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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