I must admit, I’m not happy to see 2005 go. It was very good for me creatively and I watched my career soar. I had some incredible highs:
- Playing Micah Okwu on The Bold & The Beautiful.
- Hosting House Calls.
- Becoming the red carpet correspondent at the Primetime Emmy Awards for CBS.
- Shooting multiple episodes of How Do I Look on the Style Network.
- Becoming the first out talent on BET.
- Hosting BET’s Remixed!
It feels as though for the first time since 2002 the curse of Big Brother has lifted. Surviving a reality show is hard. The casting agents and producers never warned me about the negative aspects of doing reality television. All they cared about was cajoling me into saying yes. Did you know I turned Big Brother down? I went to the finals, killed it, and got on the plane thinking, “Nope. Not for me. I’m good.” When they called to discuss the next steps, I passed. Then a few months later they called and offered me Survivor and I heard myself say, “No, I can’t do Survivor, but maybe Big Brother.” Then I was on the show, and it was done. For every door reality fame opens, it closes even more. There have been moments where I felt like I had to fight for the respect any person is due. It seems because I did Big Brother, the fans can say whatever awful thing they want about me. The internet makes the jealous who are not leading fulfilling lives vicious.
Every day I fight for respect. It’s never-ending. It’s as though my successes before my reality moment was negated. I take meetings where the only topic anyone wants to discuss is who I still talk to from Big Brother. When I try and change the subject to who I am and what I can do, silence. The stink of reality clings to you, and you can not wash it away, no matter how hard you scrub. Hollywood only sees you as an ex-reality star, as though the only talent you have is being yourself, and that is somehow bad.
I truly believe that God or whatever higher power you believe in gives you what you deserve.
The New Year is a time to reflect upon the past. It’s a time to look at what worked and what did not. It’s a chance to change the narrative if you are brave enough to do so. It’s also time to plan for the future. Last year was not successful for me romantically. I had many dates, but I didn’t get what I wanted; a boyfriend. I never met that special guy who makes you not want to see anyone else. Maybe I’m a player? Perhaps I have unrealistically high expectations? Is it too much to want five carats?
L.A. sucks for dating. It is the most desirous city in the World. Everyone has an agenda and is looking for something, usually fame or fortune. Where New York is competitive, Chicago is simple, Miami is sexual, and London is proper with a side of dirty, L.A. is all about desire, and not so much for sex though people here will use sex to get what they want quicker than anywhere I’ve ever lived. You meet men in L.A., and they look right through you, past you, actually. They see you, yet they are already thinking about what you can do for them, what they can get from you, and who is next. As I type this, Ellie, my fave character on Degrassi: The Next Generation, just said, “Guys suck, Ashley. They are just here to mess us up.”
Is that true?
In 2005, I fell for a guy who was all kinds of crazy. He was sexy, pale with dark hair, and a massively deep voice he used as a battering ram. I liked him because he was very male and knew about sports and politics. He challenged me. If I took one position, he took the opposite. He had passion and conviction. Unfortunately, he was a bi-polar, self-medicating, functional alcoholic. Boy, can I pick ’em? It got to the point where I could either be an enabler or pick up my self-respect and move on. I chose the latter. My mom always said, “I can do bad by myself.” In this instance, I’m better alone.
So onward to 2006 and welcome new year. My resolutions? To look better than I looked in the Sexiest Men Of Reality 2006 calendar. That means more gym, less cake, and less drinking. It sucks that alcohol is just empty calories! I want to learn to drive. Yes, that will be me in the car with the sign on top and the two steering wheels. I want another television series. Starring in BET’s Remixed! was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I’m going to stop paying the salaries of several salespeople in several malls all over L.A. I’m going to buy a Hybrid. I’m going to grow an Afro. I’m tired of being “the bald guy.” Maybe I’ll get the five-carat ring I want? Perhaps I’ll buy it for myself.