Christine Hassler is an author, speaker, life coach and spiritual counselor – Sharing Advice

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Christine was introduced to me via The Daily Love (thedailylove.com) and always has great posts. Wanted to share her excellent post:

http://thedailylove.com/what-i-would-tell-my-20-something-self/?inf_contact_key=bd7016e4cb7309e2085c996817a81179050cf0bc2a7cf23ac10df33557daeaf3

Wishing you lots of love in life.

Hollywood connections… or not.

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Having been unemployed from Hollywood for an unbelievable amount of time now has brought up some interesting reactions from friends. “Why aren’t you working, you’re super girl”, “you know so many people, why aren’t they helping you” or “why haven’t you called all the people you’ve helped get jobs”. It’s an interesting realization what others expect. I’m the kind of person that if I find a terrific person and connect them with other terrific people, it’s an obvious reaction to introduce these great people. Why not?

I’ve had assistants who wanted to learn something or meet someone and if I could help them move on to something else and was able to connect them, I did. I never expected anything in return. That’s not what sharing is all about. Hollywood has a different reaction to helping others and maybe it hurt me in the long run, but I’m still happy to watch all these talented people working their way up the ranks. I know interns who are studio heads or successful screenwriters and former assistants who are Sr VPs at major networks. I once introduced an assistant to a former network head who taught him how to schedule and what a scheduling board looked like. I’m so proud of them, but I don’t expect anything from them either. Ok, maybe I expect a little respect, but even that seems to be lacking, but that’s ok. I just figure karma will reward me in other more important ways.

As for advice to my 20s self, I wouldn’t change a thing. I won’t live in regrets and I love helping people. That won’t change anytime soon. You help people because it creates positive energy and why not help the struggling writer, producer, director or actor. If it’s the right fit, it needs to be helped in the way that works best for the project or people involved. Nothing wrong with that.

Happy Tuesday,
:)

Nora Ephron

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As a movie fan, my heart has always belonged to the romantic comedy. I love action, dramas and thrillers too, but even a cheesy romantic comedy with a good cast would get my butt in a movie theater seat. Nora Ephron knew how to make us laugh, cry and get to the heart of what every romantic relationship feels like. A movie marathon and revised reading list is in my near future to solute this talented lady.

My heart is not alone in feeling sad about the passing of Nora Ephron. She was a class act that you couldn’t help aspiring to be. The few occasions that I encountered her were funny, awe inspiring and just that deep need to have a quick wit that she always displayed. There was nothing false about how she behaved, she was who she was and the confidence in being authentic was my mantra throughout my Hollywood experience. Can’t say I always succeeded at it, but I loved reading her movie quotes or something I overheard her say at the studio kept me smiling and striving to do better.

My one quick story to share is the numerous staff meetings (years!) of an executive trying to convince our studio head to send the screenplay of Sleepless In Seattle to Nora. Development hell at its finest. She had a conversation about Hanks and Ryan being a great cast, and the studio head consistently said no. We were all so frustrated, but now looking back, it of course, came out at the right time and the success of this movie classic speaks for itself. Every time I see the movie on tv or catch a DVD on a store shelf, I always send out a mental thank you to the executives in that room, so many years ago, for not giving up and to Nora for creating the magic to make the movie so beautifully. It really is magic when all the stars align for that great movie experience. I’m grateful to have been a part of it and I’ll never forget my crazy adventures while witnessing the creative genius.

So many great scripts have turned out badly on film, but it doesn’t stop the dream and I solute the future Nora’s out there to keep going. Whether it’s screenwriting, directing or producing, I’m waiting to buy my ticket for that magical experience once again. Don’t give up.

Thank you Nora for your wisdom, magical dialog, and for being you. 

Staci

PS, to the Sony Pictures (Columbia Pictures) family who lost their friend, I send you hugs. 

KNOWLEDGE OR DREDGING THROUGH THE PAST

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Funny things pop into my head when I wake up in the morning. Some days I remember my dreams so vividly and sometimes it’s just feelings or moments of visions of a dream. Have you ever had that?

I’m working on two totally different novels at the moment so my dreams are very colorful right now and I’m drawing from the cast of characters in my past. I’m finding I have a challenge. As Mastin Kipp states in his blog (TheDailyLove.com) today:

“Can you allow yourself to go on the journey and experience all the emotions, circumstances and feelings, good and bad? Can you step out into the unknown daily and allow yourself to become a stronger person because of it?”

There’s a double edged sword while stepping into the unknown because I question, am I stuck in my past story or using it for creative purposes in a good way. Trying to move beyond my history begs the question; can evaluating the past be good for you?

When speaking at colleges or by friends I’m always asked the inevitable question, “What’s so-and-so like?”  I felt like the family pet trick at weddings or even by an ex- boyfriend’s family cornering me for gossipy dish. “Come on, tell us something really horrible about X.” I love sharing MY stories, good, bad and ugly, but they’re about me. Not trashing another actor, director or producer. I’m happy to share the fun stories of good things by an actor, but this need to bash on Hollywood A-listers is just bad karma to me. Besides, there are 3 sides to every story.

Because of this, I turned down jobs working for some celebs because I’m the caretaker type and would have tried to “fix” everything in their lives. Of course, I couldn’t, but doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have tried. The media storms today, like TMZ, would have really loved the closed door stories, but that’s pain I’m glad wasn’t shared until they were ready. It’s the one’s that are misunderstood or the “caught” silly moments taken out of context and then blown out of proportion that are most painful to watch.

I’m told by a friend that my earlier posts are very sad and depressing. Besides the fact that I’m struggling with what advice to give myself, it was more a sharing of my past to draw on the stories I’m using for my novel. I do have some funny stories and I’ll work on those soon. My journey has been filled, yes, with some sadness, but I LOVE my Hollywood journey. I’ve been honored to meet some of the most amazingly talented people in front of and behind the camera. I thank you all for the amazing lessons and adventures. I hope some of you find them entertaining as I weave them into my next projects.

:)

LOOK FOR POSITIVE SIGNS

I’m reminded by hoof prints on my walk this morning about how life wants to send you the positive, but fear creates the seemingly easier route of negative when you’re young.

LA is so rife with signs of all kinds; it’s all in the interpretation of your path that keeps you happy or sad. When I was in my 20s, I would see such beauty in artwork, graffiti, or one of my favorite pastimes, walking in neighborhoods with beautiful yards. Even on my long drives up the coast to get away from roommates or clear my head ($5 in gas could take you farther than today), beauty surrounded me but it just wasn’t soaked in. I appreciate the memories more today than in the moment. There’s another beauty in having a memory as well.

So, I thought I’d share one of my favorite shapes to find in my travels: the heart. Today’s shape comes in the form of an antelopes hoof print. Looking forward to sharing with you my photo collection of hearts through all the cities I’ve traveled.

For my younger self, I’m grateful for the memories and only wish that you could have enjoyed them more. You would have felt more blissful and joyful in the discovery in the moment. Enjoy the ride, so much more is ahead of you.Image

LIFE HAS MANY SURPISES – JUST GO WITH THE FLOW

I had an inspired push by a former coworker near my hometown to move to Los Angeles. She said there’d be so many opportunities, people to meet and space to spread my wings and figure out what I wanted from my life. I thought she was just trying to push me out of the nest because she felt I was overqualified for the assistant job. I’d reorganized our department and then for the larger department above us within six months of working there, so of course, she was right.

What she didn’t know was that I was putting on two faces. I was the overly efficient, happy assistant at work, and then I was the caretaker of my family. The problem was that I was hiding the fact that I was feeling suicidal. When I left work I was bummed because I didn’t feel like I was helping my family enough, with two bickering brothers and parents who worked really hard to make ends meet. I’d given up college because I couldn’t afford it. My college coach said, “Not everyone is cut out for college”, and it was the out I used to quit and start working.

One weekend when I decided to take some pills, the phone rang and my high school friend said she and her boyfriend were moving to LA, did I want to come? She barely recognized the fact I sounded groggy and had been ill for an hour because my body rebelled from taking the pills. I’d answered the phone while in the bathroom plotting another way to end it. It was another option and I said yes almost instantly reminded of my office mate’s push. Here was an option. If I’d just waited a little longer, I’d have saved myself a disgusting experience. But then I wouldn’t have known how to help another friend, years later, but that’s for another day.

Off to LA I went in a friend’s truck with few possessions and $1000 in my checking account. Thankfully I’d found a job pretty quickly. I had faith when I went down there and never lost it until life threw me some interesting curve balls.

Little did I know my car windows would be shot out in a neighborhood wide vandalism spree, I was stalked by someone and only did it really hit me was when a very nice guy from the grocery store track me down that they had to file theft charges for this person because they tried to steal my check. I did meet a very nice tow-truck driver when my newly installed brakes fell out of my car, but he wanted me to have dinner with his family on our first date, he was convinced after meeting me that I was “the one” and thankfully I managed to avoid his calls. Then the shock that my roommates would (a.) cheat on each other before their wedding and (b.) give me 5 days notice to find a new place to live with $12 in my checking account and no paycheck for another 3 weeks (I was working at a private girls school who paid you once a month). I got rid of my possessions, walking my bed frame down the street to some fantastic friends and everything that couldn’t fit in my car was thrown away (really the homeless were very well taken care of from our dumpsters in this apartment complex. I even asked a nice couple to come up to my room to see what they wanted.). I was homeless for weeks and when I was lucky enough to find a friend or co-worker who would let me shower or sleep on their couch, I counted my blessings. Not sure where I had the energy not to give then and there. I’d sit in my car late at night and envision myself living in a nice house with a private yard. It really was only weeks before it happened. One of the school Deans came into my office with a co-worker/friend asking if we wanted to housesit for some teachers going on sabbatical for 6 months. My co-worker and I squealed a yes and started planning what we’d do while we had the amazing opportunity.

We had a few dinner parties of our favorite foods and Pictionary, but my favorite part was sitting in the back yard just daydreaming. Not sure why, but I finally felt independent and on my way to greater things. There are always those embarrassing moments though. My friend DS asked me to attend a wrap party for his latest movie he’d written. I was so excited I’d gone shopping for something I thought was elegant and appropriate. When I arrived, I was dressed nicer than the female star. Someday I’ll share the complete snarky conversation with said actress in the bathroom. Suffice it to say, she was not happy that I’d outshined her in a bright red caftan outfit. I told her I was trying to impress my friend who’d brought me (really I should have listened to him asking if I didn’t want to change before leaving the house), but she decided to ask who my agent was and she’d blackball me in town. I couldn’t help it, I laughed out loud and walked out. I felt brave at the time, but she was a woman of her word, she went around to every exec in the room and insist she know who my agent was to harm me. An exec from the studio, whom I’d met at a party, asked what had happened. When I explained, he gave me the name of an agent to use if she asked again. Turns out, it was an agent she use to have and whom she would never be caught talking to, so I was supposedly safe. I thanked the exec for her priceless expression but I learned my lesson, to listen more and always smile graciously (as a friend says, like you know a secret, but the crazy person isn’t nice enough to share it with) and go about your business.

My 40s advice would have been to nudge myself to make plans and actual baby steps towards any dreams. I was a small town girl who’d moved to the city, I survived living in my car, thankfully for a short period of time compared to many others, and I could have accomplished many more things than I thought I was “allowed” to. I’d met a celebrity whom I thought was incredibly talented, but obviously insecure. And then I found a job working at the very studio that only a few years earlier, while sitting in a movie theater with my mom dreaming of that icon at the opening credits as my future employment. In only a few short months, I’d met people who inspired me, taught me lessons of what to avoid in my Hollywood life, and learned many valuable examples of what not to do by those I tried to help whether it was giving them a ride home after a bad date or trying to talk someone into rehab. They each had their value in my life.

It took me many years to realize my dreams came true, I just had to have faith and go with the flow.

ADVICE TO MY 20s SELF

A repeated theme running through my mind these days is what I would tell my younger self in order to prepare or better yet, tools to cope with a “life quake”. I’m part of the unemployed set. I’ve been going to school to widen my job prospects, reading as many advice books as I can cope with and listening to some brilliant and wonderful people on the free online or call in tele-seminars. There really is an unbelievable amount of free information out there that can help you boil down what can help you face the different phases of having your life completely altered and ready to build back up.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have ZERO regrets. I’ve met some incredible characters in my 40 something years and they all had wild and wooly lessons for me. They may not have realized it, but every single person who flowed through my life taught me valuable lessons and that I enjoy helping others. Whether it was speaking at a college class about film or my nephews, I’ve been a great sounding board and advice giver. I’m not the type to usually give you an answer unless directly asked, but there are so many ways to help people come to their own conclusions. Ask a question and get responses that can lead you both to learning something. Listening has always been a great education for me.

 So here I thought I’d share some of my lessons and some advice to my younger self.

 

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