Cooking up a Vlog

I had a wonderful and creative month working on the short "Cooking up a Vlog". I was thrilled to be acting with the incomparable Natalie Carter Prince and talented Tony Ponella. Stay tuned more to come πŸ˜‰.

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Best Film from the American Continent!

I'm happy to announce that 42 Seconds of Happiness continued its international journey in January with a trip to India! 42 Seconds of Happiness was shown at the Jaipur International Film Festival. Among the films featured were, Dana, Dana, directed by Mutana Al-Rubaye, which featured a cast from 25 countries, and Chile's Neruda, with Gael GarcΓ­a Bernal and directed by Pablo Larrain.

At the closing ceremony on January 12, 42 Seconds of Happiness won 'Best Film from the American Continent' at the 9th Jaipur International Film Festival in India. Thank you, Jaipur!!

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2017

As we usher in another New Year, I once again feel the pressers to reinvent myself. January has turned into a starting block. We are all the horses biting at the bit waiting for the starting flag for another chance to grab that elusive win. Some years I purposely chose not to participate, but I know myself well enough to know I'm really a joiner at heart. No matter what is asked if I hear the silence after the request my insides long to answer.

This need to please has helped me learn many new skills. I can run a sewing machine, work a computer (that was much more impressive back in the day πŸ™„), and hold a short conversation in sign language. I've also wandered small ancient stone roads in Israel, dig holes in Paris' Champ de Mars and climbed water towers in small midwestern towns. But mostly I've washed way to many dishes and been class parent more often than was good for me.

New Years is that chance to make yet another resolution. This year I will eat better, go to the gym, grow that last inch nature so wrongly denied me. Entire industries run on these hopes and dreams. Then a month later the gym is empty, our tummies are full and we are the same damn height. Yes I've read the articles, real change is less glamorous, it's smaller and more consistent. But what is the fun in that? 

Fun is another thing I have trouble saying no too. Granted my sense of fun has changed over the years. Hours of video games are fun for my kids but make me want to scream. And saying yes to everything drains my energy and joy. But no matter how old I get, I really don't want to do things that aren't fun. Who wants to do taxes or clean up the mess when all the guests leave? We do them why? Because jail and cockroaches are even less fun. Ugh.

So what have I learned, I'm a hedonistic, shallow, live for the moment kind of gal. And yet, that's not really me, I'm not nearly that edgy.  

Do less but with more focus more consistency. Less flash, more do. This is not a post about New Years resolutions, this is post about slow consistent choices. This is about the life knowledge that not saying yes to everything will ultimately bring me more joy. I do this now, this anti-resolution at the height of the resolution season to be different, you might even say edgy. I do it to make it fun, and because I like company, remember, I'm a joiner, I'd love to have company on this slow steady journey to change.

Red Carpet

This past month has been a whirl wind. 42 Seconds of Happiness has started showing at Film Festivals. We won Best Feature Film at the the Women Texas Film festival before coming to New York and wining Best Ensemble cast at both the Princeton Independent Film Festival and the Harlem International film festival.  I bet you all ready know this but it is very fun when you win.

Next up is the Orlando Film Festival, I would love to go but school has started for my kids and duty calls.

Summer Up Dates

August also brought the premiere of 42 Seconds of Happiness at the Texas Women Film Festival. And we won best feature!! So excited for our innovative director Christina Kallas and our amazing producer Allison Vanore (AlliecinΓ©), as well the crazy talented group of actors I got to work with. On September 17 we have our NYC premiere at the Harlem Film Festival. Yikes, now I have to find something to wear!

I hope everyone had a great summer.  Apparently I was too busy to post any updates, oops. But now that the kids are back in school and I have a little more free time I will catch up.

August, the dog days of summer ended up being a very busy month. I loved working with Barb Carboy Productions LLC on her production of April Mayhem... We performed selected songs and scenes from the show in mid August. I'm looking forward to working more with this talented lady in the future.

We finished the month near Gaines Pennsylvania and Pine Creek Gorge.  We stayed at a cabin on 75 aches of wilderness, basically a mountain.  We took walks and saw deer, bunnies and even a bear! Oh and I got stocked by a fox, while I was catching up on some writing. The fox won I left, his home not mine. We did have camp fires with s'mores every night and the most amazing view of the stars. A perfect get away for a Hell's Kitchen Family.

Best Laid Plans

I was so fired up to start my New Year with the kids finally back in school. I got a bunch of stuff done on my Actors Access page on Monday and Tuesday as well as catching up with the apartment chores after being home my my 3 boys for 13 days, not that I counted, eye roll.

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Wednesday morning; at first I didn't notice anything wrong. My two oldest were a little grumpy and slow to get up and to school but we had really been lax with the bedtime over the vacation so I wasn't all that surprised. I was surprised that my youngest was up early and telling me how incredibly hungry he was. He also told my he thought he had a fever. I felt his head, it was fine so I chalked it up to a weak attempt at staying home.

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Morning in our home are very regulated, my husband goes to work around 5am so it is just me with the boys. This year, all my guys go to different schools; elementary, Middle and High School. This years routine has been my favorite to date.

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I wake my oldest up at 6am he is out the door by 6:35 to catch his bus up to his High School in the Bronx. Then I wake my #2 son up and he is out the door by 7:10, he takes the city bus down 20 blocks to his Middle School. Then I have 15 minutes to get myself ready before I get my youngest up and in front of our building for the yellow school bus at 8am.

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This gives me alone time with each of my kids every morning. New York apartments are never big enough and 3 boys in one room is hard, even if they do have a great view of the Statue of Liberty out their window.

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So back to Wednesday morning, I promise not to be too graphic, my youngest eat two bites of breakfast and tells me he thought he was hungry but now his throat burns...

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He almost made it to the bathroom, he gets an A for effort. I got him cleaned up, back into bed and let everyone know he wouldn't be in school. Then I settled in to do my morning journaling. I had just finished writing what a nightmare it would be if all the kids got sick at 3 different school at the same time when the phone rang.

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My #2 son had made it to school but had gotten sick in the stairwell on his way up to class. I franticly called a neighbor to watch my youngest and ran down to pick him up. I'm so grateful he is not the kind of kid to be sensitive about getting sick in front of his whole school. He told me he heard one friend say β€œHay, that's #2 son, why is he throwing up?” and another say.”Why do you think? He's sick!” He made his way, by himself to the nurses office telling his math teacher along the way that he wouldn't be in class. He was talking history between dry heaves with the school nurse when I arrived.

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We got home just in time for me to get the phone call from the High School.

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At least my oldest hadn't gotten sick, he had just fallen asleep in class and β€œfelt funny”. I sat down wondering how I was going to be able to leave my two sick younger kids to make the 2 hour trip up and back from the Bronx. When my oldest told me he was worried about missing school and could he please try and stick it out, I said yes.

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I still feel guilty about letting him stay, but I'm coming to learn parenting comes with a lot of guilt.

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I managed not to get sick till later in the afternoon.

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It's Friday now and the storm has passed. My husband wandered around with hand sanitizer and room freshener, he never did get sick. And yes it does bug me just a little.

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But mostly I'm trying to get back to that place of raring-to-go that I had as the boys headed out to school on Monday. I can't let this knock me of course, and I know it had the potential to do so.

My word for the year:

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As I pull myself together, one more time, hours before the kids are home again for the weekend, I will be consistent in my writing. I will set back up my lights and self tape again. And I will be present in our Fine Whines rehearsal today. And I will be grateful that we all got sick at once and not slowly over time.

Manhattan Plaza Christmas Cabaret

With all the running around and the hustle of getting ready for the holidays I never got a chance to post pictures of last Wednesday's Cabaret. Tony Perry, Annita Hollander, Tony Chiroldes, Ric Ryder and Marta Sanders, lead once more by Ruby Rims. It was really a wonderful night.

My oldest got the stomach bug this morning and the rest of us are praying this won't be his Christmas gift to the rest of us!  But ready or not school vacation starts tomorrow and Christmas is on its way!

I wish you all a very Happy Holidays!

-Margaret

Can-Can

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I had a wonderful time singing at Ruby Rim's Can-Can this Sunday. It was the first time I had the chance to hear Nina Hennessey and Lennie Watts sing, If you get a chance to see one of them live I would grab it!

I felt honored to be singing with such talented people. Tony Perry, Valentine Ryder, Natalie Douglas, Angela Schultz, Scott Koonce, Maureen McNamara and the powerful Marta Sanders. All lead by the wonderful Ruby Rims and the talented John McMahon at the piano.

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One of my favorite moments was listening to a lady as she was leaving, she was wondering how lucky she was to have only paid 20$ to have watched such talented performers.

Now I'm getting ready to sing again tomorrow night at Manhattan Plaza's Holiday Cabaret.

I am looking forward to singing this Sunday at Ruby Rims & Friends Do the Can-Can. It is a benefit for Judson Memorial Church and Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries.

The Can-Can will be this Sunday December 13th at 7:00 pm at Metro Baptist Church (410 W. 40th Street, New York, NY 10018. It costs $20 and Cans of Food or Dry Goods for RMM's Community Food Pantry.

The wonderfully talented John McMahon is Musical Director and will be playing the piano. And I have the honor of performing with Natalie Douglas, Nina Hennessey, Scott Koonce, Maureen McNamara, Tony Perry, Valentine Ryder, Marta Sanders, Angela Schultz and Lennie Watts. And of course the one and only Ruby Rims!

Come and join it promises to be a fun night for two very good causes.

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Game Plan

January 6, 2015

I went to a "Womens Goals Brunch" this past Sunday. It was inspiring to meet women in all walks of life networking and planning out their goals for the New Year.  I have always made New Years resolutions but honestly I was just paying it lip service. "This year I will lose weight. This year I will be more organized..."

Well this year (LOL) I have an acountablity partner. Acountablity partners seem to be all the rage but I love the idea. A person you text once a week with your goals for the week, someone to keep you honest. I will let you know how it goes. My goal this week it to read the workbook "Game Plan" by Ciara Pressler and break down my goals into managable steps.

Happy New Year

January 1, 2015

I'm looking forward to an exciting New Year.  In 3 days I'm off to see a fine cut of the Indi feature 42 Seconds that I was a part of.  And I'll be spending part of the month learing new music for Fine Whine.  A great way to start a new year!