All posts for the month May, 2018

Arrested Development

Published May 24, 2018 by WELCOME TO HEIDI

I’ll never forget the moment because it is seared into my memory the way his fingers seared into my upper arm – leaving a five point bruise mark almost immediately.  It was around 1997 and I had relocated to California to work for a popular entertainment show.  I was feisty – always have been – always will be, but on this day when I went to get my copy approved by the boss – my feistiness got me into a physical situation with a man who I thought was a respected producer.  He told me he hated what I wrote – every word – and he had been telling me this for weeks.  This was not how the job had started.  In the beginning I was practically a savior to him.  They had tried many writers and I was the first one that seemed to “get it.”  It was not an easy job.  We had a female host who was so incredibly mean and hurtful it was difficult to deal with.  I remember sitting in the conference room every morning going through what was basically a “table read” for the copy I had written that day.  This was entertainment news – there’s no need for a table read.  But there I sat every  morning – listening to this woman berate my words – if that’s possible.  She would say things like – this is terrible!!! – no one would say this!!! – and then scribble like a crazy person all the thoughts she thought should go in the show.  And she would scream… often.  Who wrote this???!!! – I’d hear on the regular.  Uhm I’m sitting right here.  She once took me to a set visit and said “don’t tell anyone you’re my writer I don’t want people to know that I don’t just make it up.”  She was fired pretty early on.  After a couple of weeks of this – my boss decided it was pointless and finally ended those meetings.  He was protecting me from this nightmare because he respected my work. That was amazing.  But it changed.

I’m not quite sure what happened or when it happened but he had somehow decided that I was no longer as perfect as he had told me I was over and over again.  He started destroying everything I wrote and yelled at me often.  I wasn’t used to this and I’m a very tough girl but the first time someone screams at you in an office its difficult to know what to do.  And so I did nothing.  And that was me telling him – you can do that anytime you want.  And he did. Over and over again.   But one day when I walked my copy into his office I fought back – with my words.  He said he hated my copy and I said “Well I’m pretty sure you just hate everything I write now.  In fact if someone else walked this in here with their name on it – I bet you’d approve it.”  Boom goes the dynamite.  He grabbed my arm and told me the way he wanted it written and then shook my arm and through clenched teeth yelled “now do you get it, now do you get it.”  I don’t remember exactly what I did but I turned and walked out and immediately the bruise started to pop up.  Why didn’t I report him?  I didn’t even think of that? It didn’t even cross my mind that this was wrong.  He went on to be replaced by another man – who never yelled at me. But I was well on the road to being an alcoholic and I chose to move on to a job with a woman who screamed at me on a daily basis.  Again – I allowed it.

I went on to many other jobs and many other people who have screamed at me and I accepted it over and over again.  Maybe I thought my big mouth deserved it for having an opinion?  I’m not sure actually but today reading about Arrested Development and Jessica Walter it actually reminded me of this incident and the others that followed and I just wanted to say two things – I forgive myself for not speaking out at the time – and I urge anyone out there to confront someone who screams at them in the workplace WHEN IT HAPPENS.  Be brave, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s not cool to be harassed in any way – verbally or sexually.  I’m sure since I’ve become a boss I’ve been far from perfect.  Sometimes you scream at someone right after you’ve been screamed at. We used to call it kicking the dog.  You got kicked and then you went and kicked the next dog in line.  It’s shameful really. We are only starting to realize and scratch the surface on what women have been through in the workplace but we really have to teach girls (and boys) that it is not okay to be treated that way.

An Ordinary Love Story

Published May 20, 2018 by WELCOME TO HEIDI

I don’t know if moms and dads are still doing it to their children, but the concept of growing up to be a princess is ingrained in our brains from birth.  Tiaras, twirly dresses, tulle, tea parties, and everything pink we can get our hands on.  We are called Princesses.  We have Princess themed parties.  We put on our glass slippers that came with our Barbie and her lookalike slippers, we crack open our easy bake ovens and we do some cute cooking for our hubbies.   Do I like pink because it’s a sweet lovely color or do I like it because it was presented to me with smiles and hugs every time it was around.  Is pink the hug I need everyday? If you don’t believe how ingrained the princess tale is – turn on the news – it’s now everywhere – and billions watched.

It’s difficult and yet thrilling to live in these current times where women are finally getting to use their voices and actually shift some conversations.  I watched a movie last night where the twenty something girls were all talking about dick, and sex, and fucking, and using their women power to grab a hold of shit and unapologetically run with it.  I realized – I’m still not comfortable with hearing this on my tv.  They were so BRASH about sex.  I realized – even I have a long way to go when it comes to how I feel about how women act.

I was born in 1960 and my rules for being raised were – don’t do drugs or drink, go to college, get a job (not a career), get married , have babies, be pretty,  find a rich jewish husband, don’t get tattoos.  Oh and pipe down a bit will you? Oh and don’t get fat. I am currently 3 out of 10. Don’t try and figure it out – it will hurt your brain.

I have a lot of friends in their twenties and they still share some feelings i had when I was their age.  I know getting married and having babies is still an important concept to them but they are doing it much later in life.  Part of that is choice because they know EVERYTHING will change the minute they marry and have babies.  Career on hold!  And so they wait because a career is important to them – because they too need to make useful contributions to their lives and others.  So they think – maybe thirty something is a better time to get married. They don’t necessarily kibash the idea of the white horse and the prince riding in to save them – because it never leaves your brain that a man will save you.   They also don’t have the time to go on the internet  and find their own horse and ride him around before figuring out if he’s the one.  Some of them have already found their prince – married him – realized he’s the devil – and then dumped him. And they beat themselves up for that.  Oh god I’m already divorced at 30!!!

And then the new Royal Wedding happened and I realized – Meghan Markle – The Duchess of Sussex or “Success” as my friend @kevinfrazier just coined her is going to change things for a lot of thirty something women in particular.  Meghan didn’t just open the door for young women to realize they can be anything – she kicked it in and did it with an extreme amount of elegance and grace.  Meghan is a 36 year old, biracial, once divorced, hollywood starlet. I’m quite certain that checks off zero boxes on that royal checklist.  She has also been a tireless advocate for those who can’t fight for themselves since she was 11 years old.  She has been a global ambassador for world vision and an advocate for the UN, standing up for inequality.

I don’t know if Meghan believed in marrying a prince but she is  now a more powerful voice in our global war against inhumanity and that alone is  how we should celebrate her as a woman.  The wedding, the duke, the jewels, the fairy tale – is the icing on a cake that she’s been baking for a very long time. She went into the world and did her thing and she met her Prince the normal way – on a blind date.

So, let’s all be Meghan’s today.  Let’s focus less on the MAN and more on the HUMAN.  Lets go out there today and stop worrying about things like – who’s going to complete us – because that person is sitting with you right now.  It’s you.   Let’s be the best versions of ourselves we can be and the rest will follow – whatever your personal dreams may be.



Royal Pig Fuck

Published May 16, 2018 by WELCOME TO HEIDI

When the flag is up – the Queen is home.   I used to find this a sweet little tid bit of info but thanks to the ass tearing of 2011 – my love of all things royal – is no more.  In April of 2011  I spent about three weeks across the pond preparing to cover that other royal wedding – the one of William and Kate.  We had so many people and crews going to London – we were going to cover the fuck out of it.  Anything you ever wanted to know about that wedding – we had it.  We were launching an all out media war on London and I got to light the match on the first cannon ball fired.

Before we left town we had tons of war meetings in the conference room.  We wanted to make sure we had every angle covered. Who knows someone who knows someone who knows anyone who knows anything about anyone who may or may not be going to the royal wedding?  Who can we get to cover things for us over there? Who has a British accent? (that was all that was needed we figured) We were convinced Americans were gonna go bananas for this British shit and we were going to pull ourselves out of a ratings slump one royal wedding at a time.  We were going to start super early and get a jump on the other idiots not slobbering all over this elegant crap.

A few of us went ahead of the rest of the team and used local crews to shoot b roll to feed back and get Americans excited about the wedding.  Our first assignment was to ride around London in a double decker bus with giant ET banners on both sides of it.  I wanted to die.  I don’t know much about marketing but a two blondes a brunette and a red head on a bus screaming ROYAL WEDDING WOOOOO!!!!  doesn’t exactly make me think “royal insiders.”  On our third day there we got a big surprise! Hugh Jackman was going to get on our bus and do some stand ups for us.  All we had to do was pull up to his hotel and wait for him.  My boss was apoplectic about this “get” and wanted Hugh to say as much as possible.  If she could have had him voice the whole fucking show she would.  But we didn’t have a teleprompter and that meant he had to memorize everything.  It started raining and we were set up on top of the bus. That’s right – out in the open! Yay!  Then it decided to just switch to freezing cold weather.  We forced him to keep popping champagne bottles and saying dumb shit.  It was awful. But Hugh did something extraordinary – he read everything – he smiled – and he kissed me on both cheeks before saying thank you and floating away forever.  I love that man.  I still haven’t washed those cheeks.

Our next assignment was to go have tea and a hot air balloon ride at Jane Seymour’s house. That sounded fun!!!  It wasn’t.   Some asshole (probably me) decided that Jane should do her show wrap arounds from the hot air balloon.  But you can’t get teleprompter in a hot air balloon so that meant we had to tether the basket to the ground – high enough to look like it was in the sky with me in the basket holding copy pages for jane to read.  Unfortunately Jane was convinced I could be seen and made me  squish down within an inch of my life at the very bottom of the basket.  While I’m quite certain  a balloon ride around the British countryside is lovely – the view up jane seymour’s nostrils wasn’t. She also ordered me to get her french fries at a cafe later on that night.  Jane was kind of a bitch.  Jane was probably pissed she got caught up in our shit show bull shit.  I know I was.  So I forgive her. Ish.

Every day we would get another crazy assignment and every day our heads would hit the pillow just as los angeles would wake us up for the morning call.

Once we got closer to the actual wedding date – what felt like our entire staff descended on London.  We were happy we weren’t alone anymore. Maybe we’d finally get some sleep – ha! Then we all walked through the park over to our spot at Buckingham Palace and we knew – we were not in Kansas anymore.   We were in –  HOLY SHITVILLE.

IT WAS A SEA OF PRESS.  EVERYWHERE.  There was a two story scaffold city on eaach side of the main road into the palace housing press from around the world.  Each twelve foot space had it’s own walls and each box was decorated very specifically to the network.  We were right above Barbara Walters which terrified me because it would be bad if our host crushed Barbara Walters. Every one who’s anyone in the news world was there and within spitting distance of us. It was wild. It was an event to be sure – I just wasn’t sure why?  None of us were going to the wedding.  We weren’t going to see anything.  We weren’t getting interviews.  The only thing we were part of – was us.  But there we all were – waiting for the wedding and then the shot where they come out on the balcony and wave.  All this for a fucking wave.  It was nuts. It was banana nuts.  It was fucking banana nuts.

We were all working our asses off on no sleep and many many meetings.  We had a suite in the hotel for morning and evening meetings and we had a massive tent set up with monitors and computers out in the middle of the park where we could watch our own show back in the states.  We had this thing wired.  London was set up for press.  God knows how much money we spent but it was in the millions for sure.  We spared no expense getting nothing better than everyone else.  We could have stolen the BBC feed and re aired it and saved a fuck ton of money and no one would have cared.

I’ll never forget this one shot we just had to have.  There was this balcony somewhere in London that looked just like the Buckingham Palace balcony the couple was going to wave from. We decided it had to be in the show that day which meant it had to be shot that second.  So we all stopped what we were doing – and raced over there with talent and crew.  The talent raced up the steps and burst out onto the balcony just as the cameras rolled and the talent perfectly shouted their copy.  And cut!  The cameraman looked at me and quietly said – “I wasn’t rolling.” What. The. Actual. Fuck.  So I told him to just be quiet.  I told my boss that I wanted to do it again just in case.  She screamed at me for ten minutes solid and I thought that was the night I would get sent home but we did it again and got the shot and that cameraman got to live another day. It was in the show for about 1 second.

Every day we would march into that park and think up crazy new ways to cover a wedding no one had any access to.  I’m not sure I ever worked that hard. It should have been fun and exhilarating but it was bloody awful.  Today I watch the news and see that they are doing it all over again .  This time they have an American princess and they are not sparing a second trying to uncover every awful little detail they can about this poor girl.  All I know is – you HAVE to be madly in love or bat shit crazy to marry into the royal family because I’ve seen the press from the inside and we are not a pretty bunch.  Waking up to that kind of scruitny every day?  That’s love.  It’s also something an actress knows how to do better than anyone.

I never went back to that job after the wedding.  I remember we went out for dinner the night after it happened to Hakasaan and ate a billion dollars worth of food and charged it to the company.  It wasn’t enough.  But it was a start.




She Bangs

Published May 4, 2018 by WELCOME TO HEIDI

I don’t know about Samson’s strength coming from his hair but I can one-hundo-p guarantee you that it’s where a woman’s strength most definitely lies. Please excuse my grand generalizations – obviously not all women – maybe it’s just me – but who cares – it’s my brain thats exploding so just go with me.  So – back to hair – and women – and power.  A woman’s hair is extremely important.  It can make or break your day.  And if you were born with unchangeable shit hair – it can break your heart – forever.  Thank god for weaves and wigs and the magic that can be glued and taped and stapled to your head these days.  Staples are okay right?

If a girl is having a good hair day – she can and will rule the world.  Good hair day = super hero.  Bad hair day = anti depressants.  It’s probably why Hilary didn’t get elected.  She didn’t really have great hair.   I mean – it’s fine but it doesn’t have pizazz.  You know who’s hair does have pizazz?  Lets say it together – Donald Trump. It’s not good hair – but it’s a conversation starter for sure.  And that’s what women want.  When it comes to how you look as a woman – we all start in the same place – whatever supermodel is gracing whatever cover.  And then we compare.  So – lets say I just looked at Cindy Crawford.  Well – I don’t have her body.  I should have started working out at 20 and not 50.  I don’t have long legs… fuck.  I could go down the list of things that don’t make me Cindy Crawford but I could have one thing she has – her hair!!!  So that’s kinda how it works.  You  make your way down an imaginary made up list of things a beautiful woman is supposed to be and you check off the things you’re not and then you settle on making what you can make – perfect.  Your whole fucking life. Gosh it is so fun being a girl I can’t begin to tell you!!

So hair.  All I want is long – even length – (my) naturally curly – hair.  It’s what I want.  I’ve never had it…. at once… all one length.  It’s very specific.  And it’s what I may not be able to get back – at my age.  It’s just the truth.  And it’s sad.  Because I probably did most of the damage that won’t let it come back. I don’t know about other women but I’ve spent a fortune trying to fix my jew curls and now I want them to come home to momma.  They must be super pissed at me though.  Coloring and crimping and chemicalling and blah blah blahing.  The amount of money I’ve spent cutting and frying and ironing and whatevering.  The tools I have to straighten and then curl.  Yep, I blow out my curls, then straighten them, then re-curl them.  That’s right – I’m insane.

I look at Shiri Appleby’s hair and think – she’s the luckiest girl alive.  Same with Emmy Rossum.  I think I cried watching her rediscover her jew curls.  But it’s my friends Jonna and Daniella – whose hair I love the most.  Long – thick – perfect hair.  Seriously they should both be hair models.  Actually maybe they are? Clearly I should be a better friend.  Whenever they say they want to cut their hair – I scream.   I would kill to have their hair.  I may kill them and steal their hair.  That’s hair I’ll never have because I wasn’t born with it.  Wabam!  And there in lies the magical circle of women and their hair.  (fine… some women)   Should I cut it? Maybe some highlights? Oooo lowlights.  I’m gonna perm it.  Maybe just shave one side?  What about bangs?  Bangs in fact – are the shortcut for when you’re not brave enough to do some freaky shit to your hair – which is 99 percent of most women so we just cut bangs.  Five days after we cut them – we fucking hate them.  Maybe 6 days.  But we will keep doing it over and over.  Grow them out. Cut them. Grow them out. Cut them.  Again – it is our joy of being women.  Because if our hair is perfect – we are perfect.   The end.

I actually have so much more to say about me and my hair but I have to go apply one of three things I’m doing to make it grow longer and thicker and faster.  I’ll tell you men what the secret is when I make sure it works.