4 Goods and Bads of Moving to LA

hollywood-sign-mulholland-highwayI wrote this article for Ms. in the Biz.

I’d say more about it, but I think it speaks for itself.

That is all.

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Warning: Expect Delays Ahead

delaysFair warning: I have been a little inundated with tons of stuff on the plate. I do this to myself, but usually I can handle it all and keep up the productivity.

I have guests in town right now. My parents. Not just normal guests. My parents. I call it #ParentalDownpour. I’m noting it all on Facebook. It’s pretty amusing. For everyone else. It’s VERY REAL for me.

Anyway, as a result I’ve been spending more time focusing on hanging with my family and not being super productive. Still productive, but not super-productive.

All this to say… the regularly scheduled Femoir: The Podcasts are gonna be behind for a while. It’ll be about a bit before I get back to them. The expected return date is August 19th. I hope to do a marathon night so I can queue up a whole bunch so this doesn’t happen again.

Until then, there are 67 total episodes you can catch up on. Have you listened to them all? I didn’t think so. So how about you hold up your end of the bargain and use this time to catch up on all the wacky ramblings and the sillies I put out for you every week, and I’ll hold up my end by promising to return to your ear very soon.

That sounded weird. But I’m gonna go ahead and leave it.

I’m in your ear. Deal.

Disappointment or Despair?

disappointment (1)I was nominated for an award a couple weeks ago for a project I created. I mentioned to a close friend I was excited about possibly winning because I thought I stood a good chance. They said, in effort to lovingly protect my feelings, “Don’t get your hopes up. I don’t want you to be disappointed.”

And I had a visceral reaction of complete disagreement.

I don’t ever want to lose the ability to hope. Because if I don’t even have hope that I can accomplish something, I’m setting myself up for a life of despair.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t win the thing I was nominated for. And truth is, I wasn’t all that disappointed. The person who won did a spectacular job and I was glad to even be considered. The cash prize attached to winning would have been delightful, but maybe it’s making way for something bigger and better. Who knows!

You never know how these things pan out and I choose to believe they happen for a reason and the universe is always conspiring to create your greatest good. So I don’t know what every small decision will lead to. All I know is I have to trust my gut, do what I think is best, and choose to believe I can achieve something spectacular if I just keep going.

When I was living in Chicago, I got this pretty great audition for an awesome opportunity. I was already considering moving, but I told myself that if I got this really cool thing, I would stay in Chicago and ride this wave out. I didn’t get it. I was a little disappointed. But that set in motion my cross-country move to a city that thrills me, and to a life that I feel very excited and satisfied by that is setting me up for the career success I’ve always wanted.  A minor disappointment turned out to be a major gift in the grand scheme of things.

I’ve got some major stuff coming down the pipeline. On Sunday, I’ll be in show where I’ll be arbitrarily evaluated based on standards I’m not told by people I don’ t know who will decide an outcome I have no control over. Do I want them to like me? Of course I do. Am I hoping to do my best and to live up to their standards? Of course I am. I’m hopeful that I’ll have the outcome I want. I’m going to do everything I can to get that outcome. But if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be disappointed. But that’s ok. Because it’s proof that I cared in the first place.

I’d rather believe in myself and my abilities and look forward to the best possible outcome than to walk around always telling myself that I probably won’t get what I hope for.

Because you never know. So I choose to stay hopeful. And I choose to continue to let myself feel- both the good and the bad. And to remind myself to keep perspective on everything because you never know what’s around the corner.

 

Episode 57: Stress! – Show Notes

stressThe latest episode of Femoir: The Podcast is all about STRESS, guys. Spoiler alert: It sucks. And serves you in no positive way. In fact, it’s really harmful!

I tell stories of my own stresses. I talk about Chicago. I mention meditation.

Not much to report otherwise! Let me know what you think, friends!

You can always subscribe and get all these episodes for free on iTunes!

Podcast episode 55: Being Open – Show Notes

photo1 (1)On this episode of Femoir: The Podcast, there’s a lot of discussion of the adventures and pitfalls of being open to the world around you. To your left is a picture of one of my favorite people, Renee Colvert, who I met through just being open to the sillies of this crazy world.

And now, as promised, is a list of ways you can be more open. I promised maybe 10. I’m providing 11. Because I don’t understand limits.

 

 

11 Ways to be more Open

1. Say “Hi!” to a stranger

2. Make eye contact with your Barista when you tell them your order

3. Say thank you, [their name] to your cashier.

4. Ask a co-worker how their night was last night. Then actually listen to them without any agenda.

5. Ask someone a question about something they just shared with you. They’ll be shocked you were listening. You’ll be shocked that you’re learning!

6. Compliment a stranger. Click here for some more details on this one.

7. Ask someone you don’t know well to coffee. Accept that it could be uncomfortable. It could also be awesome. You never know. It’s just coffee.

8. Go to that random Facebook event your friend invited you to.

9. Go to a bar, sit by yourself, smile and look around. See what happens.

10. Throw away your to-do list for a day and just say yes to whatever strange things come your way.

11. Uncross your arms when you’re listening to someone. You’ll look and feel more open to whatever they’re saying.

Learning by Doing

I don’t know what I’m doing. sexy face

This revelation is not shocking to anyone who I’ve hung out with for more than five minutes.

The picture in this post I hope confirms that.

I generally have no idea what I’m doing anywhere ever.

But here’s what I do know… I learn by doing. I do something. I do anything. I’m a do-er.

I don’t mind being wrong. I don’t mind asking questions. I don’t mind screwing up. I don’t mind falling flat on my face.  In fact, as strange as it sounds, I like to be out of my comfort zone. I like to be the least knowledgeable one in the room. I like starting something with blind faith that I’ll learn how to finish it as I go.  I do my absolute best to present a project that I’m proud of knowing that it will be imperfect. I do my best to make it as perfect as I can with what I have in the moment, then I let it loose.

It’s the same with these posts and this blog. I write it. I think about it. I reflect. Then I just do. I put it out there and see what happens.

One of my improv teachers used to emphasize just finding things in your environment and doing something with them immediately, then learning what it means to the scene later. You don’t need to know the answer in the beginning.  Just do something  and you’ll eventually figure out why you’re doing it.

I’m a firm believer that’s the only way to really learn something anyway. Any lesson I’ve ever truly learned has come through experience. You can tell me all you want not to do something, but I’m probably going to do what I want to do anyway. Because when I experience my own shortcomings or my own failures, I feel them fully. They become a part of my own life that I can grow upon. They’re new tools and stories I have that I can use to make different decisions in the future.

Like with the web series I’m in post-production for right now. I wrote it not knowing how it would get produced. Somehow, we found the perfect director who had access to an amazing and talented team of people willing to be a part of the project. My partner and I did a crowd-sourcing fundraising campaign not knowing how those work. We raised enough to make something a reality. We didn’t know how, but we’d make it work. We had hectic schedules and didn’t know how we would coordinate, but we just did it. I’d never been a “producer” before- making sure the locations were available and appropriate, coordinating people, making sure everyone was fed while still knowing my lines and watching all continuity.  I had no idea how much planning and coordination went into every single shot we did, but I learned.  I didn’t know how we would edit it. But we found someone perfect. I have no idea what it means to be in post-production, but I’m excited to learn. Anything I don’t understand how, I know I can learn bit by bit. I admit that I don’t know how to do something. And by admitting it, I’m totally open to learning.

It’s good to plan. And it’s good to prepare. But I think people can get so wrapped up in doing something “right” that they never actually do anything.  And if I’ve learned anything in my short time on this earth, it’s that the actual doing- even though that means often failing- is the most important (and most fun) part of our existence.

How do I know this? From a whole lot of doing.

So just do it.

This post has been sponsored by Nike.*

*This is completely untrue but I’m totally open to getting money from you, Nike, if you’ve got any to spare.**

**I know you do. So give me money. Just do it.

 

 

Back to the grind

ocl montage 1

For the past couple months, I’ve put a lot of stuff on the back burner in order to focus on finishing the filming and production of my web series, The Other Client List. 

We finished filming on Saturday. I couldn’t be more proud, grateful and excited. It’s been an adventure and I’m glad to know it’s really only the start of the adventure.

On Sunday, I let myself sleep in. Then looked at the “To Do” list I’d been putting off…and had a little freakout.

Then once it was over, I stood up (did I mentioned I was curled into a ball on the floor?), took a deep breath, and got to work.I let myself freak out for a minute. It’s ok to sometimes feel overwhelmed. It’s ok to feel frustrated. And it’s ok to be true to whatever your feeling in the moment. I didn’t want to fight the freakout. I just allowed it.

ocl montage 3

I think part of what was overwhelming me was not knowing how much I actually had put off and not knowing how it would all get done. So I just started attacking it step by step. I did some cleaning and organizing. I looked through piles of papers and figured out what goes where and what needs to be addressed. I made some phone calls and sent some emails. I did my taxes. Not all of them, but I figured out what I could get done that day, did it, and have an action plan in place for the final steps to finish them.

I even took a couple hours off midday to laugh with one of my favorite people.

ocl montage 2

Even though there’s still plenty to do in both the web series, my personal goals, and at least eight other major projects I’m workin

g on, I’m ready for it. I want this life. I want a life of projects. Which means I’m ok with having times of being overwhelmed. Because everything is a balance. You just have to give yourself every advantage to learn to handle it. That way it gets easier over time. Just like everything else you practice.

I’m still learning. But at least I got a good practice meltdown and recover session in yesterday. I feel good about that.

So now it’s time to get back to the grind. Bring it.