Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Art about Leaping

January has been a bit trying for me. I took time off to go home for the holidays, which was lovely, but I found it hard to get back into the swing of things when I got back. I've felt a bit wander-y and lost, lacking focus and not sure why.

I moved to Los Angeles four and a half years ago. My body rebelled, the relationship I was in ran it's course and ended, and I feel like a completely different person now. I marvel at how much I've grown, and how much every encounter and experience I've had has contributed not only to the dream I'm pursuing, but the dream I am living.

I quit a safe survival office job six months ago. I got my W-2 from said job last week, and had to firmly stop myself from looking at that number and starting a downward spiral of questioning that decision. (Again.) It was the right decision, I know it is, and I am very happy, but the last six months have been an act of piecing together paychecks, both acting and thrival, and it has been hard.

Bonnie Gillespie always writes amazing columns over at the Actor's Voice, but this week's struck me at the perfect time. I read it yesterday, misty-eyed as the rain cleared, and knew that I was waking up to propel myself back out of my Januarial funk. Please give it a read, it's called Pick Your Hard.

And then a beautiful friend, one of the many I've found here in LA, posted this poem on my wall:

Revelation Must Be Terrible

Revelation must be
   terrible with no time left
to say goodbye.
Imagine that moment
   staring at the still waters
with only the brief tremor
of your body to say
   you are leaving everything
and everyone you know behind.
Being far from home is hard, but you know,
   at least we are exiled together.
When you open your eyes to the world
you are on your own for
   the first time. No one is
even interested in saving you now
and the world steps in
   to test the calm fluidity of your body
from moment to moment
as if it believed you could join
   its vibrant dance
of fire and calmness and final stillness.
As if you were meant to be exactly
   where you are, as if
like the dark branch of a desert river
you could flow on without a speck
   of guilt and everything
everywhere would still be just as it should be.
As if your place in the world mattered
   and the world could
neither speak nor hear the fullness of
its own bitter and beautiful cry
   without the deep well
of your body resonating in the echo.
Knowing that it takes only
   that one, terrible
word to make the circle complete,
revelation must be terrible
   knowing you can
never hide your voice again.

  -- David Whyte
      from Fire in the Earth
      ©1992 Many Rivers Press

Dream. Leap. Choose. Discover. Choose again. Leap again. Dream. Don't give up. Pick your hard.

It will be hard. But it will be glorious.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm doing a Marathon on 1/21!

...but probably not the kind you're thinking of. (Those of you who thought I was capable of running 26.2 miles one week from Saturday, I LOVE YOU.)

My theatre company, Theatre of NOTE, hosts an annual Hollywood Performance Marathon as a fundraiser for our little non-profit that could. The Marathon is an all day and night extravaganza featuring performance artists, dancers, singers, jugglers, comics, etc. The day begins at 3pm and goes until the last man standing, usually around 3am...sometimes later. This is year number 17, and as an additional fundraiser, we have Marathon-athoners who are seeking sponsorship for watching. That would be me. (Although, in a moment of weakness, I also agreed to sing. I haven't sung in public since wearing a bear suit in my Missoula Children's Theatre days. We'll see how this goes.)

Here's how it works:

Much like a swimathon or walkathon, I'm looking for people to sponsor me as an audience member (and singer...gulp) for a certain dollar amount per hour I stay at the Marathon.  If you want to contribute $5 an hour, but don't want to spend more than $50, you can do that. You can say $5 an hour or a total of $50, whichever comes first. Meaning if I only make it 3 hours, then you only owe $15. But if I stay for 16 hours, you only owe your max pledge of $50. Capping your donation is, of course, entirely optional. :) Your donation is also 100% tax-deductible as we're a licensed 501(c)3 organization. (And if your company does matching gifts, we'd be thrilled to make that happen.)

I'd love it if you could kick in anywhere from 1 to 1 million dollars an hour. (I'll probably shoot for the whole 16 or so hours because I am competitive by nature.) No amount is too small! ANYTHING you can give to support will be gladly accepted and greatly appreciated.

After the Marathon, I'll report back and let you know how many miles-- er, hours I made it and how much you owe from your pledge. You then give/mail me cash, a check (made out to Theatre of NOTE) or complete a transaction on PayPal and boom, you can feel good for supporting the arts and laud me for my capacity for caffeine consumption. I'll also be tweeting my experience, so you can have a live feed of my growing delirium. If you're in Los Angeles, please come watch! The Marathon is always a good time.

Please email me with your pledge if you would be willing to sponsor. Thank you for reading such a long post, and Happy New Year!