Sunday, December 29, 2013

Goodbye 2013

There's a lot to be said about 2013. I would like to recap. 

For one, I can't mention 2013 without mentioning 2011. I know that I'm skipping a year, but you'll understand why in a second.


At the start of 2011, I  set my goals to work in films. I had no idea if that would happen, I just decided that it was time. I seem to have the gift of knowing when the "right" time is for me in most cases. It usually begins with an inkling. I begin to imagine it as something I am capable of doing and then I "check in" to see if I'm ready. You would think that I would just spurt out a big fat "YES I AM READY!" but I'm no dummy and I rarely fool myself. If I'm not ready, I'm just not ready.

Before 2011, I didn't feel ready to do films. Even while I was working as an actress on TV, I still didn't feel ready. It was the weirdest thing, I would get a film audition and I would be pissed off and find a way to avoid going. I'd throw a fit, I would cry, I would call my agent and say I was "sick".  I was very frustrated with myself then. I really wanted to psych myself out, but I knew I had some inside work to do before I felt sure with myself that I could handle it. Long story short, life did its thing and I had to learn some personal lessons. I gained gravitas and experience with the curve balls the universe was throwing at me and I got a divorce from my ex-husband which really catapulted me into the realm of "shit to work with". My transition from girl to woman was in full effect and by 2011, I felt "READY!"

Around October 2011, a turning point happen. Something that had NEVER happened to me before, I met with a legendary film director, Robert Zemekis. One day later, I met with a legendary actor, Denzel Washington. Three days later, I was offered an important part in a great film called "Flight" working with both Robert and Denzel. Did that change my life? I have to say yes. Yes it did.

Two weeks after, I auditioned for a film opposite Dwanye Johnson (aka THE ROCK) and I also was offered the part for that film, "Snitch". I knew this was a sign from the man upstairs named GOD that I was at least being heard and that maybe…just maybe…I was supposed to be an actress after all.

yep. he's hot.

This feeling of being "ready", I discovered, came from the decision to share more of my human experience with the world and to channel it into acting. By the time 2012 rolled in (as slowly as it did), I knew there had to be a pay off somewhere for me…..I just didn't know when or where. I waited semi-patiently. Keeping myself busy with life and learning my lessons as best as I could as a semi-happy learner. I made necessary adjustments in my life and heart, all the while preparing myself for when hard work meets opportunity. I worked on my acting and my attitude and by the time 2013 rolled in, I had prepared myself mentally to go in deeper than I ever had and to show up strong and confident but most of all, humble and honest.

I embraced myself and my flaws as best as I could. I embraced my vulnerability, my age, my brokenness, my craziness, my fears and my longings. I embraced them all and couldn't wait to share them just because my heart was oozing to share and connect. I set my goals on growing more into a WOMAN. By the end of January 2013,  I had a new assignment, MAJOR CRIMES. It is the best role I've had on TV. It's has been an opportunity to go deeper and tap into my stillness, my discipline, my hard ass-ness and I can't even tell you how thankful I am for that. The experience with the cast and the talented directors who give me their expertise on the show has been remarkable. Every episode, I feel like I grow a little more into myself and as the character I portray. It has made me grow up.

amazing cast and friends.

love how determined and serious Emma is.

I get yelled at a lot. 

Additionally in 2013, I got to show a crazy side of myself as a recurring character on BET's Real 
Husbands of Hollywood. It has been the most free I've ever been playing comedy. I went into that with no inhibitions and really intent on exploring a side of myself I have never shown publicly--the crazy Puerto Rican. haha! 

My friends who know me well know that I'm capable of being just like the NADINE I got to play on Real Husbands. Just as my sister said to me when she first saw my role on Major Crimes, "that's YOU!".  I can honestly say that I am finally tapping into deeper parts of myself and sharing it in my work.

 In 2013, I also bought my first home. I am proud of that for reasons I won't get into now, but it's a milestone that marks my victory as an independent woman. Ever since I was a little girl, that's all I ever wanted to be: an independent woman. :) it's a great feeling. 

I know this photo has nothing to do with buying a house but I look strong in it so, boom.

Other achievements in 2013: my boyfriend and I are now living together. It's a big deal for us. I'm proud of us both for this next step.
aww. our family :)

Also in 2013,  I feel less like a recluse in life and I've been more social and open, which is a big step in the right direction because I am painfully shy and awkward when meeting new people. It takes a lot of work for me to stay open socially when gathered with more than two people and most of the time I'm exhausted with the effort but, I've been doing pretty good. Not great, just pretty good.  Also this year, I've successfully expanded my work in film. I worked on 3 of them! They are all independent films but the roles have been stronger than ever in my history of films (which isn't very extensive). I worked with the awesome and funny director of "Barbershop" Mr. Mark Brown in a film called "Sharon123" and  I worked with actor Scott Reid in a film called, "Sister" and I did my first heavy dramatic role in a film called, "Clarity". I can't wait for the release so that you can all see. I also learned how to gift wrap properly, keeping the corners crisp and all. No more wrapping gifts with corners that look like a cat tore into them. Also, when my dog Kiki got sick this year for about 3 consecutive weeks, I kept her hydrated by filling a syringe with water and forcing it down her throat when she refused to get up and hydrate herself. I kept her out of the hospital that way and I felt like an Earth momma who trusted her instincts to keep her baby alive! She's happy and healthy now. My little Kiki.

These are my 2013 highlights. I will kick-start 2014 with a guest starring role in Sophia Vergara's new TV show called "Killer Women"which airs January 7th on ABC

 and I will be going back to work on Real Husbands of Hollywood in January as well as Major Crimes in March. So far, my 2014 is starting off alright. Would love to hear about your milestones. :) 


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Back to Innocence

I saw the french film, Blue is the Warmest Color. I went because my acting coach kept asking me, after I would call her or text her about something completely different, "HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOVIE YET??" This post isn't a review of the movie, which is, in a few words, incredibly long but incredibly raw, sensual, provocative, stimulating and disturbing, and most of all, primal.
There is one sex scene that is reminiscent of porn and goes on for 7 minutes which I HAD NO IDEA about and I went to see it alone so I couldn't turn around and say "can you fucking believe it??" to anyone but myself.

All sex aside, the movie is courageous, daring and brilliant, and what it did for me on a human level was to remind me of  innocence and the lack thereof. Particularly in actors (including me sometimes).

As an actress, I have to remind myself that my loyalty is to the character I play and the realness of that. I'm no fucking Meryl Streep but I do take my acting seriously and I do want to grow and evolve so much that my audience is moved, like I was by the movie, to remember what it means to live, to love, and more importantly, to connect with the innocence of simply being a human just finding her own way. Sometimes (a lot of times) we actors are lured and seduced into the glamour of Hollywood and we forget that 99.9% of the world is living in a world made up of different priorities & experiences.

 Most of the roles we play aren't of actors and we spend so much time pursuing our acting careers and living in isolation (being an actor can be very isolating but that's an entry for another day) that Hollywood is far from the reality of the characters we are trusted to portray. In this town, it's not easy to find intimate relationships or friendships that are about something...or that stretch you into a full person. Blue is the Warmest Color reminded me again (thank God) that's its ok not to know things. That its ok to be curious, it's ok to make mistakes, to fall in love, to not be perfect. It's ok to be ashamed sometimes, to be afraid. It's ok to be young and stupid, to want more, to be angry or persistent, to be vulnerable, to love so desperately and eagerly you beg for love or forgiveness so much so that snot hangs out of your nose as you practically crawl on your hands and knees and beg someone to listen to what's important to you. It's ok to be primal.

Living in Hollywood, one can become terribly disconnected from what makes us who we are and the film reminded me of when I was 13 years old and in love with my eighth grade teacher. To this day it is a taboo subject--a man and a child having a romantic relationship-- but I did and it was something more than dysfunction to me. I was curious and daring and I didn't know better because at that age all you are is instinctual. Last night,  I was reminded about how I've spent so much of my life covering that up and being ashamed of it. As an actress, I can dig deep and use it and be thankful for that difficult time in my life because it's just another story in the sea of human experiences and that is enough to make it mean something profound-- but actress aside, after seeing the film, for the first time in a long time, I was reminded of my innocence in spite of so much life I've lived and so much I've done and I fell back in love with that little girl inside of me who just wanted to feel her heart pulse for another human being. 

Innocence is something we don't have to lose. If you let it,  it can lead you right into the center of your heart. No matter what you've done or where you've been or what you've seen, there is still a part of all of us that longs for the pureness that comes from seeing life through innocent eyes and it's ok to do that in a world that seems to encourage mechanism to keep us from feeling ourselves.  xo

Monday, November 25, 2013

Go shorty, it's ur birfday!

It was my mo' fo' birthday last wednesday. Career wise, I've come a really long way. Started off hating Los Angeles when I moved here at age 22. I was so directionless back then that I would spend my days in bed crying and wandering aimlessly on the streets wondering why I couldn't figure out my life or why I felt so out of control and underneath it all, why I just didn't like myself.  I wanted so badly to be independent & feel myself as full woman with a career, a man, a home, with unstoppable confidence, running things like a boss lady--but I was so far from that. How it all unfolded is an entry for another blog but needless to say, here I AM! Having and experiencing what I longed for in my 20's. It has been a difficult journey of self discovery and acceptance (a journey I'm still on)  but I have been passing the tests and I have been extremely blessed so I think I have done plenty right.

There's so much more I want to accomplish and sometimes I still feel really lost because I honestly feel I don't know how to get there and I worry about a lot of things, but I can't deny that I am so proud of where I am today. I love being a WOMAN and I love expanding. I love the results of faith and hard work. I love that I can demand of myself a life worth living and I love that I go for it. The rest of how everything has come together beautifully is, however, the work of something mightier than me and I will never forget that that infinite power that exists is always present & working not just for me but also for you and for all of creation. I started off with nothing-- no direction, no mentors, no guidance, no one taking me under their wing...just a dream, determination, perserverance and faith and believe me when I say I have self worth issues that are as old as I am, I STILL made it happen. So the moral of the story don't need to be where you think you need to be to start believing in something and take flight.  xo

The day started off with my girlfriend, Lisa Lovie, surprising me with a bday cake on the set of the movie I'm filming now called SHARON 123. It's a comedy about a geek who starts getting laid and is sleeping with three different Sharons. I play Sharon 2. Anyhoo, Lisa had the cake for me and everyone sang happy bday and I loved every moment of it.  

Here's Lisa. She may hate me for posting this pic. 

Then it was lunch with my girlfriends. 

Then my boo came home with flowers.

Frank took me to my favorite restaurant, Crustacean Beverly Hills, and I ate the food I would ask for if I were about to be executed and asked for my last meal. Garlic noodles and crab (Lawd, Jesus!)

Friday night was my bday party. A game night party at my friend Kiki's house. Frank took care of everything, stellar boyfriend that he is. He had a chef making Mexican food for all 40 of us Mexicans. HA HA. I kid. We weren't all mexican, and I am Puerto Rican. :)

Here's the beautiful Natalie. She's definitely Mexican. lol

Here's the host, KIKI (dominican)

Here's Rachel. (white girl)

Here are my friends, David & Harvey, the singing Selena fanatics. And by Selena, I don't mean Selena Gomez. I mean the biddy biddy bom bom one. The ORIGINAL Selena.


My friend Stacey Storey got me 3 bday cakes. :) (what? what?...what?)

Here's Stacey. She's real purty.
And we finished the night playing games. Here is a game of reverse charades.'s MUSTACHE! duh!

the end. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My love of mannequins & statues.

Maybe it's the actress in me who likes to pretend she's someone who can have a conversation or a relationship with an inanimate object. Maybe it's the girl who's comfortable with things that can't talk back or judge me. The one who loves animals and babies for the same reason. Whatever the mental case, I love love love mannequins and statues and inanimate things with a face and I love to throw my adult body all over them. Here's a small sample of some of those "people" I've met. I'm curious to know what your "thing" is?