Tag Archives: self-absorbed dithering

I Have a Blog No One Reads, Too — And I Know How to Use It

So. . . it’s been awhile. Turns out when you give birth to twins, your ability to sit still for lengthy periods of time seriously dwindles. I did pull off the all-female production of 1776, which was nominated for five local BroadwayWorld Awards and won for Best Costumes (YESSSS!). I was nominated as Best Actress in a Musical and as Person to Watch, which was very flattering and exciting, even if I didn’t win. I also performed in two other productions (Into the Woods and a world premiere play called My Dear Miss Chancellor, which was about a secret society of sword fighting lesbians set in Jane Austen era London and yes it was as bad ass as that sounds).

I’ve been busy. Happy. Exhausted. Busy. And not very full of writing, I am sorry to say!

So what, dear reader, has brought me out of hibernation?

Why, self-righteous rage, of course!

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My life through painting or cleaning the project room

When I was a freshman in high school, I went to a private school.  A lot went to hell after that year and I ended up transferring to a public school as a junior, but before then, it was a pretty ideal place for me to be.  The classes were small, the teachers had time to get to know you, it was a community more than a school. You grew up with your classmates. I had been with my group since I was in the 5th grade.  Some of my classmates had known each other for even longer.  To this day, I have pangs of regret over leaving, even though there was no other way.

I never considered myself an artist, my childhood drawings were all pretty much of the Stick Figure Girl Walking a Dog or Riding a Horse variety.  Art class was hanging out with my girlfriends and chattering while we made something with our hands — it was peaceful.  I realize that later it would morph into hanging out with my girlfriends and cooking.  But I really enjoyed art.  A nice respite from class, but not necessarily where my talents lay.

So one day, the incredible woman who ran the art program gave us a project. She assigned each of us a square from Picasso’s Guernica to paint.  When we were all finished, she put the pieces together into this very cool patchwork painting.  I know a photo of it exists somewhere, but I couldn’t find it.  I painted the foot in the bottom right hand corner.  It was my first time using oil paint and I fell in love.  It also freed me up from thinking that I didn’t have to be the best or even very good to enjoy something — a novel idea for a 15-year-old.

I love how sneery Scarlett is in this

A visiting artist then came to the school and he assigned us a project where we would do a pencil drawing of an image and then later an oil painting of the same image.  I was in my second year or so of obsessing over Gone with the Wind (over a decade now, baby!) so obviously I chose the movie poster.  

Then I built a frame, stretched and jessoed my own canvas, and painted it.

I’ve been circling my love affair with oil painting ever since. I’ve never taken any official classes or anything, it’s been something that I just like to dabble in every once and awhile.  Something peaceful to do with my hands.

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Those flames must be REALLY hot, cus Rhett has a serious tan.

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A Reset

My dad once told me a story. He was a young actor in New York and had a lot of young actor friends.  One such friend was turning down auditions for commercial work because he said he was afraid that it would “hurt his career.”  My dad, an eloquent man, responded with, “What career?”

I think I need to revisit this story more often.

Since moving to Seattle, I have been pursuing theatre.  I don’t even know in what capacity yet. Should I be able to climb up to the status of it being a “career,” then bully for me, if not then I’m happy to do theatre as a passionate hobby.  To tell the truth, I don’t know how honest that is, but that is my story and I’m sticking to it.

I have been on quite a few auditions lately and have done very well at most of them — this, in and of itself, is a triumph.  I am really proud of the work I have done in the past year, even if it hasn’t necessarily bore me much fruit.  I wanted to be in four productions this year and am halfway through my goal.  After being passed over the last several times I’ve auditioned (and gotten to callbacks, even!), I admit that I’m starting to get all moody about it.

And it’s only fricken July!  The year is barely half over!  I needed a reset.  Fortunately I have a brilliant vocal coach and supportive friends and husband and I’ve been able to get my head straight.  But it had been eating at me for awhile.  Worrying about my “failed” career.  What career?  Ha!

To clarify: I don’t mean that in a negative, derogatory way, but in a FREEING way.  I have nothing, therefore, I have nothing to lose.  This is a good thing.  This concept should be paradoxically relaxing and energizing.  I have everything to win.

Speaking of jobs, I have four more days working at Cheezburger and even though I am so glad that I took this job and have really enjoyed it, I am really going to be happy when it’s over.

I am looking forward to having a quiet, boring day.  I am looking forward to having a quiet week.  I am looking forward to having my thoughts and my time to myself.

I am currently working on an idea for a musical.  This is a seriously lofty idea that may in fact turn out to be a disaster.

I’m not going to delete that last sentence, but I think that that is extremely telling of my state of mind about my art right now.

Disaster?!

How could it be a disaster? ;)  Why do I have to make every artistic endeavor a matter of complete triumph or failure?  Can’t it just be?

Also, I know that I have been derelict in my monthly-writing promise.  I’ve done some work on my musical, which I am not ready to share publicly, but I would still like to work on my Mia stuff.  I really like her and I like my idea so I will keep pecking away at that.  There.  I’ve made a public promise to myself and now it’s time to keep it.

Retraining your muscles

So it turns out that the most stressful time of my life is the time when I am not doing anything.  This may come as a shock to no one else, but it shocked the hell out of me.  I pivot back and forth between enjoying being lazy for once and then spiraling into an unstoppable guilt cycle that usually ends with me being a total bitch (love you, M Fox!)  Because you know the best course of action when you’re feeling lost and unstable and like you’re wallowing in an endless pool of possibility?  Alienate those you love. Most definitely.  Actually, I’m pretty blessed to have friends and family who refuse to be alienated despite my best efforts.

Anyway, my pathetic woe-is-me-my-life-is-actually-pretty-awesome story (do you hate me yet?) is the preamble.  I’ve been taking voice lessons with the fabulous, the marvelous, the inimitable Candice (if you’re in the Seattle area, leave me a comment if you want her info), I’m taking group banjo classes at Dusty Strings in Fremont, and I’ve started working out with a personal trainer at my gym because I can’t be trusted anymore.  All three teachers/instructors said the same thing.

“Do you have a very stressful job? Your shoulders are really tense. ”

and

“You need to retrain the way you stand/sit/breathe.”

When three professionals from different fields tell you that what you’re a tense shallow-breathing anxiety ball, I suppose it’s time to pay attention.  What none of them said, but I think it very much implied is that I also need to retrain how I *think*.  Yes, there are a lot of physical changes I need to make (this isn’t The Secret, folks), but I also need to get over this overwhelming unworthiness.

Party on, Wayne.

Yeah, I should probably retrain my preamble.