Ronnie Goes to Washington Blog

Dear Donald Trump, I’m Sorry.

Dear President Trump,

I’m writing you this letter to offer you something that you’ve probably never received, something that I feel that you deserve, and something that all the money in the would could never buy —

Dear Donny,

I’m Sorry.

I’m sorry that I failed you and that I let my love of work, money, and fame monopolize my time. Ah, my precious time. Time that could have and should have been spent nurturing our relationship, was instead squandered selfishly. Sadly, we will never be able to get it back. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there to hold your hand and to guide you along the road to becoming a true gentleman. The truth is, I’m not even sure that I knew how to be a true gentleman. I did the best that I could with what I knew, as all parents do, but that is a poor and unacceptable excuse for my absence and deplorable behavior.

I’m sorry that my absence during your formative years caused you to experience such deep pain, pain that ultimately consumed you. With no way to heal yourself, a mere child, it was projected outwardly onto your class-mates as you transformed into the school/neighborhood bully. I’m sorry that I further punished you for my own failures as a father, and for bruising my ego with your delinquency, by taking you out of school and enrolling you at the tender age of 12 into the NY Military Academy. While in attendance, you were put into a uniform, thrown into a tiny cell, and physically abused by the students and adults that supervised you. You were taught that to be a true man, aggression and physical toughness were the supreme requirements and that torture was an acceptable means of punishment.

Where I failed, WWII combat veteran Theodore Dobias did not, but I’m not so sure that his methods were much healthier than my own. He stepped in and became your role model, a man that had fought some of the bloodiest battles in Italy and seen Mussolini’s body swinging from a rope. He was rough and occasionally demanding of you and came after you physically without hesitation if you did not submit. He taught you that, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”. I’m sorry that I rejected you and gave-up on you so quickly the way that I did. I feel that I forced you to prematurely become an adult, and not just any adult, but a rather tortured and lost soul. It was unfair and something that I have secretly shamed myself for in private for years — carrying it with me to my deathbed.

Lastly, I’m sorry that I blatantly favored your brother over you and that I saw in him the potential to take over the family business — completely overlooking and underestimating your own talent and abilities. It was unfair of me and for that and all the things that I’ve mentioned and haven’t mentioned — 

I’m sorry.

Can you ever forgive me?

Love,

Dad

Respectfully,

Ronnie Kroell

Reality Check Live – Preventing Truth Decay

Special Edition: LA Elected Officials and recently-declared Presidential candidate talk about “coming out, nature vs nurture, equality, and plain good governemnt! Host: Cary Harrison | Panelits: Ronnie Kroell, Mitch O’Farrell, Jeff Prang, Vivian Romero. Live on KPFK 90.7 (LA), 93.7 (Santa Barbara) San Diego, plus replay on Public radio stations nationwide and selected NBC regional stations.

In God We Trust?

My Fellow Americans,

I wanted to take a moment to wish you a very Happy and safe 4th of July — 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The United States is truly a remarkable place to live — A land of freedom, opportunity, and chasing dreams. None of these things would be possible without the brave men and women that have put their lives on the line to safeguard these rights over the years — Today, above all else, I honor and thank them for their service.

Admittedly though, this Patriot is finding it a bit difficult to whole-heartedly celebrate — Mostly because I genuinely fear the dangerous direction in which our Country is headed. It seems that somehow we’ve let radical hatred, divisive political rhetoric, fake news, fear, greed, and ego take the driver’s seat and that to me is NOT who we are — NOT even close!

I’ve made two observations recently:

  1. Our currency reads, “In God We Trust”.
  2. When a President concludes a speech they end it with, “God Bless America”.

Quite frankly, I’d like to meet and have a serious chat with this “God” that we’ve put so much trust in and frequently call upon to bless our Nation.

Why, you ask? 

Mostly because I’m not sure what God or group of God loving people could actually allow these things to happen in our country —  

  • More than 554,000 people are homeless in The United States (US Department of Housing and Urban Development 2017).
  • A 700B Wall Street Bailout because of unchecked, unregulated, and unhealthy greed. Meanwhile Mainstreet continues to struggle while 3000 financial sector lobbyists continue to buy votes in 2018. Congress’s inability to get together and finally enact campaign finance reform and to take money out of politics is evidence of this challenge being systemic — establishment politicians thriving on the current system are not likely to change it (Inside Job Film).
  • 2.3M people are incarcerated across the United States (highest rate in the world) and 400,000 of them are there simply because they are poor (PrisonPolicy.org). African Americans are 3.73 x more likely to be arrested for marijuana usage even though usage is about the same in white communities (NAACP).
  • 50+ Billion Dollars a year are being wasted on the failed “War on Drugs” (www.drugpolicy.org).
  • 7,615 reported Hate Crime Victims in 2016 — 4,426 were race based, 1,584 were religious based, 1,255 were sexual orientation based. 2,220 were anti-black, 909 were anti-white, 862 were anti-jewish, 388 were anti-islamic, 787 were anti-gay, and 111 were anti-gender identity.
  • The three richest Americans have the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the U.S. population. Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and legendary investor Warren Buffett are the three Americans whose combined wealth matches that of the poorest 160 million Americans — about $250 billion. Oxfam said the massive inequality is being driven by factors that include excessive financial returns to company owners and shareholders at the expense of ordinary workers and the rest of the economy; the ability of rich individuals and corporations to use tax havens that allow them to evade or shield trillions of dollars from tax authorities; public policy that permits market conditions that push down wages and infringe on labor rights; and extreme wealth that is inherited, not earned.  (Oxfam Reports).
  • The Institute for Policy Studies recent report The Road to Zero Wealth: How the Racial Divide is Hollowing Out the America’s Middle Class (RZW) showed that between 1983 and 2013, the wealth of the median black household declined 75 percent (from $6,800 to $1,700), and the median Latino household declined 50 percent (from $4,000 to $2,000). At the same time, wealth for the median white household increased 14 percent from $102,000 to $116,800.
  • 44M Americans are uninsured and another 38M are under-insured (PBS Healthcare Crisis). 
  • The most recent PISA results, from 2015, placed the U.S. an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsors the PISA initiative, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science.
  • America’s infrastructure is desperately in need of investment, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers’. The ASCE estimates the US needs to spend some $4.5 trillion by 2025 to fix the country’s roads, bridges, dams, and other infrastructure. Meanwhile, the NFL is a 14 B industry (as of 2016), and has over the last 20 years found a way through financial loop-holes to take 7 B in tax-payer money to build stadiums (Watchdog.org). “Tax-exempt municipal bonds are typically reserved for public-use projects such as bridges, water systems, and other infrastructure,” Michael Sargent, an infrastructure expert at The Heritage Foundation, wrote for The Daily Signal. “Yet because of a loophole in the tax code, private-use stadiums can take advantage of this tax break, and have done so prolifically.”
  • “47 percent of U.S. workers have a high probability of seeing their jobs automated over the next 20 years.” Oxford University researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne claim that technology will transform many sectors of life. They studied 702 occupational groupings.
  • There have been 221 school shooting incidents since 1999 – 141 deaths and 287 others injured (Washington Post).
  • The Justice Department and border authorities began prosecuting every adult who crossed the southwest border illegally in May 2018, causing more than 2,300 children to be separated from their parents.
  • An estimated 12.6 million deaths each year (globally) are attributable to unhealthy environments – nearly one in four of total global deaths. Environmental risk factors, such as air, water and soil pollution, chemical exposures, climate change and ultraviolet radiation, contribute to more than 100 diseases and injuries.
  • It’s easy to throw something in a trash can. We don’t usually think about our local landfills unless complaining about the smell when we drive by them, but the average person generates 4.6 pounds of trash per day (National Geographic). When waste is in the ocean, the ocean dwellers mistake it for food or get tangled up in it. When waste is disposed of via burning or nuclear, it emits hazardous toxins in the air, which people breathe in. People can limit this crisis by reducing the amount of waste. By choosing to use products that can be recycled or placed in a compost pile, every household can reduce their waste.
  • The 2017 drought in California, and the fact that Flint, Michigan hasn’t had clean water in nearly four years, serves as the perfect example to show us that water scarcity and pollution isn’t just a problem everywhere else — it’s a problem here at home too. Like the Earth, your body is made up of a lot of water, too. Both land and your body need clean water to survive (Schooled by Science).
  • According to the World Economic Forum Report, The U.S. slipped four spots to 49th out of 144 countries when it comes to gender equality. It now ranks behind countries including the United Kingdom (15th), Australia (35th) and Bangladesh (47th). Back in 2006, the U.S. was in the 23rd spot.

I could go on, but the reason for my writing this message is NOT to simply point out the wrongs of The United States, but rather to inspire a CALL TO ACTION: 

Instead of trusting in God or waiting on God to bless us, let’s take matters into our own hands.

The time is NOW to reflect upon the ideals that were set forth by our founding fathers, to practice what we preach, and to celebrate our diversity. We cannot continue to lead the free world and have an expectation to thrive if we stubbornly remain divided into Red & Blue States — We are THE UNITED STATES. Let’s not wait for another 9/11 to happen, to remember this.

The time is NOW to start going into conversations with the intention to respectfully listen, to share and receive valuable information, and to cross the aisles to find purple solutions. Yes, we may have diverse needs and differing opinions on how to best preserve and perfect our Union, but at the end of the day — We are on the same team! Fear, ego, and greed do not have a place at the dinner table in our homes nor should they be afforded a place in our Government.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

The power is THE PEOPLE’s.

It has always been THE PEOPLE’s.

It always will be THE PEOPLE’s.

THE PEOPLE’s REVOLUTION is upon us, but it does not have to be violent or bloody. We can choose to lead with love and intelligence and RISE-UP together like a Phoenix from the ashes — Stronger, smarter, and more unified than ever before.

I believe in US,

Ronnie Kroell

Meet Me in the Middle

 

 

Meet Me in the Middle doesn’t mean that we will agree going into the conversation or leaving the conversation, but rather that we agree on the manner in which we will respectfully listen and communicate with one another to find solutions. 

We are not Red or Blue States — We are The United States.

“Rising in Love”

We’re all looking for LOVE, but if we’re honest, most of us aren’t even really sure how to love OR what we truly want from a relationship in the first place. It’s like getting in our car to go somewhere, but since we aren’t sure of the final destination, it’s impossible to say if and when we will arrive. To make matters more confusing, let’s presume that we don’t even know the make or the model of the car we are driving and we are low on fuel. A recipe for disaster!

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how extremely painful it can be to put yourself out there time and time again, hoping to “fall in love” with “THE ONE” that will “complete you”, only to realize that your efforts have yielded nothing but heartache and loneliness. Getting lost in the drama of what you or s/he did or didn’t do, lack of trust, failure to communicate, ulterior motives, insecurities, resentment, and the list goes on . . .

Instead, we could be spending our valuable time “Rising in Love” by learning how to love ourselves first.

It’s hard to believe, but it has taken me 34 years to realize the importance of self-care and self-love — BEFORE ALL ELSE. Over the years I’ve been a chronic people pleaser, but somehow along the way I forgot how to please myself. I became comfortably uncomfortable making decisions to make everyone else happy (or what I thought would make them happy anyway), but it ultimately resulted in my own unhappiness. These days, I have been spending my valuable time paying more attention to myself. I’ve learned that my wants, my needs, and my desires are just as important as anyone else’s — Putting my needs on the back burner to appease others is something that I am training myself to NEVER do again.

I don’t regret a single one of my relationships, but if I’m honest, few (if any) of my partners have ever truly known the real me or cared to know the real me — beneath the surface of my looks (sex), perceived celebrity, or what they might stand to gain from dating me. Those that did, I’m grateful to, but somehow we still didn’t quite work out … Did we give up? Were we trying too hard? Did we go too fast? So many questions and too few answers it would seem, but that is the nature of putting ourselves on the market and learning how to love.

Truth be told, I’m not looking for anyone to complete me. I am already complete, but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t enjoy finding someone to “journey with” — someone that would embrace my light and dark parts just as I would theirs. It would be a true gift to stumble upon an organic connection sexually, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually that could withstand the storms and continue to surprise me over the years, but until then — I remain committed to being to myself that which I hope to find in and be for a partner one day.

In closing, don’t worry about falling in love with anyone else! Instead, find new ways to “Rise in Love” with yourself each day … LIVE, LAUGH, and BE GRATEFUL for all of your blessings. You don’t need anyone else to complete you or to make you whole, however when the right person(s) does come along your cups will be overflowing with abundance.

Namaste,

Ronnie

 

 

 

Friendship Awareness Month

I think the time has come to realize that we no longer need *Bullying Awareness Month, because we are more aware than ever that bullying exists. Most recently, it has led to the untimely and most unfortunate death by suicide of a 9 year old (Jackson Grubb) and 13 year old (Daniel Fitzpatrick) boy.

Starting this year (2016), I suggest that we re-name October from “National Bullying Prevention Month”, to “Friendship Awareness Month”.  

At Friend Movement we are shifting the conversation from “anti-bully” to “pro-friendship”, working to prevent victimizing behavior, building self-love/confidence, removing the blame game, focusing on the positive, and finding solutions together as a community. After all, what we focus on expands. So, if we continue to focus on the problem and treat the bullies like villains, then the problem only can get worse. Instead, let’s work together to have a conversation about how we are communicating with one another, what our needs are, and how best to heal through love and acts of friendship.

I hope you’ll enjoy the following interview I did with “Laughing Eddie” Lobo on The Left of Str8 Show/Scott Fullerton (Start at 20 Minutes):

*In 2010, the fifth annual event grew from a week to a month with October designated National Bullying Prevention Month which unites communities nationwide to raise awareness of bullying prevention. The event is expanded to include free, downloadable activities, education, and awareness building for the entire month and the message is realigned to engage, educate and inspire other to join the movement. Educators, students, families, and individuals who care about students access the tools to address bullying in their school, recreational program, and community organizations. Over 700 partners and champions joined PACER Center against bullying join the cause. Yahoo! Kids features the campaign on their site for the third year and Facebook, Demi Lovato and PACER partner to reach millions on a cyberbullying prevention message. The month is featured on CNN’s Anderson Coopers Town Hall meetings. Ellen DeGeneres lists PACER Center as a bullying prevention resource on her website along with several other national media resources, such as CNN.com.

Burning Man

I entered Burning Man as Ronnie Kroell and left as Earnest (On The Playa). My name was given to me by a man named Blue that I had just met. He said that I was truly Earnest and that I should hold that close to my heart and always embrace that quality wherever I went. I was served delicious tea by Clue. I was inspired by Joe Peach. Luke gifted us all amazing sound bowl meditations. I was helped by Ed when my bike needed fixing. Tracey gave me a reading and some powerful aromatherapy oils. Robby did some word slam poetry for me. Wish invited me to check out his amazing fashion line. Victoria was an angel and pointed me in the direction of the 9e tent for some energy reading and healing. Jahan and Artie jump started the RV after the battery died, but first in their loving Persian way fed me and showed me so much love.

Parker’s show took my breath away and inspired me to find a way to engage Friend Movement to collaborate and add value as the project expands. Nikolai stole the show with his magic piano that lit up when he played it. I gave Justin and Oleg Angel readings and appreciated the warmth of their soul that was apparent by looking into their eyes as we sipped tea. I picked up moop and put it into the trash. Sam gave me a cool dust mask with an American flag. I slept many a night in the cuddle puddle filled with larger than life plush teddy bears. I felt an overwhelming sense of love, kindness, and gratitude as my authentic self became less and less afraid to dance about. I left my sadness, regret, and love for those that have passed on at the Temple. I shared meals and fellowship with my fellow Olympus campmates.

I stared in awe at a mesmerizing fire breathing octopus. I explored the art installations and got caught up in playa dust storms a plenty. I had a chance meeting with my new friend Ibok and we journeyed across deep playa to say good-bye and honor his father and brother at the Temple followed by dancing the night away on an art car until the sun came up and we celebrated the mystery of life …

I gave and I received, but above all else I realized that this feeling of connectedness to my fellow man did not have to stay in the desert, but that it was possible in the “real world” too … It’s only a matter of time and being the change that we wish to see.

Love,

Ronnie

Making you believe, that I believe!

Dear Friends,

This blog is the first time that I’ve been able to say that, “I’m an actor”, and I truly believe it . . .

Back in 2008 I had the blessing of being on a popular reality TV show called, Make Me A Supermodel, on Bravo. It was the beginning of what was going to be a truly bittersweet journey for me. After competing on the show, I moved to NYC from Chicago to follow my modeling career. I walked the runways for fashion week and had numerous successful campaigns, but a defining moment was when I was tapped to pose for PLAYGIRL Magazine. It was edgy, controversial, and everyone had their opinion about why I should or shouldn’t do it. However, with all their opinions in mind and in true Ronnie Kroell fashion, I did it my way …  No regrets.

Soon after that, I was given the opportunity to be a part of Eating Out Drama Camp. I had SO much fun working on this film and at that point there was no denying that I had been bit by the acting bug. I went back to NYC, packed my bags, and started plotting out my move to Hollywood. I went on to act in and help produce a number of independent films, including: Into The Lion’s Den, Scrooge & Marley, Birthday Cake, The Men Next Door, I Hate Valentine’s Day, and Kissing Darkness. However, even with all of these experiences under my belt, there was a part of me that didn’t believe that I was actually an actor.

I know that I’m not alone when I sometimes think to myself, “I’m such a phony” or “I wonder if they’ll catch on”. As artists, we tend to be our own worst enemy. When we get into our head too much, we risk losing contact with reality and the physical world around us. Couple that with the stigma that goes along with being a reality TV show personality and all the shade that can come your way, it can be a recipe for diminished confidence and low self-esteem. That’s part of what happened to me anyway, but somehow I’ve been able to break through to the other side and realize just how talented I really am.

Over the past four years, I’ve lived in Los Angeles. I like to say that Chicago is my heart and that NYC is my backbone, but it it here in Los Angeles that I have been discovering my voice and how to use all of the aforementioned in harmony. My mid-western heart and sensibility were the perfect target for damaged souls and those that sought to use, abuse, manipulate, and take advantage of my light. However, again I somehow have been able to make it out alive (I’m pretty sure I have a legion of Angels on duty at all times). Sure, I’m still licking a few wounds that haven’t healed, but I am grateful for the scars that have formed. They serve as a reminder of the light and dark that exist in all of us and the importance of finding balance, being grateful for the process, and the importance of forgiveness.

I’ve battled the light and dark of others, but it has only been recently that I’ve been able to make peace with my own capacity for light and dark. I no longer see the dark as something bad that I must shake my fist at, but rather a necessary contrast to help me better realize my blessings. By doing so I have been able to not only reclaim my power, but recognize that without the darkness it would be impossible for me to shine. We all have the ability to shine, but sometimes we get caught up in the fact that life gives us the tests before it offers up the lessons. It is at this critical point, where we risk losing hope and want to throw in the towel, that we must keep going and NEVER GIVE UP.

I’ve had the privilege of taking acting classes from greats like Lesley Kahn, Groundlings, Killian McHugh, David Zimmerman, Jack Plotnick, Michael Testa, Jeffrey Tambor, and most recently Hunter Lee Hughs of Story Atlas. Each one of these teachers has gifted me with a bit more insight into who I am, not only as an actor, but as a person. In my opinion, it is impossible to act well unless we are willing to be vulnerable. We must learn to move beyond fear and at times revisit dark experiences that we have buried deep within ourselves; a futile attempt to avoid feeling through the pain. It’s not easy, but from my experience, it has been well  worth going deeper and allowing myself to open-up.

I left Story Atlas tonight with a feeling of true accomplishment! For the first time I can say that I’m an actor, and I truly believe it with every fiber of my being. I’ve worked hard to get to this point and have overcome numerous obstacles that, to the inexperienced self, could seem like calculated attempts by the Universe to tear me down. In reality though, the obstacles were sent to build me up. I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I realize that the negativity and shade that others have/may throw my way has nothing to do with me, rather it is a projection of their own insecurities, a lack of self-confidence, and deeply rooted pain.

So, where am I going with all this you ask?

Well, it all boils down to this simple, yet very complex conclusion:

As an actor, I am faced with the challenge of, “Making you believe that I believe”. After leaving Story Atlas class tonight, I can honestly say that, “I believe”. I am no Meryl Streep quite yet, but I am no longer held captive by my own insecurities, or those of others that get thrust upon me. I have made a serious commitment to myself to acknowledge, develop, and to truly celebrate my talent with the utmost of humility. At the end of the day, my job as an artist is to polish my talent and share it unapologetically with the world.

That is exactly what I plan to do, but with the added commitment to encourage and inspire others to go after their dreams along the way …

Thanks for reading!

Ronnie

 

th(IS)me.

The following is an interpretive poem that I have written, inspired by original song lyrics co-written by BJ Bingham & ME.

this is me.

not the ME that YOU want me to be,

not the ME that I think I am,

BuT hErE i StAnD . . .

this is me, this is me, THIS is me!

This is me naked, This is me vulnerable.

u|n|i|q|u|e in so many ways —

th(IS)me.