Category: Uncategorized

Intimate Audrey

Hello, hello!

I hope everybody had a lovely time over the holidays, and I’d like to wish you a belated happy new year! I’ve been anticipating the ’20s for a while now, and I’m not-so-secretly hoping that the fashion and the music in this next decade take some cues from the original Roaring ’20s. But we can leave behind a Great Depression and Prohibition! In fact, speaking of legalizing things (and considering I spent my New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam!), I’m really hoping the ’20s are also a decade in which cannabis can be legalized around the world. It’s far more useful, and less harmful, than alcohol, and it’s absolutely medicinal – and essential even, to some people. I hope governments can make a rational decision and make it legal again. Oh there are so many areas in which I hope we make some leaps and bounds towards a better world where we all have more freedom… we’ve come pretty far since the 1920’s but still have so far to go. Anyway… back to Audrey!

I spent my holidays in the Netherlands, with my boyfriend and his family, near Arnhem. Yes, I now officially have a boyfriend! And, like many important people in my life, I can, in a way, thank Audrey for introducing us. But we’ll save that story for another time!

Being so close to Amsterdam, and knowing about the Intimate Audrey exhibit, I decided to go see it as part of my research. The exhibit was created by her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer, and was previously on display in Brussels. I hadn’t managed to include that as a stop in my summer travels, but now that it was in Holland, and I was spending a lot of time in Holland, well… how could I not?

Mittens are the bee’s knees!

We drove up to Amsterdam on a Saturday and parked the car in our secret “cheap” spot (discovered on New Year’s Eve), and then made the half hour walk over to the Beurs van Berlage. We first had a nice hot coffee and an apple crumble in the adjacent café (mmmmmmm!) before heading into the exhibit.

About two hours later, we emerged. The time definitely flew by! I can’t even remember how many rooms and walls were covered with photos of Audrey. I always tell myself I should take notes or make better mental notes, but no. I’m usually so in the moment that it just doesn’t happen. But I can tell you that it started with a small room with pictures of her parents’ families. Or at least the Van Heemstras. I could only pick out the photos with her mother as a grown woman, or Audrey as a small girl. I didn’t recognize anybody else, and there were no explanations to help us out. It’s always fascinating to look at photos from over a century ago, but I would have loved to know more about the people we were looking at. But as the girl at the reception/gift shop desk told us as we entered, it was more of an “experience” than a record of her life.

There were photos from Audrey’s childhood, and some sweet pictures of her with her brother, Ian, probably in her early 20’s. There were pictures from her wedding to Mel Ferrer, and candid photos with some of her Hollywood friends. Her wedding dress was there, and next to it, a small case with her two gold wedding rings. I was most excited about these, as I’ve designed a recreation ring with a 3D printing company (you can check that out here!). Finally! In person! The rings appeared slightly wider than the one I designed, but otherwise, were identical. You could tell that she favoured the white gold ring (so would I – I’ve had this thing for white gold since I discovered it as a teen!), as the facets were more worn than the ones on the yellow gold ring. Nearby was a cloth napkin with their wedding dinner menu on it, and some old sayings written in German that we tried to translate but mostly failed to understand.

We were not allowed to take pictures of any of the photos (and I assume the rings) in the exhibit, though I sure would have liked to! It was lovely to be able to see some ‘new’ photos of Audrey. Especially candid, off-set pictures. Many of her childhood drawings were also on display, as well as a whole set of notes for a speech she made for UNICEF. It was really a delight to be able to see all of these things.

I don’t have a license for this!

For those visitors who are familiar Audrey’s life, however, one will immediately be aware of a glaringly obvious omission from the timeline. There was a gaping hole between the end of her marriage to Mel Ferrer, and her UNICEF years. Unless I missed something, there wasn’t even one mention of her marriage to Andrea Dotti, the birth of her son, Luca Dotti, her life in Rome, her second divorce, or her relationship with Robert Wolders.

I don’t even really know what to say about this, as I don’t know the rational behind it. The exhibit was put on by her first son, Sean, and I would think if he only wanted to include pictures and memories from his own life with Audrey, that could perhaps be a logical theme for a gallery. “My life with Audrey,” or something. But it included everything from her childhood to her death – except basically the entire 1970s. There is no logical explanation offered. One could walk away thinking she had had only one husband in her life, and only one son, so I find it terribly misleading. Three very important people to her went unmentioned and unpictured in this exhibit. It doesn’t sit well with me, nor with several other fans I know who have paid a visit. And of course, me being me… I may be the only one to say something about it publicly. Why do I do this? I don’t know. I’m a very open and honest person. I don’t really like lying by omission, and if I didn’t say something about it, I would not be telling the whole truth about my experience. I just can’t not say something, when it’s the one thing that gnawed at me from the moment I noticed it.

Anything I could say about it would be pure speculation and assumptions, though. I was not disappointed, per se, in the exhibit. I loved to see all of the photos, and her rings, and to watch some brief interviews with her friends such as Doris Brynner and Gregory Peck. I loved it. I always love seeing and learning more about Audrey. But I am disappointed in the decision to omit people who were important to her. It could not have been accidental.

The way certain things were labeled, as “my” wedding dress, “my” such-and-such… to create the feeling that Audrey was sharing her photo albums and treasured items with us, is overshadowed by this censorship. She would never have excluded Andrea, Luca, or Robert, in the memory book of her life. If the idea was to make it seem like Audrey was the guide to this trip down memory lane, any personal rivalries should have been put aside to let Audrey speak. Someone should have asked themselves, “What Would Audrey Do?” (I always wish that question had a better abbreviation than WWAD!)

It was a beautiful exhibit and I enjoyed it… but the way it was deliberately curated to erase people from Audrey’s life without explanation to visitors left me wondering what Audrey would have to say about it all. Because of anybody, her opinion is the one that matters most. I can only imagine her deep sighs.

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.
Audrey Hepburn

The Amsterdam exhibit ended at the end of January, and I apologize for not writing about it sooner, but I’ve been busy with a lot of things in my personal life. There is a second reason as well, though.

Because there is a second Intimate Audrey exhibit running at the exact same time, in La Spezia, Italy at the Fondazione Carispezia.

At first, I thought I had read that the exhibit was moving to Italy after Amsterdam. But then I realized this was not the case. And then I got very curious, because I heard that her wedding dress and rings were on display there as well. And of course that couldn’t be possible. One or the other would have to be fakes.

So this past weekend, I made the 4 hour drive to La Spezia with my boyfriend to investigate for you. I know not everybody has the opportunity to do this, and I felt that if I could make it happen, I should. And here is what I found…

The wedding dress and rings on display in Italy were definitely replicas. Nowhere nearby was any evident description clarifying this. A close look at the rings confirms that they are brand new, with no wear, and most likely not even made of gold. At this point I regretted not getting a picture of the rings in Brussels but it was absolutely obvious that these were fakes and had never been worn. If I’m able to update this with comparison photos, I will. I was sent one of the wedding dresses, but I would love to show the rings as well.

The original on the left, the replica on the right.

Neither of the Vespas on display in either location are the original Vespa used in the movie Roman Holiday, if you’re wondering. The original was auctioned off in 2017 for $200,000.

There were definitely some authentic items there, such as two pairs of worn ballet flats, and a pair of tennis shoes she wore for her UNICEF work. There were notes she made in Italian for a UNICEF speech, and a few more of her drawings (although I didn’t pay close enough attention to be able to tell if they were different from the ones in Holland – originals or copies).

The Italian exhibit was maybe half the size of the Amsterdam exhibit, but once again skipped over the 1970s. I did see one photo with Robert Wolders in it, so I’m assuming that same photo may have been in the Amsterdam exhibit as well, and I missed it. Again though, no mention at all of her second husband or child.

Again, no photos were permitted, and I’ve been told it was to ‘protect the copyrights of the photographers,’ but the more I think on that, the more it doesn’t really make sense to me. I’ve been to other photography exhibits were there were no such restrictions on photographing anything. I’m no lawyer, and I know it’s a complicated subject, but…. In my understanding, even if somebody took a picture of a picture, to be able to use that in a commercial capacity, they would have to reach out to the copyright holder of that photo. I don’t believe, just based on what I know, that sharing a picture of another picture is a copyright infringement if there is no commercial intent. Many of the photos were filmed for the promotional videos of the exhibits, which can be found on YouTube. How that isn’t violating copyright and how a picture or video I may take and share is, is beyond my realm of expertise. I also wonder if all of the photographers or copyright holders of all the photos in the entire exhibit gave their permission for the photos to be used. It would have been an enormously large task to track them all down. But perhaps the rules of exhibiting photography are different. I have been unable to sort out the rules of exhibiting other people’s photography. I would assume they took all the necessary steps. If anybody can enlighten me on how displaying other people’s photographs works, I’d love to know, because it’s really not clear to me.

To wrap it all up, I’ll leave you with this. If the original exhibit with her authentic wedding dress and rings is on display again somewhere, I do think it’s worth a visit. There are many many ‘new’ photographs to enjoy. Like I said, we spent a whole two hours in there! The exhibit in La Spezia is worth checking out if you’re in the area, as it is free entrance, but it’s much smaller than the other exhibit, we were in and out in about a half an hour.

For each of them, however, I personally felt extremely awkward walking through and realizing that the curator seemed to be making an effort to erase Audrey’s second husband and son from her life, as if I’d walked into a room and into the middle of a family feud. I had this uneasy feeling that I was supporting something she would not have approved of.

I hate that all recent Audrey events – the Christie’s auction, this exhibit – leave me with mixed emotions. Excitement and curiosity, but also the feeling that it’s not what Audrey would have wanted. I can only hope that things will get better.

So that’s my mixed review of the Intimate Audrey exhibit(s). Did you go? What did you think?

There’s No Place Like Rome

I haven’t been able to write timely blog posts here while traveling, but I’m catching up! My month in Rome ended earlier in September, and the last few days were a flurry of trying to get my important Roman Holiday photoshoots done! I had arranged before my trip to do a photoshoot with a photographer who, like everybody else, was on vacation for most of the month, making him promise that we would work together after he returned on the 28th (because I was leaving on September 2!). A week before he was due to return, I started asking about scheduling, only to find out he hadn’t even booked his return ticket! After days of no replies, I finally rushed to find somebody to help me. I ended up working with three different photographers (and a helpful friend for one last trip to Galleria Colonna) over the last few days of my stay. It was exhausting but totally fulfilling – especially the fact that I managed to do it all without wrinkling my dress! That’s an accomplishment.

Watch out, he bites!

I’m very happy with my photos and now working on getting them edited and organized to start posting on Instagram. I finally finished my video for the month as well! I hope all of this dedication and work is impressive to somebody in the producers office of the Audrey series!!

I hope to visit Rome again sometime soon, perhaps during a month where not everybody is on vacation. There were several people I wanted to see and places I wanted to go, but so many people were out of town and so many businesses closed down that I was left a little disappointed. It was also extremely hot and humid – I’ve never taken so many showers in my life! There was more than one day when I would do too much walking and get completely dehydrated, having to stay in the next day. The routine began to be something like ‘one day out, one day in’! But it was a lovely month getting to know the city a bit better, and I look forward to coming back again.

While I’m writing, I want to mention a NEW Audrey book about to be released. This one is extra special because… I’m in it! I can’t believe I’m going to forever be on the bookshelves of bookshops around the world, tucked inside a book about Audrey Hepburn. Is this my 15 minutes of fame? It’s called Always Audrey, and it was put together by my friend Terence Pepper, in London. It will be available October 1 in the UK, and October 23 in the US. It’s much more expensive in the US, so if you are able to order in Europe, do so!

To order in the UK, click here.

To order in the US, click here.

Now please sit back and enjoy a half an hour in the city of Rome, following in Audrey’s footsteps!

A Roman Holiday

So I’m nearly halfway through my Roman holiday and still so much to do! I now understand why the Romans leave the city in August. The heat is almost unbearable. As soon as I step outside, I’m covered in sweat. It’s like walking around in a sauna. I’ve been limiting my time in the sun and trying to do what I can after dark, but of course some things must be seen during the day!

One thing that can only be seen on Saturday mornings is the Palazzo Colonna. And you really should see it. It’s magnificent, and filled with artwork dating back hundreds of years.

I spent my last Saturday morning there, and spent much of my time just chatting with the security guards and tour guides. They all of course were familiar with Roman Holiday, it being one of only two films ever shot there. One of them was kind enough to take several photos of me so I could share them with you.

Palazzo Colonna is the gorgeous gallery you’ll see in the very last scene in the film. Seeing it in colour was amazing. I may even go back again before I leave Rome.

One of the guards wanted to play the Gregory Peck role, so we had a little fun.

I’ve been taking video whenever I go out, to put together at the end of the month into another video for you. I’m also planning on at least one photoshoot, of course! I’m glad I have a month here, because there’s a lot to explore (and I spend every other day in front of the fan at home!!).

I’m packing up now for a quick trip up to Siena to meet a friend and experience the excitement of the Palio race, but I will continue on with my Roman holiday on Saturday…!

Audrey’s London

So if you read my previous post, you know that I’m traveling around Europe this summer and spending time in the cities where Audrey lived and worked and spent long periods of time. I just spent one month in London, where I took some ballet classes (at Pineapple Dance Studios, and I highly recommend it!) and wandered around getting to know the city a bit better. I took the routes I figured Audrey would have taken between her home(s) and the theatres she worked at while living there. And of course… I made a video. 🙂

I apologize for some of the bad audio, I didn’t realize it wasn’t picking up my voice, and I will do better on my future tour videos! I hope you enjoy it anyway, and if you have any other locations in those remaining 3 cities that you think I should cover, please let me know! I am currently in Rome. 🙂

On Audrey’s Trail

After moving back to France from Los Angeles, I decided I would take the summer to follow in Audrey’s footsteps, before signing a lease somewhere. I’ve been to many of these places before, but never for more than a couple of days. I’d also always wanted to take some extended stays in certain countries and I thought this might be a good chance to do that! I love to really settle in and get to know a place, make friends, feel at home… when I get citizenship, I want to do something like spend a year in Spain, and a year in Italy, etc….! Oh the things you can do when you are location-independent (and dual-citizen, fingers-crossed)!

It’s been a bit of a challenge pulling it all together over the past few months, and I’m praying things go a little more smoothly for the rest of the summer, but so far I’ve made it to London, where I will be spending the rest of July. I have a new (to me) car which I drove from France to England a couple of days ago and will pack up and continue on with from here at the end of the month. After London, I will make my way down to Rome (I have to decide on where to stop for a rest, because the drive is very long!). After a month in Rome, I will head north again and stay in Tolochenaz for about a week (with a quick day trip up to Oberhausen, Switzerland, where my ancestors were from), before going up to Arnhem for about 10 days. I would have gone simply from North to South, but the Dutch Girl book release is in September along with an unveiling of a new statue, so I thought I would definitely meet some Audrey fans there! I wish I could stay longer in all of these places, really, but I must get back to France in order to deal with some other things, and I’m also finding the traveling to be more expensive than I had anticipated! At least I will get to know her homes a little bit better, and see if I would like to spend more time in any of those places in the future.

Our most adorable Audrey with her beau, Marcel Le Bon
(from @rareaudreyhepburn).

So there’s the rough plan! Lots of driving, and lots of exploring. I’ve been in London for a few days, and have mostly been dealing with some issues surrounding parking, the flat, some things I had shipped to myself here, and just setting myself up a bit. But today I wrote down the ballet classes I want to attend while I’m here, at two different studios, and will make sure to go take some classes. I’m mapping out the routes Audrey might have walked between her home, dance school, and the theatres she worked at. I’ll be strolling Hyde park as she did (on Sundays, according to one brief blurb I read). I wish I was able to stay for a whole year and maybe join a theatre production (can I? I don’t even know if I can), or go to drama school… perhaps next year. If I can get a flat for half of what I’m paying this time! ha! But for now, I’ll get to know her city, her neighbourhoods… hopefully I’ll make some friends and have a wonderful experience, and who knows, maybe I’ll leave here with a bit of an English accent if I’m lucky! 😀

My first Pimm’s.

Truly Grateful and Terribly Happy

So before I packed up everything – including Oscar! – to be shipped to France, I made absolutely sure to make a little video for you. I’m a bit of a perfectionist (“A BIT?!” I can hear my parents saying) but I know this is a process, and I want to share it with you. This won’t be the last time I record this speech, because I want to work on everything until I’m completely satisfied. I have a handful of interviews and film scenes I’m working on, in English, French, and Dutch, and I will be posting videos as soon as I’m confident enough to share my progress with them. I will most likely do each of them two or three times, asking for feedback and suggestions along the way. I’m not working with any wonderfully talented directors or Audrey specialists on these things, so I rely on myself and the astute observations of others to refine my impressions.

Anyway, without further ado…

Working Quietly in the Background

Recreating a photo of Audrey Hepburn by Douglas Kirkland
My version of Douglas Kirkland’s portrait.

Hello out there! I know I’ve been a bit quiet since what, February? Well, I’ve been juggling life and putting in time to practice Audrey’s manner of speaking and soon I’ll share the progress with you. I’m a little nervous about posting any attempts before I’m confident with it, but on the other hand, some outsider’s observations could be quite helpful. I’ve also been working on ballet, since it was such a large part of her life. I’m trying to figure out a way to practice at home, because once I return to France and travel around Europe over the summer, it might be difficult to join classes. And I’m working on her Secret People routine as a bit of an Audrey-specific challenge, but I can’t safely work in pointe shoes at home! If anybody knows how to pointe-proof a floor, please let me know! I don’t want to injury myself or damage a floor.

Tomorrow is Audrey’s birthday, by the way! As if you didn’t know. 🙂 I do so wish we were able to send her our birthday love. I’m very grateful we had her for as long as we did. We don’t know how close we were to not ever having known her! I’ve recently read Dutch Girl, by Robert Matzen, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should. I have to say, it’s my new favourite book about Audrey. Every other book covers the years after the war, but this one is unique. You can buy it on Amazon now, at least in the US:

I posted a brief video update on YouTube yesterday. I decided to get tar filters for the herbal cigarettes (which I’m very slow to smoke, mainly because hanging out outside and listening to the freeway isn’t my favourite thing to do, and if I smoke indoors, well…. I don’t know what’s in them, but they stink!).

Hopefully my next update will be fairly soon. I do have a video I want to make before I leave for France, so fingers crossed I get that done for you!

I’d like to say thank you…

The Oscars have come and gone, leaving us all with petticoats on our floors, bobbypins stuck in our hair, and lipstick on our pillows! OK, maybe not all of us. I’m probably one of the few to wear a petticoat these days! Or even to put my hair up. My goodness, how casual the world is getting!

I thought I would check in, since I haven’t written recently. I was really on a roll there for a few weeks! But this project is a pretty drawn-out one. There’s no script and they aren’t casting for a long while, so it’s just me doing my homework for now. Last week I completely lost my voice, so I couldn’t work on accents or French or Dutch or anything! But I’m better now, just in time to attend some Oscar parties…

I decided to wear the dress I based on Audrey’s Oscar dress, under a pretty teal blue bolero. The viewing party I got to attend was held at the old Harry Warner estate in Beverly Hills. I SOOOO wanted to see the front of it, and the inside of it, but we were restricted to the back yard, and had dinner and watched the Oscars in a large tent. The pasta was fabulous… I don’t know what was in that sauce… it was sort of a smoky flavour… I loved it!

I missed probably half of the Oscars because I was in conversation, or the screen was blocked, and we had to leave a bit early for this other Oscars after-party I was committed to, but all in all it was a good evening!

And now I thought I’d make my own little thank you speech here! I’m just so grateful for everyone who has believed in me, who continues to believe in me and offers their support and assistance in reaching my goals, especially this one. The film industry is a tough one to break into, and to be in, and a person can definitely get discouraged when all you hear is no, no, no. The week I learned about this Audrey project, I was taking time for myself to decide if I would make the decision to quit pursuing acting for good. I was really re-evaluating my life and gathering courage to move in another direction. And then one sleepless night in London, around 3AM I believe, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw the Variety article. It was as if the universe were saying ‘no, don’t quit yet. Here is the project you’ve been waiting for, here is the thing that will re-light that fire, that passion for acting that got lost along the way. Give everything you’ve got, one more time, and if it’s not enough, then you are free to stop. And if it is enough, then you’ve finally achieved what you came to L.A. to achieve.’ And it really means a lot to me to have you, my lovely reader, cheering me on. Because I may have dreams and goals but I’m not the most self-confident person. And I can’t do this alone. Every word of encouragement and every kind gesture matters and makes a difference, and if in a year from now I can be thanking you again for getting me into my dream role, you have no idea how happy I will be!

Dutch Girl

There’s one thing I’ve never been much good at, and that’s critiquing artistic works, writing reports on anything, analyzing thing, or in general doing any of those things you’d get graded on in school. Which is probably the main reason I ended up skipping college and heading straight to work in Los Angeles.

However, I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Dutch Girl, a book on Audrey Hepburn’s years in Holland during World War 2 by Robert Matzen (Hi, Robert!!!), and of course I have to say something about it here!

“When the elephants fight, the grass suffers…”

In general, I’m not a fan of books or films about war. However, following one person’s experiences during a time of conflict does capture my attention. I suppose it’s that connection you can more easily make with one human, versus trying to empathize with thousands of general experiences, or be interested in humans killing other humans en mass. The details make it relatable, and you’re rooting for that person to make it through. You’re learning about a real human experience, and not just being bombarded with names and dates and battles and death. I won’t be able to repeat back any names of generals or dates of battles, but I will remember what the people of Velp and Arnhem and so many other cities suffered when I walk their streets later this year… I will appreciate what these people had to go through, as innocent victims of war. We are all very lucky that Audrey made it through.

It was interesting to read in more detail what those years were like for young Audrey. It’s difficult to imagine having to live through these things, having your life disrupted and affected so much. Intellectually, I know that this is still happening to so many around the world. It’s easy to forget, when you’re in the middle of living your own pretty safe and standard life. It was heartbreaking to read about her uncles’ capture and killing. One of them kept a journal during his captivity, parts of which are shared in the book. He and his wife were so brave and strong… I doubt I would have been as courageous under the same circumstances. I would want to be. But I know myself and I would probably be the angry defiant prisoner! Who really knows… I hope never to find out.

This is definitely a book I’m going to be keeping on my shelf. Most other biographies are pretty similar in their content, but this one fills in so many years that are normally just glossed over. Years that made her who she was. I can absolutely recommend reading Dutch Girl. You can preorder it on Amazon and get it in April. You know you want to! 😉

Speaking of Dutch, I’ve started taking Dutch lessons from a teacher on iTalki.com, which is also where I found my French teacher. And once I get the hang of Dutch (hahahaha… oh my goodness it’s taken me ages for French, let’s see how this goes), I’m going to add in a little Italian before I reach Italy. I know I’m not going to reach any kind of fluency in the next year, I would be happy getting to A1 level. I’ve always wanted to be multilingual, but haven’t put enough effort into it. Thanks to Audrey though, I’m getting a little push off on the languages and dancing. Fortunately, I do have at least two Dutch friends I can practice a little with before I get to Holland. And three Dutch relatives that I haven’t seen in years but I’m sure they would be happy to hear from me!

I can’t wait to look back on 2019 and see all the new things I’ve learned, all the new people I’ve met, all the new adventures I’ve had….

Dance, Ballerina, Dance

Dancing was Audrey’s obsession from the minute she discovered it as a child. She didn’t have great aspirations to be an actress. No, she wanted to be a dancer and a choreographer. Funny the directions that life takes us.

My parents didn’t expose me to much as a child, nor did the school I attended. But in 5th or 6th grade I had a friend who was a ballerina, and when I saw her dance, I desperately wanted to do that too. It wasn’t just ballet. At her house we would watch music videos (I remember watching Thriller for the first time, there on her floor) and I wanted to do what they did. I wanted ballet, and jazz, and modern dance – whatever it was called, I wanted to do that. I looked up dance classes in the Yellow Pages and settled on one I was interested in. I don’t remember if I called them up or not (I was and always have been extremely anxious about making and receiving phone calls) but my goal was to get into dance class. I even kept a journal documenting everything I did to try to get my parents to let me take classes. Sadly…. they never agreed to it and I never took classes. I let my friend take the spotlight when we would choreograph something for the talent show, and I stood aside wishing I could dance, too.

Cut to my early 20’s. I was working hard when I first arrived in L.A. Night and day, weekends, everything. I was background on so many shows and films that I couldn’t even name them all for you (but I did keep a journal of each one, with time worked and amount paid – to make sure they paid me, and so that I could tell my parents where to look for me on TV!). After my stand-in gig on Buffy, I took a break and went on unemployment. It was at that time I began taking ballet classes, three times a week, at the Westside School of Ballet. Part of my inspiration at that time was actually Audrey. I had seen the 2000 TV biopic about her life and thought, she deserves better. So I started writing something of my own. I spent a LOT of time on it, and decided that if I wanted to play Audrey myself, I would have to start those dance classes. So I did. At some point I even joined the adult pointe class (where my teacher would make fun of my “skinny fat” and I would try hard to suck it in). I continued there off and on for several years, and then tried out a couple schools in Paris, when I moved there. Life got in the way and I stopped for a long time, until I moved to Pasadena recently, and found a place nearby and decided to start it up again. I thought I would like to once again join the pointe class, but felt I had to build up strength and re-learn a lot. My attendance was inconsistent, but with my renewed determination to play Audrey, the real possibility of this dream coming true… I’ve recommitted. And yesterday, for the first time in about a decade – I put those pointe shoes back on.

It wasn’t bad! I had to stuff some extra tissues in there at one point, and definitely was worn out around the 50 minute point, but I survived and did almost all of the exercises. I decided when I came home to order some new toe protectors, however, since mine were old and sticking together. So I hopped onto Amazon (and by the way, if you go to smile.amazon.com you can choose a charity that your purchases can benefit. I contribute to the Malala Fund, personally) and ordered some more. Then decided to get even more serious and ordered this thing:

My new torture device.

And a stretching strap, to help me with those splits (which I still can’t do). It’s unlikely that I would get to the level of skill Audrey had by the time she was dancing in London revues, but I’m going to work as hard as I can. I’ve even started looking up dance classes across Europe, for the road trip I might be taking over the summer. I’m pleasantly surprised to find that classes are cheaper practically EVERYwhere – why on earth am I in L.A.?! I struggled to find a class costing less than $20 here, the one I’m in now is $16 (with discounts if you buy a pass for 5 or 10 classes). It adds up.

Anyway! I’ll be headed to the barre 2-3 times a week (and in between, I’ve got my ballroom dancing, salsa, and belly dancing, because I love ALL dance!!!) and now I’ll be dancing en pointe. It’s about time. It’s amazing how wonderful dancing makes me feel. I think when you neglect an activity you love for long enough, you forget how fulfilling it is. I actually feel the same about acting, because I go so long in between actual roles with character development and lines that I think to myself, “why am I pursuing this? The pursuing is miserable, I’m not happy.” And then when I get to act, I’m reminded of what it is I’m pursuing. Anyway, that’s another conversation all together! I just wanted to share my dance accomplishment today. I’m very proud to have survived my first pointe class in ages. The pain I’m feeling today makes me very, very happy.