This One’s For Amanda de Cadenet

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Thank you for sparking conversation.

Thank you for sparking a dialogue among women.

Thank you for showing us that a strong woman is a process.

Thank you for putting a premium on strong opinions. On female leadership. On community.

Dear readers, I have a confession to make. I have no idea what I’m doing. I never know what’s in store in the world, or in my thoughts. I still feel like a kid, a sponge, trying to absorb as much as I can so that I can one day say I have it figured out. I have a feeling that day will never come, but it’s the journey that counts, right?

The one thing I do know is that I’ve always relied on those wiser than me to guide the way. I seek them out constantly so as not to miss a single lesson. When I was a kid it was my teachers, my family, a close friend. As I got older, and was exposed to more of the world through books and television, I began to realize that there were wise people everywhere! What kid of the 90s wasn’t inspired by Judy Blume, Rosie O’Donnell or any and every segment of Reading Rainbow?

These days I’m especially drawn to women who are paving their own path, and at the same time, in a way, paving the way for me. In the last few years I’m finding these women everywhere, practically chanting for the rest of us to follow suit. I love it. Authors, actresses, business women, hosts, professionals in any field, and even women in my own life are inspiring me every single day. It’s exciting.

I discovered Amanda de Cadenet a couple of years ago on Youtube. After watching one episode of The Conversation I was forever hooked on her passion, her straightforwardness and her honesty. I immediately wanted to talk to her and learn from her, and to be honest, I really wanted to do what she did! How amazing would it be to go to work every day and just chat with inspiring people about topics that affect us all. Even cooler, how amazing would it be to be able to help others by doing something you truly love. That idea really stuck with me, and I’ve been a follower ever since.

This interview with Chelsea Handler is perhaps one of my favorites. Two powerhouse women speaking honestly about love,  life and careers. No pretense, no one worrying about their image, and sincerity all around. If you’re not hooked after this I don’t know what’s wrong with you ;)

Tonight, Amanda premieres her new talk show on Lifetime Television. This time it’s live and it’s called #Undone. I really can’t wait. As we all know, Chelsea Handler is leaving late night at the end of August and I can’t think of a better woman to take the torch! #TeamUndone is going to inspire a new generation of smart ladies and gents and I can’t wait to see what we all do next!

Amanda, I thank you :)

#Undone premieres tonight on Lifetime Television at 10:30pm EST/9:30pm PST

 

 

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Elaine Stritch – A Legend

STRITCH-2-obit-articleLarge The dear and talented Elaine Stritch passed away last week. Imagine my surprise when I logged onto my blog after 10 months to find this post I had been working on. I usually have 4 to 5 posts in my drafts folder but this time it was only this one. A bare draft of only a title and two clips of this legendary performer.

This feels like a sign. I have been thinking for months of reuniting with my blog to share with (all three of) you some of the people, places and things that have been making their way into my mind and soul, changing how I think and how I want to live. From the very beginning Elaine Stritch was one of those things.

This puts a smile on my face. It feels like things might be aligning. Perhaps my intuition isn’t that bad. Perhaps I should listen to it more often instead ignoring it over the drone of everyone else’s thoughts on Twitter and Instagram (I am too in love with it).

I think this post about Ms. Stritch will be the first of a series of posts. A series of people who have made a deep impact on my thoughts, my heart and my actions. Even if I’ve never met them, even if you think it’s silly, I’ll tell you about them. I’ll own it, and I will celebrate everything they offer me. I truly feel you never know what can happen if you just put it out there into the universe. I think Elaine would approve :)

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20 Things About Me

There’s this hashtag thing going around twitter right now, #20ThingsAboutMe, and since I have SO MUCH to do today before a three week trip tomorrow, I decided that creating a blog post about it would be the logical thing to do. Sometimes I surprise myself with my logical thinking.

I don’t really feel like any deep thinking today so this list will be a random cluster of facts and things I love. I’m pretty sure about 3 people in the entire world will care AT ALL about this list, but I am not selfish, so, I will put the effort in just for them. You’re welcome.

20. I can’t resist lists like this. It reminds me of the old days of Facebook….before it got annoying. (twitter is still cool in my books).

19. I am very loyal to my favorite things. They don’t tend to change (because I’m super stubborn) and I will defend them to the end. Like this:

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18. My favorite Singer: Gloria Estefan…I mean…come on.

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17. My favorite Musical Theatre Performer: The one and only Bernadette Peters

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16. My current favorite all-around human being: Chelsea Handler (ok, so I was late to the CH party, but now I am a loyal follower).

chelsea-handlerAnd I have to include all of these geniuses:

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15. Favorite Musical? Ohhh it’s a toss up between Gypsy and Into The Woods

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14. Favorite Genius? Stephen Sondheim. Beyond genius.

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13. Favorite Movie: I want to say The Wizard of Oz….but there are so many!

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12. My most favorite place in the world is the coast of Lima, Peru. So many memories.

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11. My sister and could not be more different. I mean, it’s pretty crazy.

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10. I moved to Canada the day I turned 7. I think at this point I’ve recovered. I think…

9. I’m obsessed with my friends. I could not have asked for a better group of people in my life. In every corner of my life. I feel so lucky to have always enjoyed school and all of my friends during those years!

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8. I’d be pretty ok if the only season was SUMMER. And if I spent the rest of my life on a beach.

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7. NYC is maybe the greatest city in the world. The energy I feel when I’m there is ridiculous. It makes you feel like you can do anything.

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6. Oh, Aaron Sorkin is another Genius. And don’t even get me started with Jason Katims. The West Wing and Parenthood, anyone?

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5. If you haven’t noticed I love anything to do with acting, film/tv and theatre. Yay theatre school!

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4. Reading is probably one of my favorite things to do. It does nothing for my social life;)

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3. I’m obsessed with beautiful things like this:

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2. Sometimes when I’m alone in the car I feel the need sing through the entire cast recording of In The Heights. This also happens when I work out, and occasionally when I’m alone in the house. You should hear me do the opening rap.

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1. I’m so excited for a whole new adventure to begin tomorrow…..:)

Random Inspiration To Get You Through The Day

All things that are inspiring me at the moment. I couldn’t decide what to include but this is a random cluster of my inspirational fuel for the past little while. There is a lot more where this came from….but I hate long blogs ;)

I tend to draw a lot of my creative fuel from books, but I also love quotations and beautiful design. Also, who doesn’t love a good Stephen Sondheim quote or song. The Weepies will never let you down, Bernadette Peters will get anyone through anything…..And Chelsea Handler is just the most honest hilarious woman in the world. Period.

Enjoy and use as needed :)

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Vivian Maier, where have you been all my life?

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This year at TIFF I saw a documentary that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. I.LOVE.DOCUMENTARIES. It’s a fact. Everyone should know it. I once stayed in all day and watched a documentary about the typeface Helvetica and then proceeded to watch one about confessions of some superheroes, orphaned animals after Hurricane Katrina and then finished off with Meryl Streep and Monther Courage. My social life is huge.

TIFF is a great place to see new and interesting documentaries. Last year I was obsessed with CASTING BY. This year the film I couldn’t stop talking about (it’s true, ask my friends and family) was FINDING VIVIAN MAIER. There is nothing I like more that a documentary about an interesting and mysterious person. Someone who I’ve never heard of and that I can later google for hours until I know absolutely everything about them. Once again, huge social life.

Vivan Maier is a giant mystery because she was discovered after her death. There really wasn’t anything about her out there until John Maloof, an amateur historian from Chicago discovered her photographs and made it his mission to give her the attention and praise she deserved. Maloof bought a box of her photographs at an auction and soon discovered he had stumbled upon something special. He became obsessed with her and soon found out that her personal life was just as beautiful, fascinating and mysterious as her photographs.

I won’t to tell you the rest of the story because you need to watch the documentary and experience it yourself. However, I will say that Maloof has done an incredible job showcasing Maier’s work around the world. This documentary and the books of her photographs that have now been published will guarantee that Maier will not be forgotten. Her work is so special that anyone that sees it will realize what a gift it was that she ever lived.

Learning about people like Maier remind me that no path is ever the right path. No one can  tell you the best way to live your life or ever make you feel like you’re doing it all wrong. Vivian Maier definitely marched to the beat of her own drummer and she chose a life that was fulfilling FOR HER. She didn’t compromise herself or her art for anyone, and she definitely didn’t take photographs for anyone’s approval but her own.

Below are some of the gorgeous photographs featured in the documentary. I’m in love with  the thought that she just walked around the city and captured candid moments that no one else would have paid attention to. She also knew what was going to be visually interesting even if the picture seemed like it was of nothing in particular. I’m obsessed.

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The Reason I Love ‘In The Heights’

 

This pretty much says it all. Lin Manuel Miranda is the Latin Sondheim.

10 Reasons ‘After Lately’ Deserves A Season 4 – I’m Talking To You E! Network

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If you haven’t seen any episodes of After Lately you are ridiculous, or….you just don’t have money to pay for cable and you don’t get the E! Network, in which case, I’m sorry.

(Sidebar – E!, what’s up with you not letting Canadians watch your videos on Youtube? What is up with that? We deserve access to Chelsea Handler and the gang as much as any American. You can, however, keep almost everything else on your network to yourselves.)

ANYWAY, I won’t bore you with personal details of my obsession, but I did feel the need to publicly state that After Lately is one of the funniest things I’ve seen on television (or online) in a very long time. A very, very, long time. E!, you were onto something that was getting closer and closer to the brilliance that was 30 Rock….and then you blew it! I hear that there will NOT be a season 4 of After Lately and this news is devastating. Don’t you see that you could have carried the torch for hilarious mockumentary office comedies?? 30 Rock and The Office….and you. It could have been you! I need an explanation immediately.

I realize that we, the fans, need to take matters into our own hands. So, I’m hoping that we can all harass E! until they cave and we start seeing new After Lately behind-the-scenes pictures of Brad Wollack stalking Chelsea at her own home, or Sarah Colonna and her ridiculously amazing hair. Let’s tweet and retweet until they get sick of us and give us what we want. It really worked for me as kid.

But seriously, After Lately is pretty special. For me, there is nothing better than comedy created out of love and by a group of people that are just trying to make each other laugh. Who knows if my observations are true….but that’s what it looks like to me. And I’m usually right about these things…just sayin’ ;)

Just in case you needed any more reason to chant ‘give us more Lately‘, here are my Top 10 Reason ‘After Lately’ Deserves A Season 4:

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Seattle Loves Books

I have always heard amazing things about Seattle, but their public library might be the greatest thing about the city. My friend sent me this video months ago and I think I might be partially responsible for the thousands upon thousands of views it has gotten. Curiously, every time I watch it I’m at the edge of my seat wondering if it will actually work! Clearly I’m very, very simple ;)

The massive domino chain was created to celebrate the launch of the 2013 Summer Reading Program and could possibly have set a world record!

I’ve decided that next to reading them the next best use of books is this. Enjoy.

I Want To Go To There – Venice

Venice. Another one of those places I can’t wait to get to. How can anyone not be inspired, in love and happy in that city!? Sometimes I can’t even believe it’s real! I mean, you get to and from places by gondola! I want to go to there!

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Cuba Libre

My friend, Mandy Zeller, went to Cuba recently and took this incredible photograph in Havana. It must have been one of those serendipitous moments in life when the stars align and all the elements are in the right place at the right time. The colors. The car. The clothesline. The kids stilling on the door step. A moment in time.

It looks like an incredible place. It made me think of this.

Allison Janney For President

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Ok. Not literally, people. Come on, the woman doesn’t even like politics. She doesn’t trust it (neither do I. Except Obama, of course). When I say ‘Allison Janney For President’ I mean it symbolically. As a compliment paid to a distinguished artist who is making the world a little better through her art and her life.

Truth be told, I stole that line from my sister. I did not stop laughing for hours after hearing her say ‘Anita For President’, in response to my friend Michelle’s portrayal of Anita in 1st Broadway National Tour of West Side Story. My sister was so taken with that performance that she just believed Anita was real was going to conquer the world one Jet at a time. It also helped that, as a person, Michelle is the coolest girl around.

That’s how I feel about Allison Janney. Forget the fact that she played one of the most powerful and memorable characters on television (CJ Cregg). Or the fact that she transforms herself for every role (think Drop Dead Gorgeous or Juno). Or even the fact that she stands out even while sharing screen time with some of hollywood’s greatest, like Meryl Streep. The really outstanding thing is the honesty and humanity she brings to everything she does. That’s the part that makes people think they know her, love her and want to be like her.

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Let’s Look At The World A Little Differently

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ”
– Margaret Mead

I’m the tiniest bit hesitant to post something about a corporation as big as Coca-Cola. At the same time, they have been making beautiful videos and commercials for years, and they never fail to bring to tears or infuse me with happiness.

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My Childhood Television Favorites – Epic Mockumentary

  • This is for anyone who grew up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
  • This is for those good people with a healthy sense of humour.
  • This is for those pop culture junkies who know how to appreciate a good vintage video without judgement.

I remember this era of television fondly. Friends, Will and Grace, Fraiser, Scrubs, every incarnation of Law And Order, etc. THURSDAY NIGHTS! My only regret is that I didn’t get into The West Wing sooner. But not to fear….I’m all caught up now and it’s quickly become a favorite.

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I Want To Go To There – Paris

There are a few cities on my bucket list that I am incredibly sure I am going to love as soon as I set foot on their culturally and historically rich streets. Paris might be on the top of this list. It’s either Paris or Barcelona. The only reason New York City isn’t on this list is because I have been there so many times it’s almost my home away from home.

This incredibly visual and artsy video was created by Land of Nod Inc. and its founding members Robert Kolodny and Bennett Elliot. The amazing song is by Les Sans Cullottes. It captures what I hope one day will be my whirlwind adventures in that incredible city.

My mom lived in Paris for a couple of years when she was a teenager and I have loved growing up listening to her stories. In the last few years everyone in my family has made the trip and I can’t help but wonder when it will be my turn! I cannot wait to experience the museums, the food, the culture, and yes, the shopping. Mostly, I can’t wait to sit in some obscure Parisian cafe and people watch, read a book…and write. Bliss.

Sesame Street – Best Thing Ever, Maybe?

This exploded online yesterday and I couldn’t resist. I love the cleverness of people. I have to celebrate it. I also love Sesame Street and Cookie Monster…and Elmo.

When I was growing up in Peru I knew it as Plaza Sesamo. If I remember correctly, when I got paid after doing a commercial (I think I was 5), my parents let me take some of the money and buy anything I wanted. I ended up with a board game set that was, I think, 4 games in one, and it was all Plaza Sesamo. Elmo didn’t even exist yet, I don’t think!

I recently had the pleasure of putting together an audition tape for Sesame Street and one of the scenes I had to tape was with Elmo. A very talented friend of mine read the scene with me and I couldn’t believe what was happening. It’s one of those moments when I pinch myself and think – is this really my life? Did I really leave work early today to come home and record an audition with Elmo? For Sesame Street? Craziness.

Enjoy these little pieces of magic. I promise they will put a smile on your face, and perhaps take you back to a time when all you had to worry about was how to get to Sesame Street.