Nothing seems quite as bad once you get on your bike and ride. 

I’ve been avoiding the fresh air, the physical exertion required. I’ve been complaining of the cold weather and of how lazy I’ve been – which the two shouldn’t necessarily correlate – but I let it. I let it all happen.

But today I jumped back on my bike and I biked for a good 40 minutes. I was exhausted upon arrival home. I was exhausted riding the way there – but it was a marvelous exhaustion. 

And the entire ride I kept thinking to myself about the basic logic of a bike – in order to stay balanced you have to keep moving (once the training wheels come off) and well my training wheels are off 

and thus every day I need to remind myself that I have to keep moving – in order to keep this crazy life balanced I have to keep moving forward and not get stuck in the past. I can’t pause when I’m upset or worried or afraid. I have to ride forward.

I have to go to work and deal. I have to keep the smile on my face and let anything negative go to the wayside. I need to get up in the morning, drink my cups of coffee, go to bed when its close to midnight, I need to go to rehearsals, have surgeries here and there, go to auditions. I need to fail and fall and get right back up because no one will stop to help me up. No one will wait for me. 

I won’t even wait for me. 

So thus I move forward.

Today I auditioned for something that would be magnificent (though its unlikely I’ll be called back unless I was much more impressive than I think I was), I taught a class all on my own and was told that I’m doing a good job – that my program is going well and that my techniques are impressive, I made cuts to a copy of 12th Night for my very own summer project and have plans to cut down a copy of Midsummer so very soon, and above all the weather is looking up so I’m looking up.

My nails are pink and black with sparkles, it was opening day for the Brewers, Milwaukee is unfolding around me and I’m excited for the changes ahead. 

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It’s always nice to embark upon a new theatrical journey – because in that new journey there is freshness, variety, something exciting, something new to look forward to –

now this is not saying that life itself isn’t an adventure, isn’t full of excitement, its merely that  a new play, a new director, a new cast feels exactly as I’ve said “new” and it feels like change. 

But it’s also nice when the play has a major message that not only will affect the audience we do it for, but also the actor that I am personally.

The major reason I agreed to this project was because I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to learn, to develop, to experience theatre that is out of the ordinary for me to do.

It’s a play I would never have imagined doing. Sarah Kane. 

I’ve never heard of the playwright before the auditions for this – and upon reading the play we were about to do I didn’t feel particularly fond of the show – but then I heard the cast read the show, I heard the discussions as everyone unfolded their emotions about the piece and the more I learned the fonder I became. 

This play is full of imagery of violence and sex – but the play is all about the language, the words. And I’m in love with words (anyone who knows me knows that). This play is all about the damaging nature of the words. You are meant to see the violence and sex but feel that the negative words and language used throughout are much stronger, much harsher. 

There is violence in language – and that violence is something that cuts deeper than any physical harm can. 

Now I know physical violence is damaging, it is life-threatening and I am in no way promoting that – not at all – but there’s an important truth in the power that words have over our human race.

There’s something to be said about what we can do to one another without laying a singular finger on each other.

 

Just some food for thought. 

I’m sitting on my little couch – my eyes are a tad blurred over and my heart is beating a tad faster than usual. I can’t decide if I’m warm or if I’m perfectly all right. Though I’m positive I’m not cold. 

I worked out for maybe 15 minutes by walking to the park, doing some jumping jacks, then realizing it is still below 40 degrees and I shouldn’t be standing outside for that long – thus I walked back home. Maybe 20 minutes. Maybe that all amounted to 20 minutes but I’m thoroughly convinced I’m not doing enough to keep my body from exploding into an image I fear it will become. 

Yet my boyfriend would assure me I’m just fine. 

And this – this has become the story of my life.

My obsession with my appearance. 

I feel tired – so I must have done something today, right? I wandered around the world spending more of my money than I should’ve. I’ve bought new bras. I’ve bought some bamboo to beautify my desk space. Our apartment is coming alive with plant life – its beautiful – and yet I sit here convinced I haven’t done enough today. 

I’ve researched grad schools (Boston keeps popping up) and I’ve started making cuts to a script I plan on somehow mounting this summer (and that terrifies me).

I’ve cut out resumes to glue onto the back of headshots (as soon as I get some glue since I can’t find the glue I was convinced I had) 

I even painted my nails. 

I never paint my nails, but for the first time they’re longer than they’ve ever been before (since I’ve always been a chronic nail biter) and thus I got excited. 

I wore a dress today. I felt for a minute like I used to always feel all the time. 

Perhaps I’m coming back into that feeling.

Perhaps this new season will bring back the wonder and excitement I’ve been missing (along with a change of pace in terms of career/work).

Yeah, I think that’ll do it. 

But today…..I don’t really know where I’m going with all this. Today was simply a good day. I feel strange now, but there are so many reasons for that – one being I probably am legitimately exhausted. The life I currently lead is a little bit exhausting – I’m overworking myself and not always with the things I love the most – I don’t sleep enough. I have a hard time laying still without thinking about some problem, some issue, some extra fat on my stomach, some itch to write, some project idea that must be discussed that very moment – its hard for me to sit still…….

and yet I feel I do it all the time.

I’ve sure got a complicated outlook in this silly little head of mine. 

and I have no idea where it’s leading me.

What will I become? Who will I be?

a published writer?

a mother?

an off-broadway actress?

a broadway actress?

a theatre teacher?

a director?

a photographer?

is there a dream I don’t even realize yet?

too. many. ideas. 

the senses of my life:

the smell of fresh coffee beans (not even ground up) just the freshly roasted beans pouring out of a thick plastic bag,

the sound of a cat’s purr – soft and delicate, yet strong enough to vibrate through your entire body

the sight of the sun rising or falling – no matter which direction – it still casts the most beautiful paintings across the backdrop 

baby’s laughing,

coffee grinders, 

pages turning,

fresh rain

and that rain on pavement,

clean sheets,

warm milk,

stage makeup,

stained jeans,

ripped edges,

the tearing of pages in the background,

the feeling of paint 

 

no – that’s a sense that I miss.

that’s something I’ve let go of.

why have I let go?

where has it gone?

 

…..is it gone? 

Today I passed my 300-level certification test as a barista – I get a raise and a free t-shirt and more time making drinks for customers since now I have officially proven that I am capable of making drinks of the right weight, temperature, and consistency.

Yes, there was so much more to this world than I ever realized.

Yes, it is exciting – but here’s the thing – I’m not nearly as ecstatic about this event as I was about the mere prospect of being a teacher for First Stage Summer Academy yesterday. 

The prospect of success made me more excited than this success. 

So maybe I’m just tired and lower energy today – but really – if I’m going to be real with myself this (though marvelous) means less to me. Perhaps it means less because its not my dream, perhaps it means less to me because half the time when I’m at work I’m upset and feeling like no one believes in me. It’s hard to go to work day in and day out with people who make you feel incapable, incompetent, and bring down the general energy of the space. 

But besides all that – I’ve accomplished something. I can add it to my resume. I’m building.

And at some point where I’m building will change. It has to change because its starting to feel like the wrong place to build.

And on another note: a reminder I have been mumbling under my breath – Focus on me, don’t worry about anyone else. Focus on myself, let go of what other people think, and keep going as myself. Only myself. 

I really need to focus solely on myself and not worry about what is going on around me – what people are saying about me or perhaps how people are saying things to my face – I need to let all of it go and focus on the work I’m doing

Lately I know that I have been letting the negative feelings get to me and I’ve been performing below my normal standards – I’ve been letting the eyes of someone who may not approve of me cause me to stumble and fumble. I’ve been allowing someone else to dictate how I feel, I’ve been allowing someone else to steal happier moments from me in order to spend time ranting and raving about the awful things they’ve done to me. 

I’m wasting my precious blog space even mentioning them briefly.

This is not worth my time.

It is not worth my worry, my emotions – this is not what my life or art is going to be about.

And thus I refocus – on me. 

I am a 22 year old professional artist with an official barista certification – I can make you a beautiful cappuccino, I write poetry, I can stand up in front of you and recite Shakespeare, a week from today I get my wisdom teeth out and I’m ready for some time spent on the couch watching television or an absurd amount of netflix. 

In a matter of months I will be transferring to another cafe, I will be working in some form at First Stage Theatre Academy, and I will be searching for the next step in my life – the next place where I will grow. I have grown through my work as a barista and I will continue to do so. But I have come to remember that this coffee shop job was all about making sure I could stay in Milwaukee, making sure I could keep my life together and rent an apartment. It was never about the job – it was never the plan – it was never a goal. It merely came to be. 

And thus it will end to be. 

Passion – one of my favorite words in the entire world and yet as of late I haven’t felt what it really means. I haven’t felt excitement or forward progression. I’ve lost the idea of direction and felt sub-par for quite some time. 

Fear – that’s what I’ve been living in. Fear of moving the wrong direction, fear of troubles, problems, issues, worries. 

But today, I walked back into a place I’ve missed – I walked towards a familiar face and discussed my dreams and passions. I talked about everything that I hope, that I dream, that I want. 

I was reminded. I was given the boost I needed.

I’ve felt down and out, I’ve felt completely out of myself – but today I felt the world in a different place. I wanted to jump up and down, I wanted to run around town, I wanted to go, to move, to celebrate. 

Thank you world for that reminder

and now that I know, that I can pinpoint where my excitement and passion comes from I insist up keeping it. Grabbing it and refusing to let go. 

a love letter to myself

there are dreams and goals slowly bubbling to the surface

popping before my eyes with

“how?”

“how? how?” 

there’s always a way,

a means to an end,

a dream worth fighting for 

– and I know it’s all about money –

– and I know it’s all about numbers –

but that’s only the matter which the world looks upon,

those are only the pages in the book of 

capitalism,

economy,

nothing having to do with journal pages

or these virtual, created my the mind’s eye pages –

these are made for memories,

for thoughts,

for the things that don’t cost a dime,

for the nights where I can’t eat more than a peanut butter sandwich.

when I can’t drink more than a $5 bottle of wine 

those are my goals

my dreams

my hopes

to not make money,

but to make memories, choices, differences 

inspiration

that word has rang in my head since the day I stepped foot in a theatre –

to inspire –

my one and only goal

overarching objective 

so here’s to the new tactics,

to the new hopes.

I want to travel, to learn, to fly, to paint, to dance, to laugh,

to remain in the love I know

and to keep close to those who love me. 

 

What I’ve done and where I’m at

My mouth is aching, my head is fuzzy and reeling. I’ve barely written on this blog over the past few months and I haven’t stepped foot in the gym that I pay $40 dollars a month for in approximately a month. 

I’ve closed a show. We completed the run with relative success and my next project begins in t-minus 7 days. A very small part, but a very interesting play, and a director worth connecting with. 

Other than that – my mind is incapable of focusing on a single idea, my apartment feels messy, my car is full to the brim of ridiculous things, my cats meow whenever I’m at home, and as I’ve said my mouth is more often than not ringing with pain. 

I’m to the point where I don’t understand why life doesn’t have built in breaks.

Sure that’s whiney. Sure that’s the former student speaking in me, but there is something very necessary about a break here and there to recuperate. We can’t keep running constantly and without built in breaks its hard to build them in myself. 

Right now I could go for a built in break. Several days off to get these god damn teeth taken out, to lay on the couch, to be drugged up and not trying to fight through it (which is what has happened the past few days) – to just breath.

And then to figure out how to restart. To workout. To get back on top of my body and my determinations. 

I’m sick of being exhausted. I’m sick of fighting through pain. 

I’m sick. More than likely sick. 

I will say ‘Being an Artist’ is proving to be a wild ride. 

I knew it would be. I often talk with other artists and we all reflect on how being an actor, being a director, being a designer, being in the arts tends to be one of the hardest careers. 

Hard on a multitude of levels.

I know I am doing well. I know I am successful. But I do know that it isn’t getting easier and I cannot wait to get my teeth out.

After that – I’m ready for a summer of fun, teaching, and my very own show. 

Here’s what I know:

the sunset was striped today with warm and vibrant colors

streaking against the buildings like paint dripping across

the glass windows and doors 

my cat refuses to quiet down 

and sits at the front door or in the bath tub

crying to the walls for 

what….

I don’t know.

I can’t imagine. 

The world is spinning with work,

coffee cups,

and scripts unraveling on my lap.

plans and hopes for the future

and dreams of more sleep 

with the softest pillow beneath my head

and perhaps hands against my waist,

hands against my face. 

 

Another month,

another day,

another morning 

coffee cup to my lips 

there’s always another

one more sip

and one more bite

pulling on my dark wash jeans 

another wear

another rinse

there is more than this moment

and there is less than you think 

another chance will come

another second will pass

and it will amount to everything

and nothing

all at once. 

it passes quickly,

its all fleeting

and thus

beautiful. 

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