The Jeff Goldstein Blog

Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

Life is hard…

In Broadway Usher's Life, Inspirational, Screenwriter's Life on August 20, 2011 at 4:29 am
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… So here are a few tips to make you smile:
It’s late at night and you’re channel surfing, you come to that film you have seen more than a dozen times, but you like it so much it makes you smile… so, watch it! (mine was “The Unsinkable Molly Brown“)

Whether you’re on a diet or not ( and for me it seems always), and you pass an ice cream or gelato place and the flavor showcased is your favorite flavor, you know the one that makes you smile… so, have a scoop! (mine is cassetta gelato from GROM here in New York City)

You’ve been dying to see that film that’s been playing in the theaters, but you just don’t have the time. You know the film, you think about it and it makes you smile… so, make the time and go see it! (mine was “Midnight in Paris“)

A family member or friend has been wanting to spend time with you and you do enjoy their company, in fact they make you smile… so, spend time with them. (mine was/is Joni)

What I’m getting at is that in today’s life… where things can be so hard either emotionally, financially, personally, or health wise… we all need to do things that make us smile and add more joy to our sometimes difficult existence.

Give to yourself… be selfish… make the time or decision, but treat yourself special… because you are.



Really check out your goals, and if you don’t have any….

In Actor's Life, Broadway Usher's Life, Inspirational, Screenwriter's Life on June 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Recently I attended a very large convention for screenwriters and the industry folks who interact with them. What surprised me more than anything was the lack of goals screenwriters had… or did not. The ONLY thing on their minds was the sale of the screenplay they held in their hands. But what happens after that, whether the screenplay sells or not, what’s beyond that?

A while ago I started a short term “bucket list”. I wrote down everything I wanted to complete in a 5-10 year period. Realistically, not dreams that may or may not happen, but things I know for certain I can accomplish. There must be a psychological impact with having written them down and looking at them every time I sit at my computer (the sheet is taped to the wall by my computer screen).

Now while you read this you may think, “oh yeah another guy with this “write it down” philosophy”. Well let me tell you… look at all the successful people around you. I will bet many, many of them wrote down lists, kept lists, looked at lists… every day, every moment… you get the drift.

The most exciting thing in life (other than my mother’s cooking) is to cross off each item as you achieve them. You must write them down!!! Otherwise they stay dreams in your mind. Goals that you will never reach.

Try it for one week. Write down a weekly goal, that you know is within reach, that you’ve wanted to achieve. Whether it’s as small as painting the wall in your living room, starting a diet, going back to school… or as large as moving to another state, or getting married.

You need to navigate your way through life not dreaming about the things that one day may happen, but taking action on the things you can make happen right now. I’m telling you… writing them down and looking at them every day makes a difference.

Repeat after me… I love my life.
Cheers from New York City!

Do something different…

In Actor's Life, Broadway Usher's Life, Inspirational, Rants & Raves, Screenwriter's Life on May 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Same schedule, maybe not boring, but same thing… over and over and over.

Do something different., anything to break the mundane, systematic process of your daily routine.

I eat new foods, walk down new streets, say new phrases, see a film I normally would not have… do something I’ve always wanted to do.

As life passes you, become a bit selfish and give to yourself. As I age life and my views of it has surely changed, so why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I enjoy more? Why shouldn’t I give to myself? You should!

Read that book that is collecting dust,  or start a bucket list,… not a “before I die I want to do…”, but a “by the end of the year I want to have done…” Make a list of things you would like to do by year’s end. I’ll help you get started.

Jeff’s “By the end of 2011 I want to have…”list: 1) Finished another screenplay, 2) Learned how to juggle, 3) Continue learning how to speak French on my own ( great free site for learning a different language) 4) Eaten in a Thai restaurant, explore new ways to support myself until my first screenplay sales.

There you go, make the list, put it up by your bed, or your desk, or on the fridge… where ever it will mean the most to you, and start to live your life for you.
From New York City (on an overcast Sunday morning)

“I’m heading to… um.. wait a sec, I think I know where I’m going…”

In Actor's Life, Broadway Shows, Broadway Usher's Life, Inspirational, Screenwriter's Life on March 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm

This past week I saw two shows on Broadway:   WONDERLAND, a new Frank Wildhorn musical, a modern retelling of ALICE IN WONDERLAND; and CATCH ME IF YOU CAN based on the film with Leo DiCaprio and brought together by the creative team from HAIRSPRAY. Both shows had their lead on a journey. In WONDERLAND, Alice, separated from her husband had to find her way out and back to her daughter. In CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, Frank Abagnale Jr. the 17-year-old con artist and forger was looking for a secure family life as well as being on a constant run from the FBI agent vowed to catch him, Carl Hanratty (I must add a top-notch performance by Norbert Leo Butz exploding in a musical number titled “Don’t Break the rules”).

What I’m getting at here is we are all on a journey, and only a small percentage of us actually know what that journey is. We all have general journeys of working, paying our bills, and securing a retirement life for our golden years… but speaking in detail… what is your journey?

I can help by adding… my journey, is first to grow as a person.  Hey Jeff! That’s to general, it belongs in the paragraph above.” OK, I’ll accept that, moving on… my journey is to be as best a screenwriter I can be and sell a screenplay or two or more. But wait! I have another journey, to be a popular blog writer. I also want to write a book, I’m also open to acting again, Wait I also am exploring a detox cleanse to help me shed a few pounds.

What’s happening here is we all have MANY journeys. Some intertwine, some not. But sit back, and think, think about the journeys you are on… where you are headed, what you are involved in. Sometimes just thinking about something and reminding ourselves why we are here… gives us a clearer picture of who we are and how we fit in.

Smiling in NYC.


Don’t live by rules, live by YOUR OWN ideals and values!

In Actor's Life, Broadway Usher's Life, Inspirational, Rants & Raves, Screenwriter's Life on March 24, 2011 at 2:02 pm

You can’t do this… don’t do that… My folks wouldn’t like it if I did… Screw that! Again, my favorite motto to live by: “It’s my life… who cares!”

Learn to instill your own ideals and values into your life and stop living by the rules of others! OK, there are some rules we MUST live by… anything that breaks the law. But after that… your life should be your own, not dictated by society, peers, issues from your childhood, etc. I could think of a hundred excuses why people don’t do what they want to do. (That should be a future post!) Stand up and say “that’s it! It’s my life… who cares!”

I know, easier said than done…. but no, not really. If you say “It’s my life… who cares!” every morning for a week, on the 8th day, you’ll begin to believe it, and you’ll think about acting on it. Again, bringing up the word brainwashing from a prior post. You are washing your brain, getting rid of the dirt and applying soothing moisturizing brain lotion.

Everything we do in our lives is controlled by our mindset. We talk ourselves into believing… we convince ourselves, it”s not just talk, it’s a tool we use to get ourselves to do what we want ourselves to do. How do you think the Tony Robbins types, not only get to be so successful, but they also get to help others… they woke up one morning and (theoretically) said “It’s my life… who cares!”

I know this all sounds pretty harsh, but life is pretty harsh. And the only life you have is the one you’re living right now. When you’re dead, you’re gone, that’s it, no more, ciao! So really think about dictating your own life. It will help you be truer to who you are, and you’ll have a lot of fun on the way. Just yesterday I said to someone out of a clear blue sky… “I love my life!” They replied that was the best thing they heard all day. Yes, we live in a world of 6 something billion other people. We should never hurt, degrade, or cause malice to someone else, but that doesn’t mean we can’t live an extraordinary life which makes us happy.

with a warm smile,

-Jeff in NYC

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Central Station in Antwerpen, Belgium goes la, la, la… or is it doe, re, mi?

In Actor's Life, Broadway Usher's Life, Inspirational, Screenwriter's Life on March 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I loved this 2 years ago when it first came out & I saw it again this morning… it made me smile (refer to prior post “If smiling makes me feel good, why don’t I smile more?”).

This makes me smile, always surround yourself with people, sounds, sights, smells… etc, that make you smile. Smiling makes us feel good and it doesn’t cost a penny!

-Smiling Jeff in NYC

Thumbs up!

In Actor's Life, Broadway Usher's Life, Inspirational, Pictures, Screenwriter's Life on March 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Who am I? And what do I do when I’m labeled?

In Actor's Life, Broadway Usher's Life, Inspirational, Screenwriter's Life on March 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I’ve been following  the blog of a very interesting guy, Colin Wright at He’s been called the exile cowboy and shares his minimalist lifestyle on his site which deserves a visit. One of his posts speaks about titles, how people react to us differently because of who we are, and I’m not speaking of Mr. Mrs, or Ms.

Make a list of all FACTS about yourself, not feelings, interpretations, or judgments, but hard cold facts… for example I am a blog writer who is also a Virgo. Got it? So I’ll do that for myself, but follow me and get a piece of paper and write it down for yourself.

I, Jeff Goldstein am: right-handed, have balding brown curly hair, brown eyes, am a male, I’m packing some extra weight, I have a degree in Accounting, I’ve been onstage with Candice Bergen, I worked as a Timekeeper for Macy’s, I have a blood type O positive, I am a human, I spend hours in front of my computer, I am a caregiver and teacher, I am a rebel as well as a professional, a Caucasian, I was born Jewish, I played Saint Francis of Assisi in an elementary school play, I had a conversation with Kurt Russell, I’m currently a 50 something, I am an artist, a member of 4 unions, I was in the United States Air Force, I’ve been directed by Woody Allen and Denis Leary, I share with people, etc, etc, etc.

Now what I’m getting at here is once you’ve compiled a paragraph of “titles” you can begin to see who you actually are, and because of that, how others perceive and judge you. Granted I don’t necessarily want to be know as a person who has blood type O positive, but what I’m getting at is… this is who you are. You should smile when you read your paragraph, I’ve printed mine and taped it to the wall by my computer. It makes me smile (read last post “If smiling makes me feel good, why don’t I smile more”).

People judge us by our looks, what we talk about and how we say it, the sound of our voice, WHO WE ARE, … And once we are judged, we are categorized or labeled by others. “He’s the guy who is a member of 4 unions”, he’s 54, he’s balding, he’s overweight, he spends a lot of time in front of the computer… what I’m getting at is that they can go ahead and label me, I already know it… I have it taped up on my wall. It’s nothing new to me and I smile about it!

And going further people love me because of who I am… and people love you because of who you are.  It’s funny I’ve said in the past “I would not be the person I am today if every single thing and moment in my life did not happen.” More and more I believe that to be the truth, and with that I become able to accept a lot of my life.

Take a deep breathe, don’t want to get too heavy here… but learn to love who you are, It’s a process, it takes time, but you have to start somewhere. Start with a list… and don’t forget to smile when you do it! I so love my life…

Warm hugs


If smiling makes me feel good, why don’t I smile more?

In Actor's Life, Inspirational, Screenwriter's Life on March 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I bet there is not one person out there who can’t agree with me that smiling makes you feel good. So why don’t we do it more?

from smile, verb, To assume a facial expression indicating pleasure, favor, or amusement, characterized by an up turning of the corners of the mouth.

When I smile I feel good, and how often in life do we search for and pay ( sometimes large amounts) for things that make up feel good. I started putting pictures of friends, family, loved ones “not so randomly” throughout my apartment, so wherever my gaze rested I saw the picture and smiled. I sat for 6 hours one Saturday going through 2000 songs on my iPod and removed the songs that did not make me smile. Now I have 1400 reasons for smiling ever time I listen to my iPod.

I was on the subway to work yesterday, typical scenario: morning rush hour, crowded  New York  City train, iPod playing, earplugs in, oblivious to my surroundings, enjoying my music… and smiling. A 30’s something man tapped me on the arm. “Do we know each other”, he asked. He didn’t look familiar so I said “I don’t think so.” He chuckled, then said “I’ve been watching you and you’ve been smiling at me.” I started to laugh. “No.. It’s not you, It’s my music… every time a new song comes on, I smile.” And for the next moment I thought I  gave this guy the most secret tip of the day. “Wow!” he said, “That is awesome! Thanks.” He turned and with his music device in hand, it looked like he was deleting music. This stranger was doing the same thing I did for 6 hours one Saturday afternoon, and later that day there were 2 people in New York City who were smiling when they listened to their music.

You know, it’s little things like this that change your life. Because after a while it’s this, then something else, then another thing… and before you know it… your life changed. So… to do something that is absolutely free, with no cost involved… what are the reasons to do it?

Some people say smiling actually makes us attractive. The muscles we use to smile actually lift up the face, making a person appear younger. Sure, a smile attracts others (as proven in my music story above). How many people… be honest now, really honest… when looking in the mirror… smile at themselves? It also changes the way we feel, it picks us up. Smiling keeps us positive. It is definitely contagious, you smile & the whole world smiles with you. Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Smiling is a natural drug.

I went around yesterday and approached people at work and my personal life, who make me smile. I told them that. “You make me smile”, I said. I’m sure it made them feel good. It definitely made me feel good, and I had a great day because of it.

Smiling does not cost one penny! Do it more often, you’ll feel better, and so will then next person.

Smiling from New York City,


It’s time for a change…

In Actor's Life, Inspirational, Screenwriter's Life on March 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

How do you change a life goal?

Do you wake up one morning and say “I’m changing my goal”? Do you write in your journal “I’m changing my goal”? Do you tell your partner/spouse/friends “I’m changing my goal”? Well, what do all these options have in common….. the words “I’m changing my goal”.So whether you write, speak, recite, perform, sing, yell… or many other actions, the first step to change is to convince yourself of it.

Whatever you need to do to change the direction you are going and re-format your goals & dreams. DO IT! It’s a mindset, almost like brainwashing yourself. At first I thought brainwashing was a terrible word, but the more I thought about, that’s it! …. You need to wash your brain into a different state of being.

Let me give you an example, and it’s one of my major goal changes… the goal that I was going to be a famous Actor that people crowd around for autographs. I’m getting intimate with you here now, so follow me. I did want that! I did not want the privacy, I wanted it all! I wanted a TONY, EMMY, OSCAR, & even GRAMMY. On my 5 years goal sheet I once wrote I wanted to tour the world in a musical with Whoopie Goldberg. I wanted to act with Meryl and Al, get directed by Steven and Robert… see the picture? “Get real”, people said… but hey… wait… can’t anything happen? Can’t I win the Lottery? So, yeah I could win those awards and act with those talented folks.

Then 14 years later when I turned 54, I took a look. I didn’t do extra work anymore (a great way get on the job training), although I did have a few speaking credits in some prime TV shows, but it just wasn’t happening. Granted… it still could… but I really needed to change my  mindset because I was beginning to get depressed. So what did I do? What was it that started the ball rolling, for me to change my goal.

I would not allow myself to get depressed so… I thought, a lot I thought. About me, about life, about acting, and one thing which was always there was my determination not to fail. Then, I couldn’t do it… I couldn’t change because I didn’t want to fail, and my changing was owning up to my failure. But wait… did I actually fail? I danced with Lorranie Bracco in RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS, I had coffee with Edie Falco as a stand in on THE SOPRANOS, Denis Leary came over to me and said “I didn’t expect you to say the line that way, but I love it. So add…..” on RESCUE ME, I ate on dinner break with Kim Cattrall when filming on SEX & THE CITY… I could go on, but hey! I didn’t fail…. I made it. No one ran after me for my autograph, but I did make it… I was not a failure. (That’s what you need to put into your life situation… see all your accomplishment’s as a success).

“And now, Jeff” I said, “it’s time to move on”.

I had been writing since my Brother’s passing in 2001 (not 9/11), and had a short screenplay THE LILAC PAPERS, about my closing of his death, which I produced and flooded the Festival circuit with it. Nothing came of it other than an Honorable Mention on the 2003 LA Screenplay Festival. I thought to myself, wow I can write, so I started writing a romantic comedy KNOCK 3 TIMES. Sort of a DAVINCI CODE meets THE UGLY TRUTH. That screenplay came home with 2 Festival awards. You still with me?…. I am heading somewhere with this….

Meanwhile, auditions were becoming a chore. My fantastic agent was sending me to A & B list auditions, which meant I was auditioning beside the likes of recognizable Broadway & Film Actors. Who was getting cast… them, not me. Now yes I know law of physics… do it long enough it has to happen. But FOR ME, it wasn’t cutting it. So I really explored the passion I was developing with my writing.

That’s it… look in your life, talk to yourself, find your other passions. It’s there, don’t take the easy route by saying, “I don’t have any passions”… “I’m too tired”… It’s your life. Enjoy, have fun, make it worthwhile for yourself…. and maybe, just maybe… it might become worthwhile for someone else too.

From New York City


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