Tag Archives: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Acceptance of The Good

21 Oct

What an incredible week(end) its been for our Other Queen (and a feast of the senses for her admirers)! We went from having a few obscure glimpses of her dates out with Rob in Los Angeles a week ago (though they both looked incredibly relaxed and happy) to All Kristen…ALL.THE.TIME. I don’t need to break down her schedule for you guys, you were already along the ride with me, and we probably  exchanged a few tweet-moments of “unf” and “ohmahgawd” and THUDs. But because Kristen killed her press interviews for Welcome to the Rileys and completely dominated the night at the Scream Awards, I’m posting the pretty and fist-pumping in solidarity for our Reining Queen’s clear declaration of superiority. Girlfriend OWNED. EVERYTHING.

So, in a flurry of speculation and second-guessing and in defying space-time-continuum, Kristen, Rob and Taylor all were photographed on the set of Breaking Dawn in Baton Rouge on October 15, as the actors were there to begin pre-production on the films. I am placing a couple of pics up for a few reasons: a) Kristen and Rob were aware the pictures were being taken b.) It’s the return of Rob’s LB hat (I have such hometown pride) c.) It’s the return of Rob’s body guard DEAN, and Kristen’s PA and all-around goodness JOHN; hence, a DeJohn Reunion and, d.) Well, a puppy dog is present. And I love big puppy dogs, as does Kristen.

Ok, so we didn’t actually see those BD set shots until a day or two after they happened, but instead, we were shaking our heads in amazement at the thought that Kristen would really fly back and forth from the east coast to the west coast and back again in the matter of 20 hours. See, she was expected to attend (and film) the Spike Scream Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday night, and literally jet back to the east coast for her press junket and press premieres for Welcome to the Rileys by Monday. Well, our girl pulled it off . She BROUGHT. IT. HARD. She was present to accept her award for Best Actress in  Eclipse. When the first images trickled in of Kristen at the Scream Awards….All I could hear was Gary Wright singing Dream Weaver. Legit. Check my Twitter timeline. Friends began sending me YouTube clips of the song, and the bits from Wayne’s World  (Thanks @RKDaily and @DrownInIt!) It was all slow-mo. Bella-Swan-Hair-Blowing-in-the-wind. White confetti (snowflakes, right? not human scalp?) flitting down from the ceiling. Sparkles. And she looked…goooooood. Brilliant. Spectacular.

Ooooh Dream Weaver...I believe you can get me thru the nigh-hiiight

In her white and black trimmed Guishem mini and Giuseppe Zanotti pumps, I personally thought Kristen has never looked more magnificent.  . . .Coming…or going….

oh holy hell.

I think she looked incredible because she exuded HAPPINESS. JOY. COMFORT. GROUNDING. CONFIDENCE. Over the past few weeks, I feel that we’ve had the great honor of witnessing our Queen grow more assured not only in her physical beauty, but also in the public expression that she and Rob are partners, and in the clever choices she’s made for her career. Currently Kristen is garnering phenomenal critical accolades, thanks to her role as Mallory in Welcome To The Rileys. I’ll speak more on the incredible responses to WTTR in just a few.

She brought her A-Game to the press junket. The young girl–who used to fidget, habitually comb hands through her hair, haltingly produce answers since her cerebral side presided over her spontaneous side–was all but non-existent. In the interview chair sat a woman who was poised, open, friendly, and eloquent as she spoke of the  multitude of bruises on her body from two weeks’ worth of pole dancing practice and how it was to work with Tony Soprano (the rather “teddy-bear-like” James Gandolfini).

What led to this shift for Kristen? What factors lead to any of us to exude and express certainty? Referring to the brilliant and accessible The Curse of the Good Girl by Rachel Simmons (You may recall I favor her work immensely, as she wrote Odd Girl Out, about female aggression and bullying, and we discussed  the topic in The Musings titled: Aphrodite and Kristen Go Against Code ), genuine confidence can be instilled when we ourselves  follow, then teach our children, friends and our Crew a few concepts:

 

  • Identify Strengths Knowing your challenges is one thing. I think we all can identify things we’re less-than pleased about with ourselves. We accept too readily that we are flawed. We very easily are swayed by external critics, media messages–remember, Kristen refers to these people as the Bullshit People. No wonder she flashes them the double-bird salute. Why can’t we easily accept that we’re good at something? To believe we excel? That we have talent? That we are worthy? Make your list, my lovelies. Do some soul-searching and have some talks with your parents and  your best friends; re-read resumes and old report cards. Knowing your strengths–whether it be incredible balance, the ability to sing opera, do math in your head quickly, roll your tongue– leads to a feeling of uniqueness, pride and resilience. And KStew Fierceness apparently.

In the About KJ Page of this site, I include a Sentence Completion activity (it’s the group therapist in me, I’ve gotta have par-ti-ci-pation! (clapping hands in time)!! Every 10 to 14 days or so, I change out the questions. This edition includes a question about talents, and I’ve included my answer below…

Talents As An 8-Year Old: Jump roping, playing piano, playing handball, roller skating (on quads, yo. Not blades)

Anyway, the point is: if you don’t know what you’re good at, chances are you were once really invested in and gifted in some arena. Are you still doing those things, practicing those habits that allowed you to excel when you were eight years old? I still play piano, I still can rock the quad roller skates, though sadly, I have not played handball since I was maybe ten. But at least I know that I possessed some ability and interest at one point in my life.

  • Articulate Those Strengths Identifying strengths is an uncomfortable matter for many, but think of it like this: The sooner you identify  your talents and skills, the sooner you can secure the job, the college placement, the friends, the partners , the _____________(fill in the blank), that you desire in your life.

I’ve been responsible for hiring new employees in my field, and I’ve been on countless interviews as a counseling intern and as a waitress, a manager, a therapist, and for apartment rentals. COUNTLESS. I learned very quickly that the minute I show my uncertainty and disbelief in answering the question:

“What can you bring to this company? What are your assets? Your strengths, KJ?”

UMMMMM. Well, I have most likely removed myself from candidacy for the position, because I doubted myself and caused the interviewer to doubt me as well.  The ability to acknowledge and then verbalize your strengths is VITAL.

One day, we’ll perhaps breach the subject of all the jobs I’ve held, and places I’ve lived. It’s good stuff.

  • Accept Compliments Ok. I could write several theses on this subject. I’m going to try to do my best to simplify and summarize. *deep breath*. Say. THANK. YOU. Ahh, see? At the very least, when you feel your immediate verbal  smackdown bubbling from your throat—SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE. The feeling you have to deny  a compliment from others is simply your inner dialogue, your inner Bullshit Person whispering at you that you’re not worthy of nice testaments. Please STOP the negative self-talk. For one thing, people will not say nice things to you if you constantly argue with them. Another, the more you negatively talk to yourself, the more likely you will believe it…and other people will believe it too. Self-fulfilling prophecies are very real. We create our reality, my friends.

Me thinks that Ms. Kristen has had a little practice in a few of those suggestions. Do you see her telling Sean Penn to FUCK OFF because he’s incorrect in his assessment of her acting skills?? Uh. I think not.

When her colleagues and friends pay a compliment to Kristen, even if she doesn’t agree, she shuts her mouth. She doesn’t open the can of whoop-ass. Besides, her detractors and critics would pounce on her for being “ungrateful” if she did counter a compliment, and girlfriend does not have time to play those she-said/they-said games anymore.  So as a result of choosing to use her energy wisely, focusing on HER ASSETS, Stewie can transition from this (at the WTTR Press Premiere):

….to THIS…seamlessly, beautifully, the next morning (leaving Regis & Kelly early the next morning):

And she can confidently declare prideful, genuine, powerful statements like this:

“Unless you respect and like yourself, nobody else is going to”

Yes. That’s right. That’s what Kristen Jaymes Stewart told an interviewer this weekend during the WTTR press junket. She said she learned this lesson while playing the role of Mallory, a broken, but resilient girl. Perhaps  the character of Mallory has helped Kristen navigate away from internalizing the cruel,  alarming threats and criticisms from “fake fans” and Nonsensicals rampant these days. And perhaps Kristen is truly taking these moments of unrelenting scrutiny to OWN. WHAT. IS. HERS.  See how beautiful accepting the good can be?

Let’s chat about another Majestic Misfit who OWNS it, shall we?

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

I have been a fan of our FRR for at least a decade, maybe closer to two of ’em. For sure since he was a little guy, which means, since I was a little gal, since I’m only two years older than he is. I’ve wanted to highlight his Royal Rebelliousness for some time now, to applaud his transition from child actor to awkward (yesss) adolescent to the thoughtful, insanely talented revered indie actor that he is now. Much like our beloved Ambassador of Other, Kristen, JGL has been in front of cameras, since his age was a single digit (for the record, he was 6 when he debuted in Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It). I feel like I had already known him for years by the time he appeared in  TV’s 3rd Rock From The Sun…ok, confession. I knew about him from his days in Disney’s Angels in the Outfield…anybody else? Any takers? Bueller? He shared leading role status in the beloved 10 Things I Hate About You alongside late, great Heath Ledger (to whom Joseph has some resemblance, no?), and he dazzled, danced, and endeared himself to us in one of my very favorites: 500 Days of Summer (what part of MUSICAL NUMBER don’t you just freaking LOVE??) Oh. And you may have caught him in  G.I.Joe as the nefarious Cobra Commander, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if you bolted straight up in your seat when you got an eyeful of Joe opposite Leo DiCaprio in this year’s Inception.


Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Joe, as he prefers to be called, had early exposure to the pursuit of creativity and expression. His mother ran for U.S. Congress  for California as apart of the Peace And Freedom Party, and his father was a program guide editor for Pacifica Radio (KPFK–ahhhh I feel calmer just having typed out the name of that lovely station–I’m such a fan). Joe’s maternal grandfather is Michael Gordon, Hollywood director (think Doris and Rock in Pillow Talk).

After successfully navigating his adolescent years by attending public high school, avoiding fame, and appearing in a long-running and popular TV show 3rd Rock From The Sun, JGL decided to take a hiatus from acting and attend Columbia to study French, literature, and history. He has been quoted as knowing how fortunate he was to have had success and a job as child, which allotted freedom to pursue interests and education as an adult. He left Columbia after a few years of study to return to acting, and hellllooo provocative and proclamation! He participated in a series of projects such as Mysterious Skin (in which he played a gay prostitute) and Brick (as an adolescent running an underground drug ring) that had critics bestowing accolades and praise, calling him the “rising star” in acclaimed  and quality Indie films (Boston Herald), and “one of the hottest actors in the indie firmament” (New York Times).

Well, ok, I fell in love with the guy truly, when I saw his social media project/ stand against paparazzi: Pictures of Assholes <—Click for YouTube Link… Joe turned the camera on a couple of paparazzi and challenged them to seek awareness of how invasive and destructive paparazzi attention can be to one’s soul. Seriously. Swoon. Just goes to show that folks can be powerful and influential simply with words…and a willingness to talk.

A mirror can be a powerful intervention.

I wasn’t going to write about Joe today, because I just discovered that he is grieving the loss of his older brother David, a photographer, performance artist and definitive Other, who passed away earlier this month. Joseph collaborated with his brother often in projects, and Joseph cites David as an integral partnership and inspiration in the creation of HitRECord.org, his online collaborative production company . Following David’s death, Joe publicly asked artists, musicians, filmmakers and the world to celebrate his brother’s spirit with him. And well, you don’t have to ask me twice to honor a creative spirit.

Guitar player, singer, writer, collaborator, producer, dancer, intellectual, and a pursuer of Creative Expression and Challenge, Joseph Gordon-Levitt embodies the qualities for  Ambassador of Other, so beautifully, that, as with Kristen, I am struck speechless and greatly inspired. P.S. my crush on him increased exponentially after watching this: CLICK—>:::BAD ROMANCE:::

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Is not interested in success, nor power or money. Seeks good scripts and personal connection.

*Dislikes the concept of celebrity, and believes the “true” people deserving of accolades are astronauts and teachers.

*Quote: “The most valiant thing you can do as an artist is to inspire someone else to be creative”

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Though she is our elected Other Queen, Kristen may not have always believed that she had royal characteristics. Some extremely impressive Hollywood personalities have much to say about Kristen’s strengths and majesty, just in case she isn’t sure. Over the course of a singular day obscenely gifted colleagues such as James Gandolfini, James Woods, Jake Scott and Melissa Leo praised Kristen’s formidable talents and even gave statements comparing Kristen’s unique and high skills to those of acting legends Meryl Streep…Marlon Brando…Robert DeNiro.

Director Jake Scott compared Kristen's burgeoning skills to those similar in Meryl Streep

Reviews about Kristen’ ability to act include clips and phrases such as:  “raw vulnerability” ,”fierceness” “heartbreaking emotion”, “incredible uniqueness”, and “the potential to be one of the greats, if not THE greatest of her generation”. Two years ago, if you would have Googled Kristen’s name, you’d see her impressive resume, and the stunning list of legendary co-stars she’s worked with, and you might read that she’s disciplined, focused and even “brilliant”. Two years ago you may have also read that KStew was notoriously shy, awkward and uncertain in interviews and at press junkets. That she would bumble through interviews and project an aloof stance that unsettled journalists. Today, Kristen is sought after by high-calibre, legendary  film-makers as well as couture fashion designers; her name is being thrown around in major awards buzz, and she is landing on nearly every Best Dressed list published. She has a growing bevy of former-co-stars’ admiration and devotion, including James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo; Jodie Foster and Sean Penn, and the list goes on….

Thank you, @tiybor!

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Is not interested in fame, nor power, or money. Seeks only the connection of humanity within the character.

*Is able to define and accept her strengths and challenges, on her own, and modestly.

* Quote: “Unless you respect and like yourself, nobody else is going to”

Because he approached paparazzi on the street and held up his own video camera (mirror) to patiently dialogue with them about intrusion of privacy and the price of celebrity, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not only my hero, he is also a Rebellious Royal.

Because she is able to define, accept and constructively use the feedback about her strengths and challenges, all while in outrageously sexy dresses and heels, Kristen Stewart is our Reigning Other Queen.

JOE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS ARE ABLE TO IDENTIFY AND EXPRESS THEIR OWN STRENGTHS

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: What were your talents as an 8-year-old? Do you use these assets today? If so: How? If not: Why do you think that is?

LONG A/N: **Big thank you to Emma from  @TeamKristenSite for the rec a long time ago for The Curse of the Good Girl. We had quite the book exchange didn’t we?

** Ever since I’ve moved over to WP, I have been writing Musings and publishing without pre-reading nor beta-ing. You’ve all been very kind in overlooking my silly typos and grammatical faux pas. I’m trying to break out of the habit of writing Musings the moments before publishing, and it’s been unsuccessful. The procrastination, unfortunately, is enabling me. Nonetheless, please give a warm shoutout to Buff_82 who designed the Pretty and the Banner for Musings, and ensures that the playlist I create each week is up and running on the site. So thank Buff for The Pretty and The Music.

**I may not publish next week, or if I do, it may not be Thursday. I am heading out of town for a psychology conference, and am planning Birthday Festivities with my beloveds. Basically that means, because of the nature of those plans, I don’t know if I will be here nor there. In this country? Probably. But I cannot guarantee. *giggles*

**WINNERS of The Kathryn LeGrice Originals Giveaway, I hope to get your prints in the mail by this weekend. I’m so pleased that they’re traveling literally around the world…Spreading the Other Love!!

**As usual, I do not mean to diminish the great importance and awe I feel in repeating/emphasizing this: Your letters, tweets and comments completely blow my mind and make my life. Thank you so much. I have responded to all of last week’s comments, and am working through the emails too. But I assure you, I have received your words and I HEAR YOU. I DIG YOU. KEEP ON, YOU GUYS. You’re making an incredible difference out there by pursuing your bliss, embracing your Otherness, opening up to synchronicity, supporting Kristen and Rob!! You are perhaps sparking a Movement-A REBELLION….KEEP GOING!!!

**My Cyber Sisters/Readers: You rock me. I am honored to be in the company of such brilliant, funny, talented women. We’re about to hit an anniversary here soon…CHEERS!

All my love, and see you soon. xo, KJ

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