Friday, November 30, 2012

Holidays for the artist.and family.

Happy holidays guys!

As always I hope this message reaches you in good health and spirits. I hope you all had plenty of family and food around you at thanksgiving. On a personal note, I have just hired a new manager to help me get my career moving forward. Ken, I am excited to work with you. For all of you readers, stay tuned for a revamp of my blog and website.

My parents gave me so much wisdom. I believe my fundamental advantage in life is not having movie star good looks :) or being tall..its that I had a mom and dad who cared about me. They care about me and support me to this day. Its something I don't appreciate enough some times. The holidays can be tough on us not so famous artists. Why? Because you answer more questions from family that you know, and love, regarding the lack of your name on the Box Office. First of all, to all those families out there, it is COMPLETELY FAIR for you to ask those questions. If the starving artists cant deal with that part of the game then they have bigger issues. More importantly we want to know that you care about us! Those questions about "how come you don't see us on TMZ" means you are wondering how we are doing. It makes us feel like we are not out here all alone. Your spirits and energy are with us. We can feel feels great when you tap into that force. All artists should do this more often.

For the artist..answer every one of these questions. They don't expect you to be famous over night..they just want to make sure your heart is in the game. And it is..right?? Exactly. These aunts and uncles care about you and want you to live your dream. They do NOT want you to fail. When you take a moment and realize that, all the questions should get a little smile from you inside. Believe me, your agent, producer friend, manager or studio head wont ask these questions. Enjoy the love and feel the love.

I already know that my ENTIRE FAMILY will be there on my first headlining red carpet with the intent to have a ball. When that happens, ill feel all that love

Be thankful for your close people this holiday season. This is probably the most important thing I've ever said on this blog :)


"Live with no excuses and love with no regrets"

Thanks for reading guys! Hit me on twitter


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It can ALWAYS be better or worse & staying positiv

Happy Fall gang!

Good to speak with you all. If you have any friends and family on the east coast, I hope they are all safe. Today I'm giving away one of my biggest keys to staying positive.

Recently I picked up a new friend on facebook. I realize this isn't exactly a news flash in 2012. I have been friends with this person in real life before facebook (which might be more of a news flash) and recently I saw them for the first time since becoming FB friends. As we were parting company she asked me "How the heck do you stay so positive on facebook?" Thanks for giving me a great blog post idea..

Life perspective of Better and Worse

Being positive comes from all your magical powers (we all have them) and is a formula comprised of many things. One specific key that helps me stay positive is a statement my long term friends have heard me say many times.. "It can ALWAYS be better/worse".  No matter what happens to you in any moment, you can look at the situation and remind yourself of that undeniable fact to help bring some perspective to your short term success, failure, trouble or triumph. When things aren't going so well it is easy to see how this can help. When some crazy driver smashes into your brand new bright red Ferrari..and you are screaming at them and cursing your luck, remember, it could always be worse. You could be looking at your smashed Ferrari from a stretcher being carried by paramedics. Lets not even think about how much worse that scenario could get for you. Those times when you don't have quite as much money as you want, need, or deserve..could always be worse. Someone else is probably doing unspeakable things in order to get that money. The kind of things that you can never get away from in your own mind no matter how good the money might be. That you aren't doing those things can help calm your mind, relax and keep going in a positive direction with your actions and thoughts. For us actors, that time you didn't book that part and you see another actor get the guest-star role on ABC that you wanted definitely sucks. At the same time, it could be worse, there is some person who isn't even in Hollywood who watches that show and their heart breaks because acting is what they know they should be doing. You guys get the point on how it helps when times are rough...

How can this help me go from positive to MEGA-positive? No matter how good it is, it could always be better. Some time from now, Sony pictures will be paying me 7 figures to film an awesome movie in an exotic and great location. Sounds great right? Heck yeah it does. But It could always be better... I could be doing the same thing except its a film I wrote and I am an executive producer on the project. EVEN BETTER. When you realize that a good situation could be better you do 2 things 1. You validate the work and steps you have taken to get where you are and 2 You realize that there is more work to do and you can do EVEN MORE THAN YOU THOUGHT BEFORE. Sure, celebrate a little bit along the way but for you to reach your greatness, you have to keep pushing your talents and self to new limits. Doing so with a positive attitude will make your work light and your journey FUN! That's what I'm in this crazy life have fun.

Motivational quote of the day

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go"

Thanks guys for reading. Hit me up with any questions

Moviestar on the rise
Twitter: @MoviestarAhmad

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Your Art and relation

Greetings everyone!

Happy end of summer. Time to get into the gym because next summer is right around the corner and I know you all want to look your best :)

Ill keep it short this week guys. Largely because its October and there is still time to re-focus on what you want to accomplish this year and make major progress towards it. That sort of refocus will help set you up to blast through your goals and change your life next year!! Yes I said change your life. That's for another post, but that's how I think every year. The work I put in this year can and will CHANGE MY LIFE :) All that said, let me get to the point..

Art and comfort do NOT coexist

Being an artist is great on many levels. Its a big challenge, a noble pursuit, a way I can express myself and help others. It requires me to use all of my energy and makes me constantly improve myself. On that level I have gotten more out of myself than I ever imagined. One thing being an artist is is NOT comfortable. Nor is it supposed to be.

To focus on the art of something means you have to leave some of the comfortable aspects of life behind. Sometimes that means not eating while I am pouring through a script and trying to understand a character. Sometimes that means night shoots that require you to be mentally and emotionally fresh at 3am. Painters, sculptors and music producers can all share experiences where it got uncomfortable while they were pursuing their art. Its part of the game. The positive thing is that as you are getting more UNcomfortable, you are freeing yourself and getting ready to create art. Said another way, when you start feeling uncomfortable you are closer to expressing the artistic truth that you are searching for. To do something artistically real and honest you have to put art first..ahead of comfort. You can be comfortable afterwards.

You guys already know my thoughts on this..EVERYONE is (or can be) an artist in their own realm. There is an artistic aspect to teaching or being a personal trainer or whatever you do. If you pursue what you do and put it first, above your own comfort, you will see all the rewards that come with being one of the best artists in your respective field. I cant speak for you but that's what I want to be.

Don't worry about comfort guys. Not when you are doing your work. Just pursue your type of art with all your might. While you are training, acting, cage fighting, painting, teaching or working in the lab..put your work first..and it will put you first down the line!

Motivational quote of the week....

Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hone YOUR warrior mindset!

Hey guys!

Hope all is going well for you this summer. Its almost over so go get your time in on the beach while you still can! Ramadan went great for me and I am feeling as invincible as I ever do during the year. Eid Mubarak to all, whether you fasted or not.

We all need motivation. Like working out, motivating yourself is something you have to do regularly in order to keep yourself at a good healthy level. There are certain things that I constantly feed (and re-feed) my mind over and over again to keep my mental focus high. When I first started studying acting professionally my teacher and the foundation of my acting technique, Milton Katselas, gave all his students a book that covered various things about acting and life. One thing in that book that I constantly read is what I'm going to share with you. It may not be one of the literary classics but I had never seen or read it before. Its called The Warrior. Its basically a collection of statements about how a warrior operates in life. Some of my favorite warrior statements are listed below. Take a read...because I'm sure some of it will apply to what you believe or how you WANT to be. **for you ladies out there, please replace "He" with "She" :) If you want a copy of the whole thing, let me know and I will send it to you.

The Warrior (Guerrero)

A Warrior leaps into battle
A Warrior knows but one position to face life: frontally, or some other way he believes will be effective
A Warrior adopts aggressiveness as a stance towards life that rouses, energizes and motivates
A Warrior is not stuck with one way. He is flexible 
A Warrior maintains a flexibility of strategy that comes with razor-sharp evaluation
A Warrior is constantly improving communication skills
A Warrior never holds a grudge
A Warrior knows his days are few, which leads him to an intense experience of life that is unknown to others
A Warrior fully understands celebration
A Warrior knows every act counts
A Warrior knows there is no time for hesitation
A Warrior doesn't try to be right, he just fixes things in his working and personal relationships
A Warrior is definitely the guy who walks through the threshold, if the threshold needs walking through
A Warrior is willing to confront, or not, by his own decision
A Warrior does not know how to spell flinch
A Warrior will only destroy what needs to be destroyed so that something more valuable, more effective can appear
A Warrior masters the techniques of his craft -and his life- through continuous study, discipline and stretching the boundaries
A Warrior is like a pro. He gets things done. NOW
A Warrior doesn't think too much. Thinking leads to doubt, doubt to hesitation, hesitation to inaction, inaction to losing, losing to death

Powerful stuff? Yeah I think so. We are all warriors within guys. Its not about conquering nations and destroying armies. Its about CONQUERING YOURSELF and living life to the fullest while you are here.

Motivational quote of the day..

"One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals"

Enjoy guys! Let me know what you think and thanks for reading


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Making it" is tough..quitting is MUCH tougher

Hello All,

As always, I hope life is treating you and your loved ones well. I'm finished with my 11 days of Ramadan so I am feeling pretty darned cleansed. As a result, I'm gonna keep it short and sweet today :)

Sometimes, people call summer the "dog days". Usually its one of the fun times of the year, especially when we are in our school age phase. As a rising (read: not established) actor, the summer time can be the dog days because it is probably the slowest time in the business. Actors spend more of their time looking for work than actually working year around. In the summer that time spent looking for work can get more agonizing because there are less auditions and less opportunities to work. The dog days indeed are a part of our reality. All careers and industries have slower than usual periods. There are times when you just are NOT seeing the forward career momentum that we all want. What should you do? There are a few things that we can do for our respective careers when the primary thing is going slower. That comes later. The first thing is actually something you can NOT do..


First and foremost you have to burn that belief into your mind. If you have made the decision that "this" (whatever it may be for you) is what you want to do with your life and put your energy towards, you have to see it through all the way to the end. You cannot give up! You have to keep going forward no matter how slow your forward progress may be in that given moment. You can never let yourself be defeated by the short term obstacles that life has put in your path. Those things come and go..they will reappear later on in your journey towards your personal gold medal. You can't let yourself be beaten by things that you can overcome with a little bit of persistence, desire and hard work.

Ive been on hundreds of auditions since becoming an actor. In the coming years that number will be in the thousands. As you can guess more often than not people say no. That is absolutely no reason to tapout on the career and life that I am willing to walk through the fire for. Some of you have been rejected by grad schools, some of you have seen your business slow to a crawl because of the tough economy we came out of, some of you got knocked out by an opponent that you thought you could best. happens to us all. What is most important is to look at your current situation and look past it to where you can be IF YOU DON'T GIVE UP AND KEEP GOING FORWARD! I can be a series regular on a network TV show in a couple years. Does it change the fact that I am dead broke with a dead end job right now...No. It doesn't. The point is that my current situation DOES NOT prohibit me from becoming that series regular. People who get frustrated and give up often do not make that connection. They often let the current rough times dictate that there will be nothing but rough times going forward. This is not the case guys. You can always turn it just have to stay in the game

So what kinds of things can you do when you hit those career valleys? Of course specifics vary from career to career..but there are a few general things that can help save your sanity

1. Hone your craft: What kind of skills do you have for your career? What skills can you improve upon to give you a competitive advantage?

2. Clear your mind: What hobby, pursuit or thing can you do that takes your mind totally off your career?

3. Realize whats good: It could always be worse. What things are going on in your life that you are thankful for? Sometimes we ignore these when works not going well. don't!

4. Connect and Re-Connect: You should be there for your friends..and they for you. Call one..especially one you haven't talked to in a while. I promise you will feel better after catching up

Its tough out there guys no matter what you do. I don't promise much to anyone...but I do promise that quitting will hurt you far more than anything going on right now. Keep fighting guys...and don't give up

Inspirational quote of the day

"It's always too early to quit."

Thanks for reading.. and hit me up on twitter


Saturday, July 21, 2012

AVOID emotionally transmitted infections

Greetings Summer Stars,

As always I hope that everything is going well in your world! For those who observe the fast, Ramadan Mubarak and make sure to drink plenty of water at night. Also...don't be afraid to train a little during the day. As an Olympian once told me "training during Ramadan makes you tough".

Over the years, I have cut plenty of people out of my life out of what I believed to be necessity. Most times they were completely unaware and they certainly weren't consulted on this change in our friendship status. I just stopped calling and hanging out with them among other things. Seems cold but I don't lose a bit of sleep over it. Why? Cutting those people keeps me emotionally healthy. The logic is summed up like this....

AVOID the unhappy and unlucky

 There are people who are no longer in my life because they are always unhappy and/or unlucky. There..I said it. You can die from someone else's misery. You may feel you are helping a drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. People who are unfortunate and unhappy can draw misfortune on themselves...they can also draw it onto YOU! Fitness and health are important things to me. The reality is that emotional states are as infections as diseases. This is a way to protect your emotional health so that you can be the absolute best YOU that you can.

Fundamentally, at the core, people are either positive or negative. The reality is what it is in a given situation. The positive person will look for the upside no matter how the bad the reality may be and the negative person will always find the tragedy no matter how good the reality is. I am a positive person and continue to represent that philosophy throughout my life. When its a one on one situation, my positive super-powers can easily vanquish 1 captain negativo. What about when its 1 vs 3..4 or more? Positivity can keep you healthy but if your constantly hanging with 3 negative people, you are bound to be the fourth. All the complaining they do..all the woe is me talk..they will eventually infect you with that unhappy disease and before you know it, you are just as negative as them. Seeing that as the path of the negative-ites, I choose to stay positive and to stay away from those people I deem too negative to stand. AKA people who are radioactive with their negativity. Those people are gonna be unhappy

Those misfortunate people among us who have been hurt by situations beyond their control deserve our help and sympathy. There are others who are not born to misfortune or unhappiness, but who draw it upon themselves by their destructive actions. It would be great to raise them up but more than likely you will be the one brought down. Humans are extremely susceptible to the moods, emotions and thoughts of those we spend time with. Which is why you must be so very mindful of who you hang with. Understand that in the game of life, the people you associate with are critical. The risk of associating with these infectors is that you will waste valuable time and energy getting free from them. These toxic people are tricky. They don't always introduce themselves properly and honestly. Nobody says "Hi, my name is Bruce and I am an energy drainer and constant complainer." Since I like to be solutions oriented lets answer the question you're about to ask... How do I protect myself from these emotional infections and the people that transmit them?

Its not simple but if you look critically you can protect yourself. First, judge people by the affect they have on the world and people around them...NOT by the reasons they give for their problems. Beware of victimism. We have all been victimized in situations in life. If someone is ALWAYS telling you about being a victim over and over again, you should be concerned. Turbulence in their relationships and career can be a give away. I'm not saying that every ones life should be perfect with no rough times. Those people who are intent on success go through those rough times and correct their actions with the idea of moving forward. The other people don't change and constantly want to wallow in their rough times never moving past them. The constant complainer is also a big red flag. Being critical isn't the problem. Its that the constant complainer is never happy. Very soon they will spread their unhappiness on you.

Time for good news...The infection can go for the positive!! There are people who attract happiness by their good cheer, positivity and intelligence. Those folks who believe that difficult things can be done as opposed to can't. Be one of those people and hang with more to bring success to your whole circle. BE gracious, charming, witty, and courageous. Be the type of person that others want to be around. So long as they come in peace and positivity, the more the merrier. 

I realize that this is something similar to what your parents told you many years ago. You are judged by the company you keep. This isn't about the outward appearance. This is about your INNER appearance and hanging with people that match either where you are and where you want to be. Protect your emotional health guys! If its in a bad place..IMPROVE IT. If you are a negative person 1. Congrats for reading my blog. You will be more positive if you keep reading 2. Go find a group of 5-6 people where you are the only negative person. After a few times you will find yourself looking forward to seeing them. You wont know will just be happy :)

Inspirational quote of the post

"Only generous souls attain greatness"

Thanks for reading guys!

Twitter: @MoviestarAhmad

Saturday, June 30, 2012

When good is not quite good're getting better

Happy Summer again yall!!

Its good to speak with you always. I hope you are all doing well and taking a step closer to your dream whatever it may be. I'm doing my best and I look forward to telling you all about a major TV or film appearance that I will be making. Soon enough guys :)

Today i'm going to share another emotional evening in my life as me. I do it for a good cause of course...that cause is so that we can all learn (or re-learn) from it and push ourselves to higher levels in our professional and personal lives. Also, I do love you guys and I promised to always be honest with y'all.

A few years into my acting training at Beverly Hills Playhouse I had a BIG scene coming up. My good friend Torrey and I (shout out to him, his fam and NOLA) were doing a scene from a new play that was a story based around Hurricane Katrina. The play did a month run in LA before we performed the scene in class. I saw it and had the script and the scene for a good while. I worked on this thing like never before. I really felt this was a scene that I could show nearly all my skills. Part of the reason that I worked so hard on this scene was a chance meeting with Gerard Butler a little while earlier. Total nice guy and when I asked him about getting to the big time in the business he mentioned two things 1. Just keep auditioning and 2. Put your work in on scenes in class and aim for great..not good. I agreed so I made it a point to step up all my scene prep work after his wisdom. I felt like my acting skill and technique was improving exponentially. I was so amped!

Long-ish story short we get to performance night. I'm feeling ready and open to show my art and work. The scene goes and it was not nearly as great as I wanted or expected. It was amateurish, sloppy, but with some good emotion and connection between the actors. During the critique while giving some general notes my teacher, Art, looked at me and asked what the matter was. I was nearly in tears. I let the tears go and I said "I cant work like this. I should leave this F*****g town if this is the best I can do. I put in time, hours and this was bull****. You guys (my classmates) deserve better because you put up better. I singled out (in a positive way) two of my class mates Lindi and Nick to tell them "When you guys put up a scene with this much prep time its f****g awesome..this was total high school bull***t". To Nick and Lindi, I hope that didnt embarrass you when I said that as it was meant as a high compliment. I never apologized and I do now for what its worth.

My teacher called me to sit back down as I was pacing and screaming and crying. So I did. We kept talking, I was almost inconsolable. He told me that the scene had problems but it wasnt that bad and then I uttered the mantra that drives my acting career every day..Full tears in my eyes I looked at my teacher and yelled.. "TO BE GOOD IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH WHEN YOU DREAM OF BEING GREAT". The room kinda went silent. My classmate Kristin C was in the front row and she shed a little bit of a tear as she was feeling me. Thanks Kristin!!!

My acting teacher shared some wisdom too. Nobody will be the "greatest" actor in town as its subjective. Thats very true. Its about being the best YOU that you can be. Also very true. That being said, I stand 1000% behind what I said. Good and great are different things guys. Being good at something and being great at something will leave you in two different parts of your desired field. More importantly its a choice. If you are willing to accept good...thats fine. Go for that. Others of us are only going to accept "Great". You will never be known as the greatest actor in Hollywood but you can be a "great" actor in an absolute sense. To achieve that greatness you have to shoot for that every time you perform and prepare to perform. If you have ever been good at something, you know the difference between good and great. There is a difference..and its a clear difference. You cant be great at everything to be sure. Think about the most important thing or skill that you want to develop in your life. Dont accept "good enough" in that thing. Put your energies towards being GREAT at it. I promise it will help you live the best life you can. All it takes is a little more effort and focus, consistently, to put you in position for greatness

The inspirational quote of today bears repeating..

"To be good is not good enough when you dream of being great"

The next time you start doing something relating to that thing you want to be great at..whether its acting, singing, accounting, coaching, parenting, fighting, football, basketball or painting, remind yourself of this mantra. You will find that you may not achieve greatness in that particular event but the PURSUIT OF GREATNESS with all your energy will get your juices flowing

Thanks for listening guys..Have a great day and hit me up on twitter


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reshape your hunk of clay

Greetings Super Heroes!

As always I hope everyone is doing well and living their life to the fullest. One of my great mentors used to talk to me a lot about "sharing your toys". In other words the things you have that help you, share them with others who you think can benefit. Along with being a creative outlet for my writing and a chronicle of my journey, that is part of what this blog is about. Besides, I feel great helping someone else adjust their mentality to be a little more positive and to BELIEVE in their own opportunity for success. Yes, we all have an opportunity to succeed in this life. :) Anywho....

Years ago, my sister gave me a book that would change my life. The book was "The 48 Laws of Power". Those of you who are close friends know that I SWEAR by this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is open to changing their way of viewing themselves and the world. In what might go down as the worst teaser ever, I will likely write blog posts relating to many of the 48 laws as they constantly make appearances in my daily life and work. Of all the laws mentioned in the book, the law that spoke loudest to me upon my first reading of the book was the 25th Law. Simply stated the law is composed of two words that together make a very profound statement...


Simple right? Profoundly so, in my opinion. The law continues by saying "Do NOT accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define it for you." That's powerful stuff! Taking control of your image, your "self" and your life is a hallmark of successful people in all walks of life. It does not matter who (or what) you were before reading this, you can choose to create a new and better you. We all know people who have accepted whatever they were given in life when we know they could do either 1. So much more or 2. Live a life that fulfilled them. You cant want it for them more than they want it for themselves. So lets talk about why YOU should want it.

So that we are clear please understand this, the world wants to assign you a role in life. Once you accept that role you are doomed and you are limited to whatever happiness, freedom and fulfillment is allotted to that role. Instead of accepting that, be defiant and forge your own identity. An identity that is of your own making that has NO BOUNDARIES assigned to it by and envious and resentful world. This profound act of defiance makes you responsible for your own creation. 

The beginning of recreating yourself is becoming self-aware. Who are you? What are you about? What do you believe? What don't you like about the role/life you have now? What do you really want to do? These are tough questions to be sure. Questions where you have to be supremely and brutally honest with yourself. Its really tough to look at a job or a long standing habit and acknowledge that this is NOT what I want to be any more. Being a teacher for 10 years and realizing that you want to recreate yourself as an entrepreneur or a novelist would be a shock initially to your system. Once you do and decide to recreate yourself, you will be propelled forward to the work it will take for you to create this new and improved you. Again, a new YOU of your own creation.

Remember guys, the character you seem to have been born with is not necessarily who you are. Beyond the physical characteristics you got from your parents, your friends, peers and experiences have shaped who you are. The task of recreating yourself requires you to take control of the process and stop allowing others the power of molding (and limiting) you. Working on yourself should be one of your greatest and most pleasurable life tasks. It makes you an artist, an artist creating yourself. What you do to mold your hunk of clay is up to you. You might be asking what are some of the things that have been part of my evolution??  

Painting....Acting Training...Commitment to Fitness....Learning new languages...Fashion...Learning to cook...Martial Arts....Voice Lessons...Travel to very exotic work

All these things I am constantly working on. Because these are the things (among others) that have helped me create who I am NOW vs who I was years ago. You can do it if you wish as well. If you want to think about it from an even simpler perspective...take the oath. Take a look at your say to yourself

I will be in control of my life and my self..I will not let people or my circumstance dictate who I am. I will be who I WANT TO BE and live the life I WANT TO LIVE

Sometime change starts with making a commitment to yourself :)

Our inspiration for the week...
If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes.

Thanks for reading guys!! Hit me up on twitter or email with any questions or comments


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Art is life and YOUR life is art

Happy Summer Everybody!

Good to talk to you all again. Before I start on this post let me remind you all that its time to hit the gym hard so that you can hit the beach even harder. :)

Recently, I lent my acting skills to an art project. Not an art project in the sense that all film/TV/theatre is art but an actual art project destined to show at museums and art galleries. Instead of a director I worked closely with the artist as it was her artistic vision that I was cast to help bring to life. What is the project, you ask? She is sharing a point of view on US political elections and the campaign process. Its going to combine still images, some campaign posters and this video of this hot actor guy giving a political stump speech :)

Anyhow, the important part of this story is here. We got talking during the filming of my piece of this project and we started talking about art and being an artist. The artist on this project has been a physical artist her whole life. Started studying it in her early teen years and continued on through various art academies. We talked about actors, painters, musicians, athletes and even bus drivers. During the conversation she made an excellent point...

Everyone is an artist or can be in their own way.

How very true! Everything we do can be done with artistry and skill and the joy that an artist has when expressing themselves. You don't have to paint or sing. You can be a bus driver and still command the wheel and the streets as if you are conducting the LA Philharmonic.

We all do different things with our lives. Office jobs, sports jobs, law enforcement jobs etc. When you boil down the word artist, in a general sense, it means A person who's work exhibits exceptional skill. I am challenging YOU (since you did read this) to look at everything you do from your professional life through your personal life and look for opportunities to be an artist. You don't have to sculpt to be an artist. You can wait tables and do it with artistry. Whatever you do, do it with exceptional skill and watch how life will seem just a little bit brighter

Quote for the week

"Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what they think into it"

Have a great week y'all!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bulletproof Confidence Part 3..Dont talk about it, BE it

Happy Tuesday Everyone!!

Its great to "speak" with all of you. First of all, thank you for all the feedback on the confidence series! Its always great to talk about something that resonates with friends, family and strangers. With that, we move to the third and final part of our series

Stop talking and BE..

Congratulations on this journey! We started together at zero confidence. Nobody wants to exist there so the goal was to achieve Bulletproof, Unflappable, Moviestar, No F*****g doubt Confidence..(sounds cool don't it?). So lets review the steps that got us here..

Step 1..Fake it till you make it
Step 2..Build the skills to build real confidence

Now what? Whats the mind state you need to graduate to in order to use what you have done so far to push your confidence forward? You might be surprised to hear that its about being less, as opposed to more. Let me tell you a quick story..

A few years ago, I was keeping myself in shape at a local LA Fitness. Some of you know, I also do a lot of Muay Thai to keep myself in shape and my mind/fight instincts sharp. Anyhow, I just got done with the treadmill and weights and this LA Fitness had a workout room with heavy bags. So I went in to work on my knees and elbow strikes. I was alone for a while honing my art when these two young guys came in. Talking loud. They started working on a bag next to me and doing silly jumping kicks. The whole time talking about "Dude, ill totally kick "joe" in the neck" or "ill spinning kick "mike" in the back of his head". Just loud ridiculous stuff. I wasn't worried because seeing the stuff these guys did on the bags, if it came to it, I knew that I would easily kick their asses. Then another guy walked in, said hello and started gearing up. He had a much different presence that the other guys. He sat in the corner while these two clowns were pantomiming a bad kung fu movie (i know the difference) and started stretching and wrapping his hands. I took a double take and recognized him as a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter..a television show where a group of mixed martial artists live in a house and fight each other for a professional contract. He eventually gets to work on the bag, he was super calm and nice and even helped me out with my kicks. Whats the moral of this story? Simple...The TOUGHEST guy in the room doesn't talk about it, he IS IT. He was a professional fighter at that time. He would have definitely smashed me or those other guys. He didn't need to say anything about it. His confidence in his ability was apparent.

Real confidence is about knowing with every fiber of your being what you are and what you can do. Confidence is the state of feeling certain about the truth of something. Certain..absolutely sure of that truth. When your confidence is real, it affects every move you make. You walk and talk differently when you are fully immersed in your bulletproof confidence. When you enter your field of play be it a basketball court, audition room, cage, recording studio or open mic that confidence is palpable to everyone else in that space with you. This level of confidence can change your life, y'all! When it is clear that you are really that confident in yourself, others will subconsciously and automatically have confidence in YOU. Again, its no longer about you explaining how confident you are its about you EXISTING in a state of full confidence in yourself. The most handsome guy in the room doesn't announce it with his words when he hits the door..he announces it with his demeanor and aura and everyone else just acknowledges what is already there.

The BIG reason that your confidence must eventually evolve to this point is because so much of what we do in life involves nonverbal communication. In other words, what are you saying without saying a word? If your mind, body and spirit is screaming confidence at the people you interact with, things will start falling your way a lot more than they did when you had less confidence in yourself and your abilities. For us actor and artist types, the confidence is essential because we get so many no's. That is the nature of the beast but you cant start doubting yourself and your abilities because you havent booked a job in a week, a month, a year for that matter. Every time you walk into the audition room you have to be at top confidence but not so that you can be protected from the no, but so that you can pull the director, casting director into your world of confidence in you. Who knows, you might just get that job :)

Its a long journey guys. Wherever you are at on the scale (Faking it, Building Skills, Bulletproof) it takes work to get to the next level and to maintain it. Its so worth it guys. Especially when you look back on your less confident days with your new more confident mind. A few things to remember guys

The best basketball player on the court doesn't talk about it, he just does his thing
The hottest person in the bar doesn't yell about it because everyone else knows it
The best actor doesn't tell you they are, they are because they show you

Show, don't tell your skills now. Others will see and when THEY talk about you and how great you are, that's what legends are made of. BE LEGENDARY!

As ALWAYS I welcome your comments and questions. Thanks for reading and for going with me on my journey to moviestardom :)

Our inspiration for this week?

"You cant wait for inspiration, you have to go after it..with a CLUB"

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bulletproof Confidence Part 2..Step your game up

Hello folks!

As always thanks for joining me on this journey. Seems like the first part of the series on confidence was well received. To quickly recap; Fake it til you make it. Well now we are going to talk about the "make it" part of building that confidence. Essentially, how YOU are going to take your confidence from the facade state to a more solid foundation. Yeah I'm talking to YOU! :)

Step your game UP

So you have been faking this recent confidence. In a lot of cases you are creating and believing your own hype, ignoring Flavor Flavs famous warning. This at least starts you on the path of thinking confidently about yourself IE you CAN do it instead of CANT which is the standard answer for those lacking confidence. At your core you are aware that this "confidence" is more smoke and mirrors than substance. So how do you get that substance? Its time to step your game up and acquire skills that you can be confident in. Leave the ego and get to work. Start with whatever you are best at, because everyone is best at something, and seek out knowledge, training and teachers in that pursuit. It can be anything. It can be a sport, a foreign language, poetry or writing, singing, cooking anything that you look at and definitely want to be better at. When you are studying and training it is VERY important to leave this new growing ego out of it because nobody likes a student who thinks he/she knows more than the teacher. Study...LEARN with an open mind because that type of mind will soak up the knowledge and skill that you are seeking. As you are learning build that confidence by seeing honestly how good you were at this thing when you started and realize how much better you are it after a month or 6, for example. You will surprise yourself

Basketball was one of my first foundations of confidence. Sure I played but my junior year in HS I was honestly pretty so-so. I started talking a good game, sure. That helped moving up from my Sophomore year. I didn't quite have the season that I thought I would but it wasn't because of lack of effort. It was because I just didn't have the skills..straight up. I had some, but not enough to help the team as much as I wanted to. Between my junior and senior year I sought teaching from new coaches, better players to compete against and I put in time on my game. I played every chance I could that off season (with a small break to perform in Much Ado About Nothing :)) and the work paid off in new skills, better performances and a new higher level of confidence EVERY TIME I stepped on the court. The hidden benefit, at the time, was that I had a higher level of real confidence when I stepped off the court. I had no idea that doing my thing on the court would make me walk with my head up higher but it did! Ahh, to be 16-17 and not know how things interconnect :)

Anyway, when you start to get that first bit of solid real confidence or what you KNOW you're really good at you can attack your learning of other things with a much more confident edge. You still need to learn and build skills to continue building your confidence. At the same time you now have a higher baseline of confidence than you did when you were completely in your faking stage. The reality is that I have constantly picked up new skills for my life tool bag and whereas they are things I want to learn they all help my confidence in that I always have more skills at my disposal than the previous year. Its like a big long chain of added skills... Basketball-Acting-French-Volleyball-Public Speaking-Football-Management-People Skills-Golf-Cooking-Fitness-Portuguese-Muay Thai-Philosophy-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu-Fashion-Wine Tasting. The list goes on

I'm sure some of you think some of these things aren't skills. That's fine. They are all topics that I am confident IN MY ABILITIES and KNOWLEDGE. Am I the best in these things? Certainly not but when you can walk through life and know that you can "do" these things, it makes you more comfortable in all situations. Confidence on some level is about that..being comfortable in your own skin in all situations.

Stay tuned for part 3 in the confidence series!

Our inspirational quote for today..

"Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth...tame the dragon and get the gift"

Stay positive y'all and have a FANTASTIC week!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bulletproof Confidence Part 1..Fake it til u make it!

Happy Sunday Folks!

Thank you for being a part of my journey towards being the biggest moviestar in Los Angeles :) This post is the first in a three part series on a topic that is very important no matter who you are or what you do..CONFIDENCE. We all need help with this from time to time. So let me help you (and me) by recounting my personal path that led me to being confident.

When you get right down to it, no single thing is more important to your individual success than confidence in yourself and your abilities. Its more important than desire..or luck or even hard work. As important as those things are, if you are not confident in yourself and what you are doing its not going to happen for you. If you seek success in a group/team situation you MUST have confidence in yourself, your teammates and leaders. That confidence will make the preparation, hard work and desire come together in a glorious payoff for all involved. We all love to talk about those moments when we are maneuvering with complete confidence. Lets start from the beginning when a person doesn't have much confidence at all.

You've heard the expression "Fake it til you make it"? People say that in relation to several different topics so I'm certainly not telling you this for the first time. Here is something that I likely am telling you for the first time..In the quest for bullet-proof, unflappable, moviestar, no f*****g doubt confidence the truth is you have to start out fake..100% absolutely FAKE. Before you hop on your authenticity high horse and get all disenchanted with me, think about what your alternative is..NO confidence. If my choice is fake it or have zero confidence I would gladly choose to have fake confidence for a few months as a bridge while I work on (part 2 of the series) building real confidence. OK, so how do we fake it?

Exaggerate! Exaggerate your abilities, your skills..your EVERYTHING. This is different from bragging or boasting though it will look the same from those on the outside. Its about you having some positive self-conversations to build your self image, which is crucial to your confidence. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that "Sure, you CAN do that". Eventually, tell your friends that you can do it too. As for what it is, choose anything that you have even the most basic of knowledge and skills in. Start talking as if you are better at that thing than you are. An old basketball coach once told me that "If you are exactly as good as you say you are, you have a pretty low opinion of yourself." His point was always tell people you are a little bit better than you are. As you have been faking it, people are going to want to see these skills. Good!! The pressure you have added means you will go for that higher level and by definition be better than you are usually. This pressure will make you fail in the beginning. THATS FINE! The reward of the feeling you will have from attacking something with confidence (and failing) is worth it. Besides, you were failing before with zero confidence. This way you at least look like you have a chance to be successful. When you step away and examine this failure you will be able to see that you did not succeed but you did MUCH BETTER than you did before with zero confidence and zero pressure. You must examine the failures and successes you have to see where you did improve as well as where you need to improve going forward (More in part 2).

Let me condense it all so we get the lesson:
You MUST RISK the failures that will come about with your new fake confidence.
You MUST RISK that people may look at you as a braggart and arrogant.
You MUST REVIEW what you did right and wrong to set and eventually raise your baseline of confidence.

I'm always gonna be honest with you guys. Honestly, the lessons you learn will be PAINFUL up front. Its gonna hurt like hell emotionally and physically. That being said, all the rejections and falling on my face (literally in some cases) seem funny and endearing when I look back on them today with a confident mind. What I'm trying to say is the trip was definitely worth the pain. So embrace that pain and start building your fortress of confidence. If you can look at yourself and honestly know that you are lacking confidence..fake it and build it.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 2. As for the quote today, its about our topic

"Every day just get better and better. Confidence breeds success and success breeds confidence. Confidence applied properly can surpass genius. There is nothing like confidence guys, there's just nothing like it"

See you soon and as always BE A MOVIESTAR...EVERYDAY!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Notes from my Latest Project..Preparation is key!

Hey Gang!!

The fitness column was pretty well received. So please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions that I didn't answer.

Spent some quality time last week working on set. Yes, the thing I try to do and would do every damn day if I could. :) The project is titled "Only in LA" and is a collection of vignettes that happen in and around the city of Los Angeles. The particular story that I worked on centered around a broken up couple reuniting, awkwardly, on the set of an adult film. So was I playing the male love interest? The guy that came between the couple? NOPE..i got to play an adult film star!!! YES! So very excited I was. Why? That's the point of today's column..the FUN of what I do.

First, big shout to the director Justin for casting me in the project. Relationships matter in this town. There are lots of "tough" parts to the journey of being an actor..most of which I will share along the journey of this blog. You're always broke, you don't work nearly as much as you want to..etc. The FUN of what I do, among other things, is that I get to live a million different lives on camera and then when its done I go back to my pretty cool life. So Justin lets me know that the role that we want you to play film star. Awesome! Ive never done an adult its something outside of my usual comfort zone which is what makes it fun to act. What does an adult film star do, outside of the obvious? Whats his point of view on this project? His Costar? His director? From an acting technique standpoint, these are some of the questions that I have to ask myself and answer in order to be PREPARED for the role. Make no mistake y'all, you have to prepare for your role in order to truly do your best work as an artist. You don't just walk on set without doing the research and "wing it". You read the script and you learn your lines. You adjust your physical look for how the character is supposed to look. I had some lead time, so that left me time to run, hit the gym and stretch so that I look like a hot adult film star is supposed to look. That helps you turn up the swagger and confidence, something that all stars (athletics, film, adult film, musicians) have in common. There is preparation involved gang. The bigger the project, the more money and pressure involved and the thing that will save your sanity is looking at yourself in the mirror and KNOWING that you did all you could to be prepared to do you best work!

The actual scene went fine. It was just as laughable as you can imagine. I had to pantomime doing my job as a porn star complete with thrusting and sound effects. I also got to walk around the set with a devil may care attitude..something you cant always do in your real life. I was fully clothed the whole time but the shots making it look like I was pants-less were pretty funny to do as well. The bottom line is what we do is make believe, its fun, its acting..its called a screen-PLAY. The playing I get to do is fun and keeps my heart connected to acting. Even when I am playing on camera for tens of millions of dollars, it will always be fun to me. Whatever you do guys, keep it FUN!!

I'm always here with questions. Our quote of the week...

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure"

Thanks for reading guys!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fitness.. for normal folks and actors

Hello everyone and, as always, THANK YOU for reading!

Let me be the first to say Summer is coming!! :) When I say this I am not talking about the weather..more that its time to get your butt in shape. For what its worth, somewhere my high school and college teammates/coaches are rolling over in their nonexistent graves that I am writing a column about being fit. The truth is I have plenty of experience being out of shape and now I have plenty of experience being fit. This article is for two different groups...Actors and everyone else. Ill get to the actors later. Lets talk first to you folks in the "everyone else" category..

Dear Everyone else,

Fitness and being fit is a lifestyle CHOICE . Its not a crash isn't a trendy home dvd workout isn't banning carbs from your fridge and it certainly isn't a surgical procedure. Its you CHOOSING to be as fit as you can be for whatever reason it is important to YOU. If you are reading this and deep down inside you want to be more fit than you are, I am here to help you find your way to long term fitness. I cannot take the journey for you, as those of us who have gone from overweight to in-shape will tell you that you have to walk this path yourself. My own path spanned many years of my life until I finally found the reason I choose fitness.

Growing up I was definitely a chunky kid. Not super fat..that came later in life :). When I got to high school I started playing basketball to help get in shape. By the time I graduated I was in decent shape. Better than I was as a kid but I had no idea of fitness. My first two years in college I "retired" from playing basketball as I wanted to have free time over the holidays. Any baller will tell you that starting from 7th grade on, you give up a lot of free time over thanksgiving, Christmas and new years when you're hooping. Since I didn't know anything about being in shape I spent two years getting bigger. I went back to the only thing I knew to get in shape, play basketball. More specifically, if I had a coach telling me to run or jump or lift this or that I would do it. I played my last two years and just like at the end of high school I ended up in decent but not awesome shape. The last time I weighed myself as a student I weighed 247lbs. When I graduated I got a job and here is when the situation really got tragic. My first year or two I did nothing but work and eat. THATS IT. I didn't have a gym membership..I just ate lots of Chinese food in San Francisco. Eventually I started playing a little pickup basketball and I remember thinking how quickly I got tired. I mean it was much quicker than HS or College but I was still in my 20's. Finally I joined up at my local 24 hr fitness. I knew I was out of shape but it was time to find out how much. I got on the scale after a few days at the gym and weighed in at a robust 338 POUNDS!!! This was after my workout for goodness sakes. I couldn't believe it..I was embarrassed, ashamed, sick to my stomach and felt like I wasn't in control of my body and health. I went home and I cried like a baby. It was truly one of the lowest points of my life. Its not lost on me that i've been very fortunate in my life if I can honestly count this as one of my low points..but I digress. From those ashes came something I needed..determination. I got up the next morning and looked at myself in the mirror and told myself "Whatever it takes, I'm going to get my ass in shape". WHATEVER it takes!

I told you guys my story largely for the ending message. If you want to achieve the level of fitness you desire, it has to become important to YOU AND ONLY YOU. If you want to be fit so that you can woo the opposite sex, it wont work. If you want to fit into a specific outfit or pair of jeans, it wont work. That stuff wanes easily..for you to be permanently fit it must matter to you above all other things. You can view those other things as perks to being fit, sure. Having your fitness matter to you is whats going to keep you going to the gym, eating right and staying in shape. So if you're reading this, this is step 1 to transforming your body..find the reason that works for YOU

I had my reason so I jumped into the research about what it takes to be fit. What sort of exercises work best for me, supplements, stretching, frequency, how to eat..all of those things you have to find out what works best for you. We will all have some similarities towards this common goal of fitness but you will have some things that wont work so well for me. It was a lot of reading and trial and error for me. Learning how to eat properly is where a lot of people fall short in changing their fitness profile. I learned that there were certain food items that I had to break up with (soda, Chinese food and candy bars) but that was fine because I was CHOOSING FITNESS over those foods. I also had to acquire the taste for protein shakes. I poured through magazines and weight loss books as I was finally motivated to do it for ME. That said, I finally knew about fitness more than whatever a coach was telling me to do during practice. This is step 2. Now that you have the motivation coming from your personal place, you have to use that motivation combined with fitness information to PUT IN THE WORK.

Putting in the work is step 3 but its not the most important step. Its just as important but no more important than 1 or 2. To say it another way, if you aren't personally invested in your fitness and you aren't informed about exercises, supplements, and eating right you CANT put in the work you need. If you do take care of steps 1-2 properly, you have everything you need to work HARD towards your goal. I did that! In the beginning, I got up at 5am to run before work. I hit the weights after work and did that 5-6 days a week. If you aren't ready to go at least 5 days a week, you aren't ready to get in shape. It was hell at use lying about that. You have to train FOR REAL if you're gonna make this change. One group of people who always make me laugh in the gym, we all see these people, are those people who never work hard enough to sweat. Don't waist your time like that guys. You should be sweating it out in your workouts. I ate clean for 16 weeks where I watched and accounted for EVERYTHING that I ate. That's 4 months of 6 meals a day, lots of veggies, wheat breads, lean meats, protein shakes, egg whites etc. It was during this time that I found out which junk foods I could live without and those I couldn't. I just kept grinding through the ups and downs of changing your body. After 12 months of working I was down to 259 pounds. Not bad..18 full months after my attitude shift I was down to 228 pounds. Thats 110 pounds off my all time high!! The day I saw that on the scale was tremendous! I ran around, i danced, I flexed..yes as cheesy as that sounds and I had a sense of accomplishment that I still carry with me to this day. I DID IT! I lost 110 pounds without surgery, without fancy prescription pills, without a personal trainer to make me work out. I did it with hard work, some determination and making a choice to control my own fitness. Being in shape, doesn't suck. If i can do it, ANYONE can. For the record, for a fitness project I did, I got down to my all time low of 217 ripped lbs with about 5% body fat. That was extreme and something only fitness models need to maintain. For my fellow MMA fans, I walk around at 225-230 fit lbs on a usual day

Now this is my story. If you have any questions about it that I can answer for you, hit me up as I am happy to share the lessons I have learned the hard way through fitness. Here are some of my fitness staples that might work for you. If you are trying to lose a good chunk of weight, I believe in the following:

*Cardio, first thing in the morning before you eat
*1 hour of weights to help build and burn (Ladies, its OK to lift a little bit)
*4-6 Small meals a day and tons of water. Veggies, protein and lean carbs (yes carbs) *Don't keep junk food in your house. If you have a craving go out and get it.
*Stretch stretch stretch

Guys you can do it!! So for you good ole normal people reading this, I challenge you to lose 10 pounds in the next month. That's it..just 10. That's very doable. If you can lose 10, you can lose all the weight you want.

Dear Actors,

My fitness comments for you will be short and sweet...we are all professionals and the bottom line is that if you are a leading man or woman, its YOUR JOB TO BE IN SHAPE. Period. Studios pay you, or will eventually pay you, to look good. If you are an actor who likes to carry those extra pounds as its a part of your casting, that's fine. Go to it. For those who aspire to be on billboards and posters with top billing, being as fit as you can be is part of you looking as good as you can look. This isn't about technical skills (acting, voice, dialects, stunt/fight skills) its only about the requirement that I see as fitness for the actor. Working out 3 days a week is pretty easy. If you are having trouble getting the desire to go for the 4th and 5th day remember..its part of your JOB to be as fit as you can. Now get to work actors. There are movies being made and they need hot, talented, focused stars to be in them. See you on set

As always leave a comment or contact me directly with questions on anything. Our quote of the week is back with a good one

"He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has EVERYTHING"

Thanks for reading guys!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The REALITY of your chances at stardom..

Hello and welcome again to the moviestar chronicle. I appreciate all the feedback. If you want to holla at me, leave a comment on this blog or hit me on twitter @MoviestarAhmad :)

Reality and the film business are connect but not. Some films are based on true stories or inspired by true events, sure. Of course there is a new "hot" reality television show being cast every day which I ALWAYS get emails for. I dont know what about me or my look says reality TV. If someone has the answer to this PLEASE let me know. Anyhow, the reality I am talking about is the reality of your chances of "success" in this business. For that matter, your chances of big success in any industry or business.

Here is where I mix art, science and mentality with the mentality being the operative factor. If you got into my business at all, you dont care much about the "odds". You can easily find stats and formulas that will tell you that your chances are slim and none of making it in the business. For those of you who want to make the "slim just left town" joke go ahead and insert it here :) I would argue that if you want to be a professional athlete, CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a Singer or Ballet Dancer, A best selling author or any one of various prestigious jobs, your chances (on the surface) are slim and none. Thats FINE. Im here to tell you how you can adjust your mind to understand why you WILL succeed.

The one thing I keep telling myself is that EVERYONE gets one chance. You dont deserve anything beyond that..however if you work hard and are doing it for the right reasons the gods of your endeavour will give you one opportunity. By right reasons I mean you are into it because you love it and you think you can contribute positively to the advancement of your industry. If, as an actor for example, you come to town just because you want to be famous and have people take pics of you at restaurants, you might get some fame but that fame will destroy you as quickly as it came. That being said, if you are doing anything and you feel that it is what you are meant to do with your life, you WILL get a shot. You have to train in whatever you do to get your skill up to par, develop your confidence and poise as you will need it to fight through the rejection. Work on your fitness (another column to come :)) as you have to have the physical power to keep it moving forward. Feed your intelligence to be able to solve problems and relate to the people you interact with in your business. Getting that shot comes as a gift from the fates..after that its TOTALLY on you.

When I was much younger, we visited my sister in LA and her boyfriend at the time. He was an actor (that shall remain nameless) and a pretty successful one at the time. Not a houseld name or a full movie star but a successful tv actor. How successful? He started as a standup comic and has played at all the major comedy clubs in LA and around the country when he was on the grind as an artist. He had a solo comedy monologe on the tonight show, which was a huge deal at the time for a comic. To top it all off, he had a full season on ABC of a sit-com that he was the star of. Not bad right? Today he isnt nearly the star that he was at that time. That is completely immaterial. Why? Because no matter where he is today, and he is still acting, he CANNOT say that he didnt have a shot in town. I remember him being nice and down to earth. He showed us some of his indie film projects and some video of his standup routines without a hint of arrogance. It was really cool to me as a kid and this is when I had no idea I wanted to be an actor. When we talked about why he was an actor he said that it was the most fun thing he ever did. Sounds to me like the definition of the right reason, right? All he did was keep refining his craft, keep going forward and eventually he got a shot! He got a full season as the lead of a sitcom to show the whole country and world his talent. After that its on YOU! You have to be ready to unleash your charisma, talent, charm, desire and TALENT on the world. So long as you are ready to commit to that, YOU CAN SUCCEED AT ANYTHING.

Everyone deserves a shot guys. I do, you do..the person next to you does. You have to be prepared when your moment comes because if you are not ready, its YOUR fault. Not anyone elses. So as for me, i keep working on my acting, working on my voice lessons, keeping myself and shape and staying focused on my art as opposed to fame. Ups and downs happend and im not worried...because I will GET my shot and I promise you all I will take that opportunity and run with it. If you are reading this, PREPARE for your opportunity and when it comes you wont be overwhelmed, you will be READY. Good luck and go be a STAR in whatever you want to do. Mediocrity stay away from it.

No quote of the week this time...just read this post and internalize that you will get a chance


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Your legacy...or R.I.P. Whitney

Thanks for reading guys and girls! It always surprises who checks out this blog. So thank you all, again :)

By now we have all heard the news that Whitney Houston has passed away in Beverly Hills, CA. For those who are unaware she was unquestionably one of the greatest artists of her generation and is an American singing icon. Her vocal power will sing on in eternity in the minds of her millions of fans world wide. You would think that this is her legacy, but by watching media reports you would "discover" that her legacy is her admitted drug use and public issues related to her ex husband.

Ahh, the joy of the sexier Hollywood story. Its true, the drug use is just a much a part of her story as the 6 Grammy awards. Her marriage to Bobby Brown, and all the issues associated with it, stands side by side with the 4 number 1 albums she created in her career. If you really break down her ENTIRE career and life, you will find that Whitney Houston spent a greater percentage of her time creating legendary music and being a star than she did being a train-wreck. Why is it that we hear so much about her negative years? Because that's what sells papers and tabloids. That's more of what people want to hear. Is it fair. HELL NO...and that's exactly why we should discuss it.

To all my fellow artists who read this blog let's be clear, eventually bad news about you will be far more marketable than the good news. Actors, musicians, painters, writers will be far more "exciting" of a story for you to be caught for a DUI than it will be for you to be volunteering over the holidays. Its not fair, its not right, it doesn't make us feel good..Its just the way it goes. Unlike most professions, as an artist you have to consider your legacy from the early portion of your career. Doing great work in your craft is paramount! Growing as an artist and pushing the creative envelope will one of the things you want to be part of your legacy. Along with that, you want to be known for how much you give back to both your family, fans, and those in the world far less fortunate than ye. I know some of my readers are reminding me of my belief that "you shouldn't care what people say or think about you". That is true! You cant care if you are going to be a remarkable artist. At the same time, you don't want to leave people with negative things they can talk about instead of talking about your art. Again, YOUR ART is most important. You have to control your demons. One thing I plan on telling news outlets as I get more famous is that I am fortunate that I wasn't famous when I was stumbling out of nightclubs drunk and throwing up on the sidewalk.

So you don't believe me..and want to test my legacy theory? you go. I'm going to list some of Whitney Houston's accomplishments..

2 Emmy Awards
4 US Number 1 Albums
6 Grammy Awards
11 Number 1 Songs
22 American Music Awards
30 Billboard Music Awards
170 Million albums,singles, and videos sold worldwide

Now, next time you are in Starbucks or someplace random, ask a random person "what do you think of when I mention Whitney Houston?". See what they say..

Live your life for your art, gang. When you hit that vein artistic genius, like Whitney did, leap more into your art instead of going into your demons (which we all have). I pray that when I find my acting genius, that I stay on set and film film film to put that genius on the big screen

Quote of the week...
"A few people of integrity can go a long way"

Thanks for reading!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Getting the most out of 2012..and beyond

I continue to be surprised by folks reading my blog. THANK YOU ALL! :) So I keep on writing...

I use this blog to do a number of things. One of them is share helpful things taught to me over the years. Its not all original knowledge but my goal is to share with you so that the information is fresh in my mind as well. In other words, teach once learn it twice. Today we are going to talk about how to get the most out of YOU and in turn the most out of your year. Its all about goal setting.

Like I said, not new information. What might be different for those of you who do set goals is the way that I have been taught to go about it. I first started setting formal goals at the end of my Sophomore year heading into my Junior year in high school. When I look back on that first year I did it, I accomplished more things in that year that I did in my previous years. Not that I didn't do anything positive, but I certainly lacked the focus that comes along with having a set of goals that you are shooting for. As for the format, I set S.M.A.R.T. goals for myself every year. For my goals to qualify as such, they have to fulfill the criteria taught to me and refined by other mentors over the years. The goals must be:

Specific: Your goals must be as specific as possible. This is the beginning of focusing your efforts towards what you really want. IE don't say "I want to get in better shape", say "I want to lose 20lbs"
Measurable: You must be able to measure your progress towards the goal and know when you have arrived there. It could be number of lbs lost of amount you want to put in savings.
Attainable: The goals must be something you can do. If you want to win a gold medal in the Olympics next year and its not an Olympic year, that's a pointless goal.
Related to your career: If you are an actor, and you have 10 goals and only 1 of them is related to acting either your career is going so well that you can focus on other things or you aren't serious about acting. Whatever your chosen life focus is, the majority (but not all) of your goals should take you in that direction
Time sensitive: Goals need deadlines. I usually work in month, 6 month and 1 year increments. Making it time sensitive gives you a sense of urgency while you are attacking your goals. That's right, I said attack your goals. I put them up with a date of 1 year for the master list

Think about what you want to accomplish this year and run your goals through these concepts. Do they fit? They might not fit at first but after some review and introspection, you may get more specific about some of your goals. You might re-examine and discover that your goals, collectively, are not taking you in the direction that you really want to go. That's ultimately the key to this format, you have to get really honest with yourself about what you REALLY WANT in life and put yourself on that path. Oh, and put it in writing!!

You heard me right folks. You MUST write your goals down and post them in a place that you will see them EVERY DAY. This will help keep the goals fresh in your mind. Your bathroom mirror, your closet door...anyplace that puts it right in your face!! Some of you are saying "I keep my goals in my mind" and to you I say BULLS**T. :) When you write it down you invest yourself in the process to accomplish these goals. Those goals will stare back at you daring you to be at your best and finish them. When you are truly working hard towards those goals and you look at them a month in as you are making good progress, you smile and keep working. When your aren't working hard and you look at those goals in bold ink, it holds you accountable and can give you the kick in the butt you need to get back on track. Always write your goals as "I WILL". If in your mind you believe you will, YOU WILL!

Set your goals BIG! You can do more than you think. Go after these goals and make sure to congratulate yourself when you accomplish them. What are my goals? I'll spare you the full list but for those who want to keep me accountable here are some of my big ones:

*I will get 4 new IMDB credits this year
*I will make 1 appearance on a network TV show
*I will complete writing 3 feature length scripts this year (including re-writes and notes from others)
*I will earn my blue belt in Brasilian Jiu Jitsu
*I will speak and read Brasilian Portuguese fluently
*I will maintain my weight at 225-230lbs

Yes, I look at these and my other goals every morning when I wake up. If you have some goals you want to share with me, please do. We can help keep each other accountable.

Thanks for reading. Here is our quote of the day...

"Some pursue happiness, others create it. Which are you?"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What would you do..for FREE?

Ill always thank Aunt Gloria Jean for the clarity she gave me in her final moments. I still had not arrived at a final direction at this point. I was a complete free agent and "funemployed" with enough saved to last me for a little bit. What was I gonna do? Where was I gonna go? Scary but exciting questions. Fortunately a dear friend (Hi Kat) was getting the hills of Tuscany. I had been to Europe but not Italy before so off I went to support her and get away from what life was to find what life could be. Everything aside, the wedding was BEAUTIFUL! I'm honored that I was able to be there to witness it. Plus the grooms family had wine made just for the event. Bellissimo Italy!

When I was considering what to do I thought about what got me into my previous job situation..Money. I was a broke college student. When I was interviewing for jobs the only thing I thought about was "I didn't want to be broke anymore". My how small one thinks when one is younger. Anyway, I went with the best offer and as I worked in the world of finance the money got better and better, frankly. So I reversed my logic...what would I do for free? What would I put all my energy into for zero dollars? Not deferred money, not even thinking what will make me money in the future. Whats FUN? In the back of my mind the answer..ACTING.

Acting was always fun. No matter what it was always such a good fun time in high school and college. Playing characters who live a totally different life than your own. Its all encompassing and requires every bit of you to do it. You are engaged when you are acting. That same voice in the back of my head told me that acting was NOT a profession or career for me. It was just a fun thing I did to balance out school and athletics. Could I really do this? I thought back to my former life and clients and the confidence that I took from those conversations. At this point in my life I TRULY believed that I can do anything. Anything at all! (More on this in later posts) So why the heck not acting?? I started taking a few classes and even got some headshots while I was still in San Francisco. The final step to doing this was a conversation I had with my parents about it. Naturally they were concerned about what I was going to do with my life. When I told them "I'm moving to Los Angeles and I'm going to be the biggest movie star in town" they didn't freak out and call me crazy like I thought they would. My dad looked at me and smiled and said "Son, when you eat your whole family is fed. If you really want to do this better to do it right now instead of wonder when your are 50. I know you can do anything son so shoot your best shot"

With that, I packed up and moved to Studio City with my good buddy Dudley. Here's where the story starts to get interesting :) More importantly, you guys now know about me and how I arrived in this crazy awesome city pursuing my moviestardom. All my chips are in the center of the table..I'M ALL IN. So lets see how it all plays out although I already know where I will eventually end up :)

See you soon and here's our inspiration of the day...

"The only place where your dreams become impossible is in your own thinking"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Clarity from my Aunt Gloria

First of all, thanks for reading my first blog post. Its awesome to share my story with you.

So here I am pondering what I really want to do with my life. Of all cities to do this in, San Francisco was as good a place as any to do it. Oddly enough my job was a great place to do it as well. In my previous life, I spent my days working with clients from all over the world. Some were young, old, famous or anonymous. The one thing they all had in common is that they were very wealthy. Its all relative of course but my clients on average had an eight figure net worth (tens of millions in other words). The ways they made their fortunes were just as different as they were. There were insiders and founders of major technology companies right along side folks who had been born into tremendous wealth passed down from generations past. When I started to re-examine my purpose in life, its INCREDIBLY VALUABLE to be able to have personal and candid conversations with people who have reached a point in their lives where they are completely financially independent and could realistically do whatever they wanted to do as opposed to what they had to do. I do not love money but I do love the freedom it provides in our society. There were some common themes that these millionaires shared with me and most of them had zero to do with dollars:

*Work for yourself, because no boss will care about you like you
*Do something that you love to do if you can because then it isn't work
*Don't ever be greedy because that's when things go horribly wrong
*Set goals every year (more about this later)
*Concentrate your efforts in one direction in the beginning or you wont get anywhere

Although they didn't give me the answer to my final question they definitely set me on the right track without even knowing it.

At the same time that I am going through this in my little world, my extended family was going through a much bigger issue. My dear Aunt Gloria was diagnosed with cancer. She was given six months to live by doctors. Through the grace of god, she was given more time than that. I have a ton of fond childhood memories as she was the official family hostess and chef of Thanksgiving! She held out as long as she could living at home but eventually as she neared the end she moved into a hospital full time. There was a weekend that my best guys and had planned to go to San Diego to visit our Alma mater, UC San Diego. I had planned to go and surprise my Aunt Gloria in the hospital. It was a true surprise as I didn't tell anybody, I just showed up in her hospital room with a smile and a big bouquet of flowers. My uncle, who was essentially living at the hospital as well, was in the bathroom when I first arrived so he couldn't believe his eyes when he came back. We got to laugh and cry together. She and I talked about everything we could think of. It was during a pause where she told me the something that changed my life, forever. She looked at me and told me that there is one thing she really wants me to understand.."You only live once, and when its over its over no matter what you think about it. So you better do something with your life that you are really happy about and worth spending your precious time on". She went on to tell me how proud she has always been of me and that she thinks I can do ANYTHING I want in this world. I was a good way. I always believed you only live once but she helped me understand the reality and the gravity of something that is often dismissed as a nice cliche. I will always thank Aunt Gloria for using some of her final moments to share some wisdom with me.

That was on Sunday. On Monday morning my cousin called me and told me that Aunt Gloria passed away. On Tuesday morning, I walked into the office and told my bosses that this has been fun and a great experience, but its time for me to do something else with my life. I was close to what that something else was, but not quite yet. I had to take some time off...

Check back next week for how I finally end up in LA pursuing my movie stardom. As for my inspiration...

"There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing your dream"