Ask Alexandra February 2014

1) Alexandra, I am working on a biographical tribute on Richard Jaeckel and am hoping that you might share a brief remembrance of having worked with this fine character actor on “Baywatch”. Thank you.

Gene

Hi Gene,

I remember that he was a very nice man, but that he was in a lot of pain in his last year so it was not easy for him to get around. Because of that, he was not in the show as much so I did not get to know him very well at all. Plus I was slightly intimidated by him, as he was a much respected actor with a long career and it was my first season on Baywatch.

I am glad you are writing something about Richard. I wish I could have provided you with anecdotes.

Thank you,
Alexandra


2) Hi Alexandra,
I’ve tried asking this before I think, but I never got a reply from you. Why did you decide to go with the Chevy Volt after being arrested trying to prevent GM from crushing the ev1? I do hope GM is more serious about ev’s this time and can’t wait to see their 200 mile range car they say they’ll have. I’m just praying it’ll be sold in more states than just california.

Sincerely, Jeremy

Hi Jeremy,

I am sure the next generation Volt will be sold in more places than California – the first generation Volt rolled out into all states pretty quickly.

Although I protested GM for the crushing of the EV1 in 2005, I always admired the company for producing the first from-the-ground-up electric car. When California mandated in the early 1990s that the top car companies produce a certain percentage of zero emission cars, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Nissan etc all simply took an existing gas model and converted it to electric. General Motors created a completely state of the art vehicle, the EV1, that was amazing. So it was always their policy with which I disagreed, not their technology. When their policy changed and they came out with the Chevrolet Volt, I was more than happy to support it. And they hired me as a spokesperson in 2011 because they knew I would give the car credibility.

The Volt is a terrific interim step – it is 2 cars in 1: an electric car when you want it and a gas car when you need to drive a longer distance. 99% of my daily driving is only on electricity, which I generate from solar panels. I am getting a lifetime average of 120 mpg, which is twice that of the Prius. I am very happy and proud of my vehicle!

I too look forward to a Volt with even longer electric range.

Best,
Alexandra


3) Hi Alexandra,

Here I am again, 7 years after my last letter and coincidentally it was 7 years before that one (see Ask Alexandra February 2007, January 2000). I guess 7 is a divine number indeed! Anyway, you asked me to write again in a couple of years and tell you how I’ve been.

A lot has happened I can tell you. Last time I wrote you life was pretty simple, but cancer (among other things) struck our family hard only a few months later. Since then I’ve lost many loved ones, including my beloved father to this horrible disease.

But, there’s also been great things. I’ve been able to follow you on twitter 😉 and I’ve been in a (very) long distance relationship with a wonderful guy from Indonesia. We recently got engaged and hope to be able to live together soon.

Last time I wrote, I had just switched my studies and you wouldn’t believe how much I’ve grown as a person and a professional. I recently graduated (last summer, actually). So now I have my Master of Art degree. Yet, 10 years of studying is no guarantee for a job. So my question to you is: have you ever been “in between jobs” for a long period of time and what did you do to stay motivated during that time?

I hope you, Ian and your siblings are doing well.

With endless love,
Bart

Hi Bart,

Well how cool that you wrote again! It is so nice to get an update. Congratulations on your engagement and I hope that soon your fiance can join you in Holland.

I am sorry to hear about your father’s passing – my dad died in February, 2004 so it has been 10 years and I still miss him very much.

It is terrific you graduated – your last letter said it was a 6 year program, wow. That certainly shows how much persistence you have, which is an asset to any employer.

To answer your question, yes I have spent periods when I was unemployed longer than I was comfortable. I remember, when I was 21, telling my dad I had not done a movie in 10 months and he said “Honey, Robert Redford only does one movie a year”. 🙂 Anyway, when I am not working I do two things: 1) lay the groundwork to be ready when I do get a job. That means go to acting class, and stay in shape physically and emotionally. 2) make sure I am still “living”, which to me means giving back, volunteering for different causes. Ann Landers, a newspaper advice columnist here in the United States, once said that if one is not happy, then doing something for someone else is the most effective anti-depressant.

I also believe in being very specific about what one wants out of life, or a job. That means literally sitting down and putting it on paper! That will help attract what we want to us, and it will clarify when we need to say “no”.

Good luck with finding a job and please write back in a few years to let me know how you are doing. Thank you so much for checking in again and sending me an update. It was wonderful to hear from you!

xo Alexandra

One Response to Ask Alexandra February 2014

  1. Bart says:

    Thanks, Alexandra! I am honored to get your response once again. You truly are wonderfully sweet. Thank you for your kind words.

    Nice to see you do the same things as I’ve been doing. I’ve been taking and creating smaller projects. Some paid, some unpaid. But by keeping busy I am developing and not losing my mind! Also, what works great is attending seminars and such. But also asking people I admire if I can just come and chat with them about their work, or even joining them for a day.

    Also doing some voluntary work and actively helping out people.

    Maybe I should take up acting again (I did in high school and took some classes about 9 years ago) and do one movie a year 😉

    That tip of putting on paper exactly what I want to do sounds great. Will do!

    Be blessed!

    Bart

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