Intentions

We’re getting ready to show Lez Bomb at festivals.

Holy sh*t, people are going to finally see this thing. 

And with that, fear creeps in. At lighting speed. “I’m fucking terrified.”

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As my teacher so succinctly put, I had/have an intention. And I’ve stuck to it. That’s the grounding root of this tree, reaching far below the unpredictable surface of this industry.

Having a clear intention provides stability when externalities come flying into the equation. Another teacher of mine once said when he teaches a yoga class, after class, when people say “I enjoyed your class,” he always responds in a way that takes it away from himself. “I’m glad you enjoyed class.” There’s a subtle difference, but in putting the enjoyment on the other, (vs. “‘I’m glad you enjoyed my class”) it takes his ego out of the equation. He teaches with intention. Whether or not the students enjoyed the class is outside his control.

We can’t control responses. We can control mindfully taking each step forward with intention. I have to remind myself daily. With the weekend upon us, I encourage one mindful step at a time. Happy walking.

Practically Titanic

I’m always looking for a story. My next script. What do I want to throw myself into for the next undefined amount of time? I’ve been thinking about Semester at Sea, and the semester I spent circumnavigating the globe. World travel aside, my semester on a ship was formative because the ship near capsized. Yes, near capsized. The weather channel even did an episode of Storm Stories on it. It was terrifying, I thought I was going to die, and choosing to spend months writing a script about the experience only to have to pitch it, followed by it being criticized (although some constructive), and developed, is masochistic on so many levels. Yet, I can’t get the idea out of my head. This sums up so much of the drama in my early 20s.

The amount of time it takes to get a script written, then hopefully taken from script to screen is seemingly limitless. It’s as vast as the ocean in which my ship near capsized. And in this business, every project’s near capsizing, always. Usually an idea takes hold of my consciousness and haunts me until I put it on page. And despite the chance of  capsizing, I might get back on this ship…metaphorically speaking.

When I tell the story about our ship being in the middle of the North Pacific, during winter, surrounded by 40 foot swells, freezing water, 116 mile per hour winds, and then getting pummeled by a 50-60 foot wave, it’s a crowd-pleaser. When I’ve met agents, managers, producers, development executives, whomever – in a scenario where it’s a meet-and-greet that feels like an hour of oversharing in which I’m trying to sound like it’s the first time I’ve ever revealed these inner secrets, stories, spilling the depths of my soul to make that personal connection, I like to casually drop in, “Oh, yeah, that one time I almost died.” It never fails, “WHY DON’T YOU WRITE ABOUT THAT?!”

So here I am, finally surrendering to the fact it may be my next script. Though, I want to approach it from a comedic angle. We’ve all seen Titanic. And our ship didn’t actually capsize. But the unfolding shit-show between the mayday signal and finally making it to safety 12 hours later is chalk full of comedy. Going through 12 hours fearing death, your mind goes through all the emotions. ALL OF ‘EM. At some point my mind surrendered, and there was nothing to do but laugh. “This is how I’m going to die?” I was also legitimately pissed it was nothing like Titanic. No romance. Nada. I was assigned to a guy named Brian, to hold on to me as the ship was thrust from side to side. He came up to my waist. I should have been holding on to him. AND, no one knew I was gay. I was going to die, and I hadn’t come out yet. It was my hell. Maybe it’s the coming out story we’ve yet to see.

As terrifying the experience, it was the fear of death that created the panic and anxiety. Once I surrendered to the fact I had zero control, I was enveloped by peace. I’ve tried to remember that peace when life spirals out of control. We can’t control everything. I still struggle with that in my day-to-day. But I remember being hit by that giant wave, and it reminds me to surrender to the present moment, despite the surrounding chaos, and keep focused within that presence to make the best possible decisions moment-to-moment. Because that’s all we can do.

Maybe this moment’s about writing the comedic rendition of this. “Practically Titanic?” I’ll leave it here while I marinate on the idea further.

Book I’m reading.

Favorite recipe of the week.

Favorite song of the week.

Searching for X (another year…)

I realized it’s been a year since I started writing this blog.  Oct. 10th 2010 was the first entry.  I remember standing at work, writing the entry.  I was working in a restaurant, so I was definitely not supposed to be online, let alone “blogging.”  “Costume Hunting,” was the name of the entry.  Here I am, a year later, and it’s that time of year again.

Ironically, I left that restaurant 6 months ago, and now find myself back there once a week.  In some ways, nothing has changed.

In other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago.

I hit “submit” with an overwhelming sense of fear.  “Find your voice,” “TRUST your voice,” have been what people have told me the past few years.  I’ve heard it in acting class, yoga class, life, etc.  “Find your own way to express light,” was my favorite wording.  How do you illuminate truth? What does that even mean?  My preoccupation with these questions mirrors my preoccupation with the concept of “story” and the power in telling stories.  We’re all living a story with the power to learn its lesson and the power to re-write the twists and turns.

Life offers us countless challenges to purify the soul.  It’s a battle, learning how to face situations without jumping to an emotional response.  But those challenges are gifts, without which we’d never grow and evolve.

An acupuncturist once told me to look over my days, each night.  See the day and how it played out, and ask yourself, “Have I gotten closer to myself or further from myself, today?”

Here I am a year later, and it’s Halloween season.  The difference is, I’ve been spending the last few days looking for someone else’s costume (oh the joys of part time, personal assistant gigs).  I haven’t been thinking of my own potential costume, or any ways to mask myself.

I’ve put my “voice” out there a number of ways this past year through song, a number of projects, a web series, and all the ways in which life required me to speak.   I could only attempt to have the best intention behind all.

Perhaps, I’ve gotten a little closer to myself this past year?  It’s a constant trek up the mountain, but with each step we have the choice to get a little closer.

Spring Cleaning for Fall

The Universe always provides me signs when I’m looking for them.   To put it bluntly, when I am in need of signs, the Universe becomes “All about Me.”

I recently ended something with someone (keeping it cryptic) and found myself in a yoga class where the teacher was going on and on about getting rid of unnecessary things and people, “…clearing the mind and heart clutter.”  Naturally, I concluded she was talking directly to me.

It’s impossible to allow room for the new, when we hold on to the old.  It’s like clearing one’s closet.  Do I really need my high school basketball shoes? No.  Why I am holding on to them?  The memories.  The memories will last with or without those bball kicks, but those kicks are taking up room in the closet where perfectly NON-embarrassing, more attractive shoes could go.

Out with the old, in with the new.

We make it far more difficult than need be, out of fear of letting go.  If we observed our lives from a detached place, we’d see so clearly which items, people, etc. we benefit from, and which merely take up space.  It gets complicated when we infuse things with an imaginary life of memories and mental fabrications.   Ah, how we love to do that!  Expectations, hopes, dreams, heartbreak, memories of that one perfect evening, and such.  None of which exist without our own projection.  People and things have no power without our magical ability to grant them such.

Clean out that closet, and come out a new person.  No pun intended.   Stripped from all the non-essentials, you may find new doors opened.  There’s finally some room to enter, for whatever’s been trying to enter!  I’m not just talking heinous clothing you bought in high school.  I’m talking people too.  Don’t hold on out of fear.  Life is short and time is precious, so keep company who inspires and brings out the best in you.  What’s the point of anything else?