A New Year

This is the start of a New Year and I am about to start something exciting and a little scary—at, what some would consider, an advanced age. To hell with that old paradigm notion. What does age have to do with it?

Blogging itself is a new adventure for me. You see, I have always been something of a luddite… Someone intensely resistant to technological advances. (see footnote added by Robin Morgan if you want to know the history behind the name). I Googled for the first time this summer at the urging and with the help of my pal, poet and author, Robin Morgan, who was staying with me at my ranch in New Mexico. (More about her and my ranch another time) Why hadn’t I known about this sooner. I mean, I knew about Google, I’ve actually visited their campus and spoken there, but had never availed myself of its treasures. Listen, I didn’t even have a computer (PC) till I was 58. I was married to Ted Turner at the time. He is a Luddite for sure and will die that way. He hates all this stuff. Doesn’t even have a cell phone. When I want to email him or he email me we have to pass it through Debbie, his saint of an assistant. He threw my computer across the room once when he thought it was taking me away from him.

I adore my computer and have had a big-time relationship with it for thirteen years now. I would never have been able to write my memoirs (and enjoy doing so—a lot!) were it not for my PC, its files, cutting and pasting. Ooooh it was so much better than how I used to do it…taking scissors and cutting and taping paragraphs in new places and since I always rewrite as I go, I’d end up with something resembling the Dead Sea Scrolls. And I do a lot of public speaking so I cut and pasted in this truly old fashioned fashion for way too long.

A few years ago I asked Gloria Steinem if she had a website/blog and her negative reaction convinced me I’d never want one either….”You lose all privacy.” But my new techy friend James Andrews, persuaded me that it doesn’t have to be that way.

James Andrews is very cool. Check out his website thekeyinfluencer.com. He and his drop-dead smart and gorgeous wife, Sherrelle Kirkland-Andrews (her blog is called funkidivagirl.com) and their 2 children moved to Atlanta 4 years ago (that’s where I live mostly—I came with Ted and stayed. More about that some other time…my staying, that is).

AND, Andrews has done what Robin Morgan and other friends have been unable to do…persuade me to switch to a Mac. I’m scared and excited to leave my good old familiar PC but everyone keeps telling me how far more user-friendly the Mac is. James is also getting me to use a streaming video camera. Not sure about that part yet. The people I’ve seen use them– staring into their cameras and answering questions and stuff while managing to look decent are all around 20…or so they seem. Flattering those streamers are not. Hmm. Have to figure this one out. Maybe attach a key light to the top of it. I’ll let you know.

But here’s the really big deal for me at the start of this New Year: tomorrow at 6am, I am packing up my stuff and my dog Tulea (more about her later—in fact I will have photos and stories of my little 8 lb soulmate) and moving to New York for 5 months to star in my first Broadway play in 45 years! The last time I was on Broadway, Kennedy was president and it was in an Actors Studio production of Eugene O’Neil’s “Strange Interlude” starring the memorable Geraldine Page. This new play is called “33 Variations” and Obama will be president when it opens (thank you, Lord!) at the Eugene O’Neil Theatre. Previews start Feb 9th (Yikes!) and the official run starts March 9th. (See side bar for more info about “33 Variations.”

This unusual play was written and is being directed by Moises Kaufman. He and his company, The Tectonic Theatre did, among others, “The Laramie Project” based on interviews about Matthew Sheppard’s murder with the people of Laramie, Wyoming, where the murder happened. I saw the HBO film based on the play and found it incredibly moving and important.

It’s late and I have to get up really early for my flight so this is all I’ll do for my first blog. Tomorrow I will try to describe my thoughts and feeling as I face this new and challenging chapter in the second scene of my third act. (Third act= 60 until death. First scene of third act= from 60 to 70.) I am a quite different person than 45 years ago. New York is a different city. It is, as I just said, an unusual play. People who’ve seen earlier stagings of it in Washington and La Jolla say it is amazingly powerful.

I want to try to take you through the whole process with me—from start to finish.

Let the journey begin.

See you next time. (That’s how I always ended my JF Workout videos.)

PS. The blog isn’t actually set up yet. Maybe next week. But I am writing anyway and will post it asap..

PPS: Robin’s info on the history of Luddites:

The Luddites were a social movement of British textile artisans in the early nineteenth century who protested—often by destroying mechanized looms—against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work. This English historical movement has to be seen in its context of the harsh economic climate due to the Napoleonic Wars, and the degrading working conditions in the new textile factories; but since then, the term Luddite has been used derisively to describe anyone opposed to technological progress and technological change. The Luddite movement, which began in 1811, took its name from the fictive Ned Ludd. For a short time the movement was so strong that it clashed in battles with the British Army. Measures taken by the government included a mass trial at York in 1812 that resulted in many executions and penal transportation. The principal objection of the Luddites was against the introduction of new wide-framed automated looms that could be operated by cheap, relatively unskilled labour, resulting in the loss of jobs for many skilled textile workers.

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64 Comments
  1. Wow! What chutzpah! But then you have always had that. This (the play) feels even more ballsy to me. Maybe because I am a women nearing 40 hoping to never stop being daring. I look froward to following your run via your blog and possibly making it to NYC to see the show. Best of luck with the blog and the show.

  2. Oh does this “See you next time” sound familiar! I’m Violetta, 21, from Greece and wish I could jump on a plane and come see you perform on the stage, miss Fonda… Eternal admirer of both you and your father. My best, always

  3. I’ve been on Twitter for the better part of 2 years…my bio there: “Trying to balance online mania with a natural Luddite tendency…” 🙂 I’ve had many blogs in the last 5-1/2 years, been on several social networks, etc. But I still listen to a $5 Radio Shack transistor and am currently shopping for ribbons for a red manual typewriter I found at a thrift store for $3. (I want to write in public places with it…like a Luddite laptop.) 😉 What I love most about social media is the conversation and the community. Hope you’ll find that to be true, too.

  4. Hi Jane!

    I’m 54, started a blog last year and then jumped into building a website. My family rolled their eyes when I told them what I was up to.

    I’m what you’d call a closet writer.. I love to write, but mostly for myself. Stepping out for other’s to read my words…well it was a bit scary.

    I’m not a techie, just a regular woman who sets three goals a year for myself. Last year’s was to start a blog, build website for women, and…. oops, I didn’t make it to the big 3, but that makes this year even more exciting –I have four new things to experience this year. In 2007, I completed ground flilght training, flew a plane, went surfing for the first time, and climbed a wall.

    Challenging ourselves and entering unknowns keeps women like you, myself and others young.

    Best of everything to you, and don’t give up blogging …its certainly a way to challenge oneself!

    DJ

  5. Hey Jane,

    I was just reading your interview on playbill.com and discovered your blog. I’m so looking forward to attending your show tonight (the first preview).

    Break a leg!

    Gary

  6. A true legend…

    A true star..

    greatest Actress of all time…

    A true beauty…

    im a devoted fan always!!!

  7. Jane, aprendi a conhecê-la desde que que assisti Barbarella. Felicidades pelo seu retorno ao teatro. Você fará muito sucessos para a nossa alegria.

    Helena de Campos
    São Paulo – Brasil

  8. Que bom que voce vai voltar para a nossa alegria. Tudo o que passou e foi bom, vale a pena ser reapresentado.
    Jane, desejo-lhe muitos sucessos ainda e que nós aqui do Brasil ainda possamos assisti-la de alguma forma.
    Muitos beijos e parabéns.

    Helena
    São Paulo – Brasil

  9. Hi Jane…
    Funny, I happened upon your blog accidentally and I am currently over half way through your autobiography. I bought it for my mother a couple years ago and this Christmas she bought me Robert Wagner’s autobiography. I enjoyed reading it so much so she said that I must read Jane Fonda. I can’t put it down. I often read passages to my husband. I was born in 1967 and am ashamed to say I didn’t know much about the Veitnam war (or maybe that was a good thing). I feel that I am getting a wonderful history lesson reading your book. It makes me sad to read though especially with what is going on right now in our country. Wish I could see your show, maybe if you ever come to Detroit.

  10. Hi Jane,i’m probebly not original,but you are a great actress and i have enjoyed your work for a long time!!I’m 39.I love you are doing a blog now!Great read!
    Good luck on Broadway,i’m shure you do very well!!

    greetings from Belgium,
    a fan,

    Mario Debuck

  11. can relate to you starting a blog. I call mine a journal and it was started in March of 2008. It has become a new passion and also I am learning photography. All of this at 73. Over the years some things in common with you. I will be checking in with interest.

  12. I am really interested in your blog and your new play. I am about to retire and am trying to pay off credit cards so I will be debt free, but I feel like I want to get a ticket to your play. I read aout your blog in the arts section of the NYT. Wow what a life. I wish I knew how to keep things so interesting.

  13. Hi, Jane. I saw you on The View today and discovered your blog. We met a couple of years ago at the Media Reform Conference where you signed your book. Great speech you gave there. I got a lot of photos of you there too, but none do you justice for how lovely you are in person. In your 70s you still have great hair that I envy, lol. I remember when I attended the movie you did several years ago with Jennifer Lopez and all the audience members were oohing and awing over your physique. You know you got it going on when co-staring with a beauty like Lopez and the audience is commenting on you more than her! Your outward shell though pales in comparison to your inner beauty. You definitely get better with age.

    I have been blogging for nearly a decade, but I personally can’t stand Twitter. It just seems like glorified text messaging and I don’t get the attraction since you can do the same thing with blogging or any other social media like Facebook. Plus, you can’t say much and when everyone comments, you have all the user id’s wasting text and it all becomes so jumbled. A really bad way to communicate in my opinion. By the way, on The View you called it “twittering”. I believe the correct verbiage is “tweeting”.

    Since I usually get into new technology long before others do, I usually abandon it when others are first discovering it. I stopped text messaging in the late 90s. Blogging has stayed with me though…mostly reading others blogs because there are so many informative and good ones from regular folks. You are a good writer and I think blogging is a good fit for you and your creativity. I laugh when people say you give up privacy. You really don’t…you have more control than any other avenue. Just think…on your own blog you control your media…no one else does.

    Like Ted, I don’t care for cell phones. Got rid of mine a few years ago but ended up getting a pay-as-you go one just for emergencies. I don’t give the number out to many though and even the ones I do, I let them know in advance that there is no guarantee I will return calls. If they want me, they have to email me (my preferred technology 😉

    I used both Mac and PCs in the 80s when I first got into computers but even though I found Macs easier, PCs were used in work and more readily available, so I ended up going that route. I too would like to go to a Mac and Linux operating system. Keep us posted on your adventures with technology.

  14. Oh Jane, what a treat to see you on The View today!!..Hence the trek here to read your Blog. Am trying to drum up the courage to write my own . Finding something truly interesting to write about is the hardest part !

  15. Today is my first day to read your blog! Thank you for letting us ride this with you!

  16. I admire you greatly Jane! Thanks for writing. Your memoirs were fascinating.

  17. Good luck with your Broadway play and thanks for letting us a little into your life. When I was a kid, we watched “Nine to Five” repeatedly, 3 or 4 times a day back in the early ’80s; imagine a room full of kids cackling with laughter at you, Lily and Dolly. Now, every time I hear your name, I remember you in the photocopy room, frantically scrabbling about, trying to restore order. Thanks for everything!

    PS “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” — let’s hope things don’t get as bad as back then, right? =)

  18. Good for you Jane….I so wish that I was living back East ,so that I could go see you on Broadway.You are a good person have fun on Broadway. Also give Tulea a hug for me. I am a dog person have three of my own.

  19. I am a great admirer of yours,your talent and your courage.A big thrill for me was meeting you at Grand Central station in April 2006.
    I treasure my copy of your autobiography which,i’m sure,educated alot of people.
    I hope you will be doing more films.

  20. I have been a fan of yours since the 60’s. I live in Hawaii and unfortunately won’t be making it to New York to see your play, but I sure would love to.
    I had your haircut in the past; now it’s longer, but seeing how great you look, I might go back to that style. Couldn’t look as beautiful as you, though:) What kind of dog is Tulea? I’m thinking of getting a small dog.

  21. Oh Jane, it is so wonderful that you blog! I’m just now starting to read it. Found out about it in our newspaper today. I have always admired everything about you, but especially your courage to stand up for what you believe.

    I loved your autobiography and actually sat down and wrote a letter to you at that time, but was too afraid to mail it. You remind me so much of my dear sister whom I lost last year to lung cancer. Her name was also Jane.

    Wish I could see your play. I’m sure it is wonderful. Break a leg!

  22. I just now saw your blog and enjoy your writing.

  23. How wonderful to finally find that you have your own website, and a blog! I’ve been a fan of yours since my early twenties (turned 46 yesterday…huh). It feels almost unreal to communicate with you!
    I wish you all the best and good luck with your work.

  24. I’am Jenica,37,from Romania
    I am a great admirer of yours.

    Pentru mine sunteti cea mai mare actrita din toate timpurile!
    Sper sa aveti succes in tot ce faceti!
    Break a leg!

    From Romania
    jane roba

  25. IT IS IRONIC JANE THAT YOU STARTED YOUR BLOG ON JANUARY THE 5TH AS IT IS BOTH MY BIRTHDAY & THE DAY WHICH MY BELOVED FATHER PASSED AWAY THIS YEAR @ THE AGE OF 82.

  26. Dear Jane Fonda, it’s a pleasure to get to know you a bit better via Twitter and your blog. It truly is a very enjoyable read. Regarding your statement concering the use of web cams, I found the self made videos of Chris Lowell (of “Private Practice” fame) very well made. Not the typical webcam look for sure. In case you are interested to view one of his videos here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXG9FEVzfGE

    All the best.
    Martin from Germany

  27. Jane,
    Je ne vous connais pas et pourtant… Je baptise de votre nom des étagères que je dessine, je rêve de vous plusieurs fois par jour et en plus, c’est même pas physique. C’est même pas drôle.
    Je ne comprend pas, je ne suis pas désespéré, je suis même heureux, je ne suis pas laid, j’ai 40 ans, j’ai un métier qui me passionne et je suis à mon compte…
    Bref, c’est une énigme énigmatique…
    Mes copains se foûtent de moi.
    En tous cas, je viens à New York en septembre pour vous voir et vous parler.
    Je vous embrasse, Cyril.

  28. Thank you for writing your autobiography. My mother-in-law recently lent it to me thinging that I might get something out of it and boy did I ever!! (I am blessed with both an amazing mother and an amazing mother-in-law). I can’t tell you how therapeutic it was to read your experiences and feelings and for you to express them so openly. Although our circumstances were very different growing up I had all the same fears and insecurities and didn’t really start to come to terms with them or to even think that my body and my “self” were normal until I had my first daughter at 35 – 5 years ago. That was my “awakening” and I finally began to feel that I and my were normal.

    I have enormous respect for you and for the positive messages that you are sending to all women today. You remain beautiful from a glow that resides within. Thank you for being so open and in doing so allowing the rest of us to be also.

  29. how do you do !!!! miss mettez votre genou aux encheres!!! see you soon biowoman.

  30. Jane,

    Thanks for sharing photos of friends,family, and the ranch. Bet there’s some nice trout in the river. The first date with my wife of 28 yrs was to see the “Electric Horseman”.Love you and Bob Redford together. Must be good luck. Also, thanks for using our AquaJogger products and talking with me today. Glad you found the power of the pool.

    All the best,

    Steve Bergstrom
    VP Sales & Marketing
    AquaJogger

  31. I’m surprised that there were no comments about one particular aspect of your first posting … Ted Turner, a Luddite??? There is some amazing irony in that!

    I’m very glad that you’ve overcome your Luddite tendencies (which I fully appreciate!) to begin this blog. I’m only two months into “discovering” your writing, and am enjoying it very much. I found your posting about “Rehearsing Death” particularly moving, and may do my own inner-musings on that topic in my own, recently begun, blog.

    • Peri, you got it! Ted is full of contradictions…very loveble!!!

  32. stonemkr in any search engine site, stonemkr only nothing else ( no www. or such ) Is this really you ? Wow how cool is this Thank you for you time. stonemkr Reverse Paintin on Glass a gift from a higher source.

  33. Jane Fonda is the antidote for Sara Palin. At once without further delay, procrastination or rationalization run for public office. Time is of the essance. Jesus Says”…I will come thee as a thief…” Rev. 3:13.

  34. Hola Jane,

    My grandfather is 101 years…he is alive in Venezuela,I live in this country. Then what is an advanced age? he finished with my paradigms about it. New projects keep us young.

    About technology … it’s good, also necessary, including magic, but it can never replace the human labor, it all depends on how you use technology, I do not want to sound radical but sometimes technology is like a wheelchair: We can not learn to walk sit in this, then it may be…not develop our full potential mental or physical, and we can become lazy. Do not let the technology dominate, I use it to grow, so go ahead with the new PC¡¡¡

    Excuse my English
    Bye.
    Lorena

  35. My SHERO…!

    I have loved you since I first saw you on screen in “The Chase” with Brando and Redford, Hurry Sundown” and “Barefoot in the Park” —

    I have decided that you have the absolute BEST head of hair ever given to any woman ever born…!

    I have decided that that when I finally grow up (just turned 60 in Dec) that I plan on being as regal as you are…!

    Monster-In-Law is one of my all time favorites — I bet working with Elaine was over the top…!

    Just random thoughts here… no agenda~

    just so happy to find your blog and follow along as to what you are doing – ps. Tuela is a doll and pink tent is totally fitting the doggie diva she looks to be…!

    BIG electronic hug from your Sioux Falls, SD fan and follower…!

    Pamela

  36. I just received an e-mail that obama wants to celebrate you in the nations 100 best women…I just read and remember what you did to those POW”S—How do you sleep at night?…..May it haunt you till the day you pass this earth….

    • Jackie, the thing is that all those things you believe are not true.

    • He could’ve reduced that to 20 women, and Jane would still have it’s place among them!

      We love you Jane.

  37. MI QUERIDISIMA JANE FONDA DESDE QUE TUVE USO DE RAZON HE SIDO SU ADMIRADOR {TENGO 71 AÑOS} COMO ARTISTA,ACTIVISTA,POR SU ARREBATADORA BELLEZA,POR LO QUE SE; DE LA CREACION DE LOS AEROBICS QUE LOS VI POR PRIMERA VEZ EN IRVING, TEXAS, SIN ADULACION
    ES USTED UNA EXCELENTE PERSONA, QUE ME HUBIESE SIDO UN PLACER CONOCERLA PERSONALMENTE.

    I’am sorry for not writle in english

    MIGUEL GOMEZ desde Mexico, Queretaro

  38. TENGO AVATARES PERO SOY INICIADO HACE POCO TIEMPO
    NO SE COMO BAJARLOS Y ENVIARLOS, LO HARE PRONTO, POR QUE SEGUIRE EN EL BLOG DE JANE FONDA

  39. dear mrs jane fonda
    My mother has work cleaning woman for your father and you in 1957 or 1958 at new york.
    Do you remember she? (lysette) she say at me her enjoyment to work for you.
    she like explain at me she learn at you your first french words.
    it s her birthday the 8 march. i want a surprise for my mother. Do you want a personal dedicace at she with a letter adress at she?
    If you want, contact me by my e mail.
    Excuse for my english.
    thank you.
    Thierry

  40. Hi Jane,
    I saw you on GMA this morning and am looking forward to your new workout video. I am turning 60 this year and am determined to loose 50 pounds and finally get my exercise routine to be a consistant and regular part of my days. Thanks for the inspiration. I will be watching on May 1.

    Peace,
    Maggie

  41. Jane: I love you,,,I am 56 and always wanted to be like you,,,you are beautiful and I can tell you have a great heart,,,even my sister in-law told me that. she has been on some trips with you to. Her name is Ruth and she had nothing but wonderful things to say about you. God Bless you in everything you do in life,,,,you keep us going.

  42. Jane, I saw you on CNN tonight. You look fabulous and I truly agree with you that taking control of your health is indeed empowering. Good luck with World Fitness Day.

  43. Hi Jane,

    I have been a great admirer of yours for many years. You seem to strive for excellence in all things while keeping yourself in balance. I was here just checking out photos of your Monster-In -Law hairdo because I have decided to go short and saw this blog. You were hysterical in that movie and stole it. Just your facial expressions alone make me laugh every time. I hope to see more comedies in the future with you in a starring role. I was wondering about your faith and if you have difficulty seeking truth as a born again Christian in a very carnal world with churches that have many law verses grace philosophies? Like you, I have sought excellence as well as an ICU nurse,counselor and college teacher but find little integrity anywhere and celebrate the grace granted…mercy is a tough one for me but seek to forgive and walk in understanding.

    Thank you for your availability… and congrats for standing up for your beliefs sacrificing personal gain!

    Blessings,
    Donna M Freeman

  44. We will never forget!! What you did to our American people, our POW’S during the Viet Nam war is unforgivable. May God have mercy on you soul.
    Regards,
    Ann

  45. Jane, I saw you today on Oprah. I am so impressed with how happy and relaxed you are. I was really moved by how being a grandmother has touched your heart. I have been a fan for about 40 years, and have seen all of your movies and read your books. thank you for giving me hours of enjoyment and education on being human. I look forward to your next book and hopefully another movie. I am 61 years old and I agree with you that life gets better as we age. The journey to being one’s authentic self is so rewarding. God Bless you Much joy be in your life.

  46. Hi Jane. I was able to catch you on the Oprah show last night and you look fantastic! I just turned 50 and I want to look like you and you’re 72 for goodness sake! LOL! Anyway, I think you’ve motivated me to get off my butt and drop 20 or so lbs. I’m going south this winter for the first time in my life. I’ve always said I wanted to see the ocean before I die and I finally get to this year! I always thought it would be the Atlantic (I live in Ontario, Canada not far from Toronto) but alas it will be the Pacific! Sooo excited! Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed your movies, etc. over the years and you are an inspiration to women all over the world! Keep up the great work!

    Sincerely,

    Lori

  47. Great post!

  48. I am asking for your workout DVD for Christmas and am wondering what size weights you use in the video. I want to ask Santa for these too!

    • I use 5 lb hand weights but you might want 3lb or 8 lb, depending on how strong you are. xx

  49. Shama, shama! I loved you in Barefoot in the Park, a true romantic comedy. Like everyone else, I’m going to say how fabulous you look and that you really do have the best hair ever… I’m jealous. I know you have the workout dvd’s and all, but i’m curious how often you workout. Since you’re so slender, do you do yoga more often than anything else?

    • Wanda, I hike, I walk, I do recumbent bike, lift weights, stretch and will get back to Yoga soon

  50. Hi Jane,

    This is an awesome blog and I’m so glad I was able to stumble upon it. I really admire you and your ability to stand up for what you believe in. A great example for other women out there, including me, a business coach, to keep on doing what we love and helping others on the way. I’ll be one of your frequent readers. Thank you and More Power!!

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