It’s Time for a POPCORN Break!

Wake up, take a shower, pick out my clothes, get dressed (HURRY, HURRY), brush my teeth, run to the car, race to work, check my emails, go get breakfast, scarf breakfast down, sit in meetings, talk with customers, do some work at my desk, eat lunch fast (HURRY!!!)….PAUSE!  This is the moment in my day when I stop and think, “are you going to rush through every moment?”  My life went from being robotic to being non-stop!  I love what I do (writing, that is), but JEESH, sometimes I don’t get to enjoy my whole day because I move through it so quickly.

I feel like my friend, Shipwrecked on Fabulous Island, when she had to close her door just to enjoy an old Snickers bar.  Like, for real, I often think that I need just one extra hour to my night or just one whole day to do NOTHING.  Like today, I usually post an interview, featuring some celebrity or super cool individual, but I honestly just couldn’t.  I was so tired last night that I crashed and what was supposed to be a 30 minute nap, turned into a 3 hour vacation on my couch…that’s how tired I was!  All of this made me realize, I need to sloooooow it down and just chill.

I thought of all the good movies that are out that I haven’t had time to see yet.  So, you know what?!  This Dreamgirl is taking herself on a date to go see a movie!  I have SO many choices, I don’t know which to choose.   Let’s see…hmmm…Batman?  Savage? Bourne Legacy?  Ahhhh, just the thought of being at the movies with over-salted POPCORN (lots of butter of course) and a slurpy makes my insides tingle (by the way, I splurge on the kid’s meal that comes with a small popcorn, fruit snack and an extra dollar for the slurpy…I’m not going broke on this date buying $7.00 popcorn lol).

I spill all of this to you, only to say this…make sure, you are at least trying to enjoy some personal time.  When you work hard, you have to play hard also.  I know that not everyone is having the best week or some may be going through big life happenings, but even in those cases, remember…you only get one life on Earth (unless you’re reincarnated as an Olympic athlete like I will be), so enjoy it and try to be thankful.

Enjoy your weekend everybody!

Maia Campbell…Getting Back on Track!

If there is one thing we’ve all learned about life thus far, it’s that we don’t always get to control the pitfalls that are lurking on the road ahead.  Even the things that we can control, can sometimes prove to be a roller-coaster ride.  This is where our wisdom is born and our strength is heightened.  In the moments where we can learn from our mistakes, try again and grow from our past, is where WE are built.  So often, we not only get to see our peers travel on their journey through life, but we get to see those that are in the media spotlight as well.  A celebrity puts their life on display for us to observe, to have opinions on and to critique every detail, from what they wear, down to what they eat.  They put themselves on the line for praise and judgement alike, but what you don’t always get to see is their personal struggle to come back from the pitfalls that may have overtaken them.  I’ve been determined to have Maia Campbell join the Dreamworld, since she is someone who’s experienced life at its best and has overcome tragedy right in front of our very eyes.

At a young age, she became a familiar face to many, on and off the screen.  Maia played the role of “Tiffany” on the hit show, In the House, featuring LL Cool J.  She’s been featured in other projects such as: Poetic Justice, Thea, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Moesha, just to name a few.  Her success took a tragic turn when the world began to see her in a much different light.  Hidden from the big screen for years, tabloids and home footage began to quickly surface of Campbell, looking taken over by drugs and displaying irate behavior.  No one knew what had happened, but what we saw was heartbreaking.  Our young starlet was no longer young and it seemed her path had deviated from being a star.  Since then, she’s done a pretty good job staying out of the media and has taken major steps towards her recovery and improving her life.  Maia was gracious enough to share her story with me; take a look at what life has been like for her, how she got there and what she advises up-and-coming stars to be aware of:

First and foremost, how are YOU doing?

I have been doing great, working on a few projects and enjoying my family now more than ever.

Going back to when you were first introduced to the world and this industry, how hard was it for you to be discovered?

I actually loved acting and singing but never knew I would be famous. I was introduced to a lot of legends when I was young and worked with them and didn’t realize the seeds that were being sewn.  Breaking in to the industry wasn’t difficult for me when I look back on it.

There are so many people who fight hard to get noticed and make it on television and in movies, what was your motivation to keep going and sticking to your career goals?

The generation has changed DRASTICALLY. Talent is what used to be required now its like anyone can do television. It was important for me that young girls looked at me in a positive light. I never wanted to be seen throwing glasses, and food across a table.

How do you determine what roles are right for you?

I have a saying that I live by and that’s, “if it doesn’t feel right, then it’s not for you” so when I audition or roles are presented I always think about how the character will make me look. I am very selective!

So that others can see YOUR words, what do you think contributed to your hardships in the industry? Should other aspiring actors beware of anything specific on their journey to the top?

Not having REAL people around, and not realizing how blessed I truly was. I took so many things for granted. I would tell anyone make sure you know who you are and have a solid foundation because you can get so lost in the world of entertainment.

How did it make you feel when the world got to see you in the midst of your struggle? Did you feel violated?

It took for me to step back and see the person that had become so bad. I used to blame others, but there comes a point where you have to be responsible and accountable for YOUR actions. To me, that is where growth comes from because I was at a place in my life where that type of life is what I felt I deserved.

What new projects are you currently working on and what would be your dream role moving forward?

My dream role is to play Whitney Houston and I have a few awesome projects I am working on that I can’t speak on right now, but I think people will be so proud when they see the finished projects.

How can the fans show their support because we certainly miss you and have been cheering you on?

Make sure you follow me on Twitter (@MaiaCampbell);  the love that I receive daily, I couldn’t ask for more.  To see some people create accounts just to show me love, it means so much.

If you could go back in time and offer the “younger you” one piece of advice what would it be (based on what you now know about the industry)?

Enjoy being a kid, don’t rush to be an adult.

What is one funny/quirky thing about you that the fans may not know?

I am quite the little comedian and I am so sarcastic.  My friends and I just sit around imitating people on TV shows and movies and we laugh for hours.

***

No matter what we may face in life, it’s never too late to pick yourself up and bounce back.  Thank you for visiting the Dreamworld!  I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Maia Campbell’s journey…it’s sure to be a great lesson for us all!

(Remember him? He played “Austin” on In the House)

(Mari Marrow from How to Be a Player)

A Road Less Traveled.

I think we all reach points in our life when there’s a fork in the road.  We have the choice to either go left or right, not knowing which direction is the correct one.  I’m more of a choose-neither-kind-of-gal and see what happens if I go straight!  It’s how I’ve chosen to live my life and whether or not it was ever the best decision for me, it’s gotten me to THIS very point in my life.  Do I have regrets? Sure do.  Are there things that I would change if I could? Absolutely.  However, in the end, all of the choices that I have made for myself, were means to a lesson.  So, what sort of things have I learned? I’m blessed even when I don’t get all that I pray for, I love like it’s going out of style, I’m stronger than I give myself credit for, I will forgive someone a million times without them doing the same for me, and most of all, I am able to accept the consequences for my actions even if “in the moment” I don’t want to.

On the other hand, something that I struggle with DEEPLY is accepting the criticism of others.  Because my heart is so big and I love so hard, sometimes I feel like I can’t do much to offend those that I love the most, but I now know that this is so far from the truth.  I’ve had people teach me some crazy lessons recently and their words have stuck in my head.  I’m guilty of holding some to such a high standard that is virtually impossible for them to ever meet.  When they fail at living up to my “standards” I am the first one there to make them aware of their mistake. I’m also guilty of being so easily filled with anger when my feelings are hurt and what’s inside of me comes out through my words…words that can be hurtful.  I’m also very emotional and with emotions come blurred judgments.  And these are just a few.



You may be wondering why I’m disclosing any of this.  Well, I believe that it is our (the world’s) responsibility to openly share parts of our journey that could prove to be helpful to others.  I want to be the best representation of myself to the world and as I grow, I realize that no matter how many times I fail or I fall down or I take the wrong path at the fork in the road, I still have to live with myself.  I still have to look in the mirror and look into the eyes of the person staring back at me.  One thing I am sure of is, I am completely grateful for the people that have stuck by my side.  I am forever grateful for those that have chosen to make me a better person rather than giving up even when I made it the easy option.  It is because of them that I have lifelong friends, strong family ties and the motivation to be a better woman.

With this in mind, I made a list.  A list of things that I want to work on within me because whether I choose left, right or straight, the path begins and ends with the person walking it…and I want to be a wise traveler.

1. Cut back on cussing (totally a work in progress, but the change starts now-words are powerful)

2. Listen to others speak, more than I listen to myself speak

3. Start admitting when I am wrong

4. Tell my family/friends “thank you” and “I appreciate you” more than I point the finger

5. The people that walk away…let them!



It’s a small list, but it’s my start.  No one is perfect, so I challenge you to make your own and do your best to stick with it!

Is Reality TV Rotting Our Brains?!?!

You might be wondering where my fascination with reality television stems from…then again, maybe you’re not, but I’m going to explain it anyway.   It all began with The Real World, making its debut in NYC. I often wondered, “Is this really a show?”  People really lived in a house? With seven strangers? To find out what happened when people stopped being polite and started getting real?  (FYI ALERT: Tami Roman, from Basketball Wives, got her first break on The Real World )  From there, it crossed over into my collegiate years; I became obsessed with America’s Next Top Model.  How could you NOT love seeing “everyday” girls get a chance to become a TOP MODEL? They went from bland to beautiful right in front of me (well, on TV)!  With my interest at full-peek, I started to branch out into other shows like Laguna Beach where I could see rich white kids driving around in a Benz to HIGHSCHOOL!  From that moment on, the madness crept into my life! The Bad Girls Club, Love and Hip-Hop, Basketball WivesReal Housewives (all cities), Keeping up with the Kardashians, etc.


It got out of control!  With violent shows like, The Bad Girls Club and Basketball Wives, I cringe and I feel so uneasy.  I really do FEEL the tension through the television!  It’s as if I support violence and bullying by watching another female on TV get jumped, slapped in the face, talked down to, called “bitch”, and most importantly being told that they aren’t “black enough”.  I couldn’t decide if it was all reality shows that made me feel this way or a select few, so I did a mini experiment to help clarify (internally) what was going on with me.  The first thing I did was cut back on reality TV and the second thing was to ask some family, friends, Facebook and Twitter what they thought.  I mean afterall, I couldn’t be the only person feeling this way right? Check out what others had to say:



Amaris’ Feedback:

What is the first thing you think of when you see two grown women fighting on national television?

First and foremost, TV is entertainment and the degree to which we engulf in these reality shows is merely our need to be amused…I think it is humorous and entertaining. That is something that I probably shouldn’t admit to, but the reality is this: the women on these shows are adults. They are aware that their actions and words will be displayed for the world to see and judge. They are conscious of entertainment and what it is to “stay” on a show and even possibly (if they are wild and crazy enough) get their own tv shows. That, along with money and attention, are their goals… I have respect for women with greater goals. Acting is an art, being a drama queen is not… So…as long as there are women out there willing to embarrass themselves and show their face in any light for that check…I guess there are women like me who will watch….and be amused.


Larry’s Feedback:

(1) As a man, what’s the main reason why you don’t indulge in such guilty pleasures? (2) What do you think of females that fight, especially on TV for the world to see?

1. Reality gives people a false sense of reality. Nothing protrayed on any reality TV show is the reality of the normal everyday person. False looks, false relationships, and other negative aspects of life are all that are protrayed on these trashy shows and it honestly is the downfall of positive productive thought. You cannot input such mindless garbage into your mind and not believe that it in some way does not effect your everyday thinking about life, love, or anything else for that matter.

2. Fighting, whether its for tv or not for anyone, is just not ok. Barring some sort of life threating experience to yourself or family; there is nothing anyone should be able to say to you that should make you use physical force to retailiate. Critical thinking is what separates us from animals and its only those who are mentally weak who find the need to physically attack another person. Everyone has had their weak moments where we have all slipped and got into a physical altercation, but as an adult no person should ever have the verbal capacity to make you come to blows because once you have thrown a punch you have already been mentally defeated and already have lost.


Sheena’s Feeback:

As a young professional and the head of a non-profit geared towards at-risk female teens, how do you think images on reality TV shape the minds of our young women and what damage do you think is being done (if any)?

I believe the images being portrayed on certain reality TV shows give young women a false sense of reality. The young women my organization works with are at a very impressionable age and unfortunately a lot of them have not made a clear distinction between their reality and reality TV…Which leads me to believe that in the wrong hands what’s portrayed on TV could be very detrimental to young women in our community…it’s not necessarily about what you watch, but about knowing the difference from someone else’s life versus your own. Putting emphasis on conflict resolution methods that teach young women how to handle the situations they see on TV, in their own lives. While being cognizant of the fact that every action has a reaction, so we clearly think through the decisions we make. Thus becoming accountable for the choices we decide to make as individuals. Essentially, just because you’ve seen it on TV doesn’t make it right.


Tabby’s Feedback:

How do you think reality television is hindering AND/OR helping our youth?

It always amazes me how quickly society forms an opinion of an ENTIRE group – race, age, genre or, in this case, television show…TV shows on Animal Planet, The History Channel, The Food Network, HGTV and many others are, in MY opinion, Reality TV…Unfortunately, however, once MTV served up an appetizer of “real” lies, deceit, sex and violence known as ‘The Real World,’ America’s appetite for drama and thirst for more grew beyond control…In the talk show age, for every Oprah there was a Jerry, for every Donohue there was a Maury The language, violence, sex and drama have a numbing effect that redefines what is the norm for our youth. As a teen, if we’re friends, the Kardashians have taught me the b-word is a pet name for my loved ones…  Jersey Shore taught me that sex is no longer a sacred act reserved for someone I love but the new after-party activity with people whose name I can’t even remember… RHONJ taught me that if I don’t like you, it’s ok to run your name through the mud to whoever will listen… *Insert super star searching for love* taught me that moving in with someone I barely know will not only help me figure out whether he/she is “the one” but defined “the one” as whoever had the tiniest clothes and showed potential to give it up quicker than others…As a mother with a 5 year old daughter, this trash is NEVER on my child’s “TV dinner” menu because I believe there’s a maturity level required and I’m far too busy focusing on her learning tools…Bottomline: it’s up to the parents (not the television) to raise their child.



I posed the question on my Facebook and Twitter pages, “Do you think reality TV rots our brains?” and here are some of the responses I got back:

Yes, but it doesn’t mean im going to stop watching. Those real housewives crack me up haha ~Sapna

Not only does it rot brains, but it becomes the guideline for some peoples’ lives, they try to act, and look just like these reality stars ~Delonte

If someone has a brain they never watch reality shows. ~Charlie aka Dad

Yes I do…everyone wants fame because it’s so accessible,people should always strive for talent not fame.Be talented & fame will come! ~Lead Singer of The Electric Barbarellas



So, after hearing what others had to say, I’ve concluded that I’m not the only one who thinks about the damages that reality shows do to the brain, but I was also able to understand that uneasy feeling inside of me.  I agree that not all shows are bad!  I can see singers chasing their dreams on American Idol or chefs showing off their skills on Top Chef.  I don’t have to watch bullies and violence and quite frankly I don’t think I should.  What we put into our mind eventually comes out in our thoughts, words and actions!  It’s safe to say that I am much more aware of the negative effects the “bad apples” can have on not only me, but society as well.

As you depart from the Dreamworld, check out what Shaunie, executive producer of Basketball Wives had to say regarding bullying on her show:

Can You Call it Support When it’s Done from the Shadows?

It’s been such an exciting time in my life, getting the chance to take a sneak peak into the lives of others, some complete strangers.  However, it seems fitting to take a step back and say “hello” to my readers and share a story.  In anyone’s life, there are highs and there are not-so-highs (better than saying lows), but there are lessons in everything that we go through.  I’ve decided to share one of the lessons that I came away with, with all of you…maybe you can let me know your take on it.  Before I begin, my question to you is: What’s your idea of showing support?

When you put your thoughts, your craft, your goal(s) on display for the world to see (and critique) that can be scary, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts.  One thing that can help someone work through the anxiety and pressure is the support of others (friends, family, significant other, etc.).  There is NOTHING that can replace a “good job” or “great post” or “wow! your site is so cool” or “amazing interview”…you get the point!  You want to know that the people you hold close are out there taking time to “support” you in your endeavor.  How would you feel if, someone that you were really close to, supported from the “shadows” in a place where you couldn’t see or recognize it?  Would that support still count?  Would you still call it “support” if you didn’t know that they were even giving it to you?  That’s exactly what happened to me.  I won’t use any names, we’ll call them Dasher, but the person reading this from the shadows, will know that this is about them (keep in mind, I can’t tell who is reading my blog, unless they tell me directly or they leave a comment).  Dasher expressed that leaving a comment on my blog is my way of wanting “their presence to be known to everybody” when I already know they are the “type of person who lives in the shadows.” So, basically it’s wrong for me to expect them to do such a thing when I already know it’s not in their nature.  

Here’s my take on it.  What the f**k does that mean? I secretly laughed out loud in shock.  Something about that is just plain old conceited.  To think, they believe the only reason I want them to leave a comment or show me they are there, is because I want THEIR presence to be known.  HA!  As if!  This is really what it’s about…read and pay attention!  When I care about someone enough to spend time with them, share moments, or even talk to them, or call them my friend, that automatically makes them somewhat special to me because I don’t do that, with or for, just anyone.  As I draw closer to them and build trust, there’s no hiding that they are special…my light naturally shines through.  When you have that inner light shining, there’s no such thing as living in the shadows.  Therefore, whatever they are working on or pursuing, I naturally want to let them know, “I support you!”   It may not be every day, but at some point I will show my support OUTWARDLY and not because I want the world (a.k.a. “everybody”, as Dasher said) to see, but because I would be so proud.

The Lesson I Learned: Not everyone shows support in the same way, that’s fine.  However, it’s crucial to let those you love and care about, know that you recognize their efforts and success. 

Whitney…Another Great Gone too Soon

I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t dedicate my next post to one of the greatest artists to ever do it!  It’s easy to remember her rough past with drug abuse and embarrassing media moments.  However, the Whitney Houston that I remember is the one that I grew up on.  If you were an 80’s baby then she was a musical icon of that era and she paved the way for many of the young artists we listen to today.  Whether you remember her from hits like “Dance with Somebody” or Dolly Parton’s remake of “I Will Always Love You” her music was, and still is, infectious; making it hard to not sing along.

It seems like we are losing all of the greats so rapidly and some are still getting over the sudden loss of our King of Pop, now we have to mourn the sudden loss of the Queen.

After a while, it’s easy to think that Hollywood has such an ugly side to it when it begins to claim the lives of those we’ve grown to love.  Controversy and scandal have surrounded both of these icons, but when both stories end in such tragedy, you just pray for those that they leave behind.  Whitney Houston is survived by her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.  To us, we have lost a legend in the music world, but Bobbi now has to grasp the reality of losing her mother.

Everyone has the option to remember Whitney as a great or to focus on the negative.  Having watched drugs claim the lives of loved ones, more importantly I’ve watched it steal away their glow and self-love…which is far more tragic.  Just like I choose to focus on my loved ones’ contribution to the world, I choose to do the same for Ms. Houston. Such beauty, gone far too soon!

Here’s one of my favorite songs from the talented artist, “All the Man That I Need”:

May you Rest in Peace and be free from any suffering…

August 9, 1963- February 11, 2012

Know YOUR Worth…

Whether male or female, big or small, tall or short, black or white…well, you get the point…there’s nothing more important than recognizing your own worth!  I am STILL learning to fully know my own worth, but I will say that I am light years ahead of where I used to be in the personal recognition department.

It’s so easy to get caught up in your own situation, in a bad relationship, in a toxic friendship…all of which will DRAIN your spirit!  If your spirit is drained then you aren’t on point and if you aren’t on point then you will begin to settle for those instant gratification moments instead of the MAJOR life-long success moments!  I had to begin thinking of ways to make sure I wasn’t settling and it began with my RELATIONSHIPS (more in-depth, personal examples in my “Relationship” section)!  I noticed that I began to SETTLE for “love” instead of loooooooooove!  I was so wrapped up with the idea of being loved that I started to put up with any and EVERY thing that I knew I didn’t deserve.

Point. Blank.Period.  I had to begin to know what I was worth and push the baggage OUT of MY life!  I purposely began hand picking the people that I wanted in my life! People that I knew had my best interest at heart.  And I must say, for this to be the beginning of my journey…it FEELS DAMN good to take back control of DANIELLA and free up some mental space to really focus on my purpose in life!  Next stop…trial and error!

Thought: It’s better to have tried and failed then to not have tried at all!