I am writing to you on my new magic keyboard, connected to my MacBook Pro (I destroyed my keyboard ages ago) on the floor of my bedroom in a shared Penthouse in Los Angeles, sipping tea and relaxing after working on a film set.
I am beyond happy. I have dreamed about this kind of life for so long, but I had no idea how it would come to me. I planned, and scraped, and spent countless hours talking it out and analyzing and trying to “figure it out.”
Nothing could have prepared me for (OK now I sound like Buzzfeed Clickbait) what got me here.
I simply came here with a plan to check out Los Angeles after a five year hiatus from the city. It was at the top of my to-do list after wrapping on “New Mutants.”
I came out here, visited UCB Sunset for the first time, tried Veggie Grill, hiked a mountain at Griffith Park, and caught up with some very dear friends of mine. I happened to pick out an AirBnB with an absolutely stunning view of the Hollywood Sign. And what a sign to wake up to every morning whilst contemplating your dreams! I walked down to the little cafe where I spoke with Necar Zadegan from Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. I just reveled in the beauty and fun and ease of this place.
And then I got a job interview
And asked to move in with someone
Within a five minute span!!
If I am being 100% honest, I knew right there, standing in front of the Netflix Building where I received the call, that it was already all working out. I wasn’t going anywhere. I was here to stay.
So yeah, it means I found out Friday I got the job (can’t talk about the film) and it means on Saturday I signed a lease and it means Sunday I “moved in” with a carry on suitcase and my bag. It means I spent all day with one of my best friends shopping for furniture. It means that I get to come home to my place in LA after doing what I love with people whom I love very much, and know that I deserve to be here. I show up, I listen, I learn and I adore every minute of it.
This summer I made a vision board. I left a lot of space on it. I asked my mom to snap a photo of it and send it to me this weekend. Because it’s the fastest vision board that’s ever manifested:
I’m here. And I plan to do something my friend texted me the other day:
I woke up on January 1st of this year without a plan.
As I surveyed my snow-covered landscape, I suddenly knew.. “I’m moving to Los Angeles.” It was a quiet moment, alone in my house. I had no goal, no plan, no idea of what was before me except that I would need to do a lot of shoveling. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t justify my decision. I just made it.
My type A, goal-oriented, list-making, chore-scoring rattled brain had enough. I was just done with objectively making decisions in my life. This winter I was like, you know what? I’m gonna have fun. FUN.
FUN. I don’t mean a vacation. I don’t mean coloring in one of those adult coloring books. I mean I decided this year that I was going to chase the fun.
Everything has fallen into place since I embraced this simple concept: I worked on hands down the most magical (YEP) set I have ever been on, made the type of friends I know I could live forever on a deserted island with, had wonderful opportunities fall into place, and guess what? I didn’t make a list. I didn’t predict this was going to happen. I just let go and trust myself and I have had the privilege and honor of working with and being surrounded by so much talent and love that I literally had moments where I cried I was so grateful.
This isn’t the kind of thing you plan for. It’s the kind of thing to which you OPEN yourself.
One of my friends said, “When one door closes, and five more open, why would you try to keep walking through the closed one?” I have had a strong feeling this year that I would be headed somewhere new and that is exactly what I am doing.
Next month I begin work on another film.
After that, I fly out to LA.
Who knows what will happen after that?
But this time next year, I will be writing a blog post from California.
And if something isn’t fun, I won’t be doing it.
Folks, it’s so much easier than everyone else is saying. Just be yourself. Make a decision. Go have fun.
What kind of people spend 12 hour days in the woods, or sitting on hay bales, or at ski resorts, or in the mountains, and then end the day with pizza hot tub parties and a lil rose?
My kind of people.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Yeah, well, so is glamour.
Filming and everything that comes along with it is super appealing to me. My teenage self would be like YES this fulfills all type A personality / challenge traits I seek in life as well as the ultimate creative goals of individuality and group projects. Check. Check. Check.
Sometimes, though, you meet a group of people who seriously change your life.
*Cue the music*
I’m sorry, but I can’t help but think about how this would make a great series. Me, talking about these people I met on set, and how our lives all intersected and how we got to where we are, and then we flash five years in the future and it’s awesome and you know, I play myself because. Obviously. OK back to what I was saying.
What became overwhelmingly obvious after spending only two days with this group of people was that we all had been experiencing huge life changes. Each of us in our own way, had made some kind of decision and then bam – this project popped up.
For me that included a complete decimation of my former life, including my home, relationship, and career focus. Never has the phoenix rising from the ashes held so much meaning for me! Fitting I’m posting this on Easter. My career, my mood, my health and overall well being have improved immensely. And I really believe that my new friends have had a big part to do with it.
We all come from different backgrounds, are different ages, and have different life experiences. But as I have had time on the long days to talk with these people one on one and share many non-stop laughs as a group, I realize that we have way more in common than not.
The weird thing about working in film is that you meet people and you spend a ridiculous amount of time with them. You become closer than say you would with a normal acquaintance who maybe you have a beer with once a week or see at a party. The film goes on for several weeks and then it’s over. Every project, whether it’s been film or theater always feels like a break up at the end. You get together, you have this weird routine that will never be replicated again and then suddenly….gone.
I guess my point is that we all spend a lot of time trying to find the right people to have in our lives, when I have realized that all the best people have just come into my life by me just letting them. I really believe good people attract each other and we all have something to learn. Sometimes you gotta just let people in.
I love my life and I am so happy to be around people who really care about what they do and don’t take themselves too seriously.
This next week is going to be a wild ride. From filming, to Tribeca, to major changes, my life is full. So thank you to those people who have been helping me transition into the most beautiful place I have had yet to be so far. I couldn’t do it without you.
Medium Shot: Casey chortles to herself, pets her dog. End Credits.
Today I spoke with a friend of mine who I literally hadn’t spoken to in almost two years. But like with any good friend, solid friend, or as my friend Liz and I say, “Life Friends,” time is of no consequence. We talked about many things, but one thing we did talk about was accidents.
Accidents are usually defined as something that happens that wasn’t expected, that didn’t turn out so great. Other times it is used in place of a coincidence. In my personal experience with accidents, they usually happen at a time when so much is going on, it sort of acts of a punctuation or bridge to clarity. Not always fun, but almost always a wake up call.
My friend and I had both been involved in accidents this winter that could have turned out deadly, to be blunt. Both of our cars were totaled. The situations were very different, but what stuck out to me in both cases was that we were both extremely present, reacted with grace, and somehow managed to end up safe and unharmed.
For me, the accident made me think a lot about taking care of myself. I was very lucky to have been in a safe car and even though it was snowing and so cold I couldn’t feel my toes and the cop was a jerk and it was the icing on my already stressful, dealing-with-a-big-life-change kind of day, I felt a sense of “Okay. Got it. Time to let go of worrying, appreciate what I have, and look out for myself first.”
I met up with a friend for lunch who told me that any time she has ever experienced a motor vehicle accident, she was going through some major work emotionally and psychologically. When big life events happen, I can’t help but look at the big picture of my life and sort of find a thread of how it all ties together.
Most of the time, it’s hard to see it when you’re in it. Other times, a piece of clarity comes out right away. Usually when your life is on the line, you drop a lot of BS.
That’s been something I have had to remind myself a lot in the last month. So much worry and agonizing and pain is only JUST that. It only serves as a distraction from the fact of your beautiful life.
One could say that the people I have been reconnecting with, the people who have left my life, these are all coincidences or accidents. But they aren’t. The fact that I spoke to my friend who is on the other side of the country, living his dream, happy with his career and girlfriend, is not an accident. For me, over on the east coast on this sunny, wintry day, which happens to be a new moon, it underlines a lot of what has been going in in my life.
I had put some dreams on ice for awhile, and now, I’m coming out of a deep hibernation and surrounding myself with people who are pure and full of love and who believe in me and what I do. I feel things thawing out and I feel like myself again.
Also not an accident is the fact that his past week, I have had someone every day tell me I look great and I seem well and that I am even happier than normal. That is a result of events, reflection, and action. No holding back. Just being in the moment. Just waking up to each day and realizing how special it is.
I stopped by the grocery store and was having a really hard time getting a bunch of cilantro in a bag. I looked up and saw a man doing the same thing with one arm, but he did it quickly and easily. The irony of my frustration was not lost on me and I took a moment to take a deep breath and be grateful. Not an accident.
At the store I saw a military acquaintance. He was in line and I thought about how hard it would have been to see him even a month ago. But instead, I walked on by, grateful that I am in a new place and soon will have a completely different environment and way of life.
Each moment of our day is not an accident. Oftentimes, the pieces that are unplanned are the opportunities to be reminded of what we have and who we are becoming. Today reminded me that I am stronger and bigger than anything I have been through. I had my moments of stress like everyone else, but all I had to do was take a step away, breathe, and be grateful. Now is all we really have.
I am a firm believer that laughter breaks up stagnant energy in a person. Or a room. I am usually the one who awkwardly laughs when no one else does if a room gets too serious. It brings you back in the moment and it cheers people up.
Children have the best laughter. Especially babies. And if you don’t think so, you are a miserable person who needs to laugh way more often. So, in honor of kids, and especially those who need a bit extra love, care, and help with illness, I have created this video.
Indi.com is doing something really special with the National Child Awareness Month. People all over the place are creating these videos in order to raise awareness for certain charities that support children.
While reading a script for a film audition , one of my friends popped into my head. Then another. I jotted down their names and the roles I thought they would fit, and finished reading the script.
When I was done, I shot an email over to the director and suggested he audition an actor I know who I thought would be great for one or two of the roles in the script. I emailed my friend and told him about the film.
He auditioned for the director and actually booked one of the lead roles.
Wanna hear something weirder?
I casually mentioned the name of the leading actor in the film and my aforementioend friend Dan couldn’t believe it: The actor was his old roommate. They used to live together in LA and I had actually met him before. Now, all three of us will be working on a film we’ve been cast in this fall.
Here’s how I see it: We are in this together. When I see scripts or castings that make me think of someone, I immediately make note of it because I am thinking of them for a reason. The above example is a great example of what happens when you balance putting yourself first with sharing resources with others.
This weekend I mentioned a gig to a friend that I am involved with, of which I thought she would be a great. She said she didn’t want to take any work away from me and I told her there was nothing to worry about!
The scarcity mindset that is so prevalent in the entertainment industry is exactly what holds everyone back. Words like “Competitive” “Fierce” “Scary” etc serve nothing but to keep people down. I don’t believe in competition and I don’t believe that there isn’t enough. I do believe that we each have to be the best versions of ourselves, learn as many lessons as possible, evolve our craft, and perform at the highest caliber on and off screen.
There is a timeline for everyone, and no one can predict where one break will come from or where a series of breaks will lead. But the key is persistence and being generous with your time.
While at the Cannes Film Festival, I learned a valuable lesson. Not about the red carpet, celebrity status, or even making big deals. Rather, the people who hustle, the people who are most successful, are always looking out for people around them. Offering help, experience, service, and resources. Not hoarding it all away in the corner.
I am an A Team player. I work hard, constantly get better at what I do, and help people whenever I can.
I’ve been vegan for almost 9 years and I had never once done a juice fast. And just as before I refrained entirely from eating meat products, I had a lot of misconceptions about doing a juice fast. Like..it would be too hard. And wouldn’t I not be able to do anything? Also, is it really THAT good for you?
Over the years, I have regularly incorporated fresh juice into my diet. I have a Breville juicer and I have always felt better when I had juice pre or post workout or first thing in the morning.
Recently, I heard Joe Cross (of the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”) talk about juicing and what really goes on in your body when you juice and how beneficial it is. It was the first time I actually heard my questions answered about juicing and I felt really inspired to just do one! So, my next stop was the Netflix vault where I watched the film.
If you are at all curious about disease in the body and how juicing can help eliminate that, I encourage you to watch this film. Especially for Phil, the 300+ lb trucker. You will be amazed. After watching this film, I thought, “Well, if he can do it, I certainly can!”
Some people who know me were a bit confused as to why I decided to do this. Aren’t you already vegan? Aren’t you already healthy? First of all, yes, I do eat a clean, plant-based diet. But I am not 100% raw, and there is definitely room for improvement. I am a caffeine drinker, I enjoy a nice Malbec, and just like every other person on the planet, I am exposed to pollutants and chemicals in the environment.
Currently, I am on Day 5 of my juice fast and I feel amazing. But let’s back up.
DAY 1 JUICE FAST:
I started off with a really strong juice recipe, as in, very detoxing: beets, lemon, ginger, celery, also…jalapeno, cilantro. I MAY have been starting off a little gung-ho. The juice tasted great, I felt great…and then an hour later I felt nauseated. I didn’t throw up, but this was the beginning of feeling like crap.
I was indeed regular, but I think because I already eat a lot of fiber, I didn’t have what some people experience, which is running to the bathroom constantly. I was just “normal.” I did have to pee constantly, but that’s to be expected.
I drank more juice later in the day, and on the first day I only ended up drinking about four 16 oz servings of juice in total. But by that night, I was kinda cranky, but I wasn’t hungry! On and off nauseated, and I started to develop a head ache.
I woke up wanting to punch the sun.
It was like I was moving through water. I didn’t feel nauseated anymore, but I still had a headache and I was in a very bad mood.
I also took two naps.
I checked my tongue and it was all white (grosss!) BUT health freak that I am, I pointed to my husband and said, “Look! Look! It means it’s working!” This is a common detox side effect. So began the scraping of my tongue on a regular basis!
I drank plenty of juice all day long, but man, I was useless. I wanted to have that super awesome productive zingy energy I was told most people don’t get until Day 4, but I had to settle for dealing with my emotions and not doing much else.
At one point, I did make an herbal tea of cinnamon and mint (weird, right?) which tastes great, but made my tummy hurt awhile later. That is normal for me if I drink tea on an empty stomach, but I didn’t want to push it.
The weirdest thing I noticed? I had pain on the back of my head on the left side, behind my left eye, my lower back on the left, and my left elbow. This may seem random to you, but t me, it was the places where in the past I have occasionally had flare ups from when I was hit by a truck crossing the street. I have done a lot of reading about how scar tissue and other repairs can start to be healed on a cleanse – because your body is finally able to use energy normally going to digestion to HEAL instead.
This was also when my supplemental juices came from Pressed Juicery. I mean, I’m all about making your own fresh juice – but damn if it doesn’t get old cleaning every single piece out and chopping up everything and whine whine whine. From this point on, I alternated between the juice i made and the juices that came in the mail.
Oh and guess what? That night, I could not sleep. Don’t know what that was about.
I woke up feeling much better. The headache and back ache thing would come and go throughout the day, but my energy was much better. I was moving around a lot quicker, and able to actually get work done.
At this point, when I thought about food, it didn’t make me super hungry, but when I smelled it cooking, it smelled soooo amazing.
That is another thing that happens – you smell everything so much clearer. I mean, walking outside, I felt like I could smell the earth and the rocks and the air and the sun and I know I sound crazy, but it’s true! Like Sookie, in Season 1!! (Anyone?)
I smelled the coffee beans on our kitchen counter just to enjoy the smell!
This reminds me, before I forget: I have had on and off sinus issues for the past few years, and I felt some major drainage this day. So I am hoping that’s a good thing.
Woke up with a slight headache. It wasn’t as bad now. No pain anywhere else. I practically jumped out of bed, my body was so buzzy. I was going to go to a Yoga & Abs class!
Even though by this point I had done a ton of research about energy, and how our bodies are actually meant to withstand feast or famine for long stretches, I was still a little nervous about doing an intermediate yoga class.
I pounded a green juice and packed my water and I was off.
OK ready for the weird hippie stuff? While driving, everything seemed sharper(as Joe Cross puts it, senses are heightened so that your body can go hunt and scavenge – already now prepared to be in famine mode) and brighter and honestly, I felt lighter. I mean, at this point, yes I had lost a little bit of weight, but I just mean I felt more energetic.
I got to class, and just did it…I felt energized, I never felt winded*
*Note – The first couple of days in a fast, your body lowers its temperature, as well as blood pressure, so until the intial hunger pang / detox symptoms are over, it is not recommended to jump into an exercise routine.
I did note however, that I felt “hungry” which I hadn’t felt in awhile, so I made sure to drink extra raw coconut water in between juices.
Last night, I also drank half a raw pressed almond milk from Pressed Juicery. And it was flipping delicious.
DAY 5 :
I got up at 4:30am this morning and I didn’t feel groggy. I wanted to do a couple of things in my office before leaving for work at Quinnipiac University. Felt fine!
I drank a parsley, cucumber, lemon and some other combination from Urban Remedy and that was perfect. When I got to Quinnipiac, I started to sip on a Cayenne / Lemon number, just in case I felt some thirst or hunger while I was working as an SP.
The one thing I did forget, was to drink a ton of water! I had some on the way to the school, but I should have really had more when I got there. My throat and mouth felt a bit dry. That was okay, because when I left, I chugged more water and juice on the way home.
I had purchased a cleanse that was low-glycemic, so I was in the mood for something a bit sweeter when I got home.
I juiced: 3 carrots, a snippet of ginger, a green apple, 4 kale leaves, 1 tangelo, and a bunch of red grapes. It hit the spot. I just finished another yummy blend from Urban Remedy, and I probably will have my “dessert” juice when I watch Netflix this evening.
Dessert juice? What?
I have a cacao nib / almond milk blend, as well as a cashew milk blend waiting for me. I did drink Pressed Juicery’s Vanilla Nut Milk Blend (Did you know you can juice a vanilla bean? YEP did that for a couple recipes!), only a half serving because the fat content was so high! Don’t go rolling your eyes – sprouted almond milk is indeed fine because it allows your body to absorb nutrients without absorbing too much fat – that being said, fat takes a lot of energy to digest. So I decided to drink half at a time. Night time is a better time to do this because I won’t be adding anything else in the mix to confuse my digestive tract 🙂
Tomorrow I plan on breaking my fast SLOWLY. By first drinking warm lemon water, then another juice, and then some fruit. From there, I will see how it goes!
Do I think juicing is for everyone? Nope. I think it takes a certain desire and a frame of mind to decide to do this. You should be prepared to face some discomfort and be okay with taking a good look at yourself in the mirror. Regardless of whether someone juices or not, I think we all could use a time out of some sort now and then to deal with our emotions and figure out who we really are.
I did this cleanse for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I wanted to see if I could do it. I love a good challenge. Also, I just felt that I needed to let go of some gunk from the winter and just appreciate things more in general.
Juicing requires you to slow down and savor each moment. It helped me to be more present and also to rethink food habits in general. It’s good to do a clean up / inventory every now and then.
This blog post is probably plenty long enough. I could go on and on and I know I’m probably leaving something out, but if anyone has any questions I would be happy to answer them!
Thanks, and Happy Spring!
UPDATE: I haven’t posted this yet, but I wanted to let you know how Day 6, Breaking my Fast went.
BREAKING THE FAST, MAN:
I woke up and drank a green juice and went to a yoga and meditation class. Honestly, at this point, I felt like I could fast for a long time, but I knew I was going to get the itch for like..you know, actual food pretty soon.
When I got home, I drank a delicious Beet / Ginger / Carrot / Apple blend from Urban Remedy and about an hour later, decided to break my fast with fresh pineapple.
It’s a really good idea to break your fast with something juicy in order to reintroduce your body to fiber again. A funny thing I noticed while chewing was that my jaw cracked a few times LOL but besides that, it was great!
For lunch I made a simple veggie broth with a slew of frozen veggies and that tasted sooo good. I think the best part was eating something warm after having pretty much only cold or room temperature juices all week.
For my first dinner back on food I had a salad, kidney beans, and sweet potato fries! It was all good!