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The Risks and Benefits of Expression & Introspection

10 Mar

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~Joseph Chilton Pearce

Greetings, my fellow Majestic Misfits! Before I dive into this week’s essay, I wanted to mention a couple things. Firstly, please accept my apologies since I did not post this weekend as I had hoped to and even purported that I would. Some of you know that I’m recovering from a 3-week long flu-bronchial something-or-other and I’m still dodging bouts of tiredness, especially since I’m back in full-force trying to build a clientele for my tiny psychotherapy practice. I’ve decided that I’m not going to give such explicit statements such as: “Musings will post this weekend”. Instead, I’ll rely on the posting schedule I have always had…Thursdays are meant for updates, whether weekly or bi-weekly. However,  if something comes up, I’ll let you know, as I have lately, when I’m running behind or if I need more time (like today). Cool beans?

Secondly,  a sweet friend *waves at @JRollin5* advised me last week that because she catches MOO updates on her phone, she doesn’t benefit from the music playlist each week. In fact, she didn’t know that there was a playlist! I may have to release Volume 2 of the MOO Mixed-Tape Love Letter soon here, because oh mah gah, if anything has been present these past weeks, its been THE MUSIC! A few of you have asked me what influences the playlists for each week, and my answer is: these songs are either connected to the Featured Royal Rebel or the theme for the week–often times, both. I listen to the same playlist while I’m writing the essay and I find the songs often inform the tone of the whole post. Plus, our Reigning Other Queen Kristen reports music as essential, and her musical sensibility is genius. And we celebrate Kristen’s sensibilities here in Otherland, so….

Then there’s this: *cue soaring heart*

The Fairest of The Fair

Perfect segue into the check-in with our Royal Beauties. Last week was a glorious week for those of us keeping an eye on the happenings of a certain pretty, Rebellious Partnership, yes? In last week’s Muselet, we were still acclimatizing to the newly released Vanity Fair in which Rob posed for legendary photographer Annie Liebovitz. While the pictures were beautiful (awaiting more OUTTAKES , pleeeeease!) the interview portion, though not including any unknown information, left me feeling unsettled and wistful. I also felt the “journalist” who conducted the interview (allowing for faulty “facts”) operated with an agenda. She even asked the tired and unoriginal question pertaining to his relationship with our Other Queen, Kristen, after she wrote a sneering paragraph scoffing at other interviewers who have tried to obtain the same information (“Oprah couldn’t even get it out of them”). Well, her exclusivity-seeking fell short, and when she showed up on something like seven Entertainment News shows hooking interest about Rob’s non-denial denial she revealed to me just one more person clamoring for a piece of the magic. The very folks that Rob and Kristen need protection from.

Well, opportunistic writers aside, luckily there were other bright spots in our Rebel Royals’ week. Rob still shared a glimpse into his insatiable thirst for knowledge as well as his personal experience of living under a microscope.  And we were reminded that his new movie is going to be …well, gorgeous. Gorgeous in all ways: cinematography, set design, costumes and story. I am still trying to pick myself up from the floor where I had fallen due to the new Water For Elephants screen caps and the official trailer for the movie: Water For Elephants International Trailer Holy Jeebus. Distract me, distract me!!!

Its not even funny anymore. I flatlined weeks ago.

Now let us please, please, pretty please talk about our Majestic Kristen’s spectacular news of the week shall we??  After months of speculation and weeks of the curiosity operating at a fever pitch, it was announced by the film’s producer that our own Majestic Misfit Kristen Stewart is going to play a Rebel Royal Original, Snow White, in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman opposite the insanely beautiful Other Rebels Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron. People may have been skeptical. I am not one of those people. I screamed in delight when I heard Kristen was considering the role of Snow. Ok if it is too hard for you to envision, let’s break it down:

One extraordinarily beautiful girl:

Who is known across the land as being kind and compassionate. Also known to be an animal lover and a bit of a goddess in the kitchen. Loquat Pie anyone?

She’s next in line for the throne (there’s your Royalty), but she has many, many detractors and critics fueled by jealousy and insecurity. Members of her own family send henchmen after her for Goddess’s sake! Forced to hit the road and kick some ass (not to mention defy the age-old gender stereotypes of the hapless, helpless woman awaiting rescue), all while sporting fierce fashion wear? She ain’t your grandmammy’s Damsel-In-Distress, yo. Who ELSE could portray such a Rebellious Beauty? No One. This Is KRISTEN’S ROLE.  In this medium, our Queen of Unconventional Beauty will model for a new generation what it means to defy decrepit gender roles and also respond to the women-against-women destruction in our society and in this fandom. On your knees, kids. Bow down to what could potentially be a great thing.

Risks & Benefits

“If you want to work on your art, work on your life” ~Chekhov

Kristen is reportedly fielding numerous incredible projects, unsurprisingly. Her reputation for professionalism and the brilliant embodiment of the characters she plays (Read: The Runaways,The Cake Eaters) is paving the way for what could be an astoundingly deft and unique career, not to mention one of longevity. Her confidence and focus on piecing together her career plan is not lost on her partner Robert. He admires her propensity towards clever role choices, and also exudes the sense that he is testing the waters for his own path. Which is normal and expected. He’s only 24 for goodness sake. Typical twenty-four year olds are just outside of completing college or are experiencing the glories of jobs and internships. Rob and Kristen have been handed cash and fame and are being hailed as having “hit it big”, but they’re not even a quarter of a century old. It’s a lot of pressure. Knowing and pursuing what “we want to do” is stressful (even when it’s a good stress, stress is still stress), daunting and potentially disheartening. I sense a little overwhelmed-ness from Rob when I read that VF article. These very valid feelings could be there for him, but I still am wary of the VF interviewer’s not-exactly-supportive influence on the story. Regardless, I understand those feelings well.  And in questioning my career path and goal for this world, I recognize there is the risk of discovering I am not exactly happy or actually doing what I had initially set out to accomplish.

I just need a moment of quiet...

Luckily, Rob is blessed with several gifts and he has the capacity to explore many avenues in which he can utilize them. He is granted versatility and really, opportunity to soar. He could be a musician, songwriter, movie producer, screenplay writer, and he has dabbled in all of these fields already. But for him to declare aloud that he feels limited to representing a sparkling vampire for the next ten years indicates he’s aware of the long-term effects prompted by his particular profession, and he’s questioning these effects. Is it enough to discourage him from exploring his other talents? I hope not. I hope he pushes forward and pursues all of his interests, refusing to be pigeonholed.

Yesterday I met with a new client for an assessment appointment at the Magical  (though flailing, is still magical in its intent) Little Practice. One of the forms, among the confidentiality agreement and consent for treatment forms discussed in an intake appointment, is a form outlining the Benefits and Risks of Therapy. This concept, of the risks involved with introspection and discovery serves as a cautionary moment. Because, as the Chekhov quote above notes: we must do the work that comes with living authentically, creatively, expressively. Work on art, work on life. And it might not always be pretty.

Have you found this to be true? When you decide to participate in inquiry and introspection (whether it be to look for a new job, pick up a new hobby, start a new relationship, or start receiving therapeutic support), and specifically self-improvement and career aspirations, do you feel that rush of reactions? Excitement for the adventure; or, anxiety and grief in stepping away from the familiar; joy at exploring a new project?  Are loved ones in your life discouraging your leap of faith or change in direction? Or are they cheering you on with well-wishes of, “do whatcha gotta do, brother” ? The point is, not all feelings and emotions in reactions to a confrontation of uncertainties of goals are pleasant. I tell clients that as they embark on their journey of self-reflection and mental health improvement that it often gets darker before the sunrise. It can be intimidating to look in the mirror. Introspective folks might experience feelings of resistance (which is synonymous with fear) and may employ all sorts of creative strategies to sabotage our own plans.

I find myself in an interesting position these days. I am re-evaluating and gathering courage to jump back into the job market after a near-two-year hiatus. “WHAT??” You may screech.Wellllll…I have’t been able to sit down with my musical engineer to record the demo I had planned for last fall. But I have become a small business owner and tried my hand at becoming an independent practitioner as a therapist despite the abysmal state of this economy and the stigma attached to mental health improvement. But  for one, it’s a tedious, time-consuming process to build regular clientele who are willing to talk about their emotions (quirks eyebrow. I get that), and for another,  people don’t have any money to pay for services. Suffice to say, my little practice is on the verge of extinction, six months after opening day, and I still need to pay rent, and buy all the Top Ramen N and I consume for sustenance. While N is flourishing at work and fast-becoming the It Boy in his restaurant chain, I am a handful of weeks away from discontinued unemployment checks. Bottom line: This Other-Queen-In-Training has gots to get herself a J-O-B.  At least until the practice picks up steam, or until HRH Kristen contacts me and takes me up on my offer to help build the Halfway House Network…

Oh there is resistance, my friends. There is a cannonball sitting in my tummy. I am unsure. I have faith I can move forward but I also feel the fear. I have identified myself for the last decade as a psychotherapist who whole-heartedly pursued the requirements to become so. But after the disillusionment of BastardNation, I lack the confidence and desire to return to the corporate world. Fortunately, I, like Rob and Kristen, have been blessed with aptitude in a few areas: I can teach, I can create and perform music, I can babble and type these ramblings out to share with you kind folks…but can I do something with these skills? Am I brave enough to do something about it? After numerous pep talks via friends from around the world (Countless gratitude to @Kate_Suena in Canada, and my Aussie Besties @Ophelia2010 & @Justice_Aussie, along with my Cyber Sisters) I feel that I can. But…not gonna lie, you guys, there could be a resurgence of EMO-KJ with all these warring reactions of joy, exhilaration, frustration and insecurity. But perhaps I can look forward to donning a new work uniform soon?

Let the healing...begin.

Featured Royal Rebel: Helena Bonham Carter

While I’m not exactly speaking about reinvention, I have no problem encouraging it. At the very least embrace the idea that your uniqueness and colorful choices on career, clothes and the people you choose to surround yourself with can be your defining characteristic…Like this gorgeous Rebel. British actress Helena Bonham Carter, or HBC as I’ll refer to her occasionally, is the pinnacle of interesting and unconventional. And she does not care how she is perceived. She does not care how odd or unusual she presents, and perhaps that’s why we remember her…revere her…adore her.  We know her as a Queen already, on so many levels, and in many of her film roles (Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Hearts). It’s only natural that she’s featured on Musings’ Other Homecoming Court.

Helen’s first brush with acting occurred when she was sixteen years old, performing in a television commercial. She reports no formal acting training. She began her career when she entered herself in the British Acting Directory Spotlight with her winnings received from a writing contest. As she has stunning charisma, it is not surprising that Helena comes from a family of a prominent political background. HBC’s paternal great-grandfather H.H. Asquith was Prime Minister of the U.K. (1908-1916)  and her paternal grandmother Violet Bonham Carter was a famed political orator. Helena’s mother’s lineage is also impressive: her maternal grandfather was a Spanish Diplomat who was recognized as Righteous Among Nations for rescuing thousands of Jews from the Holocaust during the Second World War, her maternal grandmother was a Baroness and her great-aunt was a famous French Philanthropist. Her great-uncle, Anthony Asquith is Hollywood Royalty: he was the director of the films Pygmalion and The Importance of Being Ernest. Truly she’s a Royal who defies convention, the epitome of Royal Rebelliousness.

Her royal blood lines might not be as well-known to this generation, because we’re already preoccupied with her rule on film screens. An actress since the mid-1980’s HBC has appeared in over 60 films and made almost 30 film, television and radio appearances. The ingenuity by which she’s crafted her long and respected career cannot be denied. She has portrayed several twentieth-century “corset queens” beginning with her roles in Lady Jane GreyWings of The Dove (For which she earned an Oscar nomination along with SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA nods)  and Howard’s End. But her remarkable versatility is what resonates strongest with her admirers. She has played Don Johnson’s girlfriend on the 80’s iconic TV classic Miami Vice, as well as Queen Elizabeth in the her most recent success, in the sublime and inspirational The Kings Speech (for which she was nominated for her second Academy Award, and for which she won a BAFTA). Somewhere in between those roles she has participated in such memorable films like A Room With A View, Twelfth Night, Fight Club, Frankenstein, Mighty Aphrodite, Harry Potter Movies 4 through 7, and four of her partner Tim Burton (And fellow Majestic Misfit)’s films including: the surreal (and my fave) Big Fish and the awesome Sweeney Todd.  HBC’s mother Elena is a psychotherapist (*fist pump in solidarity!*) and Helena has paid (and may still) pay her mother to review scripts with Helena to uncover the “psychological motivation behind a character” before she decides to take a role.

In 2009, HBC was named in the  Times’ as one of the Top 10 British Actresses of All Time . Not too shabby, eh? Perhaps the fact that she can wear mis-matched shoes and constantly top fashion magazines ‘WORST Dressed’ List is meant to truly illustrate how this talented, cool, unaffected beauty embodies Rebel Royalty at its finest. She has reported often that she is tired of the labels as “Prim Edwardian” and instead wants to “shock people out of it”. I simply adore her insistence on living her life her way, despite cautionary advise or the blue blood lineage. She doesn’t match shoes when on the red carpet. She hasn’t married her long-time partner Tim Burton, and she does not live in the same home with him, even though they have been a couple for ten years and have two children together. Instead she and Burton live in adjacent residences, connected by a hallway. Awesomesauce.

Offenses of Otherness:

Successfully balances independent projects with blockbusters.

Does not adhere to industry standards of “fashion”. She creates her own.

“I’m the kind of actor who has ventured into escaping from me.”

Ahhh well, we’re wrapping up today’s Musings on the risks and benefits of taking the leap towards introspection and reinvention. Rob became a little introspective in his Vanity Fair interview and it could possibly be the key to his liberation. Kristen, our Reigning Other Queen knows she wants to be an actress and the film projects funneling her way imply, at least to me, the potential for Greatness, despite the fact that she’s taking on yet another iconic role of which she will single-handedly redefine the antiquated standards attached to it. Pfft. She can do it for a Disney character. She schools us on how to question and pursue change daily.

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

She’s back in Vancouver with her friends and colleagues from the Twilight Saga, and even though she has HottieBodyGuard and Agent Security Blanket John, she is proving day in and out how stealthy she can be. Her focus, as Robert says, is on her career trajectory as an actress, as it should be, because girlfriend is goood at her job. She reports knowing she wanted to be in the business ever since she was a little girl, growing up on sets where her parents (TV producer father, screenwriter-director mother) worked. Our Reigning Queen has the ability, like our Featured Rebel HBC, to lose herself in a character, becoming almost unrecognizable. We did not see a trace of our Valley-girl KStew beneath the heavy eye liner or shoulder pads in The Runaways. Nor did we see her in the battered but resilient Mallory of Welcome to The Rileys. However, if our girl wants to write or produce or compose screenplays, as she has said in the past she’d like to try, I can’t see anything holding her back from exploring those avenues as well. Her ability to be versatile, open and courageous reminds me that there is possibility for longevity and fulfillment in anything.

Offenses of Otherness:

Does not desire celebrity nor fame.

She does not adhere to industry standards for “fashion”. She creates her own.

“When I go onstage to accept an award, they think I’m nervous, uncomfortable, and awkward—and I am—but those are bad words for them.”

All right my lovelies….We talked about the beautiful stills and trailer from Water For Elephants and about the fantastic news that our Queen Kristen will actually be Queen-in-training Snow White on the big screen. We talked a little about the beauty of versatility and the courage to question ourselves and our paths. We talked about job hunting (which I don’t think Kristen nor Rob nor HBC will struggle with) and the resulting emotions that come from doing the introspective, clarifying work…emotions of elation, as well as melancholy and irritability. But that’s ok, whatever it is, however it presents itself. We all still hold our spots on the Homecoming Court for Otherness.

Helena is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others realize that to work on their art, they work on their lives.

Embrace your Other.

*   *   *

QUESTION: How has it been for you to embark on new journeys? Have you met resistance? If so, from whom?

A/N: Thanks to JRollin5, MyCleverAlias, Possum Besties Jai and Aai, and my CyberSisters Bellsy and Cheermom and to the always present and brilliant Bouffant. Thanks to Katie for hooking me up with texting abilities. Thanks to my family Puss and Monkey for taking me to the museum  to see the butterflies and the piranhas (in the A-Ma-ZON).

Sending love and light to friends struggling this week: EACNM, BELLSY-BAI, LISA, CHEERMOM…and my dear IRIS ADRIENNE.

I donated to two fandom charities this week for causes near and dear to my heart. Wont you join me?

FandomsFightTheFloods and the charity Take Back The Night through the Fandom For Awareness Against Sexual Assault.

Next week I hope to contribute to the Fandom Against Domestic Violence and Fandom Fights Mental Illness.

See you next time, loves. xo, KJ

Redefining the Learnings of Love

10 Feb

A/N: Well today’s post is much later than anticipated, but I’m happy to be posting, nonetheless. This essay was written in several different parts, over several different days, from various locations. I started writing when I  was down in L.A. for Bobby Long’s show. But since, I’ve traveled back home and have experienced several events that urged me to keep writing, despite any issues with continuity. In other words, it’s how I roll. Thanks for flowin with me, Lovelies, and thanks for not being too hard on me for being a complete fail with comment and email replies. My goal is to finish them this weekend!…Anyhoo, Let’s go forth, mmmkay?

***

A soul connection is a resonance between two people who see each other’s essential beauty, behind their facades…a sacred alliance, whose purpose is to help both partners realize their deepest potentials

~John Welwood, Love and Awakening

Well this very spur-of-the-moment trip down to my hometown found me in possession of several outfit options for various weather, including scarves and hats, though it is so mild and perfect here in SoCal, I fear I’ll be lynched by those of you in blizzard country experiencing heinous conditions. As indicated, I’m only kinda prepared. I have makeup (which I only really wear when I go out to shows or in meetings), though no makeup remover; my phone and wall charger, but no car charger, which proved to be a hindrance as I charged my phone in a public bathroom at an L.A. shopping center during lunchtime yesterday. I have my trusty MacBook Pro (and charger, yippee!), but not my usual Musings Notebook; no books of poetry and psychotherapy to prompt me, not even a spiral notebook. I don’t even have a pen!  You Office Supply Junkies know WhatImmaSayin when I mention needing the right writing utensil in order to truly produce good work.

This is like porn. #OfficeSupplyJunkie

I am of course struck with inspiration to write and to create after  yesterday’s jam-packed day of travel, good food,  and unbelievably dazzling stills from On The Road. Top the night off with attending Bobby Long’s show at The Troubadour and we’ll call it a good, good day, my friends.

Let’s talk about the just-released OTR stills a minute, ok? Or not. Really, I don’t know that there are words to adequately describe the rush of euphoria that overtook me when I first saw them. I had been away from my phone and the internet for most of the day since I was flying in and enjoying a lovely day of catch-up with @Edmett and @RobKris13. I checked my email/Twittah timeline and saw these pics, each one more breathtaking than the last.

Ohai, Sal. I mean, Sam.

And I nearly caused poor @Edmett to swerve off the 405 as I screamed and showed her this still on my iPhone:

I cant even.... *sputtering*....legs. Garrett. Sam #INeedThisMovieNOW

The  third picture–you know what I’m talking about–features our Reigning Other Queen in a suspended moment of exquisite magnificence. I literally moaned and chanted OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODDESS over and over when I pulled it up on my phone’s decidedly too-small screen.  I had just basically handed our lives over to @Edmett in showing her this picture while crawling through L.A.’s Rush-Hour Traffic. How we didn’t slam into another car in that moment I’ll never know, but MAD PROPS to my friend’s stellar navigation skills. Because…LOOK. AT. THIS!!!

...And if we would have died that day, I would have been ok with that

“… because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…”  ~Sal from On the Road

Not only is this picture sensual and visceral, and captures our Rebel Royal Kristen in a moment  of oneness with her Inner Beatnik Beauty, but to me this scene depicts exactly what I envisioned the jazz club scenes to look like as I read On The Road so many years ago. Kristen appears glorious as the sweaty, heady, possessed and unfurling MaryLou(Stew). This moment just drips with spontaneous creative expression and liberation. She is completely enslaved by the music she hears, having no choice but to undulate. I will admit to you that I moaned when I caught a glimpse of this gorgeous film still. The Beats, in their celebration of creativity, sexuality, music, prose, and non-conformity were some serious trailblazing Others were they not? I cannot even begin to describe my elation at knowing Kristen is in this movie, along with Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. It cannot be here fast enough, in my opinion.

Oh, and speaking of magical moments,  let me say how soulful and brilliant I find Mr Bobby Long (singer, songwriter, harmonica-and-guitar-playing, Britpack-rolling-shy guy) to be. He felt all the notes in every cell of his body. With grimaces, gyrations, body-sways, he appeared consumed entirely and I was enraptured. I hadn’t seen him live before, just via YouTube, and I was utterly captivated  by his gritty, passionate voice and his talented guitar-playing.

It also struck me that I hadn’t been to this particular  L.A. Venue for at least three years. The last time I’d been at The Troubadour, I had arrived extremely intoxicated via limousine for a birthday party and a live show. I technically wasn’t single, as N and I were trying like Hell to keep our über long-distance relationship afloat, but it was a darker time in our courtship.

I swear Bobby was on par with me this week as he performed his breathtaking song “Who Have You Been Loving”. The night was already enchanted as I got to spend a teeny bit of time with dear friends (big waves to my KSIBTU Crew Girls Iris & Kim) and  enjoy the company of my sister Mari/Pai, @RobKris13 (whose pictures of Bobby I’m featuring) and @edmett while participating in one of my favorite activities: watching brilliant singer-songwriters perform live.

Love as a Transformative Path

So let me go back to the beginning and  tell you that I knew I was going to write about love and relationships this week, and not because we’re approaching that obnoxious-pink-hearts-and-teddy-bears-day, February fourteenth. I wanted to address Kristen’s admirable poise as she sidesteps the intense scrutiny and curiosity into her  own love life, and I wanted explore the question that arises in relationships in general: Is this relationship worth the struggle?

So while in SoCal, I had hoped to write, severely lacking in notebooks and writing utensils, even as I was bursting on the subject of Amore (Italian)! I stayed in my childhood bedroom while down in L.A., which is peppered with baskets and drawers of little treasures I couldn’t part with. In one basket I found an old journal, started two years ago. There was only one entry in it. It began with the line:

“I am on United Flight 53 to Maui”

To my joy, I discovered that this is my traditional airplane journal entry commencing the start of a new travel adventure. This time, N and I were embarking on our honeymoon. Perfect. Just another confirmation to write about the faith and consistency of love, despite setbacks, challenges, immigration and wild speculation from external naysayers–obstacles that Kristen and her partner Robert have to address nearly every day.

Let me inject briefly with a clarifying statement.  I do not believe in “Valentine’s Day”. I believe in love, I believe in declaring it as often as possible to my beloveds and I believe  in sacred contracts with numerous soul mates (see last week’s Musings). But I do not need a specific day, decked out in cut-out hearts and boxes of chocolate to dictate how I express my fondness for those in my life. So again, I’m not writing about Liebe (German) in reaction to the event that occurs next Monday. Instead, I am writing about  Szeretet (Hungarian) because I believe loving someone is always worth any struggle… And because N and I are going through the next phase in the permanent residency/Green Card process. And because I had a mind-blowing lunch with a childhood girlfriend while I was in town. (Meg is a newlywed, and is discovering who she is as a married woman). . .and because our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and her chosen consort Mr Pattinson are trying to navigate the pitfalls of being in a relationship under the telescopic spotlight amongst cynics, set stalkers, “nerdy bloggers” and the spectacle that is our society’s expectations.

Swear that youre in it to win it

Our Majestic Misfit Kristen is only 20 years old. I know it’s easy to forget this when we witness her stunning transformation into MaryLou(Stew), or when we realize she’s portrayed more sage, battered old souls then most of us have had jobs (most of us. I’m into my twenty-something job since I’ve been seventeen). But it’s true Kristen is just out of her teen years, chronologically. I ask us all to remember what it was like to be in our early twenties, attempting to negotiate a career, decipher what we want to do with our lives, falling in and out of infatuation with the gorgeous kid at our work or in our classes.

John Welwood–author, psychotherapist, and founder of the field that is my doctoral studies currently: East/West Psychology–notices that  most beliefs about love, commitment and marriage have been altered drastically today. Welwood writes in his article Intimate Relationship as Transformative Path, that the definition and function of loving relationships and marriage in particular, were prescribed by family, society and religion, and upheld (supported? Whaaa?) steadfastly by the community. Today, however, perhaps due to cues from television, movies, and new media, the loving relationship has become the wild frontier and almost the exception.

Ummmmmm. So what happens when your “community” is Hollywood, land of the 5-times-divorced-but-let’s-have-a-reality-TV-show-about-our-crumbling-relationship-mentality?  What happens when you’re trying to grapple with social networking sites, Tweets, twits, gossip blogs, camera phones and your own “fans” fighting, plotting and sorta-kinda hoping/wagering that your relationship fails?

It may be frustrating to some, but Kristen and Rob’s policy of keeping their personal lives to themselves is a policy that is effective. The curiosity may be at an all-time high right now, but the rabidity will fade eventually, and the bond that exists between our Royal Rebels is probably only strengthening as they face the challenges purported by being outrageously famous, together as a partnership. John Welwood’s thoughts on long-lasting couples echo this:

“What can sustain a couple through the most difficult times is knowing that they are together for a larger purpose–helping each other refine who they authentically are as people.”

All I’ve Ever Learned From Love

“But all I’ve ever learned from love, was how to shoot at someone who out-drew you.”

~ Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah

I cannot imagine the horror Kristen and Robert must feel when they recognize they cannot even hold hands in public for fear of retribution, of the Vultures swooping in and pecking away at their still-warm forms. I  have great admiration for  how they both have waded through the speculation and obscene invasion of privacy. Could you say you’d handle it with the same finesse? At age 20 and 24, what were (or are–Musings has Readers of all ages, ranging from 15 to 65+) you doing, and how did (do) you view love and intimacy? What cultural, familial or religious factors govern your views on love, commitment, marriage…?

When I was 20, I was a junior in college, just having declared my major for the sixtieth time (Sociology. English. Journalism. Psychology. Music. ) Speech Communication was the winner…for about 1 semester until I stumbled upon Counseling Psychology. I was in the final months of my relationship with my first  boyfriend as an “adult”. I was already experiencing the heartbreak of first love, first loss, the first discussions of marriage, and why or how it wasn’t in the cards for me just yet (if ever). I can’t imagine trying to process these overwhelming emotions while in the public eye, with my face splashed across every rag mag counting down the minutes to my demise.

As Mr. Welwood asserts, times have changed in how society views love and relationships. No one culture or religion views Mahal (Filipino/Tagalog) and marriage in the exact same way. In India and some African villages your soon-to-be spouse is chosen for you and you don’t meet your new honey until a family-chaperoned meal is arranged. In 1950’s America, the ultimate act of love a woman could display is finding a husband for whom she can immediately birth children and tend his home.

I never believed I would get married. I was raised by a spectacularly efficient single-mother and I had no example of marriage to draw experience from. I grew up surrounded by peers who all were married and having kids by the time they were 24, which is great since these girls and guys have always, always envisioned their lives playing out exactly so. I looked upon my future in love as nebulous. Mostly because I couldn’t imagine settling in one place long enough to anyone’s liking–I have expansive dreams of traveling and an impulsive nature to boot–hence the  reason I carry a passport in my purse nearly all the time.

But this is not always acceptable, even today. I have friends who recount to me how patronizing and judgmental people are  because they are single. One of my Possum (aka Aussie) Besties, @Justice_Aussie (Jai) came home one afternoon after a doctor’s visit. The nurse receptionist called Jai …wait for it..“Socially Infertile”. Meaning, she is single, and not able to hang onto a partner, and most likely decreasing any chances that Jai could have children, whether naturally or with some help. My friend Jai, granted, I’m biased, but I still speak truth, is a beautiful, intelligent, snarky, accomplished lawyer in her twenties. For some stranger to offer up her opinion (a narrow, cruel and uninformed one at that) unsolicited, is an abomination. And it rocked Jai’s confidence. My beautiful, strong Possum felt a moment of uncertainty.

Oh, fuck no.

Now. Can you imagine the onslaught of unsolicited opinions that our divine, royal Queen Kristen must receive on a daily basis?

Creating A New Definition

I met my now-husband N when I was single and traveling on a personal quest. I spent 3 weeks wandering through China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, with my mother. Then I spent one week solo traveling through a few places within my Motherland, The Philippines. I was 27 years old (waaaay too old for some people’s liking and waaaaay too single) seeking some understanding of a culture that is mine but little experienced since I was not raised within it. N was working as a dining room steward on the cruise ship my mother and I toured with. We met in Osaka, Japan. It was not Love, or Cinta (Indonesian) at first sight, but it definitely was a bond of respect upon first meeting. After I left Asia, N and I kept in touch with the assistance of modern technology: Skype, Chat, long-distance calling cards. Long, wonderful, movie-worthy story short, despite ungainly obstacles (cultural differences, religious differences, nearly insurmountable long-distances–like all the time; our family’s skepticism, and our respective communities’ concerns), N and I are now in the home stretch of his garnering permanent residency and his green card. We just have to pass this second interview proving that we indeed are a genuine, married couple and have been for the past two years. We’ve worked hard these two years, fought for this, defended this. And we two wanderers just created a love story of unconventional means. But it works. And I have a single journal entry detailing our honeymoon flight to Maui.  SCORE.

So again, I bring attention to our stunning Rebel Queen Kristen and bow humbly at her feet for the incredible strength and grace she endures to have her personal life include one Mr Pattinson. How do we know she’s in this relationship for the long haul? Well we don’t know as an absolute, nor should we, but from what I’ve observed, our Queen has withstood great distances, public criticisms and concerns, meddling film studios and co-workers, stalkerazzi, obsessed and delusional “fans”, all while in the spotlight. They’re defying predictions and excruciating scrutiny, and they’re making it work. And it’s so pretty.

Reminiscent of the fair Snow White and her prince, no...?

Kristen, Rob, and our Featured Rebel have explored ways of creating a new definition of old values. While the idea and concept of Amour (French) is as old as time, the way we practice it, protect it, and live it is all our own accord. Others refuse to be labeled or pigeonholed in one identity, despite external pressures to choose just one definition. Others continue to refuse compliance  to industry and societal expectations in their work and in their expression of values.

Featured Royal Rebel: Viggo Mortensen

This beautiful, multi-talented man not only worked with Kristen in On the Road this summer, but his name is attached to the new film project Snow White and the Huntsman, which would feature Reigning Queen Kristen in the titular role of Snow (if she accepts the offer) and Mr Mortensen as The Huntsman. Viggo alone would be enough for me to want Kristen to do this film. Everything that he produces is just better. He caught my attention first when he was the sexy, hippie vagabond in A Walk On The Moon with Diane Lane, but Viggo Mortensen has been on the scene for much longer than that. He is a Danish-American actor, writer, painter and musician boasting an incredible list of accomplishments and an array of exotic locales in which he lived. Perhaps he is best known for his work as Aragorn in epic and one of my personal favorites: The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (yes I apparently was a geeky fan girl for much longer than you knew), but it was his most recent work in a series of esteemed director David Cronenberg’s films A History of Violence and Eastern Promises (for which he earned an Academy Award nod) that elevated Viggo’s status to glorious heights.

Mr Mortensen always provided glimpses into his Otherness, even from his childhood. His mother is American with family from Nova Scotia Canada, and his father is Danish. Perhaps Viggo was destined to be a wanderer and seeker of more since his parents met while traveling through Norway. The first eleven years of his life, the artist lived first in Denmark, then Argentina, where his father managed chicken farms and Viggo learned Spanish, the language he speaks fluently today and is the language in which he reports feeling most comfortable communicating. His parent’s divorce prompted Viggo and his brothers and mother to return to the States, and he spent the remainder of his childhood in New York. To address his restless spirit in which he reported needing “to define purpose of life” (very appropriate he is in On the Road, no?), Viggo chose to travel and live in Europe, including Spain, England and Denmark after he graduated from university in New York. He held miscellaneous jobs such as truck driver and flower seller until he returned to The States after two years, to pursue acting as a career.

His first film role was as an Amish farmer in Witness alongside Harrison Ford, and since this film Viggo Mortensen has produced a steady string of well-received movies over three decades.  His  film work includes The Portrait of a Lady, Crimson Tide, A Perfect Murder, Hidalgo and Sean Penn’s The Indian Runner among so many others. He has cultivated a career that is highly diverse as well as intriguing and it would take maybe three more pages for me to list his incredible hobbies and rewards. In addition to acting, Viggo is a poet, a jazz musician and a painter. He refuses to comply with Hollywood’s expectations with statements like, “I wouldn’t do any more movies, quite frankly.” He also declined his agents’ suggestions to change his name to Vic Mort. He has been knighted in Norway, he is a published poet and writer, a musician who has released at least three CDs, an accomplished equestrian, mural painter and linguist (he speaks French, Spanish, English, Italian and Swedish fluently). He’s a translator, a hockey buff (big supporter of the Montreal Canadiens), and a skilled swordsman (residual from The Lord of The Rings). And he is a co-parent to a now 22-year-old son, with his ex-wife Punk singer Exene Cervenka (of the band X). Throw on top of that the honors he’s received in being named Sexiest, Hottest or among the Most Beautiful nearly every year for the past decade. He indeed created his own idea of what it means to be an artist. Neither fame nor money are of importance to Mr Mortensen, only the opportunity to express some facet of himself creatively. One of my favorite quotes I’ve read from him is in his musings on being an actor:

“It comes down to the fact that you supply the blue, and other people supply the other colors…and mix them with your blue. Maybe there is some blue that wasn’t there before. Maybe there wasn’t supposed to be any there in the first place. So have fun, and make a good blue.”

Offenses of Otherness:

*Hadn’t pursued the now-legendary role of Aragorn for LoTR until his 14-year old son convinced him to reconsider

*Does not approach filmmakers for new roles, prefers to “wait to see what comes” to him

“Life is short. I like to pay attention while I’m going through it. I will create and filter my own idea of what that means”

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

So in this fairly long Musings on redefining an idea or identity despite age-old expectations, we sidestepped the antiquated Valentine’s Day-like title of Love and discussed different definitions of that ubiquitous emotion, verb, title. We applauded our Majestic Misfit Kristen because she reminds us that falling in Love, and expressing Love “Ninakupenda” (‘I Love You’ in Swahili)  can look very different from what we expect. We all are informed and influenced by our childhood/cultural/religious communities  in constructing meaning for a concept or title, whether it be:

LOVE or CREATIVITY or GUIDANCE or ACTOR or ARTISTIC or HUMANITY  

Kristen also reminds us that only one facet of her being is in-tuned with portraying Bella Swan…Kristen has the means and the courage to embrace her inner MaryLouStew as well. This is doubly and triply confirmed by some of Kristen’s OTR costars: Amy Adams, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. Maybe (hopefully) Ms Stewart will embrace the true role of a Rebel Queen by the name of Snow White, as well as embody the role of a transgendered prison inmate (K-11) this year. Maybe she’ll take the time she wants to write and direct. Maybe she’ll arrive at the BAFTAs this Sunday with Robert on her arm as she passes the torch of Rising Star to this year’s deserving recipient (Maybe to fellow Others Emma Stone…Or Andrew?). Whatever role or creative plan she chooses to share with us, I do not doubt it will be all Kristen. As she defines it. And that is seriously beautiful.

Role Call: Other Queen? HERE. . . P.S. Thank Buff & N again for this photo/edit collab. Its my very favorite.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Remains grounded about the enormous success of her career

*Strives to channel celebrity into philanthropy

“You should have the opportunity to be more than one person with different people – because you have that within you.”

Go on. Go and challenge what you’ve been taught about expressing yourself, expressing your emotions, expressing your gifts. Take your “blue” and make it the best blue you can. Question and defy the critics who label you “socially infertile”, give the double-bird salute to anyone who tells you that Valentine’s Day must somehow involve paper heart cutouts and flower delivery companies. Remind yourself what it’s like to fall in love, fall out of love; to seek identity and direction and to create a new model, a new culture, a new language. Redefine and REPRESENT Otherness.

Viggo is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others create a new definition for expression.

Embrace your Other.

***

Question: What factors influence your beliefs about Love, Creativity, Expression, Individuality? Do you ever challenge these factors?

***

A/N: Again, I thank you for your patience with me as I try to make peace with a new posting schedule. It may be bi-weekly now for a while as I tackle 3D happenings such as Immigration interviews, MOO Missions and a fledgling Private Practice. The response and support for the last essay was unprecedented and I am stunned.

You read the glorious and genius KStew Is Better Than You, yes? Well it’s KSIBTU’s BIRTHDAY today, February 10! One year ago, CC blessed us with her gift of humor and intellectual sexy and altered everything. I count her among the inspirations and co-creators of Musings. I’m kinda indebted to CC for life because she first found the courage to publish her brilliant and effective defense of Queen Kristen.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KSIBTU!!! To many, many more years of laughter and Cat Quotas.


This Essay is For: Possum Bestie Jai, to my friend and beloved sister, CC of @KStewsBtrThanU, to Ree (my warrior), Megs (I could spend hours with you), Cheermom (You’ve been blessed by Angels) and N (I’ll gladly challenge immigration with you any day, Babylove).

Big thanks to @RobKris13 and @edmett  for an incredible day-long adventure in L.A.

To Bouffant: You’re my brand of Cray-Cray. Love you.

To Mari/Pai: We’ll need to make it a tradition, our girls nights out. Love spending time with you, mi hermana.

To my Cyber Sisters/Readers: Muchas muchas gracias, Te Amo.

Check out the New Resources for Beauty Page….I’ll be adding new material often, and hopefully including links and videos.

See you soon. Yours, KJ


Revisiting Resolutions

13 Jan

Hello and happy 2011 to you, my lovelies! I hope this finds you well, healthy, rested and reinvigorated for the new year. How were your holidays and where were you when you welcomed the new year?  To many folks’ delight, we discovered that our Reinging Queen of Other created a bit of a tradition for herself, returning for the second year to the Isle of Wight with her partner Robert to observe the start of 2011. While a few accounts popped up online through various social networking sites, it was gratifying (at least for me) to know that Kristen, Rob and their Britpack friends (Tom Sturridge and Sam Bradley among them) were together, in the company of beloveds to welcome the fresh canvas of a year, essentially undisturbed. Well, almost. Undisturbed until an “aspiring actress”, a proclaimed “fan” approached Kristen and Rob while at a pub, and asked to take a photo with them. After a few moments of discomfort, Our Royal Rebel Kristen politely declined the picture, but she ultimately conceded  (perhaps a re-evaluation of the situation) and posed with the fan and Rob. It appears, at least to me, that both Kristen and Rob (who was feeling a bit under the weather at the time)  knew exactly what would happen once the picture was snapped. Check their facial expressions:

And our peaceful vacation is over in 3...2...1...TWEET

Sure enough. Said “fan” logged onto her Facebook, posted the picture (the original snapshot included the fan in between our Rebels) and she shared her thoughts on her encounter with The Pretty. Well, I think we all know that Facebook has something close to 600 million users, with half of those folks boasting Twitter accounts as well. The picture, the pub’s name and location, and this “fan”‘s encounter were public in mere moments, and one could almost hear the very new and delicate family tradition of Isle of Wight for Stewart, Pattinson and BritPackers alike shattering. I would not be at all surprised if the second annual IOW New Year’s Tradition is now The Posthumous New Year’s Tradition. It was especially sweet  (sarcasm) when the “fan” indicated that Kristen was “ungrateful” and  that Kristen shouldn’t be an actress if she didn’t want to deal with people seeking pictures and autographs. Chatty Fan was completely oblivious to any hypocrisy, since she in fact, did get a picture of both Kristen and Rob and yet she appeared less than gracious about it all. It is in those moments where I find myself shaking my head in wonder, and also silently congratulating Kristen and Rob for maintaining patience and grace when neither is granted to them.

*IOW traditions drift into the sunset*

I get it. We hadn’t seen a current photo of either Kristen or Rob in many weeks, but Kristen in particular had been her usual NinjaStew self for months. KStew Withdrawal Symptoms had set in steadily, and the remedy included revisiting previous photo shoots, or listening to the Eclipse Commen-tree on loop. Of course, since that gracious “aspiring” thespian included her location in her Facebook recounting, fans and photographers alike grew brazen and more pictures surfaced from Kristen’s brief holiday (they had about 3 days on IOW before flying back to Baton Rouge for Breaking Dawn filming). Included in the photos that emerged from that weekend is what appears to be a nuzzle-and-kiss exchange between Kristen and her beautiful consort. I couldn’t help but wonder if theIOW weekend was an indicator of the sparkling, dramatic year ahead.

The Chosen

So for New Year’s Eve and Day, do you find yourself meditating on your plans for success and health for the approaching year? Do find yourself with a clear resolve for improvements and positive challenges? Sometimes a kick-start in motivation is required to pursue our resolutions. For instance, I realized I needed to find a way to pay for our satellite TV services to be reinstalled because the digital antenna we have now is a monstrosity and we have a scrambled picture and stuttering audio every 15 minutes if the city train passes nearby. What was the proverbial slap in the face that solidified my assessment? In the near-unbearable first 95 minutes, where the scrambled picture was a welcomed relief, I was most annoyed  that the last 25 minutes of the People’s Choice Awards were intermittently smeared and blocked here:

oh. MY.

And…here…

Whatcha lookin' at, Rob?

Annnnd here…

So telling, this photo. I see a bubble.

So we need a new cable option, we needed a different system months ago, really. The Golden Globes are this weekend, I don’t know if I can handle the scramble-screen nightmare. Luckily, I have my trusty, sexy MacBook Pro and a strong wireless signal and I didn’t miss out on some of the jaw-dropping reminders of why Kristen is and forever shall be, Queen. She was chosen by The People as Favorite Movie Actress after all. *eyes glaze over*

I am not saying anything that hasn’t already been mentioned elsewhere, everywhere, over a week ago. But I personally think Kristen has NEVER looked more stunning. I’m admiring the uber short hemline of her golden Reem Acra dress, accentuating her un.be.lieveable legs; I’m also applauding the stylists responsible for the flawless tousled, sultry hair and makeup she’s rocking; I’m charmed by her soft, halting words and humble acceptance speech:

Thank you so much! I’ve never been to The People’s Choice Awards, so it’s very exciting. But I’d always thank the fans..uh, I mean, I know I’ve said this before, but we share the stuff like this …(holds up pretty award to the audience) Awesome. You guys did it again. It’s very cool (camera pans to Rob’s adoring gaze on her from the audience). We’re shooting Breaking Dawn right now (audience bursts into cheers), and it’s going really well, we’re having a lot of fun. We’re working with the coolest people and it’s always surreal to be in moments like this…I was a vampire this morning in Baton Rouge…”

I didn’t get to see all of this in tact the first time, per usual, as the train barreled through in the middle of her speech, but with the beauty of YouTube, I was able to catch glimpses of The Greatness.

such joy. and color coordination. usual.

Unfortunately, like IOW, like always, the detractors and vultures, as well as the insecure, and the petty-voiced emerged from the shadows, despite the lovely night full of positivity (um, ok, only the last 30 minutes were truly tolerable). The BullShit People and NonSensicals were combing through the show’s video footage and pictures with weary eyes and toxic mouths, filtering through a loathing haze: comments indicating Kristen was too this, or not enough that, throwing around the usual familiar words and phrases: “awkward”, “cold”, “insecure”, “favoring Taylor, while ignoring Rob”, “weird”, all while she spoiled the movie” with her mention of being a vampire in Baton Rouge…Even “expert analysts” offered up opinions that were manipulated for an unkind agenda and published online as if accurate and unbiased. A’ight. Shut it. Because, again, like IOW and in countless situations presented, Kristen and Rob gave for the fans and were genuine, poised and graceful, even while they knew they were under fire. Thats Royalty, my friends.

New Resolve, New Vision

There are appropriate responses to the BullShit People, in Kristen’s life, in our own lives. To address some of Kristen’s critics, I feel it’s helpful to share some of my own discoveries in this two-week self-imposed withdrawal period. The Kick-Start to motivation, I mentioned earlier? Yeah, so I need a new cable service. But I also needed a mirror.  Remember the video interview conducted between myself and a psychotherapist search engine/advertising company a few weeks ago? Some of you lovelies imparted wonderful advice for me re: posture, colors to wear, colors to avoid (RED), the importance of eye contact….um. Yeah. I received the first round of edits back last week. I’m trying to hold back tears as I’m typing, I’m still so traumatized.

that was me, except I was wearing red and had my too-wild hair down

You know how startling it is when you hear your speaking voice for the first time in a voicemail? Have you experienced how awkward it is to watch yourself on a video screen, say in a home movie, or on your phone’s movie application?  I had a couple weeks to prepare for this forty-five minute interview in front of a small camera crew speaking about a topic I am familiar with and considered an “expert” in. When I arrived at the set for the filming, I felt pretty confident and calm. There was an issue with the background screen, hence me changing from a neutral toned sweater to a RED sweater, but no big, dramatic deal. We flowed. My interviewer was extraordinary and knowledgeable, and I was very comfortable with him, forgetting the camera was on me. I felt solid and grounded for the entire process, except when I blushed because the cute, nerdy AV guys were very complimentary. #ILoveNerds

A pic found off the greatest website ever: Awkward Family Photos. New Game: Spot the Other and give a fist pump

All right my interview video wasn’t  quite that awkward but this picture (along with the link to Women’s Day magazine) showed up when I googled “uncomfortable and awkward” and I had to share it. Let me tell you, these lovely folks have better hair and posture than I do in my video. My hair was too-long and a mass all around my big head, I was leaning to the side and speaking in some moments with a lisp…kay, what the fuck? I don’t have a lisp, and I am not cute like Drew Barrymore who does have a lisp.

My point is this: I had a couple weeks to prepare for the interview and take into account what you experienced folks advised for me. I am a confident conversationalist and I am knowledgeable in my area of study, which was the topic of the interview. The 45 minute interview was expertly pared down to 3 and half minutes and I sounded assured and knowledgeable….but  I personally  thought I appeared dreadful.

I had ample prep time and an editing team for my on-screen debut, and I still sought out the blemishes, the mistakes, the uncomfortable, my own private eye.  After the third viewing, I dried my tears and noticed that my makeup in the video was well done, and that my words were important and welcoming, and that my dress was nice…And how great is it that I have started my own tiny business and I have this great moment to share my work with other people?……See, I had time to review and acclimate, get comfortable with this re-evaluation, re-envisioning…

On the contrary, our Royal Kristen Stewart, having worked many hours on a film set, hops a plane with her 2 costars Rob and Taylor and flies across the continent from Baton Rouge to Los Angeles that same day to attend an award show that could be called abysmal at best for less than forty-five minutes. She did it for supporters of the Twilight Saga. And she did it with stunning grace and style. And in 15-Inch Heels no less. She looked incredible, and she was charming, sweet and humble. Rob didn’t have to come to the show (he didn’t win in any of the categories he was personally nominated in) but he was there. He was there to support the movie but more importantly to support Kristen. And yet people complained. People found the cadence of her speech, facial expressions or the direction she leaned offensive still and attempted to tear her down, tear down her relationship with Rob.

My request of those critics?? Video tape yourself wearing 15-inch heels walking up slippery steps in front of millions of people to give an endearing acceptance speech.Be sure to do it once you step off a plane after you’ve flown for 6 hours, ok?

We all have our Awkward Photo/VideoFace, my friends, but most of us are not forced to reveal it on live television and in front of esteemed peers (Ohai, Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp!!). Keep the perspective, everyone. We Others consistently work for this, and are appreciative when our Reinging Other Queen models such poise and grace for us.

Not too shabby, eh?

So after my own kick-start, I picked myself up off the floor and didn’t wallow for too long, though admittedly, when on holiday vacation and surviving familial drama hasn’t worn a gal down, then a stark video of herself with Yeti hair sure can cause some stumbling.

An addendum to some personal resolutions as direct response to my video viewing/PCAs viewing:

1. Cut the hair I have, it looks fabulous, and my hubs N flirts with me in an outrageous fashion lately. I like it. A Lot.

2. Sit up straight because it looks as if I’m folding in on myself or leaning to the side, as if I’m ashamed. What am I hiding from? I’m a knowledgeable, articulate girl! Slumping is distracting.

3. Remind myself that while I have my demons to struggle with, so many Others do as well. We are Other together.

4. Continue to keep things in perspective. Of all the perceived shortcomings and imperfections I can spot in myself and others (though our self-criticism is the loudest and most damning of all voices) there are far more favorable, felicitous and more encompassing matters that deserve my attention. So while I may not like my hair or my facial expressions in an advertisement video, the fact that I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to make an advertisement video transcends. And I live in a world where major things are happening: floods in South America and Australia, a fierce Congresswoman fighting for her life and babies being born *Waves to @Ophelia2010‘s beautiful Royal-Rebel-In-Training*.

Let’s chat a bit about how these Unconventional Beauties remind themselves to keep perspective and stay on course, shallll we??

Featured Royal Rebel: Natalie Portman

This exquisitely lovely Rebel has long held a place in my heart of hearts. She is only two years younger than I and I feel that I’ve grown up always conscious of her work in film and in the world in general. While she was known to the world audience as Queen Amidala (See? She was crowned royalty from the beginning) in the Star Wars Prequels, she had already gained traction and critical acclaim  (and my undying devotion) for her debut role as a 12-year-old orphan-turned assassin’s assistant in the glorious movie Leon (The Professional). She was only 12  and starring opposite esteemed actors Jean Reno and Gary Oldman. It was with her appearance in 1996’s Beautiful Girls–where she played a young neighbor with the an ancient soul of a poet opposite Timothy Hutton–that I realized this luminous girl was destined to join The Greats in the film industry. Of course, I am simply an audience member, not a film critic, nor an actor. So my assessment and grand statements stem only from my response to her presence and charisma on screen, and over time, from my admiration of unconventional choices she’s made  as a person and a woman that highlights her supreme Royal Otherness.

Born in Jerusalem, Israel, Natalie is the only child of physician father and artist mother. When Natalie was 3 years old, her family relocated to Washington D.C., and subsequently to New York where she spent her childhood. At age 11, the luminous Ms Portman was spotted by an agent while she was at a pizza parlor, and encouraged by said agent to pursue modeling. However,  Natalie declined the suggestion, choosing instead to concentrate on performance and acting. She had been enrolled in dance classes since she was four years old and performed in local troupes when she was not in school. Already at such a young age, our Featured Rebel was displaying her propensity towards Otherness, and traits that she shares with our Reigning Other Queen Kristen began emerging: ambition, dedication, determination, focus. Natalie reports, “I knew what I liked and what I wanted, and I worked very hard. I was a very serious kid.”

Her focus and passion simply informed her future choices. An animal rights advocate, Natalie chose to be a vegetarian when she was 8 years old, and became a vegan in 2009. She does not eat animal products or wear fur, feathers, or leather. While her star was rising, Natalie decided to only film movies during the summer breaks while she was in high school, and skipped the premiere of Star Wars: Episode 1 so she could study for her final exams. In one of many rebellious, Other moments, Natalie has said,

“I’m going to college. I don’t care if it ruins my career. I’d rather be smart than a movie star”

Well, she’s managed to be both. In 1999, Ms Portman began her attendance at Harvard University where she pursued her interest in foreign languages and ultimately earned a degree in psychology. Before her freshman year at the Ivy League University, Natalie had already had completed roles in six films, including Heat and Anywhere But Here. She adhered to her decision to limit any filming while she was enrolled at Harvard, with the exception of her work in The Star Wars prequels. She did, however, work alongside legendary actors Kevin Kline, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep in a New York City Theater Production of The Seagull.

In an age of over-tanned, siliconed, consta-smiling contemporaries, Natalie turned the opposite direction and sought enhancement of her intellect. She dropped out of the entertainment industry to study and research enzymatic production of hydrogen as well as frontal lobe activation, both studies earning the esteemed honor of publication in professional scientific journals. Um. How sexy is THAT? Verra verra sexxah, if you ask me.

Serio. How hot is THIS?

After her graduation from Harvard in 2003, Natalie began to seamlessly appear in films again, balancing independent (read: transcendant) projects such as the splendorous Garden State and the Award-Winning though heart-heavy Closer (for which Natalie was nominated for her first Oscar Award). She is a supporter of antipoverty movements and promotes micro-lending to assist financial support to women who own businesses in 3rd-World countries such as Uganda, Guatamala and Ecuador. She refers to herself as “boring” and admits that there is “so much else to do in the world…to just do films would limit my life.” She relishes that she has close girlfriends now, and that she sees them every day to enjoy mundane activities such as hiking, museum attending, having lunch. She humbly deflects the immense praise raining down upon her for her the dark, stylish horror-amongst ballerinas film Black Swan. Natalie is on every prestigious watch list imaginable and is the front-runner for an Academy Award nomination and win. The story of Black Swan could really symbolize Ms Natalie’s own story: acknowledging, confronting and embracing all facets of herself to reach her highest creative potential, her highest self, her authentic self. The Scientist, The Poet, The Student, The Actress, The Daughter, The Woman, The Child, The Advocate, The Rapper…?

Please tell me you’ve seen Natalie’s outrageously hysterical SNL Digital Short in which she is the scariest, most bad-ass rapper with Andy Samberg as her Viking Sidekick? Puh-LEEEEEZE tell me you’ve seen it! If you havent… Well, Here You Go:

CLICK THIS PIC for Natalie to go gansta on your asssss. You won't be sorry.

So as Natalie progresses into this new phase of life–she and her Black Swan choreographer/ballet dancer fiance Benjamin Millepied are expecting their first child together–she will continue to gracefully, gorgeously, seamlessly meld the facets of who she is, all the hats she wears together as one. Living it, being her “fullest self”, as she calls it. Because Natalie Portman feels that living and being her “fullest self” is the most difficult, therefore the most pleasurable existence, she is Rebel Royalty.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Prefers getting an education over acting

*States that recognition for her work is lovely, but not important. At. All.

“The moment you believe the idea you’re above anyone else, is the moment you need to be slapped in the face”

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

After her regal and award-winning appearance at The PCA’s, Kristen literally hopped onto a plane with Rob and Taylor and flew back to Baton Rouge to continue filming the last two installments of Breaking Dawn. With the start of a new year, it’s only natural to wonder what our Majestic Misfit’s future plans are. We know she is scheduled to film BD until approximately May/June of this year and promotion for the final installments will continue through 2012. But will our girl decide if her next role will be another art-house Indie or a studio film with risk-taking, unconventional directors?

First still from BD. *bowing down to Bill Condon. Again.*

The Publication Vulture online  spoke with producers and agents regarding Ms Stewart’s uniquely powerful position as a successful franchise actor with Indie cred in an article from October 2010. It is no secret that our Rebel Queen is well-respected and well liked by her Hollywood peers. A top agent interviewed for this article reports that Kristen possesses “depth” and scope that is “highly unusual” for her age and a rarity in comparison to her contemporaries. But could her decision to do a commercial, studio movie after Twilight wraps prove harmful? Or would that route be the key to her success?  These are the musings of the Vulture article author. This is where I feel Kristen’s feisty and stunning uniqueness, her Otherness emerges. How “success” is defined is subjective. Success can mean drawing a large crowd at the box office. Success also can mean that the actor feels a personal affinity with the role chosen. Kristen has always shown a tremendously accurate instinct in choosing her roles. She also has never picked a project featuring a character to whom she cannot relate . In the fantastic Flaunt interview of Issue 109, the enchanting actress says:

“People want you to be so over the moon for the position you’re in, that you have no principles, no sense of the world around you…Well, I don’t want to be that”

Our Misfit Rebel Kristen does not choose projects based on an obvious Pay Day or box office clout, nor fame. She seeks work that satisfies her genuine, inquisitive, nature, and she is curious as to how the role can be expressed through a particular filter–knowledge– as a young woman in today’s society. The analysts at Vulture wonder how she can bridge her talents as a dramatic actress in tiny films to an audience-garnering “movie star”. And while it’s understandable as to why industry insiders are encouraging Kristen to pursue bigger-budgeted films, these analysts don’t seem to truly account for our feisty Queen’s propensity towards the unexpected.I don’t think they get “it”.  Kristen does not seek fame,  nor does she petition for the Popularity vote  (although she is Musings’ Ambassador of Other, but that’s because I nominated and elected her. *shrugs*). She does not desire the title of “Movie Star”. She dislikes labels altogether quite frankly. Instead Kristen Stewart quests for a visceral connection with the characters she chooses to portray, and admits and accepts that it’s could be either a “hit or miss”  with an audience. It’s her willingness to take risks, but unwillingness to sacrifice authenticity and principals that assures me. When and if she’s approached a cross roads in this new year, she will simply push forward in her journey for genuine and meaningful connection. Something tells me Kristen Jaymes will be juuuust fine. Whatever project she does participate in next, I imagine I’ll be stunned and inspired, as always.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Unwavering dedication to the protection of her personal life.

*Views fame as the least important of values derived from work.

“The perception of me that I don’t give a fuck…Could not be further from the truth”

Well, Lovelies, as this first Musings for 2011 winds to a close, the reveal of  Kristen’s new VOGUE cover emerged….Let’s take a reverent moment of silence together now…

Today we spoke of living life fully and reminding ourselves to re-evaluate and perhaps make adjustments to our goals for the year if it means we’re still in touch with perspective and pursuing different modes of obtaining and embracing Otherness.  I needed this two week break to remind myself (and watch a video of myself) that I had a vision, a path for this year. Stay the course. I’m still on the Royal Court float, even when it’s bumpy.

Natalie Portman is enjoying the fruits of merging her many facets into one strong, independent, thriving beauty. Because she seeks challenges outside of the options placed in front of her, Natalie is an Majestic Misfit and Rebel Queen.

Kristen Stewart is blessed with opportunity at a crossroads. She may not have to make any adjustments to her plan this New Year because she has already achieved personal and professional success, no matter how it’s defined. Because she continues to march through the crossroads (standards, expectations) on an unconventional route, Kristen Stewart is our Reinging Other Queen.

Natalie is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others recognize the importance of revisiting resolutions.

Embrace your Other.

 

QUESTION: Are you a resolution maker for the New Year? What triggers you to re-evaluate resolutions and goals?

A/N: Ok Loves. Next week (and maybe sooner, because Kristen Goodness is BLOWING UP these days), we’re talking biggies: First Loves, First Loss, and  the glories of Risk Taking. You know why.

There is so much love for you, those who have stuck with me these past 6+ months. Your letters, emails, tweets, subscriptions, comments…they humble me and make me cry. You own me completely. It’s going to be a fantastic year, I think. Yours, KJ

You Already Know

2 Dec

What happened to fury?

What happened to accuracy

or accountability?

What happened to kindness?

What happened to teenagers kissing, instead of blogging and dissing?

What happened to teenagers marching and refusing

Instead of exploiting and using?

I say let’s speak it

Let’s fight it.

Let’s right it.

It sucks but it’s true.

It’s you and me, baby.

~You Tell Me How To Be a Girl In 2010 by Eve Ensler

Well, my dears, we’ve somehow moved to December…How did this happen? I hope this week finds you lovely folks sated and in the throes of preparing for family gatherings, consumption of obnoxiously large meals; scoping out too-sweet-to-ignore-sales and observing spiritual and religious traditions of great importance to you and your tribe. Last week, you all sent such wonderful declarations of gratitude in response to my own list of thankfulness, regardless of whether or not you were apart of a culture that celebrated Thanksgiving as we Yanks do. Musings enjoys readership from all over the world (it rocks my socks off when I get notifications or a tweet/email from readers from faraway, exotic locales such as Bulgaria or South Korea for example) and last week we all joined in for a moment of gratitude for our Reigning Queen of Other Kristen Stewart and her beloved. It was truly an awesome, extraordinary experience. As usual, I bow down to you all for hanging with me in this colorful quest towards embracing Otherness and celebrating it as it resides in Kristen Stewart, in our peers and family…in ourselves.

Kristen’s excited for all the Otherness-Embracing too.

Ms Stewart has embodied vintage NinjaStew for the past couple weeks, in the aftermath of Braziliapalooza. She and her rakishly handsome partner were able to fly under the radar and spend Thanksgiving undisturbed, or at least, out of the public eye. There were moments of contention amongst the stalkers exuberant fans as different sources placed Kristen and/or Rob in four or five different locations ranging from Los Angeles to Colorado, Baton Rouge or New York over the holiday weekend, though one picture, clarified Rob’s location: In L.A., at a vintage guitar shop he has frequented previously. And we all know if Rob’s in L.A. on holiday, and Kristen’s on holiday, with an opportunity to be near her family, then they’re most likely together. They’ve  managed to master  The Stealth with their arrivals and departures to and from The City of Angels.

So much WIN in this picture. Beautiful new guitar. Beautiful old LB Hat. Rob.

A GIGGLY NARRATIVE

However, as it’s happened in the past, when there is a lull in NEWS from the K & R Camp, the natives get restless. Those of us left clamoring for glimpses of The Pretty revisit former interviews, images from now-legendary photoshoots (*cough* Harpers Bazaar, Interview, Nylon *cough*) and re-watch movies to take the edge off. Which movies do I watch when I need a shot of Lovely Kristen? Adventureland and Twilight with commentary (duh). So this week, partially due to my need to recover from the holiday weekend, what with illnesses and judgmental relatives, and also partially due to needing to fill my quota of Rom-Com/Holiday Movie viewings, I found myself hermitting. I pulled a NinjaStew if you will: watched movies, baked cookies, grabbed some ZZZZz’s; read copious amounts of fan fic and viewed Twilight with commentary (duh). Perfect timing, of course, as December 4, this Saturday, the Eclipse DVD drops in stores and arguably the most anticipated extra among the coveted special features is the audio commentary of the film delivered by the film’s leads: Kristen and Robert. OH. YESSSS. We didn’t have this luxury of the comedy duo known as Kris-and-Robert-Variety-Hour for New Moon. And even with Twilight, we were graced with the lovely, locquacious Ms. Cathy Hardwicke in the room with our Royal Rebels. Nuh uh. Not this time. Eclipse boasts a narrative featuring long-distance chatting and giddiness as Kristen was in Montreal filming On the Road, and Rob was in Los Angeles having wrapped up Water for Elephants filming. It was about the time, if you’ll recall, that Rob and his bestie Tom Sturridge (whom I ADORE and watched Pirate Radio during MovieFest last weekend for my #TeamTommy fix) were spotted on at least two separate occasions at In-N-Out. Perhaps this jogs your memory:

Try to catch me Ridin Drrrty

*Small Spoiler*–as I know several folks holding out (admirably, I might add) to listening to the commentary before the DVD release–Robert commences the narrative while munching on an In-N-Out burger. This act taunts Kristen who is far away from her hometown, her significant other and the obscenely delectable aforementioned burger joint at this point in time. While Rob munches on his burger, and notes aloud he has a second one awaiting consumption, Kristen reports that she is “harboring hostility” that Rob is enjoying such yummy goodness without her, but also publicly and audibly. So this is all within the first 5 minutes of the commentary. *End of Small Spoiler*

I personally think Kris and Rob should take their chemistry and comedy act on the road. They are magical and create a joyful synergy together. I would love listening to their running editorials on daily life: Taking out the trash, breakfast foods, wigs, and relationship advice. If you haven’t listened to a commentary by Kristen and Rob, I suggest you drop what you’re doing and pop in your copy of Twilight and get on that goodness, because come Saturday, Version 2.0 Bigger, Better, Gigglier is ON. You won’t be sorry. It’s especially nice to “witness”–or hear–a relaxed, comfortable and unguarded Kristen Stewart. All the qualities we admire in our Reigning Queen are expressed: intelligence, awareness, humility, compassion, humor, articulation, giddiness, respect and generosity for colleagues, knowledge, kindness…and affection for Rob.

You can actually HEAR this in the commentary

YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO

Commentary greatness and my personal Recuperation MovieFest aside, I also revisited previous interviews that Kristen gave in the past year as I formulated this week’s Musings. I stumbled upon a January 2010 interview that Kristen gave to British Fantasy Society’s publication Dark Horizons and per usual, I was stuck by the poetry and synchronicity of the moment. Kristen spoke about the theme for this essay, before I had written my thoughts down. I just kinda knew. Every week, my process for writing Musings varies. Often, I take cues from what is happening in Kristen’s life for an opportunity to reflect and weave the event into a theme that is evident in the fandom, or in society as a whole…in our lives. This week, in a reversal of fortune, the theme for Musings presented itself through a personal experience in my own life. Afterwards, I found an interview in which Kristen alludes to a parallel experience. Yet another reminder that we really are all not so different, hmmm? Others together.

I encountered a rather jarring situation which had me pondering (“long-thinking” as my friend @ellelala refers to it) subjects such as intuition, resilience and self-preservation. And Kristen, speaking to Dark Horizons interviewer/author Paul Fischer, spoke of adversities she faces as a professional,  self-preservation and awareness.

“For me, the biggest adversity I face is The Bloggers….Suddenly, I can get anyone’s opinion at the click of a mouse. [Hearsay via media] is sometimes really very destructive…”

This statement of Kristen’s has me recalling the pervasive and destructive feedback she received (without having asked for it) when the pictures of her wearing her bikini while filming the honeymoon scenes in Breaking Dawn hit the world-wide-web. As I reviewed last week, pictures like this—

…unwittingly and unfairly triggered bloggers, and sadly this includes a handful of Fanfiction authors, plus anyone with access to the internet and a public “entertainment  news” site to give their opinions on Kristen’s physical form. Whole posts were dedicated to zooming in and analyzing Kristen’s anatomy.  More alarmingly, a rather unethical, smarmy “reporter” from a Brazilian reality TV show posed as a crew member and  breached set security to videotape/screen capture images of Kristen and Rob on the set of Breaking Dawn, during private moments when the film cameras were not rolling. The undercover TV reporter was in an uncomfortably close physical proximity to Kristen. While I only glanced at perhaps two images from this event (I declined to look at the video or the screen caps before they were seized by Twilight’s production company, removed from the internet), I felt a heavy ball of dread in my stomach and a concern for Kristen and Rob’s physical safety. Sheds a whole new light on Kristen’s now famous statement comparing paparazzi intrusions to feelings of “watching someone get violated (raped?)” doesn’t it?  So there it is, my Musings topic: Intuition and self preservation, or rather, the moment our intuition (aka our inner voice, our body’s protective system) kicks in and sends us warning messages for self-preservation and survival. Fight or Flight.

whispered the still, small voice

A personal story:::  Just a couple nights ago, I was home alone as N was away working. It had already grown dark (as it does in these days of Late Fall/Winter) and I was tucked away in bed reading and making notes for advertising the Magical Little Practice. Suddenly a series of loud, consistent knocking reverberated through our tiny studio of hardwood floors and little insulation against the unusual cold for this time of year. I was completely jarred upright. I did not like the sounds of the knocks on my door. I immediately tensed up, pulled the covers tighter around myself.  Every fiber of my being was yelling at me to NOT ANSWER THE DOOR. We don’t have an adequate peep-hole in our front door because the door is covered in sound & weather-proofing material at this time (N has since remedied this, as a result of this event), so I couldn’t stealthily make my way over to peek on my unexpected “visitor”. I immediately texted my husband and asked if he was expecting a delivery, or any visitors. He quickly texted back, “NO”. The knocking ceased for about a minute, but then started again. Loud, rapid, jarring raps (almost could be called pounding) against my front door, but no verbalizations, no one calling my name out, no texts announcing an impromptu visit from friends or family. I quickly deduced that this person was not familiar. Our little studio is one level apart of a larger house, and our front door is not visible from the sidewalk. The only way someone would know where our front door is, is if they’ve stood in front of it before, or they are actively seeking it out. Minutes, maybe five after the second and third rounds of sharp knocking finally silenced, I, against my intuition and bodily warning signs, cracked open my front door.

And saw…nothing. But my inner ninjaturtle  was screeching in my ear, demanding I slam the door shut, bolt it, chain it, and go back to bed, because something had been there just minutes earlier. So I slammed the door shut, and bolted it. After exchanging a few texts with N about what happened, I catalogued the event as a slightly unsettling, but otherwise not-unusual category.  I didn’t recall the warning signs until later. The signs, as I mentioned before, are produced when our body and our deepest soul recognizes what is happening long before our brain does. In his incredibly resourceful book called The Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker urges us to listen to our intuition, and our body’s physiological need to continue existing. Why am I discussing this book right now in the middle of my weekly tribute to the Royal Rebel Ms Kristen Stewart?

Well, for one thing, I received a pretty sobering email from my mother, a day or so ago after the FORCEFUL KNOCKING INCIDENT. The letter outlined information regarding Mom’s friend’s brother, who needs a professional counselor to talk to, possibly through The Magical Little Practice. This brother, for safety purposes we’ll call him D, was the only witness in the case of murder. D had seen a man RAPIDLY, LOUDLY POUNDING ON DOORS of several different apartments in his building. The Knocking Man(iac) came to D‘s door too. D did not answer his door. Something inside of D warned him against doing so. Unfortunately, tragically, D’s neighbor did open her door. D’s neighbor was murdered last week. Thanksgiving holiday.  The murderer has been identified and is in prison.

DEEP BREATH. Are you hanging with me? I needed to tell this story for a few reasons, one, to process the sanctity and briefness of our time here in this world; and another, to pay homage and condolences for a woman to lose her life in such a horrifically violent way. Finally, I wanted to say this: We are entrusted with personal security systems within our minds and bodies and hearts, to protect us against people or things willing harm against us. The term harm encompasses destruction on many levels including emotional, psychological, spiritual as well as physical. I truly believe there is goodness out there, but I have witnessed darkness as well, in my profession working with the mentally ill, and simply as a human being, seeking knowledge for living in this world. De Becker’s book The Gift of Fear outlines and urges us to be aware of physical warning signs of danger–increased heart rate, an attacker’s body language, an attacker’s verbal language–as well as internal signals–our intuition, our instincts, our awareness.  I believe that De Becker’s guide also could and should be applied to awareness for emotional and psychological attacks as well. Kristen Stewart, our Reigning Queen, is subjected to and vulnerable to all of the above: Emotional/verbal, psychological, and physical attacks.

You’ve witnessed it, my friends. We all have: The Cyberbullying of fellow “fans”, heated arguments between Nonsensicals and Shippers (a name, which, for the record, I’ve never enjoyed or used when describing my support of Kristen and Rob), anonymous commenters degrading, insulting, mocking, writing letters about, publicly discussing and bashing everything regarding Kristen Stewart. Interspersed in these public ‘discussions’ are threats of physical harm, but more shockingly obvious are the verbal, emotional and character abuse unleashed on Ms Stewart. Guess which type of abuse is harder to recover from? OH YES. Countless psychological case studies have proven that people (women AND men) seek counseling support for the destruction of emotional/psychological/character abuse they experienced. Bruises and broken bones, while painful and horrific, will heal up again. Low self esteem, low self-worth, anxiety, depression and addictions can last lifetimes.

So what does a Rebel Queen do to preserve herself?

REBEL TIPS FROM REBEL QUEENS

I draw from my studies as a psychotherapist, practicing self-soothing techniques (meditation, playing music), self reflection and also, knowledge I’ve gained in my own experiences of being in danger. Aside from the clenching stomach, the increased heart rate, and the inner guide screaming in my ear to back away, back away!, I also hold first-hand knowledge of experiencing a fight-or-flight choice. I vaguely addressed once in the Musings essay titled  Finding Your Voice and The Courage to Sing Loudly, my own experience of having a man break into my apartment with an intent to assault me. I know my own instinctual drives were roaring loudly, and in my quest to fight and self-preserve, an eerie calm flooded my bloodstream and I could hear myself strategize survival.

Kristen’s survival plan has formulated based on her extensive experience in show business, as well as her observations of her peers and role models. “…a really, really, really thick-developed armor” is in place for Kristen’s friend Joan Jett, as Kristen tells Dark Horizon. “It’s a self preservation thing..she’s a survivor”. Kristen is referring to Jett’s ability to cope with emotional attacks at a time (during the 70’s and early 80’s) when the public would say and do anything in person (versus via cyberspace, which hadn’t been invented yet) to give their opinion of performers and public figures.

Kristen’s adversaries are the bloggers, The Bullshit People, the judgmental, the faceless, Screen-Named though anonymous attackers with an exorbitant amount of time on their hands. Also on the rise are a group of “fans” (who, are really another brand of not-really fans) who view themselves as supporters and defenders of Robert, and trash Kristen at every opportunity because they believe she is “unappreciative ” of Mr Pattinson. Though, I’m pretty sure there is more evidence of a mutual adoration between Robert and Kristen than the contrary…Liiiiiiike…..

Annnnnddd….

So there have been many ways that Kristen (and through her, for her, Rob) has offensively protected herself.

KRISTEN:

  • OWNS what is HERS. No apologies.
  • Keeps her private life PRIVATE
  • Declines joining any social networking sites
  • Keeps a close-knit circle of family and friends as her support system
  • Does things because she chooses to not because she is told to.
  • Employs her internal BULLSHIT DETECTOR
  • Looks the woman in the mirror straight in the eye~she knows and trusts herself and her instincts

And what can WE do as fellow OTHERS and Majestic Misfits to Preserve and SAVE our Fellow OTHERS from destruction?

WE OTHERS CAN:

  • Respect Privacy  and personal lives, especially if it is at the request of an Other
  • Refrain from getting pulled into petty fights on any social networking sites, with other supporters
  • Remember to USE WORDS WISELY–any bashing we do publicly, paints us in certain light as well
  • Remember we are ROLE MODELS in the community to people of different ages, cultures & backgrounds
  • Know and check in with our close-knit circle of family and friends frequently-they are who support us
  • Remind ourselves that if we “support” a Rebel Royal, we support their choices for happiness
  • Continue to EMBRACE OUR OWN OTHERNESS
  • Remember that WE ARE ALL OTHER

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: CLAIRE DANES

I know I’ve had a lot to say today…But I did want to make some time for a modest introduction to an Other who has managed to walk outside the periphery of convention while in the public eye. Inspired by a musical selection on last week’s playlist, Late At Night, by Buffalo Tom, and the squeals of recognition from fellow AngelaChaseIsOther Supporters (looking at YOU, @DrownInIt), I decided to feature a Rebel Royal that I’ve grown up with: Actress and dancer Ms Claire Danes. Ms Danes was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York to a artist mother and computer consultant father. She attended Yale University for two years studying Psychology before stopping to return to film making. Attending a performing arts school while growing up, Claire whet her appetite for performance through modern dance and theater first. She was thirteen when she was a guest star on an episode of Law and Order. She was only thirteen when she auditioned for and landed the role of Angela Chase in the seminal and profound television series My So-Called Life. When the show was picked up for more episodes, Claire was fifteen years old, playing 15-year-old Angela. Angela Chase completely embodied the heartbreak and steadfast optimism of an OTHER as the short-lived TV series chronicled awkwardness, tension and disagreement with the parental units, crushing on the beautiful mysterious musician at school, side-stepping the lovelorn advances of the boy next door. But alas, a story this heartrending was perhaps only fated to last but a brief time, and after 19 episodes, My So-Called Life was cancelled. It did, however, maintain a cult following.

Particularly gifted at playing awkward, gawky, angst-ridden teenagers, Claire received her first Golden Globe and Emmy Nominations of her career when she was just 15 years old for her work in My So-Called life. She won the Golden Globe. After My So-Called life’s cancellation, she transitioned into film work and her star rose to quick heights with her role alongside high-profile actors such as Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon and Gabriel Byrne in the film Little Women. In 1996, Claire’s celebrity and critical acclaim rocketed to the stratosphere when she appeared as Juliet opposite Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Claire continued to work steadily through 1999 with her roles in The Mod Squad and Brokedown Palace but she left acting to pursue her degree at Yale. When she returned to filmmaking in 2002, Ms Danes chose quirky, thoughtful independent film projects such as Igby Goes Down and paired her work with larger-budgeted films such as the Oscar-nominated film The Hours, in which Claire portrayed Meryl Streep’s daughter.

Baz Luhrmann called Ms Danes, “This generation’s Meryl Streep”, and her poise and confidence has earned her admirers in her many impressive colleagues and co-stars such as Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola and actor/musician Jason Schwartzman..and she is the muse for or the subject of at least four songs released by several indie or alternative rock bands. She has experienced the backlash of publicity when she became romantically involved with her costar Billy Crudup at a disadvantageous time, and in 1998 she was publicly condemned by then-Filipino president Joseph Estrada when Ms Dane’s comments about the poor conditions of the Manila, Philippines film set for Brokedown Palace were taken out of the context to which she meant. She later advised that she had only been shown the “darker, underbelly of the City of Manila”, and did not mean any disrespect to the country as a whole nor to its people. The Filipino president deemed Ms Danes’s comments as “irresponsible, bigoted and sweeping statements”, to which she issued a public apology to the city of Manila, Philippines in addition to an official letter of apology. How has she coped with the adversity? Like Our Reigning Queen Kristen, she has learned from past experiences, and has opted to keep her private life private, declining to speak publicly about personal relationships; and she freely gives clarification behind any misconstrued statements in interviews.

WHO do you notice first in this picture? Our Rebel Royals FTW

While teaming with Offenses of Otherness, I’ll highlight an abbreviated list: She knew from  a young age that she wanted to be an actor. She kept a focus on her goals for performance and dance, and surrounded herself with supportive friends and family. Now 31 years old, with more than 25 films under her belt, Claire is married to actor and costar  Hugh Dancy, whom she met on the film Evening. She is just coming off the success of her Emmy-Award Winning performance in the HBO Movie Temple Grandin, in which Ms Danes portrays the ultimate Other: Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin is an American Doctor of Animal Sciences and a University professor with high-functioning Autism. Dr Grandin is the inventor of The Hug Machine, a calming deep pressure device designed to soothe hypersensitive people who experience Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pretty awe-inspiring, right?  Claire states that the point of acting is to share and connect with others, and she is aware and grateful for the ability to have a career doing what she loves most.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Willingly walked away from the business of acting to empower and remind herself who she is as person.

*Believes that fame is not a reward for working hard. Doing what she loves (acting) is complete fulfillment, the reward.

*Is extremely forthright and confident when she speaks her opinion.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

I think we’ve established in this epically long Musings that our Reigning Queen of Other is a role model and pioneer. She has managed to cope graciously (even when her detractors are attacking her) by forging onward and continuing to partake in the craft that she loves. Kristen has an internal compass that guides her steps along her path of authenticity. She already knows what she’s doing. And it’s been absolutely miraculous to witness her journey thus far.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Unapologetically independent

*Strives for improvement of her craft and self, not for notoriety.

*Continuously cultivates self-awareness and strives for self-preservation.

~

CLAIRE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS REALIZE THEY ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

* * *

Question:   I can think of several times when I overrode my instincts and suffered the results. I also can think of the times when I trusted my inner voice and was elated with the results. Can You?

A/N:

PHEW. This was about 4,000 words long. I have been struggling to process so many things these days, and I guess it has manifested in the longest Musings… ever. Thank you for hanging with me through this. Truly.

I wanted to thank my good friend @MissBettySmith, the brilliant author of The Gentleman From Washington State and Full Disclosure (my fave), with whom I shared a too-brief lunch today. In her latest update of TGFWS, Betty very clearly defended Kristen against people who are hell-bent on tearing down our Reigning Queen Of Other. Betty has a devoted following, with thousands of readers of her stories, and she is aware that she is accountable in how she expresses her values and uses her words . She is mindful of her many readers’ different age brackets, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. THANK YOU, BETTY!

Love, light and strength to my friend TEBBY and to my sister PUSS.

“Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are”~Henry Van Dyke

We are role models. We have voices. We have instincts to trust. We are Other. See you next time, my Majestic Misfits.

Gratitude for Stew and You

24 Nov

The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself. ~~Anais Nin

Hello, Beauties! Happy Thanksgiving Eve to those who celebrate this holiday. *Pauses. Clears throat. Adopts PSA Voice.* I really don’t think it’s fair to anyone (most of all, you) to kick this long-overdue essay off with apologies. So, I won’t take any more time away from Musings to explain the numerous and varying events influencing whether or not I could write in the past week, lending to a delay in posting. Just know that I have missed interacting with you and those of you who have been my cheerleaders (Hi, @deedreamer16, Periwinkle, @robkris13, OJ, @MoosikFreak , My Manager Kathryn *tearful goodbye*, @TheUrbanWhisk) I have a ginormous, overflowing wheelbarrow of gratitude for you . Aha! How apt! It’s the day before our Tryptophan Tradition (or perhaps mash potatoes and green bean casseroles for the non-meat-eaters) here in The States in which we celebrate collaboration, friends, family and gratitude. What are your plans, my Majestic Misfits?

err. This image is entitled: “The Absolute Antithesis of KJ”.                            Although I do dig the red dress. 

When we last were together, we enjoyed the fruits of the interview our Reigning Queen Kristen gave to Sarah Kuhn of Backstage. You also accompanied me through the retelling of my drunken birthday adventures in which I stopped for a moment and wondered how the hell I was so blessed, as 90-year old (give or take 15 years) saxophone player serenaded me with his rendition of Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed-Girl and I swayed happily alongside him with a tiara on my head and Titanic’s Heart of the Ocean Necklacedraped around my neck. I recognize that  lot of the fortune in my life is on account of my own doing and a personal quest to break through the fear that bound me to Plan B (Convention. BastardNation. Living to work, not working to live). However, I recognize that much of the prosperity I have the privilege of enjoying attests to many factors…to which I dedicate today’s Musings. In honor of shopping lists and To-Do boxes to check off in preparation for Thanksgiving, I am preparing my own LIST (oh the office supply-lover in me is doing cartwheels of joy) to share with you today…

KJ’S LIST OF GRATITUDES

SEAN PENN

Oh I realize it might be a bit odd for me to pay respect to Jeff Spicoli here. But the controversial, Oscar-award-winning, paparazzi-punching (fuck yeah!), political-advocate (or detriment, depending on whom you speak with) is an integral, essential reason for introducing us to a talented, versatile and one-of-a-kind actress by the name of Kristen Stewart. It was Sean Penn’s keen eye that recognized Queen Kristen’s raw and startling talent. He cast her in the small 2007  film he directed called Into the Wild as Tracy, a young girl in a trailer park, enamored with Emilie Hirsch’s vagabond Chris. Penn praised Kristen in saying:

“[Stewart] is magically easy to direct…She’s a real force with terrific instincts..”

Sean Penn then went on to recommend Kristen as a viable actress to legendary, brilliant talents such as Robert DeNiro, James Woods, and Jake Scott. And Kristen, whose screen time in Into the Wild was perhaps only 15 minutes long, managed to ensnare and enchant other filmmakers including Catherine Hardwicke, Greg Mattola and a one Mr Robert Pattinson because of Penn’s introduction of Ms. Stewart. Since he was the mastermind behind the hauntingly beautiful movie Into the Wild , which in turn became the catalyst in Kristen’s career, I am grateful for SEAN PENN.

CEDRIC DIGGORY

Ahhhhh. Poor, sweet, tragic Cedric Diggory. I firstly should bow down to the brilliant J.K. Rowling, for many reasons, but for certain, one of them being she is who conjured up a Hufflepuff Prefect with a kind heart from her own imagination. Cedric Diggory’s decided fate triggered a domino effect of change and tragedy in the remaining stories in the series about a boy wizard. (I’ll take some time soon to gush and rave about the film adaptation Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows another time, but OHMAHGAWD, I thought it was incredible and unexpectedly moving).  The name Diggory first appeared in text in the third Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban. However, we didn’t fullly realize and appreciate the gorgeous and tender-hearted Quidditch Seeker named Cedric until the fourth novel, The Goblet of Fire was adapted to film, and a British teenager named Robert Pattinson landed his first film role in his portrayal of Cedric. Because it was this character’s role that became the catalyst for Rob’s career, and therefore an integral reason behind why I’m writing Musings at all, CEDRIC DIGGORY is much, much appreciated.

CATHERINE HARDWICKE

For many of you, I won’t really need to explain my gratefulness for the Texan-born director of such films as Lords of Dogtown and Thirteen. Catherine Hardwicke was placed at the helm of directing and casting a small independent movie called Twilight in 2007. As her background was in architecture and design, I’d say our Cathy had a predisposition for crafting a compelling story. Catherine knew that Twilight had a devout following in readers of the books, but she carried the responsibility of translating it onto screen in a believable, respectful manner. She was cognizant that she was drafting a film based on material that could potentially be construed as gratuitous and hokey (those who read the Twilight books who did not love them often criticized the story as such), so she focused on the fundamental concepts of the series: The love story between the main protagonists, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. In interviews, Catherine, in her sweet, sometimes tangential anecdotes, spoke of her awareness that without a believable Edward and Bella, there would be no Twilight. Ms. Hardwicke found her Bella first, when she glimpsed a young actress by the name of KRISTEN STEWART in Sean Penn’s Into the Wild (Remember we spoke of Synchronicity? Uh huh. Into the Wild was a pivotal event for Kristen, presenting her with her “Gift of Yes”). Hardwicke flew to Pittsburgh where Kristen was filming Adventureland to pitch the beginning ideas of Bella Swan.

“She [Kristen] had this longing and vulnerability that I felt was important for Bella to have…and she expressed it in a deep and important way…I loved her. I loved the idea of Kristen as Bella.”

I get it, Cathy. I do.

When it was time to cast Edward for the film, many months had passed into the casting process, and thousands of young men were considered. The casting director narrowed down the enormous list to approximately 50 hopefuls, and Catherine read with and auditioned  four of those fifty. . . it’s now steeped in Twilight legend in that Kristen read live with the four “Semi-Finalists” as Catherine refers to them, but could not find the electricity, the spicy friction that exists between Edward and Bella. Ms. Hardwicke reports calling all her staff, assistants and casting directors and begged them to search one more time for a young man between the ages of 17 and 25 to play Edward. Her assistants approached Hardwicke with a headshot and IMDb bio of a British musician called Robert who was in a Harry Potter film a couple years earlier. When Robert was brought in for a reading, Catherine reports feeling the “electricity, the buzz between them [Kristen and Robert]. Their chemistry was palpable…. It had to be Rob”. And Kristen, our resident Bullshit Detector and Truth Magnet concurred. The rest, as they say, is history. Because she directed and guided a film with her Indie sensibility, and that film later would launch an enterprise; plus she united twin souls and rebellious beauties in the process, I GIVE THANKS for CATHERINE HARDWICKE.

BRAZILIAN WATERFALLS  & BATHING SUIT THERAPY

*THUD*

Um. I don’t even know where to begin with this particular gratitude, since it spawned such a catalytic reaction with, like, everyone, and it broached absolutely essential topics of  having the rights to privacy, body image, self-esteem, and beauty. Perhaps that’s why I’m citing this event on my Thanksgiving List, because the pictures that triggered the discussion on these important subject matters provoked fandom interaction, international negotiations, new appreciation and a new level of awareness. On a small island near Paraty, Brazil, our Rebellious Royals were filming honeymoon scenes for the film Breaking Dawn. Beach frolicking and waterfall sight-seeing requires the actors to strip down, and so, well… they did.

this eventually is the EW cover via twilighteranonymous

Not gonna lie, when I first caught glimpses of these photos, my jaw dropped to the ground and I stared for maybe ten minutes before I slapped myself back to the present. First off,  I must say, our Warrior Poet Rob looks fantastic, obviously benefitting from his bike rides around the University lakes in Louisiana. And our Reigning Queen? Yeah. I think we have our definitive answer as to why she is ROYALTY. In my opinion, Kristen is glorious. She is fit, healthy and most importantly, confident.

So of course I found myself seething when commenters hiding behind anonymous screen names or Twi-inspired monikers began ridiculing, snickering and tearing apart Kristen (and Rob’s) physical physiques on public discussion boards. “Fans” (or, not-really-fans) began scrutinizing and holding discussions about her physical anatomy including her lady parts, chalking up reasons why she was in fact not beautiful. When a rogue and completely unethical Brazilian photographer captured pictures of Rob and Kristen in their private, off-set time, in which Rob was in his boxer briefs, and Kristen was wearing a different bathing suit top than the one for filming (which was absolutely sheer when wet), particularly offensive websites began writing whole posts dedicated to Kristen’s nether regions and her–in their eyes– less-than-satisfactory body shape (I can’t even begin to fathom their justifications. Nucking Futs–yes that is the clinical term).

She doesn’t even need a Wind Machine! Uh, Rob? Eyes up HERE. *points to K’s face*, though I can appreciate your appreciation of Our Queen’s Beauty.

There was no acknowledgement that these two people were victims of serious privacy invasion. There was no mention of the fact that it’s actually quite a courageous thing that Kristen did–walk around nearly naked in public for the sake of work, beneath a huge magnifying glass. Question: COULD YOU DO THAT?? More alarmingly, at least to me, was that all of this enabling of public exposure contributed to an event in which an undercover Brazilian reporter breached the Breaking Dawn set, and videotaped Kristen and Rob in their private moments, not filming, and off-camera. Nothing was too revealing, although the pictures indicated that this intruder and his video camera, came disconcertingly close to Kristen–physicallywithin touching range. Too Close. Ok, that is SCARY, guys. It is already disheartening to see these actors’ personal lives exploited, but it’s a whole new level when considering their physical safety from harmful or overzealous “fans” or paparazzi Vultures. This breach in security (um, perhaps bribery?) supposedly (and finally!!) prompted the film’s studio, Summit (intake of breath, hisssss) to call for a meeting to re-evaluate the privacy and safety of the film’s actors.

These pictures were released around the same time I was down on my third pass to my hometown for my psych seminar. I admitted to you all that I encountered some challenges to my Otherness while down there, touching on issues of career choice, relationships, body image and gender role expectations. I’ll delve into the subject another Musings, but the harsh public reaction to these pictures in combination with the hometown emotional confrontations took their toll on me, which contributed to my delay in even writing about these monumental times. But these pictures, of our very fit and confident (i.e. beautiful) Rebels, have indeed sparked an appreciation in me. I am GRATEFUL for BRAZILIAN WATERFALLS.

COLLABORATION AKA, SHARING IS CARING

Our rebels, of course, went forth as professionals and in a way that enhanced and openly featured their real-life affection for one another, both during filming and not. There were piggy back rides,

lip service of mutual admiration,

Chess strategizing…

the sharing of smokes…. (@greenangelice, did you not die when you saw this?)

And so while I struggled this week with breaking through gender roles placed upon me, writer’s block, insecurity surrounding my body and my hair (those of you with or without hair know what Imma sayin); moments of sheer panic about my pursuit of Bliss, exhaustion from 6 flights, a two-weekend psychology training, which required me to write  a philosophy paper, and a roundtrip road exscusion along the coast, I am exceedingly grateful for Robert and Kristen’s visual reminder to me that SHARING IS CARING, and that everything, everything is better, smoother, prettier, more effective and powerful when we COLLABORATE.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN JAYMES STEWART

The theme, appropriately so, for this week’s Thanksgiving Musings is Gratitude. I am grateful for the Rebel Royal, the Majestic Misfit, the Beautiful, Unconventional Ambassador of Other, our Reigning Queen, Kristen Stewart. Without her role modeling of what a strong, unique, intelligent, fiercely dressed, authentic, courageous, grounded and lovely woman could be, there would be no Musings. I would not have met some of the most incredible artists, writers, musicians, students, intellects, teachers, friends, Other-Supporters if it hadn’t been for the resurgence of Kristen, this generation’s Smart Girl.

Courtesy of KBitch’s Tumblr

Courtesy of the sublimely named: ItsOkToNOTbeOK

REBEL ROYAL SUPPORTERS

And finally, but in my mind, most importantly, I am grateful for …YOU.  I wouldn’t even be here today, rambling on about Thanksgiving gratitudes and the joys of Collaboration, without the unwavering support of Musings Readers and friends, a large majority of whom I met through this fandom. In Spring of 2008, I was simply an admirer of an actress named Kristen and an actor named Robert, and flying high from a little romantic story involving vampires, humans and Teeth Babiesthat I avoided reading for months because of my own predisposed judgments. I knew of my 3D friends who were  teachers, therapists, writers, musicians, artists and UnderCover Others, aimless bliss-seekers and Majestic Misfits, but we hadn’t convened in this powerful way  just yet. Nearly two years ago, I thought I was alone in my appreciation of Kristen Stewart and Other Rebels, but between my experiences online through E!, Twitter, meeting my CYBER SISTERS & READERS and my KSIBTU Crew, melding these folks from 1& 2D into 3D, blending them with my 3D crew… you lovelies have me seeing STARS.  You have established a connection with me through numerous and varying channels (Twitter, Email, Tumblr, Comments)to remind me of the undeniable power of collaboration and the pride in being OTHER. You remind me WE ARE NOT ALONE.  I humbly bow down to you, and with awe and utmost respect, I THANK YOU.  I am yours completely, KJ

See how well we fit together? 

WE ARE OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS MAKE LISTS OF GRATITUDE, AND TICK OFF THE BOXES.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: There are several questions I’ve thrown out there to you in the Thanksgiving Edition of Sentence Completion Fun on the About KJ page…Check it.

Example: What is your favorite Thanksgiving Food? . . . What body part of your own would YOU save for posterity?

A/N: Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING. Again, thank you for flowing with me as I belligerently barrel through limitations and writer’s block; moments of insecurity, and bouts of exhaustion. You are never, never, far from my thoughts and heart.

Special acknowledgement to my Sister PUSS, my niece MONKEY, my big brother CHEW. You are my #1 support team.

Tearful goodbyes and sniffle-sobs to Kathryn, Keiron and L. I will see you soon on Skype. We have some serious business to pursue. I’ll keep the candle burning in the window so you can find your way back safely. #BoHoBayCircle

Buff, CC, Bouffant… you complete me.

My CYBER SISTERS/READERS: Happy Anniversary, Ladies.

I’ll see you all next week. We’ll talk Otherness, In N Out, Eclipse Commentaries, and the movement to stop the destruction of Others.

Carry On.

xx, K

Into the Wild, Into Synchronicity

14 Oct

Every time we say ‘Let there be!’ in any form, something happens ~Stella Terrill Mann

I don’t believe in coincidences. Do you? I believe in something referred to as synchronicity. I also believe in spontaneity. According to Wikipedia (because, let’s face it, it’s not culturally relevant if it’s not in Wikipedia, right?), synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. Swiss philosopher and psychologist, and one of my favorite figures in consciousness and creativity, Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity to outline the idea of a  “connecting principle”,  and “a-causal parallelism”. Basically, we have a  connection between ourselves and our environment–socially, psychically, emotionally, spiritually–much deeper, moving beyond random occurrences. From a religious perspective, synchronicity can simply imply recognition of larger plan, a higher power. There are many ways one might refer to a higher power: God, Mother Earth, Goddess, Allah, The Great Spirit, Energy, The Universe, Our Heavenly Father…Wikipedia cites similarities between synchronicity and “a divine intervention”, and author and teacher Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) wonders if Synchronicity is “an answered prayer”. In the sixties, it was known as serendipity.

There are adages, cautionary phrases of, “Watch out for what you wish for” or “Watch out for what you pray for, you just might get it”…or, my favorites, “Things tend to work out as you need them to” and “Ask and you shall receive”.

I’ve had a week filled with synchronicities that I’ll talk a little more about perhaps later…But I also noticed a few fortunate, serendipitous events shaping our Other Queen Kristen’s trajectory as well.

This week, as Kristen and Rob have had several date nights, and Kristen made her appearance on Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show— which I only watched because I’m a Team Kristen girl, (#TeamCoco, #TeamFallonKStewBesties), not because I am a Leno fan. We have seen more of our Reigning Other Queen than we have in the past month as she wrapped On The Road filming. Not complaining, oh no. If I can grab a glance at Kristen Stewart and her twin soul Robert Pattinson, my day is made. I know there is only a week or so before both Rebel Royals are due in Vancouver for the start of filming of Breaking Dawn. So Kristen promoting Welcome to the Rileys’ these days is allll goodness.

cool, relaxed, fresh, beautiful. Louboutins. perfection.

Jake Scott, son of Ridley, and director of Welcome to the Rileys’, spoke about Kristen’s performance at a recent screening. He reported what a coup it was to cast Kristen in the role of Mallory, the underage hooker who deeply effects the lives of The Rileys, Doug and Lois. Scott tells Film Journal International,

“I loved her in [the Sean Penn-directed film] Into the Wild. I thought, ‘Oh my God, who is this girl? That’s exactly the right quality I’m looking for in Mallory.’ It’s a sort of feral quality.”

Hmm. It seems that Kristen’s participation in that quiet, haunting film triggered a number or synchronicitous events: Kristen’s co-star from Into the Wild, Emile Hirsch, recommended Kristen to a director friend of his, whom I have a particular fondness for: Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown). Well, our chatty Ms Hardwicke was casting a small indie-project called Twilight in the fall of 2007. As soon as Cathy met Kristen, she was impressed with Kristen’s abilities and professionalism and cast her as Bella Swan. It’s now well- known in the legendary story of Twilight Casting, that the iconic role of Edward was not filled until the final moments. Robert Pattinson, a British musician, known mostly for his portrayal of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was not working and by his words, “getting drunk for a year” (Vanity Fair, December 2009). He had heard of a casting call for Twilight, but he did not initially invest much interest in auditioning. Firstly, he was on the verge of leaving the business. Secondly, he dreaded having to participate in an audition in which he’d have to “take my shirt off”, as the role of Edward Cullen required features of physical perfection (which is up for interpretation in my opinion), including defined  and chiseled abdominal muscles. Well, a shift so phenomenal occurred, becoming a catalyst in Twilight history… and in Kristen Stewart’s history. What was the triggering shift? Rob watched a movie called Into the Wild.

“I went in mainly [to the Twilight audition] because I had seen Into the Wild and I wanted to meet Kristen.”~Rob Pattinson

Ahhhh. The Universe has an interesting way of connecting events, paving ways, yes?….Kristen’s participation in a film in which she had maybe ten or fifteen minutes of screen time, led to exposure  to two directors of future projects. These projects would launch her career into the stratosphere… Her portrayal of Tracy in Into the Wild compelled her future costar Robert to fly from the U.K. and try a last audition before he quit acting all together. Rob not only nabbed the role of the iconic Edward Cullen (he was the last person to audition), their chemistry lending to success of the Twilight Saga (It’s earned a gazillion dollars at the box office to date), but he and Kristen discovered their startlingly electric connection worked beautifully off-screen as well. Kristen and Rob are now partners in Otherness. One decision by Kristen to be apart of a meaningful project became the catalyst of  great wealth professionally and personally.

Voted #1 Magazine Cover of the Year

 

SERENDIPITY, SYNCHRONICITY

Last week we spoke of following our bliss and taking the risk by being creative and finding our true path. Kristen found hers by relying on her intuition and her love of storytelling, even though she had not anticipated being an actor. Thankfully, Rob just happened to rent a video of one of Kristen’s movies, prompting him to fly on his own dime and audition for the role that would change the trajectory of his career, and his personal life. Jake Scott also caught a showing of the same movie and felt inspired to cast Kristen in his small character-driven film WTTR. This role, and Kristen’s performance is garnering the highest critical praise of her career thus far, triggering even whispers of Oscar nominations. synchronicity doesn’t always manifest so dramatically, though. Letters I received in reaction to last week’s Musings illustrates this: You beauties have written of rediscovery of creativity after tragedy, rejection, boredom and stifling. Letters from literary agents, a talent for jewelry making, a voice of reason on public blogs, writing fan fiction, writing memoirs, painting, furniture making….you all were inspired by an event that led you give a chance to live happily, creatively, fully, fearlessly.

Synchronicity/Serendipity/Divine Intervention can appear to us in quiet forms:

  • A man admits to a hidden desire to act. At dinner that night, he sits beside a woman who teaches beginning acting classes on techniques.
  • A woman who is a stay-at-home mother has secretly painted for years and vows to herself to connect up with other painters for support and guidance. The next day, she finds herself in an online discussion group about creativity and discovers another artist who becomes her mentor and collaborator. She now has paintings displayed in galleries in two countries.
  • A writer wonders how to find a rare book he has not seen ever, but has heard about. He finds it in the neighborhood used bookstore two days later.

I did my own part of proactivity, by sending out into the world a handful of copies of the Musical Love Letter to Others via the Soundtrack Giveaway. On it, track #14, I believe, is my own music. It was recorded with the intention of being the soundtrack for a small independent movie produced by a dear , late friend of mine. Only a handful of family and friends even knew that I recorded the track, but now, not only have I given it to Musings Readers to hear it, but we’re handing it over to the manager of the Spanish lounge I told you all about in the Musings titled Miracle Bubbles. Hopefully, I can perform a little bit at that lounge, as they were seeking musical performers a few months ago. But mostly, I feel a great relief that I did keep my quiet musical abilities sequestered away. If only five people hear the track, then I am successful. But in actuality, it just opened up more doors.

Here’s just one of my stories of synchronicity this week: While I was burning the Musings Love Letter to Other playlist onto CDs for last week’s 5 giveaway winners, My manager Kathryn (the lovely artist Kathryn LeGrice, whose paintings have been featured this past week), put on the CD to listen to for background music. Twenty minutes later, in walks my friend RA who just happens to be a gifted musician and a recording engineer. He also is my ex boyfriend and musical collaborator, recording and playing guitars on the musical track I placed on the Musings Soundtrack/Love Letter. I hadn’t seen him physically in almost two years. He just comes walking into the living room in which I just happen to be sitting, wanting to visit Kathryn and Keiron. And he brought with him an old friend of mine from childhood, John, an obscenely talented painter and sculptor. Hadn’t seen him in nearly 4 years. They both scream in joy and wrap their arms around me. John says,” I just was talking about you yesterday. I was craving you.” So now? I will be going into a recording studio for the first time in over 7 years to record a demo CD with RA,within the next week or so. Because it’s out there, and I want to keep pushing myself to create and share.

FEATURED ROYAL REBEL:  EMMA STONE

In a continuation of fortuitous connections, I introduce this week’s Featured Royal with a great big smile. The lovely Ms Emma Stone fulfills my #GingerQuota for Musings this week, but alas, I learned in my research that she is not a natural ginger. She is a blonde, but director Judd Apatow (guide and mentor to many of our Favorite Misfit Rebels including James Franco, Michael Cera) recommended Emma dye her locks red for her debut role in the comedy Superbad starring Michael Cera and Jonah Hill. Well, how else is this beautiful girl a perfect example of divine connection? She starred in Zombieland alongside last week’s beloved Rebel Jesse Eisenberg, as Wichita, a con artist traveling with Jesse and Woody Harrelson’s characters in a postapocalyptic land infested with zombies. How else is this beautiful Rebel serendipitously linked to Otherness? How bout via The Queen herself? Emma was named, along with Reigning Other Queen Kristen, and Featured Royal Rebel Carey Mulligan as one of Vanity Fair’s Actresses to Watch in the Hollywood Issue from last March. Note the hot Ginger in these pics.

At only 15 years old when she campaigned to leave her home in Arizona, Emma moved out to Los Angeles with her mother in following hopes to break into the acting business. She convinced her parents she needed to try acting by pitching a power point presentation called “Project Hollywood” to them. She is known as the comedic, klutzy, every-girl, approachable while also insanely beautiful. See her projects: The House Bunny and the recent charming film Easy A and witness her portrayals of intelligent, searching, women on the cusp of social acceptance (OTHER).

Emma discovered her love of performing when she acted in school plays and community theater productions. She dropped out of  high school to make room for auditioning and completed her studies via home schooling. She debuted on television in the short-lived (only the Pilot Episode was shot) The New Partridge Family. Other creative avenues she’d like to pursue? Film production and more comedy work. Her dream was to host Saturday Night Live, in the footsteps of the show’s regulars: Molly Shannon and Gilda Radnor. On October 23 of this year, Ms Stone is scheduled to fulfill that wish: She will host the late night comedy sketch show. She has been cast in the role of Gwen Stacy in the re-make of The Spider Man films, opposite Andrew Garfield (another Team Other fave)’s Spider Man. Oh yeah. And Andrew is one of Rob’s (Our Poet Warrior) best friends from Britain. See how interconnected everyone really is?? Well, I’m all for the funny, smart, every-girl finding success in the chaotic dance that is show business. So I continue to cheer on this wonderfully refreshing girl from the Team Other skybox above the field.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Credits her family as keeping her grounded and authentic in the Hollywood Chaos

*Grew up idolizing comics such as Gilda Radnor and Molly Shannon

*Gravitates towards roles of intelligent, approachable women instead of physically “beautiful” women

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Jake Scott also spoke about Kristen when he was at a recent screening for WTTR. He reports being enthralled by her instantly because of her screen presence and “feral” quality in her scenes of Into the Wild, and rejoiced when he she was cast as Mallory in the film. In describing Queen Kristen?

“She’s very vulpine…wily, kind of twitchy. Directing her is kind of like wrangling a herd of cats”.

People may take offense to this description of our girl, but I am not one of them. I feel like Jake Scott just described exactly why she is Our Other Queen. Unbound, unrestrained, raw, bursting with energy. One might call that wild. Or spontaneous. Jake did say that he wanted Mallory’s “feral” qualities to emerge, yes?….Well, there you have it.

“Kristen, more than anyone, would go off-script or off-course, but it would be brilliant and it would work.”

Kristen is committed for the next six months to the filming of Breaking Dawn. She will see this franchise through to the final wrap and promotion, for she recognizes the blessing of being a participant in the Twilight Saga. She has been given opportunities to work on projects that are character-driven and of great value to her. She is able to challenge herself in her craft that she loves. She is building an already impressive foundation for a long-lasting, successful career, and she is doing so with her collaborator and love, Rob.

Rob is also enjoying the fruits of his prayers answered–synchronicity–he has just completed his busiest work year to date, filming Eclipse, Bel Ami and Water For Elephants over a span of ten months. Ask and you shall receive? The Universe provides? These blessings and nudges of encouragement in our lives very well could prove to be a collaboration with our selves, and our higher power, the collective. But we have to be willing participants as well. For every moment we uncover our desire to be present, aware and proactive in pursuing our authentic work, we are opening ourselves to a beautiful partnership of  living. Whatever you choose to call it, once you embrace it, you will find that is popping up EVERYWHERE.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Is spontaneous and willing to go off-script

*Idolizes actors, Others,  like Catherine Keener and Kate Winslet

*Gravitates towards roles of intelligent, courageous, unusual women, instead of  the “Pretty Girl” Roles

Continue down your path of seeking grounding and authenticity, as Kristen and Emma do. Look for the signs that encourage and support your decisions to be artful, outside the box, authentic, different, and brave. The signs are everywhere. Forget focusing on the petty in-fighting and strange competitiveness that is present in this fandom and cyber world, and turn your attentions inward, to yourself, your own path, your own greatness. Let Queen Kristen be your guide and role model, but understand that you need to do the work as well, even if that simply means, asking for help, following your instincts, or admitting that you’d rather be a T-Shirt maker instead of an accountant.

Because I actively intended to release some of my creative work into the world via music and ramblings on Unconventional Beauty, I am still able to stand on the Homecoming Queen Float.

Because she looks to triangle-haired, and sometimes spastic comediennes to be her performing role models, Emma Stone is a Royally Rebellious Other.

And because she will completely go “off-script”, embodying impulsive, spontaneous moments of expression,  regardless of appearance, and still producing a “feral”, raw, honest performance, Kristen Stewart is our Reigning Other Queen.

EMMA IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS VENTURE INTO THE WILD, AND RECEIVE NUMEROUS BLESSINGS FOR DOING SO

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: HOW HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED SYNCHRONICITY/SERENDIPITY IN YOUR LIFE? How have you ventured into the wild, and experienced its blessings?

Gropage & Giveaways: Awareness and Artistry

13 Oct

Hello my dearests! Happy Wednesday to you. Today is just a Musings Moment, not even a full-fledged Muselet or Memo…Just a moment to announce the Kathryn LeGrice Print Giveaway Winners of  last week’s post. Also, I want to address a few points that I think are essential to all of us…

Firstly, HAPPY OCTOBER!! This is my favorite month, not only because it’s my birthday month, or because it’s the first full month into the Fall Season (my favorite season). It’s a fantastic month because it’s BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. That’s right, friends, I cannot outline the importance of self-gropage for early detection. I have always existed in this world with an awareness of how rampant, devastating, life-altering, and shattering cancer can be.  Unfortunately, I am willing to guess that you all have been exposed to cancer in one form or another-via family, friends, coworkers, and/or your own encounters, no matter your age. Breast cancer does not effect just older women. The women I’ve known who have experienced breast cancer or a cancer scare are as young as 21 through 65. It effects men, young women, families, friends, YOU.

Ladies, if you’ve got ’em, feel ’em up. Do your self-breast exams, get your Mammo-hugs, encourage everyone you know to do the same. Early detection is the key. Go. Go feel yourself up.

Secondly, I want to let you know that you all blow me away. Serio. I am stunned every single day with your comments, tweets and emails to me. Last week was no exception. The courage, the insight, the honesty that you all exhibit bring me to tears, bring me to my knees. I know I say that Musings’ Readers are the most brilliant and brave of all the people out there, but I am saying it in all sincerity, YOU ARE BRILLIANT. Not surprising, since you are KStew and Rob fans. I couldn’t even reply to the comments this week because I felt no words would suffice. Please know that I read all of your comments and thoughts, and I love that you all are interacting with each other a bit, providing support for Fellow Misfit Rebels…You truly are magnificent souls. BRAVE. I bow down to you in humbleness.

During a time when Date Night with Rob and Kristen spark in-fighting and obscene rumor mongering, plus a few Twitter wars, I see you guys staying above it, staying out of it, and concentrating on the bigger picture…WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. This common admiration we share for OTHERS, and our OTHER QUEEN KRISTEN and her MAJESTICAL MISFIT PARTNER ROBERT  is what brought us together in the first place, and I applaud you for remembering this. I know it gets noisy out there. It gets petty, gossipy, immature, and downright vile.  There are far more positive things to be focusing on right now…Like, the upcoming wide release of Welcome To The Rileys:

Or awesomely happy talk show appearances:

And tapping into that neglected creative part in you, leading to authenticity, dancing in the bubbles:

Know that your warm sentiments and compliments for Kathryn’s artwork has been passed on to Kathryn. She is humbled and stunned at your reaction. She wants you all to know how grateful she is for your words. I urge you to continue peeking into Kathryn’s website: http://KathrynLeGrice.com to watch for her new works. Last week, I showed you three prints that the lovely Welsh Ms LeGrice contributed to Musings as a reminder to all of us Others to keep pursuing our endeavors, no matter the naysayers, the doubters and critics (those include the inner critics, especially). Commenters automatically entered their names in for a chance to win one of the three prints…

 

Bryant Park

 

 

Central Park

 

 

San Francisco

 

I counted your first comment if you left more than one, and I did not include a commenter who asked that I withdrew her name from the drawing to give the chance to someone else to win. (Hi, Fi. You’re so generous, it’s ridonk). Thank you. So, here are the winners of the Kathryn LeGrice Artwork Giveaway–A Reminder to Pursue Creativity:

Part 1: The Integers

Generate  random integers (maximum 10,000).

3

Each integer should have a value between  and  (both inclusive; limits ±1,000,000,000).

1 thru 19

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

12

15

3

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

The winners are: (12) APRIL , (15) NHESS_V, (3) MISTY

Winners, we will get in touch via Twitter and/or email. When we do connect up, I ask that you number your preference of painting (which is signed by Kathryn and presented in a lovely matte frame) from one to three.

Thank you all so very much for participating and sharing a little piece of your selves and your creative journey with us. I will be back tomorrow with my regular Thursday Musings…I haven’t narrowed down the topic just yet, but I imagine it will involve self-reflection, love, creativity, bliss-pursuit and Kristen Stewart. I know, shocker, right? You are absolutely adored by me. In the meantime, GO AND SPREAD BREAST CANCER AWARENESS, PROMOTE THE GROPAGE. Also, please continue to take your risks, remain open (in mind and heart) and continue to celebrate the EMBRACING OF OTHER.  See you tomorrow. Much love, KJ

*A/N* This week’s and last week’s drawing results were obtained through the usage of RANDOM.ORG-Integer Generator.

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