"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." - Herman Melville

Genuine Imitation

I have had my identity stolen at least once that I know of - and by identity theft I am not referring to all those girls who try to copy my outfits daily. (That's just a lifelong pledge I've accepted to help others improve their poor style choices. A sort of fashion outreach.)

No. This was an older, heavy-set white woman in Podunk, Texas, who purchased a whole lotta gawd-knows-what, totaling about $150 in Walmart and then went to Payless to buy shoes. Thrifty thief, huh?

I'd like to imagine that she was putting together a pageant outfit for her teen daughter who desperately wanted a college scholarship and was gonna win it by twirling and modeling her magenta sateen pantsuit bought with this fraudulent transaction.

This thief had gotten a hold of some checkbook carbons from a long dissolved checking account that I had in high school, at a bank that had been closed for many years. She made up a batch of rubber checks with a fake driver's license number and pranced on through the "10 items or less" aisle like a pro.

That was a major turning point in my life. I became more aware of the numerous possibilities for others to assume your identity.

With the technological advancements of the last five years, stalking no longer requires the dedication it once did. You can find anyone in a matter of seconds if you are skilled.
(I have a good friend who found pictures of a stranger on a friend's website with only a first name in .24 seconds.) You can sign up for anything under any name, no questions.

Yet, yesterday I was still somehow surprised to find that someone has been pretending to be me online since October 2006. They are claiming to be my "Official" MySpace page. News to me. They have been posting blogs and responding to emails in my name. They have countless clips and pictures of yours truly and have even pulled a bio of mine likely from The CW website.

I have to say: The fake site is pretty nicely done. If the person were not pretending to be me, I'd sign up for the newsletter.

Most of the commentary that's supposed to be coming from me is way wrong. One example: listing my income as $45-60k. It is not only tacky to post such info in public but incorrect. I figure it's either some young girl living with her parents, who has never held a job in her life or a little Philipino boy living where the exchange rate still makes $45K (U.S.) look like a lot of money. Also, I never use "LOL" (except now, where I just mentioned never using it).

The idea that someone would want to be me so much that they spent their free time to find and post all that material is flattering. As I have not had a single audition in the last few months, it's good to be reminded of such things.

But here's the deal: If you like a celebrity and want to maintain a fan site, that's sweet. Wearing a costume at a convention for your favorite character is endearing (possibly). Pretending to be someone else online and emailing people, as that person is not only creepy, it's very likely illegal. C'mon. It's a little disturbing, right?

My mom always told me: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. These days, it can also be a misdemeanor and dangerous.

I remember when Dark Angel was on the air, Jessica [Alba] and I used to look up pictures of us online to see what was floating around. A couple of the nude bodies that my head were pasted on were pretty hot so I guess that was not so terrible.

I know this sort of thing happens all the time but it's still unnerving. What recourse do I have? I guess I will just blast this person all over the place. Starting hereor maybe I will just keep moving and trust that people who know me, know better After I blast the person here ;)

I found this fake site while attempting to post my own. I know, I have repeatedly said that they are not my thing. They still aren't but I have gotten so many requests and this has inspired me to post my own website ASAP. I will have some sort of weekly postings, if for no other reason than to set the record straight and to keep my observation skills up. Here's a MySpace page that a friend of mine and I set up quickly, with a more polished site to follow.

The Real Deal

I read all of your lovely posts on this site. You guys are great!

Answers to some of your comments and questions:

" You are correct. Bret was not in the video. He didn't want to do it. That simple.

" I don't know if I will get to write these TVGuide.com blog entries again in a few months but I have had an incredible time. Not only have I learned about you guys from the comments but I have also been forced to be a little more observant in my daily experiences and more aware by default.

Hugs

Thank you so much for reading, posting all the supportive comments, sending socks (clean and dirty) and all the thoughtful questions. Mostly: Thanks for watching!

The last new episode of Reaper for this season airs on Tuesday, May 20th, on The CW.

Best wishes to you. I will miss you all. You are the real deal! See you soon.

Big hug-
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