The Jeff Goldstein Blog

Archive for the ‘Rants & Raves’ Category

You don’t know what pretzels are…?

In Actor's Life, Broadway Usher's Life, Rants & Raves, Travel on October 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I am really sick and tired when:

I walk into a Duane Reade here in the middle of NYC on 8th Avenue and 34th Street and I ask one of the workers there “where are the pretzels located?”… and they DO NOT understand what the word “pretzels” mean.

I order “Baked” meatloaf at a popular Greek diner on the Upper West Side and they bring me 3 slices of baked meat loaf which was placed on the griddle and “fried” on both sides to heat it up so the sides are dry and crusty. Don’t they know meat loaf is juicy and soft.

I go into a store  ask a question and the person replying speaks such poor English that I do not understand what they are saying.

I make a phone call and the default language is Spanish, it’s says I must press 3 to hear it in English.

I order scrambled eggs and ask for “”scrambled eggs easy” and they do not know what that means.

and to top it off…

When I mention Barbara Streisand and the person does not know who she is?

Boy life is changing, I know I’m getting older but we sure ain’t in Kansas anymore Toto.

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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 (Livemocha.com 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)
-Jeff

Mantra for the day

In Actor's Life, Broadway Usher's Life, Rants & Raves, Screenwriter's Life on May 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Repeat after me… I love my life.

“Well behaved people seldom make history”

In Rants & Raves on May 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I came across this article written by MATT HARRIS on fortune.com in THE WEEK and found it interesting:

“As a venture capitalist, I have done due diligence on many business founders, said Matt Harris.  If I’m going to be in “a foxhole” with someone, I have to be sure that person is ethical and acts with integrity. But I don’t stop there. I also look for signs that a founder is “persistent (bullheaded), persuasive (flexible with the truth), and visionary (delusional).” Like it or not, those are the character traits typical of people who have found businesses that create or redefine an industry. In fact, starting a game changing business is so “audacious, disruptive, and preposterous on the face of it” that you have to be a little crazy and “transgressive” to try it.

So I’m not surprised to read that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg allegedly “stole the idea from a set of Olympian twins” and “screwed the college buddy” who provided seed capital.  Don’t get me wrong… I’m not endorsing criminal or unethical behavior. But if you’re looking for people who want to change the world , don’t go in search of those who fit neatly into the world as they originally found it.

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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I get so excited over the little things in life.

In Inspirational, Pictures, Rants & Raves on February 11, 2011 at 2:01 pm

example: Yesterday was a day of errands before arriving at work, you know that place where you have to go and perform so you get money to pay your bills. That work. I had to return a suit I purchased online at JC Penney in the Manhattan Mall on 34th St. Done! As I was exiting I was thinking how sad I was that the reading glasses I bought from Duane Reade, which I loved, broke. The nose guard came off. If it happens to you don’t put your glasses on, that little stub causes great pain. So as I was leaving I noticed one of those kiosks selling fashion sunglasses. You know the kind you think are $75, but really turn out to cost $150.  (I can’t ever imagine spending $150 on sunglasses). I stepped up to the pretty girl & asked if she can do repairs, I’d glad pay the fee, and as she blinked her baby browns, she said there was a Lens Crafter directly above on the 2nd floor. So I headed up.

Upon entering Lens Crafter, the guy by the door said hello, the Arabish looking girl on the phone, pulled the phone from her ear and said hello (it must have been a personal call) and the girl on the end said hello.

I said (I always am guilty of offering too much information), these reading glasses were from Duane Reade, but I have purchased glasses before from Lens Crafter though my union (white lie, it was Cohen Fashion Optical) and these Duane Reade glasses lost the nose guard, which I took out of my shirt pocket and presented to them. I asked if they could fix it I would gladly pay whatever the fee charged was. The young girl took the glasses and politely motioned for me to have a seat.

After a short wait she walked over to me with my glasses in her hand, wait what was she doing, she was cleaning & polishing them with a cleaning cloth… I didn’t ask her to do that.  Common sense, she thought on her own (or Lens Crafter trains their employees very well) and handed my sparkling glasses back to me with the nose guard fixed. Ah! I was so happy I wanted to hug her! Thank you, thank you I said! As we walked to the counter I took out my wallet and asked her how much. She smiled and said “No charge.” Wait, was I hearing correctly? In this down trodden economy, in a franchised chain store, this woman was saying no charge for fixing my glasses?! I had taken up 5 minutes of her labor, and she supplied one of Lens Crafters screws. And there was no fee involved? YES! Oh my!  I had come across a truly warm individual, not a press 3 for English type of gal. But a gal I was able to interact with and who showed common sense and good public relations on behalf of Lens Crafters.

Still in a little shock, I asked her what her name was & extened my hand, “Iris” she said, as she extended hers. “I’m Jeff, thank you so much. I will pay this deed forward to someone else.” I left the store feeling like a million bucks and it really didn’t cost Lens Crafters more than the price of screw for eyeglasses. Kudos to you Lens Crafters for training/employing this young gal, who made my day!

I haven’t done my good deed yet (although I really do good deeds all day long, everyday… or I try to anyway.) But next Monday when I pass by, I am going to drop off a couple of NYS lottery tickets to Iris and just say “Thank you, you made my day.”

In a world where technology and automation has taken over the actual human interaction we have with each other, please let someone know that they made you happy. Even if it’s the supermarket checkout girl who smiles at you when giving you your change. I can bet any amount of money that store did not train her to smile. Have a wonderful day!

From Jeff in NYC.

Wonderful cappuccino… oh yes a film and a play also.

In Broadway Usher's Life, Off Broadway Shows, Pictures, Rants & Raves on January 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Yesterday, after working (as an Usher) and seeing again for the second time OTHER DESERT CITIES

at the Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center (Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach, Linda Lavin, Thomas Sadoski and Elizabeth Marvel all in amazing performances of an extremely well written, modern American play by Jon Robin Baitz) I took in a double feature at NYC’s famed Film Forum.

Other Desert Cities dived into my emotions with a family of five that i was so totally able to identify with. Not that I have 5 family members like those characters, but I was able to touch within myself elements of each of the characters. From the I accept the way things are, but I don’t want to talk about it of Stacy’s Father, to Stockard’s I have everything under control”, to Linda’s “So fucking what” to Thomas’ Hey, I got my own issue’s too, to Elizabeth’s Can’t you hear me, my brother died?! Kudo’s to a play that has affected me so. Rumor has it, that Other Desert Cities will hit Broadway in the Fall, catch it now at Off Broadway prices, but I’m already thinking this play will be nominated for many TONY AWARDS.

Being a lover of film noir, the Film Forum is having a Fritz Lang festival so I took in a double feature of THE BIG HEAT and HUMAN DESIRE, both with Glen Ford and Gloria Grahame. The Big Heat was OK, but Human Desire was wonderful. HUMAN DESIRE (1954) Zola’s La Bête Humaine à l’Américain: busy Gloria Grahame gets adulterous to save hubby Broderick Crawford’s railroad job, then gets new boyfriend Glenn Ford to provide the alibi when jealous Crawford gets murderous himself.

As I left the theater I felt so complete from the cathartic sobbing session while watching Other Desert Cities (having buried 2 brothers myself), to the fulfillment of watching a film noir piece that was so iconic and the conversation I had with the stranger seated next to me, to the warm smile the attendant gave me as she  passed to me a tasty decaf cappuccino that I quietly took into the theater to enjoy with my 85% cocoa bar.

It was a satisfying day for me, hope yours was too!

In New York City with Jeff.

WHat’s next…?

In Broadway Shows, Broadway Usher's Life, Rants & Raves on July 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm

South Pacific at Lincoln Center is coming to a close, August 22nd will be it’s 1000th and last performance.

It’s had it’s enjoyable moments, but working as an Usher… but it is just a job.

It will be nice to have evenings and weekends free.

Off now to the air conditioned theater… on this hot Sunday.

The night before…

In Actor's Life, Pictures, Rants & Raves on January 19, 2009 at 4:26 am

It’s the night before the inauguration and I already feel the buzz in the air. This is an exciting time to experience history being made…

Got though the holidays… nothing better than to spend them with people you care about & love being around.

Have an audition on Thursday for an independent film, going to the festivals… good role, will shoot for 3 weeks in Cape Cod… don’t know what I’d do with the “survival” jobs… I guess I’ll worry about that if I’m cast.

Cat has my tongue tonight…
I’ll leave my buck at the door on the way out doc.

-Jeff in NYC

Sun Oct 14, 2007

In Actor's Life, Rants & Raves on October 15, 2007 at 12:12 am

Frustrating!
I’m hearing about friends & people I know booking acting jobs & in shows & TV & I’m auditioning, but getting nothing…
I’m happy for them… but Damn! Come on… when do I get mine?
I try to be as positive as I can… & thank goodness I have other projects on the burner…. But I’m not getting even crumbs thrown my way…. Money is so friggin tight….. thank god for my day jobs…..
I’ve been shelling out all this money for a vocal coach & vocal instruction, but when, when is it gonna come from inside me… to the surface?
You out there God… can you hear me?
-Jeff

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