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How to avoid falling into the FRIEND ZONE

“You are like a brother to me”. “You are such a great friend.” “Any girl would be lucky to have a great guy like you beside her”. If you have heard this before, there is a great possibility that you have fallen into what is known as the FRIEND ZONE. You have entered a place where the girl is happy to have you around as a companion she can talk, shop and gossip with. There is nothing wrong with this, unless you have romantic feelings for her. There are some steps to be taken whether you are already in the friend zone or trying not to fall in it.

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WHAT TO AVOID

  • Being TOO close: Spending too much time with her and becoming her “buddy” could be a deal breaker. Be careful on how the time with her is spent and do not go crazy doing favors for her and being overly nice expecting her to like you. It takes more than that. Have your own friends. Don’t be calling her and making yourself so present and available all of the time. Make your own plans without her.
  • RELATIONSHIP ADVICE: You can be her friend and listen to her but once she starts asking for advice on dating, love and other men, you are in deep trouble. Becoming her confidant in this aspect is not really a favorable circumstance when you are trying to have another type of relationship with her. Remember, you are not “one of the girls”.

 

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WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

  • TOUCH: This sound creepy but it is not. Let me explain. If you touch her in a sensual way, she will know that you are flirting and that your intentions are more than just to be friends. A simple touch to her lower back when you are walking or leading her way, touching her arm, face, hands, and one of my favorites, HUGS, are examples of ways you can get closer.
  • HONESTY: Take the risk and be honest about how you feel about her. Do not be afraid of being rejected and losing her as a friend. We often wonder about the intentions a guy friend has for us. The best is to keep your intentions up front so don’t beat around the bush and do put your feelings out there and speak up. Establish that you like her. Tell her that you want more than a friendship and when you both go out make your outings a “DATE” by using the actual word. If she does not reciprocate the feelings, at least you know before you fall further in love with her. On that note, you should also be honest with yourself.
  • KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY:  Listening to her venting about other men out there will make it worse for you. You will become frustrated, jealous and bitter. This is when you have to ask yourself the following: Am I willing to put myself through this pain?Don’t stick around being her platonic friend, waiting to see if she changes her mind. As I stated earlier, do your own thing. Start treating her as an acquaintance. Make room for someone in your life and heart that feels the same way about you. Also, be                 careful falling into the cat and mouse game. Sometimes people want what they can’t have. Once you back up, she might miss having you around and come to you to only leave you again. Think about your feelings first, second and third.

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It is not easy to be trapped in the Friend Zone. At any given time in our lives, we have all fallen into it. Yes, it does happen to women as well. The way you handle it could go a long way and change the course of your relationship. Some of the best relationships DO start as good friends first.  Remember though that whatever the outcome is, the most important thing is to stay true to yourself.

Follow me now on twitter! http://www.twitter.com/darlenevaz @darlenevaz

Copyright:  © DarleneVazquetelles, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Darlene Vazquetelles with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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My Story: The Actor Behind MI PRINCESA

When people think of actors they probably think of these:  Hollywood, Glamour and Luxury.  Few are aware of the struggles most of the actors go through in order to be seen, get booked and be paid to do a job.  On the one hand, some make it all the way to the three I just mentioned.  On the other hand, some are happy just by getting paid doing something that they love.  The second is my case.  I started acting when I was in my early teens, doing local commercials and T.V. shows in Puerto Rico.  Although I wanted to work behind the scenes, life led me to the world in front of the camera and as time went by, I started considering acting as a career goal.  Little did I know that it was a decision that would involve more sacrifices than I could have ever imagined.

I moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting at a time when Latinas were still not accepted in the industry unless you were going for the maid, nanny or prostitute role.  Although some of these have not changed, Sofia Vergara has recently opened more doors for us.  When I first moved out there in 2002 I was constantly told that I had to take accent reduction classes.  Stubborn me, I refused.  Fast forward to the present and casting directors LOVE my accent as I sound like the girl from that show: Modern Family.

I never lost myself in the Hollywood field of dreams. I would be asked out by producers who thought I was going to be the “aspiring actress who would do anything for a role”.  I would walk away from these type of situations, with tears coming down my face as I faced the sad reality that can happen to young girls out there.  But nothing would make me give up.  I would wipe my tears and keep moving forward.  The sacrifice of being so far away from my family and the town that saw me grow was too hard and painful for me to get discouraged by the ignorance of some of the “powerful players” out there.

The money situation is another aspect that we actors struggle with.  Oftentimes, people joke about it but it is sadly the truth.  Because of the instability of auditions and work, we will be the ones acting as your server, bartender, hostess, etc.  If you think that sending resumes and going to a couple of job interviews is hard, imagine having to do that two to three times on a daily basis, to be called back one out of the last ten interviews (auditions). Although it can get frustrating, it is a matter of keeping your self-esteem and faith at a high level.

And then comes the times when an acting job parallels the reality of your life: “Too close to home” moments.

Such was my case for the movie I want to introduce to you called MI PRINCESA (My Princess).  I was sitting on the floor of my apartment in North Hollywood packing everything into boxes as my relationship of 2 ½ years came to an end.  It was a very emotional time for me when I was crawling around life with a broken heart.  Puerto Rican Director Carlos Jimenez Flores, whom I had worked for before in two other films, called and asked me to be in his next film which would start shooting in my hometown, Puerto Rico.  Although at first I did not want to do it as I was trying to take in what had just happened in my life, between him and friend and actor Sevier Crespo (who plays my brother in Mi Princesa), I was convinced to take the offer. I flew to Puerto Rico to work on the film and soon my life turned around for the better!

Although as actors we go through a lot of downs, there are the ups that you do experience when you are part of this beautiful art.  Talk about timing.  As my relationship with a love ends, I start working on my first acting job as the LEAD actress in a DRAMA/ROMANCE. Aside from having family and friends around to cheer me up, the irony of this life event brought smiles and laughter back to my life.  I arrived July 13th of 2012 and started shooting my scenes on the 14th. I did not have much time to settle in back at my parents’ apartment.  But there I was.  You move on and you show up for work.

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As I walked to my first day on set, I took in the beautiful scenery in front of me and thanked God for the opportunity to be working at home.  I was now playing the role of Mayra, a good girl who is full of life, surrounded by family and friends. The only thing she has been missing is love and she is about to find it.  Again, very ironic as I had just lost it in real life. Nevertheless, I was ready to play this character!

(CLOWNING BEHIND THE SCENES:  HUMOR ALWAYS WORKS)

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One of the challenges you can face when working on a film is a lack of connection with fellow actors, especially when shooting a romance. Being that Mi Princesa was shot without scripted lines and we had to improv, I was a little bit scared as to how the interaction was going to go between the actor who was playing my love interest and myself. I met him less than 10 minutes before shooting our first scene.  I have to admit that it was challenging at first.  The director let us know what he wanted out of the scene and we proceeded to give it to him, but it was a little bit uncomfortable at first, for both of us. This was his first acting job and I was fighting the emotions that were so raw inside of me as a result of all the changes that I was going through.  Still, we did our scene and after seeing the final result, it could not have been better!

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(First scene with my love interest in the movie, Ricky. Played by Roberto Perez Perez)

After the ice was broken and days of shooting went by, everything just started flowing in divine order.  The Director found some amazing locations where I got to enjoy the beautiful sceneries of my island that I had been missing for so long.  We shot at beaches, mountain view locations in the country, resorts, venues with great local live music, among others. I was finding that happy place again.  I was home.  I got to work with one of my best friends, actress Millie Ruperto, a great crew and the icing on the cake, my niece Kenya. The Director offered my niece a role in the movie and she flew in from Miami to be a part of it.  I had my team!

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(MOROVIS, PUERTO RICO)

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(WAITING TO SHOOT A WEDDING SCENE WITH ACTOR ROBERTO PEREZ PEREZ AND A GREAT FRIEND AND ACTRESS, MILLIE RUPERTO)

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(ABOVE: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MY BEAUTIFUL NIECE KENYA DE JESUS)

(BELOW: KENYA RECEIVING DIRECTIONS)

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(OLD SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES)

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After two weeks of shooting my heart was feeling happy! We had an amazing project in our hands.  I was able to go back and work in my beautiful Puerto Rico surrounded by love and creating new memories.  I was back to being me.

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(WITH THE PRODUCTION CREW BY THE FORTRESS-EL MORRO IN SAN JUAN)

Production finished the last week of July 2012.  As in any production, there can be obstacles that can risk a movie to be finished and/or released.  So was the case with Mi Princesa.  Some of the crew parted ways, footage was given to the editing team later than expected, while other footage was lost with really important scenes we will not get to see.  The editing went from hands of the crew in Puerto Rico to another company in Chicago, which is Director Carlos Jimenez Flores’ hometown.

Three months ago I received a phone call the day after Thanksgiving of 2013 in which I was notified of some scenes that were missing that needed to be shot.  And off to Chicago I went.  I was pretty excited.  Not only was I going to go back to portray the character of Mayra which I loved, but I was also going to do it in a completely new scenario for me, SNOW!

Yep, I had never seen snow and traveling to Chicago to shoot three more scenes for the movie allowed me to go through this experience for the first time ever!!  I was feeling like a little kid!

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So here I was in cold Chicago shooting scenes that were supposed to be in warm Puerto Rico.  Fortunately the scenes were shot inside.

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(WITH DIRECTOR CARLOS JIMENEZ FLORES)

MI PRINCESA is a beautiful film which includes culture, traditions, love, beautiful images, friendships, music, family and the art of being able to forgive.  It is amazing to me how I started shooting this film coming from a broken heart and finished it a year and a half later in love with an amazing man God was saving for me.  His name is Fabian Alicastro, a Colombian singer/songwriter/producer who happens to have a song in Mi Princesa.

Things happen for a reason! Sometimes you have to go back home, to your roots, to your self in order to move forward.  Trust in God that everything in life has a purpose and with love and faith you are going to be all right!
I want to share with you a teaser for MI PRINCESA.

This film will be premiering in Fine Arts, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico on June 17th, 2015.

If you want more information you can contact me at darlavaz@gmail.com or through my twitter page http://www.twitter.com/darlenevaz

Love,

Darlene

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© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Give your Life a Tune-Up!

I want to share with you once again my article on how to make your life better by making simple changes.  I believe it is  a great read to start off the new year.

Wishing you all a happy and blessed 2014!!

Love,

Darlene

Give your Life a Tune-Up!.

 

Give your Life a Tune-Up!

If I tell you that I can go back and read on what I was doing and how I was feeling on a DAILY basis from the year 2002 up to 2004, you would probably think that I am crazy.  Crazy for “wasting” my time writing everything down and/or crazy for going back and reading it years later.  Too much time in my hands?  At times, yes.  At other times, just curiosity as to: “I wonder what I was doing on this day two years ago?”

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The one thing that I learned, aside from the fact that I used to spend a lot of time eating, was that whatever was hurting me back then, makes me laugh now.  I would often waste my time overthinking about what I see now as insignificant matters.  Have you ever been there?  For example, have you ever found a letter you wrote to an ex that you never gave to him or her and then realized “Uff…I am so glad I didn’t.”?  Priorities and perspectives change with time and that is one of the beauties of our life cycles.  One lesson to take from these moments where you glimpse at the past is that life will bring you pain and disappointments, but it is how you see, react and swing at these curveballs, what will eventually lead you through them.  One of my favorite sayings is that, “Everything happens for a reason”.  When we look back at the past and how we reacted to certain circumstances, we feel that we would have reacted differently if we would have known that at the end, everything was going to be just fine.  Still, those moments are what made us who we are today.  We live, we learn, we grow and we keep on moving.  As to the present:  I want to share with you what I believe can make your life a little better 🙂

ME TIME!!!

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These are the moments when you find yourself saying, “I need a break from everything.” I call mine ‘Darla time’ and by now my friends and family should know what this means, okay? 🙂 Although it can seem selfish, the truth is that these moments are important for you to communicate with yourself and listen to your needs.  Analyze how balanced your life is, or if there is a lack of.
Forget about work, politics, deadlines, blahs and blahs.  Yep, forget about everything but yourself.  Focus on your “NOW”,  on what makes you happy in this precise moment. What would you love to do? It can be another job or a hobby. It could be a trip or going to eat to that restaurant that you have been wanting to go to on  a “special occasion”.  Write these down and just start planning.  I don’t call it a bucket list because these are more simple and immediate things that you could be doing on a weekly and even daily basis to make your life a little brighter.  I went through a phase where everything was driving me crazy, especially myself. I was bored, uncertain about the future and pretty much just crawling through life.  As I was having one of these ‘Darla times’, I realized I wanted to start writing again.  It has kept me busy, entertained and happy as I get to express myself through something I really enjoy. Whether it’s painting, meditation, dancing, soccer, scrapbooking, playing an instrument, walking on your tip toes, skipping, or collecting pennies you find on the street, find something you enjoy and just do it.  Don’t ever think they are silly things.  If you like it.  Go for it!  Take this time to also think about what is not making you happy anymore and start letting go.  You can see examples on these as you keep reading.

BYE BYE JOB!!!
Title sounds great, right. Well, if you love what you do, then it shouldn’t sound great.  I know that finding a job during these times is not easy.  I am not telling you to go and quit your job just because you hate it.  But if you are miserable at work, I suggest you start looking for another way of making your money.  I know it is not that easy but “impossible” it is NOT.  Think about what you would love to be doing.  What would make YOU happy?  Then start researching all the possibilities.  The worst that can happen is that you find nothing, but at least you tried.  The best that can happen is that you end up quitting your yucky job and start getting paid doing something you truly LOVE.

SPIRITUALITY

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Find something you believe in and go to it when life gets tough.  Whichever religious beliefs you have or even when you don’t, it is a matter of having something that you can look at that will bring you a sense of peace and faith.  It can even be found through music.  Aside from entertaining, I truly believe that music has a great power of healing and therapy.  We all have that song that once it is played, our mood suddenly becomes lighter and happier!
Prayer has also been one of my escapes.  It is in times of turmoil that I found sanity and hope through prayer.  I read a lot of books and enjoy the words by preachers like Joel Osteen.  I have learned that God will not hand you anything that you cannot handle and at the end of the day, he has a plan for you.   Positivity is a must and I definitely understand how hard it is to see it at times.  Walking away from ugly thoughts is a must.  I try to use the word “cancelado”,  Spanish word for ‘cancelled’, everytime a negative thought crosses my mind. It sounds silly but it actually works!!  And talking about staying positive…lets go to the next thought:

WALK AWAY FROM NEGATIVE RELATIONSHIPS

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Keeping negative people away will make your life so much lighter.  Just a couple of months ago I was backstabbed by a so called friend and it is strange how I cried for five minutes and then a sense of peace invaded my life.  For years I had my doubts about this person and suddenly, it all became clear to me.  Negative people and negative thoughts will keep away the good from your life so let go so you can let in.
The same goes with love relationships.  Do not settle for someone that is not going to love and respect you the way that you should be.  I went through this and when things did not work out I felt my world was going to collapse.  Now,  I cannot be happier and I am grateful that it happened because now I appreciate that love and respect that I am receiving.  I’m a happy girl!  Everyone should be able to feel this, but it takes letting go of what does not feel right.

GO OUT!!

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Yep, go out hiking, shopping, jogging, drinking, dancing, singing!  Be loud, get crazy, laugh, eat, be silly, catch up with friends. As long as you are being responsible, especially with the whole drinking and driving, there is nothing wrong with happy hour in the middle of a crazy work week.  Take that break.  These are great ways of letting the stress out, venting to friends and just loosening up.   Have you ever gotten an invitation out, you said yes and then you started regretting it because you felt tired and didn’t feel like getting dressed?  Then, you feel bad because you said you would go or because they are already downstairs picking you up, so you get up and you go.  From nights like these sometimes come the best moments in your life.  You recharged some energy and end up being glad that you went out.  Appreciate the little things and moments in life.

STAY HEALTHY
Yep, it’s not all fun and games!  In my experience, my mood swings become pretty apparent when I have not done any type of exercise or if I have indulged in too many slices of pizza.  Once you stop your exercise routine for a while, it can become hard to start again but once you do, your energy level and mood take a hike all the way to the I Feel Really Good mountain top rock.   Combine it with some healthy intake and you are good to go!

LOVE, GIVE, SMILE
Being able to love the people around you is definitely a way to make the world and your own world a little better.  Stay away from Ignorance as it is the main cause for Judgment and Prejudice, two of the uggliest things anyone can carry inside.  Don’t judge the person that is next to you wearing those dirty, stinky clothes.  You don’t know if he/she lost her house and this is pretty much part of what was left.  Change your negative attitudes towards people, traffic, little situations you encounter on a daily basis.  There is always someone out there that has something worse going on in their lives, much worse than being stuck behind a slow driver, a red light or a boring meeting.  If you are able to spend $10.00 on a glass of wine at the bar, don’t hesitate when the opportunity comes for you to donate to a local charity or to a friend in need.  By becoming more positive as to how you react to certain situations that can affect someone else or yourself, you are already making this world a better place.

BALANCE

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As a Libra woman that I am, balance is a key ingredient in my life.  At times it can get hard to get to it but we should make an effort to make it happen.  An unbalanced life could lead to sickness, too much stress, broken relationships with people that we love, among other situations.  When you become a workaholic and forget about family, friends and your own interests, life can become pretty dull and hectic.  I am a lucky girl when I get to say that I have an amazing family that has always been there for me.  You can be replaced in the position you are the minute you walk away from a job, but you will never be able to be replaced in your family and friend’s life.  Spend time with your spouse, kids, grandkids, siblings, parents, grandparents, friends.  There is no greater love in life than the one you receive from your family,  as well as your chosen family:  your friends.
Nobody should tell you what makes you happy.  This is something that only you know.  These are my thoughts on the subject and I hope that you can take something from these lines, written from the bottom of my heart.
I will end this with one of my favorites … “DON’T FORGET TO SMILE!”

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You can also read this article on http://www.clubfashionista.com

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [DarleneVazquetelles] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Barcelona

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I believe a few moments in your life take your breath away. Mine was taken away last May (2013) when I visited Spain for the first time. I was overwhelmed by happiness as I stepped out of the bus and stood in Plaza Cataluna, Barcelona, observing and taking in my surroundings the same way a baby does when he first opens his eyes to life. After some steps, I arrived to the Hotel Grand Ducat and my dream of coming to Spain starts its course.

So much to say …

As I walked up to Parc Guel (pictured above) in the beautitul city of Barcelona, I was left speechless, breathless.  This architectural masterpiece by Catalan Architect Antonio Gaudi is truly a beauty for your eyes, a delight for your senses. The smell of the beautiful garden which decorates the park brings that peaceful moment that you long for anytime of day.

La Sagrada Familia was another beauty in the hands of Gaudi. This Roman Catholic Church is a visual gift to anyone who has the pleasure of standing in any one of its surroundings. Whether you are standing in line outside or you are in the narrow steps inside the Cathedral, you will be amazed at how the most important part of history could almost be brought to life.

Staying in Plaza Cataluna was such a great recommendation by a friend’s friend. I was surrounded by the energy and beauty of Gothic City and Las Ramblas, which I probably walked over eight times. Walking this much and so many times was as entertaining as walking in Times Square, NY… with the exception of people taking their time to enjoy each and every step taken and acknowledging the person walking along their path. Clean streets could be noticed, as well as the variety of cultures walking them. So many languages accompanying so much architectural beauty.

Everyone has their own experience, their own story. I called this MY BARCELONA because it is my own story. A story of senses. Sight in the beauty of the city. Taste in the delicious tapas, the great Spanish wine. Smell in the flowers, the clean air. Hearing and Touch were felt through romance. I was fortunate to spend time with a friend I had met in NYC. As life works in mysterious ways we happened to arrive in this city the exact same day. He came for work. I came for pleasure. And with pleasure came the five senses I have already mentioned. Spending time with this beautiful Gallego was beyond my expectations (word I am not too fond of, by the way). God knows how in my past there has been a lack of affection in my life and it was in Barcelona, with my friend the Gallego, that I was able to get a glimpse of it. Loving words whispered in my ear, accompanied by tender touches, made me feel like a princess. Past wounds were being cured.

I will always thank God for this experience. It is the sound of this city, the memories of each step taken in it and the energy that it instilled in me that have made me fall in love and I cannot wait to go back and visit you….My Barcelona.

 

© DarleneVazquetelles, [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to DarleneVazquetelles with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Darlene Vazquetelles

Darlene Vazquetelles website

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