Did summer just happen? Wow oh Wow!!! And I have been so busy that I haven't had time to let you all in on what has been happening around here. So for your end of summer enjoyment here are the Five Gratitude Fairies of Summer!!!!!!
1. SUCH CREATURES - A FILM NOIR
Labor day of 2013 I received an email saying I was cast as the lead actor in this film. In June and July we finished principal photography for this film. There were several 12 hour shoots which went overnight. There were days in which I would work my J.O.B. and then shoot for 12 hours and then go back to working my J.O.B. But guess what? I LOVED every second of it. I was fascinated with all the terminology, the camera, the lighting - and then there is my side of it - the acting. I am so grateful. Can't wait for you all to see this. They hope to have the Chicago premiere in late September/early October 2014.
2. TAYLOR CASTLE PHOTOGRAPHY
One day you get an email from a photographer looking to build his portfolio. You arrange a time and head to the shoot. You have no idea what the shoot is about - there was even the thought that my death awaited me as soon as I entered the loft. I think they asked me if I had a wedding ring. That was all I knew. But I showed up. And look what they did to me!!! It was such a fun day. The photographer trusted me to have his boy strapped to me. With all these great toys and pacifiers. I love Saying Yes!!! Look what happens when you say YES!!! Cool photos like these happen!!
3. VOXFEST - DARTMOUTH UNIVERSITY
This was a special part of my summer. I am so grateful to Karisa Bruin for inviting me to be part of her proposal. She proposed that we go to VoxFest (an intensive theater laboratory held at Dartmouth) and that we show up with a blank slate for a script and that by the end of the week we would perform a show. We had Thom Pasculli as our director. We also used other Dartmouth alum Beth Blatt, Andrew Dahl and Hannah Chase as writers. I was the only one on our project not from Dartmouth. Plus, as you can see in the photo - standing next to Karisa and I, we had current students perform and write with us. It was a magical week. It was an exhausting week. I got to flex all types of creative muscles as well as develop a deeper creative relationship with those around me. VoxFest welcomed me with open arms and loved and nourished me. An incredible experience!! I hope I get invited next year!!
4. THE SELF-LOVED ACTOR WORKSHOP
Since May I have had the honor of being able to hold the workshop 3 times. And one of those times was at Dartmouth University during VoxFest. Since creating it, there have been so many times where I say to myself, "I really need to take the workshop!" I keep wondering if I created the workshop to help others or if I created it for me? Lately, I've been getting so much out of it. I am grateful for being able to teach and am excited to show you all where we are taking it!!!!
5. 10-4 THE TRUCK STOP PLAYS
On the way to VoxFest, Karisa turned to me and asked if I wanted to do one of the plays in The Truck Stop Plays. When a director already has you in mind for a role, how can you say NO? I said: YES!!!! I love when the universe just provides for you. Just brings opportunities to your doorstep or to your email account. I read early drafts of the play as we were driving back to Chicago. Within a few weeks, Karisa and i were back at it. Except she was in the directing chair and I was walking with a limp and a southern drawl. The performances were a lot of fun. Low pressure. I felt I could show up and just pour 100% and not think about where these plays were taking me in my career. My biggest goal was to have fun and leave all the shame behind.
This is the first time in a year - where I don't have anything on the books. And I am grateful for that. I look forward to saying YES! I look forward to the unexpected surprises that are waiting to blossom. And I already had a director talk to me about potentially auditioning/casting me in an upcoming production. But, I will let the universe be my casting director. For now remember:
BE OPEN TO OPPORTUNITIES
THERE IS EVIDENCE ALL AROUND YOU THAT YOUR DREAMS ARE MANIFESTING
YOU ARE WORTHY - YOU ARE LOVED - YOU ARE APPRECIATED
1. Action steps. 2013 was my most successful year to date as an actor. I think a couple of things aided in this. A) I started calling myself a professional actor and referring to myself as one. B) I made a timeline of milestones and goals for myself so I knew where I was along the way. What does this look like? i wrote out what I wanted the end of the year to look like for 2013. Then I wrote out where I was currently. Divided the year in half - what would it look like to be halfway to my year end vision? And then divided that again. What would it look like to be half way to my half way point. And what action steps would I need to get there? It helped to have action to continue moving forward. It may not have happened the way I planned it, but a ton of things I wrote out happened!!!!
The Thriving Artist Circle helped me out a ton in my thinking and my planning and Dallas Travers!!!
2. The Night of the Iguana. This was a huge production. I learned so much about putting up a big show. Having an extension. Working with a large cast. How to show up every night and bring it. The friendships. The rehearsal process. I was cast in the beginning of January and our last show was at the end of May. Wow! That is a long time. I am just so grateful to have been part of this show!
3. Short Films. I was making jokes that I needed to open an office on Wabash near Columbia College because it felt that i was down there every other week for auditions for short films. But it was worth it. That corridor netted me being cast in three short films. Scotty Works Out, Self-Deportation, and Some Are All White (working title). And the experience I have gained from shooting these films is incredible.
4. Tracy Letts and Michael Shannon. Every time I see them, i am reminded that I have to keep raising the bar here in Chicago to do them proud. I really look up to both of these men as Actors and Writers. As artists!! And want to make them proud of the art that is coming out of Chicago! Chicago Actors - time to step it up!!
5. You! I am grateful for you. The reader of this blog. The audience member. The supporter of love and joy. Thank you for being here. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for letting me be human in front of you. Thank you for letting me rant, brag and boost about my achievements. If you were not here there would be no here. You are amazing!! And You are here! And i am grateful!
I am ready for you! I am excited for you! Surprise me! Surprise me! I am ready to be big! I am ready for what you got!!
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