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
Let me first tell you that so far today, I have been cast in a TV pilot being filmed in Chicago, two new streams of income appeared in my life and an audition that I didn't submit for came in from a major theatre company. What do you think I am focusing on? I'm focusing on the audition that I just went to and how I feel that I "messed up" or "bombed it."
It's such a tempting road to go down. The road of Beating Yourself Up. It's familiar. Well worn. I know all the twists and turns. But you know what is scarier for me? To actually take care of myself. To walk towards the positive things going on in my life. To care for myself. That's the road of the unknown. That's the Higher Road for me. Sometimes I would just rather go around complaining about everything and play the victim and just go hide from all of the world. That is no longer an option for me. As painful as loving myself can be, it's the best option. It's the one that will land me more roles. It's the option that will give me a chance. Here are my top 5 ways to love myself after an audition:
1. Call someone on MY TEAM
Who is on your team? YOUR TEAM? You know the people you can go to and just say all the crazy things in your head. People who you can trust. That won't judge. In fact, they usually will relate. It took me some time to find these people. To develop relationships and to just trust that they are exactly the people I need.
So after.... wait! ... Before an audition I call someone on my team. I tell them,
"I am going into an audition and that I am committing to experience shame when i come out of it. And that I want to leave all the shame and voices in my head outside the audition room. The shame and judgments and voices will be waiting patiently here when I return. And I will call you when I finish with the audition." This way I have contained the experience. I am not alone in my journey. And what happens is I get to show up more free and loose - because I am showing up as my authentic self.
2. Write Affirmations
The constant babble that goes in my head after an audition is this: You are not good enough. You are too dramatic. You are not good looking enough. You are TOO good looking. You need more scene studies. I am a better film actor (for stage auditions). I am a better stage actor (for film auditions). You were frozen. You voice wasn't deep enough. You had too much emotion. Not enough emotion...the list goes on and on and can continue way into the night.
So I write affirmations. I write positive things about who I am. A lot of times they are borrowed or from others compliments people have graced me with. Other times they are real general. And I just take out a notebook and write one page of affirmations. Maybe one day the affirmations will replace the babble - at least that is my goal.
Here are some you can use after an audition:
I am exactly where I need to be today
I love this journey and love being on this journey
This role or something even better
3. Detach from the Outcome
There are so many variables that go into casting: Hair color, the look, friendships the actor and director may have, the casting director is sick... all of these things are completely out of my control. The success is that I showed up. I showed up as me. And either that is what they want or it isn't. All I can do is show up as a professional and be me. The rest is out of my hands.
What helps me is knowing that with every NO I am that much closer to my next YES!!!
4. Go have FUN
After an supposed "bombing" of an audition - usually I go to the place of Do More. I need to read more plays. I need to memorize something else. Work harder. Do More. Then I go into my cave and just sulk the rest of the day/night.
But I think the best way to take care of myself after an audition is go have fun. Go hang out with people who aren't in the industry. Go to a BBQ. Go create fun somewhere. I think this is part of detaching as well. Go live in the joy. It's just an audition. It doesn't define my worth. There are an abundance of auditions on their way to me. Now go eat Ice Cream.
5. Focus on the Positive Evidence in Your Life
For you I'll give you a little peak into what has been the most powerful tool that I have been using.
At night, I write down all the evidence that my vision as an actor is actually happening. I write down the phone calls, the emails, the submissions, the table reads, the auditions, the compliments. Everyday something is going on in my life and I have the evidence. And the great thing is that everyday more and more evidence continues to show up.
Go ahead: Try it for 30 days. Write only the positive evidence that your acting career is moving forward. And then leave your proof in the comment selections or on my Facebook page.
I LOVE WHO YOU ARE. I LOVE WATCHING YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY. I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE GIVING YOURSELF THIS GIFT OF BEING HERE. YOU ARE WORTHY OF EVERYTHING YOU WANT. THANK YOU FOR SHARING WITH ME YOUR LIFE. YOUR COURAGE TO SHOW UP AS YOU IS SO INSPIRING!!!!!
Are you a Self-Loved Actor? Some insights on taking care of the actor and the person....