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How to Do Hollywood the Wrong Way – Part Two

Feeling like a vampire, I threw on some shades and on four hours of sleep, I went to retrieve my car at the scene of the crime. I can tel...

Friday, January 27, 2017

Ode to Birthdays

It’s another year, turning over a new leaf and yada, yada, yada. Unfortunately, there is one thing that can’t be escaped. Birthdays. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not lamenting a fabulous youth that has gone by or anything like that. I know that I am never going to look like this again. Come to think of it, why would I want to? Seriously, what was I thinking with that makeup but I have to remember it was all done for the sake of art.

Moving on and maybe that is the point. It seems like society has this cookie cutter notion of how everyone is supposed to act once they reach a certain age. There is an emphasis on looking young, trying to drink from the elusive Fountain of Youth which can be achieved if you are willing to fork over thousands of dollars to look like this:


 Which I am definitely not going to do.  I remember my 20’s. There were some definite good times. Leaving home to attend college was the beginning of my life and of my transformation into the person I was meant to be. I was really working hard to become a writer/producer by getting my hands dirty at the campus television station. One of my coups was actually getting a sketch-comedy show on the air with a little help from my friends. Needless to say, it wasn’t a resounding success (you’re welcome fine folks of Clarion, PA) but it was an eye-opening learning experience.

After graduation, I moved out to California. Like everyone else with stars in their eyes, reality began to set in and trying to establish yourself in the film industry is not an easy feat. As a matter of fact, it is downright daunting. Deciding to regroup, I moved back to the east coast where I lived for a couple of years until I got my act together and entered film school. My focus was screenwriting and I was ready to take on the world. Ah, the enthusiasm of the dreamer!

As I entered my 30’s, I found myself dabbling on the fringes of the entertainment business doing odd gigs like working for a horror producer who was on the down side of his career and a raging maniac PR woman who specialized in D list actors and actresses. Some of the best learning experiences I had were when I was a page at NBC, and an intern at Lifetime Television and Worldwide Pants. I am embarrassed to say I even dabbled in acting and no those fabulous headshots have been burned never to see the light of day.

Eventually I grew rather disenchanted with all of the craziness and the superficiality that I once again returned back home to the east coast. Moving into my 40’s I opted for a career in the world of finance. During this time, I acquired a certain set of skills and became a data analyst. This occupation suited me because I enjoyed computers, coding and digging into mysteries such as “why the numbers from last quarter didn’t match the numbers from 1922.” You know the fun stuff of life.

Now, we have returned to my life in the present. I am no longer involved in any of that mess and am now pursuing my passion of writing full time. Things are busy and that is the way that I like it! Every day brings something new and I need a calendar to keep all of my projects straight or maybe an assistant. If only my dog had opposable thumbs but then again that is the kind of wish that ranks up there with flying cars and jet packs.

I guess this long diatribe was my way of saying, “Screw off, birthdays!” I will continue to be who I am which is a blue highlighted (or whatever color I am feeling at the time), music loving, sci-fi/horror geek rebel. No, I won’t be buying any of your anti-aging infomercial products, I won’t be getting laser surgery on my lunch break and you can just trash the haze filters. By the way, let me tell you how I feel about birthdays……




Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hangin’ on the Ledge featuring Mike Raven from The Blog of Thog


Before I introduce Mike Raven, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still working on my serial feature. I wanted to debut it this month but as we all know, life can intervene and so on and so forth. Without further ado, I would like to officially welcome Mike to The Ledge. 
He is a talented vlogger and blogger who hails from Hull in the UK. I have been following him for months now and he never ceases to make me laugh. I am quite fortunate to have him as my very first guest. No, he isn't tied up in my basement or anything (that you know of). He actually agreed to do a blog takeover.  I really appreciate him crossing the Atlantic. 
Please check out his amazing material on YouTube as well as his blog:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxW3mSw7yzKwt6-4QJs4ssg
http://thoggy.blogspot.com/

Resolving to Resolve

How's your New Year’s resolutions coming on?
According to a 2007 study by Richard Wiseman of the University of Bristol, 88% of people fail to achieve their resolutions.  I don't know how many of those have dropped out by the end of January, but I would be willing to wager that it's a fair few.
I used to commit to New Year’s resolutions every year, like "I will lose weight", sometimes backing up the resolution by signing up to a gym or slimming club, and the following weeks would roughly pass as follows:
Week 1 - after a successful week of healthy eating and exercise, I've dropped several pounds! Feeling great.
Week 2 - not had such a good week, I didn't get the exercise in because it's been far too cold to go running. But I've lost a couple of pounds.
Week 3 - I've shaved my entire body hair in the futile hope that I manage to lose half a pound.
Week 4 - beer chocolate chocolate beer pies pies pies mmmmmmmmm.........
So, I'd be the first to say that resolutions, without proper planning, are unlikely to work.
Interestingly, Professor Wiseman suggests that different strategies for resolutions are best for men and women.  For men, they are apparently better at sticking to resolutions if they are easily quantified (for example, saying "lose one pound a week" rather than "lose weight"), while women do better if they make their goals public and get support from their friends and family.
The last one I think is particularly interesting, because I had heard elsewhere that when you want to complete a task or activity (say, running a marathon), in some cases making lists or making it public that you want to achieve a task, reduces the chance that you'll do the things on the list.
The action of making a list and publicising it in some way makes you think that you've already done the work towards completing the task, and you have less of an urge to actually do it.  I completely empathise with this idea. I'm a good one for planning something in great detail, and then never actually getting around to following through with my beautifully designed plan!
At any rate, please feel free to comment as to whether you've made resolutions this year, and how you're getting on with them!

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Friday, January 13, 2017

What’s That Smell? Bad Acting

Recently it has come to my attention that there are way too many celebrity commercials on my television set. Every time I turn around, there’s another one! Do I really need George Clooney to tell me about Nespresso? Like George brews his own espresso? More than likely his assistant takes care of that because his wife, Amal is too busy saving the world.

This prompted me to come up with a list of the most annoying adverts on the face of the earth. Of course, this is just one woman’s opinion but every time I see one of these ads, I want to scream, grab a Tylenol and do a tequila shot and not necessarily in that order. So, shall we begin this odyssey?

1.      Matthew McConaughey – Alright, alright, alright! No, Matthew. It is NOT alright. There you are on my television again in another pretentious Lincoln ad. One time, for no apparent reason, you are clad in a tux diving backward into a pool. Another moment, you are staring ponderously out your car windshield trying to look moody while your voiceover gives me life advice. Really? Now here you are again! This time you are driving this Detroit behemoth in a shallow lake of water doing a handbrake turn because you want to make an entrance. Please. Could your Lincoln just spin right out of my life pronto?

2.      Johnny Depp – Those Sauvage ads are downright creepy and not in a Blue Velvet, David Lynch kind of way. Here we have Johnny Depp looking all goth in Keith Richards’ old eyeliner driving a muscle car down a desert highway. His voice over is telling me that he is feeling emo but I don’t know exactly why or maybe I just don’t care because I am distracted by his man makeup. Finally, he reaches his destination complete with a shovel. There Johnny is in the middle of the Southwest digging a hole in the hot sun just so he can toss his jewelry in there. What the Fraggle Rock does this have to do with men’s cologne? Nothing. Maybe someone can steal Johnny’s car so he’ll be stranded there.

3.      Charlize Theron – Next up is the beautiful Charlize Theron. I like her. I really do. However, in this Dior commercial, not so much. First of all, her entire body is gold. She is walking in the middle of what appears to be the same shallow body of water as in McConaughey’s overblown Lincoln ad. Why on earth would you be wearing a flowing gown in the middle of nowhere? I am glad you asked! It’s an excuse to get Ms. Theron all wet so we can marvel at her “fitness.” I am pretty certain that if I decide to wear J’adore I will not be sporting body glitter while turning the catwalk in a public venue. Just say no!

4.      Leslie Mann – In case you don’t recognize Leslie by name, she has been in most of her husband, Judd Apatow’s films. She has been in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, This is 40, and Knocked Up. Recently, she is starring in Jergens Moisturizer commercials. Sounds innocuous, right? Wrong! In one of the ads, Leslie suddenly appears in a woman’s bathroom scaring the crap out of her. The woman asks Leslie where she came from to which Leslie replies, “the window.” Without missing a beat, she proceeds to extoll the benefits of moisturizing one’s skin. If she came into my bathroom unannounced, she would more than likely get punched dead in the face or she would get a crushing blow to the head with a hair dryer. Yes, Leslie you have committed a crime. It’s called breaking and entering.

5.      Julia Roberts – This LancĂ´me La Vie Est Belle commercial runs nonstop over the holiday season. In a sea of formal black attire, we suddenly see Julia appear in a halo of blinding white light to highlight her blinding white dress. Of course, everyone stops what they are doing to stare at her. Gee, I wonder why they are doing that? Could it be because she is Julia Frickin’ Roberts? I don’t know, it’s a mystery. As Julia sashays among the people, we can’t help but notice how poured into her dress she is and how well her Wonder Bra is working. Julia is fast approaching the big 50 and gravity hasn’t affected her yet. She must be wearing Spanx created by NASA.

For some unknown reason, as Julia is enjoying the attention she notices that the people attending this gathering are puppets held up by diamond encrusted strings. Oh, this is believable. How many times have you been at a party where people were marionettes? Zero? Yep, that would be correct. Who comes up with these ideas? I would love to hear the pitch meeting. “Think Pinocchio meets the Kardashians.” We could all be spared further commercials like this one if only Julia would ascend those stairs and just jump off the other side.

I hope you enjoyed this list as much as I did. Do you have any celebrity commercials or endorsements that drive you crazy? Feel free to comment below or holler at me via susan.womanontheledge@aol.com. You can also hit me up on Twitter @SusanontheLedge.


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Friday, January 6, 2017

Dear Hollywood...


It’s a brand new spanking year, filled with promise, the chance to start anew but alas, Hollywood did not get the memo. I don’t know if they were in mourning over the demise of Brangelina or lazy but apparently 2017 is the year of the sequel.

Trust me, originality is not dead. There are plenty of writers out there creating incredible stories. In her old age, Tinseltown is becoming complacent. She no longer looks to find new talent. Why bother when you can just crank out Fast and Furious 103? Hell, Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel will be ready for the Actors Home and still doing hand break turns in their wheelchairs.

In a last-ditch effort to try and knock some sense into the La La Land powers that be, I have decided to write a letter. This should be fun!

Dear Hollywood,

I was very excited at the prospect of new movies this year only to be horribly disappointed. You have done it to me again. Just when I thought we could reconcile and move past our differences you closed the door in my face.

I remember in 2015 all of the furor that surrounded 50 Shades of Grey only to see your hopes and dreams dashed when fan reaction wasn’t what you were expecting. I tried to be understanding. If only Dakota Johnson could act. Yes, she is good at tossing her hair and biting her lip but dialogue and any semblance of human emotion? Not so much.

Her co-star, Jamie Dornan is like a mannequin come to life. He reminds me of a photo in a frame that you would get at Walmart. You know the one. You leave it in there and try to convince your friends that he is the new man in your life? Unfortunately, he is also lacking in the talent department. His attempt at being mysterious and brooding left me wanting to give him a Tylenol or something for his headache.

The sex scenes that were a middle aged married woman’s dream left me rolling on the floor with laughter. I kept trying to tell myself this wasn’t a comedy but I failed miserably. First of all, this has about as much basis in reality as My Little Pony does. Sorry, Bronies. It’s true. This entire movie was like an episode of Dateline. The only difference was that the S&M scenes weren’t taking place in a cabin in the woods.

Now, we get to experience the joy all over again with 50 Shades Darker. Everyone is back in the pool and now we have added Kim Basinger to the cast. Great! While she is lovely to look at, once again, acting is not her strong suit. Yes, I know she has an Oscar but where has she been since 1997? I rest my case.

Could you please tell me is it some sort of mandatory rule that every 30 to 40 years we have to have a King Kong picture? Wasn’t the original good enough? In 1976, even Jeff Bridges couldn’t save the remake. Then along comes 2005 and guess what? Another King Kong movie. We didn’t ask for it but yet we got it.

Cut to 2017 and we have a new incarnation entitled, Kong: Skull Island. Maybe Sam Jackson and Tom Hiddleston can save this film but I have my doubts. I won’t be going to see this but then again, you probably don’t care because in 2057 we will just get another Kong movie.

I really don’t understand the choice to greenlight this motion picture because the original in 1995 didn’t do so well but apparently, we have short memories for these types of things. Now we are getting a new and improved version of The Power Rangers! Thanks for this, it was very thoughtful of you. Bryan Cranston is involved in this fiasco along with Elizabeth Banks. These two actors are very versatile and must have student loans or something to pay off by getting involved in this clunker. I guess this film will help kick off the new upcoming television show.

Thank God for Michael Bay! He is leaving the Transformers franchise but not before we get another installment. Even fans of the series were disappointed with the last few efforts but apparently, this idea is unstoppable.  When will this end, or will we be stuck in a perpetual loop of hell where the only movies that we can see involve aliens that morph into cars?

Please, Hollywood. I know that I am one in a million and that you have others who love you more than I do but if you keep giving them the same lame sequels year in and year out, the passion is going to burnout. You have to keep things fresh and interesting. Why not mix it up? Remember how you used to love true indie films? The ones where the actors were people that weren’t Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise and the plots were really inventive and the directing was creative? Why don’t you try doing some of those for a while?

Kind Regards,

A Fan

How do you feel about prequels and sequels? Do you think they are necessary? What types of movies do you enjoy? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. 
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