Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 23, 2012.

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How to Kiss Like a Movie Star is a collection of 15 funny, boldly honest essays about learning to become the star of one's own life.

I'm very proud to say that on July 15, 2013, my essay collection, How to Kiss Like a Movie Star, will be released by Greenpoint Press.

I have been working on the pieces in Movie Star for four years. First, I wrote in the very early mornings before working on my scripts for As the World Turns. When World Turns went off the air, I decided it was time to go for it, to become what I've always wanted to be (in addition to movie star, spy and FBI profiler): a personal essayist in the mold of David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, Shalom Auslander, Jonathan Ames, and, of course, the late Nora Ephron. That is how my book came to be.

How to Kiss Like a Movie Star is a memoir in fifteen essays. It's a window into the dark side of Smash, the story of a real life Ugly Betty making her way in show business and life and never, ever giving up.

I was labeled a character actress in kindergarten, where I was cast as the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, even though I had the intrepid soul and electric imagination of Alice. But, chubby and rocking a brunette pixie haircut, I didn't fit the pinafore... or the ideal. From that moment on, I tasted every magic mushroom and drank every mysterious liquid that was offered. The stories in Movie Star bring the reader along on that journey, from winding up on the casting couch years before I was old enough to drive, to discovering my father was a Jew and an Auschwitz survivor only after his death. From moving to New York and sleeping in a theater at night to taking dictation for a 90-year old multimillionaire who made me dress like a Catholic schoolgirl. I won an Emmy™ for writing One Life to Live, but was not invited to the ceremony because I had been fired, so I gave an acceptance speech to the UPS man when he delivered my trophy in a cardboard box. The entertainment business is not kind to fat girls, and Movie Star lays bare that experience, and my decision, in my forties, to take up the art of muay thai kickboxing, learning, at last, to fight back and love my badass stubborn self.

But How to Kiss Like a Movie Star is more than backstage stories. My book is for everyone who dreams of bigger things, every ugly duckling, every unrequited lover. That would cover pretty much all of us. My great hope is that many tens of thousands of strangers will read my book, but to reach them, I need help.

What Your Contributions Make Possible

The purpose of this Kickstarter project is to raise money to pick up where Greenpoint Press leaves off in terms of promotion. It's my job to get my work out there, and for that, I need your support. I have budgeted $12,000 for publicity and marketing. This includes creating a destination How to Kiss Like a Movie Star website where I can interact with readers and post additional content; design, printing and distribution of eye-catching advertising postcards; a book tour; and, most important and indispensable, the hiring of a specialized book publicist to help me gain access to reviewers, magazines, book bloggers, radio shows, and more.

My goal, with your support, is to touch as many people as possible with the stories in How to Kiss Like a Movie Star by telling the painful/joyful truths of my own crazy experiences diving headfirst down rabbit holes, and, in doing so, to pass on the mantra I believe in with all my heart:

                               Never, ever, ever give up. 

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    Neverending gratitude and appreciation, and an email thank you, plus your name listed as a contributor on the knockout How to Kiss Like a Movie Star website.

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    CRAFT SERVICES: A personal thank you postcard sent old school, U.S. mail style, Undying gratitude and good karma, and your name listed as a contributor on the kickass How to Kiss Like a Movie Star website.

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    SUPPORTING CAST: A set of sexy How to Kiss Like a Movie Star stickers, a personal thank you postcard sent old school, U.S. mail style, your name listed on the rad How to Kiss Like a Movie Star website, and the aforementioned undying gratitude.

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    STUNTPERSON: A limited edition How to Kiss Like a Movie Star bookmark, cool Movie Star stickers, a personal old school thank you postcard, listing on the bombshell How to Kiss Like a Movie Star website and cash in the karma bank.

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    SPECIAL EFFECTS WIZARD: One personally inscribed hot-off-the-press copy of How to Kiss Like a Movie Star, limited edition bookmark, stickers, thank you postcard, listing on the not-to-be-missed How to Kiss Like a Movie Star website and eternal gratitude.

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    ART DIRECTOR: Two personally inscribed fresh copies of How to Kiss Like a Movie Star, 2 limited edition bookmarks, and all of the above, including boundless gratitude.

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    ORCHESTRATOR: A personal acknowledgement in the book, How to Kiss Like a Movie Star, two signed copies, two limited edition bookmarks, and all of the above, including big-time gratitude.

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    CINEMATOGRAPHER: Invitation to a private book launch/barbecue in my Manhattan backyard, acknowledgment in the book, two signed copies of How to Kiss Like a Movie Star with accompanying limited edition bookmarks and all of the above, with massive thanks.

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Private reading from How to Kiss Like a Movie Star at an event, party or other gathering of your choice for you and your friends, acknowledgement in the book and on the How to Kiss Like a Movie Star website, three signed copies and three limited edition bookmarks and all of the above, with deepest thanks and appreciation.

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