Category Archives: Film

Stick to Your Guns

Whenever I hear the expression “stick to your guns”, I think of Tom Cruise (aka Maverick) in the 1986 blockbuster, Top Gun, when he’s in the heat of battle with six hostile MiGs and triumphantly declares, “I will not leave my wingman”.  Now that’s someone with true conviction who literally sticks to his guns, and one who sets a great example for anyone with little or no resolve to even make it through Lent without abandoning their abstinence.

Case in point:

I recently had dinner with two friends, a man and woman about my age (i.e., 50), who have each gained 20+ pounds in the past year. And both said exactly the same thing – that they “gave up sugar for Lent” and were determined to shed their unwanted weight. But when it came time for dessert, they both changed their tune and ordered the most sugar-filled items on the menu – Tiramisu in an edible chocolate cup and a slice of Red Velvet cake.  So when I chuckled and asked, “Aren’t you going to stick to your guns and not eat sugar for the next 40 days”, they simply brushed me off and said it was no big deal since it was only this one time.

So much for having the courage and discipline to stick to their guns, especially when it comes to their health and well-being. Something I just can’t get my arms around (no pun intended).

Think about it. Setting your intentions and following through with your game plan, i.e., doing what you say, is not only good for your psyche and your self-confidence, but also helps everyone else around you because you’re leading by example. And if you don’t believe you can do it…NONSENSE. Just set your intentions and muster the fortitude to stick to your guns.

YOU CAN DO IT…just like I’ve been doing in Hollywood for the past 7 years. Peace – R

Rich Tola at LA Fashion Week

Rich Tola at Los Angeles Fashion Week (March 10, 2014)

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I’ve landed in Bushwick

Where in the world is Bushwick, you might ask? A far cry from Hollywood and the “Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, right? Well, not exactly.

Bushwick is a neighborhood in the northern part of Brooklyn, bounded by Williamsburg to the west, East New York to the east, Bed-Stuy to the south, and Ridgewood, Queens to the north. With a population of about 150,000, “most residents are Latinos from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico and from the Dominican Republic, but more recent years have seen an increase in native-born Americans as well as other Latino groups, particularly immigrants from Mexico”. And with a subway stop right outside my front door (the elevated M line), I can reach downtown Manhattan in about 20 minutes.

So why choose Bushwick for the next leg of my journey? Specifically to put me close to Wall Street where I can sell my sexy memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, and most importantly, where I can affordably re-connect with my acting roots and audition for that role of a lifetime – or any suitable roles in film, TV and even Broadway for that matter. Yes, Broadway, because just like my book says, “it’s a calling” and “the proof is in the pudding”, so let the talented survive and the confident thrive.

And for anyone looking to expand their horizons and be inspired to try – that is, to pursue your true passion that may lead you to greatness – then read my memoir and decide. Because you really can achieve anything in life if you believe in yourself and just set your sights and try!

Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood is available in paperback ($15.99) and in ebook on Kindle ($9.99). A portion of sales help women and children survivors of domestic violence.

Memoir – Simply – In Stores Now!

Thanks again to all those who bought my book, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood. Post your comments below or on Facebook – love to hear them! And if you find yourself in San Francisco, you can buy a copy at Books Inc. in Opera Plaza, located at 601 Van Ness, and Browser Books in Pacific Heights, located at 2195 Fillmore St. With In-Store events coming in May!

You can also download the e-book on Kindle.com for $9.99

Here’s what readers are calling it thus far: enjoyable, inspiring, a great coast-to-coast read on a direct flight, fantastic, a real page-turner, and, wow, a well-written book with so many women. Well, what can I say, but there’s a really good chapter in there explaining the “cute-boy syndrome” and my retirement from “playing” aptly called, The Player Gets Played. And tons more stories that’ll humor you for a good 4 hours, or longer, if you get caught up on my multi-generational timeline of pictures – all 48 of them – from the early 1960’s to 2011.

So maybe you don’t want your 13-year old reading this, but if YOU do, you’ll learn something new about all sorts of places and things. Not to mention the plethora of businesses you’ll experience, including Wall Street and making movies. For sure you’ll be inspired to get up and try something new, or at least acknowledge that you could do something new, if you just believed in yourself and tried. Like a daily fitness program. Of course that’s in there too, in one of my favorite chapters, Self-Correct.

A portion of all sales is donated to my charity. Thanks for reading! Enjoy – R

The Academy Award for Best Actress goes to…

Well my vote is in: hands down this year’s Oscar for Best Actress goes to…Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn. If I had to describe Michelle’s performance and her exquisite reincarnation of the beautiful and legendary Marilyn Monroe in two words, I’d say phenomenally awesome. Because she’s just that! And for someone who loves the “art of acting” and who sees almost every film out there – in the past two weeks alone I’ve watched MoneyBall (again), The Descendants, Mission Impossible, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (twice), Sherlock Holmes, Young Adult, We Bought A Zoo, War Horse, and My Week With Marilyn – she certainly gets my vote.

And if you’re wondering what else I’m doing in Hawaii besides admiring the best films and acting performances of the year, I’m almost finished with my book, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood. Which, by the way, has some pretty cool Cover Art that you’ll find quite fitting. So wherever you find yourself this holiday season, make sure to find time for the lovely and amazing Michelle Williams in a true-to-life story of Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. You won’t regret it!

And what else you won’t regret is getting your daily workout in. Especially if your holiday diet calls for Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake or perhaps a little Tiramisu. But no worries, just take a quick break and slim down your waistline with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout #82 – Easy Abs. Enjoy – R

‘We Bought a Zoo’ Delivers

If you want to feel the love this holiday season, go see We Bought a Zoo starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. The performances are wonderful – including the incredibly adorable Rosie, played by Maggie Elizabeth Jones – and there’s plenty of animal magnetism, feel good energy and tear swelling compassion at every turn. So no matter if you’re 6,000 miles away from your loved ones (like I am here in Hawaii while my family’s in New Jersey) or 6 miles away, share some good times together and bask in the film’s sunshine of love – because it truly delivers!

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to get your workout in with some Zoo Yoga from my Yoga Survival Guide. Because what’s a holiday season without fun, friends and fat burning yoga to melt away those extra pounds of joy! Merry Christmas everyone 🙂 Enjoy – R

Simply Between Millions – Preface

Over the past three years, the only business school friend I keep up with, George Graffy, has been telling me that he lives vicariously through me and that I should write my colorful memoirs because my multi-careered and multi-storied journey is worth documenting. He also said I was an “actor with a brain”, and that people like to read books. Thus, I should write one. Yeah right, just go ahead a write a book. Easy enough in concept, but who has 500 hours to write 75,000 words and proof it a couple of times? Well, if you’re an actor in Hollywood like I am, then you do. So I did.

Not to mention the support and encouragement of my dear friend and albeit, transexual roommate, Angelae Le’Chastaignier. Because without her daily reinforcement to keep my memoirs “honest and kind”, I may have defaulted to a less tactful version of the not so pleasant truth. Nonetheless, my memoirs are completely honest with X-rated subjects, but written so my 12 year-old nieces can read it. Just like my film, Boulevard Zen, and yoga and fitness DVDs – my book is inspiring and entertaining and suitable for all ages.

Between now and Christmas Day, I’ll post a short description about the Preface and the Appendix and the 69 Chapters in between. And for those of you who have requested it now, please be patient – if I haven’t found the right publisher along the way, I may self-publish with the help of Lulu or CreateSpace. Just like Benjamin Franklin, Deepak Chopra, Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and many others did.

In the meantime, don’t let the holidays fatten you up without doing something fitness related every day. At the very least, start with 5 minutes a day, everyday, and before you know it you’ll be loving life with a daily fitness program. And for anyone not sure where to start, how about with my 5 Minute Fat Burning Workout # 87 – Dancing Warrior. Enjoy – R

Domestic Violence, Yoga & Hollywood Sneak Peek

We’ll soon begin a 30,000 journey across America visiting all 50 states – 100 Cities in 100 Days – to raise money for my charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation. We teach yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters. Ambitious? Yes. For a great cause? Yes. Impossible? Certainly not! I expect it to be life changing. For all of us, as well as all of you because we intend to EDUCATE, INSPIRE, EMPOWER and ENTERTAIN you with cool, trivia-filled workout videos from historical sites everywhere.

Here’s me teaching the women and children at the San Diego domestic violence shelter:

Here’s the Hollywood Sneak Peek Trailer for my Fat Burn America Tour. Enjoy! – R