Friday, July 29, 2011

Being the Calm Collected One - Not Me!

I love watching action movies where there's a bank robbery scene and everyone's on the floor cowering for cover.  The camera fixates itself on the hero of the flick plotting and waiting for his opportunity to take out the would-be bank robbers without putting himself or anyone else in danger.  When the opportunity arises, the slow-motion action star gets up off the floor, disables his nearest opponent, takes his gun, wraps his arm around his foe's neck, and uses him as a shield as he back his way towards the door let everyone out while he sprays the bad guys with bullets.  As shots are fired back, not one round scratches our hero because not only does he have ex-covert ops military training but Lady Luck is on his side as well.  He perfectly finishes the enemy with bullet holes in the bad guys' heads (center of the forehead) and discharges the smoking cartridge from his weapon.  He then looks at his love interest barely getting up after the melee and smiles.  His love interest winks at him and says, "Well, that's one way of getting my attention!" The camera pans out of the scene as police rush in unnecessarily and get the people out to cheering crowd.  Triumphant music plays as our hero drapes himself with his woman and an American flag.  Fade to black.

Too bad none of that shite happens in real life...

I used to think I am a level-headed person when I get into a crisis.  I'd pride myself as a leader of sort when looking at the flight attendant's eyes and saying to her, "Yes.  I've heard the instructions on the placard and can life more than 20 lbs. in the event of an emergency."  I would watch Lost and say, "Oh, I could do Jack's job.  Lead these fawkers off the island?  Noooooo problem."  Who the fawk am I kidding?!

I am learning more and more that if everything is cruising quite nicely, I make an excellent leader.  If a few things go wrong and there are bumps on the way, I'm still a pretty good leader.  But if the shite goes down within 2-3 seconds, I'm a freakin' useless idiot as I go through 7 emotions as once and my mind races to the most negative thought I can think regarding the situation.  It kinds sucks having to come to that realization as I now recognize that I'm becoming even more mortal in my older age.

It got me thinking.  You never know how you'll react until you put yourself into those situations where you test your inner will to survive and thrive.  Things that fall into this category for me:

  • What would I do if just saw a horrific traffic accident and see that a car is on fire?  Would I go out of my way to save the person?

  • If a gunman was holding my family hostage, would I try to be the hero or would I beg and plead for them to leave us alone?

  • I'm in a car that goes off a cliff into the sea.  Would I be clam enough to remember that the power windows and locks work even a car is submerged or would I try to kick out the back window in vain?

  • Would I sacrifice myself to the aliens that come down and try to take everyone I hold dear to me back to their planet for mating purposes?  Would I ever utter the line, "If you want someone to mate with...cot damn it...take me...just leave them out of it."?

  • It's hard to say.  I get mind flustered on simple shite like the air conditioner breaking or my  basement flooding.  I can't get my brain to calm down when I think Lola's gone missing on one of her sunbathing expeditions. I never associated myself with someone who would panic in a situation.  Now I've learned that I would.

    I need to work on being calm, collected, and fearless.  Living in the moment is going to be the best way of doing it.  Off to the bank!

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Afraid Of The Help

    I wake up almost every day feeling overwhelmed.  I created a gravity well of stuff I feel I have to do.  I feel ike I "have" to do something proactive every day.  I spend a ton of energy on these items (in no particular order):
    • Theatre (directing, acting, writing, booking, promoting)
    • Maintaining the landscaping
    • Doing Laundry (it never fawking ends!)
    • Cleaning up the house (this also never fawking ends!)
    • Work
    • Play with my kids
    • Call my friends & family
    • Create online content (music/video/pictures)
    • Home repairs
    I wish I had a bloody assistant!  I have too many freaking things on my plate.  People tell me I don't delegate enough.  That is true.  However, I have also learned that many of the items I list above don't get done (or get done way to slowly) unless I do them myself or have someone tied to them who's invested emotionally with the item.  That's not a diss to anyone I work with on some of these things for they do their best to help out; however, I apoerate at different level than most with my expectations  and schedule to complete things.  I expect that these tasks are priority items when people help me out, and many times those same people don't see it that way.  I guess it's the nature of the beast.  The cliche holds true: good people are hard to find.  I am grateful for what help I do get but many times I wake up feeling helpless.

    With that said, I hold the mantle for feeling this way.  I put too much emphasis on the future when I should probably be focusing on the task at hand.  I tend to operate out of a place of fear which probably motivates me to get things done quickly fearing the whole time that those things will not get done.  I need to work on accepting that when I do get help that the timeline I want may not be fulfilled and not be afraid to ask people to do it more quickly (many of the items above are time-sensitive for optimal results).  I may rub people the wrong way biut if I can approach it from the perspective of business and not make it a personal issue, I think these feelings I am having will dissipate.

    But if I do get an assistant, she better be hot! :)

    Rebooting My Blogging Spirit!

    I was watching Dr. Drew's Celbrity Rehab yesterday and he had Bai Ling on there detailing history of abuse that she received in Tibet.  The biggest thing was that she was a journaler and was betrayed by an adult when that adult decided to read her most intimate thoughts aloud to everyone else in her camp; she refused to journal ever again.  I could see just how painful that was for her and it inspired me to rededicate myself to my blog.

    I was never a huge journaler.  It requires a ton of effort.  Mostly my motivation for journaling is to get folks to read it and tell me that they love what I have to say.  Even with that said, I know that it has helped me in other ways organize my thoughts and put stuff in perspective for me as I approach them.  The biggest thing it does is that it allows me to describe my weaknesses and faults in an organized manner.  The funny thing is, no one ever comments on those blogs where I feel like crap, hate the world or myself, or am just plain angry about something.  Yet they tell me about the stuff that to me are pretty innocuous items like having a good rehearsal or a good mean.  Apparently people gravitate towards positivity more easily ;-)

    With the whole Fall show writing circuit I'm on, I've realized I could be a much better writer overall.  I just need to practice.  This area will once again be one of my practice rounds.

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    I Guess You're Just What I Needed!

    I've been heads down in running Salsation for the last few months.  This year has been super exciting for me and personally satisfying.  we started with a great fundraiser to set the stage for our Fall show and Touring season.  We had fantastic general auditions to pick up some new talent (none of which were scrubs like we've had at previous auditions) and it was cool to see how enthusiastic people were about working with us.  The Fall show cast consists almost entirely of Ensemble and Artistic Associates which hasn't happened in quite a while (probably never since I've joined the group).  The Touring folks have been consistently about to rehearsals and learning the material given to them.  We've got a couple of confirmed touring shows and are working on bringing others on board, i.e. REVENUE!  Salsa-Sketch 4 will be back again this year along with work on our 2012 season.   Our "Salsaiton Presents" format is going to be tested with a new sketch show by Wig Believe.  I've started the Salsation Nation Podcast and have started producing video segments as well.  Provided no one gets hit by the proverbial bus, we should be in good shape going into the next year!!!!

    Artistically, I'm being challenged in my writing/contributions for the Fall show by our director Johnnie Hildreth, one of my Conservatory instructors.  Apparently I'm all about writing blackouts lately.  It's getting me to doubt myself and start puishing myself to bring in material to make the show.  It's an interesting dichotomy.  I know that the stuff I'm bringing in will work but it's just not "good enough" - I trust Johnnie's judgement and guidance to know something I don't so that we have a killer show this year :)  So, back to the drawing board, ya big dummy!

    I feel the pull of trying to do more than one show at a time getting stronger.  I've been pretty good about not doing so as quite frankly, Salsation is a full time job lately.  I want to get into another musical improv show/production.  I want to shoot some video.  I want to write some songs.  It's nuts.  However, I want to be a good Dad above all so thank gawd I've got a loving wonder wife that allows me to do this one (and labrious) thing.  She's awesome.

    I feel pretty lucky to be doing what I do.