Monday, July 21, 2014

Theme Song of The Week: "What Does My Girl Say"



This is looking like a week when I need to keep my sense of humor. I plan to laugh everyday as often as possible to keep things in perspective.

So, the theme song of the week is "What Does My Girls Say" brought to you by Kerry Washington and the crew from SNL!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Theme Song of The Week: "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers


I'm kicking it ole school for my theme song of the week with a recommendation from Blog Catalog friend Neavada Dames.

"Lovely Day" by Bill Withers.  Listen and enjoy!!!

When I wake up in the mornin', love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And somethin' without warnin', love
Bears heavy on my mind
Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way
Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
And when someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way
Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
A lovely day
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)
(Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day)




Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Hero's Journey: Nourishing the Soul with "Gay Family Values"

I am forever fascinated by how the human mind works. As an actor, I am also, fascinated, sometimes perplexed but always thoroughly focused on how my own mind works. Why do I do the things I do? In learning to understand these things I not only improve my skills as an artist, but I am also enriching my life as a person.

Having recently made a personal commitment to release the "victim" self-identification and replace it with that of a "hero" facing life's ups and downs with a sense of adventure, I am faced with the realization that for change to take root, you need to replace the old default images with something else. Something better.

I'm sure anyone reading this is saying "What the hell is this dude talking about? Well, what I can say? I am moving through a rough patch in life, as well all do from time to time. Finances are "tight", romance has been non-existent for so long I'm at the point of feeling like that is my "new normal."  This is where following one's dreams gets interesting. When I am booking work and doing what I love, I can look past the fact that I am single, sometimes lonely and don't have a partner to share my life's joy with. However, the joy of "career movement" gives one hope that if this is possible surely love is possible as well.

Unfortunately, it is when, like now, finances are tight, auditions are not leading to booking and life just feels like a "hot mess" that I am reminded of the challenges of being alone. This is where the "victim mentality" rises up and reminds me that the only time I was knee deep in love, it ended in his passing away from complications due to AIDS mere months before the "cocktail" was discovered and made
available. Now while I have come to terms with that loss, many many moons ago, I have also realized that I made an unconscious choice to shut down and not expect I deserved to find love again as if that was my only shot. As I read what I am writing, I recognize that this thinking is completely illogical. And consciously, I have tried to move on but something has always felt, well... broken. I see now that it was that childhood victim crap, the internalization of my severe bullying as a teen that was controlling my mind's default thinking.

It is only in this painfully uncomfortable excavation of my lifelong thinking patterns that I realize I need to consciously fill up on healthy images of loving LGBT relationships to provide myself with a "spiritual/mental".road map to recognizing that not only is a healthy well-adjusted life partner in the cards for me but is something I can embody within myself.  I believe you attract to your life what you are mentally equal to, if that makes any sense. In essence until I get my mental house in order, the only thing I'll be attracting is crap.

Now, I say all of this not from a rehashing of any "victim wallowing" or desire to mourn the past but a recognition that I need to replace that broken record with a new song.

Enter "Youtube" and my social media education. In this ongoing learning experience, I have become completely stunned by the power of "story" via a 11 minute or less clip. I understand the use of the word community which never quite made sense to me before with regard to youtube. As you get absorbed into the stories of individuals on channels that resonate with you, it is startling how personal it feels.

I have recently stumbled upon some lgbt youtubers who just make my soul smile. Most notably have been the Leffew family of the youtube channel "Gay Family Values".  I discovered them when randomly watching clips of a young 20 something gay couple who were being "called out" so to speak by the couple of "Gay Family Values."  The "call out" was done with love and sparked what I thought was a healthy debate. (I am still getting use to the interactive elemnt of "YouTube.")  The added benefit to me was that it connected me with some gay youtubers who were over the age of 26. While there is nothing wrong with being 26 or younger, I enjoy listening to the voices of various ages within the lgbt community. In my initial search on youtube "gay family values" didn't pop up or perhaps they did and I needed this "drama" for them to stand out.

Needless to say, I have become hooked on watching their videos and discovering their views as gay rights activists. They have definitely given me a lot to think about. What I enjoy about their channel is they are a real normal couple with children living their lives showing the straight world that lgbt families are no different than theirs and deserving of all the rights and frankly the respect due any other family.

On this channel I have found for myself, as a gay man, something healing, hopeful and genuinely uplifting to ME as a person just from watching their videos. I have never thought about adopting children, or felt it was something for me but I completely respect them for the incredible family they have created.  I was watching today a variety of videos from numerous channels about a "Big Gay Vacation" they hosted along the Russian river in Northern California.  It was terrific watching gay men of different ages and ethnic backgrounds coming together to bond and celebrate friendship and family.  I found myself thinking of the importance of my friends in my own life. I recalled friends who passed away and friends who've moved away and out of my life to follow their own path. There is power and strength from community in whatever form that takes. Their videos remind me that I am blessed and with each day, despite my current challenges, I have the opportunity to live with joy and love.

Okay, I am rambling but for some reason I felt the need to acknowledge this opportunity I have been presented with, by the Universe", to fill my mind with images and stories of real, loving lgbt couples.  It may be a long road before I find my life partner, but it is definitely nice to feel it is possible again.

My hero's journey continues...

Before you go, I am attaching a clip from their Big Gay Vacation. Enjoy it then take a trip over to their channel- "Gay Family Values", to see what inspiration looks like!!
 
Visibility does matter.          






Monday, July 7, 2014

My Hero's Journey: Unleashing the Actor, Writer, Poet, Artist Within

"My Spirit Guide" by Kevin D'Arcy
It astonishing to me how much I need the artist in me during times of stress and hardship. In my hero's journey, I am awake to the fact that as a child I always used my creative imagination to cope with the challenges I faced. I sketched, I created charcoal paintings, I wrote poetry, I wrote short stories, I played "Dungeons & Dragons", I dabbled in sculpture.  I eventually became an actor.  My life was continuosly marinating in creativity.

Somewhere down the line as student loans, credit card debt and trying to stay afloat financially took center stage, my creative outlets shrunk down to simply trying to "book" work as a professional actor.

This youtube clip and frankly, my awakening to the theme of events arising in my life over th last few weeks and months, have been pointing me in the direction of creativity as a NEED not a luxury. I feel those former aspects of myself yearning to be unleashed to express themselves, clearly not for monetary gain but for the purpose of keeping me SANE!

Yes, I must look at myself as a creative professional but I must also make a point of nurturing the inner artist in all his forms and allow my life and career to unfold without constriction. Truth is I love to write, so I am gonna write, and see what unfolds. I use to love drawing; I may just grab a canvas and just let my freak flag fly and see what pours out of my mind onto the canvas then stick it up on my living room wall!

Yes, I could really use an infusion of money to keep my stressed out control freak self functioning. However, something is telling me that this IS the time to surrender to the call to creative expression and use this self-expression as the nourishment my soul is craving.

I found this clip by TedTalks with the artist Gale Fulton Ross talking about the creativity that lives in us all.
It is another one of those "The Universe is speaking to ME" moments. I am choosing to listen and welcome  those multiple personalities back into my life for good!

Just for fun, I took a pic of a charcoal sketch I did many years ago of my "Spirit Guide". I remember I covered the canvas in charcoal, meditated and asked my spirit guide to reveal itself. I then proceeded to use tissue to wipe away the charcoal and allow whatever image wished to reveal itself to reveal itself.  The white light in the center is the camera flash not a part of the charcoal work, but it does seem to fit with the picture:)

It's the only thing I ever framed and kept. I thought it would be a nice reminder to myself to get reconnected to my Inner Self. 




Exploring Mantras/Chanting in My Meditation Practice

I'm exploring the use of mantras and chanting as I work on enriching my meditation practice. I found this meditation clip a fun introduction to mantras. The clip is from youtuber "MeditationMusicGirl."

This mantra is "Om Brzee Namaha".  I have no idea what it means but it is a wealth mantra. The pace was rhythmic and not conducive to my sitting still so I surrendered to the beat as I chanted and it turned more into a dance with no other thought than the chant. It felt a little like listening to Native American drumming. Maybe it's because I love to dance, but I could not sit still as I chanted to the beat! I haven't decided if this is better to do as my morning or evening meditation. I will experiment and see what feels best. 

I suppose meditation is not limited to sitting still on a pillow, right?.

Either way, I quite enjoyed myself. I may stick with this for a bit and see what if anything unfolds into my experience as a result.  Considering my current financial issues, I am open to attracting abundance and prosperity from any means the Universe wishes to send it! Enjoy.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Theme Song of The Week: "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett

I pay homage to the geek in me by choosing Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation"-the theme song from the NBC tv series "Freaks and Geeks" as my theme song of the week!  Enjoy!

I don't give a damn 'bout my reputation
You're living in the past, it's a new generation
A girl can do what she wants to do and that's what I'm gonna do
An' I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not me
An' I don't give a damn 'bout my reputation
Never said I wanted to improve my station
An' I'm only doin' good when I'm havin' fun
An' I don't have to please no one
An' I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not me, oh no, not me
I don't give a damn 'bout my reputation
I've never been afraid of any deviation
An' I don't really care if ya think I'm strange
I ain't gonna change
An' I'm never gonna care 'bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not me, oh no, not me
Pedal boys!
An' I don't give a damn 'bout my reputation
The world's in trouble, there's no communication
An' everyone can say what they wanna say
It never gets better, anyway
So why should I care 'bout a bad reputation anyway?
Oh no, not me, oh no, not me
I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation
You're living in the past, it's a new generation
An' I only feel good when I got no pain
An' that's how I'm gonna stay
An' I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not me, oh no, not me
Not me, not me




"Il dolce far niente"/"The Sweetness of Doing Nothing" Is The Best Description of this Day

Sometimes, life can get so stressful worrying about bills, responsibilities, goals yet to be met that we sometimes forget to simply relax and BE. Despite some things I could have done, I decided to embrace one of the lessons of "Eat. Pray. Love" and indulge in "Il dolce far niente" a.k.a. "the sweetness of doing nothing.".

I started off the morning with an impromptu trip to "House of Secrets: Comics & Toys" in Burbank. I grew up on a healthy dose of Xmen and Avengers comics. However, as I moved from Philadelphia to California, I lost touch with my geeky pleasure only allowing myself to indulge via the movies of  Xmen and The Avengers.

As I explored youtuber Neil McNeil's channel, I felt the urge returning as he mentions this comic book shop as part of his Wednesday ritual. It stood out because  his Wednsday ritual consists of stopping off at House of Screts before heading off to a bar in Burbank to do trivia. Strangely enough, the trivia bar is literally two blocks from my apartment so it left an impression.:) What are the odds I would randomly follow some vlogger and he ends up living in my town driving around places I know? Weird but fun at the same time. It has allowed me to discover numerous interesting spots in my own city to check out on my own. In another interesting coincidence I came across a vlog by Amy Dallen on LGBT characters in comics.  As it turns out she actually works at the comic book shop.  It was a bit surreal talking to someone who you've been listening to on YouTube. Amy was oh so sweet and just as knowledgeable and helpful as she appeared to be in her vlog.  Unfortunately, the comic I came to get was currently out of my budget range (for now) so I settled for a new issue of the X-Men just for fun. I will definitely be back.

 Strange as it may seem, it was wonderful taking time for myself to just be the geek that I truly am and browse a comic book shop and in a way merge my current YouTube self-education into the "everyday-ness" of my life.  Who says I can't enjoy comics agaon? After all what is the point of life if you don't live it with joy?

Amy was truly a sweetheart. I picked her brain on how she learned about video editing and she gave me a lead to follow.  Thanks, Amy!

If you are ever having a comic book craving, be sure to check out House of Secrets in Burbank.