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The Maybe: Tilda Swinton in a box

Tswinton-sleepsI went down to MoMA today to see one of my favorite people slumber peacefully in a glass box.The performance art piece (titled The Maybe), featuring Tilda Swinton as the sleeper, is thought-provoking -- though maybe not in the way it one might expect. 

The Maybe has become popular primarily through word of mouth from those who happened upon the exhibit by chance, then tweeted or blogged about it. And now, it's all over Twitter (check out #themaybe or #MoMA). Although people have various reactions to Tilda sleeping in public -- some are embarrassed for her, some are impressed, while others are just plain puzzled by the whole idea -- everyone seems to have something to say about the exhibition.

Interestingly, there has been no published schedule posted, no artist's statement or museum statement made, and no public profile or images issued regarding this piece.

Maybe that's why it's called The Maybe . . . because no one knows for sure when Tilda will be preforming her sleeping beauty act at MoMA until the day of the actual performance. This random unscheduled schedule keeps everyone on their toes, and makes for an intriguing publicity choice. I like that!

If you think about it, The Maybe is a brilliant name for a piece that may or may not be available for viewing on any given day -- maybe Tilda will be at MoMA tomorrow, maybe not.   The Maybe Plack 

However, this is not the first time this work has been seen. The first installation was held in 1995 at The Serpentine Gallery in London where it attracted 22,000 visitors and received a Turner Prize nomination. Apparently, Tilda's been trying to get The Maybe at the MoMA since 2005, and now it's finally here . . . or is it? Well, today it was, anyway.

For me, the piece is fascinating in many ways. First, I like that it gives fans a unique way to be closer to a Star then they would be in most other situations, while it provides Tilda with a certain amount of protection and separation with the glass box. And everyone was so respectful as the watched her doze.

Still, sleeping is our most vulnerable state as humans. We are not conscious of our surroundings and, therefore, we are not on guard . . . this is why we don't sleep when we are afraid or anxious. So I think it takes a tremendous amount of trust and confidence (in yourself, others and the world around you) to allow oneself to be this vulnerable in public. Perhaps there is also something about "sleeping in glass houses and not throwing stones" that brings out Tilda's very human side through this piece. 

On a visceral level, I found The Maybe provocative. The mattress in the box is not long enough for Tilda to stretch out, there are no air-holes drilled into the glass, and the pillow doesn't look soft or comfortable. These things made me wonder what it would be like to be inside such a box all day long. I found myself cringing with discomfort as I thought more about it.

I wondered: Does it get stuffy in there? Would I feel stifled by the lack of air movement? Would I feel claustrophobic in the limited space where I could hardly move? Would I stay up all night the night before just so I'd be able to sleep through a seven hour performance without opening my eyes, or getting up for the bathroom? Would I be exceptionally conscious of how much I drank before I went inside the box to avoid having a full bladder when I was trapped inside? Or would I wear a diaper for the sake of art? Then I thought . . . perhaps it would be easier if i took a downer before I performed the sleeping act . . . or would that be cheating?

I'm not sure these are the thought-provoking or inspirational ideas that were intended by this art form, but I did overhear several other viewers discussing these issues as they watched Tilda sleep. It's hard to watch someone else without imaging yourself in their shoes. Perhaps that is one of the gifts of seeing this unusual work of art -- weather intended or not, this seems like a good thing to walk away with.

So I'm wishing sweet dreams to all those sleepers out there. Please, let your imaginations carry you to beautiful art . . . especially you my friend, Tilda. May you have much success, and rest, with this work . . . The Maybe!


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SAG Awards....actors voting for actors

Sag-awardsI voted, as all of us SAG members did, for the 19th Annual SAG Awards, aired tonight. I've listed the nominees below my words of wisdom.

Most of the ones I picked, as you can see, didn't win. Just 2 of the total 15 winners, and none were individual actors. Oh well!

Still, I'm more than pleased for the lifetime achievement award went to Dick Van Dyke. I would have definitely picked him. He rocks! He's still handsome, and in great shape at....I don't know what age (kinda like me). I love that he said that we (actresses/actors) have found a business where we never have to grow up--which is why I love it!! I'm never going to grow up!

Best Speech goes to: Jennifer Lawrence talking about the naked statue, who doesn't love that the SAG Award is exactly that! Plus, she was so gracious with her genuine gratitude to her acting colleges, who she's always wanted in the company of, "and some of you actually voted for me."

Although it was a very exciting night, I must admit that I was disappointed with some of the nominations, and discouraged that there were some very important and talented people left out.....which I suppose is always the case.

But there was one sheer talent that wasn't nominted, and cannot figure out why. Was he overlooked because he's a kid? Is it because they couldn't decide if he belonged in the Best Lead Actor or Best Supporting Actor category? I'm not sure, I only know that the best performance by any actor that I saw this year was by Tom Holland, the14-year-old child who played Lucas in the movie THE IMPOSSIBLE. If you haven't seen it, you must. He's amazing, and should have been nominated. The movie itself is beautiful, and horrific, and moving. It has everything we expect when we want to be swept away in a story...pun intended.

Anyway, maybe next year more of those deserving will be nominated, and maybe I'll pick more winners.

In the meantime, congrats to all the winners, nominees and other actors that have not yet been recognized by such accolades. All your hard work and talent is much appreciated by everyone -- actors, actresses and consumers of entertainment. Thank you!

AND the winners are . . . (the winners are in Green....my picks are in Red, of course).

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role
Alan Arkin, Argo
Javier Bardem, Skyfall
Rober De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Comedy Series
Alec Balwdin, 30 Rock
Ty Burrell, Modern Family 
Louis CK, Louie
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Comedy Series
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy Series
30 Rock
The Big Bang Theory
Glee
Modern Family
Nurse Jackie
The Office

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Television Movie Or Miniseries
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway and Gellhorn
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Charlotte Rampling, Restless
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Television Movie Or Miniseries
Kevin Costner, Hatfields and McCoys
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Ed Harris, Game Change
Clive Owen, Hemingway and Gellhorn
Bill Paxton, Hatfields and McCoys

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Drama Series
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Drama Series
Steve Buscemei, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Homeland
Mad Men

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Denzel Washington, Flight

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture
Argo
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook

Outstanding Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Motion Picture
The Amazing Spiderman
The Bourne Legacy
The Dark Knight Rises
Les Miserables
Skyfall

Outstanding Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Television Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
 Game of Thrones
Sons of Anarchy
The walking dead


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Storm Sandy changes the terrain of New York City.

Do you think they came up with the name Sandy for this storm because of all the the sand it would move?

Banner-america-aftermath-1031Today, two days after Sandy hit, New York and New Jersey have very different shore lines than they once had. In the aftermath of the storm, beach communities in this area are destroyed, leaving countless homeless. Sandy not only caused damage with it's water, but the excessive winds also spread fires in Breezy Point Queens leveling an entire community, burning at least 80 homes to the ground. Lower Manhattan was hit hard, and was completely dark and under water. Yet, Lady Liberty still stands tall! Lady Liberty

And in addition to all this heartbreaking news, there was more we have to contend with here in New York. Sandy brought this part of the word to a halt. NJ Trains down, bridges and tunnels closed due to the dangerous winds and flooding. NYC Subways shutdown - (even now, until further notice due to flooding that caused more damage than the subways have ever sustained in the past 100 years since they've been running), and power outages throughout NYC and NJ that potentially will cause some people to be without power for weeks.

The good news is that Mayor Bloomberg, NY Governor Cuomo as well as Governor Christie of NJ were as prepared as anyone could be for this disaster. Creating evacuation zones, closing bridges and tunnels, shutting down public transportation ahead of time, keeping the public constantly informed on the plans and how to stay safe with updates on the storms impact (and now they are providing estimates of rebuilding and recovering). Doing everything they could ahead of time, during and after to make previsions and preparations to minimize the impact of this extreme storm. Helping people with information on how to manage the potential and now real devastation of the hurricane. Because of this, though tragically some lives were lost in the storm, more people were safe than harmed. For that, we are very lucky. Lost homes and and possessions is a hard thing to take, but surviving this event alive and intact puts those losses in perspective.

I was one of the lucky ones who was minimally impacted by this storm. There were high winds and rain in my Manhattan neighborhood, but no damage or real danger -- I never even lost power. Still, I am grateful for all those who have come in to repair our City and surrounding areas. No matter were you are, you can help....give to the Red Cross or other hurricane assistance agencies to help with this recovery process.

My heart goes out to all those who were not as lucky as I. To those who are now trying to pick up the pieces of their former lives and trying to figure out how to move on -- find a place to live, deal with the loss of friends and and family that were harmed or died in the storm, and go forward from here.

We are strong here, and we will recover from this.


 


Fleet Week Fun in NYC!

DSCN0536No one will ever have a better Fleet Week than NYC...ask any of my Sailor "friends" and the Marines I spent last evening with, playing "let's trade hats" all night long. And, of course doing Picklebacks, my new favorite drink!

The most fun part of my night "On The Town" was that within an hour of being out at Times Square hunting for some Fleet Week fun, I was kissed by two (maybe three...it's so hard to keep track) men in uniform and asked to join in a threesome (don't ask don't tell - yes two men on one me). Unfortunately, one of these lovely men decided that he should take my camera and delete photos he thought were incriminating, forfeiting any chance of any further fun with me...and insuring that my blog remained family friendly (sorta).DSCN0541

Seriously, no one can say that these fine men don't deserve every bit of graciousness and love we can give them. I think of it as supporting our troops! Watch Video for a little taste of Fleet Week fun with Red!!!

Do like I do and love our men in uniform. Support those who risk their lives to keep our country safe. God Bless America and Fleet Week!!



Billy Crystal Wins the Oscars

I really enjoyed the Oscars this year...mostly because Billy Crystal is a phenomenal host! It's his ninth time doing it, and he most definitely wins for the lifetime achievement of Best Oscar Host Ever!

Watch the opening film portion for the 84th Oscar Awards. It only got better from here...

Indeed, my favorite line from his opening monologue was, "Nothing takes the sting out of a recession like watching millionaires present each other with gold statues." It's funny because it's true!!

Thanks Billy for making the Oscars shine! In honor of you're great work, I'm awarding you with your very own Oscar from me!!

BS Oscars copy BillyCrystal-Oscar_resized

 

 

 

 

He's hard to give up...but you, Billy, deserve him more than I do this time!


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A Tribute to Whitney - I Will Always Love You


I Will Always Love You

For many years, Whitney's #1 Hit "I Will Always Love You" has been one of my favorite songs to sing. So I will sing it in tribute to her now, just like Jennifer Hudson did at the Grammy Awards and Mercedes did on GLEE (except I'm a white girl singing in my home). Whitney Houston made all of us want to sing. We miss her...

Click Play to listen to me sing this fabulous song to you while you read below about beloved Whitney's life.

Whitney-houstonAs we all know by now, Whitney Houston was found dead in her Beverly Hills Hotel room last Saturday, the day before the 54th Grammy Awards. Her death saddened the nation, and brought us back to the time when she was in the height of her career; when she was America's pop sweetheart. It was a time when we couldn't get enough of her songs, when only Whitney could have preformed that amazing rendition of our national anthem at the 1991 Superbowl to inspire a nation at war in the Persian Gulf. One of Television's Greatest Moments, bringing solders and families together through song.

Only 48 when she left this world, Whitney lived more than most people (even the Stars) in her short life. Because her death came right before the night we honor all those in the music industry the Grammy's became both a celebration of this year's musical accomplishments and a celebration of Whitney Houston's life. As it should be, Whitney received a memorial celebration to match her iconic status; honoring the the influence her style and music had, not only on the music industry, but on all of us. Whitney changed the face of pop music for women. Her talent, both as an actress and singer, was an inspiration to everyone.

When talking about Whitney Houston, the struggles she had in her tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown, and her addiction to crack cocaine cannot go unmentioned. Still, even though she lost some of her vocal range through her years drug abuse, Whitney came back to sing again. How many people are able to do that?

Making her first public appearance after years of being out of the spotlight on Oprah in September 2009 for a tell all interview and to sing again, Whitney made a smashing comeback. Her last album "I Look To You" debuted at No.1 on several charts across the world. With 304,801 units sold within the first week of its release in the US, this was Whitney's biggest first week sales of her career, and the best selling album in its first week by any female artist in 2009.

At the Grammy's, Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to the this Iconic Star by singing Whitney's greatest hit. It seemed an appropriate choice since Whitney had presented Jennifer with her first Grammy in 2009 for best R&B Album.

Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at noon on Saturday February 18, 2012, in the church where she first sang as a child. Her family will remember her in a small private service at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church, which seats somewhere between 300 and 1,500 people, depending on what you read. They have no plans nor wishes for a public memorial service. We will each honor her passing in our own way...hopefully with a song.



Occupy Wall Street: What's Happening on the Streets?

WallstreetdrumsSo, I went by Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan yesterday for the second time since the Occupation. As I drove past, the drum circle was still beating with half-naked people dancing against greed.

Why do these people prefer to live in a park, and do performance art for free? I'm guessing because it's fun. It's like "Burning Man NYC." And as of today, Bloomberg hasn't cleaned up the park so the protesters can party-on for now!

Venice beachIt reminds me of the drum circle on Venice Beach, Sunday afternoons.Everyone is dancing, smoking weed, and feeling a part of something creative. Unfortunately, like most people who don't have the luxury of being unemployed, I haven't had the time to hang out and enjoy the party at "Liberty Square".  

To be honest, I don't really understand what these folks are protesting exactly. I've tried, but even reading their statement on their website, I don't really get what's wrong with greed.

Seriously. Is it the American Dream that they don't like? I understand that they are calling themselves the %99 - but aren't most of us that? Are they protesting the fact that anyone in our great nation has the opportunity to make it to the 1%, or are they simply against the currency system?

The thing is, in this county, we all have the right to get rich. It's what our country is based on. Anyone can become the %1 and have the privilege and benefits that come with having money. Maybe I'm a dreamer but, I like the fact that anything is possible here in the great US of A - even living in a park for weeks on end without food or shelter or adequate toilets. Stop and OccupyBut as part of that 99% myself, I cannot support a cause or a group if I don't know what they stand for? And I do support causes that I believe in, like Gay Rights.

I understand that the wall street protesters don't like the way the rich are spending or using their money, but how would they feel about someone else told them how to spend their money or time? I'm sure that those who are corporate successes don't want to be told, anymore than the protesters do, how to live their lives.

We all make our own way, I have. I live my life as I chose and I don't fall victim to anyone else greed. I only fall victim when I see myself as limited and I blame others for those limitations. But since so many feel so strongly about blaming greed for their life, I've tried to understand. However, researching the goals of the Occupy Wall Street Movement has proven quite difficult. Using their website, even going on Twitter and other social network sites that the movement uses to gather steam for their illusive cause, doesn't prove helpful in shedding light on how they want things to change.

Those brave enough to asked people at the Occupation questions about their demands are given conflicting stories or are met with defensiveness from the protesters, who seem a little angry. "If you don't understand, than you are against us," the protesters say. And since they won't appoint a spokesperson and they refuse to organize themselves enough to give a clear message it's seems that what they want will remain unknown. But they say, "We will be here (in the park) as long as it takes." Takes to do what? Who knows?


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Ten Years After: 9/11

I had a dream last night. Perhaps I was dreaming because I was told to be careful here in New York City on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but it was vivid. I dreamed that I was leaving New York City with one of my best girlfriends. We were driving up into the country side. It was a beautiful fall day. It almost felt like summer. As we got further away from the City, we started to wonder why we had left. We started to think that there was no reason to leave on this day, so we turned around.

The next think I knew I was in an apartment in Manhattan on one of the upper floors. I looked out the window to see an airplane high in the sky. It looked like it had lost control and was going to crash. I knew from the angle of the plane that it was not going to hit the building I was in, but one behind me, one that was much higher. And then the world crashed and tumbled. We looked out the window to see pieces of buildings broken and strewn throughout the streets. Police, trying to make a path and people coming up on it from side streets with shock and puzzlement on their faces.

I woke up and walked out into my living room at 8:46am - the exact moment that the first Tower was hit ten-years ago today. I turned on the TV to watch the Reading of the Names of those lost and to see the Footprints of the Twin Towers. Footprints

No matter how much time passes, there are some events that are always with us. Today, on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 we honor those we lost as we look to the future with hope.


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SAG Awards: Actors Honoring Actors!!

Screen-actors-guild-awards-2010-winners Being a performer and union member myself, I love Acting Awards - especially when we keep it in the family.

And I am pleased that once again, there is talk about combining SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) into one Actors Union...It's about time, don't ya think? I'm all for it.

And now, in order of appearance:

Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series:
Steve Buscemi, BOARDWALK EMPIRE
He was so nervous about being the first award of the night, it was cute! And although I didn't expect it, I really wanted Hugh Laurie to get his due for HOUSE...maybe next year?

Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series:
(My personal pick!) Julianna Margulies, THE GOOD WIFE
She was so stunning and gracious, in her red dress (My favorite color). The best part was her thanking her in-laws for producing the most beautiful human being...her husband. "Life is just better with you in it Keith." I love romance.

Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series:
The Cast of BOARDWALK EMPIRE
Steve Buscemi did the talking but he didn't know what to say...he left his napkin with his speech on his table. This win is no surprise but I was routing for THE GOOD WIFE!

Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Melissa Leo, THE FIGHTER
When she got to the podium she was crying. She's better when someone else writes her words or clothes her... so she says. But I thought she did great and the silver sparkle dress she wore was amazing.
But, what I want to know is why wasn't Dianne Weist nominated for RABBIT HOLE? Hello?

Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin, 30 ROCK
What a disappointment. Chris Colfer deserved this one.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series:
Betty White, HOT IN CLEVELAND
Who doesn't love a sweet, funny, old lady? She's 89 year old. And she got a well deserved standing ovation as she walked the long way to the podium. Why would they put any nominee, especially an old one, in the back? I don't understand that, but I'm glad she won!!

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series:
The Cast of MODERN FAMILY
Yay! How fun is this show??? SO fun!! Ty Burrell spoke for the show and they were so happy. It is truly an ensemble piece. 

Screen Actors Guild Awards 47th Annual Life Achievement Award:
Ernest Borgnine, who just turned 94 years old.
He's done 164 films so far. He's so cute. I think he and Betty White should hook up! To all the actors, he said, "We are a privileged few who have been chosen to work in this field of entertainment."  And it is a privilege!

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
Al Pacino, YOU DON'T KNOW JACK
Good job...unfortunately he was not there to accept the award.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
Claire Danes, TEMPLE GRANDIN
So awesome that she gave credit for her performance to her fellow cast members. Just lovely.

Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
Christian Bale, THE FIGHTER
I picked him...who wouldn't! He's hot. Plus, he appreciates the gift of being an actor. "We get to walk in other peoples shoes, and life without empathy is no life at all."

Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Natalie Portman, BLACK SWAN
We all knew she was the front runner... and she going to be a mom. It's almost like she's grown up.

Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role:
Colin Firth, THE KING'S SPEECH
I think he might take all the awards for this category this year. But this award is the one that really matters to him because it was getting his SAG card that made him feel like a real actor!

Outstanding Ensemble Acting:
THE KINGS SPEECH
I was surprised. I really saw the cast of the SOCIAL NETWORK as the best ensemble. But everyone is always more moved by a story of over coming than taking over. Oh well - good for them.

Ok, so my question is why don't they air the winners for the Stunt Ensembles? That's not right, they're part of our union too!! Why don't they get any air time? I guess they were just the warm up act... to the main ceremony.

The stunt performers and coordinators from INCEPTION and TRUE BLOOD received honors for Outstanding Performance by Film and Television Stunt Ensembles. SAG Awards committee chair, JoBeth Williams, and SAG president, Ken Howard, announced the awards on the Red Carpet.

Thank you Actors and the Screen Actors Guild for giving all of us the chance to dream, feel and experience things we never would, if it wasn't for the movies...and TV!