Saturday, November 7, 2009

new albums

Norah Jones' new album, The Fall, leaked today and I'm more than enthusiastic to make it a part of my daily mix.

download away.

Friday, November 6, 2009

yoga was very taxing tonight.

Approaching the twilight of my existence
I bless you life...
Because you never gave me
either deceitful hopes,
or unjust foils,
nor undeserved endurances...
Because I see,
at the end of my ruggedy trail;
that I was the architect of my own fate.
That if I extracted the bile
or the honey of things
was because I put in them
bile or zesty honey.
When I planted rose bushes
I harvested always roses.
It's true that to my exuberance
has followed the winter;
but you didn't tell me that May was going to be eternal...
I found undoubtedly,
too long the nights of my sorrows;
but you didn't promise me
only merry nights
and in exchange
I had other nights reverently serene.
I loved and I was loved.
The sun shined on my face...
Life you owe me nothing.
Life we are of Peace.

Song of the Day: Maybe- Kelly Clarkson


I want to beg of you much as I can to be patient
toward all that's unsolved in your heart,
and learn to love the questions themselves,
like locked rooms, or like books that are
written in a very foreign tongue.

Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you,
because you would not be able to live them,
and the point is to live everything.

Live the question now,
perhaps you will then, gradually, without noticing it,
live along some distant day into the answer.

"Letters to a Young Poet"
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, November 2, 2009

Post-Grad Blues.

I applied for 89 jobs today off numerous websites. I counted.

I was screwed money out of my paycheck. I counted.

Had another temp job today. Fine.

Not able to fully pay up my rent this month, so I'm behind.

My monthly was stolen on Halloween. Great.

I broke my spare pair of glasses two weeks ago.

I probably can't visit my boyfriend this weekend in Pennsylvania, so I'll see him at the end of the month due to conflicting schedules.

And my current job hasn't given anyone a raise and our commission sucks so I'm completely, 100% unmotivated to be there.

Today is not my day. Yesterday was not my day. This is not my month. And this is not where I expected myself after graduation.


Thursday, October 29, 2009


I really admire January Jones. This is a girl who went from drinking her 6 packs and smoking way too much weed in High School to just up and moving to New York to "prove those bitches in High School wrong" and modeling.

The minute I'm told I can't do something, I aim to prove them wrong. She has the same mentality. You say no, I say go. Maybe then I, too, will tail-gate my way to Emmy gold as well.


Monday, October 12, 2009


I've been taking the past two weeks to figure out myself financially and I've had a bit too much stress and distraction.

I'll be taking back to my blog as soon as this week...and taking more personal time for myself.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Slow Down.

"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why." - Eddie Cantor.

Close your eyes and think about the most recent thing that's been really working in your life. You're spirits are lifted, you bop to your Ipod a little more than usual and your breathing is less weighted. Do you second guess why you've gotten what you've deserved? Is your mind going in circles asking "Why me?" or "Good things all come to an end"? All of us have. Think of your mind as a room (or house...full of rooms, that's my case at least). Inside of this room contains all of our common ideas about what life has to offer. The one door in this room is slightly left ajar, outside of it there's a blinding light. Dreamy, right? None of that florescent stuff (it makes your skin look a squillion times worse than it really is). This light contains all of our idealistic approaches to life and all of that good, juicy, meaty creativity that we find too "far out" for us. When you think of a new idea, or a new approach to a role, you're first thought is: Will this work? A lot of what I've been taught is to leave your judgments at the door and roll with the punches. If your idea doesn't work, at least you tried something new. If you don't have the guts to try out what's in your gut, then you're not the artist you give yourself credit for. I find that when I follow my instincts (in art, in life) I tend to make better decisions. Going out on a limb is okay, but how soon we forget; after all, saying something is a lot different than actually taking initiative to act upon it.
This week I've given myself the opportunity to open up my mind a little more. Now, I'm a very open-minded and opinionated person, but with that I tend to drift into my own hole of longing and pessimism. Naturally, when I open up to someone about my insecurities, I have compliments (fulfilling or empty) tossed into my deep basket of dirty laundry. My insecurities come from a lot of aimless thinking, as I've previously mentioned. The more attentive you are the more you can connect with others and survive. Cameron delivers a story of her personal suffering and how her grandmother's life, although it had it's ups and downs, was all focused on the small miracles that the divine had brought her. "Survival lies in sanity, and sanity lies in paying attention." You know how in class there were those who sat attentively in the front row or consistently answered questions and brought debate to group discussions? I wasn't always this person. I was the social butterfly, class-clown, making snarky side commentary and trying to get people to laugh and look past the discussion. I wonder if I had always been more studious, if my life would feel more whole. We also learn through loss. Losing my grandmother couldn't have been more devastating to my family, but it did bring us closer and realize the small joys that life does bring. For the pain we suffered, brings on the healing process--which is enriched in emotion and experience. We live on to tell the tale of our suffering. I know I have, in numerous instances, told many stories where I try to pass on my experience to friends; if they make the same mistakes, I can't say I didn't warn them. Attention "is an act of connection," and each moment of connection we make with a person, an environment, an animal, anything really, was not without it's own beauty.
I know this post was a little delayed, but I was in fact side-tracked. Surprisingly, my boyfriend is one of my biggest supporters but I did get a little lost in the idea that he was back here for a given period of time. My tasks have not been disregarded though (I had most of this blog written in a date we both held in Barnes and Noble, Union Square, to get some work done). Tonight, or tomorrow, I will be posting my week of tasks and moving on to the next chapter. I haven't been auditioning as much as I would like to, but right now that's ok due to a little self-discovery. Tomorrow I'm going to go in, again, for the non-union tour of Cabaret and hopefully pass on to the next round of callbacks. Next week will be Grease and Legally Blonde, on top of work and so forth. Currently having minor struggles (emotionally) about finances and career options, but ultimately...I'm still breathing and still have my health. Do you think that thinking that keeps us afloat or just pushes aside life's real problems? I'm not sure if I know the answer either.

Download: I Get Around - Dragonette.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sanity & Vanity

"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose."- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I've recently made a promise to myself to be more on top of my schedule in regards to friends and timing myself out properly. Sometimes I find that making time for people, squeezing in work, a good run, travel and the like, are all very time consuming tasks that I don't plan out ahead of time. On Facebook, I'm a "Maybe Attending," and rarely ever an "Attending." Being a flake is second nature, mainly because my time-management skills have been off. I try and prioritize who I should see and when, so when I back-out of plans it tends to be out of a selfish nature; i.e. I'm taking time for myself to breathe. My recent spell of erratic behavior is due to my point in making myself unstuck from my artistic funk.
As we gain strength and realize the error of our ways, we deal with this by internally attacking ourselves. I'm commonly found over-thinking and analyzing any given situation in my personal life and my work, so this shouldn't come as much of a shocker; I only ask that those close to me understand where I'm coming from. Little things can set me off or make me second-think my choices. "These morning pages aren't as fulfilling as I I doing it right?," "Should I have skipped out on work to go on those auditions?," "Should I really go in for more extra work...or will I be branded a regular?." Early in this stage of recovery (hell, I'm only on week 2), self-doubt can lure me into sabotage. When you have a sense of safe-guard around you, whether it's in your bedroom or in a Barnes and Noble or on the E train, your creativity is open to flourish. For me, I've found my nook of a room has become a bit of a nesting ground for curling up on my rug and sketching. What do I sketch? I'd tell you, if I didn't have an intention for this one piece I'm starting on. My current state is said to be that of a small child, which is odd...considering I'm feeling a bit rocky, temper-ridden and childish. This is ok. As a protective parent of my inner-child, it's my job to stick with safe companions who are supportive of watching me grow and releasing the poisonous ones. This is easy, in my book; I've gotten rid of toxic playmates before, or simply maintained my ground. SO for all y'all loud-mouth talkers with nothing positive to say: It's time to keep it down right now. It's my job to remain optimistic and do things for myself. There was a darker point in my life where I wasn't doing things for myself anymore, and I definitely am not looking to start back-peddling now. I mean...I was never really into spinning class anyway.
After watching an almost painful episode of 'Gossip Girl' (judge away...we all have our guilty...or not so guilty pleasures) I dove into my chapter to discover the term crazy-maker. Crazy-makers are "those personalities that create storm centers," meaning their constantly looking for trouble. Familiar, Blair Waldorf? Why look for trouble? I've been in her pumps so I do get it. They like drama, they are self-centered, life of the party and every one else supplies their supporting cast. Even more familiar. Go on, Cam. "Often larger than life, they acquire that status by feeding on the life energies of those around them." This is why many of the most talented, and egotistical, artists in America come with an entourage, baggage and a bad reputation. Even being tabloid-fodder, you have the fame and make the dough, but are you fulfilled? Power isn't always fulfilling. Princess Diana wasn't happy after all her years of being looked at as a caged animal. Brad and Angelina surely have tensions between their work, their marriage and raising the United Nations. Crazy makers can also be found among us peons as well. Over-bearing parents and friends who constantly judge who you hang out with and how you occupy your time can be considered crazy makers. They shake you until you have nothing to give. They break promises, vows, destroy schedules, expect too much, discount your sense of reality, and waste your time. The type of people who put blame on others and have difficulty owning up to their own flaws, these energy suckers feed on your blood and are mosquitos that survive the slap...if you let them. "If crazy-makers are that destructive, what are we doing involved with them?" I've had a difficult time reading this portion of the chapter, mainly because it's a brutal and harsh reality; I am that crazy myself and self-destructive at times. As a blocked creative I challenge myself to remaining blocked. How? By destructing my inner-peace and over-analyzing. "Take a chill pill" and "Chill the fuck out!" are two phrases I've been told in the past week. Both friends are right. I need to leave the dance floor and walk out for a breath of fresh-air. I owe it to myself.
I had dinner with one of my closest friends this past Sunday evening. After sharing some catch-up talk, I asked him the question: "Are you happy?" He sat there, picking at his Caesar salad, unsure of the answer at first and then stated "Yes and no. There are things that I would rather be doing, but as recent graduates we really don't have it that bad just yet." He's right. We have a long way to go on our journey through soul-searching and career-snatching. His big brown eyes weren't filled with fear but looked enticed to what lies ahead. We are all going through the exact same thing at times. Lost, abandoned, financially unstable and creatively longing. Maybe I don't have it so bad. It's time to sit in the front row, instead of socializing in the back with Julieanne. If you want to find me, I'll be sitting there with my hand raised, eagerly looking for the answers that life has to bestow upon my next chapter.

Song recommendation of the day: Quicksand - Bethanny Joy Galeotti. Download it. Seriously.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


"Every time we say Let there be! in any form, something happens."-Stella Terril Mann

Now, I don't mean to be a skeptic regarding her quote, but Stella...darling, I'm not sure if I agree 100% here. When you remain positive you're sure that good karma, or God, this being of divinity will "take care of you" and push you and your aspirations towards the light, right? This is indeed an optimistic stand-point, and I've found myself giving extra change to a homeless person, not only because it could feed them (or addiction, same difference) but also because I feel that I've helped the greater good; and also helped myself. It's as if the world is a buffet full of good deeds and bad deeds, and whichever you choose will either make you feel full and complete or heading straight to the toilet. In the economy we're in, it's very rare to remain optimistic about anything in our current times. I'm currently at that stand-still, do I remain optimistic or do I move on and give up.
Giving up and moving on, to me, is a moment of weakness; in some instances, this isn't the case. In relationships, whether your relationship with your significant other (or partner for my gays out there, holla!), parental figures, yourself, and so forth, I feel that breaking off entanglements or trying to rid yourself of your current struggles pushes you into a darker state; I repeat, in some instances, this isn't the case. I did not fully cooperate with my artistic self this week, in my first week, as much as I would have liked to. On the bus ride home from Pennsylvania, I read my Check-In portion of my week only to discover I had only minor breakthroughs and accomplishments; this is good, not great. Call me a perfectionist (I see y'all out there rolling your eyes and saying this to yourselves) but I know I could have accomplished more. My personal and professional life has hit a bump, hence why I'm taking more time for me. I have allowed the road-block to consume my mind where I let go of three mornings worth of morning pages (goodbye possible ideas and vulnerable ramblings) and ditched three possible blog entries. Unacceptable. We are allowed these mistakes, so I'm supposed to breathe and say "it's OK." It is. It's ok. I refuse to say it's "fine" because "fine" doesn't mean much and should never be used. If you ever hear or have heard me use that (or LOL) you should know something is up and isn't right in my world. I have no time for small talk and no time for phoney-baloney comments.
When I think about how far I've come in my past 22 years as a human (or creature from the Black Lagoon, whichever) I look back on those who have really made me feel it's ok to be me. I'm going to go backwards and save the best for last. A director of mine in the past year of knowing me has pushed me further than I have been pushed before. After having been pushed aside from the piles pushed by the grubby, sticky paws of favoritism (haven't we all) I was finally given a chance. Donna Drake is a director, choreographer and, ultimately, a collaborator with her artists. Having only the small amount of time I was given with her, I was given an opportunity and I had to pluck the knowledge of show-business from her enriched brain at every moment I had. Being put through difficult (yes, for me it was difficult) choreography and attempting to create a role solely on my own, I had to be unique. I made a starring role my own, which isn't difficult but I wasn't ever given the chance. I've been told in my past five years of learning that I'm too-thin, not-in-shape, not vocally strong, not a bad dancer but not the best dancer, mediocre, too-gay, too much or too little or not enough of something. Donna made me feel that my heart was always ready for the opportunity to shine on a stage and make something my own. To that, I thank her for the challenge.
When you think of your biggest supporters who comes to mind? For me, it's my friends, family and boyfriend. And I use the term "friend" loosely. I'm not talking about those who I see once in a blue and small-talk with (repeat: I don't like nor do I condone small talk), I'm talking about the guys and girls who are by your side and stick to you like a siamese twin without a choice. They love you, nurture you and want to see you thrive. When is the last time I've felt fulfilled by my peers, and supported by my family? Every day. I told a few about my blog, and for those of you who are still intrigued in following me through my 8 weeks program, thank you for your support. I paint, I act, I try to be a jack of all trades; financially, this is always a good idea. My boyfriend is a writer and having him even take a second out of his day to read my blog has me both anxious and feeling accomplished. Hearing that I have a defined voice in my work and having his support makes me more than appreciative to have him to share this taste of success with me. Thank you to those who have seen my best and worst days and who have not given up faith in my creative-exploration. I've put you all through hell and I apologize that I'm more complicated that a cats-cradle, I'll work for you if you keep working for me.
My grandma (mother's mother) passed on in August 2008 and it was a harsh reality to face. You know when you feel like you've fallen down the rabbit hole and need to find your way again? That's how I've felt. She was an inspiration for why I chose to do this. Having lost the one person I felt completely look at me from an unbiased and open view, I still have one physical thing to hold onto: my phone. I've saved a voice mail from her since my Junior year of college where her simple plea for me to audition makes my day worthwhile. Her faith in me has kept me going and trudging along until something bigger, bolder and fulfilling come along. Food-for-thought: never take anyone or any moment for granted, you may never know what you may lose. What I continue to envision is an image of a woman who knew me better than I knew myself and who undoubtedly welcomed the idea of my success. Without her, I now can attempt a quest of soul-searching that will bring me forward towards enlightenment. Having faith holds onto the key of healing. Maybe if I have more faith, I can unlock the door at the end of the hallway and open up to a new chapter.

"Hi, Jonathan? You better call me back 'cause it's your grandma! I just saw the Altar Boyz on television and thought my grandson could be there! He's one of them! You--oh, please, please go on any auditions they may have're an Altar Boy. I thought it was the greatest thing I've ever seen! Anyway, I'm sorry I woke you up darling. Talk to you later. Bye, bye. I love you."-Irene O'Keefe.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." C.G. Jung.

When I was in the first grade I had difficulty with writing in the lines, coloring in the lines, and keeping to a strict regime. I say regime considering my first grade teacher, Mrs. Hickey (blotchy, red kissing sores for whores come to mind and she was indeed a sore) was an evil dictator when it came to discipline. Remember in kindergarten when the only difficulty we had in class was where to put what block or who wanted to play dress up with you that day? There was a dramatic shift. Mrs. Hickey did not encourage stories of pretty princesses and white knights nor did she even want her class to participate in field time during lunch; what kind of teacher doesn't give you a break? Well, these restrictions held me back from allowing my creativity to sore that year; my imagination did not disappear, however. I would look forward for my mother's white smile and blue eyes waiting for me outside those double doors ready to take me home, make me a snack and let me play 'The Wizard of Oz' or 'Cinderella' around the house. Hell, my mother even let me play with my sister's Barbies; I was indeed a Barbie...boy. Mrs. Hickey's rules were so tight that she made you hold the pencil a certain way, and you weren't dared allowed to use the eraser. That's right. If you made a mistake, you had to use your red marker pen to circle your mistake or cross it out with a giant red 'X'. You had to learn why you didn't get that question right or that problem solved. That red marker signified your abilities to sore above the class. I was always jealous of those around me who didn't have as many cross-out's as I did. How could she not let you write cursively out of the lines? Hell, my signed Mariah Carey headshot my dad got for me had these gorgeous, flowing letters that looked more like warped confetti than a signature. Why couldn't I, too, have large bubbly letters? Because this camp-director-from-hell liked to play it safe. Her life was clearly lacking color like Dorothy's in Kansas. I wanted color.
One afternoon, it was time to close up our notebooks and put away our school supplies and get out our number two pencils for a math exam. I don't know if any of you know, but I am a horrible mathematician. I can add, subtract, multiply and divide but in my earlier years (and high school too, I won't deny) I struggled a lot. It was all about rules and formulas and things that all equal up and make sense. Life never makes complete sense, we are always questioning ourselves and looking for more answers, even when the answer we get doesn't work with what we want to hear. Mrs. Hickey passes out the exam (pop-quiz, mind you) and everyone slides their papers onto their desk and waits for her to say when. "Begin." We bolt. Some are dashing through their answers while I attempt to discover a new tactic on cheating. I lean against my elbow and peep through my stubby fingers attempting to mask myself from shame. I look back to her, my heart races like a gazelle. Will she catch me? She's reading a classic at her desk. I'm safe. My attention focuses back to the parchment covered in symbols I'm clearly not grasping. I doodle. I begin to erase when my heart stops and a lump of saliva almost cuts off my oxygen. Hickey's demonically witchy fingers grasp ahold of my pencil. I lose my grip as she rips the strategically sharpened number two from my hand and displays it to the class. Just when I thought I failed the exam from breaking her number one rule of erasing, from my own sheer stupidity, she one-up's me and takes a bite of my eraser and spits it into the garbage. She must me a champ at darts because she didn't miss the pale. I sit there stunned while she circles my doodle-work and my mistakes. I didn't pass.
Mrs. Hickey is an enemy that holds back creators and creativity. She is one of many in my monster hall of fame, which you will learn more about this week. We all have monster hall's of fame, frenemies, enemies, and those who leave scars on our minds, thoughts, hearts, and hands. It's up to us to acknowledge them in order to push through these creative injuries and flourish into the artist's we crave...even if these scars come from memories and adventures through time travel.

Recovering A Sense of Safety

I've found as a performer, and artist, that at times it's very difficult to find support in those you would assume the position. Teachers, artists we look up to, friends, family members, acquaintances, audiences, all have a separate reaction and opinion from what we may think they have. I have this issue. You see, I have this masochistic side to myself where nothing is good enough. We've all felt that. I was once a terrible auditioner and performer in class. Why? Was it ill-preparation? Very rarely, much to the disagreements found in some professors who found this false. Even in High School, where I was definitely in the hierarchy of those with natural talent, I had an issue with expressing myself 100% artistically in front of a group of people, until I just let it go. Hard to understand? When I'm entering an uncharted territory (ie: Freshman year of High School/College) I'm learning how to build and break walls at the same time. I'm ultimately harming my artist child within by not allowing myself the space to create and expose myself to new ground.
"Judging your early artistic efforts is artist abuse," Cameron stresses, and she's right. I'm without a doubt incredibly abusive to my artistic state of consciousness. I put myself down at all times, perfecting the art of masochism and mastering it with my own internal metal bat. "I could have done better," "I'll never be good enough," I say these things at all times, possibly because I've found that people who make promises, people who express themselves one way and those who are attempting to encourage you into one direction, flake out on you. Those you look up to, sometimes aren't the ideal role models for you. It's ok to appreciate someones work, but it doesn't mean you have to agree with their methods. In order to attempt to break down my mental blocks, I have to realize that mistakes are essential for growth. Stumbling down the staircase (not literally, but it won't surprise any of you if I did) is normal. Baby steps are essential. Strange for a guy who tends to scoff down his dinner in under 5-10 minutes, eh? Cameron puts it like this: "Creative recovery is like marathon training," (great, running, something I DO understand).

"...We want to log ten slow miles for every one fast mile. This can go against the ego's gain. We want to be great --immediately great -- but that is not how recovery works. It is an awkward, tentative, even embarrassing process. There will be many times when we won't look good -- to ourselves or anyone else. We need to stop demanding that we do. It is impossible to get better and look good at the same time."

I'm 100% willing to throw myself and my insecurities out the window during this process (this means apologizing to those who have been lugging onto the weight of my insecurities as well). I'm willing to listen to Marishka and say, "Fuck it!" and walk into the audition room with my preparation, my intentions set, and my first breath of fresh air and take my risks. I'm willing to be a terrible artist and at least make the choices I can. Hey, I may not be the best singer, but I'm capable of carrying a tune with my unique little warble. Not everyone needs to "wail" and "belt their titties off," or do they? I didn't think singing meant you can act too, eh? I'm willing to do both and risk it all at the same time. I will at least give myself the chance to regain my integrity and my strength as an artist.
After reading a wonderful list of commonly held negative beliefs that tend to hold artist's back from becoming a successful, prolific being, I've come to terms that I've narrowed myself into 8 of the 20 reasons. Not a lot, but not a little either. NONE of these negative beliefs are true, in fact, they are just that: beliefs. It is my job to confront this negativity and push past the ideas that hold onto them. I find this a funny chapter to touch upon, especially, because I've found myself over-analyzing a lot recently. And for that I'm incredibly sorry, to myself and ultimately to you. Making excuses, finding excuses, and over-thinking my current situations tend to be from an ample amount of time I'm given alone. And my current state of mind is rather lonely, as of late. I've also found myself to be a bit selfish. Not for my artistic recovery but personally. For that, I am sorry as well. Confronting your personal issues goes along with recovery as well. I feel a bit better already. What I am is scared. Julia Cameron you are RIGHT! I'm scared! Core negatives and consistently pushing them aside only makes your fear increase. Cut the bullshit! If you keep it up, these negatives will consume you mind and go for your throat and ultimately choke you until you're blue in the face and your loved ones don't want to hear it anymore. These negatives attack your lovability, your intelligence, your self-worth, your sexuality, and anything it can get it's hands on that makes you feel vulnerable. I can be a sane, solvent, responsible, faithful, saved, happy, and sober person with my work.
In college, a professor of mine had us discuss our affirmations prior to going on stage and performing. We'd stand in a circle and hold hands with our case, close our eyes, breathe and then go into what we wanted to achieve that night. Common one's would be to "Stay focused," "Engage the audience," "Connect with different cast members," "live in the moment," and so forth. Affirmations help achieve a sense of safety and hope. At first, all this talk of positive energy flow, and third eyes and filling your heart with love, made me such a skeptic. I was thinking "Who is the professor with her new-age methods and her gaucho pants? How is this going to help me as a performer?" And then in one particular show it just hit me smack in the face. I found my place of being, I found my moments, I found what I was looking for: my preparation, my sense of self and my confidence. It was all there all along. I didn't have to see the Wizard to figure out that these affirmations pushed me to full-force, performance mode. In rediscovering this, I need to make mental notes (and maybe say them out loud) on how much of a brilliant artist I am and how I can act my way out of a paper bag. Automatically your censor starts playing Beyonce's "Ring the Alarm" and you're screwed. At first, yes. Maybe. It attacks you worse than a virus when you're sick. But these affirmations can prove to be the Vitamin-C (or B-12, whichever you prefer) that you need. The more you beef yourself up, the more your confidence can rebuild, the more you can find inner peace with yourself and your work.

This weeks plans:

1. Continue my morning pages. So far so good...
2. Appreciate myself more. Make affirmations.
3. Take myself on an Artist Date. --I run in Central Park at least 3-5 days a week to clear my head. I also attempt to discover new places in Manhattan to treat my eyes for new sights and information.
4. Buy silly things -- I don't have money, but my dear friend Kristina had the heart (and $2.99 splurge) to purchase me a Disney Princess coloring book. Hey, it's a start...right? Reawakening the child inside of me?
5. Time-Travel logs. -- You'll be getting these starting tomorrow.
6. Imaginary Lives. --Another entry.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the morning pages: part I.

I'm a dead sleeper, I don't wake up for anything. You know how animals hibernate in the winter? I hibernate every evening. This morning, much to my displeasure, I was woken up on two separate occasions; 1. my room-mate plopping his dog on my bed as I pushed him out the door with my profanities and 2. my mother dropping off groceries. Yes, my mother is still a mother even AFTER I've graduated college; this is something that will never change, even when I'm making the mega-bucks (ha, that's a laugh) and have a family of my own. After sipping down my Smooth Move tea (you've got to get those bowels moving) and chomping on a mediocre bagel from Starbucks, I plopped down on my neatly made bed and decided to get to work, only to find out that I have one more day to go until I break new ground. Why? I have to learn the Basic Tools.

"There are two pivotal tools in creative recovery: the morning pages and the artist date." The morning pages are three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness. In other words, I wake up and before I go to the bathroom, eat a mediocre breakfast, pet the dog (which could be meant two ways, I suppose) or say hello to my morning beside my window, I have to write. Normally, I have to be in the mood to write...don't we all? Cameron points out that the "morning pages are nonnegotiable," I don't have a choice in the matter. If I skip, I skip out on starting out a perfectly good, creative day. Rule #1: Quit making excuses for yourself. Simple. Done. I hate excuses. Ask anyone, if I make them for myself I'm a hungry, hungry hypocrite. Also, I have to remember that my writing in these logs are not meant to be works of art or even writing, it could be anything that's on my mind. I'm also not allowed to read the first 8 weeks, just write them, rip them out and seal them in an envelope or hide them.

"Although occasionally colorful, the morning pages are often negative, frequently fragmented, often self-pitying, repetitive, stilted or babyish, angry or bland --even silly sounding. Good!" Great. Just what I need to do, write down my negativity, which it will inevitably be about one of three things (I'll keep you guessing). All of this petty whining that I will be scribing away my mornings with stands between me and my creative energy. Worrying about my financial situation, taking out the dog, cleaning the apartment, my relationship, my friendships, my job -- this stuff inevitably ruins and muddies up my days. Put it in writing, right? It'll clear out your head. This ultimately won't be an issue, since I've always been a fan of journaling-- in class, in life, with finger-paints and Lisa Frank stickers in elementary school, it always helps put you in a better mental state. As an artist, I am my own worst enemy and overall, my own worst critic. As many of you know, I tend to be a bit judgmental on my own work. I didn't hit the high note, I was flat again, I didn't get the harmony, you didn't get those steps right, you could add some more color here, he's looking at me the wrong way...what does that mean? I'm a Virgo and I stand by that. I'm a perfectionist, to the point of annoyance. In High School I had the same issue, being a control freak was my first nature. I am a victim "of [my] own internalized perfectionist, a nasty internal and eternal critic, the Censor, who resides in [my] left brain and keeps up a constant stream of subversive remarks that are often disguised as the truth," this bitch has hit the nail on the head. My own opinion shouldn't count and. My censor tends to say things like "You'll never be good enough," "Keep trying sucker, but you'll never be the leading man," "You call this writing? You're a joke," "The clock's ticking, babe, get a move on or go home," "He'll never love you 100%" and so forth. J.M. Barrie's crocodile is following me around with a clock for a dead-line. As a native New Yorker I'm always looking to finish the race and try to be in first place to get my gold medal. What's the rush? Some people don't start their careers until their mid-life, and although I don't want to be that person, I can find ways to work around it and "do" a lot of things. My friend Michael at work hates the question, "What do you do?" It's so condescending, don't you think? I agreed. It's asking "Where do you place yourself in the world based on your title and income?" He normally answers with his hobbies, "I design, I'm in a pottery class..." and so forth. I think if we all start answering this question with what we like to do, rather than what we do to make the banks of america keep running and the economy at bay (oh, wait that's already down...oops) we would all be in a happier state of mind. Don't you think?

Ok, back on topic. Rule #2: Remember that my Censor's negative opinions are not the truth. Sold. Easier said than done, it'll take time (time that I now have). I'm going to vow to let my Censor and my brain rattle through my pen (or sharp #2 for you crafty kids) in my notebook and watch as it aims for my creative jugular. In order to get a good picture of who my Censor is and what I envision "it" to look like, you can find it in the picture with this post (oh, that makes sense now, right? Nod your little head "yes"). My censor is a nasty creature of my mind, think of Gollum in 'Lord of the Rings' but with a sharp paint brush jabbing at your creative eye. Not cool.

So why did the artist cross the road (in other words, write three pages of dribble)?
To get to the other side.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


"The purpose of art is not a rarified, intellectual distillate - it is life, intensified, brilliant life." -Alain Arias-Misson.

I've hit a road block. We all do, and don't pretend like you haven't yet. Whether in love, our studies, our careers, our friendships, a blockage tends to occur somewhere down the line. I've found myself graduating from college (or university for you Brits out there) last May and not finishing out the way I once had anticipated from my elementary years. You assume the best outcome, not the most realistic, and trudge forward with as much desire inside of you until you've overcooked your hard-work to the point of drying yourself out. I've become a bit over-dried. As an undergraduate I had it all: room & board, getting cast in our main-stage productions (regardless of how wonderful or not they were), a meal plan, parent's practically throwing money in my direction (which you'll later learn is an issue), and too much social time; getting to the point, I've lost myself creatively in the process.
Many of us wish we were half as creative as those we look up to. Many of us wish we were more creative. Many of us instinctively know that we are these kindred, artistic spirits just looking for an outlet. I'm currently eluded by my ambitions and have yet to reap the benefits. I have many creative longings I have yet to endure, but that's where this blog come's in. I'm hungering for more and there's no quick fix. In order to expand my creativity, I've taken advice from other artists and have made a smart purchase: The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. For 7-10 hours a week I will be giving into my higher creativity by choosing to follow the yellow brick road down to rediscovering what I love about my art. I hold the keys to my own process and need to discover what triggers me into surrendering myself. I'm going to struggle with some of the exercises, I'm sure, but with pushing past my ego and bargaining with myself I will push to my ultimate level of higher learning; probably more education than I got out of most of my liberal arts courses, all Pace-rs would agree. I pledge not to abandon this process and to give into a new sense of self. Since I have ample amount of time on my plate, now with my beau back in Pennsylvania and very little money to spare on a good time out, I'm vowing to make a social standstill (not 100%, maybe 50 and 75%) and take a risk. Isn't that what life is about? Risks? Trial and error? Choosing to eat that last bite of cheesecake or jumping into a new lease? Well, I'm taking that bite and getting that new apartment, at the same time.
Julia Cameron points out in her introduction, "Many of us find that we have squandered our own creative energies by investing disproportionately in the lives, hopes, dreams, and plans of others." Fact. We grieve or gain jealousy of other's success and have little time to pat ourselves on the back or put that gold star on the fridge due to other's successes; I'm not the only one at fault, we've all has the green-eyed (or one-eyed...potato po-tat-o) monster on our shoulder from time to time. We are allowed mourn in order to effectively recover, artistically. "We must allow the bolt of pain to strike us." Cameron points out, "How do you know if you are creatively blocked Jealousy is an excellent cue." Denial is too, sister. "Are there artist's whom you resent?" That's a given. "Do you tell yourself 'I could do that, if only...'" Maybe. Do you tell yourself that if only you took your creative potential seriously, you might..." Great a list.

-Stop telling yourself it's too late.
-Stop waiting until you make enough money to do something you'd really love.
-Stop telling yourself, "It's just my ego" whenever you yearn for a more creative life.
-Stop telling yourself that dreams don't matter, that they are only dreams and that you should be more sensible. ----Very Disney, but it's true.
-Stop fearing that your family and friends would think you crazy.
-Stop telling yourself that creativity is a luxury and that you should be grateful for what you've got.

Ultimately this guide through my own self-discovery will bring out emotions of fear, angst, excitement, frustration, fear, joy, and hope. So warning to those in my life who come across me on a bad day, just let me have that bad day and I'll let you have your day of peace. I'm just looking to find myself...


Only this time, creatively.