Sunday, January 31, 2010

"You close when??" said the procrastinator.

So last week I wrote about my dad. I’ve gotten a few things from him: my love for music, my freckles and the horrible language I use while driving. Yes its true, I have the mouth of a drunken sailor. Its not nice and its certainly not ladylike. I mean awful words that I would never utter in my normal everyday life, will simple fly out of my mouth as if I’m saying “Hello, how are you”. Words that you would be embarrassed to use in front of your mother, except while driving, I have uttered those words in front of mine. I’m not proud of it and I’ll admit it. I try not to use them, but the drivers in NY usually deserve them. My dad drove like that, my brother drives like that and so do I. I guess the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree after all. I’m not making excuses because I know I have the power to not yell obscenities at people while I’m behind the wheel and yet I can’t help myself. I got a lot of other great things from my dad, like his sense of humor and his love of history and all things Irish. But I also inherited another thing that isn’t so great. And it’s called procrastination. I’m the queen of it. My picture might be in the dictionary next to the word, if not I’m sure I’m featured on Wikipedia's page for it. And this week was NO exception.

If you’ve been reading this blog, I mentioned that I decided to write a One-Act play for a festival here in NY. The festival takes place in March and the play needed to be post-marked by January 30th. I was writing and then life happened, and it was getting down to the wire. I hung out with a few friends Friday night and when I got home I figured I should finish this play. I also went online to see what time my post office closed on Saturday and to my delight, it closed at 5:00pm. Translation: I could sleep in a little and then I’d do some last minute editing and print it out, do my bio and character breakdowns…I mean, no worries I have a lot of time to finish. I did as planned and I headed to the post office around 3:30. Hello, done with time to spare. Success! I just needed to get an envelope while I was there because the envelopes I had at home didn’t fit the folder that was holding said play.

There was a feeling in my gut that said, “What’s gonna happen if the post office is closed”? But then I said, “No, I checked online”. I grabbed my script and opened the door. So far, so good. Yeah, the post office that holds the P.O. Boxes is definitely open til 5:00, however the post office the holds the mail people that take your mail and post mark your packages closes at 2:00pm on Saturday. FU*********K! What the hell am I gonna do? I worked hard on this script and I think its good. I don’t think its gonna change the world of theatre, but I feel like it has a shot at being in the festival. And I had this goal of writing it and getting it there, but it NEEDS to be out today and the freaking post office is now closed.

So before I start to cry (yes I’m a crier, sorry), I think “Okay, let me call 411 for another post office that has later hours. Some place needs to be open. It HAS to be.” Yeah, it would be great to have someone answering the phone at the post office when you call but that is not the case. So now I’m just driving somewhere. I don’t know where but I will find a place to post mark this envelope. Wait, let me call my friend Maria. She lives in (insert town here, well, there are stalkers out there), let me see when her post office closes. She looks online while I’m driving toward her town. Yeah, it closed at 1:00pm. What???? Then Maria, being the genius she is at times says “What about the one in the mall? Let me check. 6:00pm.” Yes. So here’s where the first paragraph comes in again. I’m driving to the mall thinking I’m not trusting online post office hours anymore. Let me get there as soon as possible. NY drivers get out of my way…they never do. The words coming out of my mouth would probably give this movie a R rating, if not, it’s definitely PG-13, I'm still thinking R. Then the gas light goes on. WHAT???????? Just get there. Just get there.

I get there. Here’s the worst part. Everyone on Long Island is at the mall. Yes, my secret is out, I’m a Strong Islander. Please don’t judge, especially after I tell you that J-Woww from Jersey Shore is my town’s claim to fame. Terrific. Anyway, everyone from the entire island that is long is at the mall (apparently no one on Long Island is aware that we are in a recession, at least not today). Now I cannot find a spot, I don’t know for sure when this post office closes and I need gas in my car. This is not a good moment for me. I’m grateful no one was in the car with me to witness my meltdown. Long story a little shorter, I got a spot. I ran to the post office. There’s a line out the door (most people are there to get passports), one person's working but I am there and this package will be postmarked. When I finally get to the counter I ask her "Can you post mark it?" She says, “The date's on the label”. I said “Can you just post mark it please?” (No worries I was nice). Done!! Success!!!! Whew, and I’m an idiot for waiting for the last minute!!

I have no idea if the play written was worth all I went through to get it out in time but I got it out and I felt good about it. I set a goal and it was accomplished (not easily though). Now the real question is, will I stop being a procrastinator? Hmmm, lets see, when I decided to write a blog I promised myself that I would write one every Sunday night. As I type this sentence its now 11:44pm. So what do you think? Do we ever learn??? I’ll keep you posted on the little play that brought out the worst in me this weekend…maybe some day soon,it’ll bring out the best! Have a great week!!! :) And I'll try not to curse while you're in my car!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

BE ME, BE YOU! (sing to tune of "Say you, Say me"...80s Lionel Richie's song)

Last week, I wrote about my love for award shows. Seems pretty frivolous actually when thinking about the destruction and death that so many are facing in Haiti, so I’d like to just take a moment to share another place where you can donate (I’m sure everyone has donated whatever you could in these trying economic times, but if you haven’t donated yet and can, or would like to again) I just found out about texting UNICEF to 20222 and $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill. UNICEF works on the behalf of children and “100% of your donation will support UNICEF’s work in Haiti”. If you can’t donate, please continue to pray for them and the volunteers that are there now.

So last week I wrote about how the award shows inspire me, but this week I want to write a little bit about the opposite…how they make me feel inferior. Because as much as I was inspired by Mo’nique’s win and her speech, looking around that room of stars I wondered where did I fit in? And quite honestly, when I looked closely, I had to admit to myself…I don’t fit in there. I probably never will, but should that stop me from pursuing my dream? NO.

So I started to think about what I bring to the table, and its different from what Kate Hudson brings, but is it still valid? I have to think it is, or I might as well just pack it all in now. I actually started to think about this last week at the comedy tv class that I took, because since it was a class, I got to see others work and see what they bring to the table. And this isn’t just about looks, its about what I bring in terms of talent. Watching other people come in with their ideas and their choices made me realize that I better up my game. I need to make real choices when I audition and I need to commit to those choices, because if I don’t, someone else will and they’ll be the one with the role. I can’t change who I am. Of course, I’d like to be a better person and I’m always trying to improve myself but I am who I am, and I don’t want to be anyone else (Although I’m not gonna lie, I wouldn’t mind knowing what its like to be Kate Hudson for a day. Well I don’t really like any of the guys she dates. So maybe I’d be Angelina Jolie. But on second thought, she has way too many kids to handle. I guess I’d be Kate Winslet, though it might be difficult speaking with an English accent the whole day.) Anyway, you get the point. Yeah, it might be fun to be someone else for a day, but everyone else has their issues and problems too.

So what should I do?? I can only BE ME!! You can only BE YOU!!! I read another blog this week about singing (Um, yeah guess what? I have my issues with that too because I can’t “Belt” like other singers can, and it makes me feel inferior about my voice, which is utterly ridiculous because I know I can sing.) The line that struck me was “Have you claimed YOUR UNIQUENESS?” (If you are interested in that blog you can read it here:

So I have to wonder, have I claimed my uniqueness? I talk about it a hell of a lot, but have I done it? And the answer is a big old negativo; because just like when I was younger, I wanted to be accepted and be like everyone else, except I'm not like everybody else. And the irony is, now the only way that I can get anywhere in this business is to be unique, to be me. Have you claimed yours? Its time for us to take ownership of who we are and show it to the world, because seriously, if everybody was just like Kate Hudson, and no disrespect to Ms. Hudson, but we’d just have relentless re-makes of “You, Me & Dupree” and “Fool’s Gold” and then where would we be? Yeah, not a pretty place.

So God Bless the forward thinkers in this industry who looked passed Debra Messing’s nose (she was once told by a director to never show her profile on film) because where would Will be without his Grace. And where would the world be without you?? Thank God you are you. Be you and no one else!! I’m gonna be me, probably to the dismay of some people, but its all I can be (special shout out to my friend Joe for the subconscience inspiration, cause I just realized I stole his BBM status)! :)

And on a very personal note: I’m dedicating this blog to my Dad, because this week is his birthday. He would have been 74 years old on January 27th and I miss him more everyday. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, but I work hard in his honor to make my dreams come true, because he may not have been the most pleased when I told him I wanted to do this for a career, but he never stopped supporting me. He loved the arts, especially Classical music and the Opera. And although we didn’t have the same musical tastes, he was the one who first introduced me to musical theatre. I’m grateful everyday that he was my dad and I’m lucky to have been loved by him. Love and miss you daddy. Happy Birthday…

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where should you keep your Golden Globes?

Today begins my favorite season: the Awards season and I’ve never been nominated, lol. Yes there have been a few other small time awards before today but a biggie is tonight: The Golden Globes (I love this holiday). Nobody does it like the Golden Globes. Its funny, I seem to always do something “career” related on this day as well. Last year I had my first ever reading, of the first ever play I wrote, on the morning of the Golden Globes (yes, I’m still working on it. Re-writes are freaking hard, man). And today was no different. I took a television comedy class with two casting directors (that deserves a whole other blog that I will write another day). I guess subconsciously, I feel like I need to keep trying to move my career ahead on the same day all the big names are out celebrating their successes.

You may wonder why I like the Golden Globes so much. Why would I enjoy watching beautiful stars wearing diamonds and pearls with full hair & makeup and designer sparkly dresses (and if you know me, you know I love me some sparkles!!) walking the red carpet, celebrating the roles they had the privilege to play, while I’m sitting on my couch in my best friends (that’s what my good friend Jean calls sweatpants, lol) with no paying role in sight?? For me, it’s a reminder that dreams do come true. Yes, its true, I don’t look like Angelina Jolie and I don’t have Jennifer Aniston’s body (don’t ask me if I’m team Aniston or Jolie, I flip flop on that, so I’ll just say I’m on team Pitt. Aren’t we all? Except he needs to shave that ferret from his face pronto. To be completely truthful I’m team Clooney all the way, always have been, always will be but I digress.) I’m not even a tiny bit close to being the actress that Meryl Streep is (hell, I prob shouldn’t even mention her name in the same paragraph while I’m talking about my career) but I truly believe that if you work hard, dream big, be prepared and never give up, it will happen!! (And yes I am aware that that paragraph has more than one extremely long run on sentence, its just how I roll, lol).

Anyway, the thing I love most about the Globes are the acceptance speeches because even though some of them are awkward or boring, a few of them are truly inspiring. I love, love, love the first time winners who never believed they could win something that big, who were told by numerous people in the industry or in their lives that they don’t have what it takes or they’ll never make it, but there they are, standing there in front of their peers, in front of the world with that award in their hand. It gives me hope. And it doesn’t matter what your dream is, or how old you are, or what someone else tells you about it, you can achieve it, if you don’t stop!! As long as it continues to be what you want, why would you give up before you get it? There’s a lyric I love in a Jason Robert Brown song that sums it all up “Who would give up what they want without a trial”. Anything worth having is worth working for!! Or as a wise man name Winston Churchill once put it "Never Never Never Give up" (I have that on a magnet and I don't look at it often enough).

Lastly, I have a small career update, I have written almost 4 pages out of about 20 of the One-Act I need to finish by the 30th. Guess I need to write a little more this week. Grrhh!

So Enjoy Dreaming Big and Making it Happen (I wanna be there to celebrate with you...I like the champagne)! And I don’t know how or when, but I’ll get there one day. I may be 94 years old and in a wheelchair, but I’ll get to the Globes. :)

Lots of Love!
-Roxy Strago

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Attack of the B.F. and other "Wicked" things.

“I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn and we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them and we help them in return. Well, I don't know if I believe that's true. But I know I'm who I am today because I knew you.” –Galinda from Wicked.

So another week has come and gone. The first full week of the new year actually. Is this where we start to see how our resolutions are going? In my last blog I wrote “We need to focus on the good stuff that we bring to the table. When I'm negative about myself I hold myself back from all that I could be.” On New Year’s Day I promised myself that I was gonna stop being negative about myself. So how am I doing? Hmmm, not so good. I actually kinda forgot about it. But I was quickly reminded by friends Saturday night that I have taken some steps back.

You see, last week a few of us went shopping for bridesmaid dresses and we took some pics of the occasion. Upon looking at one of myself in the dress that we will wear in the wedding, I discovered something peculiar…I have back fat!! YES, I do! Sitting here, writing this now, I cannot believe that I’m going to press publish post and freely admit to the fact that I have back fat and well, seven people may actually read it and know that I have back fat. But its true, clear as day in that picture, there it was. I noticed it three years ago when I was in another wedding, but quite frankly I'd forgotten I had it. Now that’s the funny thing about back fat (lets just call is b.f. from now on, okay?). See b.f. is tricky cause you can't see it from the front (um, yes I know that's a very Captain Obvious thing to point out) but it makes it difficult for the person who has it to know that he/she has it. It makes me think, how many other people have seen my b.f. and I had forgotten all about it?

So you might be wondering what this has to do with anything. I’m not really sure except for that fact that as I sat there zooming in on that speck of b.f., my friends told me to stop it. We all admitted that we are all so hard on ourselves. So I promised to try & not say another negative thing about myself for the night, I lasted less than 10 minutes. I realize, of course, that this is an extremely superficial thing to be down on myself about. But isn't that what we do? We find a tiny thing that most people probably haven't even noticed about us and we blow it out of proportion. Then we feel bad about ourselves because of it. Sure this is a silly example and when I got dressed this morning I didn't think of my b.f. (I didn't think about it when I ate that bag of Doritos last night either) but in that moment, looking at that picture, it made my feel negative about myself and that's gotta stop!

So why is it that our friends can see the good things in us and we can’t? That’s why we need to surround ourselves with the right people who love and support us. We need people to say, “Shut up” and “Stop being so hard on yourself” or “You’re making the same mistakes over and over again, maybe you should stop”. If we only saw ourselves through the eyes of the people who love us, I think we’d be better off. I’ll try harder this week not to beat myself up as much! And even though I'm hoping the b.f. it just the curse of the bridesmaid dresses and I only have it when I wear one of them, I just might start doing some push ups to be sure (the wedding’s less than a year away and exercise is supposedly good for you)!

And on a quick career note, I have decided to submit a play for a One Act Festival in NY. If it's selected it will be performed in March. There's only one tiny issue, I don’t have a One-Act written yet. So I gotta write one. The play must be post marked by January 30. Guess I gotta get on that. I'll keep ya posted on how it goes.

Have a great week!

-Roxy (B.F.) Strago ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010


HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Happy 2010!! Complete Craziness! I can’t believe that we’ve entered another decade!! It's unreal how time flies and unreal how fast this week went by. This past week I was off from work (Yee Haw) not that I didn't need the money lol, but I needed the time. The time to do the last minute things that would "tie up" 2009. I wanted to kinda clean up some things in my life in order to start 2010 out with a positive BANG!! I also needed to clean my living room. It was getting cluttered with things from the past. Things that during the year I didn't have the time or the energy to open and get rid of; yes I’m lazy sometimes. And there's some really good (and really bad) tv that needs to be watched!!! As I started my big cleanup, I was thinking that I might need to be on an episode of "Hoarders"; thankfully it wasn't that bad. Although I did find a bill for my car insurance (just a few days late, no worries, I paid it and I'm still insured)! I also found a few unopened Christmas cards from 2007, yep you read it right, 2007. I felt awful!!!! I don't know what I was thinking. How much freakin’ energy does it take to open a card?? I also cleaned out my AOL mailbox because during the last few months I’ve gotten multiple texts from people telling me that my mailbox is full. Basically you get enough space for 1000 emails. Really? And my mailbox was full? Um, I’m not that important (well not yet) that I should have 1000 emails. That’s because I save EVERYTHING!!! "Oh, I’ll respond to this email later. Oh, this is pretty good info, I’ll read that one day. Oh, this seems like a cool place to go to, I’ll go there one day." I save it all (I have the same mentality with my clothes, I got a closet full of clothes that I might need one day). Then I never look at them again and you guessed it: MAILBOX FULL!! (And my closet's throwing up!) So it kinda got me thinking about things that we hold onto that we don't need anymore and why we do it? I guess that’s what the New Year brings...fresh starts. You get to wipe the slate clean and start a brand new year. It’s exciting because there's all this hope for the next twelve months and the greatness that could be in our lives.

I also read online at: about making fresh starts. World-renowned physician and mind-body expert, David Simon, M.D., co-founder of the Chopra Center, says to start by asking yourself two questions:

1. What am I carrying with me from my past that’s no longer serving me in my present? Take the steps, whatever you need to do, to release that misunderstanding, misbelief or negative self-messaging.

2. What am I holding myself back from, that if I allowed myself to ingest it, would bring me to a higher level of well-being?

Really good questions to think about. For me, I think that there's big part of me that still feels like an awkward, big haired, big glasses wearing, clumsy and self-conscience fourteen year old girl and guess what, I'm not that girl anymore...Lord knows I ain't a teenager anymore either (even though I did get carded buying a scratch off this week, score!) And although, I'm still really clumsy and sometimes awkward as hell (just part of my charm, lol), I'm not that girl anymore. I need to let her go!! I also need to stop saying negative things about myself. I don't know why we do that. Sometimes I think I do it to make a joke about stuff and make people laugh but sometimes I think I really feel that way about myself. We need to focus on the good stuff that we bring to the table. When I'm negative about myself I hold myself back from all that I could be. You do too!

And this week, I sent a few New Year's texts to some friends at midnight and I got some great ones back. One was from one of my best friends Patrice and she wrote to me, "Happy New Year, No Holding Back". I had forgotten about it because well it was New Years Eve and the drinks were flowing lol. But I just reread my texts again now to delete some, because yep, I save my texts, (seriously there must be a name for the condition I have, aside from just being called crazy) but seeing it again just now put things into focus and it made me realize that this is my mantra for 2010: NO HOLDING BACK!!!

Because how can you regret anything when you put everything you have into what you want?! Maybe you don't get exactly what you want but you'll get what's the best for you. Maybe I won't get a lead role in a movie opposite George Clooney (I heart him!) this year, but if I put everything I have into getting there and I don't hold anything back, I'll get a role in something, and now I'm on my way to my movie with George. Hey, maybe this year I'll star in a movie with Matt Damon instead, he's no Clooney but I'll take it!! :)

So here's to a fabulous year of "No Holding Back"! Wishing you the best 2010 filled with health, wealth, success, love, laughter and joy!! Happy New Year!! I'll clean out my closet this year too!

-RoxyStrago :)