- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Advice compiled and condensed from actual sources by Kelly Jane Torrance, who composed the questions.

Who knew a tiny gesture could get so much press? I was doing a television interview for my new movie, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” along with one of my co-stars, Blake Lively. The whole thing about the movie is that the four of us girls get pretty much equal time. So I was a bit irritated when, during the interview, the press person asked Blake about the TV show she stars in, “Gossip Girl.” I just couldn’t help it; I rolled my eyes. Now everyone is talking about a rivalry behind the scenes.

But seriously, “Gossip Girl” is, at best, a mind-numbing guilty pleasure, while “Ugly Betty,” my TV series, has won two Golden Globes and three Emmys - including one of each for me. Is there anything wrong with me being proud of my much more serious work? Even if it is still fashion-centered?

- America Ferrera

Dear America,

Nothing is ever done beautifully which is done in rivalship: or nobly, which is done in pride.

- John Ruskin

I now have what might be the hardest job in show business. I was just signed to be the fourth judge on “American Idol,” the top TV show in America. I’m already really familiar with the series - I’ve written lots of songs for “Idol” winners, like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. In fact, the list of hit songs I’ve written is longer than a Simon Cowell rant.

Actually, that’s the thing I’m worried about most. The judges I’m joining are a pretty outspoken bunch. The one female judge on the team already spars a lot with the head male judge. What’s the best way for me to be a successful part of the show? Should I focus on using my songwriting skills, producing skills or what?

The last time they added a fourth judge, she didn’t last more than a few episodes.

- Kara DioGuardi

Dear Kara,

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.

- Theodore Roosevelt

Whew, did I luck out this week! I was arrested last month, and it looked like I was going to be charged with felony sexual battery, but the D.A. decided I would get just misdemeanor charges instead. I guess I’m not the only one who thought lifting up a teenager’s shirt to reveal her chest wasn’t such bad behavior.

So now I’m wondering, what should I do next? Now that this charge has been downgraded, I’m worried I won’t be in the headlines much anymore. I haven’t been in a single film or television show this year. Don’t you agree that my crazy, drug-fueled antics are the only way for me to get noticed these days?

- Andy Dick

Dear Andy,

If one cannot command attention by one’s admirable qualities, one can at least be a nuisance.

- Margery Allingham

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