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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Valley Inn The Movie: Needs a Kickstart!

Valley Inn: The story of a big city Yankee who loses herself, and the small southern town that finds her.

More than just a romantic comedy, Valley Inn is a funny yet heartfelt tale about how a New Jersey girl learns about life and love in the most unlikely of places -- smack in the middle of nowhere! Emily Mason has a plan to make money over her summer-break from college by making door-to-door book sales. But when her summer job lands her in a dusty, dying, small southern town, she finds herself living in an unfamiliar world of homemade pies, rodeos, and southern hospitality. Forging ahead with her plan to sell books while her friendships with the local residents (and one young man in particular) continue to grow, Emily discovers what is most valuable in life at the Valley Inn Cafe.

I believe that Valley Inn is well worth making, but like most projects that are not funded by a major studio, this movie needs money to start shooting and you can help.

If you always wanted to be a part of making movie magic, now's your chance. Valley Inn has moved from Kickstarter to Indiegogo. If you go to the Valley Inn Indiegoo page now, you can help get this wonderful story from script to screen and can change your life.

Weather or not you're an actor but you've always wanted to be in a movie, this is the right opportunity for you. Just donate the amount indicated on the right column of the Valley InnIndiegogo Page to get a featured role or a speaking part in the movie.

If you always dreamed of being a movie producer, it's easy to get a producers credit with the right donation.

Even the small donations have rewards and special gifts like: t-shirts, downloads, tickets to exclusive events, etc.

Any a donation in any amount can make a world of difference for the success of Valley Inn while giving you the satisfaction of contributing to keeping the art of making independent films alive.

If, however, you just want to support Valley Inn become a movie with a small donation. Do it! Every dollar counts. Seriously! 

Also, go to Valley Inn on Facebook and like it!

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Valentine's Day Surprises

Heart in my handDear Valentines (all of you who read and love my blog):

I enjoy Valentine's Day! It's a magical time . . . and romantical too, I guess.

It is rare that I have a Valentine of my very own, but that doesn't stop me from taking this special day to celebrating love, romance and chocolate! Though I've given up on most of these treasures as a daily part of my life, today I got a little of each -- without even trying!

And that's why I love V-Day, and all of you!

Here's hoping your Valentine's Day is as sweet as the chocolate I'm eating!

Chocolate kisses . . .


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The Heiress on Broadway ends with success

I'm sad to say that the limited run of The Heiress on Broadway had its final performance last night. I very much enjoyed the show, which was the Broadway debut for both Jessica Chastain (as the heiress, Catherine Sloper) and Dan Stevens (as the handsome Morris Townsend).

This play is a story of love and cruel reality.

Both Jessica Chastain (who found her way into all our hearts as Celia in The Help), and Dan Stevens (British television & stage actor most know for his role of Mathew Crawley in the series Downton Abby) brought The Heiress to life through their subtle and moving performances as the young leads, but none more than Miss Chastain, herself.

With her portrayal of Cathrine's transformation from wide-eye, awkward, naive girl to strong, determined, unrelenting woman, Jessica took audiences on an unexpected ride through the trials faced by coming of age, finding love, and learning the truth.

To make her believable as an unattractive woman, Jessica donned a fake nose and unbecoming wig to play the role Catherine who strives to get her father, Dr. Austin Sloper (David Strathairn), to approve her marriage to the young, handsome Morris Townsend. Armed by her belief in Morris' love, and untethered by her father's lifelong wish that she were more like her late mother (graceful and beautiful), Catherine stands up for what she wants for the first time in her life. Despite the nagging insecurities embedded in her psyche since her birth as her father's disappointment, she remains blissfully unaware of his belief that no man would/could love her for her charm, whit, or beauty -- but only for her inheritance. 

Ultimately, it is not the disappointment of her lover's failure to show up for their secret marriage that dampens Cathrine's hopes of happiness, it is the reality of her father's views about her which kill her dreams. Forced to face a very different world than she had believed in before she knew his true feelings, Cathrine does not falter. As the reality her father outlines to her sinks in, she accepts the truth for what it is without losing herself. Finding an inner strength born out of an understanding of her own limitations, Catherine is determined not to fool herself further. No longer idealistic about the world or her future, she becomes a force to be reckoned with as she takes complete charge of her life for the first time.

The complexities of Catherine's character make it a difficult role to pull off. An actress without the right take or understanding of the intricacies of this character could easily result in Catherine coming across as a pathetic, lonely woman or a bitter, angry bitch -- unlikeable in either case. But not with Jessica Chastain. She skillfully navigated the twists and turns of Catherine's journey with grace so the audience couldn't help but fall in love with Catherine through her metamorphosis. Awed by the pure acceptance and fortitude that Jessica instilled in this character, the audience not only ended up respecting Catherine's unwavering strength to face life without any illusions, but kept routing for her until the bitter end. Bravo Jessica!

If you didn't get the chance to see Jessica on Broadway, have no fear. Both of her latest blockbuster movies, Mama and in Zero Dark Thirty (for which she won the Golden Globe and is up for the Oscar for Best Actress), are currently playing in theaters around the nation. In both, Jessica will, once again, wow you by her talent at bringing to life very different characters (with of these roles differing greatly from her Broadway role of Cathrine, and her first Oscar Nominated role of Celia in The Help). In each of her works, Jessica Chastain's acting range is impressive. She thrives on playing many different kind of women, and we are glad to have that kind of actress back on the silver screen.

Stay tuned for more on the Oscars, Jessica Chastain and the next big movie of her career, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (which is dear to my heart....for reasons to be revealed in a later post).

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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 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
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
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
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
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

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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Where's Red been?

I know you missed all my wonderful words of wisdom, since I've taken a little break from blogging. But I'm back now--and better than where have I been?

Let's review the last year of fun and success, starting with my 2012 New Years resolutions:

1) I made a promise to myself to make a consious commitment to live each day as if it's the only day I have. 

2) I resolved to do all the things that I've always wanted to, but never have.

As far as #1. I think I was fairly successful at this resolution, which I promise to continue into 2013.

But New Years resolution #2 was a bit more of a challenge.

I admit that I didn't do EVERYTHING I always wanted to do but never have... but I did do some significant things towards making that happen.

One of the things I've always wanted to was live in Venice...Venice, Italy, that is, since I've already basically lived in Venice, CA. To make this dream a reality, I thought that going there for a visit, would be a great starting point. In June of 2012, I did just that...went for a visit.

Documented in this Video scrapbook.

What I found out from that exciting trip around Europe, which included many places I'd never seen before, was that I really don't want to live in Venice.....I want to live in Paris.

I've also always wanted to hang-glide. It's been a dream of mine, probably because I've always felt free as a bird. So why not fly like one? Unfortunately, this did not happen either in 2012, but I did find a potential hang-gliding buddy. Who knows, maybe in 2013, I can meet this goal!

And last, but certainly not least, I promised myself that 2012 would be the year that I would address unresolved issues with those I love. However, since this is not a goal that I can meet without the cooperation of others, I was -- sadly -- unable to do so. But I did I make every effort to "unakward" these situations. I tried to contact those with whom my relationships have not been good, for one reason or another....reasons that no longer seem to matter, in an attempt to mend things. I reached out, even when reaching out was scary, and hard, and uncomfortable. I figure I did my best; I cannot blame myself if the other party involved was unwilling to move to the other side of our differences, so I think I'm justified in feeling positive about this resolution.

Don't worry, I'll keep trying in 2013, and for the rest of my life to make things right with people who mean something to me. Life is too short to let its silly tips and turns ruin relationships or get in the way of the tender connection I have with those I love. Since I truly appreciate that everyone of us is a fragile being by nature, with a deep need to feel validated and admired, I will never give up on this resolution--no matter how many years it takes.

I always try to keep in mind that each moment is too precious to ignore the things that matter. Life is not trivial. It is too short to let it be routine.

So for 2013, my resolution is to blog more so I can keep you all informed and entertained with my silly, irrelevant, and insightful posts.



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.


New iPhone Game by Red coming out for Halloween: THE RED WITCH

Who doesn't love Halloween? It's about that time, and The Red Witch is coming. To celebrate my favorite holiday, I've developed a fun, new novelty game for your iPhone. Now available on iPhone at the App Store.

App icon

Yes, this game stars me as The Red Witch -- I look hot in a witch outfit, don't you think!

Get ready to take over the universe using flying monkeys in THE RED WITCH GAME, and you can too can be the ruler of the universe! This easy to play game is fun for everyone who loves to fly and win! 

Watch video and see how to much fun to play.

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