***Cliché’s have always been a part of my vocabulary.  Why?  Because Daddy was ALWAYS saying a cliché, or a catchy slogan, or a joke, or a byline, or a …..  You get the picture.  One of his favorites was “The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.”  And “Go to it!”, and “Rough Seas Make Good Sailors”, and “Think Outside the Box”.

Then, as my life progressed, I added my own.  “Just Keep Taking the Next Step” and “Don’t Push the River; It Flows by Itself”.  “Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead; Gutsy Girls Do!” And, “Simplify!” When I started practicing law, I found that clichés were flowing into my mind as I was writing declarations and briefs.  Haha.  Uh, NO.  That made me put into words the cliché’s that were flowing into my brain.

So the cliché (or byline or whatever you want to call it) for today’s symposium is “Enlarge Your Universe – Say YES!”, e.g “Think Outside the Box.”  When I was in my 30’s and obsessing about making it as an actress, a wise woman told me that my universe was too small.  I needed to enlarge my universe – to think about something much bigger than myself.  I wasn’t sure what she meant, but I didn’t care really.  I had more important things on my mind than a large universe, especially since I had just moved from Gainesville, Georgia to Los Angeles, California.  That was universe enough!

Today is a different story.   I find myself trying to shrink my universe. NOOOOO. Stop!  Now is not the time to get scared and stay home to “be safe”.  Now is the time to think outside the box, to find new ways of doing things while letting go of others.  Go places, do new things, learn, grow.  Ok, granted there are boundaries and limitations galore, but figure it out.  Stay open.

BE A GUTSY GIRL.  Now, what I mean by “gutsy” at the age of 82, doesn’t mean what it would mean to me if I were 42 or 52 or 62.  Haha. But, being gutsy to me means taking piano lessons, going alone to listen to jazz at night, singing in the shower even if the neighbors can hear.  Being gutsy to me now means getting to the train station (without a cane), taking a high-speed train by myself to Paris (5 1/2 hours), then taking a taxi to a section of Paris on the left bank, walking without a cane to do all of it, and living out of one little carry-on.  I don’t think that I have travelled this much in my life – alone. Or taken one little carry-on.  And, this is definitely the first time that I have had difficulty with steps and walking.  With my husband or a friend, piece of cake.  Alone (for me) after surgery is another story.

Now, you may think some of these fears that I am working through are silly.  But, I don’t. Yet, I am determined to conquer these fears and move to Paris, France.  I have a sign on the refrigerator that says, “Keep taking the next step.”  So, I find if I act “as if” I know what I am doing and work through the complications (updating my Visa, selling my car, preparing the piano, finding an apartment, hiring movers, furnish v. unfurnished, the cat- Missy, learning arrondissements, plus…), I find myself moving ahead.  Haha.  So, I keep getting estimates for things and “thinking about it”.  But, it is time to commit. (a cliché comes to mind but I will refrain…..”  ____ or get off the pot”)  Time and funds are limited. And, the world is a mess. “But, if not now, when???”  (See what I mean???)

In the middle of the night, when my mind is in worry-mode, I find myself singing lyrics from  songs.  Last night, I was wrestling over a decision that needs to be made, and I found myself singing (in my head) a song I had used a lot in my Act when I performed in small clubs around LA – “Say Yes”.  So, this morning, I made the decision.  I said, “Yes.”  I don’t know who wrote the song, but the one and only Liza Minelli sang it in “Liza With a Z”

One Night. One Chance. One Liza (With a ‘Z’).

Bob Fosse’s 1972 film of Liza Minnelli at the Lyceum Theater remains a spellbinding document of the art of performance.

liza M


Here are the lyrics:

Say, “Yes.”
Life keeps happenin’ every day.
Say, “Yes.”

When opportunity comes your way,
You can’t start wonderin’ what to say.
You’ll never win if you never play.
Say, “Yes.”

There’s mink and Marigold right outside
And warm white Cadillacs you can ride.
Nothin’s gained if there’s nothin’ tried.
Say, “Yes.”

Don’t say, “Why?”
Say, “Why not?”
What lies beyond what is, is not.
So what, say, “Yes…”

“Yes, I can.” “Yes, I’ll touch”
“Yes, I’d like to do ‘such and such’.”
Yes, I’ll try.”  “Yes, I’ll dare.”

“Yes, I’ll fly.” “Yes. I’ll share.”

Yes, I’d happily, Thank You very much.”

“Yes.”  Oh Yes.  Oh, Yes…

There’s lots of chaff. But, there’s lots of wheat
Say, “Yes.”
You might get mugged as you walk the streets.
But on the other hand you might greet
That handsome stranger you’ve longed to meet.
Say, “Yes…”
“Yes I am.”  “Yes, I’ll be.”

“Yes, I’ll go…
Oh Yes…

*** (Disclaimer – These posts will be about moving to Paris for a while because I obsess during times of action.  I don’t want to be Chekovian – like the characters in Chekhov’s  “Three Sisters”, longing to go to Moscow, but this process won’t be fast.  If you don’t want to read about my obsession during the time of my move to Paris, don’t read this blog. But, at some point, I will be LIVING in Paris.  Sorry.  I have been this way all my life, so I doubt I will stop now. Haha.   Oh, by the way, I have gotten a LOT of things done during my lifetime.   Just sayin’…….)

Best, Jay (And an old headshot just for fun!! AND, my ego……..)





Published by jjaywmac

Jay W. MacIntosh (born Janet Tallulah Jewell) is a retired attorney, actress, and writer from the United States, living in Paris, France. She is a member of the California Bar and selected to the 2018, 2019, 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers list. She holds a Master’s Degree in Drama from the University of Georgia and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Zodiac Scholastic Society. As an actress, she is a member of The Actors Studio, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), SAG-AFTRA, and ASCAP, performing in film and television in the United States and France. Her published works include Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 1, Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 2, The Origins of George Bernard Shaw’s Life Force Philosophy, Moments in Time, Capturing Beauty, JAYSPEAK on the Côte d’Azur, and Janet Tallulah.

4 thoughts on “ENLARGE YOUR UNIVERSE – – – SAY “YES!

  1. YOU GO, GIRL!!JUST DO IT!! [Driving down the road, I still sing in the car – and I have a convertible and the top is always DOWN – except when it rains, of course, which is seldom in SoCal]


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