Friday, August 29, 2008

40 Tips for A Better Life

  1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
  2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
  4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'
  5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
  6. Play more games and read more books than you did last year.
  7. Make time to practice meditation, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
  8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
  9. Dream more while you are awake.
  10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
  12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
  14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, OR issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a life time.
  16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
  17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the NEGATIVE BLUES away.
  18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
  23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
  26. Forgive everyone for everything.
  27. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  28. Remember, time heals everything.
  29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  33. The best is yet to come.
  34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  35. Do the right thing!
  36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!!!)
  37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.
  38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
  39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass.
  40. You only have the one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Girl!

Creating Hollywood in North Carolina
News & Record of Greensboro
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Rebecca Clark knows just how a dirty a job film making can be.

The director of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission was showing Anthony Minghella a property near Belews Lake in 2003 when he was scouting locations for re-shoots on his movie "Cold Mountain." She came to a puddle of mud in the road and thought her Honda Civic could make it across if she drove through it really fast. Instead she got stuck, and the Oscar-winning director of "The English Patient," along with his producing partner, got out to push.

"It was the most embarrassing thing ever," Clark said. "His feet were dirty and mud was flying. I was like, 'You don't have to do this; we can call a tow truck.' I was mortified. But, being the gentleman that he is, he said in his beautiful English accent, "Rebecca, this has made it a complete adventure."' That's why he'll always be my hero."

Most of Clark's adventures aren't quite that exciting. But she has played host to many of Hollywood's elite as she has helped facilitate productions such as 2002's "Cabin Fever," 2005's "Junebug," and "Leatherheads," which was filmed here last year.

The News & Record of Greensboro reported that Clark has worked at the commission for about 15 years and has headed it for eight, recruiting film, television and commercial shoots to the area. It is an industry that generated about $33 million worth of revenue in the Triad last year. The commission recently drew up a five-year strategic plan to increase film production revenues, host more networking events and put on the commission's Web site a PDF version of its production directory. As Clark sees it, her job is part economic development, part boosterism.

"We're a film-friendly community. We have fabulous locations, all kinds of different looks," she said. "We have some swampy areas in the region. We have mountains and flatlands and cities. We have big city looks. We have beautiful and quaint small towns. And we have crew here. They don't have to bring everybody in from L.A."

A winning personality

On the wall behind her L-shaped desk in the film commission office, Clark has a poster for "Junebug," the Phil Morrison picture about family dysfunction and outsider art. In some ways, Clark is like Amy Adams' chatty mother-to-be in the movie but without the naiveté (or the bun in the oven). The 42-year-old is outgoing, eager to please and, acquaintances say, quick to make friends.

"There isn't a door she can knock on and not expect to see a smile on someone's face in 60 seconds," said director Aaron Schneider, who came to the area in 2001 to shoot his Academy Award-winning short film "Two Soldiers."

"I remember when we were shooting, we'd see a location we wanted to use, and we'd have her knock on the door while we hid behind a tree. And you could tell just by the body language that they'd be talking about some recipe or a relative. Or she'd be petting their dog. She was very helpful in interacting with the community."

Clark, who lives in Winston-Salem with her husband of two years, Jeff Mills, is a native of Kernersville and was a movie buff growing up. Films such as "The Sound of Music" and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" were among her favorites. After graduating from High Point's Wesleyan Christian Academy in 1984, she postponed college for several years because, she said, she was uncertain what she wanted to do and wanted to make sure she was truly ready before spending the tuition.

She eventually went to UNCG, majoring in psychology (but also taking many classes in cinema, theater and broadcasting) and graduating in 1992.

"Once I got out of school, I really didn't know what I wanted to make a living at," she said. "I enjoyed psychology and sociology and thought maybe I could be a guidance counselor and work with kids, but you pretty much needed a master's degree if you wanted to pursue something like that."

While working as an office manager at a music store in 1993, Clark was contacted by Steve Montal, then assistant dean of the film making school at the N.C. School of the Arts. He told her the film commission needed some freelance help, and she was soon taking pictures and scouting locations for the organization. In 1996, she was hired full time. Four years later, she became director and is now the commission's only paid employee.

Though she has worked with a few overly demanding personalities (she won't name names), she said many people from Hollywood can be surprisingly easy to work with.

"You can't have a thin skin or be easily offended to be in this job, that's for sure," she said. "But generally speaking, people are very nice. You have to be. You have to be outgoing and cordial, or otherwise you're not going to get very much done."

She acknowledges she has been a little star-struck from time to time (she said she was a bit intimidated by "Leatherheads" star George Clooney at first, though he turned out to be very easygoing), but those who have worked with Clark say she handles herself around stars as she would with any other business acquaintance.

"She has magnificent interpersonal skills, and she's able to promote the region to folks who most people would be tongue-tied around or would swoon over," said Jerry McGuire, chairman of the board for the film commission. "Rebecca has the ability to articulate in a professional way and interact with those folks in a very, very effective way."

A developing business

Clark spends a good deal of time explaining what the film commission doesn't do: It doesn't produce films, it doesn't showcase films, and it doesn't take money from filmmakers. It's not an arts organization in the traditional sense of funding local artists or venues.

"What we are doing is recruiting businesses," she said. "But instead of trying to recruit a manufacturing plant here, what I'm doing is recruiting production companies who might hire a pool of 200 people - people that live here that rely on freelance opportunities working in feature films and in commercials for their livelihoods. And those production companies are spending money here. On 'Leatherheads' they spent about $7 million here in the Piedmont Triad alone. They didn't even film the whole movie here. They only filmed here a couple of weeks."

The Piedmont Triad Film Commission was founded in 1993, conceived as a way to keep film school graduates from leaving the area. In its early years, it focused mainly on Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. In 1996, however, the state's Department of Commerce announced its desire for each of North Carolina's seven economic development regions to be represented by a film commission, and shortly thereafter Clark's organization expanded its reach throughout the rest of the Triad.

The commission closed its offices for a short time in late 2002 and early 2003 because of a lack of funding but reopened after UNCG provided money to pay Clark's salary. A fundraising campaign the following year secured the organization's future. She also has drawn the support of a number of community leaders.

"What Rebecca and her team are doing - and in all fairness, what people across the state are doing - is exactly where we should be headed to transition from what has been traditionally a manufacturing economy," said Keith Holliday, former Greensboro mayor and current CEO of the Carolina Theatre, where Clark was scouting recently. "You have crews here, they're spending money, they're staying in hotels, they're eating. The other perspective is our citizenry should be able to appreciate the creative side of making films. It sets off a little spark inside to see a place like War Memorial Stadium in a movie like 'Leatherheads.' "

The organization now has an annual budget of $134,000, provided by various private foundations and city and county governments. Its operations are located alongside the Piedmont Triad Partnership in an office complex off Gallimore Dairy Road.

Last year, 11 films were shot in the area, in addition to commercials and catalog photo shoots, with which the commission also helps. No feature films have shot in the Triad so far this year, but Clark did mention the possibility of a reality series, centered on Bowman Gray racers, coming to the area (though it's still in the early stages).

She hopes to hire a full-time assistant in the near future. In addition to scouting locations and courting production companies, Clark keeps busy updating the commission's production directory, which has listings for local prop houses, construction companies and other technical services that filmmakers might need. Her job requires her to act as a liaison between production companies and the community, helping secure cooperation on matters such as closing roads and crowd control, as well as getting permission to shoot at the locations themselves. Sometimes that can be a bit difficult. Clark recalled one woman who let a film crew shoot in her house and then insisted afterward that they clean her bathroom.

But that was a unique situation, and Clark finds that many others are just excited about the exposure the cameras afford the area.

"'Two Soldiers' is a good example of that," she said. "The film wins an Academy Award, and he (Schneider) thanks us in his acceptance speech, and he thanks the School of the Arts, which gave him interns. So, right away, bam, we've got worldwide recognition and acknowledgment."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Funny


NUMBER 5: "They told me at the Blood Bank this might happen."

NUMBER 4: "This is just a 15-minute power nap they raved about in the time-management course you sent me to."

NUMBER 3: "Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-out. You probably got here just in time!"

NUMBER 2: "Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when you put your ear down real close?"

Number 1, The best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk: (Raising your head slowly) "... in Jesus' name, Amen."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

First Day of a New School Year

The kids (finally!) went back to school today. Mallorie's been grumbling for a week at having to go back to a realistic sleep schedule. (No more television surfing at 3am.) As much as she hated getting up to an alarm this morning, I'm sure she was excited to see all her friends again.

Cade also has been grumbling all week. He doesn't want to be a first grader. He said he'd much rather stay in kindergarten.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Funny

She was in the kitchen preparing to boil eggs for breakfast.

He walked in. She turned and said, "You've got to make love to me this very moment."

His eyes lit up and he thought, "This is my lucky day."

Not wanting to lose the moment, he embraced her and then gave it his all, right there on the kitchen table.

Afterwards she curtly said, "Thanks", and returned to the stove. More than a little puzzled, he asked, "What was that all about?"

She explained, "The egg timer is broken."

Monday, August 04, 2008

You'll Be Able To Hear Me Now

Today I headed to the WXII TV studio to do another voice commercial for Paragon Advertising.

Triad Appliance Center is now selling the new Maytag Epic Z washers and dryers. After the national commercial airs, you'll hear me telling you where to buy these fabulous new appliances.

Bob, Ken and I reviewed the national Maytag commercials for the new washers and dryers. Neither one of us liked the new Maytag tagline.

I then stepped into the booth and recorded three 7-second tags for Triad Appliance Center. Bob only had to remind me once that I was selling washers and/or dryers and not breathy sex!

All in all, it took less than 30 minutes. Not bad at all for a week's worth of pay!