Quiet Time

I’m not always great about finding time to do the things I love. For whatever reason, they tend to be the first things that get pushed by the wayside when I get busy.

Writing is one of those things. And in some ways, as you can tell by my more inconsistent posting, it’s fallen a little by the wayside.

Part of that is genuinely time. As I promised not long ago, my schedule is dramatically changing. While I’m still writing and creating, it’s taking different facets. I’m also juggling a few things at the moment that will all hopefully shake out soon so that they don’t all have to be juggled at once because one of them will take off. But until then, my time is even more limited.
So I’ve had to get smart about the free time I have available. I’ve had to learn to combine certain things I enjoy doing to make sure I’m always getting the most out of every activity. And that has meant combining two things I love that I don’t make enough time for right now- exercise and meditation time.

I know it’s the norm anymore to bring music with you to workout or run. It really can help pass the time. For a long time, I’ve enjoyed listening to podcasts, stories, audiobooks and lectures while working out. It keeps my imagination stimulated while I get my sweat on.

KIDquiettime11 2But lately, I’ve been in a bit of stimulation over-drive. For good reasons. So I’ve had to shift my focus. Now, when I’m running or lifting or yoga or whatever-ing, I leave the music at home. I don’t even bring my phone with me. I don’t want the distraction. I want to just enjoy the sights and sounds for a short period of time and let my own thoughts take over. Those thoughts, as I know from my (unfortunately sporadic) meditation, like to run wild. But as long as I breathe and keep a mantra, whether it be “just to that car” or “I feel good” or “I trust myself” or “don’t look weak to the passersby,” I can get through it. And when I get back to my apartment and I finally start letting the world back into my headspace, I find I’m much calmer and more in tune and in touch with what’s going on around me.

Plus, sometimes I even say “hi” to another runner. Or pet a giant loveable dog named Hero and have a conversation with the owner because I was open and not distracted by my podcasts.

That being said, I still love my podcasts.

But too much of a good thing, even imagination stimulation, can be detrimental to your mental. So don’t go mental. Be sentimental. And get quiet.

Not super proud of how I ended this but, heck, it’s been a while so cut me some slack.

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A Year Ago

back in timeA year ago, I got some news that surprised me. Someone tried to tell me I wasn’t good enough for something. Well, the truth was, they did tell me that they didn’t think I was good enough for something. He basically told me I didn’t make the cut.

After I got over the initial shock since I found the assessment completely unfounded, I thought about the deliverer and I thought about the actual outcome of this news and its impact on the rest of my life. I realized that the deliverer wasn’t someone I admired who’s opinion I needed to listen to and the outcome I thought I wanted was absolutely unnecessary to the goals I had in my own life. Another outcome would have allowed me to check off a box that didn’t need checking in order to prove I live up to arbitrary standards of a system that’s becoming more archaic daily.

But rejection is never fun no matter what perspective you can later spin it into. It can bother you. And, despite the fact that I am now more relieved and well-aware that world is not one I want to be a part of, this one still bothered me for a while.

I mean, you want to get in an invite to the party even if you have no intention of attending.

So I was going to write a whole article in response going into detail about all the things I’ve done in the year since this day. But when this day neared, I lost my edge to write a vengeance-filled post bragging about all my accomplishments. First of all, it’s not really my style. And secondly, I just didn’t care enough. The truth is, this mattered so little to me by the time the day came and went, that I just let it go and forgot about it. I was too busy actually doing the things that I love to take time out of my day to focus on telling people that I’m doing the things that I love.

And when I realized I missed my chance for my year-later response, I couldn’t find a shred of me that really cared. It all felt so long ago and my life has been progressively getting better, more fulfilling, and happier since that day.

When the issue comes up, of course I’m candid and honest about how I felt about the whole situation. But the underlying truth of the matter is that I care about it a lot less now that I thought I would. Which, for the most part, is liberating. But a little part of me still wishes I were angry so that I could let their rejection continue to fuel me.

But I’m not angry. While initial frustrations and rejections can make for good tinder for a fire, they ultimately cannot sustain the flames. They can provide a little help making it burn brighter, but they flare up and burn out quickly. It’s the thick logs and constant care that keep a fire burning. For me, those thick logs are my own passion for creativity and storytelling, and the constant care is the diligence and consistency with which I approach turning my passion into a daily, viable reality.

To put it bluntly, I realized that the best way to show ’em up is to show ’em you don’t even need ’em. Cuz you don’t.

As I Quietly Keep Working

Every day on social media, I see friends of mine talking about big auditions and meetings they have.

I often have these too, but I choose to quietly keep working.

I see pictures of people who have small parts in productions I played a major role in broadcasting to the world how much they’re doing and getting hundreds of “likes” for it.

I think about doing the same, but instead choose to quietly keep working.

I see peers of mine snagging major film and TV roles. The world knows their names and I struggle to pay my bills. I could feel jealous or I could be over-zealous about my close connections to these superstars.

Instead I smile and am glad for their success because it means there’s still paid work  and new opportunities to be had in comedy. So I know I should quietly keep working.

I could advertise my social media and spend precious time and money gaining “likes” and “followers” so I look like I have a huge following.

But I’d rather spend my time creating and my money on producing content I love. So instead I choose to quietly keep working.

People talk to me about their intense training regimen or post pictures of how hard they work on their diets and exercise.

But I don’t mention my own commitment to fitness. I don’t post gym selfies. Instead I smile, give them encouragement, then quietly keep working.

Many friends of mine have active social lives brimming with fulfilling hobbies. They get the opportunity to travel and have adventures and pursue lives outside of their careers.

While I sometimes do too, I recognize that it’s not usually my life at this moment. I want a successful career. So I quietly keep working.

I see people at Happy Hours and being social. I see their smiling faces and know that my own window for being “young and free” is ticking.

But I don’t mind. I prefer to focus on what I want most. I prefer to work on me, which often means sacrificing some elements of the present to create the future I want. So I quietly keep working.

I could share more details about my own life and my own successes. I could share every meeting I have and every agreement I sign. I could hint at every development deal I have and every time someone bites on one of my many projects.

But I know I’d only be doing it to seek outside validation. So I’ll wait until I’m ready and have something really exciting and important to share. And I’ll wait until I know I’m sharing it for the right reasons. I’ll be sharing out of excitement and enthusiasm, not insecurity or validation. And until then, I quietly keep working.

Things are happening. I’m making deals and I’m gaining traction. But I know that I’m doing these things for me, not to show off to the rest of the world how great I’m doing. I’m doing them because I need to. I’m hardwired to create, perform, imagine and entertain. I know some of the deals are going to fall through and I know some of them are going to help me catapult my career.

But most importantly, I know that no matter what continues to happen, I’m going to continue to do what I do best: quietly keep working.

Maybe I should be more of a showman. Maybe I should be more of a bragger. Maybe I should over-exaggerate my involvement in certain projects and with certain people to seem more impressive.

But that’s not my nature. And the type of people who are impressed by that aren’t the type of people I want to impress. Instead, I have faith in my own talent, my work ethic, my bonds and interactions with others, and my body of work will speak volumes more than any caption I could put on a social media post. Sometimes this works in my favor and occasionally it works against me. But in the long run, I know it will pay off. Even if my journey is windier than many of my peers, I’m a firm believer that when I am able to rise to the top, I’ll have no problem staying there. Because I quietly keep working, and let that speak for itself.

I’m writing this post not to brag about how much I work. But just because I feel the need to express the approach I take to my own work.

It’s so I can feel liberated to go back to continuing to quietly keep working.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m tired of talking about myself. I’ve got an imagination to serve who I can only hear when I’m quiet and is only satsified when I’m working.

So I’m off. To quietly keep working.

Exercise for Sleep

Tpuppy snuggleshere are multiple excellent reasons for exercise. I write about them constantly.

One I rarely talk about is the fact that it helps me (and most people) sleep soundly.

I have a lot of energy. I’m a pretty energetic person. I’m actually really aware of my energy level because it’s a good indicator of my inner mood. If I’m exhausted midday, it’s likely because I’m doing something I don’t want to be doing. If I’m sleepy at night just before bed, it’s been a good day of accomplishments. If I’m still anxious when I’m going to sleep, odds are I didn’t exercise and/or be productive enough that day.

Exercise, for me, is the opportunity to not only clear my mind and gain some perspective on what does and does not actually need to be done in the day. It also gives me a place to let out some of the pent up steam from various projects or interactions throughout the day. It energizes me if I’m feeling drained (and know it’s not from lack of sleep) and it calms me for the rest of the day.

I use my energy level as an indicator. And it typically directly corresponds to my exercise consistency.

Yet another reason to add to the long list of why getting up and getting moving is good for you.

 

Femoir: The Podcast – Fear (Show Notes)

ITaylor_Swift_-_Fearlessn this latest episode of Femoir: The Podcast we be discussin’ the FEAR, friends.

As you can see in this picture, I discuss Taylor Swift (not pictured: Hating myself for it), my confidence podcast, doing stand up comedy, and my bestest friend in the world who happens to also be a Top Gun style jet pilot.

And for those of you who listen and may be worried, I am no longer sick and am feelin a-ok these days. Not like the sick (but awesome) voice you hear on the podcast.

Be sure and give it a listen then give it a ranking and comment if you can!

Changing Times

dali clockThese times, friends, they are a’changin’.

You may have already noticed, I’m not always able to post as frequently to this blog and my beloved Ms. In the Biz.

Some of that is because I’m a lazy chick and I’ve realized that there are times I’d rather watch another killer episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia while I chill out after work and not think about anything but being entertained. It’s not the laziest, but as a super-productive person, I would prefer to think I could use every precious moment of my free time to create and continue to work on the projects that I’m the most passionate about, rather than sit and enjoy some Netflix while watching people do exactly what I want to do.

 

But some of it is because I’m a lucky chick and have had some awesome projects pick up steam.  These projects are cutting into my precious time and are forcing me to find places to make cutbacks. I’ve had to refocus some of my (still precious) free time to work on these projects. It’s a good thing that I’m very excited about, but that has forced me to refocus and reschedule some of the time I normally keep free for freeform writing.

So I decided I didn’t need to write a blog every day of the week, so I aim to put somewhere between 1-3 blogs up now every week, depending on what I’ve got available to give. I truly enjoy sharing some of my adventures and thoughts with everyone. And I’d love to pretend like I’m continuing to write these blogs based on completely altruistic motivations. But the truth is, these little blurbs are as much for me as they are for you. I think of things I want to share with the world, and this forum gives me the ability to express myself freely without any judgment or consequence. I mean, obviously there are consequences for what I’m saying here, but it’s not like someone is forcing me to do it. I get to just do it for the love of writing, creating, and sharing.

I’m taking time to pause and tell you this so that you know, if in the upcoming months my blog posts are less frequent, it’s not you. It’s me. And my schedule. And it’s only because I’m (hopefully) spending my time working on other creative projects that I’ll be able to share with the world shortly. But they just take a little more time to get going than these blogs. So you’ll have to be patient with me. And I’ll be patient with me, too as I slowly start to go crazy and kick myself for not being uber-productive.

Because productivity doesn’t always mean creating immediate content. Sometimes, you gotta pull back, take a breather, regroup, and slowly but surely create something bigger and better.

 

#OCLAPremiere

ocl step n repeatI’m not great at self-congratulation.

I am great at doing the work and sharing more credit with other people, whether or not they actually helped out as much as I say they did.

Was that self-congratulatory? Many apologies if so. I was trying to be self-deprecating. That happens to be my forte.

But last week I went out of my comfort zone and celebrated the premiere of The Other Client List, the web series I created, wrote, co-produce and co-star in that took about a year and a half to make into a reality.

It’s not like I worked on it all day every day for 18 months. But I did work on it a lot. And last week, I actually took a break to celebrate that work.

To be honest, it felt a little strange. All the focus and energy that went into getting the premiere up and away could have been used towards other creative projects. I could have been at home writing the book I’ve been tinkering away at for a long time. I could have been working on my new demo reel, or my new pilot, or a new character study for another project, or outlining episodes for yet another project. I had plenty I could have been doing. But I took a night to celebrate and show people the work.

I think part of the reason I’m hesitant is lingering fear. I say lingering because, for the most part, I’m pretty good at facing my fears head on when I recognize them. But there’s still a strong part of me that gets nervous when I put myself out in the world. I was nervous that it wouldn’t be well received. I was nervous that if I took time to look nice, I’d likely fall on my face and embarrass myself. I was nervous that people would be like “She spent all that time… on this?” I’m accustomed to taking risks, putting myself out there and getting rejected. It’s harder for me to get celebrated and to allow myself to be good at something. As a perfectionist and workaholic at heart, I’m always convinced I didn’t work hard enough or overlooked so many things that could have made my product better.

But last week was good for me. I told myself, as I scoured over the finished product again and again, seeing tiny fixes I wanted to make and things about my performance that I’m unsatisfied with, that I did the best I could with what I had at the time. And that’s really all we can ever ask for.

I think too often people get held up thinking something has to be perfect. I have that same inclination. For years I kept my stand up comedy offline because no performance was every good enough or I never got footage of a completed joke. But I’m slowly learn to get over it. I’d rather have a product I’m proud of online than have a thousand projects I don’t think are good enough never see the light of day. I appreciate the perfectionism and workaholic nature because they fuel and inspire me to keep doing better than the last venture. But I also respect the fact that letting them have too much influence in my life will cause me more frustration and pain than listening to them a little then letting them go.

I’m also learning how to relax and celebrate these accomplishments. The event last week was a real joy. And I enjoyed the heck out of taking an evening to gather friends and partners from all sorts of areas in my life to watch my work. I really enjoyed letting myself just let the work stand for itself. And I enjoyed people’s laughter and support. I realized that the rest of the web series will be viewed by people online, so I won’t get to hear the laughter or listen to direct responses (for the most part). So I sat back and enjoyed it. And when people said “good job,” I didn’t self-deprecate or try to downplay things. I smiled and said “Thank you.” I made sure the people who deserved credit got it, and I took credit for what I did proudly and unapologetically.

Because I did work my ass off. I put a ton of time, energy, money, and effort into this project. And it was time to celebrate that. And I wore an awesome outfit and didn’t fall flat on my face. And it all felt pretty daggum good.

But of course I have a western to finish off now and festivals to submit to and project to develop and imaginary characters to bring to life. So now it’s back to my favorite part… the work.

If you want to binge watch The Other Client List, click here: Season 1 of The Other Client List.

It’s coming!

OCL_Chalk_Collegiate_Pictures_v2_16x9_DateThe official premiere of The Other Client List is coming so soon! There’s still so much to do for it and so much to get prepared! And for some reason, the rest of my work and creative responsibilities haven’t stopped! So there’s lots to do! And somehow still the same amount of time there normally is in a day to do it! Is this making me go crazy? I don’t know! You tell me! I can’t seem to write sentences that talk about anything of substance! I have lots of blogs waiting to be written but aren’t getting written because I keep adding to never-ending to do lists! I am also only writing in short sentences that end in exclamation points! Here is the link to the Facebook event for our premiere! https://www.facebook.com/events/649995511777370/ ! Goodbye now!

Femoir: The Podcast – Partners! Show Notes

GoT-6I’ve been watching a lot of Game of Thrones lately… so forgive the very specific partnership picture. I talk about being a lone wolf, but if you watch the show there’s a wolf in this picture so I’m counting it (nerdy laughter!).

Anyway! The latest episode of Femoir: The Podcast is live in iTunes. And it’s talking about PARTNERSHIPS!

I talk about how I’m going to vary my intro like the Simpsons, then I dive into being “particular about my company,” and talk about a famous song from Chicago about partnership. I discuss my solo show and my stand up comedy, make a reference to a delightful Chris Tucker moment, talk about how I write about partnership often, discuss Stage 32, The Other Client List (my web series), talk about Closure, and how not all partnerships can work out.

And I also discuss my upcoming Western.

So much discussed! Take a listen and subscribe for free if it please ya!

And now back to Game of Thrones for me…