Truth or Dare was internationally released as In Bed With Madonna
This is the 2021 behind the scenes (BTS) diary, of my third time travel year 1996-1997.
I describe the choices for my 1996 life and its diary posts.
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Thursday 18 November 2021
posted on Facebook
It s 2.45 AM here, and this may or may not be the appropriate time to type a small update about why I’ve had my Lauren 1996 project, where I live and write as if it is 1996;
As well as its twin real time project, or log “Behind The Scenes” (BTS),
bottom out before they had any momentum, or even before they had one word on record- as was the case with Lauren 1996.
Publishing book 1 and 2 1994-1996 also; entirely bottomed out.
I m glad the files/ work was saved, as far as I know.
Because the past week I’ve had an avalanche of major and minor very 21st century (not 1996) technical problems.
And that s not counting a change in internet cable providers, which is scheduled for December and buying a new mobile phone, I m typing this on my to-be-replaced one which is old and will soon start getting technical hiccups, incompatibility in apps etc
Yet that same geriatric phone is currently the only fully functional, connected computer in my house.
Although the number was changed a few days ago, but otherwise it s the same familiar, has-no-secrets-from-me, love-you-at-3 AM when I can t sleep, companion.
Now I did see how my forced time off from my normal/desktop 21th century computer could benefit my Lauren 1996 project, and it did for the first days.
But now the stress of all the things I can t do, have to postpone or remember to pick up when I have a computer that s online;
That stress is starting to accumulate.
I m now LESS in 1996 head space than before phone and computer problems started.
So that s it in a midnight nutshell.
I think in order to play-pretend it s 1996, I need my 2021 tech to be stable.
But things that need fixing, tweaking or learning, because I have new software/systems, those things take time.
Combined with not having a computer to blog with meant I d only be able to write on my phone anyway.
Which is great for 3.25 AM at night!
Because so far that has been the biggest cost;
Not the missed blog posts, not the delay in all the admin or correspondence, not the book publishing that didn’t get done.
The biggest cost is not sleeping, knowing you have to get up early.
And hoping tomorrow 2021 will be up and running, so you can go back to 1996 and forget it existed.
Saturday 20 November 2021
The good news is my internet is working to the point that I can use WordPress, and have more options than making midnight Facebook posts.
The bad news that it still throws me off often enough to cause problems because the connection is frequently lost and I need it even more often than I did with the previous laptop because I need to personalize settings, download software, type full urls and enter my full usernames the first time I visit all my regular sites.
I just spent half an hour going back and fro to get an English spelling check here on this blog.
But regardless what I tried it kept being stuck in Dutch, underlining the entire post.
It turned out that downloading the English dictionary had failed which was why it was still in Dutch and kept underlining every English word.
And I m afraid the assignment of a mechanic has gotten lost with the provider, because it’s been 48 hours and they were going to call for an appointment.
So we’re on our own here!
With a glass fiber cable that is most likely hanging by a thread, or a modem that has a loose connection. But I’m here, and the hard earned spelling check is working, so I’m not complaining!
And there was more news, on the Lauren 1996-1997 front.
I’ve fallen prey again to not being able to sleep, feeling overwhelmed and suffering from anxiety.
I don’t wake up sick like I did for four months this year, nor have the 2020 migraines returned, yet I fear that if I get this wrong, they will soon be here to join the party.
It is key that I pick wisely;
What is worth getting upset over, losing sleep over?
In the final entries from my time travel project, dating from October, Lauren 1996 even more strongly, taps into being well-dressed, friendly and cool.
She does this by remembering a room mate who was an escort, and how she had always wanted to be so “together”, and she recommits to this vision.
But something else has happened, in 2021. An inspiration came by that I cannot pass on, which was the documentary In Bed With Madonna (1991).
It was the first movie I ever went to see multiple times, only to be matched shortly after by Basic Instinct.
Even Fight Club and Lord of the Rings, many years later- I can’t remember seeing them more often than once in cinemas…
I read an analysis for the 30th anniversary of In Bed With Madonna, that how boldly she expresses her sexuality and her stardom, are unprecedented.
Modern day music documentaries may attempt to portray their stars in the same authentic manner- but that it revolves much more about relatability and being vulnerable;
Not about being a super star and owning that!
In Bed With Madonna has got balls.
And so do I, which is why that movie appealed to me from the very beginning.
To give you a bit of background story: Although I AM a writer (meaning I need it like others need to breathe), my chosen profession for a long time was to be a yoga teacher.
In recent years I quit group classes, and I was still in the process of reinventing it when Covid happened.
If it wasn’t for Covid I would definitely have picked up teaching group classes again, but instead I quit my business and ended the lease of my yoga space.
But the quest for how to revive my old profession stayed.
The broad strokes of what it is I will be doing (and have started on and off) is to build a badass online yoga community through free YouTube classes, and then start teaching to that particular community in a one-off event style, locally as well as internationally, when Covid regulations have been lifted.
Watching In Bed With Madonna, gave me the missing piece both to framing my yoga, as well as to the identity or the energy to teach it with.
I saw with great clarity that what I like in her, and which has actually been the thing that turned me to yoga in 1998- was that she is a performer.
When I turned to yoga in 1998 after she had spoken about practicing yoga, it had never been yoga that had lured me in.
I had bought into the idea of doing yoga because Madonna did yoga (1)
And the reason I had bought into this was because she was a performer (2)
In other words the entire concept of teaching yoga, having a yoga teacher or being a yoga teacher, had never been part of why I started yoga.
I had yoga teachers, and I became a yoga teacher too, yet that was all unrelated to why I had felt drawn to yoga.
It stayed unrelated for two decades, until being in the yoga world became unbearable.
As far as I can pinpoint it, should being two decades off purpose and off path need pinpointing, then what I have felt happening on entering the yoga world, is that I lost my power.
I lost my authenticity, my sexuality, my joy.
I lost everything I stood for and what pulled me through was the Madonna / yoga connection that kept enchanting me, just thinking about it….
In 2000 Madonna made a movie The Next Best Thing where she plays a yoga teacher, and that movie too was imprinted in me.
It feels the closest to the real yoga, that I feel inside of me and that wants to be expressed, created, still desires to be brought into this world like a book or a story wants to be written!
The mistake I made was thinking the way “to bring it” was by following regular teacher trainings. Or, since I did learn good things there, the mistake I made was not realizing how much work and correcting I would need to do AFTER taking those trainings.
How many miles I would be OFF path, after the diplomas, and that my journey should have been to first go back, unlearn and restart in 2000, the last year when I knew I was still ON path!
In Bed With Madonna made me realize that it was HER energy, that had drawn me not just to yoga but to the entire concept of adult life.
I recall having five visions of being an adult, or being a professional, that I found powerful and alluring. They are in chronological order:
1. being Madonna (1985)
This started in 1985 when she played Desperately Seeking Susan.
2. being an escort (late 80s, early 90s)
I ve always felt attracted to this line of work because the women I knew who did this took excellent care of themselves and were far more sophisticated than other women my age.
As well as smart and independent.
3. being a writer/ Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct 1992)
Even more so than just wanting to do yoga because of Madonna, it was clear that my desire to become a writer was preceded (and is defined) by wanting to be Catherine Tramell.
In my eyes the cool blonde was someone who knew how the game was played and did not waste time trying to be liked.
Catherine Tramell is a fictional character, just like Madonna’s yoga teacher was a fictional character, yet she is the only writer I aspire to be, and she is the only reason I became a writer.
4. being a photographer (90s)
Although I started photographing in the 80s, it wasn’t until the 90s that I started toying with the idea of becoming a professional. I was inspired by female photographers Patricia Steur and Annie Leibovitz, and started an education I dropped out of. I just wasn’t that into it.
And I never felt any desire to go back to photography again.
5. being a yoga teacher (Madonna in The Next Best Thing, 2000)
More or less discussed already.
Madonna turned me to yoga, and then this movie took that up a level by making teaching yoga the coolest job in the world!
What I recognized in In Bed With Madonna, was that I too am a performer.
That the reason only fictional characters inspire me, is because like an actor I play a role. My work, my profession, is to perform.
The reason I dropped out of BEING a yoga teacher, the reason I never was a photographer, a proper normal writer, nor an escort, is that I put those identities on like a coat.
And that what I had done by redesigning my yoga work to teaching for free online, as to lay the foundation to later go on tour and give one-off shows (really!);
Was me turning yoga into the performance art that had appealed to me from the start.
Just like performance art had pulled me to writing, to photography, to escorting, to being Madonna in 1985.
My work, my craft, is to be a performer.
That is what I am drawn to, can get better at, and will be known for.
However, there was a problem with fully adopting early 90s Madonna performance power to teaching yoga;
First of all because I am suffering from anxiety again, making it not very appealing to drop fully into madness and mayhem Blonde Ambition identity.
And secondly, because I had Lauren’s 1996 diaries identifying with Catherine Tramell and a resolution to add the cool and self-care level of escorts. Not to be Madonna.
And with the anxiety having returned, I d also rather commit to their cool.
But fortunately I have found that the two are actually quite alike, in other ways.
That In Bed With Madonna (1991) and Basic Instinct (1992) both portray powerful women with strong sexualities.
But Madonna is “yang”, energetic, extroverted.
She is the performer of the two, which is why I will be in that energy when I “teach” yoga (as we know now I am actually giving a performance), under my real name.
The character of the writer Catherine Tramell, in Basic Instinct 1992, is poised, introverted, cool. She is “yin”.
Which is why, when I do yoga to ease stress and anxiety, and when I’m living my Lauren1996 life,
I will be in the energy of Catherine Tramell, and I keep my promise to “Lauren” to become more stylish and contained like the elegant sex workers she recalled in her last October chapters.
With that decision – and internet or no internet 😉 – I think we’re all set to travel time!
I therefor expect this post to be the last BTS, Behind The Scenes, for a while!
So the next post will be the first chapter of the new book from Lauren, 1996 – 1997.
An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living.
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