My last year of high school, first year of university and on a little before that… I used to blog compulsively. Daily, sometimes hourly. They still exist in the chasm of the internet if you really know where to look. I wrote love letters to nobody and everyone and specific people all at once, and I think it’s time to start that again.
I’ve been nursing my way through The Artist’s Way, for one. It’s been great at getting me to figure out some of my hangups and to get me to just fucking create stuff rather than angst about it. Still lots of things I want to develop but I’m getting better at just seizing the moment and doing things again. Like painting. Or saying “yes, and…” to synchronicity and connections that come along, rather than find reasons as to why things might fail. It’s amazing, all the shit we let ourselves get bogged down under.
One thing that’s been on my mind a lot as of late is just how important it is to approach everything in life with love and joy, rather than guilt or anger or obligation or any of that. I’ve had auditions I was angry about. I’ve had more than one occasion where I was jealous of some other actor for getting something I didn’t. Truthbomb: we ALL have. Anyone who tells you differently is lying. As a performer (especially when looking for work) there’s already so much you can’t control – like if you look ‘right’ for the part – so you might as well love the everlasting shit out of what it is that you’re doing in a given moment.
Another epiphany I had recently is how ‘small’ I allowed myself to stay for a long time. Growth is a constant, concentrated effort, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that specifically when I first moved to Toronto and the company I kept in that time (and their backstabbing and gossip and the things they filled their time with and the way they treated other people) didn’t make me feel good about myself or what I was doing, or about my relationships to other people. I got caught up in their petty bullshit and in trying to fit in and trying not to rock the boat, rather than going out and living for myself and aiming for higher aspirations and doing my own work just for the sheer joy in it all. You really are the company you keep, which is why it’s now doubly important for me to surround myself with talented, driven, passionate, positive people.
And a part of this epiphany is how many good people I had around me that I never really made an effort to get to know beyond anything superficial, and how being in a state of constant drama and turmoil with the ‘small’ people kept me from finding the simple joys in life, from spending more time in the good people’s company, in performing… fuck, I’ve wasted a lot of time, but I’m setting the intention not to tolerate that sabotaging behaviour anymore, in myself or in others. And to spend time with people who I think are awesome, to let hangouts happen organically rather than feeling like I’m begging for attention or being super-awkward when I really just want to get to know people and develop awesome friendships.
I’ll be honest, it’s only in the last month or so that I started getting excited about auditions and that I’ve noticed a concentrated yen to be positive and content where I wasn’t before. It may take a bit of time to get used to this new way of being. Same way that I’ve seen people around for the last three years but I’ve only really started to talk to them (and LISTEN, rather than just talk at) and get to know them within the last three months.
Going forward, I only want to do the most amazing work with the most amazing people. I’m not saying this to be limiting – rather, just to create a space and create a possibility to be able to spend a lot of time with excellent people rather than the wishy-washy sort who aren’t invested in themselves or others. When it comes to love, listening, time, and teamwork I’ve got unlimited capital to share.
I’ve got some more thoughts about improv, acting, and neurohacking… but that’s for another post.
And all that said… just to clarify…
1) If I offer you my time (“we should go for coffee!” “let’s work together!” whatever) I MEAN IT. I won’t offer or agree to anything I don’t genuinely want to do.
2) If I ask you about something, I’m listening. No judgment, no obligation, no expectation, no holds barred.
3) I reserve the right to add more rules of engagement as I see fit. I’m pretty low-maintenance and straightforward when it comes down to it.