Thursday, September 30, 2010

It Gets Better

I was planning on doing a light and fluffy post today with photos of my show and my time here at the State Fair of Texas, but I watched a video yesterday created by my friend, Michael Buckley AKA Buck.  If you aren't familiar with Michael and his show, What the Buck?, I encourage you to head over to YouTube and subscribe to his show.  It's the perfect pop culture round-up of reality TV, celebs, gymnastics, figure skating, and Broadway shows.  Honestly, Buck is the perfect man for me. (Shhh, don't tell my boyfriend.)  He talks about everything I love.  Well, yesterday, he created a video that moved me to change my post and share it all with you.   If you have been following the news this week, there have been several high profile stories about two young men committing suicide after being bullied by their peers for being gay. (See the stories here and here.)  Both separate incidents, both in different parts of the country. Think about what the poor families are dealing with right now......okay, now watch this video:

I hope you were as moved as I was by Buck's message.  It's no secret that I have been a huge supporter of the NOH8 Campaign, but I feel like I need to take it up a notch in light of this week's news.  For every heterosexual person reading this, think back to your youth.  What were you teased about?  For me, it was my red hair.  I was called "Peppermint Patty or Annie or Pumpkin Head".  Okay, it's kind of funny now.  If I really hate my red hair as an adult, I can change that.  In fact, I am really blonde at the moment for an upcoming job.  If you were teased for being overweight, you can hop on a bike, eat better, and lose weight.  You can change that.  You cannot change being gay.  It is not a "lifestyle" or a "choice".  Buck even mentions he knew he was gay when he was four years old.  America, it is time to wake up and treat EVERYONE with love, kindness, and support.  Isolating, condemning, or teasing people for being different from you is not okay.

There is now a campaign to offer support to gay youth to understand that, "It Gets Better".  The project was started by Dan Savage, a journalist who for years has penned the column, Savage Love.  I remember his work in The Village Voice from my days in NYC.  I am posting his column explaining the project and the reason behind its inception.  The article offers more information on the videos that have been created for the project, links to the YouTube channel, but most importantly, it offers HOPE to gay youth.

Dan Savage:

I just read about a gay teenager in Indiana—Billy Lucas—who killed himself after being taunted by his classmates. Now his Facebook memorial page is being defaced by people posting homophobic comments. It's just heartbreaking and sickening. What the hell can we do?
Gay Bullying Victim Who Survived
Another gay teenager in another small town has killed himself—hope you're pleased with yourselves, Tony Perkins and all the other "Christians" out there who oppose anti-bullying programs (and give actual Christians a bad name).
Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother's property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.
Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.
"My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas," a reader wrote after I posted about Billy Lucas to my blog. "I wish I could have told you that things get better."
I had the same reaction: I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.
But gay adults aren't allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don't bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay—or from ever coming out—by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.
Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don't have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids.
So here's what you can do, GBVWS: Make a video. Tell them it gets better.
I've launched a channel on YouTube—www ­—to host these videos. My normally camera-shy husband and I already posted one. We both went to Christian schools and we were both bullied—he had it a lot worse than I did—and we are living proof that it gets better. We don't dwell too much on the past. Instead, we talk mostly about all the meaningful things in our lives now—our families, our friends (gay and straight), the places we've gone and things we've experienced—that we would've missed out on if we'd killed ourselves then.
"You gotta give 'em hope," Harvey Milk said.
Today we have the power to give these kids hope. We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it does get better. Online support groups are great, GLSEN does amazing work, the Trevor Project is invaluable. But many LGBT youth can't picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can't imagine a future for themselves. So let's show them what our lives are like, let's show them what the future may hold in store for them.
The video my husband and I made is up now—all by itself. I'd like to add submissions from other gay and lesbian adults—singles and couples, with kids or without, established in careers or just starting out, urban and rural, of all races and religious backgrounds. (Go to to find instructions for submitting your video.) If you're gay or lesbian or bi or trans and you've ever read about a kid like Billy Lucas and thought, "Fuck, I wish I could've told him that it gets better," this is your chance. We can't help Billy, but there are lots of other Billys out there—other despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don't think they have a future—and we can help them.
They need to know that it gets better. Submit a video. Give them hope.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Web Series Wednesday

It's been awhile since I posted about Web TV, but here is my contribution in helping Web Series Wednesday make a comeback.  I am working hard in Dallas for the month, but I will be diving back into the web series world when I return.  I don't have an official announcement for you yet, but stay tuned......

In the meantime, I was working hard on set on a few productions before I left the LA area.  In fact, the night before I left, I was on set with the team behind the new web series, Squaresville, about two nerdy gals struggling to achieve their dreams in their small town, written and directed by Matt Enlow.  Matt kindly squeezed in the shoot to accommodate my crazy schedule, so I could play a reporter., a reporter?  Typecasting!  Be sure to support Squaresville on Facebook and Twitter to follow the progress on the series.  I can't wait to see the rest of the series, because I only know how my small part unfolds in the story.  Here are a few photos from my night on set:
Shooting my scene
Deep in thought........
I even look intense sitting off to the sides.  Director/Creator, Matt Enlow, even looks intensely at his iPad.  We were focused!

Earlier in the month, I also made a split-second cameo in the upcoming web series, The Unemployment of Danny London, from creator, Doug Cwiak.  I was thrilled to help Doug out on the shoot since he had been instrumental in helping my crew with several shoots of The Web Files like our interview with comedian, Gary Valentine , and my favorite episode, Backyard FX.  His show looks at trials and tribulations of being unemployed and I have a feeling that he will have many viewers who can relate in this current economy.  Check out their Facebook and Twitter page to learn more about the upcoming show.  

Hanging with the cast of The Unemployment of Danny London.  You might recognize a face or two if you are a web series fan.

Finally, our last episode of Season 1 of The Web Files featured an incredibly ambitious show called, Tyranny.  It continues to be in the Top 5 Most Watched Shows on KoldcastTV.  I hope you have an opportunity to check it out because it has the mystery of Lost with the intensity of the Jason Bourne movies, and a dash of James Bond. (They really do have a Bond girl in the series, Olga Kurylenko, of Quantum of Solace.)  They shot the exteriors a few years ago in Europe, but the interiors are done in a loft in Koreatown in Los Angeles.  It's amazing how every nook and cranny is used as a new set for the series.  Creator, John Beck Hofmann, has stretched a micro-budget to create a big budget feel.  Here are a few behind the scenes photos along with the Tyranny interview. 
Hanging on one of the many Tyranny sets with creator, John Beck Hofmann and Director of Photography, Garret Baquet, after the shoot.

                                   Oh boy, that's one crazy contraption!  Here I am, trying on a prop from the series.  

And the interview: 

Check Tyranny out on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date on the latest news.  

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Web Series Wednesday.  Be sure to help the Web TV industry grow by supporting your favorite show on the web!

Photos 1-4 courtesy of Squaresville.
Photo 5 courtesy of Doug Cwiak
Photo 6-7 property of Kristyn Burtt

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Off With Her Head

I'm tired, kids.  Tired of the shenanigans of those Hollywood starlets who offer nothing but the same tabloid fodder year after year.  Now, don't get me wrong, I still read my Hollywood gossip, but I don't need to hear about the following people anymore........or ever:  Lindsay, Britney, Paris, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, or Miley. I just don't care.  What I do care about is finding out what one of our little troubled tarts was wearing for her 590348530958th court appearance.  So, I say, "Off with her head, let's get right to the fashion!"
Photo Courtesy of  Tony Canham/Getty Images
While I don't care for her antics, I sure do like her outfit.  Here's where I stand so far:
Jacket:  ??
Skirt:  ??
Shirt:  ??
Shoes:  Christian Louboutin
Yep, all I can name is the shoes because I can see the red soles peeking out.  Can anyone help here?  I will find a prize from the Red Carpet Closet to anyone that can help me assemble this outfit.  I'm not looking for knockoffs on this one, I want the read deal.   Ready, set, go!

But wait, there is one more outfit!  I have been asking around about this dress worn by Tina Fey on a recent episode of 30 Rock.  A good friend of mine is looking for this dress and I offered to help. I have reached out to several fashion contacts, but no one has given me a concrete answer yet.  So, perhaps you can help?  I know a lot of my friends, readers, and fellow bloggers are total fashionistas, can you spot the designer on this dress?  Again, a prize from Red Carpet Closet to the person who hooks me up with the correct answer.  

Even if I buy the Lindsay outfit, I promise that you won't see a SCRAM bracelet on my ankle ever.  I wouldn't want to draw focus away from my beloved shoes.  Happy Searching and Thank You from Red Carpet Closet.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My First Weekend at the State Fair of Texas

Howdy, Folks!  Yes, it's that time of year again and the State Fair of Texas has officially opened.  If you have never experienced the State Fair, you are missing out. It is the largest state fair in the U.S. and it certainly does not disappoint.  Just like everything else in Texas, it's big!  Big Tex is your host and he greets you each day with a big, slow, "Howdy, Folks".  

Yep, Born in Texas and Built by Texans.  The beloved Tundra greets you at the entrance of the outdoor display:

Uh oh, this is what greeted me when I arrived on Saturday:  lots of rain and some flooding reminiscent of last year's fair:

 Lots of rain=really wet sneakers.  Those hand dryers come in really handy on the wet days.

 The show!  Trackside Tina is a great addition this year with some great prizes, a little NHRA and a whole lot of Kyle Busch from the Toyota Racing NASCAR team:

 Perhaps my favorite edition to Toyota Live this year is the new intro:  new music, new graphics, and my picture on the Jumbotron!

 Never a dull moment on the stage:  dancing to our intro music with my co-host, Chris Petschler.

Sunday was the most incredible day with beautiful fall weather, the sun shining brightly, and more laughs onstage than my stomach could handle.  Thanks for a great first weekend, Dallas!  We have 20 more days at the State Fair of Texas, be sure to stop by and say "hi"!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's All About the Shoes

It's no secret that I am a shoe aficionado and for some reason I have been taking lots of pictures of my shoes when I am bored. Well, now that I am in Texas for the next month, I am trading in my typical footwear for a more casual shoe that I normally reserve for workouts only.  Yep, my wardrobe involves a sneaker.  While I die a little inside each time I lace up my Nikes, I know that back in my hotel I have a closetful of cute shoes just dying to be worn for an après-work cocktail.  See the evolution of my footwear this week.  From chic to geek........

My new favorite shoe by BCBG and yes, I bought both colors.  I am wearing the gray ones on the left in this photo, but I brought the plum pair to Texas.  I thought it would add a little color to my limited wardrobe while I am here.  It is really hard to pack for a month when the weather fluctuates wildly and you never know whether you will be wearing a tank top or a a puffy coat from one day to the next.  So, maybe my next post should be about how to pack for a month, try to be chic, and scam the airlines when your bag is over 50 pounds?

I had a little sojourn to downtown LA for some civic duties earlier this week and I was going a bit stir crazy waiting for my turn.  What's a girl to do? Take a picture of her favorite BCBG platforms against a background of government-issued speckled tile.   The story of why I was there is WAY more interesting than this photo, but I have to wait until the situation is resolved to write the book.

Ah, my Kelsi Dagger sandals that I bought on a whim from an Moxsie ad on Perez Hilton's site, talk about an impulse purchase!  However, these sandals were worth it.  They are comfortable and they even inspired a guy to chase me down in the airport to find out the designer's name for his wife who coveted my Daggers.  The lovely tile background this time?  Starbucks.

So, the chic footwear ends here as I am digging a pair of Nikes now through October 17th.  Sadly, my Nikes aren't that comfortable and require squishy insoles plus a few Band-Aids to make it through the day.  While I prefer a heel, I don't think anything but a sneaker would make it through a wet day at the State Fair of Texas.  So, Nikes it is against a background of linoleum in my suite's kitchen.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.  Please stop by on Monday here at Red Carpet Closet for a look at the opening weekend at The State Fair of Texas.  Yee Haw!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Scenes from a 3-Hour Delay at Burbank Airport

Oh, you know it isn't going to be a good travel day when you are in the Super Shuttle on your way to the airport and American Airlines gives you a call.  "Your 11:55 AM flight is delayed until 2:15 PM."  Um, it would have been nice if I had this information BEFORE I LEFT THE HOUSE.  That delay turned into an eventual 3PM departure.  Okay, so I parked my butt at Starbucks for the free WiFi and here is the result in photos:
It all started with me taking pictures of my Kelsi Dagger bronze sandals.
And then a cheese/cracker/fruit plate with Green Tea at Starbucks.
Reading the tabloids online. Yep, J. Lo and Steven Tyler are the new judges on AI.  Worst kept secret in the industry.  Yawn.
I was so bored I utilized my Photo Booth on my MacBook.
I'm quite bored, but I do like my new $10 hat even if my BF calls me "Strawberry Shortcake".
Oops, not enough barrier cream during my Versa Spray Tan yesterday.  
Relaxing outside of Burbank Airport since I still have 2 hours to go.
Oh look, an airplane.  It's too bad TWA is defunct, I bet they could have gotten me to Dallas faster than American Airlines.
I promised, promised, promised myself I wouldn't buy this week's People.  I don't care about Kate Gosselin, her tummy tuck or her bikini.  Boredom rules, I bought it.  Darn.
Thank goodness for Plants v. Zombies for carrying me through the last hour of my flight delay. 
Well, I made it!  Dallas, Texas.  My home for the next 24 days.
Get ready, because my posts are going to be deep-fried fantastic.  My show begins Friday, so get ready for some Texan-sized fun!

Tiffany Leather Collection

I am an accessories girl:  belts, shoes, bags, and costume jewelry are my weaknesses.  I try and stay on budget and look for affordable pieces to add to my wardrobe.  From time to time, there is a budget-busting collection that catches my eye and sends me into covet overdrive.  This fall, it is the Tiffany Leather Collection designed by Richard Lambertson and John Truex.  Their new line of bags and clutches is divine, classic, clean, and a timeless work of art.  Take a look at the highlights and let me know what you think.  I picked out some of my favorites and I am starting to save my pennies now for a rainy day Tiffany fund.
Savoy Clutch $995 (Tiffany Blue!!)
Reversible Tote.  Small:  $395,  Large:  $595

Tiffany Bracelet Bag $795
Isabelle Clutch $1275.  Perhaps my favorite piece and, of course, the biggest price tag.  Sigh.
Holly Clutch $595

Finally, a big thanks to Jenna of Seven Style Notes for listing Red Carpet Closet as one of her Top 12 Favorite Blogs.  Thanks, Jenna.  Now, go show Jenna some love and catch up on her latest posts.  I will be working in Texas the next 24 days, so we are going to have a lot of fun with fashion, food, and flavor.  Texas is all about going big or going home, so come back y'all for my Longhorn adventure.  

All photos are property of Tiffany & Co.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Let's Hear it for New York

"In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets hear it for New York, New York, New York."
-Jay-Z, Alicia Keys
My trip to NYC this weekend became a trip down memory lane because for the first time since I lived in NY, I actually stayed at a downtown hotel.  I work in NYC a few times a year, but I am usually put up at a midtown hotel.  Given that I am an NYU grad, it was such a pleasure to be back in my old stomping ground.  I am a bit of a downtown snob as I don't like to go above 14th Street. So, here a few photos of my downtown existence from my time at NYU along with a few anecdotes:
This was my very first apartment in Manhattan at 5 St. Mark's Place between 2nd and 3rd Avenue.  I list the entire address because those who know NY will understand that this is probably the most chaotic block of St. Mark's Place.  The apartment was cramped with two girls living in a one bedroom with a lofted bed.  Ah, the joys of a NY apartment:  no space, high rent, and lots of people living in one room. The building used to have a huge pop art mural on the West side of the building, but it is now painted an unsightly white.  Check out the steamy Susan Sarandon/James Spader movie, White Palace, to see what it looked like.
I lived in NY so long ago that I was here when the show, STOMP, first opened.  No one had ever seen anything like it before and it was the talk of NY, now the idea seems pretty commonplace.  If you saw Step Up 3D, there are a lot of similar choreographic ideas.  What is old is new again!
The 2nd Avenue building of Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.  This houses the Grad Acting and Dance Departments and it has a legendary history as the rehearsal hall for Broadway shows like West Side Story.  I owe a lot to the grocery store below for selling me a bagel and a banana everyday for fifty cents.  I was so broke, but they kept me fed while I was a student.
There's now a security desk at the front (What?!), so I couldn't get in.  We used to only have an elevator operator for protection.  Yes, the elevators are that old in this building that they have an operator and an creaky, retracting door. In fact, 111 2nd Avenue is getting a major facelift in the next few years and I imagine it is much needed at this point.
I used to curse at this bakery for baking while I was in ballet. The delicious smells would waft up to the dance studios.  Yes, a dancer thinks about food a lot and this certainly didn't help, but their Hamantaschen was to die for.
For any Tisch student, 721 Broadway is the heart of your existence while you are at NYU.  It was nice to see that door again.
I can't believe that Webster Hall still exists.  I was there when this club opened.  It stole the thunder away from a dying Palladium club, former home of Club MTV back when MTV played music videos, not reality shows.  The Palladium was torn down for NYU dorms.  "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."-Counting Crows.
My love affair with NY really began my senior year at NYU when I moved to the West Village.  I used to look downtown from the corner of Christopher Street and 7th Avenue and see the Twin Towers.  Alas, it's just an empty skyline now.
This corner makes me weep with joy and nostalgia.  I loved this neighborhood and it brings back incredible memories each time I walk through the streets.  I fell in love for the first time in this neighborhood and nothing can ever top falling in love in NY. Watch the "I Heart NY" episode of Sex and the City, you will get it with that first falling leaf.
Ah, my old apartment building.  I paid $705 for a rent-stabilized studio that was the size of my master bathroom in my current home.  You don't understand the meaning of space until you have lived in a Manhattan apartment.

My tour of the Village ended with as all good NY things do with a street fair!  What do you want to buy? Clothing, food, jewelry all in three city blocks.  Some of the best bargains and trendy clothes are found in these NY fairs.  So, be sure to find your treasure the next time you stumble upon a NY street fair.

I hope you enjoyed my tour of nostalgia, memories, and my poor college years. Even though I grew up in Massachusetts, I will always consider Manhattan my heart and my home.

Finally, I want to thank The Cooper Square Hotel for hosting my stay.  I am not sure what made me happier about the hotel:  the location, the glass of wine upon my arrival, or that huge bed to jump into.  I can guarantee, I will be back.  

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