Hello, my name is Lisa Jakub and I used to be an actor (Or: The answer to “why did you quit acting?”)

This is a weird thing for me to write about. You see, I’ve been spending the last 10 years running from my past. A friend said that I’m so dodgy about my old life, that I behave like someone who killed her entire family and moved out of state.

I’m that elusive about it.

But I didn’t kill anyone.

I was just an actor. Continue reading

Revisiting: Money

*I’m working hard on my new book and finding myself with little time for new blog posts. I decided to bring back some older posts that you might have missed… Hope you enjoy!

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It’s surprising to me that people actually ask me how much money I make.

I guess they have heard about “residuals” and are just curious to know how that works, but it seems like a ridiculous thing to ask. I feel like they should follow-up by asking for my weight and the date of my last period.

But people wonder about these things so I need to come up with some sort of answer.

I heard that somebody who had worked on Jurassic Park went to their mailbox one day to find a check for $100,000. I’m not sure if that is really true, or just one of those urban legends that was intended to increase morale amongst us working actors in a sometimes brutal industry.

Just to be clear, I have never stumbled across such a residual check.

Here’s how it works – when my movies or TV shows are rented or shown on television, I get a fraction of a penny. Those pennies get bundled together and the checks arrive randomly, sometimes a couple of them show up one week, other times there is nothing for months.

The amount has diminished over time, these days, the average check is about $4.71. Occasionally they are more and my husband and I get to have a nice dinner out. But then there are times when the check wouldn’t cover the price of the stamp and it can be a little embarrassing to take a 23 cent check to the bank.

Foreign residuals are always fun; it’s neat to get a check for $17 because one of my disease-of-the-week TV movies was on cable in Denmark.

It’s nothing life-altering and it’s certainly nothing that you can depend on. At some point, the term “residual” started to be reminiscent something that gets stuck to the bottom of your shoe rather than a legitimate source of income.

But regardless of the amount, it’s appreciated, because what kind of asshole doesn’t appreciate random money showing up for something that they did 20 years ago?

Even if it is less than they would get from babysitting.

Check back next week when I will be posting about my weight and the date of my last period.

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Revisited: Clubbing baby actors

*I’m working hard on my new book and finding myself with little time for new blog posts. I decided to bring back some older posts, that you might have missed… Hope you enjoy!

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I just wanted to fit in.

Desperately.

All 15-year-olds just want to fit in. They skulk around like those fish on the ocean floor who can alter their skin color to match the rocks. That was me – trying to blend like my survival depended on it.

But Mrs. Doubtfire was still in theaters, breaking all kinds of box-office records and 20th Century Fox was putting two-page ads in The Hollywood Reporter thanking everyone for buying a movie ticket. Blending was getting harder to do. But L.A. was my life now and I needed to figure out how to be part of that Hollywood crowd. A club on the Sunset Strip seemed like a good place to learn.

We didn’t even want to drink. My friend Christine had a crush on the singer of the opening band. Her sister had been in a movie with him, and our entire intention for the evening was to jump up and down in front of the stage and scream.

The place was dark and throbbing with coolness. People oozed cool and rubbed it all over their already cool friends. People moved around the place with such great comfort that it seemed like it was their living room. I used all the acting skills at my disposal in an attempt to copy those people — and knew I was failing miserably. Continue reading

New online writing class – starting soon!

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*If you’re interested in this class, might want to sign up for my newsletter ASAP. I’ve got something to help make the deal a little sweeter…and a little easier on the wallet… 

It’s 2017.

It’s January.

It’s that time when everyone is feeling all motivated to do that thing that they’ve been wanting to do forever – that thing that never happened because life got in the way. Because of laundry and doctor’s appointments and soccer games. Because it’s scary to jump in and actually do it.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be scared. Jump in. I’ll jump in with you.

Everyone has a story to tell. This year, let’s tell yours.

My online writing class is a small group – just eight students – and we’ll meet on Wednesday evenings online. You’ll log in from anywhere and use your webcam (yeah, it’s strange at first but everyone gets used to it) and we’ll all show up on the screen like the Brady Bunch opening credits. We’re one big happy family and we’re going to write together. I’ll teach you everything you need to know to write your memoir and we’ll read some great writers to find inspiration. Continue reading

Yes, it’s weird, but I actually love it: public speaking

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I enjoy making intense faces and doing awkward things with my hands.

Even though it makes very little sense for someone who is 93% introverted with an unreasonably strong attachment to sweatpants – I actually love doing public events.

I adore meeting you all and discussing really important things:

How we decide to define success for ourselves.
How we deal with anxiety/depression/panic attacks and ditch the stigma.
How we rewrite the script for our lives and find some joy even in the midst of chaos.
Why I feel the need to wear Chuck Taylors to even the fanciest of events.

I still get nervous every time, but what helps is the realization that I’m not up there just blabbering on about myself. I’m talking about ALL OF US. The things we all go through and the ways we can realize that we are not alone.

I’ve done talks for high schools, colleges, companies, and conferences and I’m currently booking speaking engagements for 2017. For more information about having me come visit, please check the speaking events section. You can see clips from my previous talks, read testimonials, download my speaking kit and submit a request.

Looking forward to meeting you!

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I also have a great affection for PowerPoint slides featuring cartoons

The sergeant and the wren: it’s about the little things

My badge reads:

Lisa: experienced cat socializer

It has paw print stickers all over it.

I expected to walk dogs when I started volunteering once a week at the no-kill shelter. I saw myself as firmly Team Dog. But they needed help with the cats so I went to help with the cats.

I soon found that I had a knack with the…um…”difficult” cats. The ones who take a chunk out of your arm if you make eye contact. The abused, traumatized, aggressive felines. For some reason, I can touch the cats no one else can get near. I can take the wild-eyed maniacs and turn them into the cuddly lap sitters that everyone wants to take home.

I don’t have very many valuable skills – but I am the Asshole Cat Whisperer. Continue reading

Perspective shift: a weekend with history

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At the Martin Luther King, Jr memorial in Washington, DC

A couple of months ago I went to Washington, D.C. with my husband. It was his birthday and we spent the weekend eating too much, drinking over-priced cocktails and walking around the city.

I’m Canadian but I have lived in the US for the last twenty years and I now have my American citizenship as well. I love this country, and I see the problems. And the problems have been overwhelming me lately. The divisiveness, the name-calling, the hatred and bigotry. I get deflated and anxious. I get sad and frustrated. I talk about moving back to Canada.

But while in D.C. we went to monuments and memorials: Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Roosevelt, WW II, Vietnam – and something occurred to me:

As a country, we have been through some serious shit.

Are things bad now?

Yes.

Have they been worse before?

Yes.

That doesn’t negate what is happening right now, but what it does mean is that we can do this. We were made to deal with hard things. We are strong and resilient. We were made to overcome and heal and work together to become better. This is true whether we’re talking about the political climate or global terrorism or our own personal struggles with anxiety or depression.

It’s easy to throw up our hands and assume that it’s all just going to hell. But apathy is the easy way out. We might go through hell — but we’re sure as hell going to keep walking until we get somewhere better.

We’re all in this together, so let’s be radically kind and endlessly courageous.

with love,

~L

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