Tag Archives: Welcome To The Rileys

The Places That Scare You, Part 1

11 Nov

Confess your hidden faults. Approach what you find repulsive. Anything you are attached to, let it go. Go to the places that scare you  ~~advice from her teacher to Tibetan Yogini Machik Labdron.

Hello my dearest of Dearhearts. I AM BACK! It’s been two weeks since we’ve talked last, and I have missssssed you!  For the first time in Musings history, I did not post a weekly essay last Thursday. Not posting caused me some anxiety, to be honest. Thank you to Emma and Sbella of @TeamKristenSite for checking in on me when I was radio silent last week, and to my Manager Kathryn, my Welsh Muse, for helping me ground after I floated away  for a moment. I am currently poised to hop on yet another plane tonight, for a trip down south to attend the second half of a psych training, but I would really love to tell  you all about these amazing, Ah-MAY-Zing couple of weeks since we’ve last visited…may I? There were inspiring psych seminars, multiple Rileys viewings, bonfires, birthdays, copious amounts of alcohol and yummy food, and reminders of Kristen’s Royalty EVERRAH WHERE. . . So of course we’ll talk about the gloriousness that is Rio de Jan-you-believe-how-freaking-hot-ohhh?

This is beyond sexy for me. I can’t even..I don’t know how to…

Let’s get to it, friends, because we have some serious chemical events to address this week!  So much that I am dividing this post into two parts. Part One is today, and Part Two will be next Monday. In Review: we last convened in the days before Halloween, a.k.a. illuminate-the-repressed-side-of-you-Day, a.k.a. Day of Other. How was that for you all? Let me tell you, since my last Musings, I have had the most incredible birthday that I can ever recall. Truly. I have been nonstop bodyrock for over two weeks now, and I’m on the verge of collapse, but it’s been incredible.

Firstly thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your kind comments, tweets, texts and emails filled with birthday wishes and warm thoughts. I received ALL OF THEM (looking at you, Mullet, @Nhess_V and @horny4Kristen of IMDb for making a special Birthday Thread, and YOU, @kstewsbtrthanu and @buff_82 for my beautiful KStew Bday Card and special shout out in KStew Is Better Than You’s Halloween post). I felt like I was wrapped in a big fandom Snuggie, in a good way, not in the so-heinous-it’s-brilliant-infomercial way. So it began like this: two Thursdays ago, I flew down to my hometown and was picked up by my childhood friend/ next-door neighbor who was kind enough to take a break from fashioning her halloween costume of one of the singing California Raisins of the I Heard It Through the Grapevine TV spots that were always a little creepy, but my god, charismatic!

Ok, so remember how I’ve  spoken of Plan A versus Plan B with you? This means merging all your facets, introducing your cyberworld with your 3-D world, wearing your Chucks with your Tiaras/Crowns? My birthday celebration and the last two weeks were filled with magical moments of synchronicity and encouragement to plow through the anxiety and fear of combining my two plans. I am accustomed to going home and being the brunt of snark and judgment from family members and old acquaintances who don’t understand my unconventional plans for my future or the atypical decisions I’ve made for my career and personal life. And well, I encountered ALL  of those things when I went there this week. But, I also encountered great, great moments of clarity and joy that encouraged me to go forth and continue to pursue the merging of Real Life versus Undercovah Creative Other Life. These facets can exist together. I don’t have to exhaust myself trying to play “Good” Psychology Student, Responsible Daughter and Business owner at the expense of  the parts of me that are Other-Queen-in-Training, Kristen-and-Rob-supporting, klutzy, though always dancing, singing, sometimes-loopy creative girl who likes to write.

Miracle Bubbles = Plan A & B Merging

A sampling of my First Week of Otherness: Friday morning, I walked into the seminar after taking a year off from psychology, ready and primed  for inspiration. I got it. I was inspired, motivated, confirmed and encouraged for doing the right thing in starting my Magical Little Practice and going independent as a small business owner in lieu of working for Bastard Nation in the Sea of Hopelessness out there. A quote was flashed on the presentation screen to serve as segueway into a discussion about guidance, inspiration and technique for teaching:

“People seldom improve when they have no other model, but themselves” ~Oliver Goldsmith

Isn’t that what it’s all about? Instead of looking for structure and pre-designed technique to make change and be ok in the world, we are to look to ourselves to be the role models, the guide. Ourselves. Sure, we can grab suggestions or inspirations from folks we admire and people who inspire us (hellloooo, KRISTEN STEWART), but the improvements aren’t made unless we make the conscious effort within ourselves, and when we acknowledge that it STARTS. WITH.US. But this quote also indicates that we can’t do it alone. So collaboration and remaining open to external input is extremely correlative with success. But we have to make the conscious efforts to make change, to grow. I already know what to do . I’ve been trained. I have been given the tools to use. Now I must apply them in my daily life to create momentum for change and to actively pursue happiness.

Ok, Mr. Riley, shall we talk about the places that scare YOU?

Ok, so let’s use this moment to talk about Welcome to the Rileys. Since last chatting with you all, I have seen that powerful little movie THREE TIMES. The lovely Iris (@Just2CUSmile) and Kim (@Kimmcarr)  were my hot dates for my first viewing of WTTR, of course, and like good Kristen fans, they were on viewings 2 or 3 already…

um, I didn't remove all my black nail polish from my thumb yet. Don't judge.

You’ll notice the title of this essay perhaps, and think it’s a bit odd. It really was meant to be the overall theme in this long, two-part post, about how we let fear hold us back from pursuing our bliss, and consequently miss out on opportunities handed to us.

In Welcome to the Rileys, we meet Doug and Lois Riley, or rather, people who look like Doug and Lois Riley but are really just empty vessels moving through their daily activities, aimless, hopeless, anguished and grieving. They have shut down. The scariest place they can go in that moment, is back up, to break the surface. In Lois’s case, the scariest thing she could do is walk out onto her front porch, leaving the shelter (prison?) of the walls behind her.

In 3D world, behind the scenes of this film process, our Other Queen, Ms. Kristen, was on set by herself for the first time in her professional career. She was 18 years old and about to take on a role as a stripper/prostitute in New Orleans, Louisiana, post-Hurricane Katrina. Kristen did have moments of anxiety in the beginning of filming, as she reports in interviews. But as she immersed herself in Mallory’s skin she found she was able to access some deep, dark, “feral” place within herself to possess the strength to express to portray such a raw, passionate, fierce woman. This woman in the film helps Doug and Lois Riley realize they have been holding back living due to their own fears…This woman recognizes that she is a survivor and resilient in and of herself. And Kristen? Well our girl Kristen is receiving the highest critical acclaim of her career for going to the place that scares her  to conjure up Mallory…

There are more examples, many more, of how challenging the things we fear most can be the catalyst for breaking through a new level of functioning and awareness. I have just begun to detail some of the moments I’ve encountered just in the past ten days. We’ll revisit them for Part 2…But I wanted to throw in a few visuals that express the awe and the AHHHHH of the past few days too. Because really? How freaking incredible has Kristen and Rob’s time in Rio been?  SERIO.

@robkris13 and I dropped everything (postponing FOOD even!) we were doing to check these pics out when they surfaced. #hardcore

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: ZOOEY DESCHANEL

The lovely Zooey “Zo” Deschanel is an actress, singer and model, recognizable for her deadpan, sarcastic roles in films, and most recently as the “She” in the indie duo She & Him with producer, songwriter/guitarist M. Ward. Zooey was born into a family quite familiar with show business. Her father Caleb  is an Oscar-nominated cinematographer (Passion of the Christ) and her mother Mary Jo is an actress (Twin Peaks). Zooey’s older sister Emily is also a well-known actress, most notably for her work in TV’s Bones.  I knew Zooey from her role as Anita in the lovely Cameron Crowe film  Almost Famous in which she played the older, rebellious sister hell-bent on following her heart’s desires in the 1970’s. Her film debut was in the comedy Mumford, but it was her performances in The Good Girl in 2002 ; plus,  All The Real Girls and Elf opposite Will Ferrel and James Caan in 2003 that solidified Zooey’s presence in the film industry. The LA Times called Zooey  a recognizable and desirable actress due to her “deadpan, sardonic and scene-stealing performances”. She often is cast as the “Best Friend” in roles, about which Zooey commented:

“I don’t even have that many friends. In high school, I stayed home all the time. How is it that I’m everybody’s friend now?”

Ms Deschanel received critical acclaim and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead in 2003 for her work in All The Real Girls, all while pursuing creative expression as a musician. She is featured today as a Royal Rebel as she is successfully balancing her love of creating music with her rising profile as a respected actress, walking the fine line between independent artistry and blockbuster fame, much like our Other Queen Kristen. In 2009, Zooey married Ben Gibbard, frontman of the band Death Cab For Cutie in what indie music writers called, “a match made in Indie Heaven” and she starred in one of my very favorite movies, 500 Days of Summer with her 3D friend and recent Featured Rebel Royal Joseph Gordon-Levitt .

As a child, Zooey traveled a lot, as her parents were working in locations all over the world. While she is a Los Angeles native, Zooey reports growing up in exotic locales such as Canada, Yugoslavia, England and South Africa, though her sadness at constantly saying goodbye to her friends made for a lonely childhood. Zooey told L.A. Times in an interview at Coachella this summer: “I think California is our nation’s greatest state. It’s multi-faceted…it can have a melancholy about it.” After the exotic travels of her early childhood, Zooey  eventually settled into a private high school in Los Angeles where she became friends with future costars Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson, and she had planned to pursue a career in musical theater. After just under a year of study at Northwestern University, Zooey left university to pursue acting full time.

She. And. Him.

Perhaps she was destined for Other Royalty, having been named after the male character of Zooey in Salinger’s Franny and Zooey; also, with her nomadic childhood,  and her reports of feeling always on the fringe of circles. Zooey credits her ability to sing as a big reason she received the role as Jovie in Elf. She sings with a Cabaret group called If All The stars Were Pretty Babies in addition to her cameos in comedy groups and her singing/songwriting/performing with She & Him.  A self-proclaimed homebody and old-fashioned girl, Zooey exercises awareness and sidesteps the scandals and drama associated with other young Hollywood artists. She is interested in finding film projects similar to “Rushmore and Being John Malkovich” where young directors are “doing different things in cinema. That’s what I’m passionate about”. She acknowledges that growing up in a show business family requires that she has to fight even harder for work and respect in the field, and that she is not in the film and music industry “to be famous” and that her job is not to be “the beautiful”. Smoothly and gracefully navigating the line between artistic integrity and Hollywood It-Status, Ms Zooey is a sublimely lovely embodiment of Other Royalty.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Is uninterested in fame or notoriety

*Successfully balances several facets of creative living, as well as indie projects and blockbuster work

“Always the aim for me is making people feel like they are not alone.”

***   ***   *** ***

ZOOEY IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS GO TO PLACES THAT SCARE THEM.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

A/N: This is where I’ll end Part 1 of this essay. I have yet to pack for my flight and if I keep writing, I’ll miss it. That wouldn’t be such a hot idea. I know I haven’t even brushed the surface of  the epicness that was Breaking Dawn Day One, which coincides with the night we refer to as THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION with my KSIBTU Girls. We’re talking booze, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Bonfires, CC lighting herself ON fire, Van Morrison, and the introduction of Bella Cullen to the world, Rio style.

The power of birthday tiaras? INSANE.

Ritz Carlton What?!

Here’s something to gawk at til I see you in a few days…

Get it, Rob...I mean, Edward...I mean...really, ROB...Damn.

I shouldn’t have put this gif up so early. It’s like having dessert before dinner. I can’t even write beyond this, because when I do, it causes the page to scroll down and I can’t stare anymore. It’s mesmerizing. Much like Kristen’s famously robust butt, from which Rob seemingly cannot (and quite understandably) keep his hands away.  Let’s look again at this (right, like you haven’t been staring, open-mouthed this entire time, probably having watched the loop about 47 times by now).

Rob, er, Edward bends Kristen Bella backwards under the passion of his kiss, while his hands drift first from her face and neck, bypassing her waist and going straight for the motherlode….*fans self* phew! Um, it’s a good thing I’m ending this post right here.

SEE YOU ON MONDAY for More Musings, my Lovelies! xo, KJ

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

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?

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