The Wall Within

Well, I hit a wall of resistance. (And I lost.)

I had planned last Friday to post a video I made for an audition submission, and then, promptly got “too busy” to post it…

Monday came and went…Tuesday came and went…

I could have posted some other content, but some part of me knew I was rat-finking on myself by doing so, so what did I do instead? NOTHING.

Well, that is exactly the sort of behavior that will keep me stuck in my room with my own creations. And that is not where I want to be, ultimately.

So here I am, today. Here is the video I intended to post Friday. Day twenty-five.

Not sure why it is so scary. Fear of judgment? Certainly. But life is filled with judgement. Judgement need not be a four letter word. Judgement is preference, choice. I am all for those.

Fear of criticism. OK, now we are getting closer. Ahhhhh. Sensitivity to being criticized. That is where I need to work up a callus. Develop a thicker skin over the tenderness of my own creations.

Be with the tender and raw vulnerability of sharing creations and yet stay on my own side around whatever chips may fall as they may.

I am good with constructive criticism until I am not…I mean I say I welcome it, and the artist and professional in me do, but deep down inside another part of me dreads it.

So here I am, holding that part’s hand as I share something I made for a general submission for theatre representation. I am resisting pointing out the flaws that I know are in it so as to pseudo-cushion any “blows” that I imagine coming my way.

Today’s post is about being more interested in sharing it than of my fear of doing so.

To be more curious about sharing something and then moving on to create the next thing than of holding on to something and never letting it see the light of day.

What are you keeping in the safe space of your own home that needs to be put into the world?

Do you want to stay with fear or go with curiosity this time?

#DayTwentyFive #TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge #facedownresistance #thecreativeprocess #creativityiscollaboration

Falling Off the Wagon

I got very caught up in getting my work out there yesterday and did not post.

I am tempted to say that I “fell off the wagon.”

But the fact is, I put my attention elsewhere. And as one of my mentors, Erin Stutland recently posted about, there is no wagon! I was just living my life. Sometimes I get to everything I plan to, sometimes I do other things.

So here I am today, taking the time to post. I had a casting this AM and am now in the midst of preparing scenes for classes and for auditions. I am also finishing the first draft of the teaser for the web series I am co-creating with my production company collaborators.

I can see that there’s a steady flow of getting my work out there going on this week.

But it doesn’t really feel like it.

That, I think, is one of the tough things about being your own boss. Running your own business. There’s very little tangible feedback the way there is when you work in a division, under a manager. You have to remember to give that to yourself. To inventory and acknowledge accomplishments (however small). To take time to make an honest appraisal of where your time and energy are going.

There’s no wagon to fall off, but there is a plan, after all. And there is a living to make…

And there is life to be lived. Today, I am choosing to live it with joy and grace and ease. And some sweat. And laughter. And maybe some dancing. Lots of creating.

What about you? How are you choosing to live today?

#TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge #daytwenty-two #keepgoing

Step Forward – Fall Back?

I had a fairly significant business “event” occur last week. Some might call it a failure. A loss.

This “event” was disappointing, upsetting.

But beyond the momentary punch-to-the gut of it, I knew as this event happened that as a result, there were two paths I could go down as a result.

I could see it as a “setback“ and feel like a piece of shit. I could feel like a failure, slide into depression. Use it as evidence to feed the very familiar monster inside that is always looking for proof of my being a Loser incapable of keeping good things and making use of good opportunities.

Or I could use it as a stepping stone. I could take a beat to be upset, then take what lessons and information I needed to take out of it and keep it moving.

I allowed myself about a half hour to feel all the things I felt, and when I could, got very clear and honest with myself about my part in the equation.

I reflected. And then I regrouped. And then, as soon as I could, I took a positive action in the direction of my Big Picture.

Because I am in charge of my choices. Not the “powers that be.” They can make their choices. Those choices may affect me.

But I get to choose what happens next.

In this case, I rolled up my sleeves and made a new plan. Reached out to supports for ideas (and also to “normalize” the news – keep it out of a space of shame.)

I soon had a clear plan of action. And some pats on the shoulder that let me know I was not alone.

No means “not now,” “not yet” or “not me.” That’s all. This or something better.

I don’t believe in things setting me back. Things happen, and I can either allow them to be a reason I fall back, or a reason I step forward.

I know what I am choosing today. How about you?

#TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallemge #DayTwentyOne #resilience #reaction #empowerment

Somersault

Voltereta (aka Somersault) is an award-winning, wonderful short film I was cast in some years ago. The director was Alexis Morante, just out of film school. But it was clear to me from the audition that he had talent and would be going places.

At the time, I would not normally have agreed to a role that had no lines, but after meeting him and reading the terrific script, I knew I had to be a part of the film. (It was, after all, about an underdog. You know my fondness for underdogs!)

His attention to detail and passion for the script coupled with his respect for actors and crew had me at hello.

It was a great experience, and best of all was watching the seasoned Spanish film actress Maria Alfonsa Rosso at work. As well as Alexis and his cinematographer, Daniel Sosa Segura. The film was produced through 700G Films.

Movie magic.

Lolo is an Andalusian 10-year-old kid who moves to New York City with all his family. The film is set in 1985, and Lolo only knows about America from the movies he watches in his neighborhood cinema: Back to the Future, The Goonies or Karate Kid. Lolo and his grandma decide to go down to their communal swimming pool in New York. But something unexpected will make Lolo, as young as 10 years old, to confront all his fears at a time. Because sometimes a simple decision can change the rest of your life.

I played mom to Mary, a little girl who Lolo finds pretty. I was one of a cast of characters who created the foreign world that Lolo found himself in.

The film won multitudes of awards on the film festival circuit. It really is very special. You can watch it here.

On set in Hoboken.

#TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge #DaySeventeen #shortfilm #independentfilm #filmdirector

In the Meanwhile…

I did a solo cabaret show in 2010. I loved every moment of co-creating it, preparing it, rehearsing it, performing it. Every moment.

Then I recorded five songs from the show, also in incredible experience, though quite different.

Here’s a song from the show and from the CD. (I have copies for sale, but at the time, I was too shy about it to share them, and now, of course, no one buys CDs anymore! But I loved creating it, and I feel like sharing it, so here it is.)

The song is “Hey There” from the 1954 musical Damn Yankees by Richard Adler & Jerry. One of my idols, Rosemary Clooney, made it a huge hit. Here’s a video version of her singing it that includes the song’s verse, which is seldom sung. She’s amazing.

My cover of “Hey There” was recorded with Rick Jensen playing a beautiful grand piano and Mark Wade playing his upright bass in the beautiful Laughing Buddha Studios, NYC.

From the show and CD “In the meanwhile…”
Arrangements & Musical Direction by Rick Jensen
Recorded at: Laughing Buddha Studios, NY, NY 2005
Engineered by: Jim Sweeney, Julio Pena

Photography by Joseph Moran
Graphic Design by Dayna Navarro

#cabaret #thegreatamericansongbook #standards #cover #singer #recording #TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge #Day Thirteen

Nothing

I got nothin’ today.

Seriously.

I did go to my acting class, which is something. I have been taking a serious craft class for years, whenever my teacher is here in NYC teaching, which is four times a year, a month at a time.

How does this constitute “getting my work out there?” Does it?

Does working on may craft count? I may not have anything to “show” for my time there, but boy there was a great discussion in class tonight.

The words that jumped out at me were “tolerate”, “risk” and “intimacy”.

Tolerate as in the tolerance of exploring deeply. As in the ability to develop a tolerance for the discomfort that is necessary in the course of exploring deeply. Tolerance is a muscle I can strengthen. And in doing so, I will expand my ability to dig, go to places that plays and characters require of me. I have felt this muscle get stronger in my own journey. But it is very easy to let that muscle get flabby. To get lulled into seeking the comfortable or the known.

Risk-taking as the means for learning, for gaining new information. Re-thinking or reframing what “failure” means in exploration. Full commitment to an idea to explore for a scene, whether it “succeeds” or not, will bring information that cannot be gained by doing nothing or waiting for perfection.

But the greatest thing I heard tonight is this: “Intimacy is transformative.” WOW. The idea that it is the intimacy in art that we respond to. Autobiographical versus personal — that there is no risk in the former as it is factual. But being truly “personal” is intimate. And intimacy in art can create change, shift, connection, association, reflection.

I am reflecting on all of the performances that have moved me, and they all contained intimacy. Whether it was a clown show, or improv or stand up, or a play, or a film, or a song. Or a storyteller.

One of my recent mantras is: Life begins at the end of my comfort zone. I think the Universe is trying to tell me something!

#TheGetMyWorkOutThereChallenge #DayEleven #intimate #art #create #risk #tolerate