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scent of recovery.

i’ve felt off the pace lately. i think since my castle episode, i’d fallen into something of a slump. i mean, things haven’t been that bad really… i got to see my parents, i’ve started exercising and eating healthier, and work is steady. but i’ve been pissed off and frustrated. i should know by now things go in cycles. but at the same time, i’m regular at this to know that when you’re down in the cycle, it never feels like it’s going to end. even if you know it will.

truth is… when my acting engine isn’t running… everything else suffers. my judgement, self worth, drive and ambition all get corrupted. it’s scary this time around though, because getting into class with alex billings had always solved everything. not this time. i can’t ever put a proper finger on it, but i get angry. like someone’s holding my soul hostage. funnily enough, it’s always myself. and in addition, the anger and frustration itself is normally indication enough.

i was cleaning out my sydney and beatrice’s home today, and i started talking to them… yeah i talk to my rats. asking them what i should do to get out of my slump.

no response.

i asked more specific questions. do i need to get back into class?

nothing.

do i need to start getting out more and take a break?

nothing.

put on a film?

they both ran to the door and put their paws up.

whether coincidence that i’d started making my way towards the food bags or not, i took it as an idea. as i fed them, i threw on my favourite film. “scent of a woman”… and before the opening credits came on, the intro theme hit me. i sat and watched, and it just felt like a reset switch had been hit. it felt like i’d been reminded why i was here. end result thinking was getting to me. i hadn’t been giving myself the freedom and the “yes” that i’d been looking for in other people.

thanks sydney and beatrice… beatrice you’re still not to go into the kitchen.

click here for an awesome surprise

r.

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every step back wastes time put in stepping forward.

i’ve been in a funk this last quarter. i can’t put my finger on what it is. i don’t know why people (myself included) try and figure out what went wrong. do we think we’ll be able to avoid hard times in the future? unlikely. we don’t question things when they go well. but suddenly things take a bad turn, and we need to “figure it out”.

it’s not a coincidence though that my poor streak seemed to have been broken following a viewpoints class that i led on monday night. viewpoints for me, has always been about awareness. it’s not about doing more. it’s not about doing something to fix something else. it’s always been about being more aware of what you are doing, mentally, physically and emotionally.

i’ve been in my head in my acting. and with the way i approach my art, it filtered into everything else i did. my life, and my relationships. i wrote somewhere in my steppenwolf book “when you’re in your head, specific viewpoints will rescue you”. i remember it was as a result of an improv tip that eric hunicutt had given us. naturally, it’s not just improv that this works. it’s in everything.

as an actor, we face more rejection than most. as a person, our self defence mechanisms (whether validated or not) look to step back into safety when this happens… only to eventually recover to step forward again. this seems to scream inefficiency to me. what if in the face of every rejection, you stepped forward and saved the backwards step for the history books of things you used to do?

in these three months when things have been scarier and rougher than ever in my time in LA, i’d been frozen with fear. my viewpoints class seemed to awaken me to where i was going with my mind, body and soul. i realised, i’d been continually trying to go back to where it was safe, only to realise there is no refuge for me there. there is no recreation. there is only rediscovery. the faster i step forward… the faster i get out of this box.

and suddenly. i’m back.

i don’t need a reason.

r.

of course that’s what happened.

i’m a manchester united boy through and through. my dad’s a fan. and i’m a fan now. i’m not one of those bandwagon whore’s who jumped on after the 1999 treble. it’s something i have with my dad.

and english premier league football is hard to find here in the US. tv rights are hard to come by. i’ve driven to santa monica from k-town at 5am. i’ve left classes early to catch the game. i’ve left parties to get to a bar on time. all so i could watch the game. i never miss them. one way or another… i’ll get to the right place at kick off.

so when i finally purchased a single channel plan on my computer which allows me to see every game LIVE from my computer/phone/ipad, etc… i was over the fucking moon. I FINALLY PAID FOR FOOTBALL! FUCK WIN!

this was last tuesday.

for those of you not versed in the recent happenings of football. manchester united; the biggest, the proudest, and best team on the planet (no bias there) were bundled out of the champions league by basel. a swiss team with the collective talent of a broken garden gnome, thereby taking away HALF of the value of my new football channel subscription. losing at this stage of the tournament hasn’t happened since 05.

yeah. of course.

r.

urgent and important.

urgent stuff is always going to be there. that’s why it’s urgent. it needs your attention NOW.

IMPORTANT stuff will NOT always be there. there’s a window that closes every minute you leave it. great right? more time to focus on what’s urgent…

the problem is that a lot of people don’t realise that they choose urgent by default. important is scary.

you take urgent. i’ll handle important. see you at the finish.

r.

two ants lived in a sandbox.

one ant said to the other, “This is all there is to the universe.” The other ant looked defiantly at his friend and objected. “Bullshit. I believe outside of this sandbox, there are playgrounds, and buildings, and cities, and countries and ALL that.”

both ants died as ants in the sandbox.

knowledge in itself isn’t enough. we must do and apply. bruce lee said that… but i came up with the analogy.

r.

make sure you’re honest with yourself. then get what needs to be done… done.

say a lie long enough, and chances are you’ll start to believe it. that’s the brilliant and most terrible thing about the human mind. unfortunately, the heart is not quite so brilliant. it says one thing. over and over again. and it’s like a kid who doesn’t understand it’s not going to get what it wants.

we tell ourselves lies for millions of reasons. more so than we do to other people (even then we’re probably just telling them to further reinforce what we’re trying to tell ourselves).

more often than not, when our heart says we want something “i want to be an actor”… this is the point where we are most honest with ourselves. then… comes the mind. this clever fellow comes along and filters what we’ve learned in life, what we’ve experienced and seen, and have been taught… and spits out something different. “acting is really tough and far away, your family and friends will miss you, and besides, coca cola is paying you pretty well to stay right here in sydney”.

now, when these two guys start arguing, it can make you sick. they will never let up. ever. “this is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.” joker was on to something.

of course… going with your heart is going to piss you off. the pissed off feeling is going against your mind. whether you do that to yourself, or you sit there disagreeing, there’s going to be a fear ceiling that comes in the form of anger, rejection, “turning off”, etc. but chances are there’s going to be that voice in your heart that’s a whisper of truth. there’s power there. you’re responsible for your life. no one else.

so ask yourself. are you happy on the couch? are you happy in your school or job? are you happy in your relationship? what do you want to do? where do you want to be? how do i get there?

and get moving. period.

r.

 

Ross’ Big Gay Ohio Weekend (complete with GayMeter™)

Friday 24th September
7am {LA TIME}: fly out from LAX GayMeter™: 5/10
4pm {EST}: meet with Empire director Nick Corporon and cinematographer Collin Brazie GayMeter™: 6/10
730pm {EST}: watched feature film “the green” GayMeter™: 7/10
10pm {EST}: Dayton LGBT film festival opening party at Sidebar GayMeter™: 7.5/10

Saturday 25th September
1am {EST}: Dave Chappelle asks me how I’m doing and stumbles on through to the men’s room. GayMeter™: 1/10
3am {EST}: wake up with abdominal pains. GayMeter™: 3/10
5am {EST}: abdominal pains have turned into gut wrenching, tear inducing, leg cramping diarrhea. AWKWARDMeter™: 7/10
9am {EST}: more diarrhea AWKWARDMeter™: 8.5/10
11am {EST}: explain to hosts and friends I’m “ill” and need to rest. AWKWARDMeter™: 10/10
7pm {EST}: recover in time to view “tomboy”. GayMeter™: 7/10
9pm {EST}: watch “going down in la-la-land”  GayMeter™: 7.5/10
11pm {EST}: afterparty drinks at gay club “MJ’s cafe” complete with standard drag queens and strippers (male). GayMeter™: 8.5/10

Sunday 26th September
12pm {EST}: lunch with the Brazies and friends GayMeter™: 5/10
1pm {EST}: i sing along with Elton John’s hit “the one”  GayMeter™: 8/10
3pm {EST}: world premiere of “empire”  GayMeter™: 7.5/10
330pm {EST}: watch screening of “weekend”… complete with surprise anal sex scene and semen shot  GayMeter™: 9/10
9pm {EST}: convinced by nick corporon and collin brazie’s 16 year old sister lydia to watch glee… and enjoyed it.  GayMeter™: 10/10

Monday 27th September
530am {EST}: wake up… flight@815am… current ETA: 715am
555am {EST}: leave early to no traffic… flight@815am… current ETA: 7am
615am {EST}: mysterious traffic… flight@815am… current ETA: 730am
630am {EST}: fire trucks, ambulances, & police cars pass standstill traffic… flight@815am… current ETA: 745am
645am {EST}: pass four lane closing car accident… flight@815am… current ETA: 8am
750am {EST}: arrive at columbus airport to hear name over loud speaker as last remaining passenger. shit.
813am {EST}: make it to the gate. win.
815am {CDT}: arrive in chicago.
822am {CDT}: leave chicago o’hare airport and catch cab to white castle in des plaines on river road.
845am {CDT}: arrive at white castle and eat four sliders, an order of fries and a dr.pepper.
848am {CDT}: regret leaving the airport to go to white castle, spending 40 dollars in taxi fares in the process. StupidityMeter™: 10/10 
945am {CDT}: return to airport for flight back to LAX.
1230pm {LA TIME}: arrive back in LAX and proceed on foot to work @1800 dentist
1030pm {LA TIME} / 130am {EST}: finish work and proceed to drive home.

you read all this? wow.
r.