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Rosario Dawson

Megan Tan 0:03

Today's a big day. [sounds of cards shuffling]

Erick Galindo 0:05

It is a big day. [Megan laughing] It is a very big day.

Megan Tan 0:08

It's always a big day. Ahhh, you want to pick a card?

Erick Galindo 0:12

Yeah, yeah, I'm a little nervous.

Megan Tan 0:14

Are you?

Erick Galindo 0:15

Kinda!

Megan Tan 0:17

Why?

Erick Galindo 0:17

Because...

Megan Tan 0:17

So, I have this thing that I do. Whenever I see a friend I haven't seen in a long time, or I see someone who's celebrating something big, like they're moving, or they just got a new job, or they're going to have a baby. I bring them some cards.

Erick Galindo 0:35

I feel like this card might tell me something that can get in my head.

Megan Tan 0:38

[laughing] Okay, don't get in your head. They're called a-ffirm-ators! [laughing] Not I'm a predict your future.

Erick Galindo 0:46

Right, right, right, right. Okay, you're right, you're right.

Megan Tan 0:48

And I have this person pick a card. And in this case, it's Erick Galindo, showrunner of Snooze.

Megan Tan 0:54

Wait. Really choose.

Erick Galindo 0:56

Okay. Like, like, sense it?

Megan Tan 0:57

Yeah, sense it.

Erick Galindo 0:58

Okay.

Megan Tan 0:59

I like to think of them as souvenirs of this moment.

Megan Tan 1:02

He picks a card. And it says...

Erick Galindo 1:06

Forgiveness. [original music] Congratulations, you've been given one of the most powerful superpowers there is: forgiveness. Imagine that you've been fitted... [duck under]

Megan Tan 1:17

And I thought, wouldn't it be dope if there was an episode of this show [original music] that was like one of those cards, where you could talk to incredible people who've done incredible things. And they could give you a phrase that they gave to themselves or a phrase that someone had given to them. And at any moment, when you're feeling a little less than confident, you can reach into your pocket and pull out this card.

Erick Galindo 1:20

This is a bonus card.

Megan Tan 1:44

Yo. Bonus life, bonus card.

Erick Galindo 1:46

That's right.

Megan Tan 1:47

[theme music] You're listening to Snooze! A show about things people put off, how they conquer them, but most importantly, how they conquer themselves. And I'm - Megan Tan. [theme music continues] [pause]

Megan Tan 2:19

Good morning, good morning, good morning! It is 8: mmm 14. I am driving to uh, the podcast. Where am I driving? [laughing] I'm a little distracted this morning because I'm going to do my first celebrity interview for Snooze! Brraah brraah brraah brraah brraah brraah! It's funny because on the show, we help people face their fears. And sometimes, I forget that I'm basically doing the same thing. I'm passing through Northeast LA. The mountains are on my left. It is a clear day. No clouds in sight. It's Friday. [laughing] I'm going to speak to Rosario Dawson! Wow! I never thought of myself as someone who would get on a call with someone I know from the movies, from TV. Which is why I have to tell myself, Girl, you were made for this! You're made to interview everybody! [laughing] You know? And uh, and let's have fun, you know? Don't freak out! [laughing] You know when you have to tell yourself not to freak out, you're definitely freaking out. [original music] [sounds of footsteps] But you take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other and sign on to Zoom. [Zoom call bell]

Erick Galindo 3:52

Snooze will be back after this commercial break. [original music] [break]

[original music] Now, back to the show.

Megan Tan 4:13

Hi!

Rosario Dawson 4:14

Hi!

Megan Tan 4:16

Okay, are we ready? How would you introduce yourself at a party?

Rosario Dawson 4:20

I would probably not.

Megan Tan 4:23

That's Rosario Dawson. And yeah, she's right. She doesn't need an introduction. If you saw her walking on the street, you'd recognize her. Maybe because she played Chloe in the movie Kids. [Kids sound bite - Chloe speaking: Sleep-away camp with your friends and shit!] Mimi in the film Rent. [sound bite from Rent - Mimi singing, "Well, it's gotta be close to midnight."] [music from Rent continues] She starred in Men in Black, Seven Pounds, the Mandalorian. She's been starring in films for decades. So, y'all know her list is long. And that's just acting. Rosario is a powerhouse. She's a producer, environmentalist, a mom. She co-founded Voto Latino in 2004, which encourages Latin X people to register to vote. What I love about Rosario Dawson is she's lived a life. As a kid, she grew up in New York City's Lower East Side during the 80s, squatted with her parents in an apartment that sometimes didn't have running water. And then she fell in love with acting, and decided to commit to this craft when she was young. 15 years old. When you see Rosario talking about her most recent movie on TV,

Rosario Dawson 5:41

[talk show sound bite] Yes, uh, I definitely have to say it was one of the more shocking and incredible moments of my life when that actually turned into a real job. Um so...

Megan Tan 5:49

Or doing interviews on talk shows with Queen Latifah [sound bite of Queen Latifah and Rosario Dawson on talk show singing: "So won't you party with me? 'Cause I want to party with you." That's it. Whoa! Clapping and cheering.] Her smile and her spirit light up the room.

Megan Tan 6:06

Alright, Miss Rosario Dawson! Thank you so much for coming on Snooze. So I want to know, for folks who are snoozing things, and for myself, what are phrases that Rosario Dawson keeps in her pocket? Whenever you have a challenge, is there something that comes to mind?

Rosario Dawson 6:27

[laughing] Um, so my grandmother had some very interesting sayings. My grandma, Meemaw. And we learned after her passing when her brother came to her funeral that a lot of the things that you know, we attributed to her actually came from him.

Megan Tan 6:49

Oh, wow.

Rosario Dawson 6:50

And she loved her brother. She had a bunch of, she had two sisters but she was, she loved her brother and apparently he used to say two things. Amazing is two blue horses.

Megan Tan 6:59

[pencil writing sounds] Amazing is two blue horses.

Rosario Dawson 7:04

Which actually r-, begs me to like refrain from using the word amazing too often. Um, because you know, if I would use it like, Oh my gosh, this farina, Meemaw, is amazing and she'd go: Hmmm? Amazing is two blue horses. And you're like, well yeah, I mean, two blue horses is amazing. I guess maybe this isn't as amazing [laughing] when you compare it to two blue horses, and you know, sort of being very clear about my communication?

Megan Tan 7:32

Mmmmm...

Rosario Dawson 7:32

Um and being very specific. So like, that amazing word makes me think of a lot of words like that, that can be very grand or big or full or intense, and being more um, thoughtful about their usage. Another one, which I really dig. She used to say all the time: Fuck 'em and feed 'em rice.

Megan Tan 7:52

I love that!

Rosario Dawson 7:53

Don't know what that means!

Megan Tan 7:54

Oh, I love that! [laughing]

Megan Tan 7:56

[pencil writing sounds] Fuck 'em and- feed them rice.

Rosario Dawson 8:00

But every once in a while a situation comes up and it feels like the right thing to say. Fuck 'em and feed 'em rice. [laughing] She would just you know, if you we- complained about something or someone was givin' us a hard time or any of those kinds of things, you know, just fuck 'em and feed 'em rice. Like just, and I and I think that's such an interesting thing, right? It's like, you're tellin' it, like you're saying, you know, you know what I don't, I'm not even going to entertain like, fuck that, you know, and at the same time, and give them rice. I love rice. Rice, I could eat morning day night afternoon. Like, that's my favorite thing. I'm a big rice person. And like that's a generous and loving thing to do. So in a situation where you're just like fed up and over it with somebody or something. It's not just going Uh! and kind of pushing it away. It's also still being generous and showing up and being giving.

Megan Tan 8:55

Mmmm...

Megan Tan 8:56

I love that Rosario's phrases come from her uncle who gave them to her grandma Meemaw, who gave them to Rosario and now she's giving them to us. It kind of feels like their family heirlooms are being passed down. I also get a lot of phrases from people in my family and my friends, and Rosario is the same. She tells me about this phrase her friend Eve Ensler, also known as V, also known as the woman who wrote the Vagina Monologues. That's crazy. I mean, the Vagina Monologues had a huge impact on me as an 18 year old. So thank you V. Anyway, this phrase that V gave her,

Rosario Dawson 9:46

I was contemplating breaking up with someone. And she was like, oh, because she knew him. She was like, Oh, he's delicious, though, like if he was on my plate, I'd be like, licking the plate, you know? [Megan laughing] But you shouldn't have anything on your plate that you don't really want to eat.

Megan Tan 9:59

[pencil writing sounds] You shouldn't.... So far, this is one of my favorite phrases: [original music] You shouldn't have anything on your plate that you don't really want to eat. So if you don't want those mashed potatoes, you'll get them off your plate. Or if you want two more over-easy eggs to go with that pancake, you still have to eat, yes, this was a real situation for me, then get the eggs, which I did. And if you want to eat that goat cheese, but your stomach has some issues with it, pop in one of those lactic acid bills and then eat the cheese. Am I talking to you? Or am I talking to me? Bahaa! [laughing]

Rosario Dawson 10:36

You know, you don't want to be pushing your food around. You don't want things to spoil. You don't wanna be too full. Sometimes I put way too much too much on my plate. You know, and then things do spoil. And it's like, okay, wait, is my plate overloaded? Do I have enough to eat? You know, do I? And it helps me to say yes. And to say no. Um, which I think is, are very critical words in any person's language.

Megan Tan 10:42

Mmmm.

Rosario Dawson 10:48

And actually, her real main piece of advice that day, was: If you're ever not sure of something, commit to it.

Megan Tan 11:15

Oh! wow!

Megan Tan 11:17

[pencil writing sounds] If you're ever not sure about something [duck under]

Rosario Dawson 11:25

Which I thought was so interesting.

Megan Tan 11:27

Yeah, wait. Why? [laughing]

Rosario Dawson 11:29

So let me break it down for you. Okay, so I'm like in this relationship, like, I wasn't sure. And she said, Well, you know, if you're not sure, then commit. Say, forgive yourself a full month, three months, whatever it is you want to say, but for that entire month, every single time this person does something that's irritating, or makes you start to think about breaking up or whatever, think to yourself: This is the man that I live with, the man that I love. And be committed to that. This is the man that I live with, the man that I love. And what was so beautiful by the end of that month, I still knew that the relationship was over. But rather than it being antagonistic, or you know, because we were starting to get grumbly and, you know, arguing, getting into arguments and stuff. And it just, all of that went away. And I saw this person for this man that I love. And I do and I still do. He's someone who's still a friend of mine in my life. And I just realized I loved him, he was a really good person. I just wasn't in love with him.

Megan Tan 12:24

Mmmm.

Megan Tan 12:24

[original music] When Rosario says I loved him, but I wasn't in love with him, I'm a little stunned. I've said those exact words to someone before. And she's right. It was because I didn't want to commit to anything. And I thought it was safer for me to swing in this ambiguous space of not saying no to loving someone. But not saying yes either. And you know where that left me? Full of anxiety. It's weird. As much as I hate being indecisive and not committing. When I'm scared, that's always where I find myself. For Rosario, when she didn't know what to do about this romantic relationship she was in, she decided to commit. And over time, how she truly felt about her decision revealed itself.

Rosario Dawson 13:24

When you are making a decision in your life, and it is not the right decision, you will, your body will have an allergic reaction to it when you commit. When you commit. But if you don't commit, and you've got one foot in, one foot out, you can spend 10 years doing that.

Megan Tan 13:40

Mmmm. Oh girl! I got chills of like, [laughing]

Rosario Dawson 13:43

If you're not sure about something, commit! Tell yourself the block of time that you're gonna be committed. Don't even entertain thoughts of not doing it. Be fully committed, and then come out of it from there, and come from that richness of of clarity and, and like love.

Megan Tan 13:58

Wow, that's really beautiful. Yeah. Is there anything um, recently where you've taken that phrase and you've used it?

Rosario Dawson 14:05

You know, I remember when I turned 30, [laughing] I said that I could hit notes that I hadn't been able to hit as well, you know, in the past. I was like [singing] Mee mee mee mee mee, no, no, no, no, no! You know, [laughing] like I can finally, like, really full throated, say these things. And then somewhere along the way, that kind of dissipated. Um, and so I've been sort of reclaiming those No's. But actually, it's really truly about what are you saying yes to instead, you know, rather than what's your No, what is your Yes. And yeah, so I've been I've been really focusing on what my yeses are, what I really want to move towards.

Megan Tan 14:49

Wow.

Megan Tan 14:50

[original music] Saying yes, taking shots. Rosario is talking about everything that this show is about. We're helping people say yes to things they've been saying no to for a really long time. But I kind of wonder if there's something Rosario has been saying no to. Something she's been snoozing.

Erick Galindo 15:17

[original music] Snooze will be back after this commercial break. [break]

Now, back to the show.

Megan Tan 15:36

Growing up, I know that you spent a lot of time in your childhood going outside and going to Fire Island, [Rosario laughing softly] to the beach, going camping uh with your family. And so, do you feel like when you are facing challenges you reach for nature?

Rosario Dawson 15:55

I absolutely do. I feel very grateful that my parents not having a lot of means didn't stop them from appreciating what is available to all of us, and should be available to all of us, which is just being in our nature. Like when we were outside, we were outside, you know, like we were going on hikes, we were going on super long walks like, and that was whether it was going to the community garden or going up to Midtown to you know, people watch and window shop, you know. Um but it was just always being in movement, really just taking in the sun, and the breeze and the rainbows and noticing the leaves turning. And it's an amazing thing, because especially growing up in the Lower East Side where you couldn't really afford to do a lot of things. But that meant, you know, that the things that we often did would be free, and the outdoors was free.

Megan Tan 17:00

Mmmm.

Rosario Dawson 17:01

So, you know, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a couple of years ago. And one of our great dreams was always to have like a compound and have our home that would be as off the grid as possible, you know, and the, and the means and names of it being as holistically and everything built as possible. And, you know, that was, you know, it compelled me to finally get property, so that my dad had something to look forward to. So, he's doing well, he's still cancer free, but, you know, the chemo and the surgery and everything really took a toll on him. So, you know, it's been really hard for him to gain his weight back and so he can't walk long distances. And you know, he's he's, he's still struggling health wise. He's, he's not the same person he used to be, who was the, you know, construction guy, you know. Um, so it's been really hard for him. But to see what a difference it is for him to feel like he's walking around and being outside and not just watching TV all day, um stuck in a house, but like being able to just see deer, and the wild turkey and all the, you know, the life that exists out there and and see the time changing [original music] and engaging with it, you know, on his lawnmower. Literally forging paths of like, we're gonna forge a path today, and we go and we take the gator out. And you know, and I take the weed whacker, and I'm following around with the weed whacker [laughing] and we're just like forging a path. You know, [Megan laughing] it's like, so therapeutic and good and like yummy and fun. And, and I'm just so grateful, because I, I, I knew how critical that would be. Outdoors is therapy.

Megan Tan 18:40

Mmmm. [music continues with lyrics: I've been all over this world of ours. Sometimes it feels like I've seen it all. Day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.]

Rosario Dawson 19:04

And I think it's just absolutely critical to engage in movement and then getting that fresh air. And there's, what's better than going out to the outdoors for that whether it's playing sports, going for a hike, camping, having a picnic even. You know, it really just does so much for our balance and equilibrium. I actually, you know, I'm doing this um campaign with Tom's of Maine, which I love. And that's like a company that's like always been doing the right thing. I mean, like 50 years ago, they started being like, let's create healthy products for people, which was so not the narrative of the time. Um and to this day now like they're committing $3 million over a three year period to get 150,000 kids, specifically at risk kids, who are, live in, you know, green deserts as we call them, um to be able to get access to the great outdoors. When you engage kids at a young age in the outdoors, they grow up to be the environmentalists and the stewards of the Earth that we need them to be.

Megan Tan 20:08

Right.

Rosario Dawson 20:08

And when we think about climate change and everything we cannot, we cannot get that without being engaged properly.

Megan Tan 20:17

Yeah.

Rosario Dawson 20:18

I have a relationship with mother nature within me and outside of me. And, and I, I want to look out for her as much as she's looked out for me and my family over all of these years and to make sure that my daughter and her children have access to it in the way that I did. Um, so I just I love their whole campaign and been working with them with this literally like #getintonature, literally just encouraging people just to go for walks and go outside.

Megan Tan 20:44

That's awesome, Rosario. I um said hello to the mountains this morning, on my way to the studio. So

Rosario Dawson 20:50

Nice!

Megan Tan 20:50

I know what it's like. Yeah, I'm always like, I'm so fortunate to live so close to nature, and to see it every day. I just have one more question for you. And it can be very small. Our team wants to know if there's anything that you've been snoozing or putting off.

Rosario Dawson 21:05

Um, I would say the thing I've been snoozing would be probably, um you know, I take care of a lot of people. I'm literally paying for multiple different people to get dental work done and things because that just racks up into the 1000s and people can't afford it, you know, and people wait so long to take care of it because they don't have good insurance or whatever. And so for me, it's like I am behind on all of my, I always call it like, you know, when you go in to the doctor's it's like, um being in a NASCAR, you know, and there's zzzzz! zzzzz! zzzzz! [Megan laughing] you know, like, you kind of get that like, moment [Rosario laughing] where you get all like, oil changed and all that kind of good stuff.

Megan Tan 21:51

Oh, yeah yeah yeah. It's like the one stop shop list. Go! [laughing] Yeah.

Rosario Dawson 21:54

Yeah, let's do it! Let's get it all done! And I, and I, and I haven't been as on top of that as, as I could be for myself, you know, because I'm always working.

Megan Tan 22:04

Right. Yeah.

Rosario Dawson 22:05

Um, and so in that sense for me, it's like I've been looking for a therapist. I found someone. I love her. I spoke to her once.

Megan Tan 22:12

Awesome.

Rosario Dawson 22:13

And then I haven't set up like a regular time to keep being with her. So

Megan Tan 22:17

Well, we're gonna send you good vibes.

Rosario Dawson 22:19

Yeah, I just need that. So this was very therapeutic. This was very nice. I appreciate it.

Megan Tan 22:22

Oh, good! [laughing] Oh, we appreciate you too! [original music]

Rosario Dawson 22:26

And I, and I love the basis of your show.

Megan Tan 22:29

Oh, thank you so much.

Rosario Dawson 22:31

Yeah, I love what this can do for people. So thank you. I appreciate you.

Megan Tan 22:36

Thank you Rosario. Please have a wonderful day.

Rosario Dawson 22:39

Thank you! You too.

Megan Tan 22:41

All right, bye!

Rosario Dawson 22:42

Bye! [pause]

Susan Tan 22:42

[phone ringing] Driving in the car yet?

Megan Tan 22:57

I am. Yeah, I just got in the car. Today is a busy busy day.

Susan Tan 23:01

Yeah.

Megan Tan 23:02

It was in a best way. This is just the life, Mom. This morning, uh you know, I wake up and I mean, I tell everybody yesterday I'm like I'm gonna interview my first celebrity! [laughing] You know, um.

Susan Tan 23:05

Hilarious! [original music] [laughing]

Megan Tan 23:09

Welcome to Hollywood baby!

Susan Tan 23:21

[laughing] Oh my god! Oh my gosh, Megan. [sounds of cards shuffling] This is you.

Megan Tan 23:29

Yeah.

Susan Tan 23:29

This is you.

Megan Tan 23:36

[original music] I'm ending my Friday with cards I didn't have. Cards that I'm going to keep in my pocket and pull out for whoever needs them. Cards from Rosario. [pencil writing sounds] Amazing is two blue horses. Fuck 'em and- feed them rice.

[theme music] Before I give you scenes from the next episode of Snooze, I want to give a shout out to everyone who helped make this episode happen. It was produced and sound designed by Marina Peña and Kyle Chang, edited and fact checked by Erick Galindo, who's also our show runner, mixed and engineered by Donald Paz, written, edited and hosted by me, Megan Tan. Jessica Pilate is our talent producer, Antonia Cereijido and Leo G are the executive producers. Our theme song is by Wayne Dopeman.

Erick Galindo 24:57

Andrew Eapen wrote and composed the original music for this show. Additional production on this episode by Emma Alabaster.

Megan Tan 25:04

The original artwork for Snooze was created by Sana Hong. You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram @MeganLeeTan, and the show @Snoozepodcast. Our website on LAist.com is designed by Andy Cheatwood and the digital and marketing team, who also created our branding. Snooze is a production of LAist Studios.

Erick Galindo 25:25

Thanks to the team over there, including Taylor Coffman, Sabir Brara, Kristen Hayford, Kristen Muller, Andy Orozco, Michael Cosentino and Leo G. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is also made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Megan Tan 25:53

If you like Snooze, rate and review us on Apple podcasts. Trust me, it really helps us out. And we would love to know what you think. And if you love Snooze, and you want to shower us with appreciation, become a sustaining member of KPCC and LAist Studios by going to laist.com/memberships. Support the place that supports this work that supports people like me.

Next week on Snooze, I help Abby.

Megan Tan 26:32

[phone ringing] [original music] Yay! Uh, congratulations for uh, being so willing to go on this journey girl! I'm excited for you!

Abby 26:41

Oh, I... [duck under]

Megan Tan 26:42

She recently got married and wants to have a baby. But she realizes she can't build her own family unless she opens the Pandora's box of her own identity. And that box is a book.

Abby 26:56

I'm excited. I'm nervous, but I'm more, I think I'm more looking forward to it than apprehensive. So...

Erick Galindo 27:07

If you have something that you've been putting off, call us: 323-591-8159. That's 323-591-8159. Leave us a message and you could be on an episode of Snooze. Don't put it off. I'm talking to you!

Megan Tan 27:28

I'm Megan Tan. Thanks for listening.