Ask Alexandra – January 2009
I’m a huge fan of you, not only of your acting, but also your environmental passion. I myself share the same passion. Ever since I was little I’ve always had a love for animals and nature, but as I got older I began to become concerned for our planet. It’s really frustrating however, since I’m only 15. I feel like there isn’t much I can do right now. Do you have any advice on how teenagers like me can make a difference?
My biggest dream, would be to one day be able to do environmental work with you!
You are 15, but you can do so much! Remember, companies are very interested in what teenagers purchase because studies show that if a company can get a young person to use its product, he/she is likely to continue using it into adulthood. So, as an environmentalist, you can write to companies whose packaging is wasteful (that alone can keep a person busy, as packaging makes up 2/3 of our trash, you can boycott products made by companies which have destructive manufacturing practices or that test on animals (see http://www.alexandrapaul.com/activism/activism_animals.htm for links on companies that do and do not test on animals). Remember it is important to let the companies know that you boycott them by making a call or writing to them (an internet search will give you the CEO or head of marketing, or just call the consumer hotline as they log all calls).
I strongly urge you to stop eating and wearing animals. Don’t preach to others about it, just do it yourself. The most important thing we can do to make the world a better place is to walk our talk. If we care about animals and nature, we must not support their suffering and murder. Read more about the environmental effects of factory farming at http://www.byebyebeef.com/ and go to www.farmsanctuary.org for information on the cruelty inflicted on innocent animals so we can eat and wear them. I also answered a question in last month’s Ask Alexandra about wearing wool http://www.alexandrapaul.com/corner/askalexandra_2008_12.htm.
Joining organizations that support animals and nature is very important. If you cannot afford the membership fees, go to their sites to read about their campaigns and to sign their petitions etc. I recommend Farm Sanctuary, Best Friends and Last Chance for Animals as animal organizations that I personally know do incredible work. I like PETA for their in-your-face courage. I am a huge admirer of Capt Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Society – you may know him from Animal Planet’s excellent 2008 series, Whale Wars. Search my site for other recommendations, like John Robbin’s books http://www.alexandrapaul.com/corner/favorites.htm.
Environmentally, one of the most passionate men on the environment that I know is Tim Hermach, who founded Native Forest Council. I recommend staying away from the big organizations and getting involved in smaller non-profits local to you. Search in your area for smaller organizations that do work that inspires you! Go to www.earthtalktoday.tv to see the incredible guests I have interviewed over the years, and the groups they represent for ideas.
Walking our talk, educating ourselves on issues, and supporting the work of others can be done at any age. Thank you for writing. I hope to work with you someday on an environmental project also!
You are a very beautiful person inside and out. Can you tell me about your make up? What do you use to create your flawless effect?
I got a chuckle out of “flawless effect”, but I thank you deeply for it too! I want to make sure everyone knows that onscreen there are a dozen people setting up lights to make the actors look as good as possible and that I have spent an hour in hair and makeup before I walk onto the set! I think lighting is the most important thing, actually, and that is something we cannot control in real life…
If you saw me walking around the street, you would see that I wear little makeup. I wear black or brown eyeliner from Gabriel, a makeup line with no ingredients tested on animals. I fill in my eyebrows with the same liner, in brown. I have a thing about my brows, so I always brush them up with hairspray from Giovanni on a wand. Sometimes I wear a light powder (also from Gabriel – this brand and Giovanni are found at health food stores). I wash my face with Leaf & Rusher’s Green Tea Wash, and for the last 9 years, I have gotten facials every 3 weeks from Rita Czmadia in Santa Monica, and she has changed my skin so that I really don’t need to wear foundation. I don’t wear usually wear mascara, but Rita dyed my lashes last month and I like the effect a lot so I just might continue that. Once a year, I get a face peel from her, and hole up at home for 3 days! I wear a little bit of color on my lips which soon comes off, as I tend to snack and not re-apply. My moisturizers are Dermalogica face creams and Epicuren for under my eyes.
There ya go. My beauty routine. And I don’t drink alcohol nor smoke, and I never lie out in the sun. I work out every day and my mom says that sweating is good for the skin! I am definitely not flawless, but I feel great at 45!
Happy New Year to you!
I discovered your website a few years ago and have been continually inspired by your conviction and courage. A few questions:
(1) How do you manage your time to ensure you are attending to all the areas of your life that are important to you (e.g., keeping physically fit, nurturing your relationships, working, registering voters, etc.)?
(2) Past posts and at least one of your favorite reading selections refer to your dislike of television. How do you reconcile your views of television watching with your chosen occupation?
(3) How do you avoid getting caught up in the superficial, image-obsessed traps of Hollywood? You come across as a very authentic, down-to-earth individual. Where do you get the courage to stay true to yourself rather than conforming to what others want you to be?
Peace and happiness,
(1) Well, not having kids and having a job that has a lot of downtime helps immensely. Otherwise, I definitely would have to cut down on some areas of my life! I also wake up early and don’t watch tv (see part 2 below). I know that seems glib, but it is true: the average American spends 2-4 hours/day watching television. I take that time and work out and do my volunteer work.
(2) I don’t have anything inherently against tv, I just find it such a waste to watch too much of it (see part 1, above). When I was much younger, I did feel that television made your brain shrivel etc. but now I am a bit nostalgic about television as I see it as a dying medium, entertainment soon to be wholly replaced by the internet and video games. As an actress, I LOVE shooting television – I like the faster pace, the roles are better for women, the sense of family on a long running show is wonderful. It seems to be at odds with my views on tv, but actually it isnt. Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander is still a fascinating book (and another one of Jerry’s books, In the Absence of the Sacred, is also a favorite) with a lot of important points made. Jerry still wont appear on tv even though he has been asked many times over the years, and I admire his strong belief (I even invited him to be interviewed on EarthTalk Today), but I think there are good things about television too.
(3) I am superficial in that I am concerned with how I look! I have found that most actors are authentic and down to earth, it is just the media that paints them differently! I learned a long time ago that we are all at our best when we are who we are. The more we are who we are, the happier we will be, I know that for sure. And others sense that comfort with oneself and don’t mess with you – in fact, they want the confidence you have!
Thank you, Lyne, for your questions.