Monday, September 1, 2014

Are you READY?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

To me,  September is more the "new year" than January. 

This is the beginning of the season.   This is the start of the "new".

So today, Labor/Labour Day - we claim one last day of "summer"  (although I am claiming warm days/cool evenings through the end of October, thank you so much Mother Nature for listening!),  and then ONTO THE NEXT!

Are you ready?

What is the next?

The levels we must function at are many,  and thus, it can get confusing.

Craft and its many levels and functions is an ongoing journey.  Honing, discovering, disciplining, nurturing, shaping - this is what we do day to day.  Are we ready to take that to the next level, on all levels? 

What needs focus right now? For YOU?

How is your mindset in general?   Are you dreading things?  Why?  Are you excited?  Are you prepared?  What are your goals?  Do you have the overview?  Are the specifics poised to fill in?

I read somewhere over the summer someone used the term "healthy denial".  I spit coffee on my computer screen.  Nope.  There is nothing healthy about denial.  All it leads to is delusion and working very hard to evade the reality that will catch up eventually, and ultimately take you away from any authenticity that might be there to pursue.

Denial puts the onus on something outside ourselves.  It gives us an "out" by never taking responsibility, or being ready for our lives. STOP THAT.

Are you ready to take that on that responsibility,  take charge of what you need and go get what you say you want?

It's a new year everybody! 

It's your craft, should you choose to go get it.

It's your career,  should you choose to explore it and develop it.

It's your job,  should you go out to compete for it.

It's your potential,  should you choose to realize it.

Are you ready to be realized and not denied?

There's a new mantra I am claiming today.  If it works for you,  use it with my blessings!

I AM BEING REALIZED AND WILL NOT BE DENIED.

Are you ready for that?  Be READY for what you wish for!


Happy New Year!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How do you define SUCCESS?

The end of summer is at hand...

Next week we begin a new season.  It always feels like the "new year" to me when the fall season begins.  Many of you are ramping up,  back at school,  checking upcoming auditions,  preparing to travel to your gigs,  taking on new roles and new projects.

So how do YOU define success for yourself as you enter this new year as an artist, or as one who embodies artistic temperament?

I ask this, because each of us comes to our own definition.  That definition can have many different possibilities for any one of us,  depending on where we are, what we are working toward,  what our goals are.

The dictionary defines it as "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose".

Given that as a template,  do we give ourselves permission to succeed only in the larger goal, or do we recognize the smaller accomplishments, the smaller successes on a day to day basis that help create the path to a larger goal?

I believe that as an artist we have to be "big picture" people,  as well as "detail" people.   We cannot afford to get lost in either scenario,  so setting that large picture can often come first, in order to discover how to get there. 

Success is discovered in the planning, and then in the EXECUTION and frankly,  the fine-tuning and re-organizing of that plan.

If your big picture "success" is to perform at a well known opera house, or on Broadway,  but you never practice, or seldom get your bum out of bed to get to an audition,  or get your applications in on time,  then you are creating self-sabotage,  and the big picture success won't happen, nor will you ever locate the detailed successes along the way.

True success is found in the day to day discovery of self.  At least that is what I am finding more and more.

We are hard on ourselves.   We stress.  We fret.  We don't think we're good enough.  We get scared.  Trust me,  I get that.  I am harder on me than anybody else could possibly be!  When I don't accomplish what I set out to in a day,  I can beat on myself royally.

What does that accomplish? 

What were my goals?  Why?  Did I reach or exceed them?  Why or why not?

What DID I achieve today?

Did I bring 100% of whatever I had to bring to whatever I did?  If all I have is 30% but I bring all 30,  then I have succeeded!

And if I didn't?  Well,  if I can recognize it,  acknowledge it,  OWN it,  not make excuses for it, nor beat myself up about it,  look into the mirror and say "tomorrow is a new day and this is goal"  then I still succeed on pursuing the path.

Success triumphs in tangible ways and in intangible ways.  It is not all or nothing. 

Failure is not an option.  Living is needed, necessary and required.

Success is measured in what you have to contribute and how you use that contribution to make this place a little better than you found it.

The intangibles can suddenly find a tangibility that is uniquely yours,  should you give yourself permission to be where you are,  and discover the possibilities that exist there.

Achievement of an action

Realization of a goal

A triumph over a struggle

Being ready to take on that new task

Living without hesitation

Fearlessness

Giving of spirit

Being open to the possibility

Satisfaction

Finding your power within the spirit of you and claiming it


All these are possible definitions.  Create your own.

The beauty of success is that no one defines it for you, but you.

So what are you waiting for?  Start this season off with DAILY successes that you can acknowledge and claim.

If you feel overwhelmed, start one step at a time.  Start small.  Each step is a success!

Reach and claim that unreachable star each and every day by WHO you are,  and what you claim in your artistic life,  your personal life,  your tangible life.

Success is as much a journey as anything.  We can create a large open ended picture and let it change from day to do by what we do with each day.

The day may bring you many things, but it is up to you what you do with it,  how you greet it,  how you take it on.

Whatever you have,  bring THAT into your day;  into your studies;  into your work;  into your pursuits;  into your dreams.  Let it lead how you are perceived and want to be perceived. 

Define your success by choosing to create it and  live it,  not by wishing for  it or yearning for it.

And I leave you with the eloquence of Sondheim's brilliance - make your OWN hat.

There's a part of you always standing by
Mapping out the sky
Finishing a hat, starting on a hat
Finishing a hat, look I made a hat
Where there never was a hat






Saturday, August 9, 2014

Gearing Up for a NEW SEASON!

I can't believe it's August.  Where is the summer going?

Things are slowing down a bit,  as they always do, in order to gear back up again in a couple of weeks, as far the audition season goes in NYC.

Many of you are heading to school or back to school.  Some of you are getting ready to take on new projects, new shows, go out on tour...

How are you gearing up?

Full steam ahead is great, if you have done the work to prepare for that.

The gear up can only be successful if you are having the right conversation with yourself. 

I was touched by this quote today:

“Life is not complex.  We are complex.  Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.”
―Oscar Wilde

  
This is such an important distinction that I think we often confuse for ourselves. 

Gearing up,  often means, simplifying.  Simplifying is scary.  It means we have to come to terms with what we don't need:  stuff, excuses, what ifs, buts, yeah buts...you know what I am talking about. At least I hope you do.

We all do it: complicate things.  I hear it from others and I do it myself.  The excuses to keep the narrative alive in the show that stars us. 

Sadly those excuses keep the narrative alive, but don't allow us to fully gear up to DO anything that moves as forward and into a life that has meaning.

Whether you are auditioning, or going back to school, or trying to figure out what you are doing with your talent,  ask yourself what kind of narrative you are really having with yourself:  Is it NOW? Or are the excuses in the way so you don't have to think about it til later?

Is it about you are or are not doing?  Or is it about other people who don't support you enough?

Is it about what you are really capable of? Or is it about the people you think are more talented, getting the work,  booking the jobs?

Is it about your weight?  Or the fact that you haven't done anything about that?

Is it about not having new head shots? Or the fact that you haven't saved a few dollars a week to actually new ones taken?

Is it about how expensive taking a voice lesson or an acting class is?  Or the fact that you are scared to see what you actually have in front of a professional who can clearly assess your ability?

Gearing up means taking a hold of yourself and being real.

Where are you?

No excuses.

Figure out where you are,  why you are,  and then figure out where you want to be.  When you figure out where you THINK you want to be,  then ask why?  What does that represent to you?  Is it responsible?  Is it honest?  Is it attainable?  Says who?  Says what?

Gearing up, means pairing down.  Clearing the path.  Clearing the clutter.  Honing in on what is absolutely necessary and doing it.  Honing in on what is absolutely in the way,  and releasing it.

Big choices,  big changes.  Nobody said it was easy.

Finding your strengths,  your resilience,  your truths,  allows you to clear out, and gear up and actually  DO IT this season.

Are you ready?

Take a big breath, and ask yourself.  Get ready for the REAL ANSWERS.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Muses and Atmosphere

As I work on the book this morning,  I thought I would snap a photo of what is around me.

The "sunroom" as I call it,  is surrounded by trees - makes me feel like I am in a treehouse.  My kitten, Tessa, who I adopted from an amazing Animal Rescue in the City called "Animals Can't Talk, Inc

 LOVES the windows and the sun and plays while I type.




How are you preparing for your day?  How are you staying "present" in your process and in your preparation?

More to come...