15 March, 2008

Beware of the IDES...

Yes, today is March 15th, Shakespeare said it best. The Ides of March.
On this day in history, Julius Caesar was warned by soothsayers to "beware of the Ides of March". Julius didn't heed the warnings and he was stabbed by Marcus Brutus on the Ides of March in 44 BC. Amazingly, it's ominous and foreboding portent has sustained itself over the centuries. Which only stands to support the new thought concept of race consciousness being the pervading atmosphere; Biblical reference to resisting and persisting; and FDR with "what we have to fear, is fear itself."

Is it fear or superstition? From today's column on superstition, written by Lisa Anderson in the Chicago Tribune she cites the following: "It is estimated that as many as 9 percent of Americans are paraskevidekatriaphobics (pronounced pair-uh-skev-vee-day-cat-tree-uh-foe-bicks), that is, fearful of Friday the 13th. That is not to be confused with triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13."
(I hope those words pop up on freerice.com now as I will be ready!)

Okay, but today is more than a superstition, it is actually the Ides of March (the Romans often noted the middle of a month as "the Ides"). On the Roman calendar, today is also the first day of the New Year and the first day of Spring. That doesn't sound ominous to me. I rather like it. I am all in favor of new years, new starts, new life...

What stands in the way of all that newness?
Only our thought, belief and feelings.

Maybe for you, it doesn't feel very new today. You are dealing with the same 'ol, same 'ol. And I can pretty much bet that the folks around you are not popping champagne corks, tossing confetti and making a whole new list of resolutions.
Been there -- done that.

My view on the deadly Ides of March has a different spin.
The "I'd's" of March...
"Here it is March, three months into the new year and I haven't accomplished what I wanted as yet and I'd better get a movin'. I'd better start my taxes. I'd tithe if I made more money. I 'd better sign up for that gym membership or start exercising. I'd better put up some new affirmations on my mirror. I'd be happier if I could get the right job, meet the right partner, own the right home. If only I'd have done things differently..." Does that "Ides of March" sound more like your personal theme song these days?

The I'd's bump up tap into the awful "shoulda woulda coulda" syndrome and we find ourselves on the negative hamster wheel of life. Stop the world, I wanna get off! (Nods to Bricusse and Newley on that one).

IDES could be a new thought acronym for I Do Everything Spiritually
( or... Sweetly, Successfully).

I'd better practice what I preach (and teach) and get off the I'd bandwagon and plunge into the ocean of I AM. The infinite I AM, that I am is boundless is where I am putting my attention and intention. Two of the most powerful words we have available to use is I AM, because whatever words (and feelings) follow, is the clearest affirmation you can make to the Universe. I AM soooo tired vs. I am so joyous (feel the energy difference?) You get to choose what you claim as the Infinite I Am.


I'd better wrap this up and get back to spiritually, successfully and sweetly starting my spring cleaning. Happy New Year!

10 March, 2008

Then and now...

After realizing that today was March 10th, I reflected back to March 10,1974 when I did my first day's work on the movie, "The Sunshine Boys" that starred Walter Matthau and George Burns.

Don asked me to recall what that day was like and I had a sweet trip down memory lane as I thought back to as many of the details as I could about my first major motion picture. How did I feel? WOW! I was reporting to work at one of the largest and most historically Hollywood studios, M.G.M. in Culver City, California. This was the same M.G.M. that had produced all of my most favorite movie musicals---the theatrical home of the one and only, my beloved, Gene Kelly. I was in heaven--that's how I felt!

It was an interesting dichotomy of emotions because in the midst of my wide-eyed enthusiasm, was a wide-eyed innocence about the human details of making a movie. Let's just say, that not all of the people involved were friendly; and they certainly cared very little about the young woman who was there making her screen debut (presumably) and her dreams made real.

As I look back, I realize how naive I was. Even though I was not a country-bumpkin and I had done a lot of theatre, the world of film was very different. It takes more than talent and desire to make a successful onscreen career . In addition to a level of talent, I think that many of the people who are successful as employed (and famous) actors are skilled at nuances about socializing, networking and "playing the game." Alas, I was not one of them. That's why you can see so many un-talented personalities that get lots of film and T.V. work; and why there are so many exceptionally talented artists in the world who never quite achieve fame and/or fortune, or even extended employment as an artist in Hollywood.

In today's market, it might even be more challenging to get wok in Hollywood, given the landscape of the internet, reality shows and the public demand. Up until recently, so many young women wanted to grow up and be Lindsay Lohan or Brittney. Now we have a dozen aberrations of "American Idol" that will now be the first stop for casting lists. On the flip side, we also have known celebrities and VIP's vying to be on "Dancing With The Stars." (Finally, the new season premieres on Monday. Guess I will get my Guinness to take home for lucky viewing. And why can't we have a show for "Dancing With The Average Folk?")

Last night, Don and I took the evening off and off-handedly began channel surfing. We landed on two of our mutually favorite sports films: "Hoosiers" and "Rudy." We were happy to surrender ourselves to the charm of these finely crafted films. I have now determined that one of my all-time favorite actors turns out to be Gene Hackman. I think if someone had asked me to name my top 10 actors, I might have forgotten to include Mr. Hackman. His body of work is so expanded, so creative and so diverse, that I forget how much I appreciate his amazingly simple gift to embody his work so effortlessly. Whatever film he is in I always feel comfortable and know that I am going to receive more than I bargained for; and he has a unique way of really uplifting his fellow actors. From his adorable cameo in "Young Frankenstein" to the darker roles such as "The Conversation." He might be my generation's Spencer Tracy. Thank you, Mr. Hackman for sharing your satisfying career.

As for "Rudy", it's a film with a built-in awwwww factors for me. I already have a soft-spot for underdogs--whether in the movies or in AKC competitions -- and I have followed Sean Astin's career with fondness. I had the pleasure of meeting him back in 1983 on the set of "September Gun' that was filmed in Arizona. My wasband, David was hired for this M.O.W. and I flew there for the last days of filming and the wrap party. It was another dream come true because I got to meet two of my film idols-- Patty Duke Astin and Robert (what a hunk) Preston. At the party, I spent a lot of time talking (and dancing with) Sean and his brother Mackenzie. It was easy to see what good kids they were and the special spark they had that would carry them on into their own Hollywood careers.

It had been a dream to meet Patty Duke because as a young girl, one of my favorite T.V. shows was "The Patty Duke Show." (Some of you are humming the theme song right now, aren't you?) And most of those years, I would get stopped for an autograph because people would mistake me for her. And then, when I played Annie Sullivan in a Hollywood stage production of "The Miracle Worker", I had a renewed appreciation of her talents. So to meet her was a delight. It was also really nice to see what a wonderful person she is, too. I found a particular comfort that an award-winning actress could be under 5'3" tall.

As for Mr. Robert "Harold Hill" Preston...oh what a charming, handsome, talented, witty and . . . sexy man. And if that wasn't enough, I fell in love with him all over again because he and his wife had Golden Retrievers and the dogs went with them whenever they vacationed.

It's kind of nice to look back at events and people in one's life. For me, I know that I had not forgotten a lot of these memories or details, but I leaned towards just the "punch line" so to speak. I would remember I met or worked with certain actors; I would remember I had 'been there, done that' but in the vagaries of time and life, I abbreviated my memory file and, in the process may have lost the patina and nuances befitting the event itself.

Are there special times or people in your past that you have forgotten? Filed away? Or otherwise, diminished? It is important that we share our stories and tell our tales. Not only is that one way to keep the memories alive and vibrant for ourselves, but there is something special about the depth of our past that serves to bolster us for our present.

Then and now.
Ah, life is good.

City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...