Just Ask

I had a cool thing happen this week.

I met with this community who I want to learn from. I learned how much it would cost to learn from them and knew I couldn’t afford it right now. They have a scholarship program. I applied. I got a hefty scholarship with a payment plan to make it possible to afford to learn from them. I was so excited.

I told a friend of mine about the opportunity and his first response was, “I’m jealous. I want to do that.”

I told him he should do it, too. He said he didn’t know how. I said, “Just ask.

That was the only difference between him and me. I asked.

I saw something I wanted and I simply asked.

There have been a few instances in my life in which people say they wish they could do whatever it is I’m doing. And I tell them if they really want to, they absolutely should. And they say they don’t know how. So I tell them to just ask. Google it. Send an email. Find a mentor. Read books about it.

Whatever it is, just ask how you can make it a reality. The answer is out there. I promise.

I apply this to my own goals and career constantly. I’m a believer that the universe supplies exactly what you ask for, so you need to be clear about what you want. If you don’t have a clear goal, you can’t be sure how all the pieces in your life fit together and serve you. And whatever you want may not come your way because you’re not actively asking for it.

Don’t spend your precious energy wishing you could do something your heart desires. Find out how to do it. And the best way to find out?

Yep. You guessed it. Just ask.

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Ms. In the Biz Article

I love writing for Ms. In the Biz. I think they’re an awesome online community of inspiring women working hard to make their dreams come true.

Here’s a link to my latest article for them. I hope you take the time to read it and peruse other great articles on the site.

Let Go Of These 3 Things…

The Misfits

People talk a lot about community. Friends are your chosen family. Find your community. Birds of a feather. All that jazz.

My best friend is a water skiier and a jet pilot (and, clearly, a badass). When she’s around jet pilot people, she clearly fits in. When she’s around military, she’s one of them. When she talks about water skiing, she uses all the jibber jabber and knows all the terms and competitions and whatnot.

My mom loves to quilt. She has friends at all the fabric stores in Indianapolis. She goes with some of her friends to quilting shows. Her friends will discuss their latest projects and patterns and exciting quilting news. For them, there is such a thing.

I used to be somewhat envious of people’s communities. I’m a floater- and happy to be one. I never really had a set community. I’ve always had a few good friends who are clearly part of different set communities.

Then it occurred to me. I clearly do have a community. I’m one of the misfits. I’m a comedy misfit.

When I go to read thrus for the sketch show I do regularly, I’m with my people. I’m with a bunch of goofballs who make big character choices and are excellent at making words come to life for the sake of comedy.

When I go to the Groundlings for shows or workshops, I’m amongst a bunch of hilarious people who are all writing their own work and creating shows and characters. These are people who want to work in the industry and have successful careers. But also, they just want to make people laugh. Be silly. Be outrageous. Have fun.

When I’m at UCB, I’m with people passionate about improvising. People who speak the same jibber jabber lingo that I do. We admire the same actors. Know the origin stories of different improv philosophies. Talk about them nonstop. Love to perform even if it’s for three people in the worst place ever.  And- the good ones at least- listen more than they talk.

And especially when I’m at stand up mics, I’m with my people. These are a bunch of comedians who are thoughtful about their days. They look around and observe the world. They take note of interactions they have with people. They write down ideas they think might be funny. They’re willing to be brave and vulnerable in front of audiences. Even the douchebag assholes who yell at you for not thinking they’re funny- they’re my people because they want to make you laugh. They’re as insecure about their works as I am, they just show it in a different (more aggressive- less likeable) way.

In fact, comedians are quickly becoming my favorite people. They’re the loners who are willing to show up to an awkward space with a bunch of strangers and say “HEY! LISTEN TO ME!” They’re willing to be terrible because they know it’s a long-term investment. They want to meet like-minded people to work with. They want to bounce their ideas off people but are willing to say “Nah, I wanna do it this way. Thanks though,” if they don’t like what you say. They craft their voice carefully. Every word, every movement, every intonation matters. They’re willing to say the same thing over and over again until it’s perfect. And every time they say it, they pretend it’s the first time they’re sharing it with an audience. And they’re excited to be sharing it. It’s as magical as anything else.

But most importantly, all these communities are filled with people as obsessed with making people laugh as I am. They’re not interested in being the funny friend in their group of friends. They’re interested in their group of friends being nothing but funny friends. And making people they’ve never met laugh.

It’s the best.

And I call them misfits because, let’s be honest, when your passion and self worth are dependent on the feedback from total strangers, there’s something wrong with you.

Plus, if you met most of the people I hang out with, you’d agree there’s something wrong with all of us. And we would agree with you.

They’re my wonderful little funny misfits.

And I love them.

You Get Back What You Put Out

I hear people talk about how they’re not getting enough out of a  place/person/opportunity/job/whatever.

Now, I totally understand that there are certain relationships and phases and places that we totally give ourselves to and get nothing in return. Believe me. I understand that. Believe. You. Me. I get it. We’ll get to that here in a moment.

But I truly believe at the core of my being, that you only get back what you put out into the world.

For example, I hear people complain about Los Angeles all the time. All. The. Time. There’s too much traffic. It’s too dangerous. You have to drive too much. It’s smoggy. People are shallow. It’s too expensive. Wah, wah, wah.

Lots of these things are true. Or at least they can be if you choose to focus on them. If you don’t like Los Angeles- or wherever you’re living- actually evaluate why. And if it’s irreconcilable, find somewhere that meets your needs better. You’ve got an internet. Use it.

Sure, I’ve had my ups and downs living in this city. Because that’s life. And you get both ups and downs. But overall, I love this place. So much. It makes my little soul sing. I can picture different neighborhoods I want to live in. I have restaurants I want to be a regular at. I listen to people talk about preschools and take notes for my kids someday (in the wayyyyy future). It’s a beautiful paradise. The weather is absolutely amazing. The people are driven and focused. The best entertainers in the world call this place home. You can find really genuine, amazing, loving, supportive people. It’s my heart’s home.

I love Los Angeles. I’ve done enough living to know what I want from a city- what I can handle, what I can’t handle, etc. I know that LA’s strengths are really important to me and it’s weaknesses aren’t a big deal. As a result, I freaking love it. That’s not the case for everyone. I get it.

I’ve created an awesome community for myself out here filled with talented, hilarious, positive, incredible people. And I’ve done it by getting off my ass, embracing the opportunities around me, and expecting to meet awesome, like-minded people. Sure, I’ve met some duds. So be it. I don’t dwell in the shit. That would just be shitty. (teeheeheeeeeee)

Whatever you expect to encounter when you wake up in the morning is exactly what you will encounter. We create our own story lines and realities in our head based on our pre-conceived notions of the world around us. So if you expect to love a place and expect to find happiness and opportunity and great people, you’ll find it. If you tell a place you love it- and love it with all your being- it will love you back. Even if it sometimes shows it in a funny way you don’t understand at the time.

Worst case scenario, you give a noun (person/place/thing) your everything for as long as you possibly can and it doesn’t give you anything back. And you realize you’re all out of energy to invest in said noun. You re-evaluate, move on, and learn from the experience. And for the rest of your life, you don’t have to live with the regret that you held back or didn’t try your darndest. Odds are, there was something more wonderful waiting for you around the corner anyway.

So I guess what I’m saying is in a roundabout and rambly way is… put out.

Ladiessssssss….

After spending hours tormented over celebrity’s life, gossiper finally realizes it doesn’t matter

Lisa Hausing is a concerned citizen. No, she hasn’t yet registered to vote. Nor is she involved in any community organizations. Her concerns rest solely in Hollywood, CA, where she religiously follows celebrity gossip.

That is, she religiously followed celebrity gossip. The verb must be in the past tense because just yesterday, Hausing had a revelation. After spending a full 24 hours away from all technological outlets due to a surprise outdoors trip planned by her husband, Jared Hausing, Lisa had a revelation. The world continued without her and her favorite celebrities did not mention that they’d noticed she was gone. They had, in fact, never even mentioned that they noticed her.

She realized that the world of these people that she saw on entertainment outlets throughout the country, whom had invested so much time and energy into emulating and formulating opinions about, had absolutely no effect on any aspect of her life.

Hausing claims it was a total revelation. She says her first reaction that these figures had no influence on her life wasn’t depressing, but rather much more liberating. “I’m free to start caring about my friends, and talking to the people I interact with daily about their concerns and their families,” she says. “I had never even noticed half these people before.”

Though the past several hours have been difficult for Hausing, who has decided to go cold turkey from all celebrity gossip outlets, she admits that they’ve been extremely enjoyable as well.

“Look at me!” She says, smiling and shooting a peace sign at her friends. “I’m so Miley!” She then gets a distant look in her eyes and begins to tear up.

Hausing knows the journey from caring about celebrities to caring about her friends and family will be a difficult one, but she’s swears she’s in it for the long haul.

Woman feels accepted when homeless man recognizes her stops asking for change every day

After moving to Chicago over the summer, Amy Rosen has spent a lot of time getting acclimated to the city. She’s taken long walks around downtown and various colorful neighborhoods in order to learn more about them. She rides the CTA and rarely listens to her iPod in order to take in all the sights and sounds and possibly strike up any conversation that may come her way.

Rosen has also become used to the various panhandlers and beggars that tend to congregate in certain areas of the city. Including one particular man who stands outside the same drug store every night asking for money.

Though Rosen rarely gives the man money, she makes sure to always smile and say “Hi.” One evening, man simply smiled back and said “Hi,” rather than asking for money.

She was elated.

For Rosen, this signaled that she was finally part of a neighborhood, and therefore part of the bigger city she had grown to love and learn so much about over the past several months. This incident was the first time a stranger she had met actually recognized her and smiled back. She considered it a victory and a signal that she could truly start calling herself a local.

She continues to smile at the man every night, though he usually ignores her now. For Rosen, the ignore is at least an acknowledgement that he recognizes her and knows he knows it would be a waste of time to ask for money. And it still makes her very excited.