more = less, becoming a minimalist…

August 15, 2010

I’ve decided to become a minimalist.  Let me explain.

My producer and I have been staying in the flat of a physics graduate student in Edinburgh.  The place is very simple and not huge.  The front door is beat up and the turquoise paint is chipping.  There is no dishwasher or dryer for our clothes.  I miss my daughter and husband very much, yet I feel very content.

This is in contrast to how I’d been feeling in New York: stressed, trapped and hot.  This was probably due to the heat wave and also due to planning this Scottish endeavor.  But I also feel that it was a bit deeper.

Lately, my husband has been very grumpy and his feelings affect me.  He works VERY HARD at work and  it is VERY STRESSFUL.  This made us unhappy.  On paper, we have everything going for us:  We live in a great apartment, we love each other, we find each other attractive (after a kid, that is no small feat).  We have all material things that we could possibly want.

But contentment alluded us.  The cycle starts with someone pointing out something that isn’t quite right in the house and then the whole thing gets blown up into a stupid argument.

I demanded that my husband needs to take breaks from work.  He’s not innately a grumpy person.  He’s the most handsome, wonderful, funny, sexy man in the universe.  But when stress gets to him, it’s a bummer.

And I came across this website:

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

And it confirmed everything that I’d been feeling.  We have too much stuff.  Buying stuff doesn’t buy happiness and I believe it actually increases unhappiness and clutter.

Instead of going faster we need to go slower.

Instead of complaining, we need to give gratitude for everything we have.

What’s important are the things that are invisible:  love, friendship, compassion, laughter, experiences…

Here’s the original article that I came across:

http://rowdykittens.com/2010/08/becoming-minimalist/

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Lissa Rankin – Inspiring FB info…

August 15, 2010

I met Lissa at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts and came across her inspiring FB profile:

I am an OB/GYN, an artist, a writer, and a workshop facilitator. I am also a mother, a practitioner of yoga, a wife, a chauffeur, a sister, a candlemaker, a jeweler, a hiker, and a cook. First and foremost, I am a woman, and like many women, I once thought I had to put myself in a box and choose who to be. But I now accept that, while I am all of these things, no single identity defines me. I am more than what I do. As women, we all struggle with who we really are and whether our lives reflect our truest selves. I now strive to be authentic, in all aspects of my life, whether I’m writing or painting or healing or teaching, and I encourage others to do the same.


Edinburgh…New York’s got nothing on you…

August 15, 2010

Don’t get me wrong, I love New York through and through.  But this Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a whole ‘nother animal.

There are over 2,400 shoes happening on a given day and some have A-list stars or fire breathing with burlesque acrobats.  What makes you so special?

I’ve done one week of performing, of selling myself, of going out and physically getting audiences to come to my show.  I’ve gotten over my fear of self promotion.  Of acting physically silly in order to get people’s attention.  I don’t have an email blast to send to friends and family.  I am performing in front of strangers from all over the world and this is exactly what I wanted.

My senses have become sharper.  We’re always thinking about the next time we can promote ourselves.  I need to take care of myself so I don’t get fatigued, wonky or sick.  I’m performing for two weeks straight and it’s the closest thing I’ve done to a Broadway-type run…something over a longer duration and consistently.

This is an actor initiation for me.  This separates the weak and the strong.  On any given day I fall into either category.

I admire ALL people who have come to this Fringe.  The young, the old, the professionals, the students.  Most importantly, I’ve learned how to appreciate to perform for the very sake of performing, no matter what the circumstances.  I’ve been learning a lot from students who are performing for the sheer love of it.  Yes, they might care about reviews on some level, but more importantly, they are filled with joy.  They have smiles on their faces and they bounce about with excited energy.  After being in a city surrounded by everyone “TRYING TO MAKE IT” this joy and energy is quite wonderful to be around.

I met a student from Oxford who decided to pursue his love of acting.  He had the opportunity to get a full post doc degree in Icelandic Studies.  He decided to forget about that and go for his acting career.  He admitted it was completely mad…but he wouldn’t have it any other way.


Update

July 26, 2010

Long time no speak.  I’ve had three successful solo shows here in New York City.

I’m headed to Scotland Aug. 3 for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and will be away from my daughter and husband for 10 days.  I feel terrible about it and regret entering into this festival.  That said, I feel more aware of my love and moments that we, as a family, are sharing together.

Sometimes I wake up with a dread and wonder, why am I doing this?  I don’t want to go to Scotland!  I don’t want to direct these people to film my trailer or get a marketing plan together.  All’s I want to do is relax!  But I force myself to switch my mind and focus on the moment.  Not on the future or the past.  When I refocus, I realize it’s the fear that has been beating in the background that is the source of my dread.  The fear of leaving the most precious thing to me in the world:  my family.

The way I’m dealing with this is meditating, taking care of myself and breathing.  If my mind wanders, I take a breath and focus on exactly what I’m doing at that moment.


Going 100%

May 19, 2010

I’ve been doing side jobs.  I felt I needed “real work” to sustain while being an actress/mom.  The problem:  is that it’s exhausting.

I just started reading OVERCOMING UNDER EARNING by By Barbara Stanny and it’s really challenged the way I’ve thought about myself as an actress and my relationship with money.

Stanny believes that as artists, we are put on this earth with our God-given talents for a reason. If we go with “conundrum thinking”: pushing forward while clinging for safety, it prevents us from really going for what we’re passionate about.  Then we never really “go 100%” with our passions and fulfill a prophecy of not making enough money with our art.

When I read that, my need to have a second job fell out of my body.  I physically felt a the fear released and a renewed sense of focus and courage.

I have an outside day job project I need to taper down…but moving forward I’m focusing on PASSION, 100%, without doubts.  This is a *new* thing.

Let’s see how it goes.


The Naked Truth

May 18, 2010

Just got my period.  Have a nude scene on Thursday.  YIPEE!!


Seventh Months away…

May 18, 2010

It’s been seven months since we’ve moved back to Manhattan and life has definitely taken a turn for the better.

My husband is happy, I’m happy and Baby M is happy.

Lately, I’ve been auditioning at least 2-3x per week for legit work, booking work (just booked a principal role on a cable show, yay!).  I’ve been blessed to reconnect with old friends I haven’t seen for a few years and we’re really inspiring each other.

My solo show is going to Europe in August…I am pinching myself.  Could moving back to Manhattan be so beneficial to my entire family?

YES!

I need to be around people who are doing “their thang”.  Whatever that is:  art, finance, literature, media, jewelry making…whatever.  I just want to be around that passion and energy.

I’m thanking God, Goddess, Allah, Buddha…the universe for where I am right now.  Thank you.


Why we sometimes need day jobs…

February 27, 2010

The city has been covered in snow for the past two days and I have been covered in vomit.

Baby M is sick and it’s not been pretty.  My finger has the pediatrician on speed dial.

In other developments, I got a call from a woman who is interested in interviewing me for a position at a recruiting firm.  If I get an awesome offer, I’ve decided I would accept it.

Here are my reasons for getting a day job:

1. It creates a system or framwork. Taking a shower, brushing my teeth and putting together an outfit will be systemized.  Instead of floundering with a pounding heart and adrenaline rushing through my clouded mind   I’ll have an audition, I’ll already be fresh and pressed.  People who don’t have children do not understand HOW HARD IT IS.  As my friend who owns a restaurant said, going to work was like a vacation.

I’m looking at my personal life and a career through the prism of a business person.  Are the systems working properly?  What can be improved?  I realized that ad hoc prep for an audition while being a stay at home mom does not work.

2.  Change is good.  Stagnant water is not. I’ve been an actress and a stay at home mother for almost 17 months now.  If I stayed doing what I’m doing I feel that I would be run to the ground and quit acting forever. Will this be the right answer?  I’m not sure but I’m willing to change it up and try it.  If it works, great.  If not, then at least I tried.

3.  I’m in this for the long haul. Ironically by getting a day job, it will allow me to be in the acting business for the long haul.  I take my creativity, my writing and my acting very seriously and right now these things are being seriously compromised.  I do not want to sew, make crafts, learn how to cook and clean better.  I want to act and write.  Period.  If I do not get out of the house, this ain’t happening.

4.  I’m listening to my gut. Other people have repeatedly told me that I should stay home.  That I’m lucky (I know I am) to have a child and a husband who can provide for us.  One woman is older with two grown children.  Another is a person with no children.  I realized I have to make a choice which is right for me and my family.

Anyway…this is what is on my mind.


Transition from little pond to big pond…

February 6, 2010

For the past three years I was in the burbs and hated it.  I hemmed and hawed and complained.

I’m in the city.  I got my wish.  I’m no longer complaining.

Moving was slightly rough but I can honestly say that moving back to Manhattan has been the best thing for my family, for me personally and of course, my acting career.

I’m enrolled in classes, I’m doing readings, I’m seeing screeners.  I just updated my reel (I had no idea I could act!), I’m updating my website, I’m writing…I’m humming.


Audition with a baby…

December 16, 2009

God bless my agent who snagged me an audition (as a COLLEGE STUDENT) for The Good Wife.  I got it the night before and I fretted big time because I don’t have a babysitter.  I feared I would have to skip it.  My agent gently told me to go because she didn’t want me to miss any legit auditions.

And so we went.

It was way downtown and I decided to drive down there.  And for some reason the drive was smooth and everything went really well.  Baby M happily munched on Cheerios while I signed in and looked over my lines.  I changed her once, I gave her something to eat.  I had no nerves because I was busy caring for her.

The audition itself was almost an afterthought.  It was really a fun process.  The actors around us were really kind and one woman actually watched Maddie before I went into the room.

This gave me a little boost I needed.  Lately I’ve been wondering what the heck I was doing with my life and if I should even bother being an actress.  I’ve decided this business, as crazy as it is, is the life for me.  It’s not for the weak.  It’s for those with an iron-clad stomach and skin thick as elephant toenails.  Neither is being a mother.  So…it makes sense these two things go hand in hand.