Category Archives: Relationships

Annette Bening on Vulnerability: “We Are All Gardenias”

“We are all gardenias…there is an inner fragility that we all have as human beings. And as actors, we must have…softness, delicateness; we are sensitive. We have toughness and strength, but we have to be receptive. And that word ‘vulnerable’ (which I sort of hate) but it’s so important, because it’s that softness—that humanness—that when somebody watches us [they think] “Oh, that’s me! That’s me!” And that’s what you want. You want to bring people in to you.

“It’s like when you’re reading a book, and there’s a passage that tells a secret that only you thought you knew [and you think]: “Oh, I see! That’s something I thought only I felt, but that’s [written] there.” And that’s what we do. So preserve your softness and suppleness, your capacity to be hurt and rejected (because you get a lot of that in this business). But to be able to preserve that and…work in the profession…is so important.

“My husband [Warren Beatty] had said, [‘We are all gardenias’] to someone. It was particularly beautiful because he said it and I love him. But he’s also like—you know—a guy. So it’s the same for all of us—men and women, because we want to preserve that and… open ourselves up.

“Self preservation teaches you not to do that. And that’s why we’re scared, why we have nerves, and insecurity. That’s the human being inside of us saying, ‘Whoa, this is a scary situation.’ You’re in front of all these people; you could be judged. They could think you’re bad, or boring, or phony, or too big, or too small. Or all of those things that people will have their opinions—which they all do. So be able to maintain your own fragility, and at the same time have a profession and have a life — I’ll leave you with that.”

–Annette Bening
American actress

BalletBoyz: On Love + Manhood

My friend Dr. Michael Horn surprised me with birthday tickets to the final performance of BalletBoyz at the Ahmanson on the first full weekend of November 2014. It’s the same theatre I saw Glenn Close’s incredible finale as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard with Marcy in 1994.  To create this magnificent performance, 80 “boyz” came to London from around the world for the open call. Ten were chosen.

The performance was rigorous yet intimate.  Sensual yet powerful. Beautiful yet  strong.  Sheer male energy, tempered with the feminine energy that created a sort of malleability that allowed the powerful motions to become very tender, even sensual.  Continue reading BalletBoyz: On Love + Manhood

Don’t Take Anything For Granted

Life can change in a flash. So while you still have it, make sure you take the time to really appreciate what you have. We often don’t think about the things we have until they’re gone. Health. Money. Loved ones. Family. Work. If you’re young, you might think your parents are going to be around forever. They’re not. You might fantasize about getting back in touch with an old friend or flame, but unless you make it happen, it’s likely you won’t. You might think you have some money to spend on something but you never know what will happen tomorrow. Nothing, absolutely nothing—is guaranteed to be there for you tomorrow. And that includes those people you love. It even includes yourself. Don’t take ANYTHING for granted.