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Michelle Ann Owens

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Why I Think Dating Apps Suck Even More Than Before

If you’re anything like me, you’ve cycled through the regular dating apps: Match.com, eHarmony, Tinder and even Bumble.  I got tired of seeing the same guys over and over (in addition to friends and people I know personally), so I thought I’d take it “up a notch” and try some of the more exclusive apps, which require approval to get in.  I wanted to meet different men.  I signed up for both Inner Circle as well as The League.  I was accepted almost immediately into both of them, and my online dating experience was re-energized. Or so I thought.

In the past, my experience was more about filtering out the guys who were just looking for casual hookups (and of course, doing my best to avoid drug dealers, which has indeed proven difficult, especially when said dating prospect poses as someone seemingly professional for a period of time. I even had one go out of his way to wear a golf shirt on the first meet, and nice button downs on several of the following dates.  He seemed legit, but this eventually turned into old stained t-shirts and flip flops after a simultaneous reveal of a bong collection, accidentally-left-out Ziplocs of coke and a stack of after-hours nude club discount cards. But I digress.) I truly thought that I’d be connecting with men of a higher caliber on these brand new apps.

Instead, I discovered a new kind of challenge.  Case: Hot guy, early 30’s.  Sent some nice messages back and forth. Professional job.  Lives in suburbs (about 45 minutes away from me, which I thought might be an issue, but I went for it anyway, thinking we could try for a weekend).  I give him my number, and we text back and forth, trying to find a time to set up a date.  He kept asking if I’d be in his area, which I wouldn’t be.  I never, ever have work or projects in his area.  And if you know Los Angeles, you know it takes at least an hour to get anywhere.  So I asked if he could come closer to me, and he said “yeah, I think so”, but then we couldn’t seem to align schedules.  He’d text again a few days later, asking if I’d be out his way at all.  I thought, is this guy for real?  Didn’t I already tell him I’m never in his area, for any reason? Also, isn’t it standard for a guy to drive to the girl’s area for the first date anyway?  Red flag.  Of course, he texted a few cute photos of himself, so I look past the flag and continue.  Our schedules still didn’t seem to mesh however, and the merry go round continued.  For a few weeks.  Yes, weeks.

One day during an exchange, I realized that he never actually called me to talk. I don’t know about you, but I feel weird when I’m getting to know someone solely via text.  I need to hear a voice and vibe.  As I thought through this, I also realized that my schedule was getting out of hand.  I had booked a few projects in this time period, and I just knew that dating someone so far away would prove difficult beyond even one date.  I decided I didn’t want to play the cat and mouse game.  The next time I received his now regular (and a bit too casual) “hey you” text, I replied and kindly expressed, “obviously it’s been really tough for us to connect, and I’ve suddenly become super busy, so I need to put dating on the back burner for a bit. I’m sorry, but I wish you luck out there in the big, bad world of dating!”  His response:  “I have to be totally honest.  I am not really looking to date anyway.  I just wanted to pick your brain about starting a podcast.  What’s your schedule this weekend?”.  My jaw dropped. He had been flirting and sending photos all this time, acting all chummy, and then pulls the curtain to showcase his agenda to learn how to start a frigging podcast?  And, he was hoping I’d somehow drive out to his area to help him. What in the hell?  I probably would’ve ended up with the bill too, now that I think about it.  What a waste.  He may as well have been a drug dealer at this point.

Oh yes, things were taken up a notch indeed with my new dating apps!  Ha! Now, instead of using chicks for sex, men seemed to be trolling the apps to see which ones could help them with their professional pursuits or hobbies.  Awesome.

Back to organic dating I go.  My long-term relationships have always been men I’ve met through professional work or a mutual interest.  I’ve never met a great guy in a bar or on a dating app.  Ever.  If you’re someone who has, I applaud you, because in my experience, it’s simply not possible.  At least not for a long-term, happy relationship that ends in good feelings and friendship, which my long-terms have.  Almost all of my dating app relationships have resulted in blocking.  I have to chuckle at this realization.  It’s kind of absurd, when the purpose is to find love, not disgust.

All in all, I can’t say I’m a fan of dating apps.  What has been your experience with them?  Reach out to me at michelle@ladyfoxentertainment.com with your thoughts and musings, and I’m sure I can find an appropriate pod guest to discuss further.  In the meantime, good luck out there if you choose to participate in the dating app game!

 

I Wish People Would Stop Hating Those Who Are Different From Them

I gotta be honest. I really can’t believe what’s going on in the world right now. I just don’t understand this intense hatred among certain groups of people. No one group is superior over another. Period.  We are all individual souls here to live out a human experience. So, it’s mind boggling that some people think they’re better because of their skin, their socio-economic status or their religious and moral beliefs. I realize that division naturally occurs in nature (the “us” vs “them” mentality), but why must it have the added layers of nastiness, hatred and potential war? In my opinion, you can be different and simply choose to disagree minus the crazy-ass, violent protesting.

Of course, divides get even worse when it comes to how people self-identify with their gender, their sexuality or their relationship choices. Does it make you cringe that someone might be bisexual and polyamorous? Then stop reading here, because I come from the standpoint and belief system that as long as people aren’t hurting each other or those around them, and their choices are consensual and informed, then they should be free to do what they want and be left alone in peace. What good is it going to do to assault them? I mean, what age are we living in?

I’m assuming you’re continuing to read this because you are a conscious, spiritually-awake human being and you think about issues from all sides with an open mind. So for a moment, I’d like you to think about the LGBT community. In larger cities like LA (my home), San Francisco and NYC, being gay is practically mainstream now. For the most part, we live in a bubble because we are used to the diversity and to accepting others who are different from us. Without a doubt, there are still haters in big cities. But it’s easier for LGBT people to find their respective community and to have the support they need to live a normal life. It’s not so easy for those in smaller cities or towns where they feel they need to live in secret. My heart goes out to them, because they are held back from living their own truth, and what’s worse is that they live in fear of condemnation, whether that’s being fired from their job, being ostracized from their church, being outright bullied verbally or physically because of their preferences, being uninvited to family gatherings, etc. The list goes on. Imagine if you had to live in that fear. Let’s put this in perspective.  Imagine if you had to hide the fact that you love golf, that you love to play the guitar in your free time, that you think of your dog as if they were your child, or to take it to a different level, that you enjoy playing around with fuzzy handcuffs with your spouse?  How do you think it would feel to hide something that feels completely normal to you?

With that, I turn to another community of people who I stumbled upon while doing research earlier this year about the taboo topic of incest. This seems to be showing up in a lot of tv and film programming as of late (read: Game of Thrones). Part of me admittedly picked the topic because I knew it would have shock value for my podcast, but the other part of me was also curious about learning more.

I first covered it from the perspective of overt abuse, where an underage family member is taken advantage of sexually, and what long-term effects this abuse has on their adult relationships and work life. You can hear that episode with Dr. Lesliebeth Wish here: http://ladyfoxentertainment.com/2017/03/05/dr-lesliebeth-wish-discusses-incest-and-its-long-term-effects-on-survivors/

Then I covered incest from the other side of the coin, the perspective of two consenting adults who choose to be together, which their community terms “consanguinity”, a much less ominous word than “incest”, I might add.  I personally wondered why two relatives would want to be together in this way, as it was completely foreign to me. I’ve never been attracted to anyone in my family. I’ve had a couple of ex-boyfriends who seemed to be a lot closer to their sisters than felt comfortable for me though, so I’ve had times when it struck me from the side within my own interpersonal relationships. Regardless, while it’s not something I have done myself or would do, I don’t automatically hate on consang people for being different from me. And I ask that you try to have an open mind as well.

What I want you to know is that it’s very real.  There is an entire underground activist movement going on with this minority group. They long to be understood, and they are tired of hiding in fear of danger and condemnation for their choices in romantic relationships. Frankly, prior to a few months ago, I had no idea that this community existed at all, so it’s very interesting to me to cover it on my podcast, and I think it’s important for people to be aware of it. Mark my words, this will be gaining more and more attention in the coming years.

I’m also covering this topic because it’s about humanity and can be a great exercise to stop reacting and to start listening. You can still disagree with choices that any community makes, but you don’t have to hate them all for it. They aren’t hurting you or society. They just want to be free to love who they want to love.

Perhaps in your mind, it’s one thing for two gay people to be together, but it’s a whole different thing for two siblings, cousins, half-siblings or a parent-child relationship to happen. It’s a tough idea for many people to get their head around, no doubt. But you don’t have to be a consang supporter or turn into their best friend. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to make any effort to connect at all. That’s your prerogative. But what I’m hoping for here is a general acknowledgment and acceptance that there are indeed people who are different than you. That’s a fact. What’s also a fact – a blaring one – is that it doesn’t necessarily mean they are BAD people. (As I write this, I should clarify that there are always going to be a few bad apples in any community and in ANY group of people. So I’m not saying that everyone in the LGBT or consang communities is an angel. I’m not saying that white, black or Asian or any other group of people are perfect and are all angels either. I’m simply saying in a general way that not all people who are different from you should be seen as dark and evil because of their differences.)

I am being educated on the consang community quite a bit, and there’s much more to it than you might think, including the fact that this group of people believes they are wired differently, as many of them lack the Westermarck effect (the “eww” feeling and turnoff you get when you think of a relative in a romantic way). The majority of the population naturally has this effect, as well as some adult siblings who grew up apart and reconnect after many years (the concept of Genetic Sexual Attraction). GSA people aren’t attracted to their adoptive family at all, I’ve been told.  I’ve also learned that consensual incest was a regular part of society in ancient times, and it’s in fact legal in several states and countries even today. Who knew?

Of course, it’s still considered very taboo, and the consang community knows about the long road they are facing to be heard, accepted and treated equally, similar to the gay community 50 years ago. They want others to know that they are choosing to be in relationships that are consensual and informed. Getting laws amended to address the consensual side of incest, rather than just abuse from incest, will take many, many years, and will likely result in a lot of protesting and pure hatred from those who don’t listen to all the facts. And that seems like a theme in society right now, which deeply saddens me.

And so, I’m presenting a second episode on my podcast tomorrow/Sunday at 5 PST with Jane Doe, one of the chief activists for the consanguinamory community. You can listen on my ladyfoxentertainment.com website or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Castbox under NOTHING OFF LIMITS. Please subscribe to my podcast – I appreciate the support.  This episode reveals results of a survey Jane ran, which she believes will be one step forward for consang people, as it arms them with real data to support their case that they should be legally allowed to be together. If you’re still reading this, then I think you’ll be interested to hear some of her findings.

Thank you for having an open mind and for making the effort to understand (and hopefully accept) others who are different from you.

Be kind. Please stop shaming.

Peace.

Michelle

My Personal Experience With the Yoga of Intimacy

Are you single and you finding yourself attracting the wrong types?  Are you searching for the right partner to share a real connection with?  Do your relationships burn out fast or turn into friend zone?  Are you already in a relationship and you feel like it’s become dull and needs a boost?  Well, if any of these scenarios ring true for you, I have a recommendation for you to check out. (Bonus: If you live in the Los Angeles area, the workshops take place in sunny Santa Monica, CA.)

It’s the Yoga of Intimacy, and it’s led by the beautiful couple Londin Angel Winters and Justin Patrick Pierce.  After interviewing the couple on my podcast, Nothing Off Limits, I was honored to be invited to their Co-ed workshop on a beautiful Friday evening in a gorgeous, spiritually-charged loft space.  There, I experienced something completely unexpected and amazing.  An equal number of men and women, most complete strangers to one another, gathered to participate. In a completely G-rated practice over a 3 hour period, we were all blown wide open with vulnerability and successfully created real, intimate connections with each other within a safe space.  Don’t get the wrong idea.  It’s not sexual, and you don’t touch your partner.  It’s subtle energy exchange through the eyes and the body that teaches you to be authentic in your expression.  No “performing” is allowed.  Londin and Justin lead the practice, and they have you switch partners continuously throughout the practice and provide gentle reminders and corrections to stay connected to what you’re doing.  With each exercise, you reach new levels of openness, creativity and heart awareness.

I’ll admit that I almost jetted twice during the first hour, because I’m not personally used to being so vulnerable, especially with a stranger.  Yet because the men in this workshop were so willing to be there, and because each man put forth his best effort to “hold” the women in their space and not run away from her, no matter what they were experiencing (tears, laughter, anger, etc.), it allowed me to expand further.

Without giving too much away about what happens during the workshop, I will say that I left there feeling like I had released years of pain.  I was exhausted!  For those 3 hours, I tore down my personal walls, accessed my true core, and said hello again to my personal centered place of love and giving.  That might sound wild or weird to you, but if you’re frustrated with your relationships at any level and you’re ready and willing to go deeper within yourself to change that pattern (this is the key – you have to be ready!), then this is definitely something to check out.

For more information about Londin and Justin and the practice of sexual polarity, please listen to their episode on my podcast.  It’s a great way to prep for the Yoga of Intimacy workshop:  http://ladyfoxentertainment.com/2017/02/26/londin-angel-winters-and-justin-patrick-pierce-on-using-sexual-polarity-to-get-the-love-you-want/

For upcoming workshop dates for the Yoga of Intimacy, visit:  http://www.londinangelwinters.com/offerings/workshops/the-yoga-of-intimacy/

Seeking incest survivors or consensual incestuous sibling couples for upcoming NOL series

After a dear friend of mine told me about the movie “Flowers In the Attic” on a phone call, I decided to do a special series on Nothing Off Limits about incest. This is a dramatic, taboo topic that is often referred to as a “silent crime”, and it seems to be cropping up more and more in tv/film (see article below, which references Flowers In the Attic…see also “Geminis“, which I warn could be very disturbing. Incest is also freely explored in Game of Thrones, as many of you tv fans probably know).

http://www.popsugar.com/love/Movies-About-Incest-40321605#photo-40321605

Although incest can occur between parents/step parents and their sons/daughters and other family relatives, I am particularly interested in interviewing siblings or half brothers/sisters who currently or previously participated in a consensual incestuous relationship, yet keep/kept it a secret from their friends, partners, etc.

I’ve discovered through initial research that there are sibling couples who seek equality in marriage, who fight for the reversal of laws surrounding incest, who literally move to countries or states that will allow them to be together romantically without legal ramifications, and that some sibling couples believe there is nothing morally wrong with falling in love with their blood relative. It can continue for a lifetime, and some siblings deeply believe they are romantic soul mates.

In the series, I will explore the potential causes, signs/behaviors pointing to incest, and the long-term effects, such as a possible inability to form emotionally intimate relationships with outsiders or arrested emotional development. I’ll do this with a representative of the medical community. The second part of the series will be a real-life couple and their views on their relationship, perhaps debunking the myths of society from their perspective.

Anyone who is willing to share their personal story should reach out to me at michelle@ladyfoxentertainment.com. I can change your name or keep you anonymous, if requested. I promise to protect your identity.

I’ll admit that this is a very challenging topic, given the fact that I don’t understand it…but since exploring the things we may not understand is the mission of my podcast, I feel that I’ve been called to bring awareness to it. It is my hope that I will be able to help adult survivors of incest find the resources they need and/ or provide important information to assist and create some level of understanding from other family members or partners who discover it.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your emails.

Voiceover is NOT the Same Skill Set Needed For Hosting a Podcast…and Vice Versa!

I often have people approach me saying, “People always tell me I have a great voice!  How can I break into VO?”  If you are told often you have a good voice, that’s awesome.  You are blessed with great genes in that regard!  However, I hate to break it to you, but having a great speaking voice doesn’t mean you’ll be a good voiceover talent, host/presenter or anything of the sort.  It’s a skill set that has to be studied, practiced and refined constantly.  Basically, it’s learning how to act, and if you’ve ever taken an acting class, then you know that it’s not an easy craft.  You must be able to interpret written material, connect to it authentically, and perform it in a way that tells a believable story.  You may not see it like this at first when it comes to those off-camera voices you hear on commercials, e.g., since commercial VO copy tends to be short and seems like it’s “announced”.  It’s really not.  You’d be surprised what goes into breaking down copy and learning how to deliver it well.  It requires training, ongoing coaching and practice!  If you are interested in dedicating yourself to learning a real craft that could take you years to develop well, then enroll in a class to get started.  FYI, it’s a long-term and highly competitive industry.  You probably won’t be getting paid for doing commercials on tv and radio in the next month, 6 months or possibly even years.  I’ve been studying VO since 2004 and every audition I do puts me up against like 300-400 other talents.  That’s the reality of the industry, so you gotta love it if you’re going to do it.

Now, another thing I would like to clear up is general ignorance surrounding interviewing people and hosting a podcast.  Hosting and/or interviewing is not synonymous with voiceover work.  Hosting a show and interviewing people requires a different set of skills that include: knowing how to ask questions, listening (!!!!), facilitating a natural conversation, reacting to and/or supporting a guest’s statements, and having good instincts on when to wrap it up or let someone continue to share their thoughts.  Many VO people I know would not be able to host a show well, or come off natural doing it.  Not every VO person is a good conversationalist.  Conversely, many talk show hosts I know would not be great at VO without training.  And so I have hit the point of this blog post, which is that VO and hosting/interviewing are two separate skill sets.

Side note:  I’m not claiming to be a total expert or know-it-all regarding either craft.  I’ll forever be a student of both.  And while I admit that I am lucky to have the gift of natural and lively gab (likely from my hearing my mother on sales calls as a child),  I’m also not claiming to be a proper news journalist, which is yet another skill set.  I am not trying to be one.  I am simply a podcast host who is a good conversationalist with the mission to connect listeners to great information from smart guests.  I am curious, engaging, I listen, and I react.  I do my best to make my guests comfortable to express who they are.  And I also mansplain when necessary. 🙂  It’s my responsibility to drive the flow of each show.  The upside is that I can use my VO skills to record my own intro bumper and pre-roll or mid-roll ads, so I get the advantage of combining skill sets, which is probably part of the reason why people tend to get confused about what’s what.

If you are interested in hearing more about the voiceover industry and how it works, let me know and I’ll host an episode about it.  I have plenty of VO coaches and agents who would love to share the realities of the VO business and then leave it up to you to decide if it’s a quest you’d like to go on.  Email me at michelle@ladyfoxentertainment.com to let me know!

Until next time I remember to post a blog on my personal website….xoxoxoxo

MAO

 

Want Nothing Off Limits – The Cool Sh*t Your Momma Never Taught You – To Get Even Better?

There’s a lot of cool sh*t my momma never taught me, but one thing she did teach me is that you won’t get anything unless you ask for it.  The worse someone can say is “no”!  So here goes.

Since I created the concept of Nothing Off Limits in December 2015, I’ve been working extremely hard creating content for it, sometimes 15-18 hours a day.  This is far from being a hobby!  After months of finding and interviewing guests, covering legal aspects such as guest releases, getting Ladyfox Entertainment, LLC off the ground, and sharpening my vision for the podcast, I finally launched on June 6th!  Downloads/listens have been amazing so far, and I even grabbed some press about it on Yahoo! Finance yesterday.  Cool, right?  Yes!!

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ladyfox-entertainment-launches-nothing-off-123000082.html

Now, the next step is to support the expansion of the podcast by doing advertising campaigns and creating video content to cast a net out to a wider potential listener audience and increase the podcast’s discoverability.  By having a greater presence online, I can land even more well-known guests, create more awareness for the messages the guests are sharing, attract bigger brands to feature on the show, grab additional and better equipment and space to start doing in-person interviews (and perhaps on-camera too), and just generally take the production to the next level.

Before I do a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, I want to start with the people who are already excited about what I’m doing, right now, and that’s YOU.  Would you, my friends, consider making a donation to support the podcast production?  Every amount will help, and as a thank you, I’ll send you some NOL swag and personally thank you on an upcoming episode.

To donate, please go to:

www.ladyfoxentertainment.com/resourcespartners/ and click on the Paypal donate button!

I offer my heartfelt gratitude in advance, and please send your feedback on the shows so far to michelle@ladyfoxentertainment.com

Xoxoxox,

MAO

Nothing Off Limits Podcast is rockin’!

Hey everyone and Happy Monday!

Currently, there is a dude outside going through my recycling bin.  He’s making a total racket, so I figured I’d write a blog post since I can’t record sh*t until he’s done with his sifting job and pushes his shopping cart (full of me and my neighbors’ empty wine bottles) away.

Ok.  So!  I’m super excited that NOL is in full force!  We launched on June 6th and we are officially on Week Two of this fun and ongoing journey of knowledge and awesomeness!  Have you heard the first set of episodes yet?  If you haven’t, I’m confident you’ll dig ’em.

This week is going to be great as well, with 2 new episodes coming out.  We’ll be talkin’ wine & yoga!  Two things that are near & dear.

Please SUBSCRIBE and rate & review the show.  I’m starting a swag promotion next week for the 10 most awesome reviews, so get in on the fun early!

Thank you and back to it!

xoxo

MAO

Cool Stuff I Recommend!

Hey everybody!  I wanted to let you know about my new page, Cool Stuff I Recommend!  These are variety of products & services that I personally dig, and that I’m fortunate enough to be able to offer to you, my site visitors, at a discount!

One of my favorites is the Cize dance workout from Beachbody.  I bought it myself, and it’s a hoot!  Whether or not you consider yourself a dancer, you’ll have a blast shaking your groove thang.  You won’t even know you’re working out.

Speaking of dancing, if you are an actual dancer for reals and you want the latest casting calls (and this goes for actors and models as well…), check out the special link I’ve provided to you for a discount off Backstage.  You’re welcome!

There’s a lot more on the page to browse!  Oh, and if you decide you want to try one of the supplements I’ve recommended, or you decide to try Cize, do yourself a favor and check with your doctor first.  I’m not responsible if you throw your hip out, people. 🙂

The NOL Launch is a comin’!

So, we’ve set the date for June 6th on iTunes, and it’s just a few weeks away.  Ho-o-o-oly sh*t!  While the amount of work involved is, quite frankly, overwhelming, I am staying on point by continuously reminding myself of NOL’s core mission.  To me, the value-add of this educational & entertaining content is simply off the charts, and I honestly can’t wait to share it!  Guests in the queue (so far) cover topics including alternative self-care that helps heal the body as well as the mind, why wine has a magical quality to it that beer will never have, how animal telepathy works and how you can do it too, what visioning is and why you should try it, what you should know and understand about transgender people (this is an incredible episode, and you will learn so much!), how to distinguish between actual love vs. a love lesson, the best type of meditation out there, and so, so, sooo much more.

Oh, I’m sure there will be haters.  There always are, as with any creative venture.  But whatever, because I’m hitting topics that most people don’t know much about, and the point is to think outside the box.  This podcast is supposed to turn your established ideas and your assumptions about things on their side.  It will enlighten some and upset others.  It’s designed to talk about esoteric stuff without judgment…although I’m now thinking that wine really is better than beer, in so many ways. 🙂  Anyway, the right people who are ready for my amazing guests and their big ideas will listen.  That is my approach and I’m stickin’ to it, and I’m getting really excited to share this heart-driven, passion-filled purpose project with all of you.

Please stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest announcements by signing up for our email list at www.ladyfoxentertainment.com

And connect with us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ladyfoxentertainment/

Our Facebook group, Nothing Off Limits Podcast, is starting to grow too…it’s a fun place to bitch & moan if you please!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/225236874518119/

And Twitter:  @LadyfoxOfficial

And, Instagram:  ladyfox.entertainment

Thank you in advance!  Drop me a line at michelle@ladyfoxentertainment.com if you like!

Until then, best wishes to anyone out there who is also grabbing their life purpose by the balls (gently, of course)!

M.