Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You Are An Obsession

If you're a child of the 80's like me, you now have that song stuck in your head.
You're welcome.

I have to warn you, gentle reader, that this is, in fact, a post about some of my obsessions.  Mainly actors.  Because I have an idea as to why I become such a mega-fan of certain folks at certain times, but I need to work it out in my head.  The best way to do that is to write it down, in a place where I am at least semi-accountable.  In other words, my private journal ain't gonna work for this.
So feel free to navigate away from this page while I try to figure out one of my (many, MANY) neuroses.

In my defense, the people I semi-obsess over are always supremely talented.  That's usually what draws me to their work in the first place.  The fact that they are also, inevitably, good-looking is really just frosting.  Plus, I mean, c'mon, I'm only human!  A red-blooded female human, at that!  And it's not like I'm stalking them or trying to make anything happen.  I'm happily married with a great life.  (Plus, stalking seems like it would require a lot of planning and energy.  The former isn't my strong suit, and G-d knows I have precious little of the latter!)

My latest is someone whom I've actually been a fan of for nearly 2 decades.  But his profile has been raised significantly recently, and I'm catching up on some work he's done lately that I hadn't seen.  So, yeah: He's brilliant.  Even more so than I already knew.
But there's also something about him that reminds me of Hubby.  Not physically, but his performance style.  He's very unique, has made his own path in the industry, and his work is often very physical.  Just like Hubby.  It's quite different from my own way of working, and I've always been intrigued by, and quite jealous of, folks who have that. (See earlier posts re klutziness.)
He's also someone who has done so much in his life, not just acting.  I'm someone, as you know, who's afraid of everything, and trying something news is one of the great terrors of my life.  But NOT trying new things has also been one of the greatest regrets of my life.  At a pretty young age I convinced myself that I pretty much sucked at everything EXCEPT acting, and to not bother.  Part of this was experience:  I was forced into things like tennis lessons: Hated every second of it, and I was comically horrible at it.  Same with baseball, skiing (or any sport), dance, singing, and a bunch of other stuff.  But when I started drama, I enjoyed it AND I was good at it, so I clung to it like flotsam in a shipwreck.  (As far as the dancing & singing, well, I can carry a tune and do a little tap number.  And Zumba. So I'm not as sucky at those things as I convinced myself I was when I was a kid.)
I also learned from the adults in my life that if you couldn't do something well the first time, just STOP, because otherwise you're just making a fool of yourself.

Basically, I took in a lot of things as a kid that I'm still trying hard to un-learn.  And I think I cleave to people who, as far as I can tell, either never learned those things or have rejected them or found a way out of or around them.

It's also worth noting that these same folks are, by all accounts, kind and generous people.  That's important to me.  I try to be kind and generous. I hope I succeed more often than not.
And they haven't had it easy.  Nothing was handed to them.  They've worked long and hard to be where they are.  Something else I admire and respect.  Because I've worked hard, too.  I was never the star pupil, the prettiest girl, the most talented, the smartest, and I can honestly say that NOTHING comes easily to me, lol!  So I guess I see something of myself in these people, as well.

I've often been invisible.  Sometimes through choice, having been a painfully shy kid.  Sometimes for other reasons.  Acting was, for me, a way to be seen.  A way to have a voice.  It was a lot easier to speak words someone else had written than to find my own. And the approval I often got for speaking those words was addictive.  I felt like such a failure at everything else, being a good actor became utterly imperative. I believed I was truly unlikable/unlovable.  Which was odd, because I had a group of good, tight friends. People I'm STILL friends with! Go figure!
I desperately needed approval, and I usually got it on stage.  And, because I'm human, I STILL need approval.
And I'm still learning to get it from myself, not rely on external sources.
But the idea of getting approval from someone we admire is a pretty attractive one, isn't it?  And when it DOES happen, it's tres cool.

But I can't rely on that.  Nor do I want to.

So I will continue to ask myself: What is it about this person (whomever he may be at any given moment) that calls to me? What do I feel is lacking in myself?  And if I ever meet him, can I PLEASE act like a sane, rational grown-up and not frighten him?!?!

In the meantime, I can use their example to do things that scare me, or try things that intrigue me.  Or simply use it as the impetus I need to get my a** back onstage after 10 years!

I think this concludes my introspection for the evening.  Thank you for reading, and good night.  Remember to tip your waitstaff.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I Wrote a Play. Kind Of.

Not a full-length play.  Not even a GOOD play.  It was written over the course of 3 hours in class the other night and, to be truthful, I didn't even know I was writing it until the last hour. None of us did.  We all wrote a short, 5-act play as an exercise.
We each wrote our own, not one play altogether. I was saying, what I wrote isn't very good.  It's pretty much got every cliche, both conversational and situational, known to humankind.  Sure, there are some good lines here and there, but for the most part it's crap.
And y'know what? I DON'T CARE!  Because it's written. And done, at this point, is better than good.

I saw a site this morning geared toward creative types, called "Make Friends With Failure."  It says things like "You wouldn't talk to a baby that way, why do you talk to yourself that way?"  Because when we're starting out something new, we're kind of like babies.  But we expect perfection the first time out. Why?  I certainly didn't lecture my kids when they were learning to walk,  or chastise them every time they fell on their adorable, diaper-clad bottoms.  No, I grabbed the video camera, squealed, cried, and then called every single person I knew to tell them that LG or WG just took some steps, regardless of how well I actually knew those people or which time zone they were in.

But sometimes, like now (3 days after I started writing this post), when I'm in Hormone Hell, it's difficult to remember to be gentle and proud.  I had a brief respite over the weekend, with all the "Doctor Who" 50th specials and celebrations (Tom Baker!  Peter Capaldi's eyes!  A cute widdle bunny!), but now I'm back to it.
I PROBABLY should have left the house at some point during the weekend.  If I don't get out, I get kooky.  Plus, I read a very well-written fan fiction that drove me to despair ("My writing sucks!  I'm so pedestrian!  I'll never get it, never!" {Crashes forehead onto keyboard like Don Music on "Sesame Street."}).

I need to remember that I took this time off SPECIFICALLY to figure out WHAT I want and HOW to go about getting it.  (My GOODNESS, I'm Using so MANY CAPITAL LETTERS TODAY!)

OK, it's now a few hours later. As I was writing this earlier I got a call from WG's school informing me that she'd twisted her ankle while on a field trip, but was in good spirits.  She came home 2 hours later not putting any weight on her foot.  It wasn't swollen, and there's no bruising. I gave her some Advil, and she started putting weight on it. Now she's limping a tiny bit, but also climbing up and down 3 flights of stairs and playing.  So we'll keep an eye on, and if it doesn't look better, we'll get her foot x-rayed.
Poor li'l bunny!

I'm also gonna do an auto-write. It's an exercise in which you simply sit and write whatever comes out, not worrying about grammar, punctuation, spelling, or even making sense.  It's basically verbal vomit. Stuff comes up & out that needs to.
And we'll see what happens!

Now I must go vomit-er-write.  And check on my Gimpy Girl.  :)

As Sherlock would say, "Lat-ers!"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cancer SUCKS.

And we need to find a way to kick its ass into the ground.
That is all.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wednesday was WG's 10th birthday.  I don't know who said it, but someone stated that, when raising kids, the years fly by but the days drag on.  And it's so true! Over the summer I often dreaded mornings, lol, because it meant another day of trying to figure out how to keep the kids happy, entertained, and stimulated.  Now I can't believe it's November, and that my baby girl is a decade old.

Thatt night was my first writing class, and it was amazing!  We did 3 writing exercises, and it was a complete paradigm shift.  Who knew I'd been going about it all wrong, all this time?  No wonder I haven't been able to finish anything.  :)  The instructor is amazing.  And he's a fan of Hubby's, so he's obviously a man of discerning taste, lol!
The whole process has become a lot less mysterious, and this was only in 3 hours.  I'm SO looking forward to the next class.  It's only 5 sessions, sadly, but there will be other courses.  Between this and the improv, I can feel my juices flowing again, and I know I'll be doing something creative, in some capacity, in the very near future.
And I have to say, it's nice to get out of the house and into the city a couple nights a week.  Last night I arrived early, so I went to a nearby Whole Foods which has a bar and an active after-work scene.  But it also has a coffee bar and cafe, so there were families there, as well.  It was a nice reminder that life isn't ONLY about homework, workouts, laundry, washing dishes, and early bedtimes.

I feel like I've had a nice, decade-long hibernation, but it's time to wake up & crawl out of the cave. My system is craving the company of others.  My mind needs to be challenged again.

I'm still doing the (mostly) vegan thing.  And keeping away from processed sugar.  Since the cleanse I find that sugar makes me feel sluggish and unfocused.  On the days I don't eat cleanly I REALLY feel it.
I'm still doing yoga and ballet barre workouts.  And the bike, of course. I like that I stand a bit taller after the barre workout.  It actually makes me feel semi-graceful. (Until I walk over to turn the DVD player off and trip over my own feet.)  There's a Ballet Beautiful workout called "Swan Arms."  Have I mentioned it before?  It doesn't look too hard, but MAN!  Suffice to say I have a whole new respect for water fowl!
And I still miss my geese and ducks...

Well, I WAS planning on writing something pithy and droll (for the first time ever on this blog), but I'm beat.  So I'm just gonna wish you all a good night.