January has been a bit of a roller coaster as far as my state of mind. I started off the year still very inspired after Bonnie Gillespie’s Get in Gear for the New Year adventure, then got sort of lazy and uninspired when it felt like nothing was happening. I spent weeks watching almost every movie or show that was nominated for either a Golden Globe, an Actor or an Oscar. I watched press junkets, interviews (Brandprov!) and a bunch of videos from acting coaches about how to be successful and to make 2017 my year.

A theme throughout a lot of them was that believing in myself was of the utmost importance. I got a little sucked into the fear of believing in something that wouldn’t happen and would crush me and my belief system, but that wasn’t getting me anywhere. So, I yet again reminded myself to focus on the things that I can change, and made sure my goals and to-do lists are almost entirely things that I can control. For the few items that I can’t control, like joining the union, which isn’t in my resolutions, but is clearly something I am striving for; I created contingency plans. Which I have done before, but I am really tired of putting the same goals on my list year after year and have decided that this is the year I either get it done, or send myself back to school. The excuse that I am too old to start one of those programs becomes more and more true every year, in the sense that I keep getting older, but that’s because the time keeps passing, and I am still not accomplishing that particular goal. Time to change that.

bleeker

What about actual acting you say? I got to spend the day as a bank teller in a music video. I had never heard of Bleeker before, but they’re actually really cool and incredibly nice. It was a great crew to work with and I had a really awesome time; there was downtime to meet new people and get some writing done, familiar faces in the cast and crew that it was nice to see again, and all in all a successful first experience in a music video 🙂

I also sent in a self-tape for a short, received a project proposal and was booked for a commercial through a writer/director/multi-hyphenate I have worked with before. It can be hard sometimes where there are no auditions, and you rarely hear back from the few you do get to go on, but it always makes me feel incredibly warm and fuzzy when I know that at least people seem to enjoy working with me, because they keep asking me back 🙂

On January 20th, I started my 100 day challenge to film a short that I wrote, knowing I would constantly be reminded how many days into the challenge I was, and that I would have competition as far as getting things accomplished. 12 days in I am very much lagging, but choose to remember that it is the quality, far more than the quantity that should be taken into account. I wrote down everything that I want to say with my work and developed all kinds of ideas before deciding on the short I wrote years ago that meets probably none of those requirements. It fails the Bechdel test and doesn’t really have a moral, but I have revised it so many times that and it is so short that I think it is the best one to use for my first attempt. As I get better and more confident, I will tell stories that move and uplift and challenge, but for my first short, it will just be 3 or so minutes of (hopefully) good storytelling. And I will be asking for help, because filming and even editing the scene I filmed last fall has shown me that I have a lot to learn about filmmaking and who best to learn from than the incredible people I have the pleasure of working with sometimes 😉

As far as an unrelated resolution is going, I have been trying out recipes and getting to know what goes into muffins and cookies. So far I have a couple of recipes for which the dough tastes really good (which is obviously a requirement for cookies, right?) but I think I can find better as far as the actual cookies go. Looks like I will have to keep trying new dessert recipes 😉

“We are united in that we are all human beings and we are all together on this horrible, painful, joyous, exciting, and mysterious ride that is being alive.”

-David Harbour

“What I think I learned from working on ‘Moonlight’ is you see what happens when you persecute people,” Ali said. “They fold into themselves. What I was so thankful about in having the opportunity to play Juan was playing a gentleman who saw a young man folding into himself as a result of the persecution of his community, taking that opportunity to uplift him, and tell him that he mattered and that he was okay and accept him. And I hope that we do a better job of that.”

-Mahershala Ali

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