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Sleepy Hollow alert

Fiddledaddy has been a busy little bee this Fall, in his attempt to hunt and gather food for our little family.  He appeared in a couple of television shows, Sleepy Hollow and Resurrection.  Both of which scare the pee-pee out of me, but I’ve become addicted to them while doing research (use of air quotes) for Fiddledaddy’s upcoming episodes.

Which were fantastic.  By the way.  Only I forgot to toot a horn announcing them in advance.  I would make a horrible publicist.

Alas I just discovered that his Sleepy Hollow episode will air tonight (Monday).  So toot-toot.  He plays the dad of a missing little girl.  Can’t tell you what happens.

Tom-Hillmann-SleepyHollow-122214

(Is it wrong that I watch Sleepy Hollow through my fingers while curled up in a tight ball on the couch?)

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Dolphin Tale 2

I thought I’d like to dust off my keyboard and let you all know I haven’t fallen into a Florida sinkhole.  I just needed to cut myself a healthy portion of slack and not pressure myself to sit in front of an empty screen and be all, OH LOOK AT ALL THAT WHITE SPACE.  Especially when I got nothin’.

The honest truth is homeschooling 3 kids, with one in high school, got a whole lot harder this year.  And what with ALL THE SOCIAL, I hardly have time to string together real words.  Next time someone quizzes me about my children’s potential lack of socialization because of homeschooling, I’m going to punch them in the throat.

Which reminds me.  All three kids are doing swim team this year.  Yes.  Three.  This means that Jensen, who swore he’d NEVER be on swim team because he’d rather die catch lizards during the girls’ practice time, is on the swim team.  And loving it.  He’s still on lizard restriction, so I’m sure that swayed his decision.  His fear of being bored at swim practice.

Swim_Team

We call him the bullet.

And now I need to do a little bragging.  One of Fiddledaddy’s jobs is that of actor.  Last Fall he was able to travel to Clearwater, Florida to film a small cameo role in Dolphin Tale 2, which just opened last weekend.  He plays a morning show host who appears about three quarters of the way through.  The casting breakdown described this role as “chirpy shallow comedic morning show host.”  I think he nailed it.  He’s adorable.

He had an opportunity to attend the Clearwater premiere a couple of weeks ago.  I knew it would be a very late night, and I don’t do late very well, so we determined that his date should be Emme.  I don’t think she slept for 3 days before the event.  So exciting.  And it was her first time to wear heals.

DolphinTale_1

On the blue carpet…

Dolphin-Tale2

The really big stars attended the Los Angeles premiere a few days prior, but the younger stars were in attendance in Clearwater.  Emme got to meet a lot of the sweet people that her dad worked with.  It was such a great working experience for him.

I took the rest of my crew to see the film with some of my friends and their kids on opening weekend.  I think my favorite moment was looking over at my son, sitting with his favorite friends, beaming when his daddy came on the screen.

We really are so proud of this movie and Fiddledaddy.  It is an awesome family film.  I give it two thumbs up and a whoop-whoop.  🙂  #notbiased

DeeDeeSig

Lasso the Moon, or get your hair a zip code

A long long time ago, I made my living at the second oldest profession in the world.  An actress.  I started in San Antonio doing theater, print, commercials, and the occasional music video.  Eventually I inched my way up to living and working in Dallas, and then headed west to the city of angels.

I just unearthed a video I made on the River Walk in San Antonio.  I think the last time I saw this thing was at the Midnight Rodeo in the early 1980’s, while I was out kicking up my boots with my dancing buddies.  The artist was Gary Morris, who to this day, is still one of my favorite country western singers.

In the video, I’m the blonde with the big hair, cutting in on a gal dancing with Gary.  After take 12, I may have warned him that I might throw up on his boots.  That girl I cut in on was and is my best friend in life, Kathy.  We met on the set of a commercial we were filming when we were in our very very early 20’s.  She has been a friend in every sense of the word for over 30 years now.  We live on separate coasts and I still miss her dearly.

Seeing this video again brought back a million memories, road trips, and growing up pains.  I now present, for your viewing pleasure in the event you have 3 or 4 minutes that you never want to get back, “Lasso the Moon.”

DeeDeeSig

My New Area Rug

My Christmas I Wish I Wish list included a small rug to place in front of my kitchen sink.  Not only would it be aesthetically pleasing, I surmised, but also would aid in keeping me upright, as our new tile is quite slippery when wet.  I have wiped out on that tile on more than one occasion, the culprit being a stray cube of ice and my favorite Crocs which have lost all semblance of tread.

Fiddledaddy is just terrible about keeping a secret so I was presented with my little kitchen rug as soon as it arrived in the mail.  The children began quizzing me about this odd small sized square of carpeting.  And then a memory flickered.  Many many years ago, Fiddledaddy and I belonged to the Actor’s Co-Op in Los Angeles.  During rehearsals for a show in the early 1990’s, one of our dear co-acting friends presented us with her version of a local rug shop commercial.  The parody swept through the cast like wildfire, and to this day, more than 20 years later, if any of us speak with one another, we’re sure to reenact it.  It is an inside joke that refuses to die.  Those of us with children have passed it down to a new generation.  My apologies to the nice lady filling her car with gas yesterday.

As we recently did a bit of research, we’ve learned that the bit is actually from the movie “Punchline” from 1988.  I thought I would share my version for your viewing pleasure.

Warning:  Turn the volume way down.

Disclaimer: Yes, I am insane.

I hope it’s crystal clear why I left show-biz.

DeeDeeSig

At last, our own reality show

The following arrived in my in-box just prior to publishing my last post about the commercial shoot:

Reality_TV

I have no idea how I ended up on this list.  Pinky swear.  I’m just glad that someone recognizes talent when they see it.  My profile was a 3 star match after all.

SEE YOU ON THE BIG SMALL SCREEN!

DISCLAIMER:  I’m totally kidding.  Besides.  We’re not in South Florida…  🙂

DeeDeeSig

Take the kids to work day

The first time I laid eyes on Fiddledaddy was when he was in a stage production of Traveling Lady back in the very early 90’s.  Later we were a part of the same acting company.  I gave up show biz not too long after that, but Fiddledaddy carried on.  As it were.

After moving to Florida, he continued working in commercials, television, and movies.  In fact, he has worked far more in this state than in California.  He works hard at what he does, and he’s very good at both the actual acting as well as the business side of the entertainment business.  I’m very proud of him.

It should come as no surprise that 2/3 of our children have caught the acting bug.  In other words, the nuts fell close to the tree.  Up until this year, we have felt that the girls were far too shy to even audition for commercials or whathaveyou.   A month or so ago they both auditioned for a stage production of The Sound of Music and they completely surprised me with their ability to get up in front of an audience and, you know, sing.  There was no callback for them, but the experience fueled their desire to act.  In addition to acting up.

Unbeknownst to them, Fiddledaddy’s agent was recently looking for parents and kids to play extras (background) for a commercial shooting locally.  Fiddledaddy was already under consideration and we submitted the girls’ pictures.  They were cast along with their dad.

I’d like to say a word about doing “extra” work.  It doesn’t carry the same stigma that it does in California.  Way back when we were starving actors in Los Angeles, if you wanted to be considered a “serious” actor, you never submitted for extra work.  Here in Florida there is no such stigma.  Work is work.  You may be a principle role one week, and an extra the next.  And there is always the possibility (though slim) of being upgraded to principle.  This means WAY more pay.  It happens.  It has happened to Fiddledaddy.  He loves doing extra work, as he often has the opportunity to hang out with sweet actor friends and play a rousing game of spoons (a rather violent card game) during down time.  This group of ne’er-do-wells even created a “Spoons Champion” trophy that gets passed around and spends far too much time in Fiddledaddy’s office.  He’s a Spoons playing shark.

Spoons

Where was I?  Oh yes.  We told the girls they were cast and their excitement meter was off the charts.  This meant that they had to leave the house at dark-thirty the next morning.  It just so happened that this was on a day that Florida finally figured out it was November, and the day was windy and cold.  The temperature never made it out of the 60’s (don’t judge me, northerners).  Which means not only did I perform the annual underwear dance on the back porch, but that local Floridians were pulling their parkas out of storage.

Fiddledaddy and the girls had to work outside all day, with NO PARKAS, pretending it was a nice Spring day.  In other words, acting.  There was little to no sitting and overtime was involved.  I thought for certain that this would cure my little actresses of the acting bug.  A frozen Cailey stiffly walked in the door that evening quietly grumbling about the frigid temps and all the NO SITTING, but Emme skipped into the room all THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

I fear she may desire to follow in her father’s footsteps.  {{{Hold me.}}}  I cannot divulge the identity of the commercial because they made an announcement about NO PICTURES and NO SOCIAL MEDIA ALLOWED ON THE SET.  Which is stupid.  But whatever.

Fiddledaddy still sneaked a shot before the NO PICTURES announcement.  Since they were extras it is very likely they won’t be recognizable, but I’ll talk about it when it’s released.  Because I can.

Acting

I’ve told them that a portion of their earnings will be going toward their college fund.  Or the therapy fund.  Whichever is needed first…

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The Lost Week

I don’t know if you noticed or not, but I had to step away from the keyboard for the entirety of a week or so.  Had I allowed myself to write, each paragraph would have began with, “HAVE I MENTIONED THAT MY HUSBAND IS OUT OF TOWN AND I’M ALONE HOMESCHOOLING 3 HIGH STRUNG CHILDREN?”

This is never good, as Fiddledaddy frowns when I publicly announce that I’m alone lest some nefarious criminal types happen upon my blog.

To which I might counter, PITY THE FOOL WHO ENTERS THIS INSANE ASYLYM.

Keep in mind, Fiddledaddy’s parting words to me were, “Don’t let ’em get to you.”

About mid-week, he called after the children were fast asleep and the conversation went something like:

Him:  How did it go today?
Me:  I slammed the refrigerator door on your son’s head this afternoon.
Him:  On purpose?
Me:  Well.  I was aiming for a different body part.  But I took what I could get.

Yes.  It was another proud parenting moment.

I think the NO SNACKING BEFORE DINNER rule finally hit home.

The 8 year old boy rather loses him mind when he’s the only testosterone present in the home.  As it were.

My heart and utmost respect goes out to all the single parents out there.  I don’t know how you do it.

Now, let me tell you why I’ve been left alone to my own insane devices of late.  Have I mentioned  that Fiddledaddy is an actor?  Indeed he is.  And has been since I first laid eyes on him on a stage in Los Angeles a hundred years ago.

Even though we live in Florida, he’s able to put his auditions on tape, and then if booked, travel to different locations for work.  He just got a role on the CW’s new show Star-Crossed which is a mid-season replacement.  It should begin airing some time after the first of the year.  Fiddledaddy plays the dad to one of the stars, Grey Damon, and he has appeared in 3 episodes so far.  Since he hasn’t been killed off (that I know of, he’s sworn to secrecy and would have to kill ME off should I blab) I’m hoping he’ll be called out to New Orleans to film more episodes.

Star-Crossed

The petite and well rested woman in the middle is Deena Dill and she plays his lovely wife.  Which just goes to show that art does not imitate life.

Emme got a gander at the photograph and saw the actor playing her dad’s son.  “WOW Dad, my older brother is HOT!”

Lovely.

Anyhoo, we’re awfully excited around here.  And the work makes ALL THE INSANE worthwhile.

And I’m pretty sure that our insurance will cover therapy for myself and at least two of the children.

DeeDeeSig

 

A true American Idol

Somewhere way back in time, say, the late 80’s, I was a contestant in the Miss Hollywood contest.  Since my hopes were dashed that I would ever become Miss America, I set my sights on a much smaller piece of real estate.

And besides, I didn’t have to worry about wearing a bathing suit in stilettos or twirling a flaming baton.

The contest did include fitness (we had to perform a 30 second self-choreographed routine) while wearing a leotard and leggings.  There may have been a headband involved, but I’ve evidently blocked that memory.  There was also an evening gown competition, a live interview (wherein as you might imagine, I said something highly inappropriate), and my favorite, a live acting scene with Tony Franciosa.  With absolutely no prior rehearsal.  My own personal Actor’s Nightmare.

The experience was a great deal of fun, as I had just recently moved to Los Angeles.  My roommate was my very best friend going on nearly 30 years now (she won, btw) and I have wonderful memories of all the other girls in the competition and how stinking much fun we had.  And, as a starving actress, I was given free food the week of the rehearsal and telecast.

I have this piece of cinema history (viewed by about 15 people, most of whom were my poker buddies who watched the live event in my apartment because it fell on a Wednesday night) on a VHS tape around here somewhere.  One of these days I’ll unearth it and see if I can have it transferred to DVD for show and tell.

But there is one thing about the experience which I regret.

At one point in the competition, all of the contestants prerecorded a speech about what Hollywood actress they greatly admired and why.  The pool of actresses chosen were from the 60’s or 70’s.  And it wasn’t even our choice.  The selections were given to us, and the speeches were pre-written.

The actress that I was given was Jane Fonda.  The only thing that I knew of Jane Fonda was that she starred in the movie, Barefoot in the Park with Robert Redford.  A favorite film of mine.  I knew nothing of Jane Fonda’s involvement in the Vietnam war, and the detrimental affect she had on our veterans, particularly the veterans she betrayed who were imprisoned in North Vietnam.

It’s safe to say that in my 20’s, I was rather self absorbed and mostly politically clueless.  And since we were years away from the technological revolution, I couldn’t google her.

So on national television, as Jane Fonda’s picture was shown, I was heard talking about how much I admired her, and the phrase I spoke that haunts me was “she had the courage of her convictions.”

Many years have passed and I now am politically aware and active.  I only wish I had better sense in my 20’s, and had simply declined Ms. Fonda as my personal role model.  Since then I’ve read John McCain’s experience as a POW in the Vietnam war and I’m horrified at the treatment our military received both there and back here on our soil.  My own father, a veteran, confided in me some years later that he has never ever allowed himself to watch any movie or show that Ms. Fonda ever appeared.  Even to this day.

The reason all of this is swirling around in my noggin is because of something that recently crossed my email in-box.

The following story was written by the wife of a Vietnam veteran.  Her name is unknown:

 

Ann Margaret, 1966

 

Richard, (my husband), never really talked a lot about his time in Viet Nam , other than he had been shot by a sniper. However, he had a rather grainy, 8 x 10 black and white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margret with Bob Hope in the background that was one of his treasures.

A few years ago, Ann Margret was doing a book signing at a local bookstore. Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign the treasured photo so he arrived at the bookstore at 12 o’clock for the 7:30 signing.

When I got there after work, the line went all the way around the bookstore, circled the parking lot, and disappeared behind a parking garage. Before her appearance, bookstore employees announced that she would sign only her book and no memorabilia would be permitted.

Richard was disappointed, but wanted to show her the photo and let her know how much those shows meant to lonely GI’s so far from home. Ann Margret came out looking as beautiful as ever and, as second in line, it was soon Richard’s turn.

He presented the book for her signature and then took out the photo. When he did, there were many shouts from the employees that she would not sign it. Richard said, ‘I understand. I just wanted her to see it.’

She took one look at the photo, tears welled up in her eyes and she said, ‘This is one of my gentlemen from Viet Nam and I most certainly will sign his photo. I know what these men did for their country and I always have time for ‘my gentlemen.”

With that, she pulled Richard across the table and planted a big kiss on him. She then made quite a to-do about the bravery of the young men she met over the years, how much she admired them, and how much she appreciated them.. There weren’t too many dry eyes among those close enough to hear. She then posed for pictures and acted as if he were the only one there.

Later at dinner, Richard was very quiet. When I asked if he’d like to talk about it, my big, strong husband broke down in tears.. ‘That’s the first time anyone ever thanked me for my time in the Army,’ he said.

That night was a turning point for him. He walked a little straighter and, for the first time in years, was proud to have been a Vet. I’ll never forget Ann Margret for her graciousness and how much that small act of kindness meant to my husband.

********
Ann Margaret is someone that the middle aged me greatly greatly admires.  She is a class act and true American idol.