Saturday, July 5, 2014


1 Please tell us a little bit about your background;
     A:      My name is Jennifer Bradley-Lopez, born in April 1983, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I am currently a stay at home Mom with two gorgeous kids. I guess you could say I grew up in a less than perfect lifestyle. I was raised by my single mother when my parents split due to my father’s physical abuse on my mother. My father, then picking up and deciding to move away to Miami, Florida at my tender age of five years old abandoned me without any financial or emotional support. I grew up with an unconscious yearning for a father figure in my life and always seem to get in trouble along the way because of that. Just as the song goes - I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I managed to overcome a lot of hard times including physical abuse, substance abuse and at times low self worth and came out of my dark times stronger and wiser for it.
As for my personality, the people in my life describe me as vivacious, outgoing, very opinionated, compassionate,  a bleeding heart for everyone and anyone in need, spiritual, aggressive, impulsive, eye for beauty in the ordinary things in life, intelligent, confident, short fuse at times, energetic, strong, fiery and a survivor.

2 You are an actor, model, musician. Have you always wanted to be in entertaining somehow or other or did you aspire to be something else when you were growing up?
   A:      I have always been a creative artistic person - I have always been passionate about singing, dancing and acting. I got married and pregnant at an early age and that became another passion of mine for sometime and everything else just didn’t seem as important. I have decided now as kids get older and need you less and less that it was important I had something for myself and have decided to try my creative side with writing. I recently re joined “StarNow” because I believe in taking chances and risks.  A good idea since that's how we met!

3 Is anyone else in your family and/or relations in entertainment?
   A:       No.

4 Are you formally trained in all your skills?
   A:          I have attended Montreal School of Performing Arts and also Concordia University as a mature student and took foundations for introduction to acting.

5 As an actor, what have you appeared in?
   A:         I have had non speaking “extra” background parts, in such films as “Pure”, “Student Seductions” offsides music video,

6 As a model, what have you appeared in?
   A:         I have attended the Canadian Showcase for Models and Talents.

7 As a musician, what instrument/s do you play?
  A:    I have taken singing lessons and I love to sing but have never done anything professionally. I sing for my kids now. I did try out once for “Canadian Idol” and I was told, I had a good voice but I was too nervous and to come back next year and to work on that.

8 Have you worked with any well-known names?
   A:        I have worked as an extra on set with Elizabeth Berkeley in the movie “Student Seductions.”

9 Are you professionally managed or do you represent yourself?
    A:           No I am not professionally managed.

10 What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
    A:      I enjoy first and foremost being a Mom - I spend my time doing things for my kids, like crafting, reading, or just spending time with them. They really do grow up too fast!! I also feel free when I am singing and dancing. I love to socialize, read and to write.

11 Have you ever been bullied?
      A:    My earliest memory of being ganged up on was in school and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in the fourth grade and I was part of a popular girls' clique. We were a group of six girls and we ruled our grade.The leader, I will call her Veronica. She kinda reminds me of a Veronica type of girl from the 'Archie' comics.
Veronica was a beautiful, wealthy Jewish girl. She was the youngest of two girls. Her sister was already in college. Veronica was wise beyond her years, she had learnt a lot from her older sister. I thought it was so cool that Veronica knew so much about heavy metal music and what was cool in the early 90s. I would go over to Veronica’s house a lot. Her parents were lawyers and seemed like they were always busy and never home. Her sister would teach us about all the cool bands like 'Motley Crue' and 'Metallica'. We would just watch her older sister in awe. Veronica and I became very close friends.
I remember Veronica came over to my house and we would dress up in my Mom’s negligees, pretend to make important calls on my Mom’s cell phones (with those huge 80s phones-that looked more like fax machines!) held up to our ears, as we sipped ginger ale out of champagne glasses and we thought we were so sophisticated and cool. Veronica told me to go steal one of my Mom's smokes, so of course I did whatever Veronica wanted me to do at the time (she was the leader of our cool group!) then we would go out to my uncle’s MGB, an old classic car that was parked in our drive way under a tarp and smoked (at least for me) my first cigarette and it made me feel like a badass. I guess that might be where it started but it didn’t end there by any means.
 It was recess at school and Veronica instructed us all to “line up against the wall” as she had an announcement to make.
We are going to be performing 'Under the Bridge' by the 'Red Hot Chilli Peppers' for the talent show this year!” she said. We all went along with whatever she said even though I didn’t know the song, nor did I care to perform it.
Veronica ran the clique and the rest of us followed. I’ve never really been comfortable as a follower, but I considered her a good friend so I happy to oblige for a while. It wasn’t until May 1993 - I still remember the date very vividly in my mind. It was the Stanley cup playoffs and if you live in Canada, you know hockey is a big deal. The two teams who would end up playing in the Stanley Cup finals that year would be the Montreal Canadians (our home team) and the Los Angeles Kings. Naturally, everyone was rooting for the Montreal Canadians in our school. At the time, I had a friend who lived across the street from me that didn’t attend my school, he was a huge Wayne Gretsky fan and also at that time he was playing for the Los Angeles Kings. I really liked him as a player. I had made the mistake of exclaiming at one of our daily recess line ups, that I didn’t want the Canadians to win, I wanted the Kings to win!
The reaction I got from my statement, I certainly had not expected. I might have well said I was going to throw one of their parents into a fire. I think I would have gotten a better reaction.
Veronica immediately made it clear to everyone I was thrown out of the group! A little much in my opinion. I might have accepted the punishment, until Veronica then decided to get the whole grade four class to ignore me. I went from being in the most popular group in our grade, to being a leper. Quite the blow to my ten year old ego. Suddenly I went from having a strong group of girlfriends, whom I considered good friends, to not having one person who would even bother to say hello to me. It was quite cruel actually and you know how the old saying goes “kids can be cruel”. We had sleepovers, parties, laughs together, we talked everyday - now nothing but dirty looks and cold shoulders.
It didn’t end there. It became painfully obvious to me that some of the kids were not “allowed” to talk to me any more because I was no longer in the group. They didn’t want to get thrown out of the group either. In hindsight I guess I can’t blame them - it was awful. I soon realized that I was on my own now and no longer had a posse. Other kids in my grade, who weren’t even in the group figured this was the perfect time to get revenge on me for never paying them any attention.
The bell rang one day after recess and we all lined up to go back inside like we usually did. One of the boys in my class walked up to me and kicked me right in the shin! We wore tunics and bobby socks, so he got me on bare skin and it hurt. Not wanting to show that he had affected me in anyway, I continued walking in with a smile on my face, until I hit the washrooms, ran into a bathroom stall and burst out crying. The old saying was true - kids can be cruel. I just couldn’t help but think - imagine - all this for liking Wayne Gretsky! I wonder if he knows what some people go through to show him support. Somehow I don’t think so.
I was very happy at the end of that school year. That month was long and hard, without one person having the courage to stand up and be my friend. I cried to my mother that whole summer. I didn’t want to go back to that school. The kids were mean. I wanted to go to the Catholic school that still had a French immersion program that I had been taking at my school. My mother agreed. I was so happy I would not have to see those girls or deal with them ever again.
The answer at that time for me was to run away. It was easy, it was simple, it worked - for a while. The truth of the matter is though, you can run away from any problems you have in life, but at the end of the day, they will always come back to haunt you in different forms.
Groups of girls will always be groups of girls, even if they aren’t the same girls.
Even at the age of thirty I still see the exact same behaviour as I did in that tender age of ten, with people twice my age on social media sites.
It's sad to me because I thought I was done with those juvenile games. The truth is I am, but some people are not and that’s ok, because I am.
I just have to remind myself that I chose not to play. That situation really changed me at an early age. I have since always strived to be independent. I always want to make my own decisions based on what I liked and what I feel is right. I have never had any desire to be part of any cool girls' “clique” since.

12 Whether you have been bullied or not, do you think that the governments and schools around the world are doing enough to try to combat this problem?
      A:        When I was a kid you could send your kid to school and it was the safest place next to home for them to be. Nowadays not so much.
Bullying is an extreme issue. Children are taking the problems into their own hands, before the adults even have a chance to know what is going on and by then it’s much too late. Why is this becoming the new normal?
Why isn’t there more public outrage and action being taken to ensure this is eliminated?
When you talk to a parent about an issue their child might be having, parents get very defensive, when it comes to their kids, out of fear that in some shape, way, or form - it’s a reflection on them.
I have to ask though, isn’t it better that these questions be reflected on or from the parents? If a child is having an issue then it is worth examining. It needs to be examined to get resolved. If the parents don’t want to resolve it for them, then the child is going to go off into the world and possibly do something horrible, which still has a bad reflection on the parent. We can’t bury our heads in the sand.
It starts at an early age and it starts at home.
We as adults all carry around baggage. An invisible bag of rocks, if you will, on our shoulders. One of the main problems I see a lot is too many adults do not realize the emotions they pass on to their children. Until they begin to unload the “emotional” rocks in their back packs, the children suffer. Adults need to realize that kids feel their parents' vibrations from their parents. They know if parents are unhappy, they feel it and they follow our examples. Home life needs to feel secure and happy and is the main source of learning about love and acceptance.
In schools I feel like they need a really good counsellor in every school - one that isn’t there to judge them at all on their bad behaviours, but one who really cares to listen to each of them. A listener who wants to help.
To make them feel like whatever it is they are missing in their lives there is still someone  who wants to hear their pains and worries. Who strives to truly guide them in the right direction.
I also believe parents need to stop medicating the children. Falling into the ever so popular pharmaceutical trap. It does not help anyone’s frame of mind to be drugged. Life is confusing enough.
In my opinion, society has taken quite the turn since my days of growing up as a 90s kid. I was born in 1983. My generation was sunny and warm. I remember the lifestyle was not perfect by any means, but there was a difference in what we did as kids. For one thing we could go outside. Alone. All day. No one would worry or look for us. We rode our bikes all day. We got sun, fresh air, we had exercise, we ate our roast with potatoes and carrots (not fast food.) When something isn’t working, sometimes it’s the simple days or solutions that were the ones that worked in the first place.

13 What further do you feel the above could do to either reduce this problem hugely, or eliminate it altogether?
     A:        For starters we need to understand that the next generation is who we need to focus on. They are the ones who will follow our “examples.” Kids watch what we do, not what we say. We need to be the examples to them, consistently. How can we teach our kids and ourselves that this kind of bullying behaviour isn’t acceptable?
Let’s start with the simple steps:
A.) We need to be involved in our kids' lives - to know what’s truly going on. We need to stop being so busy and we need to stay involved in their lives. If we can’t then we need to find someone who can be in their lives.
B.) We need to teach kids to accept each other, exactly the way they are, all the time.
C.) Another important note - we need to be conscious if we are in fact leading by bad examples. We need to be aware if we are bullying in our grown up adult world with other others.

I can’t count how many times I have sat back and listened to adult women, up in their fifties and sixties, who are constantly critiquing other women and judging them on anything and everything.

I, as a thirty year old woman and am supposed to look up to those women for wisdom and guidance.  I just don't find it as much as I should.
What this does, is teach children around them that this is a normal way of life.
The more we sit around and gossip about celebrities and/or the woman down the street, the more you show influential kids and teens, that this judgmental behaviour is right and normal. We have to teach acceptance. It’s ok that we are all different, we all have different opinions, mannerisms and lives, even favourite hockey players! In the end that’s what makes us all unique. Unique is what we should all be striving for. We are all rare and in rarity there is so much potential. We do not want to imitate anyone. We accept others - yes, celebrate - our differences. Each one of us is special and there is a reason for that. God or whoever you believe in made you special for a unique purpose in this life, one that no-one else on this earth can do. It’s like mixing a special formula for a specific purpose. That’s you. That is pretty cool when you look at it that way. “Be yourself, everyone else is taken!!’

14 On a personal level, what would you like to do to help in the fight against bullying?
     A:       Mother Teresa said “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” This is a very profound and useful statement not only for hunger of the world, but for world hunger for change. What I take away from Mother Teresa’s message is do what you can to help, one person-to person at a time. Even with your children, everything starts at home. It’s not possible to reach all the people at once. That’s how I chose to do my part. Whether it’s on social media, at the grocery store, wherever I am, I try to be the sunshine - not the rain cloud. I smile at people on the street, compliment someone on Twitter, tell someone I love I appreciate them. I don’t wait for anything in return, I just hope the kindness effect snowballs. It’s not always easy and I have days where the negativity gets to me too, but overall, I remind myself to try and keep my thoughts positive.
Some people thrive on drama and hurting others. I’m not exactly sure what they think they have to gain by behaving like this.
I understand as I too can occasionally lose my temper when something upsets me. Usually, what I feel to be “injustices” affect me the most. If I see something as hypocritical or wrong, I want to call it out right away.
When it comes to friends, especially. The reason I do this is not because I think they are “wrong”, “dumb”, or that I am “better” or “smarter” then them in anyway.
I would say the reason I do this, is because I care. If I didn’t I would just say nothing.
I could just mind my business and let them continue to go on this way. I feel that a true friend will say something to you, to point out when they don’t agree - you might not even be aware of what you are doing or how you are being perceived by others. It’s ok to agree to disagree. It’s not ok for someone to dismiss your truth and opinion because it doesn’t suit theirs. You should always feel heard by others even if there is a difference of agreement. That is respect between friends. Always have a voice and express yourself. If someone doesn’t respect that about you, then they aren’t right for you, or people you need in your life.

15 What advice would you give to someone who is suffering through this nightmare at the moment?
    A:        Anyone feeling bad about themselves at the hands of others needs to keep a few things in mind:
1) Insecure people feel the need to put down others in order to feel good about themselves.  I think it's a growing epidemic that has been going on for years. People are constantly critiquing, judging others way too harshly to standards - they would not hold themselves to and they berate you for it.
2) People think that others need to be perfect, yet they don't even look at themselves long enough in the mirror to find a flaw of their own (hyporcritical).
3) Today's society has a standard for women - to look a certain way, be a certain weight, or have a certain look or they are deemed inadequate - but I ask you who made these standards? Why can't each individual be just that - an individual.
4) Society has driven this generation to become pin up girls or playboy bunnies, then they bully them that they are “sluts”. I have such a problem with bullying. You see it everywhere now. Girls forming groups and attacking others because they don't act the same, or think, or speak the same. News flash: no one is supposed to be the same! There are no two sets of identical finger prints for a reason. We are all different. There is no shame in that.
5) We need to teach each other that it's ok to be who you are. To love who you are and the skin you are in. It is not that hard.
6) Stop focusing on fitting in. Stop worrying about where you fit in. Ask yourself this question- why do you need to fit in? You were never meant to. This need to fit in drives people to do anything and everything for everyone else and many times this leads people to be taken advantage of or expectations from others that will lead to disappointment, lead to hurt feelings of betrayal and low self esteem.
7) Don’t fall for the “Wolf Pack Mentality” (as I like to call it) The definition being: the strongest wolf out of the pack and most intelligent would be the leader and holds the reigns through respect not force. Any wolf that disturbs their role will be forced out. Each wolf complies for their own survival. Perhaps they are weaker, or less intelligent or not strong enough. YOU ARE STRONG. BELIEVE IT. Be yourself and the right people will love you for it.
The last piece of advice I want to share was given to my favourite childhood bear 'Winnie the Pooh': “Promise me you’ll always remember; you’re braver than you think, stronger than you seem and smarter than you know…”

18 Have you had many media interviews?
      A:         No I have not.  This is my first one.

19 Who and/or what are your inspirations?
      A:       My inspirations are any strong and supportive women who inspire and pave the way for other young women. Maya Angelou’s words have always struck a powerful message for me. One of my all time poems she wrote will always be “Still, I Rise” -\

20 What is on your agenda professionally for the rest of 2014?

      A:       I have decided to take some creative writing classes this fall from home. My long term goal is to write a book and incorporate some of my life stories, for which I aspire to help other young ladies, “show them the way” and to give them hope. If I can get through my dilemmas I can encountered in life based on the wrong choices I have made and yet come through them on the other side, so can they. If I could touch one person and help them, then for me, it wouldnt be in vain.

21 Do you have a special message you would like to share with the world?
      A:         Some days I think back on my life and I wonder, was it all a dream?
I’ve been able to handle a lot more than some people have to go through in their lives, but maybe not as much as others go through.
I've always looked at life as an adventure.
I have always had faith in God and really, I have to believe, that's what's always got me through.
I, somehow, just knew, that no matter what I went through or whatever was going to come my way it would be ok. To some extent, I was right.
As I look back now, sitting here in a great position in life, one I wasn’t sure how I would get to, but luckily got here somehow.
There was always a sense inside, that someday I would end up here - and I have.
I have a great life, but I wasn’t always blessed with any of the things I have today.
I came from a humble background - I was raised by my single Mom. My Dad left when I was a kid and I had a step Dad for a while but that didn’t last.
My Mom worked hard to always make sure we had food and a roof over mine and my sister’s heads, but we didn’t have much growing up. My parents split when I was two, because of my father’s abuse of my mother.
My father was never around growing up, and because of his abuse on my mother at such a young age, I had a very distorted view on my relationships with guys growing up.
I didn’t have a clear view of how men were supposed to treat me and the cycle of abuse continued with me. My father recently passed and I had to make peace with my past that I wouldn't get the answers from him I felt like I needed.  In the end, I have forgiven him and I made it through all the dark times in my life with a positive attitude and since I decided to start making the right choices for myself, my life changed before my eyes.

truly believe if I can do it so can you! You just need to talk to the right people, find the right support system, but most importantly it needs to come from inside. You need to believe in yourself and in a higher power that however you want your life to go, you can get there, just need the right frame of mind.
The purpose of my journey hasn’t always been clear, neither will yours. One thing I can say for certain is that, neither one of us asked for this. To be born to this life.
Do you have a gnawing feeling you were put on this planet for some purpose? We never asked for this. What is this? What did our parents get us into? Right? Can you relate to what I just said?
Here’s the bottom line, we’re here. We have arrived. We aren’t going anywhere yet. I look at life like a roller coaster ride, it has ups down, loops and sometimes you’re upside down. For some people it makes you laugh, scream, cry. It can scare you or give you the best feeling ever. Sometimes you ride alone and sometimes you get others who will hold your hand through it.

Ask yourself: do you want to make this the best this ride of your life or the worst ride? The choice is always yours.




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