Monthly Archives

April 2018

Project Update Spring Edition

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I am excited to announce we have raised enough money to complete a promo tape for The Silent Goldens documentary.  My fellow producer, Jamie Smith, the director, Jon Bendis, and I have honed in on a concept and are crafting the idea.

Additionally, we soon will officially become an LLC and engage a lawyer.  Both are big steps for me on this incredible journey.

Personally, I have been sorting all my storage items to find things we can use for visuals, which are sparking many childhood memories, and finding interesting notes and items I had forgotten all about.   I’m also doing my yearly minimizing sweep of stuff and am astounded, as always, how much more I’m willing to get rid of each time.  I haven’t added anything to the pile since I last went through it.

I continue to learn a lot about the film business and patience each step of the way.

My TV jobs had turned into such formulaic, speed them through the machine endeavors that I burned out.  The difference is fascinating but I’m itchy to start filming!

My work on the board with the Greater LA chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is picking up as many of the events we attend to spread awareness are in the Spring and Summer.  Lots of music festivals, Pride events, and health fairs on the list.  We have a couple of new board members so I’ve been able to focus my attention on being Community Outreach Chair and liaison to 3rdparty events.

Finally, I’m revving up my participation in my Toastmasters club for public speaking and am scheduled to redo my intro “Ice Breaker” speech next Wednesday.  We had a leadership change and a few new people have become involved since I first spoke, so I figured I’d do it again. I did rewrite it though based on the promo tape idea.

All my activities feed nicely into one another and are keeping this train moving.  I’ll be working on the speech until I give it then I’ll post it for anyone who is interested to read.

Thanks, as always, for your continued support and I will report each milestone as we hit it!

To Like or Not to Like

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I have become a Toastmaster.  It’s an international club focused on communication and leadership skills.  Public speaking is becoming a bigger part of my “new life” devoted to producing my film about my family’s experience with suicide, and actively volunteering in suicide prevention so my sister, Leah, very kindly gave me a membership as a gift.  I am enjoying it immensely, hear fascinating speeches, and really am impressed by the variety of members’ backgrounds, careers, and reasons they joined.

Recently, I had my first opportunity to be the “ah” counter, recording all the “filler” words like and, well, but, so, ah, um, er, you know…you know?   It was illuminating to really listen for those in other people’s speaking.  More than you think sneak in there so it is impressive to listen to a speaker able to avoid them.  The trick, they tell me, is pausinginstead of using a filler word.  The fillers simply allow your brain a moment to think, as does a pause.  A silence just sounds more thoughtful than an unnecessary word.  Go figure!

I have a lot of work to do.  My first 6-minute speech had 24 “ums.”  One every 15 seconds.  Now that I know that, I have become hyperaware of when I say them. That, of course, leads to the brain going off track and “umming” all the way back on.  It’s a challenge.

Noticing my speech also made my chronic “like” habit unacceptable.  Many other people’s too, actually, but I’m only working on fixing me.  This is the word I am now committing to, like, strike from my casual speech.  No professional ums.  No personal likes.   Goal set.    Stay tuned!

Check it out for yourself!

Computer update for those following these blogs:I did finally update the computer when I game I like to play started slowing down. Shortly, thereafter, I started having problems in the cooling system of my computer, which is now requiring an expensive repair.  I don’t know if it’s a coincidence of if my electronics were in cahoots.

The Games People Play

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The incredibly limited playlists on LA radio have that song  “I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me.”  It goes round and round in my head.  One time I heard it as I was pulling up to a suicide prevention event, so that was weird.

But today I want to talk about the word “loser.”  I understand the concept of competition and when there can only be one winner, there will be losers.  It’s the word for “not winners.”  But they are losers of that particular competition.  The label isn’t supposed to make a statement about your life.   I know about losing.  Especially in sports.  I have never won a trophy.  Admittedly I rarely participated, primarily because I didn’t want to be a loser.

.Because the word has been co-opted as an insult, it has taken on this broad meaning that implies worthlessness as a human being.  It’s thrown around against people we simply don’t like, people who don’t live the way we do, people who struggle with problems we don’t understand, and so on.   Many “winners” have been called losers.  Many go on to lose.

What is the competition?  What are we winning?  How are we losing?  Randomly assessing someone to be a loser says nothing about that person but clearly exposes our judgmental tendencies.

The cultural definition of success isn’t something the whole world is vying for and let’s be grateful for that.  Different interests, different desires, different opinions make this world go round and allow us to have shopkeepers, doctors, teachers, engineers, trash collectors, movie starts – if all these people only focused on the very narrow vision of “winning” this game, we’d be hurting for the services and communities that make our society thrive.

There is the board game Life.  I’ve played it – recently in fact.  I enjoy it but I used to get freaked out if I lost thinking it was an omen about my life.  But I’ve since learned that life has many paths, many challenges, and many, many interruptions.

Many might call me a loser right now.  I don’t have all the accoutrements of an adult life.  I own a 17 year old car (18 on July 3!), I live in other people’s homes doing dog and house sitting full time.  I was playing the game of tv producer and it was making me crazy.  It turned into a game I didn’t want to be playing so had a mid-life crisis breakdown and am still in the metamorphosis stage.  My stages seem to take longer than other peoples’ but I know I eventually get there.

So am I loser?  Maybe, but I say there is no game.  Life is not something to win or lose.  There is nothing tangible, no definitive mark, no mountain peak to reach –  just infinite mini-games you can choose and challenges you can set for yourself to make things interesting.   Everything becomes a lot more fun when you aren’t striving for an invisible, unattainable goal to avoid a label that makes no sense in the first place.