-his-babies/ lit up the internet like a firefight in Spanish Harlem. Anyway, I’ve decided to post a picture of Gerard Butler every Friday until I get bored doing that for all you Gerry Lovers out there. You’re welcome, crazy internet stalkers!**

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=gerard+butler&iid=8376308″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8376308/jennifer-aniston-attends/jennifer-aniston-attends.jpg?size=500&imageId=8376308″ width=”380″ height=”504″ /]

**That’s a compliment people. I’m a crazy internet stalker too!

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My Week in Photos: Special Peru Edition

Okay, I know I posted some photos a while back from my trip to Peru but I came across some really great and interesting photos from the riots in Chala that I wanted to share with everyone. These came from a traveler I met in Huacachina who ended up on the same bus as me.

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Don’t Take Candy from Strangers!

Here’s something weird that happened to me the other day.

I was in Borders Bookstore, aimlessly wandering and looking for nothing in particular.  A children’s book about Greek mythology caught my eye and I stopped to pick it up. As I tried to pick out which mythological story best represents my life, a woman passed me talking very loudly on her cell phone.

“I will never let the FEAR take the place of another man ever again!”

I looked up to see who would dare make such a bold statement. Unfortunately, she was moving too fast, presumably away from the fear, for me to catch a glimpse of her.  At the same time 50-ish year old Jewish man happened to be walking by and heard the same thing.

“Did you hear that too?” he asked me.

“Yeah.”

“That was weird right?” I nodded and he continued. “I’m a writer/director and that’s a great line to use in something. You’re an actress, I bet.”

“Yep. But I’m a writer too.” His face puckered as though I let out a SBD.

“Oh, that’s interesting. Anyway, I’m always looking for new actresses for the shows I write. Actually I just came back from L.A. I had a meeting to a be a writer on a television show out there.”

“Oh! I want to do television writing too. What’s the show called?”

“Two and a Half Men. But I turned it down so I can focus on my own project that I’ve been working on for thirty years. Here, I can show you. It’s a play.”

He proceeded to pull out a 145 page script, poignantly titled:

WHY AREN’T THERE ANY GOOD WOMEN LEFT IN NEW YORK CITY?

I need to pause the story to discuss a couple of things.

First of all, no you didn’t. You did not have a job offer with TV’s highest rated sitcom and then turn it down to work on your thirty year old pet project.  You. Just. Didn’t. It’s 8:30 PM, you’re in a “business” suit with your shirt unbuttoned down to your chest carrying a briefcase that conveniently has your masterpiece neatly binded and ready to show to any bright young thing in the city. Not my first day at the rodeo buddy.

Second, the title’s a bit wordy.

Ok. Back to the story.

“Hey, how’s your spelling?”

“Pretty good.” I said. “I’m a former spelling bee champion.” This is true. I represented my school in the county finals and was promptly knocked out in the second round by the easiest word ever… monstrous. It was a quiet car ride home that day.

“Oh! Hey, now you might be quite a find tonight. I just wrote five history books–”

“That’s completely unbelievable.”

He looked taken aback for a minute and then quickly laughed. “What? That’s funny. You think I’m lying. Hey, you know I’d be willing to pay you off the books to check my spelling and grammar. I’m terrible at that stuff.  Have you eaten yet? I’ll take you out to dinner. Let’s talk business.”

“I already ate. My roommate cooked me dinner.”

“Oh okay, let’s walk for a bit. This is fun talking to you.”

Because I had nothing else to do I went along and we started walking up the Upper West Side.

“Hey, I oughta give you something for your time. Here.” He opened up his bag and I saw a half empty pack of mini snickers bars, dvds, and folders bulging with paper. He pulled out pack of cigarettes from underneath all his stuff.  “Ok. What you wanna do is take these and go to a bar, sit down, pull em out of your purse, take a long drag and then–” he pretended to puff a long imaginary smoke ring. He handed me the cigarettes and waited for me to react. “Do you see? They’re made of chocolate.”

“Neat. Chocolate cigarettes. Thanks.” I put them in my purse vowing not to try even one.

Now this story starts to take a peculiar turn.

“Hey,” He really liked to use the word hey.  “There’s the Reebok Sports Club. Do you work out?”

“I run.”

“You should check it out. Hey, I know a lot of nice guys your age who would like to go out with a girl like you.”

“Go on.” Although I really doubted he did. He brought up the Reebok Sports Club again.

“You should check out the classes at Reebok.’

“Eh, I don’t really need to. I run enough.”

“Yeah, but you can meet a higher class clientele there.”

“Uhhh, I don’t need to meet a higher class clientele when I’m running.”

“Oh, haha, that’s not what I meant. I talk to a lot of guys there and they are always complaining to me how there are no good girls in the city to meet. I thought you’d be good for some of them. You seem like a nice girl.”

Story pause. Higher class clientele? Whaaaat does that even mean?! It sorta sounds like I’m being screened right now to be one of those escorts for politicians and athletes.  Is this how that kind of stuff happens? I’ve never looked into how one becomes an escort besides seeing random CraigsList ads like this one here…

———–

ESCORT/COMPANION AGENCY (MIDTOWN)

Private, established midtown gentlemens club seeks attactive ladies to meet our members. Our membership of upscale businessmen enjoy meeting companions in their 20’s & 30’s. All-American, European & Latin types are most requested. Model types are always in demand.*Earn great $$$’s in a private & comfortable environment. We are hiring attractive, well-groomed & articulate young ladies who are also top-notch companions. You must be reliable & drug-free with a positive attitude. If you have interest in this opportunity, please reply with your name, age, phone # and 2 recent photos (face & body shots).

———-

* Duh.

Anyway, I suppose if Kate Moss can be discovered in an airport, the next great escort could be discovered in a bookstore, right? Seriously though, who uses language like that and suggests joining a super-lux gym just to meet guys in a casual conversation? Or does he think I’m already an escort? Is that why he has all that candy in his bag? Because it’s some sort of escort/client code thing to give candy to someone you think is a hooker as a test to see if she really is a hooker and if she accepts she is? Or maybe this is just your average joe weirdo. Where is all this going?

To 75th and Broadway apparently. This is where we decided to part ways. His apartment was around the corner and he was heading in for the night. He told me he’d pay me 10 bucks an hour if I’d come over to his apartment do some spell checking for him. I could bring someone if I felt uncomfortable. Yes, I thought, because two people being held at gunpoint is better than one.

Let me get your number. Here write it down on my script.”

“Okay, I’ll put it by allll the other numbers from girls you talked to tonight.” And I did. I figured I wouldn’t answer his call anyway.

“Now, stop that cynicism. You met someone really nice tonight and you’re being so cynical. That number is for a renovator.” He didn’t justify the other three numbers on his script but he didn’t need to. I was sufficiently irked. How dare he try to turn this around on me. Of course, I’m skeptical!!!! I live in New York City, land of crazies! I wish I could just take everyone at face value but I can’t. I’d probably end up at the bottom of the Hudson if I did. Then he goes, “Here’s twenty bucks, go buy a drink on me.”

I will be completely honest. I did not hesitate for one second in taking the money. Then I realized I didn’t hesitate in taking the money and awkwardly tried to play it off by saying “Oh, I can’t do that. I feel guilty? I shouldn’t take this from you?” but by that time those words were meaningless. He disappeared into the streets of Manhattan leaving me confused and alone.

THIS STORY GETS EVEN WEIRDER AND THIS TIME IT’S BECAUSE OF ME.

I called one of my friends to discuss what just happened to me. I was so weirded out by this whole thing I wandered through the Upper West Side not really paying attention to where I was going. I turned down 69th and Columbus, a quiet residential street with a neighborhood pub that you have to go down a flight of stairs to enter, sorta like it’s in the basement of a brownstone. I noticed this pub because it looked so cozy and friendly, with its white Christmas tree lights trimming the awning…the tiny red door propped open to let the summer breeze in… the two quaint cafe tables parked outside on the sidewalk occupied by a pixie cut blond girl smoking a cigarette and talking to some guy…. wait a minute. No. It can’t be. HOLY SHIT! She’s talking to the same guy I was just talking to! And she’s writing her number on the script!!!

I ducked behind a minivan and hid. I watched as he spoke to her, trying to see if she would A. Get candy or B. Get money. From what I could see, neither of those two things were handed out. As he walked away, I debated whether or not to follow him. Instead, I raced down into the pub to find pixie.

I barged into the pub which was smack in the middle of a trivia night. I found pixie and tapped on her shoulder. She turned around and looked at me with a pair of innocent blue eyes.

“That man you were just talking to. What did he want?”

“Oh, he’s a writer and wanted to share some of his work with me.” I stared at her, waiting for her to give me more than a pithy snippet of obvious. I continued to stare at her without saying anything until it became uncomfortable for the both of us. Clearly she wasn’t weirded out by him. Why did I assume she would be? Perhaps this was an every day occurrence for her and she had piles of scripts on her nightstand that needed to be read. Maybe she just broke up with her boyfriend and was flattered by his attention. Or maybe a million other things. It was time to make my exit.

“Ok. Bye.” And I…wait for it… run out of the bar.

Poor Pixie!! What was SHE thinking?! I passed the crazy onto this little blond girl who wanted nothing but to answer some obscure questions on cinema history and smoke ciggies without being bothered. She didn’t even ask to be handed my crazy. I just punched her in the face with it.

Anyway, I never heard from that guy. Guess my “cynicism” scared him away. That or he found some other bright eyed girl to help him with the proper use of they’re, their, and there.

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Doing the Cha-cha in Chala: Peru part 3

It’s Peru story time again! Don’t be shy, pull up some carpet and gather round the fireplace. Mr. Pattinson will be out with the apple cider and “biscuits” soon (I quotation marked biscuits because right before you got here Robbie and I were disputing the proper word for cookies. He loves to rename things. I don’t know why, it must some vampire cultural thing. Anyway, I let him win because he finally promised to sit for an oil pastel painting I’ve been begging to do of him.) Now, where were we when we last spoke about my Peruvian adventure?

Oh yes, my first Peruvian riot had ended and we were back on our way Arequipa. Yay!

Our bus continued traveling down the coast of Peru.  It was easy to forget about the earlier delay when the ride featured great views of the Pacific ocean.

Pacific Ocean

That is until we arrived in Chala.  Chala, Peru is a small cluster of concrete shops and homes that sit along the beach.

Chala Skyline

As you can tell, I’m not on a bus taking this photo. You may be wondering why I’m on a beach seemingly far away from any vehicle that caters to international tourists. That’s because we hit another roadblock stranding us right in the epicenter of the rioting (that apparently was not over)  where 6,000 miners were fighting with 200 policemen.

The highway was clogged with hundreds of stalled buses. We weren’t going anywhere for a while so I decided to take a walk and look for some ice cream. As I walked along the single dirt road looking for anything that resembled a food store, I recognized an Australian couple from my bus coming toward me.

“Hey there, you might want to turn around. The miners are placing dead bodies in the street up ahead. It’s starting to get heated.”

And so I turned around.

Time moves pretty slow when you’re stuck in the middle of the desert waiting for a riot to end. We had no access to any of our belongings because our attendant didn’t want to risk our bus being mobbed. Luckily, I packed my toothbrush and anti bacterial wipes in my purse. Smart move on my part.  However,  I was still wearing my bathing suit from when I was poolside in Huacachina so I couldn’t be too proud of myself. Guess I thought I’d keep the party going in Arequipa?

Food options were minimal. There was ice cream, water, inka cola (a Peruvian soda that tastes like bubble gum) and a small selection of stale bread and cookies at the bodega. The only meal I had was when someone from the bus found a woman from Chala who offered to cook a chicken for us. Six smelly but extremely grateful backpackers crammed into her kitchen as she prepared chicken and rice for us.

Later on, I sat on the curb by our bus and started to eat the best ice cream sandwich of my life.  It was so good I barely noticed the mob of miners heading toward our bus. Our bus attendant started flagging people down. He looked legitimately concerned.

“Everyone! Now, please. Get on bus, pull the curtains shut and don’t look out. Hurry up.”

No one said much and did as instructed. I peeked through the gaps of the curtains and saw an endless pack of miners in blue safety hats marching through the street. They knocked on our bus a couple times but nothing serious happened. Later on, word floated down that other buses were not so lucky had their windows smashed out by rocks.

Downtown Chala

“Attention, Ladies and Gentle Men. We are moving for the night. We do not stay here because it is not safe. We will, uh be going to place, 10-15 minutes away.”

“Why don’t we turn this bus all the way around and go back to Nazca?” someone asked.

“Uh, not safe. We don’t know how long this we will be going on. Days maybe. Sorry I do not know. Please enjoy your afternoon movie, Aliens in the Attic.”

Have you seen Aliens in the Attic with Ashley Tisdale? It’s surprisingly good.

Anyway, we moved to an even more isolated area with only one dry foods store, a football field and a couple of shacks lining the beach.  I was not a fan of this locale.  It just felt creepy. As soon as it turned dark the streets emptied and the music shut off. There wasn’t anything to do so I went to sleep.

Around midnight I was abruptly woken with violent yells from outside the bus. It sounded like there were about 5 to 6 men surrounding the bus. They pounded their fists along the luggage panel as they laughed hysterically.

We were about to be hijacked.

Or so I thought. During these 3 minutes or so, I scrambled desperately to try and grab whatever I could out of my purse…my passport, my bank cards… and throw them somewhere else.  However, my hands were shaking too much to even open my bag so I curled up in the fetal position and placed a blanket over my head. That’s right, when faced with an impending hijacking, I pretended to have an invisibility cloak.

A few tense moments passed and nothing happened. Even though I was paralyzed with fear, I could hear the other passengers shuffling around and talking to each other. After a few more minutes passed, I decided to take off my cloak and see what was happening.

Except for a lone dog barking, there was nothing. The streets were still empty and no one was around. What WAS that?! Where did the men go?!

Needless to say, it was impossible for me to sleep that night. After that happened my mind could not calm down.  I had to get out of here.  We were sitting ducks  in this desert. Anyone, not just the miners, could come by and have their pick of buses to hijack. No thank you. I’m not staying here another day.

How I managed to get out is another story. TBC.

Get me out of here!!!!!

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My Week in Photos

Always starting with my favorite day of the week…Trash Treasure Day!!!

And boy, was there bounty to be had this week. Check it out!

I was so excited to see this I immediately ran back up to my apartment to get my camera. Originally there was a sink included with this counter and cabinet set but by the time I returned someone had taken it.

A mattress/box set that also comes with a mop?! That’s a combo you can’t find at Target.

The flash of my camera scared the roaches off this so consider it good to go for your kid or any small child you feel deserves something special.

In other news, Twas the night of the Sex and the City 2 World Premiere, when all through New York, fashionistas primped and not a manolo went unworn. I decided about a month earlier that I would be in attendance of this epic movie event but as usual, my tickets got lost in the mail so I had to go and crash the after party which was being held at Lincoln Center.

Initially, infiltrating the party looked difficult with three levels of security checkpoints but me and my friend Jessica managed to sneak by, no questions asked.

Yep, a photo kiosk was there (next to a mini-cupcake tower, might I add) to capture your moment of VIP exclusivity along with a table of props to enhance a photo that already has a glittery desert as its background. I love this kind of promotional/marketing crap. Hell yes I want my photo taken! And get me a mini-cupcake too while we’re at it. I’m on the movie poster!

As after parties go, this one was great. The decor reminded me of being in a high class harem’s private quarters. There was dramatic drapery, plush pillows and a lighting setup that bathed everything and everyone in warm hues of pink and orange. A lot of really famous people were there, along with not name famous but face famous people. All of the women looked fantastic and much better in person.

The best part of the night (and seeing how this is Sex and the City is appropriate) was the list of free cocktails with clever names. Like Mr. Manhattan, Blond Ambition and Park Avenue Princess.

I stuck with being a cliche for the evening and drank my fill of Cosmos. Cheers Carrie Bradshaw and co.!

My hetero life partner Amie told me of this neat-o exhibit featuring props from the show and photographs featuring cast and crew that are immigrants and first generation Americans. I used to be OBSESSED with Lost back when the show first aired. My obsession faded around season three but I still have a soft spot for the show and the crazy it brought to television.

Jug Head

Dharma Beer

Me and Amie in front of the Dharma van. While the Dharma van is cool, I feel that our unintentional matching outfits makes this photo a billion times cooler. Polka dots AND yellow sunglasses?! You cannot plan that kind of awesome no matter what people say.

As I walked to the subway one afternoon I came across a situation that required concern casual enough not to feel a need to do anything about it.  Like a scene from one of my favorite animal movies (Milo and Otis springs to mind),  a handful of ducklings and their mother lost their way into these bushes.

There was only one person who could save this duck family.

This man with a black and mild hanging out of his mouth, wrangled these runaway fowls to safety. He informed everyone that he used to live on a farm and to just grab whatever duck was around and get going. When the ducklings maneuvered away from the hands of well intentioned strangers, he growled “You can’t save them all!”  Knowing words from a former farm boy.

However, I’m happy to report that all four ducklings and mother are now somewhere in Central Park doing duck things.

That is if a coyote or falcon hasn’t found them by now.

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No Seriously, What is my Name?

I have replaced Annie and Aretha’s Sisters are Doing it for Themselves as my morning inspiration song with this classic ditty.

Ryde or die bitches!!!

P.S. This video scares me a little.

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