Monday, November 14, 2011

Adjusting The Dream

I hate goals.
For me, I think of them as just another opportunity to disappoint myself. I know. Not a great way to look at it.
How about adjusting my expectations? Not “settling”. Not “giving up”. But actually saying….”wait a minute. I LIKE this life. I LIKE what I’m doing. So WHAT if I’m not doing all I dreamed of…couldn’t this actually be…BETTER?”

Here’s my dream:

I live in LA.
In a big house, with dogs, a maid, a heated pool, a tennis court, a dance floor, a workout room, a ping pong table, a pool table, a hot tub, and maybe a bowling alley. And friends to visit that I can cook for.
I support this lifestyle by acting in funny, smart, well written, feature films.

Here’s the reality:
I live in LA (and New York).
In 2 small apartments with no pets, 2 awesome guys (one in each place. We’ll leave that explanation for another day, just to keep you guessing), friends visit often and…none of the other above, sports-like things. HOWEVER, I DO have access to all of the above. I just don’t have them actually AT my house.
I make lots of funny, smart, well written films. Most are not features. But a lot are written by me, and now starting to be produced by me.
I support this lifestyle by doing massage, some of the above acting, and some investing and generosity.

Uhm… I not actually, really, CLOSE?
Am I not actually LIVING my dream, it just looks a little different?

If I can make enough money through investments, passive income (my book sales:
How To Run Auditions”, available on Amazon and elsewhere), my massage company (, bring chair massage to YOUR office now!), and any other way I can think of. Then I could…wait for it…KEEP DOING WHAT FILMS I WANT TO DO. I don’t even have to audition for other people, or get an agent, or do bulk mailings, or get depressed over the idea that I’m not where I want to be, where I expected to be, where I think I’m supposed to be. No. I can make the films I want to make, write, produce, direct, or hire my phenomenally talented friends (after securing funding, of course) to do any of the above, plus hire extraordinary actors that don’t get a chance to work enough.And not have to depend on others, fate, luck, or anything other than myself to achieve the life I want.

Isn’t that living a better dream? Living the reality and adjusting the dream?

Yeah. I’m gonna stick with that for awhile. See how it plays out.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Allergy Free Pantry

Here is my resource list (from's links page) for all your special diet needs. Be sure and check the ingredients on every package before you buy it!

SPECIAL DIETS:   any links you don't see, let me know! And email me for more info on food intolerances/allergies.
PLACES TO ORDER:    No food products.
   all kinds of stuff for baking, supplies, flours, dried fruits, everything.
*    can search by allergy    to order a range of food
if you're in the CT area, check out:   get the Wendy's! Now you can order online! has a gluten free section! just search for gluten free/dairy free, etc.   just search for gluten free/dairy free, etc. has all kinds of pasta/gnocchi/pizza to try.   trips/cruises for gluten free people!    awesome blog with all kinds of help. (can get free allergy cards to pass out) breads, rolls, baked goods. Can’t find elsewhere yet?
Soy jerkey original flavor, yummy. (they have sharkies!) turkey jerkey, yummy.  Available at Fairway frozen markets.   my new favorite bread products! (contains egg)
You can search for gluten free (or any free) recipes at,, or any other recipe site! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thanksgiving For Food Allergies

I know it's a little early, but I can not believe that Thanksgiving is 2 months away. And all this talk of food allergies suggests I should give away some of my secrets for a successful Thanksgiving meal for you and all your restricted diets friends and family.

Every year my boyfriend and I do Thanksgiving for a bunch of our, "orphan" friends. About 14-16 people in our small apt and even smaller kitchen. We cook all but the desserts ourselves. Here's the challenge:
  •  I'm allergic to wheat, milk, eggs, and chocolate.
  •  I have 2 friends lactose free.
  •  1 friend who doesn't eat pork.
  •  at least 1 vegetarian.
  •  We've had a vegan join us one year.
  • And a vegetarian friend who was on a sugar free diet.

When the email invites go out, I ask for all food restrictions. Then we work around what we can and can't do, making sure there are plenty of food choices for everyone.
 The turkey gets made without butter. Just oil.
 We make 2 kinds of stuffing (one Gluten Free, one not). The prep is the same and then divided into 2 pans with different bread.
 My boyfriend made homemade ravioli for the vegetarians, whole wheat for the Sugar Free one.
 One year, we made 3 gravies: 1 regular, 1 gluten free, 1 vegan from mushrooms (make ahead).
 He makes homemade crescent rolls, white and wheat. I eat a gluten free version.
 I made a ton of vegan veggies and salad, to make up for the uber fattening ones he makes with a ton of butter and sugar. (I like roasted veggies like brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus).

That way, you have plenty of choice, no one feels deprived, and if you want to eat healthily, you can. The guests bring desserts and by the time I'm done eating, I'm not tempted by the chocolate...I'm too full.

Some party tips:
  • If you're making a buffet table, the day before, line up the hot pads and utensils with a little post it saying each dish. Then you know where each dish will go, what utensils you need, and if you have enough room. 
  • Do prepping in stages. Our kitchen is tiny, so I make all veggies the night before, cooked to about 90%. Then at the last minute, I microwave them to heat them through, cooking the rest of the way. That way, I'm not using the oven when my boyfriend needs it and everything's hot at once. 
  • On the buffet, always put healthy items first. That way people fill up on the good stuff, and hopefully only eat a little of the more decadent food. 
  • Throughout the year, we save the take out containers so that at the end of Thanksgiving, we can give away some leftovers to our guests, and the container doesn't need to come back. Otherwise, freeze some if you have too much. Don't eat the same dishes for a week! 
  • and the biggest tip: MAKE LISTS! Make time lines for cooking and setting up. Leave room in your schedule to prepare so you're not stressed out. And always allow for extra time.

If you haven't seen my 1 minute pitch on youtube, please watch here!
share, comment, LIKE and spread the word please.
And please read the ingredients of your food. If you don't know what something is...don't eat it. 

I think it's important that someone with food allergies tells the host, in advance (for Thanksgiving, at least 2 weeks in advance) what the allergies are. No one wants to hurt someone else, or limit them, or embarrass them. So email or call them and offer to bring dishes for everyone, that you know you can safely eat. Communication is key. And education is important. So eat up! And very happy Thanksgiving. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Things I don't like to Talk About, Topic 1: Food allergies

My mom is allergic to corn. I talk about it all the time because it’s rare and people need to know this can happen to them, and why it’s happening. My mom, in her 50’s, suddenly became allergic to corn. Technically, it’s a food “intolerance” because she gets hives, headaches and such, but she doesn’t go into anaphylactic shock. At least so far. But she does wear a medic alert bracelet because most common medicines have some form of corn in them. Even a simple saline drip or aspirin can contain small amounts. Also vitamins, antihistamines, and most food. And the ingredient list won’t say, “corn”. It’ll say “natural flavors”, “vegetable oil”, or any number of extremely common ingredients that one would never know is made, or can be made, from corn. She has to be extremely careful, clear on communicating in restaurants, and constantly calls food companies to try and find out if she can get a more detailed list of ingredients when they’re vague on packaging.
 I said she developed this later in life. She grew up eating corn and everything else. One day, when I was young, she shucked a lot of corn, ate some, and had accidentally rubbed her eye. Shortly after, her mouth and eye swelled up to look like the elephant man and it was crystal clear what she was allergic to. She feels, that because corn is in everything, that she and millions more people will eventually become resistant to it. Allergies are sometimes thought of as a type of autoimmune trigger that your body starts to fight  trace pathogens that are in your system. Homeopathy and vaccinations are similar principles And my friend, corn is constantly in YOUR system.  That”s why I believe food allergies are becoming a lot more common, and/or a lot more recognized.
  Unless I know someone else I’m talking to has food allergies, I generally try to avoid talking about mine. About 9 years ago I got tested and realized that I was intolerant to a ton of foods. And I realized pretty quickly that I always had been.
 For example, chocolate. I love chocolate. I love the flavor. I don’t need a candy bar. But I grew up on Ovaltine, hot chocolate, chocolate ice cream, shakes and brownies. I probably had a little cocoa powder every day of my life. Until I realized that the constant, intense, depression I had my whole life…was from chocolate. Yup. I get severe nightmares, crying fits, pimples, and a lot more sudden and uncontrollable reactions to chocolate.
 Also wheat. Wheat’s in everything too. Hidden. The same as corn. You name it, it may have wheat in it. (Wheat allergy is similar to a Gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. All wheat has gluten, but not all gluten is wheat). Luckily, trace amounts don’t bother me, unless I have it every day. But if I ate a bran muffin, I might end up in the hospital.
 I also have issues with cow’s milk, some nuts, some fruits, some beef, some pork, some spices, eggs, and lobster (one of my favorites). So that means a regular pizza slice with pepperoni could make me incredibly sick, for days. I get headaches, stomach trauma, dark circles under my eyes, congestion, depression, and anxiety (that’s a common, and relatively unpublicized reaction to Gluten). Sounds fun doesn’t it?!
 Every morning as a kid, I got pretty stomach ill. I was having panic attacks without knowing it. But it happened every single morning before going to school. My mom thought it might be caused by food, and tried to make my breakfast “simple” by giving me a piece of toast with butter, Ovaltine with milk and a raw egg. If you read the above paragraphs, you’ll see that’s basically everything I’m allergic too. She didn’t know any better. No one knew what it was.
 But we know now.
 I don’t talk about it much because, 1) I don’t really like talking about myself, especially in any way that sounds like a, “poor me” scenario or whining. 2) It's sort of embarrassing to me for some reason. And 3) I don’t want people to worry about me when choosing a place to eat, or what to make. But that does present problems.
 Now, I find more and more that people are gluten free, or lactose intolerant, or avoiding high mercury fish, or or or. And then, I’m eager to share all my research and some of my favorite food finds or recipes.
 Gluten Free living has become cache. I don’t understand that. Choosing to be Gluten Free is not a fun, easy, or healthy lifestyle choice. It’s a huge pain in the neck. If you’re NOT intolerant to gluten, there’s simply no reason to avoid it. It’s not healthier and it definitely will NOT help you lose weight. Most of the “gluten free” products you see are a lot higher in calories than their normal equivalent, and certainly most are a lot lighter in taste, although that’s changing.
 What’s my point to come-out-of-the-food allergy closet? I want YOU to pay attention to your food. I want you to pay attention to the food industry. Do not buy engineered food. Do not eat things that aren’t ACTUALLY food. Do not eat products with corn and wheat and milk and soy (the most common hidden ingredients) every single day. Or you too may someday be on the hunt for gluten free, dairy free, taste free pizza with twice the calories of a normal slice.
 For a resource guide, check the LINKS page of, where I put a lot of my favorite links to order GF food. And Living Without Magazine, which helps people with food allergies live a more normal lifestyle.
 Education is power. And you are what you eat.
Be well. Tamar

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happiness is...the goal

Most people don’t know this about me, but I’m not an innately happy person. Or even a generally happy person. I don’t wake up feeling happy and ready to face my day, I don’t fall asleep looking forward to tomorrow, I don’t have boundless energy, no matter how it appears. I wasn’t raised with the happy gene. I was raised with “the world is a horrible place” gene and that all of life is a long, painful, horrible struggle. Some days, I still feel that way.
 But yesterday, my dearest friend said I look good and asked why, and the first answer that came to mind was…”I’m happy?” With the “?” because I thought, “Would that make me look good? Could I BE happy?  Could I say that out loud and not have the building collapse, someone die, or have me gain another 10 lbs of unasked for weight?”
 But I said it, and now my friend wants to know the secret.
 Some people ARE born happy. I only learned that about 9 years ago actually. No matter what is happening in their lives, they still seem to make it through the day and look forward to tomorrow. I can’t tell you how THEY do it, because I will never understand that feeling.
 What I CAN tell you, is what is working for me. Much is borrowed from mentors and famous quotes.
  • I let the Universe guide me. I say it over and over (See last blog post). No matter what is going on in my life, or in that moment (people cutting me off in cars, in line, on the subway or things a hell of a lot worse), I just repeat it and have faith that I am EXACTLY where I’m supposed to be.
  • The ONLY thing I can control, is my attitude. My reactions. I can NOT control the person cutting me off in cars, in line, on the subway or worse. I want to leave every situation better than I left it. Maybe I don’t always succeed, but I think of it every time. If those people REALLY feel the need to cut me off in line…I don’t think the extra 45 seconds is going to chance my life. If they drive insanely near me, I do NOT need to react like an idiot back. I’ve seen a lot of idiots in my time. I have ALWAYS chosen to NOT be just like them in return.
  • I breathe. I sit in silence. I do things I enjoy every day. I eat food I love (reminder of that 10 lbs reference above). I surround myself with Vision Boards of what I want to do in my life, and what I want NOW.
  • I live, “as if”. As if I have everything I could possibly want or need. And I do. I’m very blessed. I have a roof over my head, clothes to wear, people I love and that love me. If you watch the International News,  you’ll know that is a LOT more than most people have across the Globe and I never, ever lose site of that fact.
  • I give to others. Usually quietly. But I do. 
  • I started dropping negative thoughts like hot rocks. I stopped saying mean things to myself (or hopefully others). I started having more faith in myself. 
  • I vent everything…in writing. Plays, films, diary, blog. NOT in emails. I work it out. I don’t sit with feelings anymore so much. I aim to admit the feelings, and let them go. Again, not perfect, but that’s the goal.

I hope you notice that my answers do NOT include: I have the perfect boyfriend, family, job, body, wardrobe, or anything else like that. Happiness is not a destination, it’s a life choice. And for me, it takes work. But the payoff seems to be working, because it makes me happy. And that’s the point.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I let the Universe guide me.

This past trip to Los Angeles's events; 13 unbelievable coincidences? I think not. All in under 8 weeks.
1)     The coincidences started before the trip, with my friend, John calling me to check in before coming to LA and realizing he would need a room, and I had a room. Best room mate EVER.
2)     When I first arrived in LA, I told John I needed a back doctor, and within 2 hours, my friend, Betsy mentioned her back doctor, which is who I ended up seeing.
3)     Nigel (massage therapist in NYC) had connected me with Leslie (massage therapist moving to LA), who I, uncharacteristically, lent my most expensive prize possession, my massage table to, somehow knowing it would be fine, which it was. When I got to LA, we traded massage. Turns out, she’s living in the old bedroom of my friend…who I usually trade massage with, and who Leslie usually trades massage with. Also, she’s a foodie and an actress and we have a lot in common.
4)     Early in my trip, I was grocery shopping at Whole Foods for no reason. I see a woman doing a demo and I think, “I know her.” I couldn’t leave it alone until I figured out where I knew her from. I said, “Got it! We did a show together 20 years ago, cast by XXXXX, who was a con artist.” (The woman) couldn’t believe I said that, because the CD had JUST slept on her couch for a month and swindled her and her mom out of money. So we got together the following week to discuss it. The timing was perfect, of course. Unless I had run into her 2 months before, when I wasn’t in LA!
5)     I threw a party. John had 6 friends come. Some of his friends knew some of my friends. Plus, his friends are best friends with other people I know well. Definitely a small world of actors moment.
6)     I went to a reading at AIDA (Australian institute), which I’d never heard of. I went from there, directly to a party. Within 20 minutes of being at the party, someone said, “you should study at AIDA, you’d like it.”
7)     “Big Ears”, the film which I came out to rehearse and shoot, was canceled. But not before I postponed my date to fly back to NYC. If I had NOT postponed it, I wouldn’t have been around to shoot the film I DID shoot. Although “Big Ears” might still happen, giving me a great reason to return to LA in May.
8)     I had 2 auditions for films. I got them both. I couldn’t do both, because they conflicted. But the one I did NOT do, was being monitored by a guy I know.
9)     I get an email from Cherie, who is in a film with me, but I’ve never met. She offers me roles in a production of, “Almost, Maine” by John Cariani. John Cariani was living with me at the time, and he knew nothing about it. I’ve wanted to do that play for about 15 years.
10) The play was then postponed because one of the NY actor/producers got the same job as my best friend (in LA)…a series regular for a new show filming in Romania for 5 weeks.
11) I email Blair Hickey from and Lisa Gold from (and a few others) to recommend that they meet. Turns out, Lisa was IN LA at the time, meeting with Gary Marsh from Actor’s Access (partnered with Casting About) and trying to meet with Blair, which I facilitated! And because of that, it made Lisa think of me to help be her “mini me” and run seminars in LA! Where I was looking to create more work. And on a side note, many years ago I had a premonition that I would someday do motivational speaking.
12) This morning, I said I needed more work, especially writing work. Within 2 hours I was offered more blog writing work, and possibly accepted into a research study which PAYS! (And will also help my back).
13) The whole time I was in LA, my usual tap teacher was away. So I couldn’t take class (which might have hurt my back) even if I wanted to.

I constantly meditate on, “I let the Universe guide me…” and THIS is what happens.

TAG: Just arrived back in NYC. And I realize I'm following someone on Twitter that my cousin had told me months ago to get in touch with. I think the Universe did it for me. I don't follow a lot of people on Twitter, just what/who I want to follow. Sweet!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What do we depend on for our relationships?

    Years ago, I dragged a conversation out of my father. He was concerned that I wasn’t any closer to marrying someone who could financially take care of me. I made it very clear to him that, 1) There is no security. That’s an illusion. 50% of marriages don’t last forever. 50% of marriages end in death. 2) Just because you have a good job, doesn’t mean you’ll have that job forever. This conversation was years ago, I couldn’t have predicted the economic crisis we found ourselves in a few years ago. But it proved my point, and it proved life is unpredictable. And 3) I told my father, “You brought me up to take care of myself. You taught me to be smart with money, resourceful, and hard working. You did not raise me to wait for Prince Charming so I could sit back and let someone else take care of me.” These are probably the best words I ever told my father, and I stand by it today. It’s nice to be a part of a 2 income home. It’s nice to have someone to lean on occasionally, emotionally, financially, or whatever way needed. But what’s most important, I think, is to have the confidence in yourself that you can live through any situation. Breakup, loss of job, loss of home, loss of loved ones. I don’t depend on others for my happiness or sense of self worth. And that’s taken me awhile. But I don’t. Neither should you. My boyfriend does not want to be with me because I could support him, and I’m not with him for that reason either. We love the person inside and out. Do I have expectations of him? Yes. I won’t say what any of them are. Each person has different expectations for their loved one. But my happiness, or any other part of my life does NOT depend on whether or not my significant other achieves those expectations. I count on ONLY myself to be strong enough to live through whatever happens. I know I’m being vague. Each person has different fears. A fear of showing their weakness. A fear of being cheated on. A fear that someone will leave them. Fear of losing their job. Fears hold us back. What a waste of time! 99.9% of fears never come true.
  I say, have the faith to believe in yourself. You’ve made it this far in life and you can keep making it through.