Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If I Can Dream - Episode 12 - It is STILL a Dream

I'll be the first to tell you, episode 12 was not an easy episode to watch. I already knew what this particular episode was going to be about. Normally, with any other show, I would have probably steered clear of watching it. But, like my friends in the Dream House, you have to learn to accept the good as well as the bad news. That is part of of life. Unfortunately, being an actor, musician, or model, life is full of rejection and you learn to deal with the word "no". Okay, enough of that rant. Like an actor, I had to emotionally prepare myself to watch what I knew would be difficult scenes to watch. I traditionally watch the episodes early in the morning when it is quiet.

It is funny, even though I knew the outcome of this, I was still emotionally attached to the people in If I Can Dream. Some may say that is creepy. Well, I just like to see people doing what they love to do. I feel terrible inside when I see someone's dreams dashed. It wasn't any less emotional for me even though I knew how this story would end.

I think back to the morning that Michael appeared at the house, with camera and sound guys in tow, to have a meeting with all the residents of the Dream House. I knew something major was about to happen. Sometimes, even though there is a great distance involved, you can sense the emotional energy through the video. I watched the meeting and made a Tweet comment that this was one of those "I speak and you listen" meetings. And it was.

It was now good to finally see the portions after that mornnig meeting that we could see. It was like the viewers had seen the start and the end of a story. But had missed the bridge between the beginning and the end. Most of us knew that there are people in the house that are safe, meaning that, barring a major problem, would probably never be asked to leave. Michael has a keen sense of knowing where the bumps in the road were at. I watched as they individually came into this office to their meetings.

At first, I wasn't too attached to Ben or Kara. But, after this, and some of the events in the house, they have become my favorites. I could see that Ben very much wanted to be there. In my mind, Ben has come along way since he first got there. Michael agreed and Ben was going to stay right there. They all agreed that they had some weaknesses. But, as Giglianne is fond of saying, " I have to step it up," is so true of all of them. Gig has grown immensely in the last month of photo shoots. Justin is getting the opportunities of a life time and is heading road the right path. Alex is full of talent and drive. And, as Michael said, Alex still needs to grow up alittle. Finally, it was Amanda's turn. There was where I started to get tears in my eyes.

It was so difficult to see Amanda speak on what she had long remained silent on. We all knew from scenes in the house, that she had problems with the lack of personal freedom. I had Tweeted her once that after being in the Navy for 20 years, I knew what she was talknig about. It was difficult for her to admit. This is one of the things I like about Amanda. Is that she is not afraid to speak her mind. It was clear that this had been something she had been thinking about for a while. Michael handled the situation very well. That has as probably hard for him as well as it was for Amanda.

At one point, Amanda got in the Fiesta to head home, she turned to the camera and said, "Did I just F up my life?" Amanda, I have been theer many times. I felt that way the day I joined the Navy at age 25. But, I made that decision because it was what I felt was the right thing to do. I am sure that Amanda knew that this was the right decision for her. She is a fighter and we wil see her again in Hollywood. Sure, she may have to struggle alittle. But, that is part of life. We've all had times that we struggled in order to do the things we want to do.

Then she got home. I am sure that was the longest drive back to the house for her. Now she had to face her friends, people she had grown close to over the last several months. We have all been in her position once or twice during our lives. So, we could relate what she was going through. Once at home, the tears continued agian. I remember watch the feed on that Friday night. That is about the most emotion I had seen in the Dream House. And,as being on the receiving end of sad news like this, I also knew what Kara and Ben were going through. My heart went out to Kara. I knew that the two of them had formed an emotional bond. And they relied on one another for support. It was really sad to watch Kara and Ben deal with Amanda's leaving the house. But they dealt with it well. I respect them so much and appreciate that they are sharing this part of their lives with us.

Some, like Alex and Giglianne, were not so surprised that Amanda had decided to leave. Their words were slightly stinging, were truthful and sincere. That is where that respect comes in. I respect them both for being honest and straight with themselves and with us. I know it wasn't easy to hear Alex say that he felt that Amanda just didn't put the time into her craft. And it wasn't easy to hear Giglianne say that she would not miss Amanda. Again, I may not agree with them. But I respect their opinions.

Okay, now the episode is over and we're down to five in the house. Now everyone is back and is focused with the matter at hand. This is one of those emotional low points. We have them. We've all been through them. And we all have dealt with them. Everyone in the house has clearly learned a valuable lesson from Amanda's departure. One lesson, which I think sunk in even deep through this event, is that you have to make some personal sacrafices in order to get to where you want to be in life. All our Dreamers, Alex, Ben, Kara, Giglianne, and Justin have their eyes on the prize.

That my my blog for this Super Tuesday. I know, he's quiet all week until Tuesday. well, I don't write unless I have something to say. I guess that is the journalist in me coming out. After all, I spent 20 years as a journalist in the Navy. I wrote on alot of things that others wanted me to write on. Now, it's my turn. I want to hear what your thoughts are, good or bad. Speak your mind.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If I Can Dream Episode 11 - The Emotional Rollercoaster

First of all, to the editors and producers, that was the best episode of the series. I felt that this episode explored the entire range of emotions that make up the six members of If I Can Dream. I came away from the episode very emotionally satisfied. I laughed, cried, chuckled, and even tossed back some comments as the episode progressed.

We got to see emotions from Ben, Amanda, Giglianne, Alex, Kara, and Justin that we had not seen before. That gave me a sense that they were all human and had their breaking points. Some were diplomatic, like Kara's confrontation with Alex, to Alex's vocal reactions at the family meeting. We got to see the humorous side of Kara sneaking up on Amanda. Only to see later in the episode Kara running upstairs, crying, from Kristen's questions about Brandt. Then it swung back to the more serious with Kara's, Amanda's and Ben's audition. Even the preview of the next episode tugged on your emotions.

That preview really made my eyes tear up once again. It is funny how you react to seeing a story unfold that you already know the ending to. You could sense that Amanda had already been thinking some of things that Michael was talking about. It really hit home for her when he said if something isn't working, then we need to get rid of it. You could sense, just from that short preview, that there were emotions bubbling just below the surface. I am eager to see the next episode that explores those meetings. I am sure episode 12 will be as much as an emotional rollercoaster as this episode was.

Great job one and all. This episode only strengthens my reasons for watching If I Can Dream. You all have proven to be very likable, entertaining, professional, and, sometimes, very child like. There isn't anything wrong with that last quality, in moderation of course.

Something related to all this, I have found myself swinging back, looking at the MySpace auditions. I think it will be an interesting process of who next moves into the House of Dreams. It was a painstaking process to select the current six house mates. I am sure the creators and producers have all learned something during this last week. I know they will take all that in consideration when someone is selected. Surely the potential artists are also going to learn from the events in the house.

Finally, Executive Producer Michael Herwick reminds me of what would happen if you rolled up Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi together. His cannot be an easy job. Stay away from the dark side, Michael! Michael, keep up the great work.

Okay, enough of all that. Let's get some feedback on this and my other posts of this week.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Amanda gone but not forgotten

I sit here feeling like I have lost a member of the family. Strange that I would form such an attachment to a TV show and one of its participants. I did realize that I have alot of time invested in watching If I Can Dream. It is like the members in the Dream House are like my extended family. What happens to one sends ripples out to the viewers. Needles to say, Amanda's departure did bring a tears to my eyes. I guess I have grown acustomed to her presence, humor, work, and strenght. To me there seems to be a big gap in the Dream House now. Amanda fulfilled that carefully planned balance that brought all these people together for common goals. It is my sincere hope that the executive producer moves quickly to fill that gap. Because, if he doesn't, there may be people that might be finding themselves moving on from If I Can Dream. Sure, one person does not make a home or family. However, Amanda was a piece of that puzzle that brought the big picture together at times. Those are some big shoes that the producers have to fill.

It is my sincere wishes that Amanda eventually returns to Hollywood and finally achieves her dreams. Amanda, we want you to know that we're out here to support you, or, for you to lean on during a time of need. You will always have a place in our hearts and minds. I am sure that you have alot of fans that look up to you. I could not think of a better role model for young people to look up to than you.

I also found myself over on the If I Can Dream MySpace page looking at the auditions. I don't envy the producers. There is a lot of fine talent out there. While watching them, I knew, maybe a little, of what the judges on American Idol go through during auditions and the show. Who is going to make it and who is going home. Just as long as no one says I am Simon. Yo, Dawg! why do you diss me like that? - HaHa. We look forward to seeing some of these top ten visit the house. I certainly hope the viewers have a say so as to who is the next one to get their lucky break in the Dream House.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Week That Was

I just thought how strange it is for me to blog on the people in the If I Can Dream house and not my own life. Well, hell, I don't want to put people to sleep - HaHa.

Needless to say that some of my predictions inside the house held true this week. Some, not so good. I was wrong about Casey leaving American Idol. It was, instead, Aaron. I guess I better start taking a more feminine look on the elimination of Idols. Why would you vote to keep someone in based solely on their looks? No, surely the American public is not that shallow? Well, as Gomer Pyle would say, suprise, surprise, surprise.

The one other prediction - that Fridays and Tuesdays are key days in events that shape the Dream House, still holds true. This is evident from the events of Friday, May 8.

I should of sensed something major was up when I saw executive Producer Michael Herwick and the camera crew at the house at 9:30 yesterday morning. This results of this meeting would eventually effect the entire house and one of the Dreamers in particular.It was dead silence as Michael spoke for about 30 minutes. This was one of those "I speak and you listen" meetings. Michael said it was time for a reality check, to see what worked and didn't work. I have to appreciate Michael's job. He is the cog that makes the entire production run. He said it was evident, from the viewers, that some changes had to be made. If the viewers weren't happy, then viewers would not tune in. No viewers, no sponsors, no show.

Well, I didn't think much of it after the meeting was over. Michael would be having meetings throughout the day with everyone. I was sure that there would be another house meeting down the road to discuss what happened in those meetings. Everyone went on their way for the days activities.

All was well into the afternoon. Amanda had her a reverse Tweet session. Which was very proactive of her to do. Amanda has been a real trouper through the last two months. The day fell apart when Amanda returned from her meeting with Michael. My first inclination that something wasn't right was when I heard both Kara and Amanda crying. I turned my attention back to the monitor and clicked into the living room. It took me only a minute to realize why the two of them were crying. I was able to hear Amanda say she had decided to leave the house voluntarily. I thought, "Oh, my, God, what in the world?" Amanda stated that it had become too restrictive inside the house. All of this stemmed from not being able to go out when she wanted and restricted to the house on certain days.

Alright, you're going to say I shouldn't have let this effect me the way it has. I really hate to see someone give up on their dreams. Well, at least the way they were going about obtaining that dream. It saddens me that Amanda has given in to her lack of independence. My only hope is that she has given this alot of thought. This is a life changing decision. That decision surely could not have been an easy one for her. I fear her decision may have come without alot of thought. I wondered if she had talked to Dan. If it had been me, I would have wanted someone to talk me out of leaving. In my opinion, I think Amanda made a decision based on the moment and her emotions. I really feel that she may long regret her actions of yesterday. I know that Dan will support and help her.

So, now you're probably wondering where I come off saying all this. Well, I speak on this based on experience. First of all, I grew up in L.A., worked my summers interning at Disney, Warner Brothers, and NBC Television studios. I saw what the actors life was like. I realized then I wanted to move from in front of the camera to behind it. Second, I spent 20 years in the Navy. I know what it is like to have my freedom severely limited, do things I don't like to do, and go places that I would have perfered not to go to - like combat zones. Once in boot camp, at age 25, my first thought is, "what the hell am I doing here?" Then, I wanted to quit. Well, you learn that you just can't quit the military. People told me if I could make it through the next six months, then I could make it through 20 years. It was rough. I learned to build up my self-confidence and learn from my mistakes. The other rough part was being constantly separated from my family. Another thing I can relate to what Amanda is going through.

Well, Amanda, you know that your fans will remain true to you. This is just one small hrudle you have to get over. You have to pick yourself up, brush of the dirt, and move on. We all know you have what it takes to be a sucessful actress. Only advice, based on my experience with Hollywood, is the you have to toughen up that exterior. Rejection is very hard to accept. But, it is part of being an actress. We'll stay with you, amanda, like you stayed with us.

Okay, that is my rant for the day. Please leave your comments. I want to know what y'all are thinking.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Super Tuesday

Well, here it is Tuesday again. My, how time flys when you're having fun! I wanted to make some comments about the current IICD episode and the preview of next week.

I thought that Ben and Giglianne came across as natural talent. Did they never burn it up. Who'd a thought it? Casting director had a good sense of pairing the right people for the video.I am eager to see the video. I have no doubt that both Giglianne and Ben with be succesful at whatever they do.

I love to see the passion that Alex has for his music. It is inspsiring to see someone go after what they want with such gusto. I may disagree with his attitude and actions in the house. But, I respect his talents and abilities. He will make it big. I just hope he gets the right talent agency to represent him and get a good manager.

Nice to see Justin getting a chance to perform at some concerts this summer. I think Usher gave him some very good advice. Now he has to go about picking his band. I don't envy him.

I didn't think the episode was too fair to Amanda. It showed her texting while Ben was trying to reherse. It kept cutting back and forth between Ben and Amanda. Being a 20 year Navy veteran, I understand what long distance relationships are like. They aren't easy. But, if you love one another, then it can only make that bond stronger. You go, Amanda. You're a fighter and you don't pull any punches. We all love yo uthe way you are.

Wwe didn't get to see much of Kara this time around. Only saw her in the audition for the video. I did see her in the previews for next week. I am not gonig to rehash or dig up the stuff that happened last week. However, from the previews, I think it will dredge it all back up again. It wil ldepend all on how it is edited. And I know editors. Stay strong, Kara. I love the way you are able to foregive people. A true quality that is missing from alot of people.

The best part of last week was Kevin Sorbo. Boy, what a wealth of information that man is. I know they were all listening to what he had to say. I liked him in Hercules and Andromeda. I like him even more for his straightforwardness.

To end the week, I found out I have won a video shout out from the house from the Flobots promotion. I enjoyed that. Now they have a 35 member SuperFan promotions department to call upon. Boy, you couldn't pay for that marketing.

That's all for today. Tell me what you think. Hey, please follow my blog if you like what you see.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

When Practical Jokes Have Gone Too Far

I normally don't play into this one on one upsmanship on practical jokes. Hey, I like a good practical joke here and there. While in the Navy, I had my fair share played on me. And I participated in several too. But my friends and I all knew where to draw the line at being funny and personally injuring someones health.

Let's talk about the escalating practical jokes inside the Dream House. I am not sure if some of these practical jokes would be as funny if there wasn't 60 cameras streaming it out to the world. I am sure that is some of the motivation behind these humorous pranks.

I do know that these jokes have increased since Alex LAmbert has moved into the house. Sure, there were some minor pranks before that and we all got a good laugh out of it. Now, it seems that the practical jokes have turned a little vindictive and mean. Sure, it started with the bed wetting practical jokes, followed by Alex getting water and chocolate pudding dumped on him. All relatively harmless pranks. You laugh at it and then move on. Not so in the case of Alex.

We have seen Alex sneaking around the house trying to get back at Gig. Some appear relatively harmless. But, this last one, peeing into a bottle of shampoo, definately shows signs that it is getting out of hand. This one, unlike the jokes played on Alex, is endangering the health of several people. Someone needs to take that young man and deliver some common sense to him. If not, this will end with someone really getting hurt.

I ask that someone Alex looks up to, a mentor, or executive producer perhaps, sit down with him and explain the consequences of his actions. I have nothing but respect for Alex's talents. However, his personal life, and how he interacts with everyone, has alot to be desired.

Okay, my rant has gone on loog enough. Please, post a comment and tell me what you think?