Living with Flair on the Set of THE SALON

There are good days and bad days with when you live with Lupus. But, I wasn’t going to let anything or anyone stand in my way of having a great time working on the set of the new digital series- THE SALON.

I have been consulting on this project for nearly a year. The premise is a potpourri of characters  who all come together in an upscale salon in Hollywood. The tone of the script ranges from comedic to tackling some very serious matters- such as immigration and gun violence. 

The production was a total collaboration, as independent film often is. One day I would be working media, then later craft services and I even had my five seconds of fame as an extra. My work as a consultant  on the set was to simply to  capture on video and with photography the behind the scenes  of the production in order to produce future social media content. However, craft services was far more exhausting!

One thing about the set of The Salon that really struck me was that it was a culturally diverse group of actors and crew. Akende Munalula, from Zambia,  in his role as the  make-up artist, Abimbola. (Sidenote: He is just as handsome as he is talented!). He tells his story with grace.  

Related story: Learn more about Akende’s work with youth in his homeland of Zambia here.


The Salon had a Deaf actor who played the role of the Salon business manager and love interest owner.   Therefore, an  American Sign Language (ASL)  interpreter on the set, Brooke Cordova, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the communication on and off the camera seamless among cast members with Eddie.  During downtime Eddie and Brooke taught me many signs, including for APPLAUSE.  

Eddie Buck and I on the set. Shortly after he taught me the sign for APPLAUSE!

Here is an interesting fun fact – Eddie Buck also won on The Price is Right!

Get to know more about Eddie Buck and his remarkable experience on the PRICE IS RIGHT by clicking here.

Back to set life… 

It was fun despite long days – I didn’t realize how tired I was until I got home from the set as the energy of the set kept me going.  Then I crashed. Thankfully, our team took turns with coverage and that gave me plenty of time to re-energize before my next time on set. 

This week, our hard work paid off and the production is now complete. 

  THE SALON is now streaming for a limited time on YouTube.  Anyone can watch from May 13th-24th at this link: CLICK HERE.

Enjoy my photos from my time with the cast and crew of the newest project by Messina Captor Films.

And please follow us The Salon on social. We are using the hashtag #TheSalonDigitalSeries


“The Cure” shows music heals.

While most of North America slept, 100,000 or so people were partying in Indio, California Saturday night.  Even more, like me, watched online as Lady Gaga performed her first (of two) Coachella 2017 sets.  If you were sleeping and missed it – Lady Gaga debuted a nice song, “The Cure”, last night at Coachella mixed among her iconic hits and tracks of “JOANNE”, her latest release.  As a woman living with Lupus, as much as I love Lady Gaga concerts it was against doctor’s orders to dance in the sun all weekend to await Mother Monster/Joanne’s performance at Coachella.  (My team of doctors know me and have recommended that I attend as many JOANNE World Tour shows as possible!)  Gaga’s set and the new song instantly got my body moving despite the severe chronic pain my ankle and back have been experiencing due to Systemic Lupus and Osteoarthritis.  I was “off the mattress dancing” well after midnight,  Lady Gaga and her music are powerfully healing and “The Cure” proves it.

Last week, I participated in a clinical trial for Lupus Research that got me thinking about how music should be studied as an effective therapy for coping with acute and chronic pain.  As a woman who struggles with the challenges of living with pain, I have found healing with Gaga’s “The Cure”. There must be a way for music therapists and pain management physicians to collaborate.

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It is the middle of April and I should be planning awareness activities for “Lupus Awareness Month” in May, but Gaga debuted a new song and, just like that, my passion for activism and advocacy is lit!


Upgrading to a new level of protection.

This weekend, I will be “walking” in the Lupus Foundation of America’s Los Angeles “Walk with Us to End Lupus Now”. If you know me, you know I will be donning my purple “LA Lupus Lady” cape to harness my “flair” to transform into a patient advocate/activist that shares “Lupus Awareness is fun.  Lupus is not.”  But before I take one step for Lupus Research, I wanted to share a few ways that I am upgrading the protection arsenal in my life.Holla Hers

The bright pink and chic design may be deceiving, but this “Holla Hers” Personal Alarm from Damsel In Defense http://DamselProGal.com comes with a L.E.D. flashlight and is adaptable to any key chain, and has a 120-decibel alarm. This alarm does not guarantee protection but offers me a signal and in the event of an attack, I hope to never hear the piercing noise again.  After I unwrapped the “Holla Hers”, I took it outside for a test run – and run my cat did!  I will hopefully never hear that shrieking sound again.image (1)

During this past “Emmy Weekend” at the Vanity Fair Social Club (#VFSC) we not only honored the nominees but the Social Media Correspondents (affectionately known as “Twitterati”) celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Viktor and Rolf’s “Flowerbomb” perfume.  The
sexy scent comes packaged in a sleek glass/crystal “grenade” complete with “V and R” logo as the “grenade pin” per se.  This is one floral scent that powers without being overbearing; this ‘scent-sational’ addition to my arsenal of aromatherapy  T
he bottle looks as good as the liquid encased inside it smells.

imageMy cape has been put away and I recently got it out of the purple box and laid it out – ready to wear on Saturday as I join the LFA at the LA Coliseum in Exposition Park.  Putting on the purple is one way we unify together for the non-profit.  This past June I was a scholarship winner and the Lupus Foundation of America sponsored my trip to the Lupus Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. I cannot wait to walk in support of the Lupus Patients (Warriors) and the LFA  wearing the purple cape that stayed in LA while I shared Lupus Advocacy with members of Congress on Capitol Hill.