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Saturday, 31 December 2011

A New Year Is Born. Happy 2012!

I remember this time of year, last year. I was home in Toronto with my family, celebrating the holidays after 4 years of being away during Christmas. It was sooooo good to be home with everyone. I felt safe....almost too safe. But that's what the comforts of home, sweet home brings, especially during Christmas and New Years. But there I was, sat in front of the Christmas tree, reflecting as you do, when you've reached the end of yet another year gone by way too quickly. You realize you survived a crazy year, full of ups and downs, twists and turns and falls and are still breathing and still in wonder of what could possibly be around the corner? Life seems to happen at lightening speed, as each year arrives. Sometimes, I wish I could just stop the clock, and freeze those 'safe' moments into place...but nah, that wouldn't be 'living' now, would it? 

December 2010, I had made some big decisions with my life. In this case, with my career. I changed my team after 11 years. It was not an easy decision, as my old team meant well and were good at heart, but the shoe just no longer fit. I remember vividly how scared I was, wondering if I had done the right thing or not, and asking myself over and over, what would 2011 bring, now that I was starting a whole new chapter? I had to look for a whole new team, who believed in me, and who would connect all the wonderful but complicated dots on the table in front of me. But thankfully, I have some amazing people around me,  who constantly told me that sometimes in life, you have to take that leap of faith and know that you will land on your own two feet, and everything will be more than fine. Thank God for those heroes in my life... So that was then, and this is now...December 31st, 2011. Am I scared? Hmmm...maybe a little,  more like a 'good kind of scared'. But one thing about each new year passing by, is that you become a little wiser, a little stronger, and a little calmer and more open to whatever is possible. 

This year had to be the most challenging years of my life, and I'm not afraid to say it, although it's not something that I dwelled on. That's not my style. It's all about having the courage to keep going, and the faith to know that really, my challenges, were just fancy problems and totally fixable. Over the summer, I embarked on a path of enlightenment (at some point in everyone's life, this happens), and it was the best thing to have ever happened to me, making this year also one of the best years of my life as well. I realized that my life is a gift. My life is great, and that I didn't want to end up being that donkey chasing after the carrot, and thinking that life would be great when I got that carrot. I finally learned how to live in the 'present'.  Something which sounds so easy but is one of the most toughest things to do. lol And funnily and mysteriously enough, as soon as I started to live in the present, is when my life started to make more sense. Little did I know in December 2010, that I would be filming in Cape Town again, writing and developing my music with new songwriters & producers, signing with a great new team, doing a gig for all my fans in June, then filming a cameo in Barcelona for a Robert DeNiro movie, to then end up playing the role of my dreams, Kayla Graham, in Touch. My childhood dream had finally come true. I got to act on tv and and sing too, just like Olivia Newton John did in Xanadu... :)  The 4 year old girl in me is relieved and gratefully excited, and yet I feel so silly now, thinking back to how anxious I was this time a year ago....but I guess that's human nature. The dots only connect and make sense when you look back and reflect. I get that now. 

Every chapter, and every milestone that happens in our lives, brings another piece to add to the puzzle of our lives. And it's only at the end of each year, do the pieces start to fit into one another and help us understand the bigger picture of what our lives are about and where it's all going. So I guess my point in all this, is that there is so much to be excited for on the eve of a new year...so much to hope for, so much to pray for, and so much to be grateful for. 

December 31st, 2011.  Wowsers, I guess I did land on my own two feet. I may have had a few bumps along the road this year with some of the changes in my life, but I'm okay and I'm happy and I'm so glad for everything that has happened this year. And secretly, yes, I'm wondering what 2012 will bring for all of us, but I have a huge smile on my face that whatever does happen, we all have each other and that's all that matters. 

Happy 2012. I wish all of you a new year FULL of more hopes, more dreams and more stories to tell! 

Yours Always, TGITPG xoxoxo

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Best Present is Being Present.

If I believed everything that some people have said to me throughout my life, then I definitely wouldn't be at this point where I am now. Where is this point exactly? Well, I've reached a point in my life where I can connect the dots and see that everything I did or didn't do, or anything that happened or didn't happen, happened for a reason. And it feels great to have no regrets and a smile on my face knowing that I have always followed my heart. So, that point. :)

I think it takes an inner strength or maybe not being so darn stubborn within, to be happy with what we have - never wanting to be the donkey chasing after the carrot, and once you got the carrot, you want more, kind of thing. Easier said then done, I know! Maybe it's because it's that time of year, when we all look back and reflect on the year we've had, but the more I think about it, the more I realize, it's all about the here, and now. I never quite understood that simple concept. 'The present'. Something so simple and yet something so ridiculously hard to do sometimes! I'd like to think that the life experience, the knocks, the falls, and the stumbles that happen along the way, will all one day align into place and make total sense. For me, it already is starting to make sense, and to be honest? Alleluia! lol I'm excited, and grateful for all the things in my life, and I wish that for each and every one of you too. To be able to wake up with a smile on your face, excited about each new day and be intrigued and curious by what may lie around the corner for you. That's what keeps me in love with the miracle of life, and all that it is and isn't. Everyone has a different story to tell, and with each new day comes the possibility of creating a new memory, and a new story to share in the journey. 

See what Christmas and the new year do to me? Always without fail, makes me reflective, sentimental and humbled. It's my favourite time of the year. I love the good will, and good cheer that comes with the festive season. But most all, it reminds me so much of when I was a kid, and how my pocket Mama, would decorate the whole house with garlands, wreaths, hanging up the Tweety-Bird and Sylvester Disney stockings (she still has them) and putting up the Christmas tree. Oh it was so magical! I'd sleep under the tree in my Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag, an empty cup of hot cocoa by my pillow, my family dog, KoKo, at my feet, with all the presents underneath. And yes, when I go home for Christmas, I have to do the ritual, sleeping under the tree thing, but this time with my dog, Bugsy and in my Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag! My back may hurt on Christmas morning for a little bit, and my parents may think I'm a little too old to be doing that, but - it's my quirky way of connecting to my childhood. Funny, come to think of it, and since we're speaking of childhood and presents under the tree, it was so easy to live in the 'present' as a kid. We just did, we just believed, we just went for it  - we could just 'be'.... So that's what I'm going to do for the rest of this year and hopefully in 2012 too, just 'be', and who knows what doors will open next year, but for now, I got my hot cocoa in hand, and 'the present' seems mighty fine to me....

Merry Christmas to all the heroes, saints and inspirers. I wish you all the happiness and peace. 

Yours Always, 

The Girl In The Pink Glasses

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Buzzing with the Bees

I remember at one point in my childhood when getting stung by either a bee, a hornet, a wasp or a queen bee became an annual tradition. I was so accustomed to the bee stinging ritual, that when it did happen, I would just calmly watch the 'buzzer' do it's thing and bizarrely, the instant pain would no longer bother me. By the 3rd time, I was a pro! Each incident happened when I least expected it and when I was busy doing something. The first was playing tag with my neighbours' kids and I ran near a rose bush. STING! The second time was on my neck, whilst I was playing double dutch in the school play yard. My 4th grade teacher said that my neck had looked like it was kissed by a vampire. How he thought that would make me feel better, I have no idea! The third time was on my elbow, when I was playing baseball at a crucial part in the game. Tied - 4 all. Full count, bases loaded, 2 out. I was about to pitch and then I got stung. What perfect timing!!! We lost the game... :( And the final time was when I was at the amusement park. I had seen a ride that I was dying to go on, and I pointed towards it in pure excitement, and guess what?!?! I got stung. I managed to somehow cross paths with a queen bee as I pointed towards the ride. I think I was more upset that I never got to go on that ride, then the fact that my forefinger had become the size of my hand.... So you can then imagine the following year, when I didn't get stung, I thought something was very wrong! But after a few years of being sting-free, the annual ritual was finally broken!

As I was walking to the gym today, I could feel more so, the last traces of another summer gone by. Leaves and acorns scattered on the ground,  and yet there were flowers still blooming, and lots of bees buzzing by me everywhere. Some would come right at me, as if they wanted to walk and hang out with me for a bit. If this was years ago when I was 10, this would've been the part when I would scream and run about in sheer panic with my hands waving wildly in the air -  but not now. They don't scare me anymore. They're actually quite harmless, and seeing as how when a bee stings, it dies shortly after, I don't think they'd really have the intention from the get go, of wanting to let their 'stinger' go... It made me think. I've had much worse 'stings' in my life. Love and heartache, to losing a family member, to the opposite end of not landing the role I wanted so badly, or when some things didn't work out the way I thought they would, or when some people you thought you knew, turn out to be total strangers. Yep, all those things can really sting. But the good news is that the sting doesn't last forever. The 'swelling' of pain eventually subsides, and the sting becomes nothing more then an irritating itch, which then finally disappears.

My folks always remind me, it's what you do after you get stung. (It's annoying how they're always right!) Revenge or bitterness are the Adam's apple. But I've been taught instead, to take the challenging option, where you learn from it. In some cases, I try and forgive myself if I've made a mistake, (sometimes it's hard to do), and promise myself never to make the same mistake again. Ever make a promise to yourself? It's the hardest thing to keep but yet it's the most important promise to keep. Letting yourself down is a cardinal sin. So I make it a point to make solemn promises to myself, which through thick or thin, I can keep and stick by. Only problem is, I made a lot of promises... I promised to never give up on myself, my dreams, my happiness and my faith that there are good people out there in this vast world, that miracles do happen, and that all of us can make a difference. As I write this, I'm thinking to myself, those are not easy promises to keep. But then I think of the bees buzzing around me today. There will always be a risk of being 'stung' and if I really wanted to, I could let them sting me. I could let the sting swell up into something bigger, but I have a choice. I can either be afraid or I can buzz along with them and get on just fine...

Yours Always, TGITPG xoxo

Friday, 5 August 2011

Here, There and the InBetweener

Some months ago, I was giving an interview on the red carpet, in the days ahead leading to my character, Cesca Montoya’s big storyline on BBC 1’s, Waterloo Road (A well loved, and BAFTA nominated drama series in the UK). The interviewer was lovely and cheeky at the same time (aren’t they all?), and she asked me, ‘So, what’s next for you?’ I laughed, a little surprised as my new storyline had not even hit the screens as yet, but I went on to tell her about a comedy series which I’d be starting to film the following month, called, Pixelface. I was excited in telling her how different my new character was from playing the naughty school teacher in Waterloo Road, until she cut me off, and said, ‘Great. So what’s next after that?’. I thought to myself, ‘Really?’ But instead I smiled graciously back to her and said, ‘Uh well...I haven’t even started filming Pixelface, but how about you ask me that question in August (4 months later) when I’m done, and hopefully I’ll have some more news to share.’ And of course her answer to that was....‘Great.’ lol

It’s funny how you start to climb the ladder up to where you want to go, and some people are always asking you, what’s next? What else is happening? I find this amusing. But the danger for some actors or musicians is to feel an unnecessary pressure by these people, who sometimes forget that things don’t happen over night. I was always told by my mentors that any place worth going to means you’re gonna have to go through some twists, and turns, up s and downs, but it’s all part of the journey. Anything considered ‘over night’ is really in fact, a very looooooooooooong night.

Everyday I count my blessings for the opportunities that have come my way. I know a lot of brilliant actors and musicians who put themselves out there and punt away, and don’t ever get a look in. It really puzzles me. They are so talented, have paid their dues, have a good attitude on their shoulders, and deserve to be up there with the rest of them, but it just hasn’t happened, and who knows if it will or won't. Some of them have even left the business all together and changed their life’s direction – some begrudgingly, and unfulfilled, and some with an open heart and mind - which is so admirable and inspiring. It’s a tough one. Like myself, and for those friends and fellow colleagues of mine who continue on with their acting or music, being 'in between' jobs, or 'in between' gigs is an everyday normality...so what does one do when they're 'in between'? Waiting for the phone to ring? For me, I never wait for the phone to ring. I'm an Aries gal. You're never gonna see me sitting around twiddling my thumbs. My sanity depends on being productive - whatever it is, big or small, for work or for my family or for myself. But take note now, the 'in between' bits are just as important, if not more important then the here and there. It's what gets you from one milestone to the next and makes all the difference!

It’s too easy and sometimes tempting, to let things slide in the 'in between' bits. It’s too easy to start worrying, and wondering, or getting bored and not knowing what to do until the next 'thing' happens. In this business, you gotta think two steps ahead. When I’m not on set, I’m writing, songwriting and creating music, and when I’m not doing music or filming, I’m going to meetings, reading books, finding interesting ways of keeping fit (my latest craze was trapeze classes, but that’s a whole other blog altogether), meeting new people, finding new ways of being creatively inspired. These things keep me active and make me tick, and open to whatever the future might bring. The beauty of it, is that it's something within my control. Boredom is an unnecessary evil. There’s no time to be bored when there’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. In my case, I really believe that life experience makes you the better actor. I learned so much about myself (good and bad lol) when I was away from home, when I traveled and saw how other cultures and how people lived and socialized. My father always told me since I was a little girl, to keep my eyes open to everything around me. And of course, Papa was right. I love people watching...I love immersing myself in different cultures when I’m traveling or working abroad. I’d like to think that all these experiences have helped me become a better human being, a better actor and a better musician.
Embrace those transitional periods...that's what I always remind myself to do...to enjoy that 'in between' chapter too. Cause the 'in between' can be just as exciting as the before and after. 

Yours Always, TGITPG xoxo

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

No More Drama. Every little thing, gonna be alright...

I can actually feel the frown lines trickling across my forehead as I type the following words out of this blog -  throw in some puzzled feelings for good measure, and a head that is shaking from side to side in disbelief. Add in a heartbeat that was beating a little fast some hours ago at the pure frustration I was feeling at the time, but is now filled with a sense of calm patience and even a laugh in between breaths. 

The following words do not apply to all my beloved fans. They apply to some people who I'm beginning to question if they really are fans. Cause I know from experience that true blue fans are not demanding of constant attention, are very giving people, and as an artist and an actress, are amazing people I've had the pleasure of engaging with. :)

Every new recording artist or band is always encouraged and told how important it is to engage with their fans. Without the fans, you've got nothing. Record companies will come and go, but the true blue fans, will always be there for you, no matter what. They don't judge, they don't cause trouble - they're there to support you and your career through thick and thin. I'm really lucky and very proud of the fan base I have. They are some pretty amazing people of all ages, - always encouraging and supportive and so giving towards myself, my career, and to the other fans on my social pages. So it was really disheartening when I found out SOME people who call themselves, 'fans', started to turn against other genuine fans on my page, and turned a creative, and supportive page into a hate fest page - and a 'you said this, and did that', 'point your fingers at the other' kind of drama. In between the lines, leaked a pile of jealousy and cattiness which I've never experienced before on my page. I was so disappointed, I can't tell you. 

I'm not perfect. Far from it. I'm not the Queen, I'm not the god mother, or agony aunt, but a girl who is working hard in seeing her childhood dreams through, and trying to make a difference by encouraging other people, no matter how young or old, in following their dreams too. My facebook or twitter pages are all about the music, the acting, all things creative, charity, awareness for good causes, and being a place that's fun and inspiring to come to. It is NOT a place where some people can start cat fights, and creating drama on. I won't have it. I will not allow for the tone of my page to be ruined by some of these people, which my fans and I have worked so hard in creating on these pages. I really hate to do this, but in order to protect and show respect to the real fans, I'm going to have to delete (which I have never done before) any topics which do not relate to what my page stands for. For those to who this applies to, I am not angry. I am not pointing fingers. I just simply do not have the time nor the energy to focus and give to negative dramas, or negativity amongst each other on my page. End of story. I do not want to get involved and it is neither my place to. That is not why I am on everyday on my facebook or twitter page. I log in everyday so that I may show my appreciation and engage with my fans. I will not be made to feel guilty for tweeting one fan or another or commenting on a facebook feed. It is not favouritism, it is me simply trying to reach out to fans when I am able to. I cannot respond to every single tweet, facebook comment or message that comes my way. It is physically impossible, and it saddens me that I even have to write this or justify this at all to some of you who find it hard to understand this. If I choose to respond to one fan one day, trust me that I will respond to another fan, another day, or invite them to another event, to give EVERYONE a chance. Whatever grudges or opinions some of you may have towards other fans on my pages, keep it off my page, please, otherwise, I have to give this warning now, you will be removed from the page. Again, this only applies to the 5% of those people who caused this drama in the first place. My true blue fans NEVER give me these problems, and I love them more for it.

As always, I want to move forward from this, and I do not want to have to write on this subject again. This is not the blog I originally wanted to write about today, but after yesterday's fiasco, I had no choice but to step in and write this. 

Moving on to the subject of street teams. A lot of new recording artists have street teams. They are run usually by the fans. EVERYONE is welcome to join. It is not a clique. I support ALL the street teams created for me by my fans. What is a street team? It is a bunch of genuine fans who want to help spread the word about my music, my acting, my blogs and charitable causes. I appreciate every single one of those fans on the various street teams, who have sacrificed their time and energy to support my career. Does it make me love them more than my other fans who CHOOSE not to be on the street team? NO. I know not all my fans have the time to give for some of the activities that street teams do. And that is totally fine and doesn't make them less a fan then the ones on the street team. If you have any suggestions or ideas on ways of moving forward with the street team, then please join, and get active and share your thoughts. I encourage you, and it's a lot of fun too!

On a final note, I want to say a huge thank you to all the fans that support me near or from afar, who tweet me or facebook me every now and then, or even from the ones I don't hear from all the time, but yet, are always there for me, to support my music or acting roles. You guys are the unsung heroes. You support openly and genuinely and yet expect nothing back. Those are the kinds of people I have in my life, in my family and friends, and what I try my best to do myself. Giving is so much more rewarding than taking. I know I have those fans behind me, and those are the kinds of fans I cherish. That is a true blue fan. I salute them, and will continue to write music for them, act in roles which I hope they will enjoy, and most of all, respect them and protect the fun, encouraging, supportive and inspiring 'isms' which my social pages are all about. 

Onwards and upwards. Time to smile, enjoy life, and celebrate each other, and be grateful for all the wonderful things we do have. 

Yours always, KD xxx

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Magic: Ode To All Things, Olivia Newton-John

Sometimes when I close my eyes, and I'm having a challenging day on this road I started on all those years ago, I can hear, crystal clear, that voice...echoing those lyrics '...Building your dream...Has to start now...There's no other road to take...You won't make a mistake..I'll be guiding you...'. And all of a sudden, I'm 4 years old, in front of the television, sitting on the fuzzy red carpet in the living room, next to my older sister and completely mesmerized by the beautiful songbird, singing away on the screen. Olivia Newton-John. My life changed right then and there. I had to sing like her. I had to act in movies like her. I had to be blonde and blue eyed like her. Oh wait. Cancel the last one - that was never gonna happen (except the one time in high school I wore blue contacts - but that's a whole other story). All I knew was that Olivia Newton John, was the bomb, and she was my idol - the one who got me started on this journey of following my dreams. If I ever meet her, I can honestly say, I would probably pass out. lol  

Every time I listen to her penultimate song, Magic, it never fails to reignite my soul, my drive, and my energy to see my dreams through. It's like a booster shot to kickstart things up again, and I have the biggest smile on my face. lol Sometimes it's so easy to forget where the passion comes from, when the tough times hit you, or when you get rejected or turned down for something and you feel like you wanna give up. But like in the movie, Jerry Maguire, where Tom Cruise, the manager, tells his client, Cuba Gooding Jr, to 'play from the heart', or 'put the love back into the game.' That's what keeps us going. That's what keeps the dream alive. I've been signed a few times to either a major or independent label, and some worked and some didn't. And it can be really testing and sometimes creatively soul destroying when you have to deal with all the corporate politics which most of you might not hear about. But I love to sing. I love to write music. That will never die or go away, and that's what keeps me waking up every day happy that I am doing something that I love to do, and with renewed hope that maybe some more doors will open. Through all of this, I should also remember to enjoy it too. Even the not so great days. That's what my Papa has always told me. Loving what you do has to be the only reason why you'd wanna do music in today's state of the industry, where artist's have to do everything now, A&R'ing? - what A&R? Artists are developing themselves, piracy is ripe, and therefore affecting download sales. Not so glam eh? lol But I know that feeling I had when I watched Olivia Newton John in Xanadu. It was euphoric. She was the world's sweetheart, had so much charm and stage presence. Her music filled my entire body with excitement. I was so in love with wanting to sing and act so much from watching her, that I had to do it too...and here I am, years later, doing what I wanted to do when I was 4. 

We all have our idols, and thank goodness for them. We can watch them, learn from them, and feel good about ourselves every time we hear a favourite song, or read a favourite book, or watch an all time fave movie. It's inspiring, it's what makes us tick. It's what makes my heart beat. When you hear your calling in life, it's the most amazing and scariest feeling. But the excitement is in what is possible. These lyrics to Magic, written by John Farrar, was the perfect song at the perfect moment, which inspired me to do what I do. 

Come take my hand
You should know me
I've always been in your mind
You know that I'll be kind
I'll be guiding you

Building your dream
Has to start now
There's no other road to take
You won't make a mistake
I'll be guiding you

You have to believe we are magic
Nothin' can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic
Don't let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive
Your destiny will arrive
I'll bring all your dreams alive
For you

From where I stand
You are home free
The planets align so rare
There's promise in the air
And I'm guiding you

Through every turn I'll be near you
I'll come anytime you call
I'll catch you when you fall
I'll be guiding you

You have to believe we are magic
Nothin' can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic
Don't let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive
Your destiny will arrive
I'll bring all your dreams alive
For you

Thank you ONJ for inspiring me, and keeping that fire alive in me for wanting to be a singer and an actress like you. At 4 years old, I thought you were pure magic. I still think you are. :) Thanks for reminding me that the real magic lies within the dreams we have. 

Yours Always, 

The Girl In The Pink Glasses

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Green Eggs and Ham - Kicking the 'G.W.E' style

I think my love for the colour green, can really be blamed on my love for Dr. Suess', Green Eggs and Ham. As a kid, I used to always read that book, and whilst I'm a little bit reluctant to try green eggs and ham, (have any of you?), I do have a lot of green in my wardrobe. I love green. I love to wear green, except on my face. 'Green with envy', is definitely a universal, fashion faux pas. The 'G.W.E' style. It's not a good look on anyone.

Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones who doesn't really buy into the 'green with envy' look. But then I think to myself, 'isn't that a choice that WE make?' I've never felt jealousy towards other peoples' good fortunes, happiness, rewards, or successes. If anything, their successes are really inspiring to me. I look at it more like, 'Wow! She did that!' or 'That is so amazing for him. I'd love to do that.' I mean, why waste your time and energy on being upset, or not happy that you don't have what the other person has? Wouldn't it be so much better, and much more fun to be inspired instead and then go make it happen for yourself - whatever it is that you want for your life?

In the music and acting world, sadly, there are too many people who sport the 'green with envy' style. And I've seen how much it consumes them, that they forget all about themselves, their story, and what they want, cause they're too busy being upset, catty, or bitter about someone else's life. It's tragic. I just wanna give them a big hug and nudge them, and say, 'stop crying over spilt milk, and focus on yourself instead.' But I am not an agony aunt, and you can't rescue everyone. You can only try and rescue the ones you care about. Most of these 'G.W.E' peeps don't have a clue who you are, but yet are so quick to be 'green with envy'. I don't get it, and I never will.

Envy is such an unnecessary emotion. It hurts, it pinches, and it can really throw off your focus. All those kids who bullied me in school, actually chose to wear the 'G.W.E' look about me. But the challenge for me, was to not let them and their shenanigans, get to me. At least I can be in charge of that!

There will always be those who choose to follow the 'G.W.E' motto. But I let them be who they want to be, and I keep being who I want to be. Even though sometimes, it can hurt, I don't let it hurt too much to make me upset. I just shake it off and focus on something that makes me smile instead. I'll just keep on being me, and that means being happy with my journey, and being happy for other peoples' happiness too. And all those chicks who try and stare ya down in the casting rooms in L.A or London - it doesn't bother me. I just keep smiling back at them. I'm not perfect, but I'm an individual and I don't have time to play games or worry about whether one breast implant is sagging more then the other or whether the girl next to me is prettier or younger. I'm happy with what I have, even if it isn't perfect. lol Imperfect is perfect and a lot more interesting. That's what Guy Ritchie once said, and I couldn't agree more.

A few years ago, when I was in India, writing and recording with A.R Rahman (Oscar winning composer of Slumdog Millionaire), I stayed at this really swanky hotel near his studios. And everyday, I had a butler, Charles, who would be at hand if I needed anything. Charles' lived in the slums, had a wife and 3 young boys, and despite the financial hardship, he would always look so pristine in his uniform, and have the biggest smile on his face. He was a genuinely happy man, always radiating with such warmth. And then and there, was the only time I wore the 'G.W.E' look. I thought to myself, 'he who has nothing, is the happiest. Why can't I be like that? Why do we always want more and not be content with what we have?' I was definitely green with envy. I want to be like Charles, cause the 'S.M.I.L.E look' is timeless, and very fashionable everywhere. And guess what? It doesn't cost a fortune either to wear.

Yours Always,
The Girl In The Pink Glasses xo

*'Superheroes' out on June 6th. Click here to pre-order & receive your free gifts: Pre-Order Superheroes

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Superheroes Alight!: A Song Blog Dedication

Lady Gaga may have her monsters, but I have my Superheroes. And some might think it's cheesy, but it's not the cheesy approach I was aiming for when Boots, Jeff and I wrote Superheroes a couple of months ago in la la land. 

We all want to be loved, and adored, and even though love is a universal language, it can also be a very complicated matter sometimes. In fact, even Shakespeare said it: 'The course of true love never did run smooth.' I asked myself aloud, when we had the guitars out in the studio...'How do people fall in love? How do people find love?' And then I thought of you guys, my beloved fans who I have the biggest crush on. lol 'How do my Superheroes fall in love?' and then it hit us in the room..that's it...that's what the name of the song should be, and we then began to write the song. An hour later, we had what we hoped, was a hit on our hands. And it reminded me...when something is so easy, when something naturally happens, it's meant to be. :) Writing Superheroes just fell into place so easily, and how awesome to think that you guys inspired us to write the song. 

So here we are! Pre-Order time of the song you guys chose for me to release. I couldn't be more happier and more excited to give this song to you. I hope 'Superheroes' will find it's way into your heart and the hearts of other peeps too. I don't know what will happen, but if I've learned anything from my superheroes, it's that, anything is possible if you dare to believe. 

A dear friend of mine, who I'm lucky enough to have on my team as well, once said to me: 'Record companies will come and go, but your fans are always there for you.' So true, and for that I am truly lucky. I don't ever take that for granted. The big record companies want quantity, they want numbers...but a fan isn't just another number. A fan is someone who witnesses the journey of another person's life: their ups and downs, and their achievements and helps make their dreams come true...that's pretty big stuff. I am a fan of my mother. I am a fan of Olivia Newton John! lol I am a fan of my superheroes, too. 

On a side note, last night was a bit tough. One of my good friends found out she has advanced breast cancer. I was so upset, thinking, here I am always wanting more with my career aspirations when my friend is fighting for her life. I was doing some hardcore thinking and reflecting. And then my twitter screen popped up suddenly with notifications and all your tweets of positivity, encouragement and support came through and I could smile again. That's what a 'superhero' does - picks you up when you need to be helped, and that's why I will always love my superheroes. My dreams are their dreams, and their dreams are my dreams too. I'm really proud of the community we have on my facebook and twitter pages, and that is all down to them. There's not enough good peeps out there, but I'm lucky they're all on my pages. Lucky me! 

So here's a little something for my superheroes to keep. Tuck it away in your wallet or pocket and pull it out when you need a hug or a smile, a cheer or warm thoughts coming your way...

You make this heart beat
You make each new day complete
You make the sun shine so bright even when the clouds are trying to cover up the big blue sky
You make me smile, you make me laugh, you make me remember that I am alive
Everyday, you cheer me on, telling me again and again, that I am strong
You're not just another number, or another stat
You have hearts that beat just as brightly and just as fast
I hitched for a ride, and you cared enough to pull up aside
and together we drove off, on this crazy ride, heading for the sunrise.
It's amazing what happens when we both believe
Our hopes, our dreams, so clear to see
that love, and faith, it never leaves
The ups, the downs, the twists and turns
the joys, the laughs and the tears that burn
But the sun will shine as long as you're there
Anything is possible, for this I swear.

'How Do Superheroes Fall In Love?' Don't ask me, ask my superheroes... 

Your Always,
The Girl In The Pink Glasses xo

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...: Everything Happens For A Reason

The trials and tribulations of the stories of our lives. Sometimes we stop and wonder why some things have happened to us, why we met some people or wonder what purpose a certain person had with coming into our lives. Some things are in our control, and some things are just not. I heart my life, for everything that it is, and for everything it isn't. I heart my family, my friends, and my love for all things creative in acting and music. For me, such questions like, 'Why did I fall for that guy?','Why didn't I get that part?', 'Why did that agreement not work out?' or 'Why did that friendship or relationship not work?',  have cropped up from time to time. But the answer is in the previous line: time. Time is amazing. It reveals all the answers we're dying to know immediately but can't find out what it is just yet. My mother always told me, 'don't rush the answers, if they are not ready to be revealed to you. Just live your way into them, and the answers will be revealed.' Don't you just hate it when your parents are actually right? lol ;) (Let's not even go to the 'I told you so' moments with them. lol)

I wrote a song awhile ago called, 'Save You For Another Day.' It was about one of my dearest friends. (We're still good friends and he knows the song was written for him too). I just adored him...but at the time he was in a relationship, and then when he was single, I was in a relationship. Our timing was way off and it repeated like this back and forth. lol But I knew we had met for a reason - the right reason, and his friendship has definitely made my life that much more brighter. :) As crazy as this may sound, there is joy and bittersweetness in things that can or cannot be, but if I've learned anything in my life, I've learned to be happy that it did happen, no matter how great or crap it was. I'm glad I went through the awkward teenage years, it's taught me humility and never taking anything for granted. I'm glad I went through those bullying years. It's made me stronger, and has given me a sensitivity in treating others the way I'd want to be treated. I'm glad things never came easy to me. It's taught me to appreciate hard work, and makes those moments of when I got a part, or when a song turned out perfectly, all the more sweeter. Life has never been boring as a result. But I guess, it's only moments, weeks, months or years later that we can laugh about it, or reminisce or learn from each experience. 

I had my heart royally broken some years ago and I just couldn't see at the time that it was a blessing in disguise. Looking back now, it was the right thing to have happened. I can look back on that relationship and smile about the good times we shared, laugh about the sillyness of it all, and the wisdom to know that I'm better off not being in that particular relationship. See what time does to you? It actually teaches you a thing or two and hopefully helps you from not turning into a cynical person, but rather a more wise and hopefully humorous soul. ;) My dear friend, Josie taught me that it's how you react to things that really counts. You may not be able to change what has happened, but you can alter the way you react to what has happened. Now why didn't I think of that years ago? lol I guess that's what good friends do - help you find yourself again after you've tripped up or fallen. 

We all have our good days and our 'not so good days' with work, school or in our personal lives. And on those 'not so great days', they may feel like the longest moment in our lives, or the worst thing that can happen. But next time you have 'a not so great day', take a step back, take a deep breath and then find the courage to tell yourself this: 'It may not feel like it now, but things CAN only get better.' Being in an uncertain and elusive industry that I'm in, I keep telling myself that during the challenging times, and it's that hope and faith in myself that has got me up to this point, and will also help me get to the next point on this journey. :) Great things in our personal lives and in our work or dreams we aspire to making come true - don't happen over night. It just takes a bit of time to make those momentous things happen, and when they do, it'll make the moment all the more sweeter. 

I can name a few things which I'm so glad that did happen: my first record deal, Scorpion King 2, The Colour of Magic, Couples Retreat, Pixelface and of course, Waterloo Road. It brought me all the love and support of you guys...

Everything really does happen for a reason. ;) 

Yours Always, 

The Girl In The Pink Glasses xo

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

You love me, You love me not. Either way, it's really ok.

I love the colour red. I think Olivia Newton John rocks, and I love some of the renditions of cover songs on Glee, (no matter how cheesy some may think they are). I love Alexander McQueen or give me a tartan gown from Vivienne Westwood any day. I'm not into the whole 'unce, unce, unce,boom, boom, boom', clubbing thing, I like long walks with a view. My idea of pure bliss is reading the Sunday paper, with a cappuccino, laying lateral on the couch, with the tv on some Sunday afternoon special, but that's just me. This is who I am. But the way I feel, and think, and my personal choices doesn't make me a bad person, and whether you agree or disagree with my beliefs or choices, doesn't make you a bad person either. We all have our own individual tastes and personal opinions, right? :)

I'm not gonna lie, I'd love it if everyone liked me and thought I was talented, and unique, - we all want to be liked and held in high regard. So where do the 'haters' fit into to all of this? I'm sure some of you have seen on my facebook or twitter pages from time to time, some negative or disrespectful people leaving comments for all of you to see, and in the hopes that it will upset me. Well, hopefully, you guys know me enough to know that 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.' I don't give attention to them, cause a life is too precious to waste energy on those that try to seek out and bring others down. I don't know them, and they don't know me. It's one thing for someone to write in to me and say respectfully, they have a different opinion on my music or my acting or on me generally, and that's totally ok. That is their opinion, whether I agree with them or not, I respect it, and I for one will not be rude to them for feeling differently. But it's another, when someone writes in and says something slanderous when they don't even know who I am. And it's when things like that happen to any of us, that we should just treat it as if it's a speck of dirt we just found on our clothes. What do you do? You try and scrape it off or dust it off with your fingers, right? And then, you carry on with your day. The 'dirt' on your clothes will only leave a 'stain', if you allow it to stain. I decided a very long time ago, back to my bullying days, that I was not going to let all the negative, non constructive comments, 'stain' this gal's soul.

Not everyone is gonna get what each of us is all about. We all are our own unique 'novels', with plenty of stories to tell and future stories to unravel and to be told...each 'page', each 'chapter' in the book of our lives, represents our own path, - our own journey. Every day I'm creating a new page in "The Book of Karen David". Some pages are good and some pages just totally suck. 'But that's what makes the journey all the more interesting', as my dear father says. With each new day, you start it off on a blank canvas, and 24 hours later, you've got another page in the book of your life. When I think of it this way, it really makes me want to make the most of each new day. Yeah! 'Carpe Diem!' Some people (Johnny Depp, and Angelina Jolie) even have this phrase tattooed on their bodies as a reminder. lol :) As each year goes by faster and faster, I find myself living each day to the max, and always being grateful for the new day to come. It can be exciting stuff guys, if YOU make it exciting and rewarding for yourselves. Only you can be in charge of that, and that is definitely the beat that I march to every day of my life. 

I always did love George and Ira Gershwin's classic song, 'Let's Call The Whole Thing Off'': 

You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto, Let's call the whole thing off

But I'd like the last line above, to instead say, 'let's NOT call the whole thing off.' Cause at the end of the day we should all celebrate our differences...it's what makes us, - us. ;)

Yours Always, 

The Girl In The Pink Glasses

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pizza Faces: A Letter to a Bully

Dear Bully:

I just wanted to take this one moment out of my precious life to share with you, the positive impact you've had on my life and my journey. I'm not here to throw slanderous words at you or cry tears of the pain you once caused me. Where's the fun in that? and it would be so cliche. And I know because of you, your words and your actions, that I am the better person, and don't have the time, commitment or energy, to stoop to such a low level. I have too much self respect and respect for others, which by the way, you taught me, so for that, I am thankful.

Thank you for making me more determined to make something of myself, for wanting to prove to myself that I could be anything I wanted to be, despite your daily harsh words that were shouted at from across the school halls.

Thank you for calling me names, which at the time may have hurt a bit more, but now, make me laugh and appreciate that we are all human beings, and not perfect, but should love ourselves no matter what. 'Chocolate chip face', 'Pizza face'  or 'Brownie', were the highlights that really stood out in mind. Your words about the importance of physical appearance, taught me how shallow some people can be, and how beauty really shines from the inside, and can make a person so stunning. I can walk proudly no matter where I am, and not give a toss about what people think, or what Hollywood thinks. I'm 5'3. I'm not a supermodel. I get zits every now and then. I love eating chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes when I feel like it. I don't have a big booty. I don't have silicone breasts, and guess what?! I don't care! :) So thank you for making me realize that there are better and more important things to focus my attentions on: my family, my friends, my career, and my dreams.

Thank you for teaching me one of life's most valuable lessons: treating people the way you would want to be treated. Because of your constant display of hatred, jealousy, and foul language, it made me so repulsive to the thought or notion of wanting to cause such unnecessary grief on others. I have learned the difference between standing up for myself and what I believe in to putting others down for no apparent reason, other than to make yourself feel better. Because of you, I sought the care and mentorship of my teachers, my parents, or other inspiring people who helped me get through a difficult phase during these years, that you tried to make, what seemed at the time, unbearable. Instead, those years became defining years and helped shape me into the young woman that I am today. I've learned that being a team player gets you a long way in life and work. I've learned to not be a follower, but to be an individual.

And finally, I pray that you may find peace in your heart and soul. I pray that IF or WHEN the day ever comes or has come, where you have realized the wrong you have caused or are still causing to others, that you will learn from your mistakes and not repeat them and then be able to forgive yourself. I hope you will find something meaningful with your life to do so that you can look back on your life and be proud of it instead of looking back on a life filled with regrets.

You have given me two choices. One choice is to let all the pain and tears turn into bitterness, cynicism, and hate - but that would make me just like you. The other choice is to look back on all of this, learn from it, not wallow in self pity, and pick myself up and carry on to bigger and better things. Yep, think I'll go for the second option.

I end this letter with a smile on my face and nothing but peace in my heart, and the hope that others who have gone through what I have been through, will be stronger for the experience and come out of it with a huge smile on their faces too.

The Girl In The Pink Glasses

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Me vs. Me: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A few years ago, I wrote a song called Me. Vs Me. I was first starting out in the music business in London. 22 years old and full of hope, dreams, energy, fierce determination and also some naivety, all wrapped up into one. Nothing was going to stop this kid from making her childhood dreams come true. lol Looking back, I laugh at myself, humbled by all that I've learned from then till now. Am I still full of hope? Yep. Do I still have dreams? Definitely yep. What about the energy? haha Well I'm trying to keep up with those energy levels I once had in my early 20's. lol Fierce determination? Hmmm..more like a calm determination...and as for naivety, I'm sure I still have some of it, but hey, if that's what got me up to this point, then so be it. Sometimes having some naivety is a good thing. You're not clouded by cynicism, and when you have a dream that you are determined to pursue, trust me, cynicism is not what you need to get you where you wanna go. ;)

I am my own best friend and I am also my own worst enemy. Sound familiar? lol As I've been traveling on this journey, I've also been learning more and more about myself and I can thankfully say with great relief, that I have become more best friends with myself then the enemy. My teens and early 20's were definitely a period of trial and tribulation. Lots of them...but that's what growing up is all about - trying to figure out who you are, what makes you tick, and what you feel good and proud to be in.

I remember every birthday when I was about to blow the candles on the cake, or when I had an eyelash in my hand, or when a ladybug landed on me, I could make a wish, and hoped and prayed so hard that the wish would come true. I'd wish for getting a record deal by the time I was 16 years old, so I didn't feel like a failure, or I wished that I'd land that big acting role I auditioned for the other day, or I wished that the boy I sat next to in school, Chris, would suddenly notice me, and see beyond the geeky glasses, and zits on my face, and tell me that he really liked me. I wished and wished so hard till I was blue in the face for these things. Did they come true? No. Not at the time they didn't, and it felt awful when those things I wished so hard for, didn't come true. I was www.frustrated.com lol

Funny how now, the things that I wish for are so different. When I blow out the candles on my birthday cake, or blow away the eyelash that's landed on my hand, or when the ladybug walks up and down my arm, all I wish for is to be happy, and to continue to being happy and being grateful for all the good things in my life: my family, my friends, good health, my superheroes, lol, and the people who inspire me every day of my life in this fascinating and amazing industry I work in. Anything else, really, is a bonus.

It's so easy for us to forget the good things we do have.  I forget sometimes, as I’m always thinking two steps ahead. And when those not so great days happen, (as they do for all of us), my family and friends are quick to remind me of what I have achieved already. It's really easy for us to be hard on ourselves, but I guess that's because we care, and caring is a great thing!

When I brush my teeth in the morning, staring at the mirror, looking to see if any adolescent like zits have blessed my face that day, or tell myself not to ever become another casualty for needless botox, like a lot of 20 something girls in la la land, I remind myself that I haven’t failed, that I am trying my best every day to bring myself one step closer to my dreams. Most importantly, I remind myself that at the end of the day, I can look back on all of this 50 years from now, and say to myself, ‘Girl, you did good. You tried, you worked hard, and you gave everything your best shot, and that’s what really matters.’

Me vs. Me? No...now, it’s just me, and I’m cool with the imperfect me. Are you? :) 

Yours Always, 

The Girl In The Pink Glasses xo

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Life After Waterloo Road: The Afterlife of Cesca Montoya

Crikey, it was only a week today that the final curtains drew to a close on Series 6, of Waterloo Road, and for my dear, character, Cesca Montoya. haha. And yet it feels like a lifetime, doesn't it? It still hasn't really hit me that the series is all over. But give it a few more weeks, and I reckon, it'll sink in. But for now, I'm still in that euphoric moment, happy for the story line I had, blessed to be given such a dynamic role, like Cesca, to play, and finally grateful to have met some of the loveliest bunch of fans, a gal like me could ever hope for. (You blushing? lol).

I am in total awe of Cesca. Every day since the finale, I've been receiving tons of love and support on twitter and facebook for all things, 'Cesca Montoya'. She is one lucky lady, - she even trended on twitter more then a few times in the UK and even worldwide! lol It's been truly amazing. And to think back to when the producers first told me about the story line with Jonah, I was really nervous and excited at the same time. Excited about having such a meaty story to sink my teeth into (no pun intended, really!;)) and nervous that the story line being so sensitive and controversial, and all the ladies out there loving Jonah, I thought I might be doomed! But that was far from the case. Instead, you all embraced her, and her journey...you laughed with her, you worried over her, and you also cried with her too, right until the very end.

When I started filming episode 11, I made a promise to myself and to the fans of the show, that I would act this very delicate story line with as much grace, and sincerity, as if it was happening to me in real life. As an actor, you have to submit yourself, allow yourself to be taken over by this whole other being...in some ways I imagine each of the characters that I've played in my career so far, as extensions of myself. I'm one of those actors that doesn't over think things - I 'just do it', (lol, remember that ol' phrase?) Michelle Williams, another actress whose work I admire, said once in an interview, 'You just become it.'

I knew that if I was able to make you, as the viewer, feel something in some way, when you watched Cesca on the screen, that I was doing my job properly. Actress, Sally Field, (which is a whole other blog, I must write about), accomplishes this all the time for me. When she cries, Oh My God, I cry my eyes out, when her characters on screen are suffering, I feel the pain - that lump in my throat. lol She moves me, and makes it look so so easy. And that's what I wanted to achieve with Cesca Montoya. Even though her actions may not have been the wisest thing to do, I wanted you, the viewers, to understand her journey, her struggles, and her genuine love for a 17 year old school boy named, Jonah Kirby.

A lot of you have asked and yes, I will miss Cesca and Waterloo Road. But what an amazing pocket full of memories I will take with me. I'm just happy that I can add this role to my list as one of my fave roles to have played. Although, I must admit, I think I'm more secretly excited about when I'm old and grey, sitting on the rocking chair, and telling my grandchildren, that I once played a very naughty, yet passionate Spanish teacher, named Francesca Montoya. ;)

Yours Always,

The Girl In The Pink Glasses xo

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Super + Mom = Superhero

Every day I stand in awe, witnessing daily acts of supreme motherhood, not only by my dear mother, but by mothers everywhere. When I'm on the bus (yes I do take the bus lol), or train, on the tube, going for walks or when I'm traveling to different places around the world, I see mothers everywhere, from all walks of life. How do they do it? How do they make motherhood look so easy, when I know it's a tough 24/7 job. They really are the unsung everyday Superheroes, giving so much of themselves, endlessly, for the love of their children. Today especially (but we should be celebrating our mothers, grandmothers, & great grandmothers before us - every day), I salute all the superhero mothers across the globe, for making our lives more vivid, inspiring, meaningful and beautiful. 

I worship my mother. I don't know how she got my older sister and I to stay on the path of righteousness our whole lives, but she did, and she did it with style, grace, and a bit of feistiness too! She is a mother and a best friend - all wrapped into one Superhero Mama. lol I count my blessings everyday for having the kind of mother I have. She's tiny, but mighty (only 4'10", like Kylie) but with loads of gusto for life, family and friends. She is my rock, my best friend, my shoulder to cry on, and someone who stalks me (I say that endearingly, of course) everyday, from Canada. lol But I wouldn't have it any other way. We've had our ups and downs like any mother-daughter relationship, but I realize more and more everyday, that the disagreements we had and have sometimes, all have a purpose, -  a rhyme and a reason. I've learned so much from my mother, and she has played a huge part into shaping me into the woman that I am today. She still 'moulds' me in her own way, lol, (doesn't matter how young or old you are, our mothers will always care about us), and everyday, more than I care to admit, lol, I am a bit like her. But that's more than okay,  - after all, I am my mother's daughter, and I'm proud and honoured to be Jenny's daughter. :) 

For those who have lost their mothers or grandparents, I hope it is a comfort in knowing that they are watching down on us, like angels, - like Superhero Mothers do. We carry them in our hearts and in our souls forever. 

I treasure the time I have with my Mom. I never had the chance to really get to know my maternal or paternal grandmothers, they both passed, when I was 8 and 11 years old. But I managed to have some time with both of them, and they were stunning and remarkable women. I know where my mother and father get their wonderful qualities from! 

It's quite a wonderful feeling to know that each of us carry a bit of our mothers, grandmothers, - and generations of the incredible women before us. I celebrate that today, and the tomorrows to come. Superheroes = Supermoms. Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful mothers out there in the world. You really are a miracle. 

Yours Always, 

The Girl In The Pink Glasses, xo

Thursday, 31 March 2011

For the love of Cesca: From Hollywood to Rochdale :)

Walking through the corridors on the set of Waterloo Road, (that was pretty much my second home), felt very bittersweet in those final moments for me, as Cesca Montoya. I remember it so vividly, I was in episode 19 mode (we shoot out of sequence), with Cesca's jeans on, Cesca's Blue cardigan...realizing that this would be the last time I ever wore these clothes again. I couldn't believe how quickly 6 months had flown by. Another chapter had come to a close - but what an amazing chapter of my life, it was. The moment Julie Edwards, our director, called 'cut' on the scene, which you all saw last night, when Cesca is crying her heart out on the stairwell, at the thought of losing Jonah, and never seeing him again, couldn't have been the most perfect scene to do for my final scene ever for Waterloo Road. In the time that I had spent in Manchester and in Rochdale, I had totally fallen in love with living up north. The people are so friendly, the cast and crew - like one big happy family. I felt like I really belonged there, and trust me, I've been on a few sets where that 'family like' feeling is definitely not there. lol

Before I took my final walk back to my dressing room, I had to go and visit Cesca's classroom, one more time. It was empty. all the chairs on top of the desks. I went up to my desk and plonked myself on that chair of Cesca's, where she often sat, and thought heavily about what she was getting herself into. And I looked around the classroom, and couldn't believe it was time to say goodbye. Seeing all the Spanish textbooks piled up neatly in a corner, or the Spanish terms posted on the wall, made me smile. It reminded me of my first day on Waterloo Road. We had the big read through of eps 1 and 2. I was really nervous, being the 'newbie' cast member...everyone seemed to know each other so well, and being a beginner in Spanish, I was also nervous about the read through. I was hoping and praying that all the Spanish terms and dialogue in the script, I would pronounce correctly and confidently. We were all seated in the round, Jason Done on my left and Will Ash was on my right. The producers, the casting director, Fraser, our director, the whole gang were there in the gymnasium. It was so exciting. We began reading, and when my first bit of Spanish dialogue came up, what do I do?!? I pronounce Rioja (as in the Spanish wine) as reeohja. OMG! Everyone started laughing. What a brilliant first impression as the new Spanish teacher, I made! I was mortified, and so embarrassed. How on earth could I have made a mistake on the simplest of Spanish words?!?! I quickly apologized to everyone, and said laughingly, 'How many more pages of this read through? Oh it's going to be a loooong afternoon for Cesca.' Thankfully, from that day forward, I had the help of Emilio, on the crew, who was fluent in Spanish, and he would always help me with any words I wasn't too sure about. Bless Emilio.

I remember when I found out about my story lines from eps 11 to 20, I called my Mom up, and told her, 'Mom, I am going to have a big love affair, with a 17 year old boy, and then I get knocked up, and then we elope, and I get into big trouble with the authorities. Mom's response was, 'Well done you.' lol But it was also at this time when I was so excited about the journey ahead for Cesca and Jonah, that I also knew that Cesca wouldn't be coming back to Waterloo Road. A very bittersweet feeling, yet again.

I have enjoyed every minute of playing Cesca. She was passionate about life, love, and family, and that is something I can totally relate with her on. As an actress, you dream of exciting and challenging story lines as the one that was given to me. It was a gift, to be able to show the different sides of Cesca, to play on the emotions (which were wonderfully exhausting by the way) of what was happening to her. I am so incredibly thankful to the BBC, Shed Productions, and the cast and crew for embracing me, and for embracing the feistiness that we all love about, Cesca. There is no doubt that I will miss playing her - probably one of my favourite characters that I have played so far, along with playing Layla in Scorpion King 2.

I'm so glad I took that flight home to London. I had just finished filming Couples Retreat in Bora Bora, and flew directly back via L.A. If I hadn't flown home then, I wouldn't be here typing this for all you lovely Waterloo Road fans. It would be some other lucky actress. Thank you for all your love, and support. I think the best part of being among the Waterloo Road family, are the fans. Definitely the sweetest and most wonderful fans I've ever met. So for that, I will always be grateful.

When we were filming the first couple of episodes in the Moors, (when Ruth runs away from school and ends up lost), it was hailing and incredibly cold and windy. I thought filming in the desert for Scorpion King 2 was tough, but the Moors in the North took the cake. We had been filming outdoors for hours, when Fraser, the director, teased me and said 'Don't you just love it Karen? From Bora Bora, to Hollywood and now to Rochdale!'.  And to answer Fraser, I can honestly say with the biggest smile on my face, 'I wouldn't have it any other way.'

'Spanish loves you.'

Your Cesca Montoya - Series 6 Waterloo Road xox

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

'Just Do It' - Being the 'Homework Girl'

I like the Nike ad. I like what it stands for more importantly. It's simple, effective, and straight to the point. 'Just do it'. Three simple words. Yet, do you find that most of us find ourselves guilty of always trying to complicate what is actually really simple? 

For example: I have a dream + I want to make this dream come true = 'Just do it'. 

So why do we overcomplicate or overly think some things, or more dangerously, allow other people sometimes, in making us believe that we can't, or that it's impossible. (Ew, ew, ew. I don't even like typing those words. Read them back again for a sec. 'Can't' or 'Impossible' - doesn't it instantly give you a downer effect? Right, shake it off! lol) So what started off as a simple equation has now, as a result, become an 'impossible algebraic like equation' to solve. 

Everyday, I receive many lovely facebook or twitter messages, quite a few of them, asking me how I got into music and/or acting, and that some of you want to do the same but 'don't know how.' And I must admit, I'm a little surprised and puzzled when I read the 'I don't know how' bit.  I say this respectfully of course, but it's just that I come from a very normal, working class family, who had absolutely no connections in music or film and tv. (Guys, I was born in the Himalayas, there were not a lot of opportunities over there, and being a family of four who immigrated with not much in their pockets, to the 'big western world', I had to start from scratch, just like most of us do.) So how did I do it? How did I follow the simple equation of 'Just do it'? Well, here's where my equation started at: 

No connections in music or tv and film + burning desire to be an actress and a recording artist = the 'Homework Girl'

I was 5 years old when I came up with this equation in my head. Not in those exact words, haha, but to that effect. So what does a 'Homework Girl' do? When I was 6, I saw in my local newspaper, a 'cattle call' (meaning open auditions), for cute kids for tv commercials. I snuck into my parents bedroom, where the phone was, and called the casting director and made an appointment for myself. To make a long story short, I ended up doing some commercials as a child. But this is where my career started, and the lesson here is the power of 'initiative'. If you want something bad enough, you'll make it happen. I didn't over think it. I just did it. Simple as that. From there on, I researched all the best schools for music and acting. If the tuition was high, I looked into what scholarships were available. Throughout my teens, I read biogs of other singers or actors, and found out where they studied, and all the while, I took notes, just like some of you do when you're doing your homework in school. I struck a deal with my parents, that if I  got good grades in school, they would agree to pay for my music lessons and acting lessons. Fair deal. So I trained, and I practiced every day. Can't get lazy with your craft, especially when there are millions of talented peeps out there in the big world. You have to strive to be the best you can be and you cannot be afraid of some blood, sweat, and tears along the way. Translation: paying your dues the right way, not taking any short cuts for the long term goal, making mistakes but learning from them, understanding the beauty of constructive criticism, and knowing how it can help you move forward, not waiting for the phone to ring, and being a proactive dreamer, oh and let's throw in the rejections, and more rejections. lol You really have to want to be an actor or musician for the love of it. Any other reason is not worth it - trust me. I'm not in this for the fame or the money. It's taken me many years, grinding away, to get to this point and I still have a journey ahead of me to get to the next point. But I feel blessed for whatever opportunities have come my way so far. There are many starving artists out there that don't even get a look in. Whenever I'm faced with a tough day, I just have to remember that momentous day when my older sis, made me watch Xanadu, with Olivia Newton John, and how I was bitten the moment I saw her light up the screen. That's when my calling started. I was 4 years old, and that calling has never left me, even during the more challenging times on this journey that I'm still on. :) That moment will be forever etched in my mind, as a truly euphoric moment, and that feeling, I've kept in my heart, and that's what keeps me going - that's what has stopped me from ever thinking of giving up. 

So if you have a dream, whatever it may be, and you have that same euphoric feeling that takes over you, chances are it's your calling. The question is, do you have the courage to follow through with it? Do you have enough faith in yourself to see that calling through? Only you can answer that. :) If you do, then be the homework girl or the homework boy. Do your research, work hard, learn from others whose work you respect, and are inspired by, and 'Just do it'. You'll be amazed at what YOU can do. 

Yours Always, 

The Girl In The Pink Glasses xo