Happy Birthday!


Photo courtesy of Party Ark

Chasing The George is 2 years old! (Actual birthday is July 10th, but I post new blogs every Sunday)

I am so proud and grateful that my weekly blog has come this far and has inspired so many people around the world. What an incredible and magical ride it has been. I look forward to the year ahead and continuing my journey with you all!

I would like to thank:

  • Richard Lawson for encouraging me to begin this blog
  • My fellow friends and classmates at the Richard Lawson Studios
  • Chris Beber
  • My family and friends
  • My reps
  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
  • Madonna
  • RuPaul
  • Alyssa Edwards
  • Bianca Del Rio
  • Sahsa Velour
  • Tatianna
  • Aja
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race
  • James Franco
  • Jennifer Garner
  • Evangeline Lilly
  • Harvey Weinstein
  • Tyler Perry
  • Vassar College
  • My acolytes
  • Champagne
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Superman
  • Three’s Company
  • The Twilight Zone

Here’s The Evidence!

Hello my fellow artists! Hope you’re all having a safe and fun weekend. In my last blog entry, “Creating The Evidence…Again!”, I shared that I was expanding my actor arsenal by getting together with my community and shooting a scene for my reel. Here is the link to that blog: http://wp.me/p8uI5M-gR

The shoot went GREAT! We shot the computer hacker scene on June 30th. Below are two stills from the shoot:

Hacker Scene

I want to give a shout out to Lindsay Hopper who wrote the scene for us and was my co-star partner in crime. Every time she and I work together, we create magic. I want to give another shout out to Lauren Elle Christie and Kenny Allen for shooting the scene for us. We completed the shoot in a little over 2 hours! Shout out to the Richard Lawson Studios for empowering us to go after our careers with a set of tools that work and for having a fabulous community of supportive artists. Shout out to Chris Beber for running lines with me!

Part of our set for the computer hacker scene:

Hacker Set

I am proud of the work we did and I love creating tangible evidence for my career that I can show to others. It didn’t take a lot of money to shoot this. It took a lot of creativity to make the vision come to life.

The next step is for me to edit the footage! Can’t wait!

Until next time, keep Chasing The George!

Creating The Evidence…Again!

On Friday, June 30th, I will be shooting a new scene for my actor reel. I want to make sure that I keep my arsenal, my actor package, current and marketable. I’ll be playing a computer hacker along with friend and fellow actress, Lindsay Hopper, who will also be playing a computer hacker. I’m excited to add this visual piece of evidence to my actor tool kit because this is a part I can play. I’m excited to share this scene with my reps so that they can use it as another tool to promote me with.

I’m excited that the script and production design are influenced by Mr. Robot to really hone in on a specific world of computer hacking. I’m excited that I asked Lindsay, “Hey, can you write a short scene for my reel where I play a computer hacker?”, and that she wrote the scene immediately. I’m excited that I’ve been working on my character so that on the day of shooting, I can let it go and trust that the work I’ve done will be there.

I’m excited that I have the ability to create the evidence (from filming my own products/projects to writing pilots and feature films) I’m excited that I’ll have a filmed scene for my reel that matches the computer hacker headshots I took earlier this year.

Creating the evidence puts me in the driver’s seat. Creating the evidence opens doors to opportunities.

What are you currently creating and working on? Let me know in the comments section below!

My 100th Blog Post (& Celebrity Friends!)

This is my 100th blog post!! Holy shit! What an amazing and blessed journey this has been! I thank you all for taking this weekly journey with me on Hollywood 101 advice and the journey I’m on to create the career I want. And what better way to mark this milestone moment than with this:

On Thursday, June 1st, I officially launched the next phase of my feature film project. I wrote a feature film script with James Franco in mind to play the antagonist. I started this journey in early November 2014. This new phase includes working with my team to get the script to him, plus a social media campaign that includes a little endorsement help from my celebrity friends.

On June 1st, the exquisite former First Lady, Michelle Obama, was the first to endorse my feature film script for James Franco on Twitter and Instagram. On Monday, June 5th, a new celebrity will endorse my feature film on Twitter and Instagram.

Twice a week, I will receive a new celebrity endorsement because they believe in my script and want James Franco to read it and attach himself to it.

Chasing The George!!!!!! Keeping it 100!

Michelle Obama endorsement

How I Use Social Media

Okay, let me first start off by saying that I am not the end all be all of social media expertise. If I were, I would have 100 million followers and making bank off of social media.

However, I am proud of the way that I have used social media to put myself out there as a person and as an artist. I am proud of the relationships I have built and the people I engage with. And I am proud of how I have helped people gain clarity about using social media.

And so in today’s blog entry, I wanted to share my point of view as to how and why I use social media. A lot of people have expressed to me their fears, hesitations, allergic reactions, frustrations and confusion regarding social media. Some people would rather spend the rest of their lives in hell than log onto Twitter and deal with hashtags, retweets, mentions and why Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet.

Some people see social media as yet another thing to add to their list of things to do. Some people see it as a cumbersome or unnecessary burden. Or unimportant. Or a waste of time. Many people continue to avoid social media to this day because they don’t want to post pictures of what they are eating at a restaurant (they actually still believe that this is what social media is all about)

I totally get it. I totally get it. I totally get it. I was one of those people who avoided social media like the plague. But then I looked at the word, “social media”, and what it was originally created and intended for: To use media as a way to be social. To use media as a way to connect, listen and engage with people you are interested in. To use media as a way to build exciting relationships. To use media as a way to let people know about you. You control what you want us to know about you.

How awesome is it that social media allows us access to so many people? Direct access to so many people with no gatekeepers involved? Twitter, Instagram and Facebook give us a first-hand, front row access to the people we love, respect and admire. We have access to engage with a writer, a producer, an animator, a senator, a lawyer, a chef, a wrestler, a teacher, a scientist, a musical theater enthusiast, a clothing designer, a dentist, a charity organization, etc.

When I first started using social media, I made mistakes in terms of cringe-worthy posts and a look at me, look at me, look at me approach and more cringe-worthy posts. I am also guilty of posting a few negative rants back in the day. And it’s okay because once I learned about the power of social media and its true intention, I reshaped my approach.

I use social media as a way to engage with people I am interested in. I use social media to stay engaged with what’s happening in the lives of people that I personally know and that I want to know. I use social media to express my voice as a person and as an artist. As a way for people to learn and know a part of me. I realized that I can’t always post about my career. Great, we get it: You’re an actor. You’re a writer. You’re a showrunner. But what other things is Jorge Ortiz interested in? So I find a balance between sharing my artistic journey with things I am passionate about: Madonna, RuPaul’s Drag Race, music, art work, my sense of humor, my points of view, etc.

I use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a regular basis and I feel that I do a pretty good job of balancing and showcasing both the professional and personal aspects of my life. Again, I don’t have millions of followers (and building a larger audience is the next level of learning and application for me) but I am proud of what each of my social media pages represent. I love that I am able to honestly engage with people I am interested in. I love that I am able to impinge and make honest connections.

I use the word “honest” because social media is about–for me at least–making honest connections. I am following you because I’m interested in what you do. You speak my language. You do what I want to do. I truly want to connect with you. Be honest because people can spot a fake immediately.

I give props and shoutouts to people I admire. I’m clear as to why I’m engaging with them. I respond to things they post that resonate with me. I cheer them on. I laugh with them.

I feel a sense of pride when I look through my Instagram page @jorgeortizactor 🙂 🙂 🙂 because I see the variety and the thought I put into the professional and personal aspects of my journey. And my Twitter too @jorgeortizactor 🙂 🙂 🙂

Connect with people on social media and build relationships. If someone wanted to work with me or target me, they could easily go through my social media pages and find out how to “cream puff” me with at least five different things I am passionate about. “Cream puff” is a term that famed acting teacher and director Milton Katselas created as a way to build and further relationships. When you are interested in targeting someone or getting on someone’s radar, you have to listen first and see what they like and what they’re interested in. Listen to them, do research on them so that you speak their language. In this way, you bring them a cream puff that is thoughtful and speaks their language. The person who receives the cream puff will be touched/impressed/honored/appreciative because you’ve done your research and gave them a thoughtful, connected gift.

I always ask myself, “What do I want to express today on social media? Will it be in alignment with my voice and brand?” I really do give thought to what I want to express and reveal about myself on social media. Many times, I’ll create my social media plan for the week on Sundays (but I still allow room for inspiration to come in as well throughout the week)

What do I want to express? Because truth be told, people are listening to me. People are watching. People are looking. What do I want to express today? Is it on brand? Is it a reflection of who I am? I want to use social media as a way to engage and build relationships. I also want to use social media as a way to share my journey as an artist and the things I am interested in. On the other side of the coin, I also know what I will not use social media for (e.g. I will not talk about politics, religion, etc.) These are topics that I don’t want to present on my social media pages.

So, for those of you who are reading this and have a profound aversion to social media, I hope this encourages you to give it another try. How can you use social media in a meaningful way that adds something to your life rather than it being a burden or a subtraction from your life? What is the voice you want to put out there? What do you want to share with us? Who do you want to engage with? Who do you want to build relationships with?

And most importantly, have fun! The world is at our fingertips!

You can follow my Instagram and Twitter accounts at @jorgeortizactor

What Inspires You?



“Storm Hits The Sideshow” was the first painting I ever acquired. Famed acting teacher and director Milton Katselas painted it and the second I saw it in his art gallery, I knew I had to have it. As a matter of fact, I walked into his Saturday master class during a break, marched straight up to him, looked him directly in the eyes and said, “Milton, I love your painting, ‘Storm Hits The Sideshow’, and I must have it. I will own it.” And in true Milton fashion, he put one hand on my shoulder, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Good!” That’s all he said and I knew that he knew the painting was going to be in great hands.

I purchased the painting a week later, and to this day, I still love it.

This is a work of art that inspires me and is personal to me. If you zoom into the picture of the painting, you will see a guy riding a motorcycle in the middle of this storm. I always saw myself as that guy. I am cutting through the storm, the uncertainty and the craziness of this industry. I am that guy on the motorcycle who is cutting through the ups and downs, the naysayers and the rejections with force and intention.

That guy on the motorcycle is stepping into the storm. He’s stepping into the fire to get to the other side. He is bypassing and pushing through any doubts, fears and considerations he has. I have no doubt that this guy will make it to the other side of this storm and into a place filled with sunshine, clear skies, rainbows and drag queens (Yes to RuPaul’s Drag Race!)

I know that I too am pushing through with intention, even when I don’t have all of the answers. Even when things look dark. Even when it looks like the storm will never end. Why? Because I can ask the next question. Because I am on go. Because I take specific actions for my career. Because I am surrounded by a great community of like-minded artists and friends. Because I am a motherfucking artistic force who knows this is what I want to do with my life. In this painting, there is no sense of where the storm begins or ends, but it doesn’t matter because I am creating and building my career one action at a time.

I would love to read your comments below about what inspires you! Is it a painting? A song? A movie? I would love to know!

Assassins (Wanna Produce Theater?)

Hello! Hope you’re all doing well! I love paying it forward and this week’s blog entry is a GUEST BLOG! My brilliantly talented friends are doing an exciting production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” in May! And here to share some lessons and tips of producing for the theater is Lindsay Hopper, one of the producers of Assassins.

Lindsay, take it away!

Adventures in Producing a Musical, From Start to Finish.

By: Lindsay Hopper

As a film producer, I’ve been fortunate enough to find my routine, my preferences, my people. When all of those things are in place, my job is easy. Well, as easy as it can be when putting together all pieces of a film puzzle in place, Richard Lawson, my mentor, always says “prior planning prevents poor performance” and I couldn’t agree with him more. And while I adore film and working on a set, this year I got to a point where I could no longer ignore my first love: theatre. More specifically, musical theatre. I grew up in a world where people would sing and dance to express themselves, where the magic of storytelling happened in the beat of a drum or the playing of a chord. So naturally, when I was approached by my dear friend and talented colleague back in July and he said “let’s do a musical”, I was all in. This has been one of my biggest dreams for as long as I can remember, and while I always thought it would happen later in my career, now was the time! I’ve produced a number of different projects, how hard could it be to produce a musical?

Famous last words.

We did everything backwards. Everything. I’ll admit it. But you know what? We made it go right. And the result is going to be something full of more of the magic I talked about before than I ever thought was possible.

Last week, a friend of mine asked me: “What would you have done differently”. The easy response would have been: “Everything”. But instead, I thought about it. And in thinking about it, I realized I now know how to do this!

So what are the steps in producing theatre? (and I recommend doing them in this order)

Find a venue. We had a theatre lined up but it was still being built. Our goal is still to eventually mount our show there but had we had a solidified location for our show, a location that was already built and established, this process would have been smoother from the get go.

Have money. Seriously. Film you can produce guerilla style on no budget while borrowing, begging and making everything you may need. Not in the theatre. The amount of things you need money for, from the licensing (if it’s not an original play) to the props to the musicians, if it’s a musical, is astounding. Seriously, I could have made like 8 short films for the cost of this small show we’re doing.

Design the show first. Everything from props to lighting to sound should be put in place before you even start working on the show. It’s really hard to make a budget if you don’t know how much it’s going to cost to create the director’s vision. Think about what you’ll need to buy. Think about who you’ll need to hire. And how much all of that will cost. Once this step is done, you can make a pretty realistic budget and you’ll have a good grasp on how things will need to be structured.

Find the licensing and purchase the rights to the show. And yes, this can be expensive. Could you do a play without the rights? I mean, logistically, yes. You can easily go to Samuel French, purchase the play and say “I want to do this show, and we’ll do it for 6 weeks and charge for tickets and it will be great!” but you could get in a lot of trouble. Writers need to make money too!

Hire a kickass PSM (production stage manager) and stage management team and make a schedule. Ahead of time. Seriously. Without this, you’ll cast people and then all the sudden they tell you they won’t be there for the dress rehearsal and all hell breaks loose. Having a schedule allows the people you bring on to work their schedules around your project from the get go!

Cast the show! This is the fun part. And in my case, I really achieved one of my biggest dreams because I was able to cast all my talented friends and have been so fortunate to work along side of them and their art for the last 4 months. This is really where the magic is.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Everything. Rehearse with as many props, food, costume items you can, as early as you can. Drill the songs over and over again. Run the scenes multiple ways. Practice the lights, the sound cues, transitions to and from the stage. All of these things need to be rehearsed so that the magic can live at the performances and not be clouded by logistics.

Have fun. This is the most important thing. Theatre is not a huge money maker, but, as I keep saying, it’s magical. This is why we do it. So always come back to that, because it’s what will keep you going. The last thing you want is to resent your child, and I’ll tell you, producing a show is like having a child.

Our show opens in 5 days and I don’t think I’ve ever learned as much as I have over the last four months at any other point in my life. But the most important things I’ve learned is to hold on to gratitude and enjoy the process. It’s a hard road but it’s worth it 1000 times over, and I can’t wait to see everything come to life.

All The Feels Productions production of Assassins (by Stephen Sondheim) opens at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre in Silverlake (Los Angeles) on May 5th and runs for 2 weekends (May 5, 6 & 12 @ 8pm, May 7 & 13 at 2pm and May 14 @ 6pm)

Tickets are available online at allthefeelsassassins.brownpapertickets.com

You can also support the show by donating to their production at www.gofundme.com/allthefeelsassassins

Sending The Elevator Down

I recently met with a talented actor and friend to help them with his business plan-or DOIN’ as we call it at the Richard Lawson Studios. DOIN’ stands for Declaration of Independence. We only focused on his raison d’être (which literally means your reason for existence. Your reason for being.) In other words, purpose. What is your purpose as an artist and as a person? Why are you pursuing this particular career and not another one like law, medicine, etc.? We only focused on this part because the raison d’être is the engine that drives everything. It colors and influences everything that comes after it in your business plan.

It was great to hear his raison d’être and then ask the next question so that it could be a little more specific and personal to him. What he had already written down was great! I just asked questions to help him take it to a higher level of specificity and personal resonance.

And there was one part in his raison d’être that really struck me. He mentioned “sending down the elevator” to others when he reaches a certain level of success. “Sending down the elevator” meaning that he’s reached a high level of success and now wants to give back to others in the same way people have supported him in his journey. He wants to pay it forward to others who are just starting out, who need direction or help, etc. He took the elevator up to the top and now wants to send it down to others and help them make it to the top as well.

It’s interesting because I’ve heard this similar desire in others who have shared their raison d’être with me before. They too want to help and inspire others. And what I told my friend is that he can send the elevator down NOW. Through small, simple, meaningful actions of GIVE, he can help others now.

Now, as he becomes more famous or wealthy, his sphere of influence and give will increase. But he can take actions now. He loved that perspective and it opened up his eyes to the fact that he can give now. He’s excited in what he can do now to help others and I can’t wait to check in with him to see what actions he’s taking.

So, you don’t have to wait until you “make it” or become famous or rich in order to send the elevator down. Your raison d’être exists in you now. That’s what drives you every day to be who and what you are. So give now.

For those of you at home experiencing a similar situation as my friend, here are some simple, doable actions of give that I’m going to quickly throw out as they pop into my head:

Offer to help someone do their first scene in scene study class.

Offer to help someone with their film shoot by being a production assistant or first assistant director or running craft services, etc.

Support someone by attending their comedy showcase.

Help someone out with their audition.

Be a buddy or mentor to a new student in class and show them the ropes, the ins and outs.

Offer to help someone out at their headshot session.

Share someone’s weekly blog entries with your contacts and on your social media 🙂 🙂 🙂

Introduce someone to your agent or manager.

Introduce someone to your friends.

Volunteer at a shelter.

Donate money or time to charities.

Donate money to a fundraising campaign to help bring a person’s passion project to life.

Offer to listen and provide helpful advice.

If you see an opportunity for someone, let them know about it.

Go to the movies with someone.

Take someone out to lunch.

Share someone’s weekly blog entries with your contacts and on your social media 🙂 🙂 🙂

Write someone a note of thanks and appreciation.

Do research for someone in a particular area they need help with.

Donate items to someone’s yard sale.

If someone is looking to repaint or redecorate their room, offer help.

If someone needs help moving out of their old place and into their new one, offer help.

What other ways can you think of to pay it forward and give? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

I Love My Community

I am privately working with a new actress who is interested in learning on-camera acting and auditioning technique. She sat in as a guest at the Richard Lawson Studios scene study class one night and was really blown away by Richard, his teaching, the scenes that went up and the positive community that was present. She really wants to join the RLS, but because she is currently enrolled in school, her schedule does not permit her to join at the present moment. However, she did express interest in taking private coaching sessions just so she could get a head start on her studies here. Richard, being an incredibly busy person, referred her to me.

We have just finished her second session and she’s doing great. She has talent and potential. I’m excited to be a part of her journey. But what also struck me about this actress is that she told me on more than one occasion that she has no friends.

I did a double take when she first told me this. “You have no friends?” She answered, “No. I have no friends. Didn’t have friends when I was growing up either.” I thought to myself that surely she must be pulling my leg. She’s fucking with me big time. How can this funny, talented girl not have any friends? So, I asked again, “Wait, you have no friends?” She said, “Yep.” And I immediately said, “Girl, we gotta change that! You need some friends!” I proceeded to give her some advice on where and how she could make friends.

I suggested she find drama clubs or other extra-curricular clubs in her school. I suggested she find a strong, female mentor. I suggested she connect with her guidance counselor or program adviser. I told her to do a Google search on free groups that meet around town that focus on her areas of interest. She also goes to church and I told her to befriend the people there and get involved in volunteer work with them.

She acknowledged all of my advice and said that she definitely has tried all of that, but with no luck. I’ve only known her for a short period of time, so I don’t want to dig in any further into what is really going on. But again, I just find it so hard to believe that she has no friends. She said something at the very end of our second session that inspired today’s blog entry (and how grateful I am for my friends and community.) She said that she drove cross-country to move to LA. And along the way, she kept praying that her car wouldn’t break down. Why? Because she literally has no one to call. No one to reach out to if that did happen. She said she would have freaked out and/or died if she was stranded in the middle of nowhere with no one to call.

I want to dedicate this blog entry to my amazing close friends and to my amazing community of artists. I would not be where I am today as an artist and as a person without the strong support of my community. Community is VITAL for any journey a person goes on. Art is a communal thing and you can not do it alone.

Interestingly enough, right before she came over for our private session, I was dealing with a potentially life-changing crisis. I was scared and terrified. I wanted to hide. But because I have a solid core group of friends that I could call on, I got out of my own way and reached out for help. I reached out to hear a friendly voice, to receive guidance and advice, to receive peace of mind, to get my fears and concerns off my chest. There is nothing worse than keeping something inside and letting it fester and build. I called a good friend of mine and he was amazing in terms of providing emotional, spiritual and practical support. I called another friend immediately afterwards and he too provided emotional, spiritual and practical support. But he also added another component that moved me even further towards action and handling what I was going through.

After getting off the phone with these two amazing friends, I felt SO MUCH BETTER. I was armed with tangible plans I could execute to handle my crisis. I was no longer in my head. I was no longer at affect. I was in front of my crisis. I was in present time and proceeded to quickly implement their suggestions. Long story short, I was able to handle my crisis later that day with success. And one of the friends I called earlier offered to be there with me when I did so. Without them, I would have faced a darker fate.

I’m truly blessed that I have people to call. This actress doesn’t. Looking back, I realized two things:

1) I am grateful because I am surrounded by TRUE, ride-or-die friends that I have nurtured and cultivated in the time I’ve been out here in Los Angeles. It has taken me time to really create and manifest the kind of friends I want in my life. These people are my family. And as different as these two guys are, they are similar in many ways as well. They both provided near-identical advice. They spoke the same language. They handled me with love and care. I am surrounded by friends and a community of artists that speak the same language and that take care of each other in beautiful and honest ways.

2) I could have easily called up at least 10 more friends and they would have been just as helpful. An abundance of options. And they too would have spoken the same language that my two male friends did. This is what I mean in terms of really creating and nurturing the type of people I want in my life. There is a common through line that flows through each person and any one of these people would have provided their support without hesitation.

I’ll say it again: Community is vital. It’s why I love studying at the RLS so much. We are a community. We foster and protect that. We understand the importance of supporting each other. Your win is our win. You can not travel on any road by yourself. Pursuing any career takes a group effort. Pursuing life takes a group effort. You can not do it alone.

Recently, Richard gave an ultimatum to a fellow student and friend of mine: Get your apartment together in one week or you’ll be kicked out of class for all time. Basically, Richard put this student on “terrorist apartment”. This was the first time anyone has ever been put on terrorist apartment and it was drawn from the concept of “terrorist theater”.

Terrorist theater was created by master teacher and director Milton Katselas as a way to get actors-who should be working in the industry-working. If an actor had been in class for a while, but hadn’t been working professionally in the industry, then Milton or a fellow teacher would put the student on terrorist theater. The student then had six to eight weeks to book a paid acting job. If they didn’t, then they were kicked out of school for all time. They could never return, even if they won an Oscar. Terrorist theater lights a fire under asses and puts actors at a high level of cause. Because class means so much to them, and they don’t want to lose it, they begin to administer their careers at an exponentially higher level to get off of terrorist theater. They attack their careers in a way that they have never done before. “No” is not an option and they turn over every stone to book a job. It’s all about “yes” and they really understand the hustle it takes to get work. The success rate of terrorist theater is high and I have seen many students book paid acting jobs as a result of it.

So, this student was put on terrorist apartment because they have a long history of hoarding and it was affecting their personal and professional life. Previous soft attempts to handle their problem failed. Terrorist apartment was the final solution. Now, this student is a gem of a person. They put more hours into their career than anyone else. They put up more scenes in class than anyone else. They support their fellow artists more than anyone else. They are very talented and so fucking cast-able it’s not even funny. And so when this student was put on terrorist apartment, I became emotional because I knew how much they meant to me and to the RLS community. This student is like family and I didn’t want to see them go. And it was beautiful to see how quickly people in class rallied together that same night to help the student out. People stepped up and donated their time to support one of their own. I went over to their place with my friend Lindsay and we were there for three hours. It was such an honor and privilege to help and I felt a sense of spiritual rejuvenation. The community came together because this student is always there for them.

Look guys, what you put out there is what you get back. And I don’t mean in a superficial, fake, phony way. Give and support in genuine, loving, caring ways. Give because you care and because you give a shit. Give because that’s what community and love is all about. Because at some point, we will all be in a position where we will need love and help as well.

Find a community. Or build one. Know the type of people you want to surround yourself with and why and make that happen. Community is so important!

I am so honored, blessed and grateful to have my close group of friends, but I am also thankful to have an amazing and inspiring community at large like the RLS. There is nothing more satisfying than giving back and helping because there were times where I needed help and I received it. I remember a time when I didn’t have money for food. I was so strapped for cash. And I’ll never forget the delicious, hearty meals that DawnMarie Ferrara and Nayo Wallace prepared for me until I could get back on my feet. I’ll never forget how KC Sterling and Michael Manuel Sanders offered to design my first apartment in LA and brought my design concepts to life. I’ll never forget Jonathan Mateer for taking me into his home after I broke up with my ex so that I could start a new chapter in my life and heal on different levels. I’ll never forget Angie Russell and Michael Manuel Sanders for giving me rides home after class whenever my car was in the shop. Angie Russell for creating care packages for me. I’ll never forget Geri Atos for buying me a brand new iPad Air so I wouldn’t fall behind on my work when she discovered I was computer-less. I’ll never forget all the times Richard Lawson picked me up when I wanted to quit and encouraged me to go on. I’ll never forget Taylor Hawthorne for stepping up to be the first AD on a pilot I directed. I’ll never forget the countless persons that have hired me as a career administration consultant to put extra money in my pockets. I can go on and on. So there is no greater feeling than giving back.

Now, am I always able to give back? No. And when I’m unable to, I feel awful. But when I do give, I fucking give. Here are a FEW recent examples of me giving back to my friends and community: Being an extra on the set of a fellow classmate’s first short film that she wrote; going to see a fellow classmate in a play; going to see fellow friends in a hilarious monthly show called “Rise and Shine With Bette and Juliette”; giving money to a classmate’s fundraising campaign; texting my friend everyday to make sure she filmed her original character and uploaded the videos onto YouTube; watching and promoting various works by friends, classmates and peers on YouTube, on TV or in the cinemas.

Whether it’s the entertainment business or another business, you can’t go on the journey alone. And in your personal life, you can’t go on the journey alone either. Community is vital. Community is essential. Community has saved me. Whenever Richard talks about the importance of community, he always brings up this quote by American anthropologist Ralph Linton–and I couldn’t agree more:

“All human beings live as members of organized groups and have their fate inextricably bound up with that of the group to which they belong.”

Interestingly enough, this quote can be about positive or negative groups. Hopefully, you choose to create and cultivate positive groups.

Thank you to my friends. Thank you to my community. I would not be where I am today without your love, friendship, care, guidance and tough love.

By the way, my friend got off of terrorist theater! So go win that Oscar now and bring it back home baby!