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!