Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Two Good Movies

Over the past several days, Hubs and I have seen two fantastic movies.

The first was Bella. It is a sweet film about the relationship between a waitress (who discovers she is pregnant with an unplanned baby) and a cook at the restaurant she works at (who is not the father of the pregnancy, and who is carrying around a dark issue from his past). It is a moving story about their journey as friends and how they ultimately help each other find redemption in their tragic situations.

The second film we saw tonight at a special screening at the Writers' Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills. 3:10 to Yuma is an awesome western with another redemptive story. The movie is about a lot of things, but mostly it is about a man whose family misunderstands his integrity as weakness, and the amazing journey he takes with his son that rights that misunderstanding.

I highly recommend both movies. Hubs also enjoyed both movies, so both would work for a date night!

Monday, October 29, 2007


Thanks for this idea, Dot!

10 years ago, I was living in New York City, going to The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, having the time of my life. I still view that as one of the best times in my life! I was growing up and discovering who I was. Plus, I was studying acting like it was my full-time job, so I was so very alive!

20 years ago, I was in eighth grade. My family had just moved, so I was getting settled into my new community and my new school. In retrospect, that move was one of the best things for my family. It rooted us in the community that my mom still lives in today. It is the place that I consider home. It is the place where I was married and celebrated the happiest day of my life!

30 years ago, I was a toddler. I was also a big sister to a one year old Jilly. Now she's gonna have a baby herself! I think it would be so cool if our kids will one day be close friends as well as cousins. I also hope that my own children will grow up to be as dear to one another as Jilly and I are to each other. I love you, Sissy!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's a Super Sassy Sunday!

Warning: This is one of my more narcissistic posts. But when a girl’s feelin’ sassy, she just needs to shout it from the rooftops!

Starshine’s Recipe for Feelin’ Sassy:

1. Go to Target and buy this super-cute sweater. Hubs likes it because it hugs the curves. Starshine likes it because she feels fabulous in it!

2. Sometimes a small change in the way she wears her hair makes Starshine feel like a new woman. This week she showed her confident colors by breaking out her sewing scissors and cutting her bangs. She thinks fringe is fun! (She would also appreciate it if you don't mention the part about cutting her own bangs with sewing scissors to her hairdresser.)

3. It also elated her that her new mustard-colored sweater looked great with these earrings she’s had since she lived in Spain.

4. The best part about her sassy new get-up: getting to wear her wedding sandals.

Starshine wishes you a wonderful week!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Reflection

Sometimes when Friday arrives, I feel so relieved because not much has been going on that week work-wise. The weekend is like a kind voice that says, "I'm here now, so you have a good excuse for the next two days to not be working."

Other times, my week is jam packed so full of auditions, class, rehearsals, etc, that the weekend arrives like a voice that says, "Surprise! I'm here! Chill out for a couple!"

Last week was definitely like the latter. This week was much more like the former. Last week was full of activity and momentum. This week...not so much.

Yesterday, I was up in Los Angeles for acting class. After class, I met a friend for dinner, but I had a couple hours to kill between class and dinner, so I went to the mall. In the midst of the normal activity of walking from store to store, David Hasselhoff walked right past me. As I trailed behind him (we were walking in the same direction), I heard people saying hello to him and shouting out, "David!". It was kind of surreal--and a nice reminder that celebrities are people, too. I was looking for a lesson in my celebrity sighting, and all I can figure is that it was meant to encourage me.

Some days, I feel like I'm just not doing enough. But yesterday, I realized how much I have done. I moved halfway across the country to be in this town. I have learned a solid technique for film acting over the last two years. I have a commercial agent and I'm eligible to join Screen Actors Guild (two goals that I set for myself when I moved here). I mean, seriously, David Hasselhoff shops at my mall! I'm out here! I'm doing this thing! No regrets. Pursuing my dreams. Suddenly, life looks pretty good.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Baby Fix

Hubs and I are part of a small group of four couples that meets every Sunday evening. This past Sunday, we had a potluck dinner. It was so much fun. All of the girls gathered around the kitchen table to eat, and the boys ate on tv trays (thanks, Buttercup!). The youngest couple in the group is the only one with children...they just had their first...a daughter who was born a premie! Here's a picture of K. holding her newborn. Isn't she a glowing mother?

I got to hold her when she was only 4.5 lbs.

Now she weighs 5.5 lbs, and she's doing great...growing every day! Doesn't she look like Strawberry Shortcake?

Here's a picture of all of us girls on Sunday.

And this picture is totally HOT!!!--all the guys gazing adoringly at the baby!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You Can Call Me "Tia"

Several weeks ago, I found out the wonderful news that I am going to become an aunt! My sister is about 13 weeks pregnant, and I couldn't be happier!

A year or two ago, I told Jilly that when she has a baby, I want to be called "Tia" (Spanish for aunt), and she was totally on board with that plan. When she called to tell me her news, our phone conversation went like this:

Starshine: Hello?

Jilly: Is this Tia?

Starshine: NO WAY!!!

Jilly: *giggles* Yep! I'm pregnant!

Now I have to wait until April 14th to meet the little nugget!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting Into Character

A couple months ago, I had a meeting with my commercial agent. He told me that the actors that he represents that get sent out on auditions more often are those who have headshots of several different characters. Well, I definitely want to get sent out on more auditions, so I called my talented friend Jen Disney, and we had a blast shooting these pics! She also did a really fun blog post about this shoot. Meet the cast of characters...

Just me:

Athletic me:

Medical me:

Homemaker me:

Grad student me:

Food service industry me:

Quirky me:

Diner waitress me:

Southern manicurist me:

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mi Propia Semana Fantástica

Every so often, I grow terribly nostalgic for Spain. I'll never forget October of 2002 in the city of Zaragoza. It was the week of the Fiestas del Pilar. The city pretty much takes the week off to celebrate the patron saint of Spain. I had no idea what kind of cultural fun I was in for at the time, but I will never forget what I have since come to term Mi Propia Semana Fantá very own week of wonderfulness!

The first thing that will tip you off that the fun is brewing is the appearance of these adorable red and black checkered neckercheifs on people. They are called "cachirulos". It took me a long time to remember how to pronounce that word correctly, but not nearly as long to start wearing one of my very own! ¡Viva Zaragoza!

On a nightly basis, there is a different fireworks show in various parts of town. The final night of the week is the grand finale fireworks show over the River Ebro right next to city's big cathedral, The Pilar. Thousands come out for it, as it is so spectacular, it leaves one's jaw dropped in awe.
There are pop concerts and folk music concerts around town. The people are out in the streets milling around together. There are parades. It's just one fun thing after another! My favorite part is getting to dress up in the native costumes on the big Día del Pilar. My friend Cristina let me borrower her sister's dress, and I LOVED it! It is so fun to be able to experience another culture's traditions, especially one with such a long, rich history.

España, te amo y te echo un monton de menos.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Master Class

Tonight, I attended a master class put on by Women in Film on writing for TV. It was taught by Ellen Sandler, a co-executive producer and writer for Everybody Loves Raymond. She talked about working as a female writer for shows that are driven by male characters. It was fascinating to learn about her process, and I appreciated her "no-nonsense" approach.

After feeling like I've been in a bit of a creative black hole for a while, it was really refreshing to have an iron on the fire again. I also got to network a bit after the class, and met a man who teaches a class called "The Business of Acting" (dealing with the business-side of marketing oneself as an actor), which I think I could benefit from.

When I told Ellen that I am developing a screenplay for a short film, her recommendation was to make it really short, and then to put it on YouTube. She said that agencies are now hiring people solely for the purpose of scouring YouTube for talent. Amazing, huh?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Karaoke Night!

Can I just say that I love karaoke?!!! It's true. So I'd like to give a great big shout out and thank you to our friends Don and Erin who had us over the other night for dinner, conversation, and (are you ready for this?) in-home karaoke! Don bought this groovy microphone in the Phillipines that you plug in to your t.v. Inside the microphone is a little chip that contains hundreds of songs complete with words for the t.v. screen and groovy karaoke graphics!

Here's a pic of Hubs and I singing the grande finale song of the evening, "We are the World". My favorite part is always Cindy Lauper's, when she sings "Well, well, well, well let's realize that a change can only come when we stand together as one. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!"

Friday, October 12, 2007

For You gave me a heart, and You gave me a smile*

Last night before bed, a childhood song somehow made its way into my brain and started coming out my mouth.

If I were a butterfly, I'd thank you, Lord, for giving me wings.
And if I were a robin in a tree, I'd thank You, Lord, that I could sing.
And if I were a fuzzy-wuzzy bear, I'd thank You, Lord, for my fuzzy-wuzzy hair.
But I just thank You, Lord, for making me, me!

*The title of this post is part of the chorus. :)

As I was singing, I felt lighter. As the lyrics to this quirky little song sank in, I felt more peaceful. There is only one person I can be in this life: me. It kind of takes the pressure off, you know? I can't help but wonder if I'm relearning one of the important life-lessons that I got a handle on at about 11 years old: There is no need to prove anything to anybody about who I am. I'm just fine the way that I am--the way God made me. *deep breath*

Sunday, October 07, 2007


This is a Sunday Scribblings exercise...the topic was powerful.

I was sixteen years old with a fervent heart for God. It seemed the whole world was opening up before me--before my very eyes. The wall came down in Berlin. The Soviet Union was experiencing a new openness and tetering on the brink of a total fall of the communism that my sixth grade history teacher once said would never fall.

The Soviet government invited a Christian high school group I was a part of to come give talks in Russian classrooms about our belief in God. I was young, full of hope and wonder, and I jumped at the chance to take such a trip. It was a life-changing experience for me. A total privilege to connect cross-culturally with such a lovely people. My horizons expanded exponentially. I learned that America is not necessarily the greatest country on the face of the earth, rather one of many great countries. I learned that Russians are proud of their country, too. Oh, and I fell in love...with our Russian interpreter.

It might seem odd to say that those two weeks in Russia were the most powerful time in my life, but it is true. At least, it feels true. I saw God's hand at work in amazing ways. I felt used by Him. I was connecting with people in meaningful ways. I was connecting with a boy in a powerful way. For those two weeks, it felt like all was right with the world. It was a powerful season of life.

As with all seasons, they turn. Leaves change to brilliant hues of orange, yellow and red, but inevitably, they turn a crispy-crunchy brown and then they fall to ground like a million puzzle pieces. I had to say good-bye to the Russian interpretter, get on a plane and fly home.

So much changed in the next year or two of my life. I longsufferingly suffered over how much I missed the Russian interpretter--I didn't have an appetite and I was depressed. We exchanged letters and even saw each other again, but the romance I hoped for never materialized. My parents started to have serious marital problems. A month before I graduated from high school, they separated and they later divorced. Oh, and I mustn't fail to mention the question that shook me to the core. One day during my senior year in English class, a thought popped into my mind: How do you know that what you believe is true? How do you know that the God you so fervently believe in even exists? I tried with all my might to ignore the question, but it would not and could not go away. I have since studied the subject and come to a place of peace with the questions. But if I'm honest with myself, I still wrestle with them from time to time.

Life is not one big happy ending. My stepdad died of cancer. My Dad has cancer. Why does God allow these things? Why, when I have been faithful to pursue the career that God has called me to, is it so so hard to get work as an actor? I find myself another 16 (okay, 17) years down the road of life, and I don't feel the same power that I did as a 16 year old. The world feels so much bigger. Life feels so much shorter. The road feels so much harder. God feels more distant.

I still believe in Him. I still believe He is good. But I don't feel very powerful. And maybe that is the point. Maybe that is why Jesus said, "My power is made perfect in weakness." Maybe God will meet me in this place of powerlessness, and infuse this empty vessel with His Light. Please, Lord! I could really use it right now.

I hope I don't sound like an ungrateful whiner. He has given so many wonderful blessings, including a great family and the husband I have dreamed of having for so long. I definitely don't mean to discount those wonderful blessings. This was just a cathartic introspective creative writing piece.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Depression is Boring

Several years ago, I went on a women's retreat with some ladies from my church in Texas. The guest speaker talked about different personality types, which she saw in her study of Scripture. It was a fascinating talk that blended together two of my favortie topics: psychology and theology.

As I tuned in to figure out what my personality type was according to her breakdown, it didn't take me long to recognize myself in one of her personality descriptions. My type was described as viewing life as an ongoing celebration. The catch-phrase question that my type asks is: Are we connecting yet? And I remember her saying that my type doesn't stay depressed for too long, because it's just too boring.

I can totally see the truth in that. Relationships and connecting with others is a top priority for me. Friends and acquaintances often describe me as effervescent. And as for the depression part...well, I don't stay depressed for too long, but that doesn't mean I don't get depressed.

I think part of having a creative temperment includes having a streak of melancholy in my personality. Lately, things just haven't been moving forward the way I hoped they would career-wise. I'm still not working a day job, which is a huge blessing in that it enables me to devote time to finding the acting work I long for. I'm just in a slow season, and I don't quite know what to do about it. Thankfully, I've had two good meetings this week with friends in "the industry" who have given me some good ideas, and that is kicking some of the melancholy out the door. Just having a vision and something to focus my energy on to make me feel like I'm taking baby steps forward is a joy and a blessing, indeed.

It's just that this slow season is lasting longer than I thought it would, so the depressed feelings are lingering longer than I want them too. True to my personality type, I'm about tired of feeling the "blahs"... just so boring!!!

So, to combat the drearies, I'm going to make a list of things I have to be thankful for:

1. My wonderful husband! God sure gave me a good man. I really love being married, and especially being married to Hubs!!!

2. Jen Disney -- my new friend from church who took some great character headshots of me this week! We also hung out and enjoyed some peanut butter cup ice cream and a chick flick.

3. Our Sunday school class. We have met some really cool couples in our "young married" class at church.

4. My acting class is a weekly shot of creative juice!

5. I have a great family whom I love and who loves me. I was just talking to my mom today about how my sister is also my best friend. :)

6. My other "bestie"-- Ad! Not too mention many other fabulous friends. :)

7. You guys! Do you know how much you mean to me, dear blog buddies? Seriously, your supportive comments are so encouraging! Thank you for being in my life.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Kicking the Can

I can't believe it's been a year since Operation: Wonder Whoa-Man!

I just thought I'd use that as a launching pad to say that I can't wait to wear my Wonder Woman Halloween costume again. I am moderately concerned about the size of my can and its ability to fit into it. So rather than starting another Operation: Clever Words, I'm going to kick myself out the door and go to the gym.

Have a stupendous Tuesday.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Pour Yourself a Cup of Ambition

Be yourself
Of course you can!

Attempting to pour myself a cup this morning. Happy Monday and a good week to all!