Introducing Guest Blogger…Meghan Telpner

Aloha!

As I sit here sipping my morning coffee in Kauai, I am so very excited to introduce Meghan Telpner. A Nutritionista Tells Her True Story is about Meghan’s journey to finding optimum health after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, this story is both moving and inspiring. Mahalo. Enjoy.

It Ain’t Because of Lack of Beauty or Talent

At the age of seventeen, after a brief stint of living in LA I decided that I needed to start working on myself. I had gone to the City of Angels to pursue my dance career and audition to be on full scholarship at one of two studios.

I did audition, but I only auditioned at one studio. During my audition I seized, panicked, and sabotaged the entire thing. The director of the studio took me in to his office demanding to know what happened, he had in fact been hoping to give me one of the scholarships. I was devastated.

As for the second studio, I decided not to show up at the audition altogether. I was a failure, so why bother.

When I did eventually make my way over to the studio where I missed the audition, one of my favorite teachers pulled me aside asking why I hadn’t shown up. I began my crying victim act and lied about why I hadn’t been there. I also told him about how horrific my audition had gone at the other studio. He looked right in to my eyes and said, ’Well Jess, it isn’t because of lack of beauty or talent.’

Over the years I have had glimpses of understanding what he was talking about, but my true ‘aha’ moment wasn’t until a few years a go.

When I left LA, I was angry, defeated, and borderline anorexic. I decided that everyone else had more talent, was more beautiful, and would definitely be more successful than me so I might as well give up and quit. When in reality those were all non-truths. The thoughts, opinions, and ideas I had about myself became true because I made them true.

Written By

Jessica Hinkson

When we are born there is this notion that we are perfect whole beings.  I believe that we are perfect and whole always.

However, the journey of life is far from perfect. I realize now that I’m the only person who’s going to make me feel whole. No matter how much my parents and friends love me, or teachers tell me that I am amazing. The job is up to me, to you, to each of us to individually find.

Looking back now, I realize how much time I spent in the negative web of life and realize that I did in fact have a choice to decide that I was worthy; that I did have something to offer then as I do now.

Having a routine does work, getting up early and going to bed early works. Getting outside, nourishing my body with food I want, yoga, dance offs and musical sing-along’s work. I love dancing badly, I love music, and I love cracking bad jokes! Some people refer to it as special I refer to it as authentic.

I know that when I am in a happy place, the flow of my life jives, and guess what? This is what stillness is! Life flowing in one continuous direction! Don’t get me wrong, I still have my Debbie Downer in the gutter days but it’s all part of my life journey

So, what I know now that I didn’t know before? I am talented, I am beautiful, I have a good body but most importantly I am a good person.

Happy Birthday

Use what you know. Don’t worry about what you don’t know.
~ Michael Shurtleff

I had been wanting to break back in to the theatre scene. When I was a fresh young pup out of theatre school I produced plays and put myself in them, I was so passionate, so serious about my craft.

I have always LOVED the theatre; I’ve found it to be mystical and at times larger than life itself.

Just coming back from a vacation, I was feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. I received an email about an audition for a Shakespeare company. They were holding two days of auditions and they were requiring everyone to learn choreography and perform a song that would be provided at the audition.

I sent my agent an email trying to figure out just how much of a singer they were looking for, and he said that they didn’t really care about having great vocal talent; they just wanted to see our personalities. I agreed to go to the audition.

The day had come, the time was near, and so I made my way to the theatre for my audition.

I arrived, signed in and shortly thereafter all forty of us were ushered in to the studio for the audition. The choreographer began her sequencing right away, I kept up, and I performed the piece well. After they had us perform the choreography several times, they said that we were going to have a ten-minute pause and to please warm up our voices for the singing portion.

Warm up our voices, with what and how? I stood frozen and bug eyed staring at them. I had no idea what to do, I couldn’t remember a song for the life of me, and everyone else sounded like they had either opera trained voices or that they were the next Idina Menzel or Taye Diggs; take your pick!

I didn’t have a yoga mat but I began doing sun salutations, and making sound; I sounded like death.

The ten minutes was up, the first group of eight performed their audition pieces they all sang songs from Cabaret, RENT, and Chicago! I was mesmerized momentarily until I realized that I hadn’t even thought about what I was going to sing! I had one of two choices available to me; they were either Happy Birthday or Mary Had A Little Lamb.

There was no place to hide, no jokes to crack, I certainly wasn’t going to give a pitch perfect Broadway performance, but I was going to give them me. I was in the last group and it was our turn to go up, as we were walking in to line, I went on the end so that I could at the least go last. Well, the director asked me to go first, I belted out Happy Birthday and I sang my heart out.

They were smiling, laughing, and shaking their heads, it was a goddamn disaster!

I couldn’t have been more proud of myself, it was humiliating, terrifying, all of those icky things, but I also felt like a superhero who had just conquered the world! On top of everything else the look of shock and horror on all of those kids’ faces were priceless. With the audition finally coming to an end, they asked us to wait outside because some one would be coming out to announce who was coming in for callbacks.

We made our way out in to the hall and people kept telling me how brave I was, telling me that I was such a trooper, someone even reached out to hold my hand, and I graciously thanked them for all of their kind words. A woman finally came out, gave a few details about when the callbacks were and began announcing names.  She announced mine. I got the callback.


The best piece of life, love, and career advice I have ever received is, ‘Be Yourself.’

You know yourself, so to thine own self be true, there is no other better version of you, than you.

Written By

Jessica Hinkson

Mime You Not, I’m In A Box!

I received an email that I had an audition for a tv show.  I had three scenes, I was playing a stewardess, and all you need to know is that the plane went from being okay, to something going wrong, to the plane crashing. With the three scenes being so extreme, in my smart actor head I figured that they would shoot the audition one of two ways.

Example 1.

My set up was simple and specific, you cannot walk in and out of frame nor can you turn your back to camera. Those are simple and basic rules for an on camera audition.

I figured that casting might decide to keep the camera rolling and shoot it out as one continuous scene. So, I figured, once I shot the first scene which was simply exchanging flirtatious pleasantries, I would take a moment to improvise by adding in a few lines to get me into the chaos of the second scene (plane crashing) which I could turn in to because that character was set up on the right side of the camera.

The reader was on the left, so after delivering my lines on the right, I could then turn back to my camera left and engage with the reader for the final scene.

Example 2.

If they didn’t shoot it like Example 1 then they would shoot from scene to scene. Which means that they would start, stop, start, stop, start, and stop.

I arrived at my audition. I was brought in to the room, feeling good, feeling ready; when I was introduced to the casting director she was on her phone. She did not look up or acknowledge my presence in the room, and left the room for my audition to go listen to her voice mail, which meant she wasn’t going to see my audition. I felt disappointed, this was the first time I had gotten to audition for this casting director, and like everybody I wanted to leave a good and lasting impression.

However I’m not the first actress this has happened to, nor am I the last. The director flew up from his chair and ran around to shake my hand. I felt like I was on the Price Is Right! I slated, cracked a bad joke, and then the audition happened.

The director went to sit back down, and the reader was sitting on the other side of the room. They were still laughing at my bad joke until they weren’t and from here my friends we go.

THE AUDITION:

INT. Audition Room

An overzealous director and me, an enthusiastically confused actress.

DIRECTOR: So, do you know what we’re doing here?

I look extremely confused but try to mask it and turn it back at him with an intellectual question.

ME: What?

DIRECTOR: Do you know what you’re doing here, what we are looking for?

I am still confused, so I come to the only conclusion that he must be referring to the character breakdown my agent sent me.

ME: A red headed, bubbly young……

The director cuts me off with a smile.

DIRECTOR: A stuartist.

I let out a huge sigh of relief; Thinking why didn’t he just say so in the first place. Talk about trick questions!

ME: Yes! Yes, I do know what you are looking for.

The director still very excited!

DIRECTOR: Okay, so move back. Move all of the way back in to the corner.

I listen and move back Geisha doll style.

DIRECTOR: Okay good, so you have a cart.

I think yes when I am on set I would, I actually visualized myself on the aircraft for a moment.

ME: Yeah!

DIRECTOR: You have a cart.

Thinking to myself, I just said, ‘yes’ and wondered if this was another trick question? I react with a somewhat convincing smile.

ME: Yes.

He was still smiling on the outside, but there was no smile on the inside.

DIRECTOR: YOU HAVE A “CART!”

End Dialogue – Continue Story.

All of a sudden I threw my arms up as if I did have a cart! I actually mimed my way through an audition! I had no idea what was going on, I had never been asked to do such a thing.

From there it just got worse, he started adding in lines after my scene had finished, I couldn’t hear him plus I had no idea what he was doing, he wanted me to fake fall, so I just sort of threw myself to the ground and hoped for the best.

The audition finally came to an end, but the director seemed even more gung ho, ran up and thanked me again! I was laughing in a controlled yet hysterical way at this point because I wished I could have just watched me audition. I couldn’t tell if this was the worst audition I had ever done, if this was a joke or what! I do know that if I had witnessed what I just did, I would have been killing myself laughing! Talk about a new sketch for Saturday Night Live!

After leaving the audition that day I didn’t feel bad. After all, I did listen and so therefore I did do my job.

Maybe my freak flag was flying, but as Liz Lemon would say, ‘HI-5 to a Million Angels!’ In regards to getting on my mat…let’s just say my form of yoga that day involved treating myself to a mani/pedi with a little retail therapy on the side!

Written By

Jessica Hinkson

Birds and Ships

The birds are singing in your eyes today. Sweet flowers blossom in your smile. The wind and sun are in the words you say, where might your lonesome lover be? Birds sweetly singing in my eyes this day, sweet flowers blossom when I smile; But my soul is stormy and my heart blows wild, my sweetheart rides a ship on the sea. Though my soul is stormy and my heart blows wild, where might my lonesome lover be?

Birds and Ships

         —-Wilco


Have Fun In Your Life

EAT THE DAMN CHOCOLATE CAKE, GET YOUR HAIR WET, LOVE SOMEONE, DANCE IN THE MUDDY PUDDLES, TELL SOMEONE OFF, DRAW A PICTURE WITH CRAYONS LIKE YOU’RE STILL 6 YEARS OLD AND THEN GIVE IT TO SOMEONE WHO IS VERY IMPORTANT TO YOU. TAKE A NAP, GO ON VACATION, DO A CART WHEEL, MAKE YOUR OWN RECIPE, DANCE LIKE NO ONE ELSE SEES YOU. PAINT EACH NAIL A DIFFERENT COLOR, TAKE A BUBBLE BATH, LAUGH AT A CORNY JOKE. GET ON THAT TABLE AND DANCE, PICK STRAWBERRIES, TAKE A JOG, PLANT A GARDEN, MAKE AN UGLY SHIRT AND WEAR IT ALL DAY. LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE, WRITE A SONG, DATE SOMEONE YOU WOULDN’T USUALLY GO FOR, MAKE A SCRAP BOOK, GO ON A PICNIC, RELAX IN THE SUN, MAKE YOUR OWN HOME VIDEO, KISS THE UN-KISSED, HUG THE UN-HUGGED, LOVE THE UNLOVED, AND LIVE YOUR LIFE TO THE FULLEST. SO AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU’LL HAVE NO REGRETS, NO SORROWS, NO DISAPPOINTMENTS.

 — AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Staying Classy, Staying Me

It’s still technically the beginning of a new year. The possibility to create possibilities is as fresh as a Saskatoon berry pie! I want things to happen this year, which is why I thought it would be great to start off the year with a self-help workshop.

The workshop I attended went how a lot of self-help workshops go; On the first day I almost didn’t show up, I was definitely out way too late the night before, and when I got there all I did was judge everyone. I decided that I had nothing in common with any of the attendees not to mention that I had no idea what these so called leaders were talking about, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why my so-called friends thought I would benefit from something like this. I even shared these thoughts with one of the leaders. Let me tell you-I did not get the reaction I wanted, which was to be sent home because I was self-help cured! I came back the next day, I couldn’t get my deposit back so I figured I might as well be there. That morning I got my butt whooped in the best way possible! I cried, I thanked them, I threw my arms up in the air surprised but relieved for this valuable lesson I had learned about myself, I was saved! It was now the best workshop I had ever attended.

The next evening was a closing to the weekend slash graduation. I decided to wear a dress. It was a vintage button up floral dress, I put on makeup seeing as I looked like death swarmed over all weekend. It was time to bring out the pretty. I arrived, the leaders that I once hated embraced me in their arms, I was on top of the world! I was walking through the crowd in to the ballroom, where there were 500 people. Some smiled at me, l smiled back, my shoulders back and my head held up high. I found my seat, as I sat down, I looked down to place my bag. That was when I realized that the button up dress had un-buttoned itself, and my girls were fully exposed. I mean I had a bra on, but I quickly figured out why warm smiles from everyone quickly turned to WTF expressions on their faces. I buttoned up my dress. Once again I tried to make a lasting impression; which I was obviously successful at, it just happened to be the wrong lasting impression or so I thought.

As I was sitting through the evening I thought about a recent chat I had had with my agent. He asked if I had taken pole-dancing classes because of an upcoming commercial audition. I had secretly been thinking about obtaining a new skill and since I had heard so many actress’s were taking these classes, I decided to do some investigating, found a gym that had a 30-day special and signed up. I went to two classes, I should have only gone to one. I fell, slipped, tripped, slid down to the ground, in every way possible. Being a stripper extraordinaire turned out to be an extraordinary disaster.

So I did what any smart young woman would do; I didn’t show up to another class. I told my agent with dignity in tact that I did not do those sorts of auditions, he of course had no problem with that and thank god did not ask any questions.

These are embarrassing moments sure, but in between those moments were some great wins, and there were some possibilities created. As humiliated as I was about my dress popping open, like that hasn’t happened to so many others?! The fact that the only way I will appear as a pole dancer is in a tragic comedy…well that’s not how I planned to make my debut, but how many things in life turn out the way we plan them to?

I’ll let you in on a little secret, I think I am hysterical which is why I laugh at myself all of the time now. Being Serious Mysterious in my younger years was not so mysterious. I am first and foremost a human being and if we were to sit around a campfire one night sharing stories I can guarantee your stories wouldn’t be so different from mine. Thank goodness for that, because when I think I’m alone or you do, remember you are not. We are all human beings trying to figure out what being a human being is. Which is why I am leaving you with this quote: Namaste warriors.

We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are, when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

In this way, our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world, but to un-glove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold, and the car handle feels wet.

As you breathe, let each breath undress your being – of attitude, of mood, of history.”

–Mark Nepo

Written By

Jessica Hinkson