sometimes.

Sometimes I think what if...

... I had gone to school somewhere else and studied something else?!

I was walking around Princeton's campus, last Saturday, and I thought... in another life. Not too far from my own, I went to school here. I went to a University where learning was just in the air. Walking around I thought of studying Philosophy and Writing. Or History. Maybe not History. To have your brain challenged and to know things. To gain real varied knowledge. What would I do? Teach? At a University? A a writer with a column for a Newspaper? A novelist? A psychiatrist? What if I had ended up in something I cannot even imagine? With a cubicle somewhere where I put up pictures, and obsess about specific types of pens. Would I have met my beau at Princeton? Would we have run into each other between classes? Would we have fallen in love then?

 

the view from the train.

the view from the train.

... I had grown up somewhere else?

I'm on an Amtrak train, right now, taking the ride from New York to Boston. All these picturesque little towns. Brick and wood houses. Trains that pass through. White washed buildings. The visible quiet. That is someone's life. What if I had an upbringing with fall colors and lakes with boats that sit oh so still? Who would I be? A different culture to be brought up in. Or would we have been the same family, just misplaced in a quiet town. Would we have brought the salsa music?!

... I had fallen in love with something else a profession?

What would I do? No idea. Sometimes I wish I could imagine it. Or that I had a more clear vision of what my life was going to look like as it is! This industry doesn't always allow that. And somehow, my what if, tends to believe that other professions and people have more clarity and that clarity is very good. Solid and reasonable. But I don't know if that's true. We all have to figure things out. We all go through the same 'stuff' no matter the profession. The things we interpret as our singular, very unique, only we feel the pain of that one thing and no one else could possibly understand!! All that stuff has been experienced by generations of people. Shared experiences. In fact, we experience a lot of the same things over and over again in our own lifetimes. My dad and Stephen Covey refer to it as a spiral staircase. We encounter similar people and challenges and each time are equipped with new life experiences to face them with. People fall in love over and over. You meet that person who reminds you of that bully in 3rd grade. A person who sees you like your 7th grade English teacher did.  It is just a function of being a human in the world. 

 

Whatif by Shel Silverstein

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow tall?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

 

Sometimes... letting my mind wander into the land of what ifs just makes me really happy about the life that is my own. 

what a feeling.

Ive been in rehearsals for FLASHDANCE the Musical. I have now set my first show as Associate Choreographer. Ah! I mean, its not over yet, we are about to finish rehearsals in NYC and that means there's still Tech. But, being a part of this process since auditions has been very special. To have all these people come through the audition doors, to see the people that really stood out, that opened themselves up, who shared a piece of themselves. It is crazy when I stop and think about it. There was a lot of talent. There were many who could have filled these slots. But here we are and a part of me thinks I knew it with each of them, the moment they walked in. There was a spark, something special. A look in their eyes maybe. "Hey, I'm in."

Aren't they sweet?

Aren't they sweet?

It's such a generous, happy company. A company of people that, I hope, will continue to learn from the show. To grow. 

In the meantime, I am not sure where it leaves me. To continue to look for opportunities like this? I feel a part of their process but soon they will go! That's the part of this I'm not looking forward to. I haven't even gone through it yet, and I know I will also feel great joy on Opening Night watching them soar. But, it's built into this 'side of the table', you have to let it go. You are there, you push, you work with, you clean, you teach, you set the show, do the job and then you're work is done.

A couple times during rehearsals, I've been able to stand in, one of the parts has been in flux, and it's silly but I have really loved it. I disappear for one second back into the fabric of the show instead of the person holding the thread. I miss that. 


Today, I got an extra hour in the morning. :) But now, that hour is gone and I have to get ready! We have three more days in the studio. Let's make them count. 




"where the sun meets the rooftops"

Hello.

It has been a while. Too long really.  I know. So today, I'm just writing. Writing furiously, not in the angry way, but writing to get ideas out of my head and onto the page. Before I eat some dinner and get to a rehearsal. Where have I been? I've been doing this:

yup. 

yup. 

and this:

delicious.

delicious.

Oh yes. All of those things for a week. A week with my family on one of the most beautiful beaches... Harbour Island in the Bahamas. It was stunning!! Hot days, pink sand that was cool under our feet, perfect water, wine by the bottle. I got to hang out with my littlest sister. Jadey. Who is the happiest little human. Full of wonder. Full of gut laughs and giggles. Smart and curious. The whole gang. It was just what I needed to get away from the everyday-ness of every day. Which can be great but also can make you lose perspective.

I needed a breath.

 

There was an island an hour away from where I went to college. We used to go sometimes on the weekend. It was so close. We should have gone even more. One particularly reflective day, I remember being in awe of the ocean. It is so big. I remember thinking that anything I had going on, any troubles, wishes, frustrations, doubts, hopes, dreams, thoughts, anything at at all... I could send them out into the horizon, over the ocean. Off into the distance. Isn't it amazing that the ocean carries fleets of boats? It carries the weight of the world and is also completely vulnerable to a baby's splashes. We can slip into the water and float on it just as easily. I figured anything I needed to release could go out there. And there have been a couple of times, this thought, deep or silly, has come back to me. I sit on the beach, I stare out to where the sky meets the water and I just send it out, whatever it is. And I always feel better or feel that it worked. 

 

Where do you get that in the city? Where you can't necessarily see where the sun hits the ocean. Where there isn't this vast blue water to look out over. I wonder (if only I could get on my rooftop) if I could feel my thoughts cover the same distance where the sun meets the rooftops. 

they stick with you.

Do you ever have characters/ pieces/ monologues/ songs/ dances that beg to come out? That persist. They stay in the front of your mind. You play the songs over again. Rehearse in the moments in your mind. Imagine being on stage with them. Read the script again. Say the monologue. Pretend you know the steps just so you can move to the music?

For me there are a few right now.

Here are two:

 

"Music and the Mirror" 

I want to learn the choreography, I want to stand on a stage and sing it. She's in there knocking on my heart saying let me play!!! Not sure how I'm going to learn it. Off the video? I have a friend who knows the choreography. Maybe perform it and record it? I don't even know. Choreograph to it? I'm not sure that's it though, I just want to dance it. To get in her shoes and live this moment. It's going to happen.

 

"Nothing Short of Wonderful"

I want to sing this. Love how the music speaks to whats happening inside of her. Recalls first meeting my guy. The anticipation, the excitement. The imagining what it will be like. I want. 

 

Flashdance and INTO THE WOODS are on the brain. But that's because I'm working on both right now!! It has been very exciting. Actually, I should get back to that.

Until next time... :)

character profile// the girl downstairs

You know those girls. You've seen them walking around New York City. 

They look like they woke up and just look like that. And I'm not talking about the model glamazons that roam the streets of New York. There are certainly a lot of very pretty folks in this here city. But there are also these girls! That just are stylish! They have a fashion that looks easy. That looks unplanned. Not off the runway, or edgy. The look, to me, says 'I just woke up and grabbed these things. My eyes were actually closed. I made coffee instead of fussing about makeup. I may throw on some mascara. I didn't have time to do my hair, but I slept in a bun, so that'll be fine.'

THOSE girls. 

Well there's one downstairs. In my building.

She's seems nice too. A neighbor I would actually like to meet!

You know there are some neighbors that you may say hello too, but that is it. There's a wall you will not get by. My next door neighbor is like that. I mean, we share a wall I should be able to call you by your first name. But I TRULY believe he sees me (or my boyfriend) coming and goes the other way. But I digress.

 

I want to ask her. Did you make decisions this morning? Did you think about which shirt with those overalls?!! Wait, you pulled off overalls? Are those back? (And yes, I think they are. ) Really though, she just always looks effortlessly put together. And I think its so great. I wonder... if she just shops really well for herself?

I think!!! That's a big thing. To know what you like and then find those stores and buy things that you really want to wear. I have so many things I have gotten rid of because at one point they were in style, and I thought I should wear it-- or try it out-- "it's different Natalie, try it out!"-- but most of the time, I knew it wasn't me.

 

So, to the girl downstairs: With your overalls. With your oversized mustard yellow Cardigan. Your messy bun. Your tote bags. Do you have make up on or not? Where did you get that leather bag? Everyone wants an awesome leather bag. Don't deny it. So cheers to you and your easy style.  And also, lets meet and have coffee.

 

-n.

an open door.

I think I've talked about this a lot... that this year has been the year of the other side of the table. My work this year has been about finding dancers, teaching them, strategizing about show schedules, and researching design teams. Running auditions, scheduling auditions, creating sign up sheets, printing sides, making to do lists and trying, each day, to cross some things off. 

Someone I respect very much said to me recently "You have to see what the universe is telling you." The rest of the message was to the tune of when one door closes, another opens. And I heard what he had to say, but a little voice inside of me said "No doors have closed!! Don't listen to that part!"

 

Before the surgery, I had a moment where I thought "You know what? Forget it. It wont come back, this is a sign. I'll find something else to do with my life." I was angry and sad and it felt easier to be in the power position deciding my fate. I quit, for a minute, on the corner of Lafayette and Prince. But there's that cliche..... sometimes it takes losing something to realize what you had? I feel that too. 


This new door that has opened? It's interesting. My brain feels on and I am challenged by it. It is very satisfying to see things get crossed off that list. To see thoughts realized. To have the answers. To be the one given the responsibility to find answers when we don't have them. To choreograph? To direct? To produce? To see the Matrix for a show, all the moving pieces. I've always said I want to be on the ground floor. I've always imagined being the actor with a new playwright, figuring out scenes. This is definitely another way that I get to live that though.

But, to give up on being on stage???? To not stand in the wings like a horse at the gate? To not stand open and available and courageous and share something of myself or someone else across the gap into the audience? To never speak Shakespeare. Or sing a song. Speak a monologue. Do a scene, do a dance! That responsibility to the work, to the material, to the creative team, to the audience and fellow artist. I don't think so. I do think it is my actor brain that enjoys the rest of it. How does this side work? What does it need? What can I give to it? Who else is in the scene? What do they want? How do I help them get what they want? What's the objective here? What is my part?

Oh yea, we are just getting started. 

 

-n.

 

to not have a voice

feels liberating 

feels scary and vulnerable

feels like a step forward and also a step back. 

For a while Ive been worried/ scared/ paranoid about talking about the fact that I had an injury. I say had because as of yesterday I am officially on the mend. While doing a show, I had a serious case of allergies and  I got a blister. A polyp on one of my vocal chords. Scary word. But it was just because I sang through some pretty severe allergies. Thats it! I pushed. My voice therapist and ENT said, "Natalie, you wear the same pair of shoes, or pointe shoes, day after day with no blister, then one day its an extra hour of rehearsal and you forgot your toe pads and blister." Didn't do anything wrong. Just happened.  

So- what has this meant? I've been on the bench. For a while now. Unable to say yes to auditions and jobs. Trying to go to auditions and muscle through, only to find that I really cannot do what I do which is embarrassing and annoying and sad. All of a sudden, not only could I not sing, but I couldn't project my speaking voice. And not only could I not commit fully to scene work but then I couldn't giggle! Or laugh! I have had vocal fatigue like never before in my life. It's been........something.

YESTERDAY, I had surgery. In and out. By the time night came around I was having a real meal albeit in silence. And the silence is interesting. Sometimes frustrating, you want to jump in and parttake in the conversation. But its mostly interesting. You sit back more and listen. You write down the things worth sharing. You watch your dad (who came up just to be here for me) and your mom (who really has to get home to do some work and spends the extra hour so that she can make sure I'm okay) and your brother (with the passion of the world in his eyes) and your boyfriend (who's eyes are calm and loving, and who catches the moment i feel a smidge of pain). You watch them. And enjoy them and take them in. And love them for everything they are. 


my dad and I

my dad and I

Today, I went for my normal walk with the pups. Taking in the world. Went to my coffee shop, thank goodness they know the drill and that I'm a creature of habit. "Medium or Large Latte Natalie!?" I make a hand motion to show the smaller of the two. People are eager to communicate. So even without the voice, people become even more engaged. 

This guy at a sandwich shop yesterday, saw me writing on my notepad to my dad, and came over, grabbed the pen from me and asked me "Hows your food?" by writing it down. I mean, obviously I can hear. But it was wonderful and sweet.  

I'm so excited to get my voice back. I'm going to sing all the time. I'm thinking about a concert next May. I've always wanted to do one and now there's no excuse. It's a new day. But for the weekend, in my silence, I'll just enjoy being present and knowing that all of this has taught me so much and that I'm officially moving forward.  


at the beginning.

I don't think I want to be a teacher. But I love to teach. 

I don't know if I'm a choreographer. But I love to tell stories through movement. 

I don't know if I'm a director. But the act of engaging with someone in order to have them most fully tell a story is exciting to me. 

I'm currently the Associate Choreographer for Flashdance the Musical.  I am about to run off to another day of these auditions but have been dying to write!!!

Each day I'm floored... By the commitment and talent that comes into the room. The wonderful energy that is returned to me. I am potentially a scary presence. I hold their resumes and say 'yes or no' to continue to the next round. Instead of meanness though, I try openness. And what I find is that these ladies and gents relax and show me their best. Whether they make it or not. And then, how they surprise me! They come to a dance call and stay engaged and present, maybe they aren't dancers at all, but maybe we keep them through anyway. Then, they open their mouths to sing and they soar. And all the sweat and frustration from the morning clears and they own the room. Or a dancer who comes in and just IS what you are looking for, who then doesn't know that when they open their mouths to sing and real music comes out and it is good! A dancer just getting started who comes in with sides, a very scary thing sometimes for someone who spends their time telling stories with their bodies not their voices, but then is prepared and has thought about the scenes and characters. They made choices and in that moment I just think 'wow! I get to be here when you were just getting started. And that is awesome.'

I feel newly invested in the show and in this still developing company that will tell this story. I want to get in the room with them and challenge them, but also give them room to become the characters and performers that they are and will be. We are casting these people based on their talent for sure, but also on their potential to grow into the roles and the story. 

Engaging with these people has been very rewarding and we are only halfway there. There are only a number of slots at the end of this, but I hope that everyone who passes through the door will feel like they were able to show us their gifts. And I'm certainly learning a tremendous amount about the importance of that first impression, of staying engaged, of trusting the people at the front of the room, of trusting yourself and of simply doing your best. Come in ready to work and we will take care of you and be thankful for you showing up.  

Need to go eat a quick breakfast. I gotta go!

an old poem

This is from June 11, 2010.

I was walking around the streets of San Francisco on tour with In the Heights and came across a poet on the corner of Haight and Ashbury. He asked me a few questions. What do I do? What have I been thinking about? First couple things that came to my mind? And then he sat and wrote me this poem.... 

Traveling--

"Today I walk down these streets again and still

no where I've found is home and in my mind

I see snow as I brush it all away to keep moving

I see you in my mind and the journey just keeps

going as now I want you here and I'm not acting

but now I understand the art, picture a place

you need to go and teach your mind again to go 

there so in the beauty of my art I travel again

 and in the beauty of my heart I hold you there

and until I can call some place home I'll

just keep it in pictures and dream you there."

by Lynn Gentry

 

I especially love the end. 

introduction to "short stories"

hello. 

this will be the place for stories. 

once upon a times and make believes. just needed a place to put them. im taking a writing class in a few weeks and i cannot wait. i have these thoughts running around in my head. some of them play like films, like plays, like scenes, some of them are bigger-- a novel? a musical. 

so those will go here. 

time

Where does it go?

For the past couple of months I've been recovering from an injury. With forced time on my hands, I found great freedom to do lots of things that I wouldn't usually have time to do. Catch up on TV shows. Go to the bookstore. How many books I have actually read? We don't talk about that. Actually I did read the Harry Potter series, yup all 7 books, for the first time. Take long walks with the pup. Start a blog. Start to write. Start a theatre company! And yet, there were times I was going crazy! And felt guilty about that. So many would love to have the luxury of time, but when it is forced it can be the most frustrating. You want to play but you're stuck in the dugout. Not like decided time off: "oh, I have a month between gigs. I'll take class and reboot." Or "oh, I have scheduled this time off for a vacation!" Vacation. Now, THAT is something I would love to start daydreaming about. Travel. Somewhere I've never been before. Spain. A beach on an island. Back to Paris. The wineries in Italy or in France. Pubs in London. Theatre oh Theatre in London. See the sights! Go to museums. Get a tan! Learn something new! Learn a language, or at least how to order food in another one. Merci, Grazie, Gracias, Thank you. Sigh. Wouldn't that be loverly??

 

Anyway..... just now, I'm making a timeline for the rest of the year and it will simply FLY by. So quickly. Once there was so much time and now there's limited time, no time! Well, not no time just lots to do. But I'm excited. Ready to get started. Ready to take some of the habits of this time on the bench into the field. Going to the gym, writing in the mornings, waking up early so that I can take the extra lap with the pup and say goodbye to my guy who wakes up ooooh so early. Yikes 6:30am. 

So take time. Take time when there isn't time. Steal time. Steal minutes. Steal kisses. Walk to the coffee shop. Grab a pen and paper, grab a book, grab an ebook!! Grab time by the horns, or by the seconds, and enjoy it. That cliche about it being fleeting? It's true.

So do! Act!!! Enjoy! Live!


amateur.

I just read: the etymology of the word amateur is from the Latin word amare, to love. 

My mind is blown.  

The negative connotations with the word amateur. How beautiful that it originates in love. Someone who loves something and so, does it, goes after it. An amateur. May we all stay amateurs! At least a little bit, even with all the skill, all the learning and growing, let's stay in love. 

<3 

  

 

image.jpg

character profile// an old couple in nyc

Something about old couples in NYC just make my heart squeeze. 

Walking the pup this morning, as usual, off to a coffee shop to grab my latte. And this old couple comes out of their apartment building just ahead of me. The woman walks out first. Face wrinkled, closes her eyes and feels the sun while she waits for her husband. He's slower at first, walks with a cane. They both have down jackets on. Spring may be here, the sun may be out, but today they are prepared for the grey clouds overhead, the wind reminiscing about winter. As if he were taking her hand to go out on a dance floor, he slides his hand into hers and begins their walk. Cane in his right hand, he keeps her close, just behind his left shoulder. They face the world, they speak under their breath to each other and keep time. Cane, right, left, right, left. Her steps an echo of his. 

I imagined they had lived down here for years. 40 years. They came over from Asia, they worked all their lives in a shop. They retired. 

They stopped for some school kids, and even though I couldn't see their faces, I imagined she smiled. I imagined she remembered her kids, crossing streets, holding hands, following the leader. 

Something about their closeness as they walked. He didn't let go of her hand. It wasn't supposed to be romantic, but that ease. That comfort knowing they had walked this way for years. They wouldn't bump into each other, they were in time together. Taking a waltz down the street. Cane, 2, 3, Cane, 2, 3. 

And then they turned left and I continued to the post office. 


creating work

My brother and I (photographed above) have launched our new theatre company, DreamCatcher Theatre. Could not be more excited. 

DreamCatcher Theatre 

DreamCatcher Theatre 

We've been talking about it for some time now. Laying down the bricks, one at a time. Find a show, find a theatre, get some contracts, build a website. It's been very exciting and we've learned a tremendous amount already. Thank goodness for the support from family and friends and loved ones. This is going to be a very exciting year. 


Our PREMIER production will be INTO THE WOODS. Presented in partnership with Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, FL next year. We are going to take our theatre home! Check out the website: www.dreamcatchertheatre.com.


That's all for today!

building a brand

I can think of moments walking down a street in New York thinking yup, feeling good. It's strange, but I think true, that a pair of jeans that fits right can really change your day, or a hair cut that makes styling easier, a new mascara, a lip color (I'm still pretty timid there), choosing a heel instead of the same boots I wear every day. Who am I and how do I create a look that represents me?  

What is my brand? 

I read an article recently in Elle magazine that made me think about this question a lot. There were features on women who were successful in several industries, including politics, entertainment, news, writers, fashion, etc. One girl, a news reporter, who happens to be a fiance of a friend, was featured! She's a twenty something who's job requires her to have a public image and she talked about this idea of building her brand. She is 'forced' to look at herself and make decisions about what to wear and how she presents herself every day. And a part of that is being very critical about pretty aesthetic things. But it was neat to read her talking about how important it is to figure out what kind of professional she wanted to be and then to determine whether what she was putting out there represented that professional. Was she wearing things that made her look older or less approachable? Everything from necklines, to hair cuts, accessories, you name it.

And I thought, wow. I mean, as an actor auditioning, you have to think about what you're going to wear 'in the room'.... what kind of show is it, what can I do to help myself feel good in the room and catch someone's eye. But what if that thought was extended into the rest of my life? I don't work a 9 to 5 right now, but even my boyfriend who just changed jobs, thought a lot about the dress code and how he wanted to present himself in this new environment. I am amazed by people who have what seems to be effortless style. And am sometimes frustrated with my own wardrobe, why do I have so many shirts I don't like to wear? But what if those people have been doing a lot of homework? And they've made real choices about what they want to look like, present to the world, and then they take steps to create that wardrobe. Every day we have an opportunity to build our brand. And our brand is us! If I want to be taken seriously as an artist and as a person and have some continuity over who that is, maybe its time to think about what I'm putting out there not just when it comes to audition time, but all the time.

Spring seems like the perfect time to experiment.  

don't worry so much.

The best advice ever. 

I went to the acupuncturist recently. I've gone maybe 3 times now total. And I'm not even sure if I know exactly what happens during the session. As I walk in, she greets me and we sit in two chairs facing each other. She holds my hand, takes my pulse and asks me some questions. It goes something like this:

Ming: How are you today? 

Me: Oh good.  

Ming: How have things been going? Any stress? 

Me: Oh you know, yada yada yada. 

Now.... While I'm yada yada yada-ing she's saying 'uh huh uh huh' but really I can tell she's already assessed me. She's felt my pulse and is already deciding what pressure points we're going to use. And then I lay down and she does the needle thing and covers me with an aluminum blanket. The lights go down, the music is on, "focus on your breathing," and she's gone. (For those of you who have not done acupuncture, you gotta go, just to try it. And!!! if you're scared of needles, so am I, but you don't even see them/ feel them.)

By the end. I have been laying there, needles in my ears, head and wrists. One in my solar plexus, for about what I would guess is 15 minutes. She says its for balance, and to get rid of anxiety. And when I get up, I swear I can see clearer. My eyes feel wide, I feel awake, rested, ready, excited even. Last time I was there she left me with this:

Ming: Just focus on your breathing. Whenever you get anxious, just breathe. Slow down. Learn to let go. You're gonna be okay.......... and don't worry so much! 

She smiles at her own matter a factness and leaves the room while I finish putting on my shoes. 

 

And I just thought, "okay".

 

(Scheduled my next appointment, immediately.) 

 

character profile// 'ladies and gentlemen' guy

 /scene: Sitting on the subway. Like you do. Enter this guy. Some books in hand. I don't even look up, no one does. And then we hear the familiar "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm sorry to bother you on your ride. I apologize..." 

 /character: In NYC you have to tune out the noise. And unfortunately, these people the beggars, the people asking for money on the street or the subway become a part of that. We wish we could help everyone and yet, we don't. Well, this guy. Tall. Bearded face. I didn't look up for a while. Though I was facing him. His script wasn't that much different from others I had heard. "I need a little help." "Anything will do." Something in this man's voice though made me so sad. It went straight to my heart. And it wasn't what he said, it was something in there that rang of truth. He had books in his hand, he said he had a college degree. He said he was hungry. I'm terrible about carrying cash, and didn't want to go digging through my purse. But I had cut apple slices in a baggy as a to-go snack. I thought, give them to him. For a second I hesitated, embarrassed that I didn't have more to offer, as if that would really matter. My ego put aside, I looked up and apologized for my small offering which he accepted and looked me right in the eye. "It really helps. Thank you." We exchanged a small smile and a nod. And it made me more sad. 

 

 

/final thought: What do we do when we can't really do anything? I don't really know his story. I don't know how he ended up where he is. Everyone's lives are so different. And how do we become the person on the subway asking strangers who don't even look up from their laps, staring at phones with no service, blasting music in their ears. What went wrong? Drugs? Lost a job. No family to turn to? Lack of ambition? I think it takes guts to get up and ask for help. 

 

 

Today I send a happy thought to that guy on the subway. 

 

balance

Balance is what it is ABOUT for me in 2014. Came to me in a daydream last weekend.

Oh yes. I was sitting on the beach (it was wonderful) and I started writing and writing. And balance. That's it. 

I think the actor/artist/theatre/film/entertainment industry (and perhaps all industries?) ask us to define ourselves. Over and over again, more and more specifically. And specificity is good. Knowing what you want? Goooood. But I also think it can make us create a box, or let's others create a box around us. This labeling thing feels very limiting to me (at times). I find myself wincing when people ask me 'so what do you do?' not because I can't answer it but because I have so much I want to do! And I don't have a one word answer. Oh, I'm a lawyer. I'm a barista. I'm a tech person at this cool tech company. 

I want to do so many things. I am so many things. How do you define 'who you are' in one word? That's what what do you do? feels like to me. Maybe because in this industry we are what we do, in a way.

Maybe. "I'm an artist." Is the way to go. And let that word be stand for everything that it stands for. To each of us that may be different. You're a painter. You sculpt. Take pictures of people, of dogs, of landscape, of dancers. You are a wall street guy, but at night you love to play the piano. You listen to music all day while you make graphs and create models. You're a soldier and you create security for the rest of us. A politician, a judge, a president, a kid, a dreamer. We can be all of those things right? And just because we choose one word, or society asks us to at times, doesn't mean that we aren't lots of other things too right? A mother or a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, lover, puppy owner, coffee drinker, crazy person, creative or not, traveller, homebody. We are so many things. 

Acknowledging that makes me feel like balance is possible. Because I don't have to leave part of myself behind, I can bring all the different parts of me along for the ride. And what a ride it is going to be. 

easy

I think there's a lot to be said about wanting ease. Wanting things to feel easy. And I don't mean that in a 'I dont want to work hard for things' way. BUT I do think sometimes I over complicate. Or better than that, I don't step back 50 feet and get some perspective. 

Where do we get some of that?? Perspective stuff. It's so easy to fall into a trap of picking out what's wrong. In any moment, even people who seem to have it made, can probably come up with a couple of things that need improving, aren't done, aren't great. I wish it was as easy, and I think it is.... I think its a muscle... but I wish it was as easy to just let those things go. And say, these other things are going well, and I'm doing my best, and I crossed that thing off the list and I'm awesome and life is good!

Because it is good. And it feels better. Doesn't it? It feels better to be living a life that's centered on love and good stuff instead of one spent in avoidance of the bad. Which is a slippery slope. Or to live the life focused on "well, everything could be awesome IF". Oooo the land of IF.  

I really like life. I get down sometimes, and sometimes more than other times. I get this cloud over all the good stuff. And I don't like that cloud, even though I know sometimes clouds are good too. The bad stuff is there so you can figure out what to do with it, or learn from it, or be challenged by it. 

I really do like life though. And everything is good. And easy if I let it and more complicated if I make it so. So why not.... instead of making things complicated, since its gonna get complicated all on its own.... why not, next time the doldrums hit just decide to blow some wind in your own sails and get the heck outta there back into the sunlight. And power up like Superman and be awesome.