Saturday, March 11, 2006

Just like everybody else? NO!




A girl in my acting class asked me how she could overcome her fear of performing. This week, I've been thinking of an answer that would help her. The short of it is...BE YOURSELF!

I wasted a LOT of years trying to fit in. I remember the first time I went to a modeling agency. I was 15 and eager to please. This was in the 80's when blondes like Kim Alexis and Jerry Hall ruled the runway. The first thing they told me was "Get a nose job" Of all the things I loathed about my body, my nose was not one of them. (My butt and my hips were another matter) Obviously I said, NO! to the nose job. They also said I might be "too exotic/ethnic".
"What is ethnic about a little welsh girl from Idaho?" I said to myself.
So I highlighted my hair, wore frosty mauve lipstick and went to the tanning bed. (I tan VERY quickly) Little by little I tried to look like the other girls in the agency...clean cut in that Gap/Estee Lauder sort of way. Did I get more work? NO! I just looked rediculous and I felt horrible. I wanted Nocturna back. What was so wrong with being a dark, seductive, gothic beauty? After all, I WAS born that way. I was 22 before I started being myself.
And now, at 33.. I know the secret. BE YOURSELF! My performances are always soooo much better when I'm not trying to imitate someone else's style. Cause you know what? YOU CAN'T and it will sound really cheap. Find out what YOUR style is and then WORK IT! You gotta have a shtick baby. Otherwise, you're just another clone. So look inside yourself and LOVE your individuality. Love the parts of you that make you different...and very soon others will to! How can they notice YOU if you hide the talents that distinguish you from the rest? You have to give them a package..All nice and laid out for them so they don't have to wonder, "can s/he pull this off?" Of course you can. But YOU have to believe it, or no one will. So....Don't wait DarlinG! The world is waiting for your GGGGGGggrrrrrrrrandest performance right NOW!

26 Comments:

At 11:09 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

Yeah!!! for the 'be yourself' message! It is the best advice. The very best. Right up there with treat others as you would wish to be treated. If you don't follow this advice you end up regretting it in strange, small, large and profound ways. Giving in to peer pressure... worrying about what other people think about what you wear and how you act... these things are absolutely pointless. You can never control what others think and most people respond well to honesty and sincerity, especially in self-presentation. You shouldn't ever regret being yourself. The world only progresses through the vast variety of selves out there.

Great to hear your story Malena. I really like it. Especially the part where you reject the nose-job.

 
At 1:56 AM , Blogger That One Guy said...

The tricky part being, sometimes... finding your own style.

 
At 2:06 AM , Blogger Malena said...

the journey of self discovery brings many treasures my friend.

Just Love where you are in the process and know that great things come from unknown sources.
Big Hugs Babe!

 
At 2:45 AM , Blogger That One Guy said...

hm... not sure which of us you were responding to. Excuse me... "I'm not sure to which of us you were responding." See, there's this whole dichotomy thing going on. It's all about which side of the fence you let yourself be on, I suppose.

So, to be truest to myself (I think, but "I think" is in itself responding to that dichotomy thing...) I think I'd have to say yer a little off. Love, maybe yes, maybe no. Just being is maybe good enough. It'll have to be.

 
At 5:50 AM , Blogger vandaluna said...

that one guy: one's own rhythm is master. It is ineluctable. It is in everything you do, say and wear...the individual may not be aware of it, but everyone else it. (That is why you look so bad when you aren't just being yourself). I actually studied individual rhythms and styles in a series of paintings I did while in grad school. If you want to see your own "style" go back and look at work, writings, and things you've done over the years. You will be amazed at the consistencies.

As for me? It is my daily struggle to be Madeleine Albright. ;-)

 
At 7:17 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

Very true messages Malena (thank god you resisted a nose job!), Rubius, and Vanda - I liked your point Vanda about looking at past work for consistencies, right on target. I tell my beginning students who are struggling with the beginnings of making their own art that it takes time and work, that the seeds are there, even if they aren't quite aware of it. My own self image struggle has been to overcome my mother's criticism - I was never good enough at anything - sad to say it wasn't until her passing that I was able to begin to move beyond this.

 
At 1:00 PM , Blogger mistress mousey said...

Adding to the "be yourself" message - if you're performing, then people are watching you. If you're going to make a mistake, make it grand. People like to know that you're only human, and taking your muck-ups in stride will not only bolster your confidence, but will impress those who haven't learned how to do that yet.

Another note: If you spend all your time worrying that you'll make an embarrasing blunder, you will make one. Focus on the performance, on having fun, on letting your own self shine the best way you know how, and if someone doesn't like it then you know they don't matter, because you were true to yourself and having fun with it!

Nose job? That's nuts. Personally, I've always been up for second and third opinions on modeling "suggestions" before I take anything into consideration. Two jobs in a row, I got hired because I was "busty". The next job was a tattoo job and the remark I got over and over was about how they weren't used to working with someone with such a "cute" and small chest. Everyone sees something different. My trick was to find work with someone who saw what I already saw in myself, and more.

 
At 3:10 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

::nodding::
Every time I wanted something because "everybody else has one/is doing it" my mother's reply was always, "You're not everybody else." At first, it was grating, but by the time I was in high school I had embraced it.

And as for trolls.....unless you're crossing a bridge, they are best ignored.

 
At 5:11 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

That is a truly awesome picture. The message too.

I found that summer camp was a good method of figuring out who I was and what my style was, in so far as I was able to escape the oppression of unchanging expectations. By the time I got to college I had figured out what made me happy.

I did have to dump all of my freshman year friends and start fresh sophomore year in order to do a little tweaking, though.

 
At 7:11 PM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

ok, i guess the duel is off.
i didn't mean to sound crackers,
just no one gets to insult our Malena without
consequences!

 
At 7:36 PM , Blogger vandaluna said...

Danth...if you dumped them, then they weren't friends to begin with.

Kitty kat... I guess the troll's post was erased?

Believe it or not, I'm an exceedingly shy extrovert. I'm very much into self analysis too. I fear to my inner depths doing or saying the wrong thing...not being able to control how I am perceived?
(Ravyn would absolutely fall over laughing is she were to read that considering the difficult time I gave the sales clerk in the wine shoppe).

Anyway, what that lead up to is that I have notice that people who get up and say what they want and are vitually fearless of what others think are almost worshipped. People who assume a cocky attitude, no matter how implausible, gain followings. I think this is taking the concept of being one's self to an extreme, an almost narcisistic length. Although it isn't something I'd be comfortable with, I think it works.

 
At 8:52 PM , Blogger tuaregblue said...

A nose job?? That's insane. Good for you Malena that you told 'em no. That's what happens when people are ruled by too much marketing research-they think one "look" is selling so they won't even TRY anything else which is total crap.

 
At 11:24 PM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

i was "schooled" on blog/chat behavior tonight by the knowledgeable Mimi,
did not know that proper procedure was
to i-g-n-o-r-e.
never been very good at that, my thanks also to
Ariandalen & Vandaluna.
Next topic!

 
At 12:54 AM , Blogger Malena said...

yeah, you and me both Miss Kitty. I''m really nice unless someone REALLY has it coming. Then, the gates of hell open to bring fire and damnation upon their head like the world has never seen. hee hee joking..not really..kind of. heee hee
I always tell Lorraine that a She-gargoyle has her back. Muuuahhhaa haa indeed.

Great comment Vanda. SOOO TRUE IN LA! Hollywood is full of swaggering narcisists.

Danth, can't wait to see your style in that gown at balticon!

ivenotime, Yeah I grew up in small town that was predominately Mormon. The witchy gothy thing didn't go over well. HA! I think my Mom is still trying to convince people I'm not a satanist. All I have to say to that is, READ MY WEBSITE! I'm just full of love and kindness. HEEEeeee!

I just smile and know that I love me just as I am...and Miles does to. AND ALL OF YOU! Who cares about the rest of the world. They'll catch on...the LaMie VIBE is contagious from what I hear.

 
At 1:35 AM , Blogger lewis said...

I didn't mean to be nasty. It's just that you don't want to hear the truth when it is a disturbing one, because it shows your contradictions. Why should you curse me for simply noting that you are so proud about having rejected a nose job when in fact you have not kept your natural bosom in order to look just like men out there want women to look?
lewis

 
At 7:25 AM , Blogger vandaluna said...

Lewis,

I think the difference is that it was Malena's choice to augment her breasts (if indeed she has done so?). The nose job would have been someone else's imposition on her.

As far as boob jobs go, women like to feel good about themselves and sexy as well. Perhaps if Malena has a boob job, it makes her feel good about herself. I think she has a great set of ta-tas. The number one complaint most women have about themselves is their breasts. AND alterning your breasts is not altering your face. People closely associate their identity to the physical look of their face. I've heard of people having very minor things done to their faces and looking in the mirror thinking that they don't recognize the person staring back at them.

I didn't see your original post, but I can assure you there are more congenial ways of discussing topics than the approach you took. What good does it do you to surreptitiously call Malena a hypocrite? Why would you want to hurt someone who you don't even know? Look within Lewis.

 
At 10:37 AM , Blogger lewis said...

Vandaluna, and Malena (and Kitty): I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to offend. I very simply asked:

Then why didn't you reject a breast job?

It was a real, honest question.
As a man, I feel bad in seeing how you girls change yourselves to try and please us. I really do. Men should like - and love - the persons that you are, not the shape that you have. And men (in general) have a long way to go, before they learn this. You are playing our game, if all you care about is trying to be sexy.
I'm really sorry that you took it so badly.
Lewis

 
At 12:23 PM , Blogger mistress mousey said...

Vanda, I think the key-word in your observation is "almost" worshipped. My husband is living proof that being fearless and saying what's on your mind can also get you into trouble and nastiness; especially to people who are rather sensitive to begin with. (Ugh, just noticed - to people who know my boy, that "what's on your mind" comment was not intended as a pun.)

All you have to do is say what you're thinking with total confidence and boom, someone thinks you're being rude and insulting just because you're being blunt. Usually people who take an hour or so to get to know him realize that when my husband (or I for that matter) open(s) his/my mouth it's straightforward honesty and not narcissism or ruthless brashness or beating around the bush to sugar-coat something that might sound harsh.

Now, for the people who know him at all, the honesty is appealing and refreshing and something admired. For those who don't see it coming... just ouch.

And for the record, Malena could be 4'10", flat chested, with major blemishes and almost no figure and she'd still be a hottie because she loves herself and radiates the confidence. So nyah. ;)

In other news, I have green in my hair again! Nothing like Lorraine's, but it feels SO MUCH BETTER to have it in extensions again.

 
At 5:01 PM , Blogger vandaluna said...

mistress mousey, brutal honesty...it can be fun. It is a sword I turn on myself and never others. I have no secrets and answer all questions honestly (as possible). One of the experiments I play on myself.
And your comment about malena... I think the inside shapes the outside. And if I may postulate, I think, if you know how to read it, you can judge the book by the cover. Anyone who is beautiful on the inside will manifest that in their physical appearance...but I could be wrong.

 
At 6:40 PM , Blogger Frank Lee said...

I have this in the bottom of my mind, soul n' heart:
Winners are simply willing to do what lossers won't!!!
You're trully right in every word that you say!...but, just a little comment: Never ever give it up!...never ever quit to your dreams!...
Work hard being yourself with confidence and a lot of faith in God!!!

 
At 5:00 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

vandaluna :: They *were* friends, I was just callous. And they moved to a dorm that was beyond the rim of known space while I rushed the Arts Theme House and couldn't be bothered to walk that far.

mistressmousey :: Bwahaha! I didn't catch the unintended pun until you pointed it out.

Attractiveness is 10% what you've got and 90% working what you've got, I think. Some short people seem very tall and imposing because they present themselves so strongly. Some "plain" people seem incredibly attractive because they're confident, or just feel attractive and exude that aura. The girl at my high school who all of us crushed on was, by Hollywood standards, overweight to the point of being on the lighter side of fat, but she was beautiful and everyone wanted to hug on her constantly.

 
At 7:07 AM , Blogger vandaluna said...

Danth: I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you don't carry that in your heart.

 
At 6:51 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Oh, I don't. I made much better friends. They were, in retrospect, friends out of convenience and not adopted family.

 
At 4:51 PM , Blogger vandaluna said...

Danth: I think we defined "friends" differently. I think we are on the same page now. Someone once told me, "they are your drinking buddies, they are not your friends", and doggone it! It was the ONLY thing he ever said to me that was true.

 
At 6:17 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Double true!

 
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