The New York Times

Times Square Accident and How We See It

I meant to write about editing my reel together today, and then a car drove straight into pedestrians at Times Square, and it made me think about how we feel about and react to things around us.

Because I heard the news and barely reacted at all.

Before I knew it was a drunk driver, I got a little upset that someone tried to attack MY NEW YORK again. And I was - and still am - sad for the person who died and their friends/family. I hope that the people who were injured heal easily and swiftly. But that's all a little in the background since I don't know any of them. And I'm not sure to what extent that's terrifying, or is it just normal human psychology?

We hear so many stories of people getting hurt and dying every day. We can't possibly grieve them all. We couldn't get on with our own lives if we did. Is that mindset compassion fatigue, or a normal coping mechanism?

The other thing about that which scares me is that later on today, I was hanging out with my brother (he just got home for the summer from his sophomore year of college!) and we were watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the episode we watched made me cry.

Real people being injured did next to nothing for me, but a fictional girl dying on a TV show made me lose my shit.

Now, there are some obvious differences. I can see the people crying on Star Trek. Even if they're not real, they're characters that I'm very familiar with, so it feels like I know them. It's personal. And all I've seen about the events in Times Square today are a couple of headlines from the New York Times. I don't think I know anyone who was involved. But isn't it supposed to be part of human empathy that we can feel for people we don't know when tragedies befall them?

I genuinely don't have any answers to this. Is it a problem that is unique to the modern era since, with modern technology, we can hear more than ever about terrible things around the world, and we're simply overwhelmed? But humans have heard about and committed atrocities throughout all of history and moved on with their lives. I don't really know. But both as a human and as an actor who is supposed to feel, observe, and tell the stories of human emotion, it's something I couldn't not think about today.

I hope you and your loved ones are all alright.

Happy Thanksgiving! - "Time flies, even if turkeys don't." - President Barack Obama

Whenever Valentine's Day comes around, you always hear that one friend who says "I don't believe in Valentine's Day, we don't need a commercialized holiday to tell people that we love them, we should be doing that year-round."

But when it's Thanksgiving, nobody ever says "I don't believe in Thanksgiving, we don't need a commercialized holiday to consider what we're thankful for, we should be doing that year-round."

I don't really have a point that I'm trying to make with that. I just think it's funny. As if we can't do something year-round and also celebrate it on a holiday.

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful that I come from a sociopolitical background that allows me to pursue what I know I'm meant to do. It's unjust that this isn't an opportunity afforded to everyone, and it's important to do your part in fighting to change that, but so long as the world is still the way it is, I am so grateful that I don't have to pick up any crap job just to pay the bills instead of working towards the only career that makes me happy.

I'm thankful for friends who support and inspire me as I follow my dream. A few of them and I will be shooting a film I wrote this Tuesday, and, even though I've seen my work produced before, it always amazes me that it's really going to happen!

I'm thankful that people care about the things I have to say. Every time one of you reaches out to me to say that you liked one of my blog posts, it absolutely makes my day! (Especially to the person who mentioned it to me today, reminding me to write this post in the first place.)

I'm thankful that there are continuing movements to fight sexism, racism, transphobia, and all kinds of bigotry. Maureen Dowd had a major article about sexism in Hollywood in the New York Times! The Gray Lady! Sure, women have all been talking about it in the industry, but this isn't a niche industry publication. It's a pretty big deal. And, from Brandeis University, my alma mater, if you don't know about the #ConcernedStudents2015, you really should. #FordHall2015 They are doing the most amazing work. In forty or fifty years, they can brag to their children and grandchildren that they were there on the right side of history.

I'm thankful for my safety. Especially when I live in a major terrorist target of a city. The men and women who put their lives on the line to protect mine are all exemplary.

I'm thankful that my family is supportive of who I am and what I do. I don't even need to add anything on to that. I love them. (Awwww...)

I'm thankful to have challenges in front of me. I love having something to work for, and an obstacle I have to solve. Yes, I did feel the need to have at least one of these be insanely pretentious. That doesn't mean it isn't true.

I'm thankful to know that I know absolutely nothing. I'm also thankful to know that everybody else also knows absolutely nothing.

I'm sure I'll be back next week with some kind of more philosophical discussion of something in the life of being an actor/filmmaker or whatever. But for now, it's just nice to take stock of where I am in my life, and luxuriate in the fact that it's good.

And finally, because it is, as newscasters on morning shows like to say, "Turkey Day," please enjoy this #tbt video of a turkey somehow flying into a window.

Marriage Equality in the USA! - #LoveWins

Hey, guys, remember back in the day when LGBTQA+ people couldn't always get married? In some states, they were even full-on banned from it! Weird, huh?

True Story: I got this notification while on the subway at Times Square and I straight up burst into tears. (Gay up burst into tears?) Bit of a problem, as I was heading to a promo modeling gig and wearing eyeliner. Best problem I've ever had.

True Story: I got this notification while on the subway at Times Square and I straight up burst into tears. (Gay up burst into tears?) Bit of a problem, as I was heading to a promo modeling gig and wearing eyeliner. Best problem I've ever had.

So, here's the thing I think is important to remember. We're not done fighting for LGBTAQ+ equality yet. Not even close, really. The rates at which homosexual (and trans!) people are murdered and commit suicide are staggeringly high. The number of homeless gay youths on the street is unbelievable (in that I literally didn't believe it when I first read it). And especially when you look at these issues cross-sectioned with the problems that women face, and people of color, and every other marginalized group, it becomes clear that marriage is one of the least important things in the lives of most people in this community, compared to issues like how many of them won't have a place to sleep tonight, or anything to eat, or how they can't tell their family who they really are after so many of the ones who have ended up being disowned by their parents, or even worse. I could throw links and numbers with them at you, but I don't have the heart to look up specifics of such depressing facts right now. Maybe later I'll update this post and throw them in.

Yeah. There's still tons and tons of work to do before we achieve true equality for the gay community.

But today's ruling is still so, so important. It is a major victory for us, and it needs to be celebrated, and celebrated a lot.

There's this thing that the most successful actors do. The most successful actors celebrate each and every little victory they achieve, no matter how small it may seem. It's certainly something I try to do as much as I can. Because it's the celebration of these little victories that give us the strength to continue fighting. And those little victories build up, and our self-confidence and willpower keep building, and all of that together is what gives us the ability to win the really big battles, and get the things we really want.

And fighting for LGBTQA+ equality in the US (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter) is exactly the same! Is marriage the most important thing? No. Is it the end goal and now we're done? Not even a little bit. But we needed this win. Because this win is going to be what lets us go on to the next win. And the next.

Fairly short post today, folks. I know I'm not really saying anything new, and I don't even have useful statistics here.  But, especially as someone who did a minor in history, I couldn't just ignore such a historic Supreme Court ruling! Particularly one that made me cry. And besides, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito can suck it. 

#LoveWins

(Hashtags don't even work in blog posts. I just wanted to have it there, anyway.)