Tola Talks about the bozo interviewer who asked Cate Blanchett a stupid question about her cat on a leash in Cinderella. It’s also Throwback Thursday, so we’re taking you back to the high-flying days of 1999, with a few personal stories about Donald Trump and Y2K. Social @richtola
As part of my book event on August 1st, Mystic Journey Bookstore invited me to contribute to their blog and specifically called it “a personal message from you to our readers”.
Simply put, my message is this: Do it Your Way.
No matter what conventional wisdom holds, and no matter what others believe you can and can not do. It doesn’t matter – you’re the only one that matters when it comes to what you believe is possible. Not to mention what you put in your mouth and what you do to preserve your body every day, i.e., diet and exercise. Which happens to be the exact same message you’ll get from my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood.
It’s 69 short and witty chapters about following the herd and living a wild and colorful life – with Wall Street excesses, exotic locales and scores of bad-boy romances with NYC strippers and wealthy married women. Then finding the peace and courage through Yoga to finally change my evil ways, evolve my soul, and follow my dreams to Hollywood.
Because anyone can change…if you believe you can and want it bad enough to confidently set your sights and try. Just like the women and children living in domestic violence shelters where we teach the benefits of Yoga. Upon completion of my film, Boulevard Zen, I founded The Boulevard Zen Foundation to bring the powers of Yoga to families overcoming adversity, specifically survivors of DV. So in 2005, after 20 years of wanting to change my lifestyle and really go for it on that daunting ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, I became enamored with this 6,000 year-old mind-body-spirit practice that truly changed my life. Two years later I bought a one-way ticket to LA and never looked back.
I also went bust along the way. But did I fail? On the contrary, I succeeded in following my dreams and I’m still standing. Happily I might add, with a film, a self-published book in paperback, digital and audio (narrated by me), and more than 15 hours of instructional Yoga videos on the market. Not too bad for a poor Sicilian kid from Trenton, NJ who overcame the odds and went on to graduate from the Wharton and Kellogg business schools with no particular background in the Arts.
So anything is possible, wouldn’t you say? Just Do it Your Way.
Call this a Rant, but the following commentary is meant to help you ladies SMARTEN UP when it comes to men. That’s right, smarten up, because you can be quite stupid when it comes to wasting your precious time obsessing over the wrong guy. And since most women are like little girls who never grow-up and believe their Prince Charming in shining armor is going to swoop them away – sorry ladies, that only works for Julia Roberts & Richard Gere – they fall victim to bad-boy Gigolos wanting to score as their Mr. Right Now. I should know – I was one of them.
Let me explain with a real life example. This weekend I spent an hour with my sexy cool 33-year-old friend who’s also a really sweet gal whom I never slept with – which makes it easier for me to be her therapist (something I advise never to do, by the way, in my memoir Chapter 15 – Just Say No). She told me last week she met a really hot guy who she spent 3 days texting and talking to before they met for coffee on the 4th day. Sparks were flying and they talked about “meaningful relationships” and how they were both “done with the party scene” and all that.
So her 29 year-old Prince Charming talks like he’s “the one” and asks her to dinner the following night. The next day he never called or anything. So she texted him. No response. Now it’s a week later with no communication whatsoever and she’s whining to me about how she’s getting older and she’s not that attractive any more, and how she feels totally rejected by this chucklehead she really thought was the one. And of course she’s obsessing about whether he’ll still call, and if he does, should she say anything about him blowing her off for dinner or just leave it alone. Now I would call that wasting your precious time, wouldn’t you? So what did I suggest to my love-smitten friend? Forgettabout him!
Ladies, take heed of my favorite 4 letter word…NEXT. Because Mr. Right Now definitely got my friend’s text and choose not to contact her. He’s playing her for a fool and only wants to secure the power – don’t let him do it. Move on to better and brighter pastures and remain open to meeting Mr. Right. It’s not this guy, that’s for sure. Because if a guy doesn’t follow through, then he’s got something or someone else he wants to pursue that takes priority over you. Not good. Be strong and kick him to the curb. Better yet, run! Because Gigolos will only chip away at your self-confidence and self-respect. Something you should NEVER let happen. Respect yourself, just like you would with a Daily Fitness Program. However impossible it may seem, you CAN do it – if you just try and never give up! Because ANYONE can workout every single day and drink from the Fountain of Youth, as explained and simplified by me in Chapter 67 – Self Correct, for when the right man (or woman) does come along.
I have – for the past 40 years.
And for anyone looking to expand your mind – or change careers – here’s what Erica Lamberg with media giant Gannett writes about my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, www.mycentraljersey.com (click link to read article).
There’s 386 pages packed full of 69 bite-sized Chapters detailing the fascinating journey of this street-smart Sicilian kid from “Jersey” who grew up poor then forged his way through the Wharton and Kellogg Business Schools, to Wall Street juggernauts Goldman Sachs and Drexel Burnham Lambert, to signing contracts with Donald Trump and reaching a net-worth of $10 million. Only to lose it all in the blink-of-an-eye, leading to an Epiphany (Chapter 47) that led to Yoga and enlightenment.
A mouthful I know, but it’s sure been a wild ride with tons of witty and heartfelt stories about growing up Sicilian with “Goombata Sal” and “representing the family”, to the “cute-boy syndrome” that fueled romances with a bevy of engaged and married women (and NYC strippers), to the plethora of major US cities and exotic locales where I lived, worked and played including NYC, LA, Philadelphia, Chicago, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, to the “nobody makes it here” streets of Hollywood.
You’ll also learn about domestic violence and why I founded a charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation, to teach the benefits of Yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters. A portion of all my book and DVD sales are donated to this cause.
Enjoy…and don’t forget to get your workout in! – Rich
Of course I’d love to be reviewed by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle (I’ve sent them copies), as well as any other book club or national critic. Because the proof is in the pudding – and self-promotion is quite humbling. So check it out for yourself, it’s an entertaining timeline of my life with tons of colorful and insightful – and oftentimes poignant – stories about everything from funerals and old-school Sicilian customs, to selling Junk bonds on Wall Street and The General Motors Building for The Trump Organization, to what it means to be a Yoga teacher and an actor trying to “make it” on the elusive streets of Hollywood.
Thanks for reading and enjoy! And don’t forget your daily workout – R