Friday, April 08, 2016

CHILLARY NYC 2016

The chillest Hillz event coming right at you for positive vibes right when we all need it most: The Upcoming NY Presidential Primaries!
#ChillaryNYC
Sat April 16
12 midnight - 4am

FREE!
Gold Sounds
44 Wilson Avenue in Bushwick Brooklyn.

COMEDY SHOW (LINE UP STILL FRESH AND NEW HOT VIBEZ ADDED)
Jena Friedman
Selena Coppock
Liam McEneany
Benari Poulten
Mo Fathelhab
Rachel Coleman
Catie Lazarus
Andy Ostroff
Hosted by Heather Fink
FOLLOWED BY DJ/MUSIC/DANCING! HOT SWEATY SESSY HILLZ LOVE THRU THE NIGHT

homemade Hillary treats, a Hillary drink special, posters/art or graphic design/best Pantsuit competition, best Hillary shirt competition

Plus a “why I think Hillary is so chill” spoken word open mic - in between comedians

Contact: chillarynyc@gmail.com*** Feeling the Bern but Hillary-curious? Bi-presidential orientations with chill attitudes welcome! ***



Monday, March 21, 2016

DIRECTING STUFF

3 stuff right now:
INSIDE YOU
feature film
WILL BE FINISHED IN MAY!  Undergoing major post production operations right now:
DETAILS

THE FOCUS GROUP
short film, I directed this short film written/produced by/starring Sara Benincasa
love how it turned out - hopefully makes the festicle circuit soon!
It was shot in October 2015 and has since been finished but not yet released.

URBAN TEACH NOW
It's currently being kickstarted!
We shoot in New Orleans in May and it's by these super smart and hilarious comedians SJ & Ginny and I love their script. I'll be Directing.  It's a tv pilot but as it's written, can also be cut into a webseries and be released as such.  WE SHALL SEE mmmm yahhhhss:
DETAILS

---
I love all of these here projects and officially endorse them all for Senator of Comedy Movies 2016.

PS yes I did sound on Daredevil Season 2 and the show contains the happy memories of my life July 2015- December 2015!  Right now I'm in sound department on Baz Lurmann's epic new show The Get Down.  THANKS NETFLIX for sustaining my existence!!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Diversity Problem in Casting

 This is something I think about pretty much every day.  I think about it when I'm on set, which is most days, or watching something.  I notice if something is diverse or truthful to how the world really is, or not. It's important as all hell because how we see ourselves in art has a famously strong connection to how we see ourselves in life.

So when I made my first feature film, Inside You, I was especially concerned about diversity in casting, and at the end of the day, while we did alright and I have some fucking awesome actors of color in this movie, I feel my cast is absolutely not as diverse as I hoped.  Here's what I learned about this from the process of casting and making my feature:
- I tried to cast actors of color many times and sometimes DID and then had them drop out last minute (actors of all colors need to drop out sometimes, especially when you are paying them low rates) and I sometimes ended up replacing them with someone white
- I couldn't find enough actors of color that I thought were good enough and experienced enough to act in the movie

PLEASE DON'T STOP READING THERE!  Because here's why:
- I didn't know about them.  Of course they exist!  I just didn't FIND THEM.

WHY DIDN'T I KNOW ABOUT THEM?
- Actors of color get less work, and therefore are less visible and discoverable.

Since there's less roles for people of color, they are seen less, there's less on their reels, there's less ways for me to know about them.  Casting also involves very specific needs - the actor must be right for that character so you need a wide talent pool to find the right fit.

And yes, I'm also a white person and by cultural circumstance I know more white people - but it's not that simple.

MONEY IS PART OF IT
I see this as a bigger problem for low budget productions. 
- I couldn't afford a casting director to find this talent - which takes a lot of work and time but is possible.
- Holding open auditions is a nightmare (at least in NYC and LA) - it's hard to pull in capable talent without a casting director or agent sourcing them for you, the time and cost are prohibitive and when you're making a film you have very limited time
- I also didn't want to take a risk on someone without enough experience
- For many of the actors of color out there who are known - they are in demand and getting all the work, and I can't afford them.

Big budget productions don't have this issue.  They have the means to discover new talent, and the budgets to afford known talent.  The talent pool even for big budget films is smaller because again there's less famous POC so there's less who can bring in the bank.  The studios would have to decide to take the risk on an actor who doesn't have a proven box office draw.

SOLUTION TIME
Up and coming performers need a chance to be seen by taking on roles in independent films.  These independent films need to be able to find and discover these actors.

If there was a resource to showcase performers of color that would be amazing.  It's not simple, that's why casting agencies and casting directors exist - it's a TON of work to discover people - there's thousands of hungry performers out there but it's very hard to sort through the ones who are actually good and know their craft and are good to work with and right for the roles you are casting.

If someone can figure out how to better showcase this talent - it would be great  - especially online (reels etc) - because low budget indie filmmakers don't have the time to be going out to live stage showcases and either way stage actor doesn't necessarily equal good film actor.


A curated online database, and agency initiatives for low budget films to have access to actors of color is what I think solves part of the problem. Also if more storytellers: writers, producers, and directors of color emerge and have their films financed- I believe just looking at the examples of Ava Duvernay and Ryan Coogler- you will also see more roles for people of color. And even those examples exclude Asian, Indian, and Latino success stories - so you know- there's a ton of room for growth!

Here's an example of a success story: The film "Attack the Block" was made for 8 million pounds and was an indie film (sounds like a lot but it's actually low budget for a sci fi feature!).  They wanted to discover local talent and held auditions.  John Boyega, a young actor from a local theatre, came to audition and landed the lead role.  Today he is featured as the first Black Stormtrooper in Star Wars.  He's one of my favorite young actors (though I felt his part was underwritten in that film).  I believe he's the second coming of Denzel! 

He would never be in Star Wars if it wasn't for the film "Attack the Block" discovering and taking a chance on him. 

There's a lot of things I feel great about with my upcoming feature film.  I love the cast, there's great performances.  I wish I lived in a world where more performers of color had more roles and exposure so I can find them next time. I'm sorry if that sounds shitty. I did try. I was trying a lot difficult things with hardly any money or support- this kind of change requires a concerted effort from the entertainment community as a whole.   Here's to that being the case for my next feature.  Here's to - quite simply - more roles for people of color.  And ya know, not just like, the maid, or crack addict number 2.

Friday, January 01, 2016

2015

YAY I DID IT TOO YALLS!  I WROTE AN INTROSPECTIVE REFLECTION ON MY YEAR ON NEW YEARS DAY! SORRY FOR YELLING
At 34, this has been the best year of my life so far for 2 reasons:
- personal career fulfillment
- being single and without kids (yet, if ever)

PERSONAL CAREER FULFILLMENT:

When, in my life, I did not feel connected to the ability to achieve my dreams, I was extremely depressed.  This year, among other things I loved, I shot my 1st feature film.  This was something I NEEDED to do.  At one point I told myself that even if I do this and fail, I'll always know I took the risk - rather than wonder "what if."  But at this point I can't in good faith say I failed, and I haven't even finished the movie yet.  (We shot it in June and it's in post production.  Should be finished in March.)  No matter what happens with this movie, I feel great about it already, and energized and connected to what comes next. I feel enabled to take those next steps.  In many ways I feel I've laid the foundation for doing what I want to do with my life, exactly as I'd always hoped and dreamed it would be.  I've had great many failures and difficulties in my way. I've overcome them, and guess what ... you guessed it: it made me stronger!  And better!  That's really a thing.

BEING SINGLE AND WITHOUT KIDS (yet, if ever):
So sure I may get married and have babies some day - but I haven't yet, and this has turned out to be a very good thing for me in my life thusfar.  There were times in my life that I judged myself and felt very bad and sad about being single, being dumped, being rejected (AKA my 20s AKA everyone's dumb 20s), and felt bad and pressured for not using tinder like a good girl - and I'm extremely happy that I dodged those bullets of fear to make it this far in life on my own.

I had a very bad ex boyfriend define much of my romantic life: past 8 plus years on and off.  And I would keep seeing him, even when the bastard had a new girlfriend, like a damn addiction - because it was fun, because it was wrong, because he made me feel everything on the spectrum of human emotion and .. you know, like, in my down-theres.

It was hard for me to see what was wrong with it since I wasn't hurting anyone else. I still met and dated other guys over those 8 years, still lived my life.  I've had people tell me he was getting in the way.  At first I thought that meant it was getting in the way of me meeting someone new - but that wasn't it.  It was getting in the way of meeting ME.

This is the year that I learned to not just be cool with it - but to be deeply happy and fulfilled in being alone.  To be able to have happiness that comes from myself.  To be able to know what I want.  To be able to know who I am.  To be able to know who I want to be.  Though I have done therapy in past years, and yoga from time to time - don't misinterpret this as high minded hippy dippy speak.  These feelings happened organically - not easily.  Nothing about getting here was easy at all.

After years of confusion, drama, and odd circumstance - I found myself here, eyes open, accepting so many things about myself that I never did before.

And also, feeling beautiful.

Fears of aging and losing my looks have proven to be foolish.  Even though my body and face has more flaws, I've come to notice that I have a much more powerful affect on others than I ever have.  Right now, on a regular basis, people seem more attracted to me than ever.  More attracted to me than when I was in my 20s, skinnier, with shinier hair, softer skin, higher heels, and with glorious youth.  Even just this New Years eve some girls in their twenties were repeatedly chiming "Oh my god I can't believe you're in your 30s oh my god!" and a guy I wanted in my 20s but couldn't get, seemed to very much want to get me.  This sort of thing has been happening all year.

And I shit you not I think these people are seeing my inner glow.  They are smelling the confidence and peace that comes with shedding desperation.  Sure - I really do take care of myself: exercise more now than before, fancy face creams, etc.  But why now? Why this year such a big response more than ever?  Why this year did so many exboyfriends even aside from the one I mentioned reach out? 

Why did drowning out the noise of a tindering world pay off so well?

I know the answer is that I've learned to be alone.  I know that I can continue to be alone and be happy and that spending time taking my solo journey is a precious gift.  I'm sitting here on fucking Walden Pond - but I'M THE POND dudes!

I don't need someone else to make me happy
(note this doesnt mean I don't need people, I need people - friends, family, collaborators, etc, sure, It's just that I'm not getting my self worth, meaning in life, and value from them)

AND SO IN CONCLUSION:
This is the best year of my life not because I achieved everything I ever wanted, nor do I have it all.

I have a concrete foundation upon which the things I actually want - can all be built.
AKA I'm at the start of the party, more harder better quality partying is imminent!

To those of you who've had a bad year - I've had those too.  Those bad years were essential stepping stones to this very very good year.

As Thales said, "All things are water."
Happy New Year!


A photo posted by Heather Fink (@leatherfink) on

Saturday, November 21, 2015

From A Woman Director Who Wants to Be Hired And Keeps Reading All the Articles About Women Not Being Hired In Hollywood

I feel powerful.

I know really well how to make movies and tv.
I've been studying for a very long time.

In my childhood, making silly comedy videos.

In college, studying theatre, making more silly comedy videos.

In my early 20s, acting, doing improv and standup, making comedy youtube videos.

In my late 20s, dropping everything to attend Grad Film school at NYU, studying, shooting, learning the technical and creative art.

In my early 30s, becoming a union sound person/boom op, spending most of my days on the set of Oscar winning performances and some of the most watched tv shows and movies. Watching director after director, film crew after film crew, do a million crazy, ambitious, and sometimes small and simple things - watching them do it right. Figuring out what works and what doesn't work.

At 34, completing my first feature film which I financed almost completely by myself, with the exception of 20% of the total budget which came from kickstarter.

Having been rejected by countless grants I've applied for, and investors who didn't end up investing.
In debt.
Owning my movie.
Owning my work.

My work is imperfect, I still have more learning to do.
My upcoming first feature film has plenty of flaws, errors, and weaknesses I wish weren't there.

But I am a great Director. I have no Apocalypse Now or Pulp Fiction under my belt, not even close.

If you got me on set of a big tv show, I'd sure as hell be green.

But I'm telling you, I am a great Director.

I've been studying. I've been shooting. I've been Directing with small budgets, non stop, since youth. I understand how it all works inside and out. I've been inside, in front of the camera and I understand the actor. I've been studying Directing and have Directed films. And as a member of the crew, I get how all of the nuts and bolts work. I know how to ask for what I need.

I'm sick of reading all the articles about Women Directors and Women in Hollywood.

I want to be hired.

I'm doing all the things I can do aside from weird sex stuff to get there.

Also because the weird sex stuff probably wouldn't work. If anyone's blown their way to Direct a multi million dollar film or tv show, I'd like to meet them and hear their story.

I'm doing all the things.
Aside from the weird sex stuff.

Hire me because that last director you hired blew your budget on stupid shit and pissed off the cast and crew and you're hoping to find someone who really knows what they are doing.

Hire me because I know what I'm doing and how to do it. I'll make it good. I'm practical. I understand how to properly use a film budget. I know what things cost. I know what works and what doesn't work and can make adjustments on the fly. I know how to talk to actors. I know how to talk to the film crew. I have a unique creative vision and sensibility. I can do special things.
Hire me because I can handle failures big and small and get right back up again after a fall and push forward.
I know what I'm doing.

I know I have soft flowy blonde hair and I smile all the time and I seem like a nice girl who wants to giggle and party with you - maybe I do.

But that doesn't mean I couldn't whip out my skills and direct the shit out of a movie so stop underestimating me just because I fucking moisturize and do pilates sometimes.

I feel powerful because of all the things I know how to do.

I know there are other women directors who want to be hired but right now I'm speaking for me because fuck it if I can change all that right now.
Hire me.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The truth is that horrible things can happen at any time, anywhere in the world, and where you are could be next.

War won't stop it, protests won't stop it, nothing will stop it.  But you're going to be ok, and you need to keep living your life in the most loving and productive way possible.

I know that logically one of the causes of terrorism big picture wise is global inequality - those in poor countries that don't have things view how things are in countries that are thriving economically - typically pointing at the "Western World" and it angers them - especially also since there's such a stark difference in values.  By denouncing these countries and getting angry and huffing and puffing and getting together to view people of the Western World as inhuman - as the source of your problems, as a route to happiness if destroyed (just as Hitler viewed destroying the Jews as a path to happiness/a stronger economy) ... well - deciding to destroy those who have more than you, or are different than you - is better for some than just being poor and powerless.  So they get guns and explosives in some hope to change their world and make it better.

Wouldn't it be great if instead of having mass refugee exodus - the good people of economically and politically disadvantaged countries stayed in their countries and got together to make it a better place?  Yes that would be great but it's illogical to think it will happen anytime soon - the fact that nearby countries simultaneously exist in a different and better reality - it's just natural to migrate to safety rather than try to somehow have a revolution because one person doesn't nearly have the means to make this change.  Immigration will keep happening in our modern world and will only decrease if economic conditions and human rights conditions become more globally equal.  That's not going to happen tomorrow, perhaps in decades or centuries if we evolve.  I'm sorry to tell you that everyone from other countries isn't evil, and that you can't just bomb them all or shut your borders.  If it makes you sad that you can't just declare "THEM" all the enemy - think about the fact that you can't do this: because so many of THEM are human, loving, and capable of peace and beauty.

Perhaps some change is possible - but there WILL ALWAYS BE EVIL. There will always be violence - and THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP IT.  There's nothing you can do to other people that is.
because:
THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE YOU DON'T KNOW CHANGE.  There's nothing you can do to stop the mass shootings or terrorism at large.

****
The only thing you can do is with yourself and those immediate to you - your family and friends.  Those with whom you can make immediate and intimate connections.  Those with whom you can have real conversations.
****
This is your absolute power.  This is the point of everything I'm writing here.

Revolutions happen - but nothing happens without starting at the micro level.  And so I say stop thinking there's anything you can do - like declare WAR - that will make any difference to stop atrocities.

Yes, writing about how men should not be so selfish or angry, or this or that ideological thing needs to change has it's points - but there's not a practical solution there - perhaps education but practically how can we change global education right now?  Similarly, I am sure some practical changes like gun control will help, but we do know that it will always be possible for a bad guy to get a gun - regardless if good guys have guns too.  (Seriously though who fucking wants good guys to be packing heat all the time? That's a fucking weird universe, let the good guys go to the gym or get a coffee without being cocked and loaded please.)

All you can do is "be the change you want to see."
All you can control is what's happening in your life - and so I think your great mission if you want to be in a happy and peaceful world is to ensure that you act with love.  Anger, selfishness, dishonesty ... they happen, acknowledge them, deal with them - but don't let them result in violence as much as you can help it.  For the sake of love and spirituality - don't sit around angry - don't obsess about the news.  Be one who loves and creates and contributes to the world.

Enjoy life.
Live.

No this doesn't mean you're some peaceful flower of a person who skips through fields with puppies.  I'm sure your life is gonna be hard and ugly sometimes but for fucks sake do whatever you can to let go of petty bullshit and misplaced anger and try to be the best person you can.  If you could benefit from a therapist to be a better person, or from exercise to have a clearer mind and health, or from being more brave and bold and honest in your personal life - DO THOSE THINGS.  Be as good as you can figure out how to be.  Be as soulful and rejecting of superficial material things (but by all means enjoy a manicure or nice leather boots if it's not hurting anyone).

the point is
LIVE
and try your best
TRY though, don't sit around like a lazy selfish fart worrying about dumb shit like your cellphone or that guy who said that thing to you.
DO GOOD STUFF AND SAY GOOD STUFF TO OTHERS

Terrorism and mass shootings won't stop.
That's the power of the human will and determination which should never be squashed.
Liberty is worth this horror, but it is a horror and not a norm.

Wonderful beautiful things can also happen at any time.
The yin and the yang are always simultaneously active and this is the reality of our existence.

You may not have the power to stop terrorism right now.
but

You do have power.




Saturday, October 10, 2015

Oh hi

I'm writing to you from the set of a TV show that I've been working on since July in the sound department.  I'm not booming this shot and there's quite a long monologue so it's time to dive knuckle deep up in this blog right now.

What else is up?  WELLLLLL

POST PRODUCTION ON INSIDE YOU
- Here's our current schedule.

DIRECTING A SHORT FILM
- I'm collaborating with the amazing Sara Benincasa and Directing her upcoming film "The Focus Group"

WROTE A FARTICLE
- I wrote an article for a luxury apartments magazine

http://metromagazine.nyc/category/heather-fink/

I have so many other FEELINGS and thoughts I want to express ... but blogging hasn't been the same for me since .. oh I dunno SINCE EVERYBODY STARTED DOING IT AND THEN I WASN'T SPECIAL ANYMORE.

I'M THE SNOWFLAKE I'M THE SNOWFLAKE
UR THE NO-FLAKE

I'm sorry you are special too
I'm sorry I bothered you clearly you are busy!

FUCK I FUCKED THIS UP ryuijoucfgxhdgjbltuyxdfjghkvbluvcyxfigy8fgibnk






wait

It's still ok?

YES!  YOU'RE THE MAN NOW DOG!


Monday, June 15, 2015

To the woman who made me feel American

There was this day I was walking out of the parking lot at my dad's Stroke Rehabilitation Center, and I asked a nurse .... "so do you think he'll ever be able to build furniture with me again?  We always build ikea things together and stuff like that."

She said "maybe" - but it was the kind of lying maybe that we both knew was a "no."  In that moment, I had to say goodbye to something I cherished.  Something that will never happen again.
Something that is over.

Today I'm saying a similar kind of goodbye. My Great Aunt Florence died yesterday, my Grandma Gertrude's sister.

My American Grandma Gertrude was severely schizophrenic, and my other Oma Gesina lived all the way across the Atlantic Ocean in Holland.  My parents gave me so much in life, but Florence's yearly gatherings were the only thing in my life since childhood where I got to experience family the way it's written about in novels and sitcoms.  There were familiar faces, familiar foods, bar stools that spun around, the drive to her house where we got to see the awesome Flushing Meadows globe out the window, the exercise bicycle where me and my cousin Erin rode on one pedal each.  Visiting her family gatherings made me and my sister feel like maybe we were American too, and we belonged here among all the other families that ate meatloaf and watched football.

Florence lived until 91, and in her life she accomplished so many things - recently self publishing a memoir, a book of haikus, and coming to our family's side in hard times even as she reached her late years.  She outlived her sisters and remained a loving matriarch for so many people.  She was a fine artist - painting, etching, and sculpture.  Many of her works are in my parent's house, some of her handmade cards in my apartment.  She was even a kickstarter donor for my film that I'm shooting now, and an occasional participant in some of my more heated facebook threads.

I didn't tell her this, but I'd been writing a sitcom pilot script that involves Brooklyn Jewish girls, both older in modern times, and going back in time to their teenage years (that's not the concept, but the setting).  I'd named one of the characters after her.  Her and my Grandmother's maiden name is also the last name of the main character in my movie.

This year will be the first year I don't get to see Florence at our yearly gatherings, but I'm so thankful for all of the years she already gave us - and for living her life to the fullest with kindness, creativity, gusto, and grace.

Rest in peace dear Florence.  Love to her wonderful children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who are are also responsible for so many years of warm memories.


with her husband Milt

Florence on the top right, my Grandma Gertrude on the bottom left

 Florence on the left

Finishing her autobiography

Rest In Peace.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

poor lil snoop bloggy blog

I haven't made time for you blog lately

SORRY

BUSY MAKIN MOVIES

yeehaw Inside You will shoot May 27 - June 16 in NYC



I'll leave you with some treasures:

- stuff the Pope said that was worthwhile

- cool women talkin bout babies

- Don't tell me what to do!  Don't try to change me in any way ---- yahhhahhhh ... don't tie me down 'cause i'd never stay ...whheeee ---- I'm free and I love to be free


- great article on Kimmy Schmidt

- my Male Feminists in da house!

Terry Crews is a real man

Aziz Ansari is da best

Andrew WK's advice is always next level Party riffic

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

I got hacked!



My first heatherfink.com site hacking omg.

It was by something called privacypost ?

I don't really understand.

Don't do that!





Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Racist Jokes are important, and Privacy is even more so: The Sony Hacks

Why is it that when people work in film and television, people via social media, magazines, and gossip, are treated like they aren't human and don't have feelings and are open to being trashed, and their privacy has no value?  You guys LIKE movies and tv shows DON'T YOU?  


I think the SONY hack is a tremendous violation of privacy, and I'm certain that the victims of the hack are suffering from immeasurable anxiety and stress.  These people have families and lives and souls and it's the holidays for them too.  Where is your sympathy?  Is it hiding behind all of your judgement?!


Let's make a rule for all of the privacy hacks from this day on: WE DON'T JUDGE THE VICTIMS!  ONLY THE HACKERS.



Also - I don't believe those racist emails indicate that the people who sent them actually make decisions based on race when it actually counts.  Yes, they were racist JOKES.  They were NOT racist ACTIONS.  


I admire and respect Shonda Rhimes and her thoughts regarding the Sony Execs racist email leaks.  Shonda is right, these jokes are racist - but I also think that anybody who isn't a complete uptight waste of space makes racist jokes.


EVERYBODY of EVERY RACE does this.  And they usually do it privately, because they know it would be inappropriate.  Often times big famous popular comedians have race jokes in their act.  Because yes there IS a time and a place for them.


Here is an EXAMPLE of 2 Sarah Silverman jokes where the JOKE ITSELF is how inappropriate it is to say these things, and how obvious it is that the joke teller doesn't actually mean them:

There's mean spirited racist jokes - which any decent person doesn't like and has a right to complain about, and then there's a huge category of racist jokes that get a laugh BECAUSE they are so unacceptable and inappropriate - and everyone of every race makes these jokes.  It's IMPORTANT to make these jokes because that means we are AT LEAST CAPABLE OF TALKING ABOUT RACE!!!!


One of the biggest problems stunting the advancement of civil rights in the modern day world is a confusion, and often lack of ability to intelligently discus race.  If we can't joke about it - that won't help either.  Racist jokes are important and have a time and place in our society because jokes are important.

How dare people be so stupid that they take what was a private conversation - a forum where a racist joke is entirely acceptable, and judge it as though it was a public statement.  NO, if a Hollywood exec makes a private racist joke to another Hollywood exec, it DOES NOT MEAN that they are racist.


Suggesting that you ask Obama if "12 Years a Slave" or "Django" are his favorite movie is funny because it's wildly inappropriate and these Sony execs know they wouldn't ever do that in real life.


It doesn't show whatsoever that they are racist against Obama.  He's famously our first black President.  His blackness is important, relevant, and on people's minds.  To me, it seems racist when people are OVERLY sensitive, tiptoeing around black people - using terms like "African American" and being overtly, insincerely nice to black people instead of just regular and courteous as you would be to anybody.


You can't be so afraid of offending that you don't say anything.


As I go through life on my ever flaming feminist crusade - I am certainly sensitive to sexist remarks and comments BUT FUCK YES I need to have a sense of humor about it too.  There's a difference between the mean spirited jokes and the healthy ones.  There's a difference between public remarks and private ones.

It's healthy for our society to make jokes!  And not be beheaded for them!  And you are all guilty of making inappropriate PRIVATE remarks!!!


The more comfortable black and white people are with joking about and discussing race, the farther will we advance.  Sensitivity is important.  Over sensitivity is crippling.


------------------
SIDENOTE
COSBY:
How could Bill Cosby do what he has done?  He has both raped women and abused his power and the public's love of him, and broken a deeply moving and important movement.  Bill Cosby's contribution to entertainment and modern society was enormously influential.


Know this
--- he has already done his good work, and talented people have already built upon it.  Nobody can take that away.


Bill Cosby is a rapist, but black stories and entertainers belong on television, and there they will stay.

--------
And now, I'll pass this off to Richard Pryor for the final words in this post.  Enjoy:



Monday, November 03, 2014

So we're judging 7 year olds now.

I read the Lena Dunham stuff.

Her sister stuffing pebbles in her lady parts certainly made me think, ouch, what?  Because at that age I certainly never poked around there and the middle hole was absolutely not open for business.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the thing was sealed shut.  Inserting a tampon was dang near impossible at 13 (which I've heard is common) so I have no idea how anyone would shove pebbles in there as a little girl.  However, I'm not going to judge her for doing so.  And I'm not going to judge Lena for any of her weird curiosity and interest in her sister's sexuality either.

Why?

Because children are weird little perverts by design.  We don't really know anything about sex.  And we are curious about it.  

We may be taught not be mean, not to be violent, but messages about sex are confusing.

When I was little, there was a neighbor boy who stole porno mags from the dumpster behind the convenience store.  We might have been about 8 years old, I have no idea.  He used to show the magazines to me and other kids, and on 2 occasions we went outside and he asked me to pose like the girls in the magazines, which I did in my underwear, and on another occasion we decided to "have sex."

So me and the boy went in my closet, got naked, and stood next to each other in silence.  That was all we could figure out.

Then my mom found us and we were in trouble and it was incredibly embarrassing.

In 4th grade I found some VHS nudie movies and watched them and shared them with my friends.  And then I started drawing explicit images of people having sex  - imitating a lot of the hyper sexualized images that exist everywhere.  I actually remember emulating a ridiculously sexual looking woman in a comic book, as they are drawn that way.  My teacher found them and had a "talk with my parents" about it.  Thanks teach.

And when I was younger, no idea what age, I remember making Barbie and Ken engage in some hot and heavy activity and my sister calling me out on it.

You remember those moments vividly because embarrassment lasts.  It's tied in with confusion and fear, but also learning, and discovery.

Yep, Lena Dunham's story with her sister sounds pretty weird, but sex is weird, and so is being a kid.

Shut your crazy little mouth if you want to judge the sexual weirdness of a 7 year old.

I actually don't think you should judge children at all.

Discipline them, teach them sure - but judge?
Get your noses out of the celeb gossip and start remembering that being a human is complicated.
You friggin trolls, the whole lot of you!



UPDATE:

I've been rethinking my feelings about this, since it was ADULT Lena that chose to write about her sister's sexuality in this way, and unless the sister consented to that, something does feel wrong about it.  I would hope that she did and that she hasn't scarred her.  Uffff.  

Why Lena why would you share that?  What do you like about these memories?

The Unexpected Fitness Enthusiast Tells You How to Fitness

I was last picked in gym class and when I joined New York Sports Club in 2004, I quit 1 month later telling the sales guy "Sorry, it's boring and I just don't hate my body that much."

I didn't get it.  And I didn't enjoy exercise either.

Now at 33 I F'ING LOVE WORKING OUT SO MUCH.  It started at 31 when I tried Cardio Barre in LA for the first time, which is amazing - fun, total body workout, made my body feel feminine and move gracefully.  I searched for Cardio Barre or similar workouts in NYC and that's when I started trying new things I thought I'd never try.  

AND THEN CLASSPASS came into my life and changed everything!  Classpass is an affordable monthly membership where I try all kinds of fancy workout classes, so I mix up my workout and have tried just about every exercise class in NYC.  It's not often that one company's service changes my life like this one has.  This isn't a paid advertisement.  It's a raving review.




Here are my favorite classes:

BARRE

Barre uses Ballet movements plus pilates and general strength training/aerobics.  Some classes focus more on strengthening movements with less ballet, some have more ballet and more cardio (that's my preference).

1. Xtend Barre - Brooklyn Heights.  I LOVE XTEND BARRE.  It's the closest thing to Cardio Barre I've found.  A beautiful studio with friendly staff, plus they provide towels.  There's cardio plus a lot of wonderful ballet movements.

2. Ballet Bungee - Chaise Fitness (Flatiron and UES) - negatives are that it's always booked and it's 45 mins vs an hour.  But I love the ballet movements and cardio in the workout, plus instead of a barre they use bungee hoops which incorporates balance in the workout.  They have a water fountain and towels.  No showers.

3. These are all tied for 3rd place: Fly Barre, Core Fusion Barre at Exhale, Barre at Chelsea Mind Body Studio, Local Barre - Hoboken; all 4 are great places but I wish they had more classical ballet movements and more cardio

Fly Barre - Flatiron and Lincoln Center: free water, towels, and showers, Fun music, great classes, great all over workout, high quality class and studio, some cardio in there; negative is assigned mats, they have a great dancy cardio w weights section with simple, easy to learn moves, I like that you can go barefoot and dont need the grippy socks

Core Fusion Barre - Exhale (many locations): some locations of Exhale have fancy facilities with a spa, some locations have more space than others too.  High quality classes and instruction, I love Core Fusion Sweat Barre which has more cardio

Barre at Chelsea Mind Body Studio - nice space, water, towels provided, no shower, large space, Total Barre and Sweat Barre are both great choices, solid teachers, always a good class, variety in instruction based on the teacher

Local Barre - Hoboken - beautiful space, love their ball shaped hand weights, overall great classes, whenever I'm in NJ I try to take a class here, they have towels and water, no shower

4. Pure Barre, Physique 57, Zalla Pilates - These are all perfectly good workouts, just based on my personal preferences they aren't ranked higher.  These classes focus more on strengthening movements and have less cardio and classical ballet.  Each class is different.  I really wish Pure Barre had a water fountain and provided towels.  Physique 57 has a fancy space and uppity vibe.  Zalla Pilates is small and personal with a great Greenpoint location, but I visit them less since they aren't part of Classpass.

I go to Pure Barre a lot because they have a great schedule with many classes and a convenient location for me in Williamsburg (they are all over).  It is a solid workout and I like the teachers so I feel bad ranking it lower - but here's what they'd need to get more love: water fountain, towels, and more cardio and classic ballet movements.

-- KM Barre - Fit + Flow Yoga - Williamsburg - I like the teachers there but I don't love the method. It goes against what a lot of other classes teach as far as tucking and posture and movement, and I feel I spend so much time on form, and I spend a lot of time confused.  Maybe their movements are better than other methods but I just can't tell.  This workout might be the perfect fit for someone else's preferences.  It's a convenient Williamsburg location with nice lighting.

STRENGTH TRAINING




There are many classes with different names that are 1 hour long, where your instructor guides you through a sequence of moves that strengthen each area of your body with weights or using your own body or bands, plus some cardio and tabata style movies.  I've learned to LOVE these classes, they are real, serious, total body workouts.  The key is finding a cool instructor who's fun and plays good music.

1. Geneva Simms - Cardio Circuit at Sync Studio Williamsburg, or a variety of classes at The Living Room Brooklyn; Geneva was my favorite right away, she plays great music and her energy is awesome.  I trust her exercises and enjoy how she changes it up.  She challenges me and also is understanding and flexible if something doesn't feel right so you can feel comfortable even if you aren't good at something ... yet.  You'll get there and have fun doing it.

2. Ania W - Body Sculpt - Awakening NY in Greenpoint - Ania is such a badass.  Greenpoint is a traditionally Polish neighborhood and many of Awakening's instructors are Polish like Ania, which makes her seem tougher in a good way.  She's also the fittest looking instructor I've ever had and her class is one of the hardest classes I've taken.  She pushes you to try heavier weights and do intense moves like burpees, but she's understanding if you can't do certain things so don't be intimidated.  It's always rewarding when I know I can keep up with her class.  She likes rock n roll and you'll catch some Metallica or similar in her music mix.

3. Shayla McGrady - P90X - Breakin Boundaries Greenpoint (recently moved to a new location!  will update with more info)
Shayla reminds me of Michelle Obama and she's gotten the comparison many times.  It's not just her looks though, there's something very calm about her which I like when she instructs.  She carefully calculates each movement and the timing, and there's enough variety in both the exercises and music that keeps me coming back.  Great total body workout.

4. Erica Robertello - The Living Room Brooklyn - really smart and fun, all of her classes are highly recommended and I trust her knowledge and expertise
Mindy - Breakin Down - Breakin Boundaries Greenpoint - just recently discovered her, a lot of intense cardio, I really broke a sweat
PNT Fitness - Awesome Arms and Butts and Gutts (I wish these were 1 single class instead of 2 half hour classes, I would go more often if that was the case)


OTHER

Pilates - I love Flesh and Bone Studios in Williamsburg,  Monica's Pilates classes at Awakening NY are also hugely popular and very different I think.  Monica's classes have more strengthening involved.  Flesh and Bone leaves me stretched and rejuvenated and it's a special treat when you use their machines.  A friend recommended I do Pilates once a week because it's good for my body AND it helps lengthen you so you are actually taller - well, my height has gotten slightly taller, and it does feel like I'm reorganizing my body and setting everything right as it should be.

Dancy classes - there's a ton of really hard classes that infuse dance movements into the class.  I tried these for a while but don't take them anymore.  I'm not very coordinated or good at learning dance moves (don't get me wrong, I love to dance in my own way, but just can't learn a damn dance and feel stupid doing it)  If that's not a problem for you here's some amazing classes that infuse dance with aerobic strength training and sometimes barre:   AKT, Body by Simone, Hip Hop Aerobics (various locations - Davon Chance is a really awesome and fun instructor), Viva Bodyroll, Body Conceptions by Mahri (their dance moves aren't as hard for me as the others)
Many of these are "disciples" of Tracy Anderson - who charges $900 a month or some crazy ish like that.

Yoga, kickboxing, and Cycle classes - I'm just not into it, so I haven't tried many. Lots of folks swear by these things.

-- At McCarren Park there's some great boot camp classes like Traditional Tribal Fitness.  That's the only class I take that seems to have more men in it.  It's nice to work out outside and Kiki is truly awesome.  I just don't take it as often because I find the movements are not as targeted to the female body as some other classes I like.

-- Brooklyn Bodyburn is the only class I truly hate.  It seems unsafe, I feel no happiness or pleasure during the workout, and I feel like I'm going to hurt myself.  Plus there's no stretching!


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2 more tips:  Stretching matters, so it and enjoy it instead of rushing away.  Eating: eat something about an hour to half hour before working out, and have protein at least 20 minutes after a workout.  I like yogurt and I read labels to get a higher protein to sugar ratio.

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Long story short I LOVE WORKING OUT.  I've found a place for it in my life and you'll most often find me walking the streets in my workout clothes and sneaks these days.  

It's great for my health and I know that.  I love the way my body can move now and how strong I am.  It's brought a great deal of happiness to my life.  I'm deeply grateful that classpass exists as well as all of my wonderful instructors.



Monday, October 13, 2014

I don't think you're a bad person for looking at the naked pictures of Jennifer Lawrence.

I see a link that says see Jennifer Lawrence's hacked leaked photos and I look for many reasons:  is this real? I am curious.  what's this like? what's this about?  this is weird.  did this really happen?  It's something that never happened before.

You look at naked J Lawr, and you looked at footage of the twin towers burning on 9-11 too.
You didn't hack those photos, and you didn't fly a plane into that tower either.
Of course it's not the same, but what is the same is the experience of viewing versus doing.

Technology impacts life faster than our ability to develop a firm moral compass around it.

Celeb photos being stolen from a cloud is weird for all of us.
It's weird that there's a cloud.

What would make you a disgusting person is if you JUDGED the photos.  Because judging does imply ownership or entitlement.  If you judged her body, if you judged her for taking the photos, I'd say you need to check yourself, fool.

Life hurls us through time and sometimes life is simple and boring and orderly, but more often is chaotic and strange and unpredictable.  We act and react.  Someone gives us technology so we can take pictures, and then we discover we can take pictures of butts and vaginas and boobs.  And then we do that.  WE'RE ALL NEW AT FIGURING OUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF TECHNOLOGY.  Don't hate, haters. 

We touch stoves, we try things.  Have some empathy for cryin out loud!

I think it's ok to look.  
But to be a dick about it is another story.