Thursday, June 26, 2014

Re-Investing In What Matters to Me- Beyond Just Getting By

I have been in a very reflective mood as I endeavor to course correct my life. The last few months of 2013 gave me the taste of success as an actor with small parts on television that reminded me why I am living on my own, far from family, pursuing a dream that gives me a fulfillment I can hardly put into words. Yet those moments of fulfillment are so few and far between. It's like having a cool glass of water while walking through the Sahara. Once you have finished, you start to feel like that glass of water might have been a mirage until you find that next drink. Sometimes it is a real challenge to find the motivation to stay optimistic.  

What is the balance one must strike between paying the bills, having a social life, and being an artist in whatever derivation you are inspired to pursue?

I have wanted to be an actor for as long as I could remember. Back when my childhood bullies made life a living hell, the dream of being someone who could create a character and be part of a film or television story that helped people to escape their troubles for a moment was the BIG DREAM!

I found my way from Philadelphia to the promised land of  Los Angeles with a detour to San Francisco to get my training and upon my return to the City of Angels, my career as an actor was born. It was hard to say goodbye to San Francisco and the life of a student and hello to the life of a "Professional Actor". That was many moons ago... even if it feels like yesterday, it definitely was not. Much life has happened from graduation from the "conservatory" to now. Ah life. Nothing prepares you for the realities of life like LIFE. I have fallen in love, left acting, mourned the death of my first real love, grieved longer than I realized, and upon waking up from that self-imposed exile of grief, decided to return to being an actor.

Not sure why I just went on a recap of my life up until now. I just know I am going through one of those moments of "waking up" to my life. Ever have one of those? For me it is when I get lost in the day to day drudgery of paying my bills and making ends meet that I slip into a mental/spiritual coma. This coma was very much like that overextended period of grief where life went by but did not have much flavor to it. Ya know what I'm saying?

In an effort to get the flavor back, I made the decision to reconnect to my view of my life as a spiritual journey which abruptly slammed to a dead stop when my love passed.  Nevertheless, I began an exploration of Science of Mind which brought me to the unexpected discovery of how much I have defined my world view as a victim. I honestly had no clue, I had thought I had put those feelings to bed years ago only to have the unexpected realization that I really just replaced one bully for another in one of those unconscious repeat of pattern things you think is just bullshit until you see it active in your life!

Talk about mind-blowing. No one really thinks of themselves as being a victim until you are forced to listen to your self-talk and stop rationalizing and justifying why you are entitled to feel how you feel and objectively see what your mind is revealing to you. It has been all a long. I just was unwilling to listen to what it was really saying. It is ironic that all this began to unfold in May around my birthday.  An opportunity for a rebirth of some kind perhaps?

So  yes, while I took a 10 week course on prosperity, which I mentioned in a prior blog post, all this childhood bullying bullshit rose from the depths of my memory like a toxic leak just begging to be removed permanently from my consciousness.

I made a decision to put that tired old story to bed and allow a new one to emerge. Instead of a "Victim's Tale of Woe", I am starting the first chapters of a Hero's Journey.

In this Hero's Journey, my body is 50 pounds lighter, with a few more rippling toned muscles and an actual social life. I will be honest, these chapters will take more than a minute to be written but I am enjoying watching new sides of myself emerge as my perspective of life has made a dramatic change. Life is no endless Pride Festival but it is more like being AWAKE after a long long coma like sleep. A little physical therapy may be needed to get the various muscles working in mind and body but that is to be expected from any coma patient:)

The next stage is really reengaging in my life as an artist. Yes I am a professional actor but, what do I want my career to look like professionally and artistically? I think I was a little too afraid to ask myself these questions seriously out of fear. Today, I know that I cannot get where I want to go if I don't define my road map. I can always take a detour but unless I have a map created, I will be doomed to wander in the desert aimlessly. Thanks to the 10 week workshop, I have a vision statement of things I want to accomplish but now,  I need to map out the next steps to get my Hero's Journey started 

The difference between success and failure is all in the planning. Yes, I want to enjoy the journey. I also want to see what the journey looks like.

This has been a slow period that will soon be picking up as we move into July so, now is the perfect time to start doing a little map-making.

"Live Without Regret." That is my new motto.

My life continues to unfold perfectly and has led me to this present moment . I might as well embrace every element of my past: "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." I may not want to re-live it but it was meant to be because it happened and I cannot change it.  Why pretend it didn't exist when just letting go of the power I give it to define my present is enough?.   

How can I be the best actor I can be? How do I make a five line part just as meaningful as a leading role?  These are the questions I am looking forward to answering over the coming weeks and months.

As long as you wake up each morning, you might as well LIVE!

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