Everyday Words

May 20, 2005

Today was a day of hookey; of taking time off not to catch up on chores or putter about the flat or meet up with friends for lunch. It was a day to just do things normally reserved for the weekend if the weekend was really about taking time off.

Sleeping in, wearing pigtails, going to the Getty Museum for hours and getting lost within it all. Stopping by my favourite little cafe for dish with the owner and the best afternoon tea service for a mere $15. Coming home after sunshine and scones for a nap while the breeze rustled trees outside my cosi couch and the two squirrels who have been mating for the past week had some afternoon lovin’.

It’s almost dinner time and no chores have been done, no bills paid, no work worked on. It’s quiet, lovely and just like a summer afternoon when I was 17 and didn’t want to go to math.

Makes me think, that hookey is needed now and again because it intensifies the pleasure of everything done that day.

Quotes

Making It

May 5, 2005

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”

George Bernard Shaw

Everyday Words

April 11, 2005
To communicate something of what I feel about what we do as artists, as musicians and as human beings. The sun will not fall down from the sky if there are no more [artists]. The world can and will go on without us but I have to think that we have made this world a better place. That we have left it richer, wiser than had we not chosen the way of art. The older I get, the less I know but I am certain that what we do matters.

You must know what you want to do in life, you must decide, for we cannot do everything. Do not think [art] is an easy career. IT is a lifetime’s work; it does not stop here. What matters is that you use whatever you have learned wisely. – Maria Callas

At the office today I was watching Faye Dunaway’s play “Master Class” based on the infamous opera singer Maria Callas (Unfortunately the play is no longer going and it’s not available on DVD – I only had access to it because Faye dropped it off. You’ll have to wait until she makes the movie). And of all the things I’ve heard about being an artist and what it means and advice given and stories told, I would have to say that this play is the only thing that ever shook my core and made the hair on my arms stand in attention.

“This is not an opera! This is LIFE” she says to a student who sings without passion, and sings because someone told him he could and he thought it’d be a great job to make him famous. She goes on to explain to him that because she was living every moment that she sang, she was great. Because he goes through the motions and removes himself from it all, he isn’t.

Why this struck me so was that often people tend to want to take on jobs that they think they should, or that they’re good at or that will get them somewhere. They tend to think of work as work, art as art, and life as everything that happens outside. But life is everything. Life is the act of living. There is no separation from work, art and life.

Later she says that a person should know what they want to do in life and live it. That to scatter the mind with half wants and ideas is a waste – choose something and go after it with life. And, when you subscribe to the theory that there is no separation between life and work then one really ought to only do what they love.

That, however, is often a double trick; figuring out what you love and then being able to do it.

The play deals a lot with the artist, the art, ego and life and intertwines it all so amazingly well. It re-inspired me at a time when I really need it. I’m creating a company and it often scares the bejesus out of me. It feels so internally right but sometimes I don’t trust that feeling, I don’t trust art, I don’t trust the passion, I don’t trust life. But after the play, I think I’m going to choose what I do and how I live.

No separation.

Everyday Words, Los Angeles

Hollywoodland

April 10, 2005

Tonight was my first big Hollywood event; a dress was bought, heels went on and a little lipgloss was swiped. After being terribly sick for the past week and inside on the couch for most of it, getting a chance to go out was welcomed.

And although I’d been to the Beverly Hills Hotel on several occasions (their soda fountain restaurant has the best burger in town, I swear) this was the first time I was able to step into a ballroom and, when no one was looking, twirl around and pretend to dance.

I was there on my own, no boy or friend to gush with, so I had to quickly learn to get over being shy and talk with people, which I did. I even laughed, told a dirty joke or two and toasted someone on their birthday. I met big Hollywood people from actors to directors to producers and listened to some very good speeches on media consolidation. I ate far too much and sipped good wine and all in all, had a very lovely night.

As I drove home along Sunset Blvd I played the Oldies station and danced in my seat to the Beatles. I realised how good I was feeling and knew it wasn’t because of the wine, the people, the music or the twirling of the dress. It was because I was able to go out and have a night on my own, a little private time, and have the only worry of if I was having a good time or not. I was able to participate in my interests without having to explain them or feel strange about them because I went on my own to a group that had the same beliefs. It was a rather freeing night.

So much of the last several years has been about other people and doing things for them or with them that it was nice to take an evening out for just myself. It reminded me of how I used to go to movies alone, fancy dinners by myself and even trips just for the hell of it. Then I became rather used to going out with someone else (boy and friends and family) and finding common ground and then doing an event based on that. Tonight was a little selfish and a heck of a lot of fun.

And I don’t think it was the last time, either.

Everyday Words

Fame

April 7, 2005

Fame is such a funny thing. For the last ten years I’ve had sites on the web, they’ve all been attached to the thing called fame. Even when I first began I had television shows from around the world wanting to interview me, “fans” emailling me like crazy and money being offered for this and that (even Jones Soda wanted to do a deal).

It became too much for me because I wasn’t doing what I was doing for attention – I just did it for fun. So I took my site down and went into hiding so to speak.

WHen I came back to the web I had a new address and didn’t mention it but again, the site became popular. And as I created new sites each one of them became almost instantly popular with absolutely no marketing on my end.

I began to become recognised when out, received hundreds of emails a day (good and bad) and lots of media attention. There were sites dedicated to gossiping about me and my career but I generally paid no attention to it. One thing I learned is that fame is not the goal and has absolutely nothing to do with me. If I start to bank on it on any level, I’d become addicted to it – I’ve seen it happen with others and knew it wasn’t pretty.

It’s one of the reasons why I’ve never had comments after entries, often do not share an email address and take my sites down several times per year. It’s not about what the end result is, it’s about the process for me. If I don’t enjoy it, if I don’t feel I’m doing good, then I don’t need it. Outside opinion doesn’t change how I feel.

As I begin to create a new business with a business partner and employees, I’m really thinking about what my intentions are with what I’m doing. It’s important to me to have creative and financial freedom but its equally important for me to do things that give to me as well as others. Fame doesn’t play any role in that. Adoration, attention, it’s not the goal.

I share this because I often find people searching for the fame and attention (and I receive a lot of email from people asking how to get famous or well-known sites) and I think it’s so side. Fame is just a byproduct that can’t be created so much by the person wanting to create it. Even more so, it can’t be controlled.

I have several friends who are very well known in the land of music and I’ve become acquainted with a lot of A-list celebrities while living here in LA. I’ve seen the benefits and the negatives of being famous and knowing famous people and I have to say, personally, that those whose intention it is to be famous aren’t the kind of people that are actually great people and whose careers generally don’t withstand the test of time. It’s the people who just do what they love and have the fame created outside of themselves that are amazing, authentic and have lasting power. They do what’s in them to do regardless of who is (or isn’t) loving them.

I’ve also seen people who started to get a little attention and how it’s changed their work (acting, music or writing). How they no longer create from within but create with an audience in mind. They became trapped into a pattern of doing things – things that “work” for attention. If they try something new and it isn’t well received then instead of continuing to push the envelope and evolve, they go back to doing what is safe. Their intents become hindered by fame. They need it more than they need to be authentic.

The fame that my sites and myself have received has been global, male and female, young and old. There’s something that I can’t even explain or understand that seems to connect with other people and creates some kind of attention that I don’t set out to create. I think one of the reasons why is become I’m not setting out to do it – it just happens. I have the freedom to keep evolving and being myself because I generally don’t pay attention to who people think I am. I don’t get trapped by it or feel the need to give into outside attention, become something, feed it. I’d keep going regardless if this site had 90,000 hits a day or 4. And I’m launching my new company to create projects in all mediums regardless of how I’ll be perceived. Because if I don’t make myself happy, it doesn’t
matter if someone else wants to.

Everyday Words, Quotes

Shadow Girl

April 4, 2005

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Often I hear people complain how others hold them back yet I’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing that can stop one from getting off their own ass is their unwillingness to stand. For moving forward often brings a fear of succeeding, of trying, of doing, of hardwork, of failure, or of change. And those fears somehow give way to hundreds of excuses and reasons why a person can’t do something when in fact, they can.

For the only real limitations one faces are those that are self-imposed. It’s why some who start with nothing can sometimes rock out more than those who have all the advantages – it’s all a matter of what a person wants to do and what they actually will do.

Everyday Words

31

February 17, 2005

I’m going to party like it’s my birthday. ‘Cuz it is.

Everyday Words

Agreements

February 7, 2005

I’m currently doing some projects with a brilliant and wonderful producer and although I’m in-love with the work I’m doing there (lots of script reading, searching for projects to produce, events, chatting and editing), what I most adore about it all is where I get to go.

It’s to a place that is over three acres and has a beautiful home, garden and outside office office which is surrounded by trees, flowers, oranges, apples, squirrels, birds and horses. Just a short walk down the road is a simple community outdoor horse ring that’s used by all the horse people in the area (including some very famous neighbours).

Sometimes after I’m done at the office, I’ll stop at the ring and watch the trainer and train the horse horse. What I’ve come to understand is that there is an agreement between the two; the trainer asks the horse to do something and the horse complies. The horse could choose to jump over the fence, run into the trainer or blow a fit and not run around the ring but he doesn’t – he agrees to do what the trainer asks.

This, I don’t think, is unique to this situation. I think everyone makes agreements with everyone. Often I hear things from people such as “he made me do it” or “I have to because my boss said so” but really, no one has to do anything. They just agree to do things.

I have been examining my own agreements with people to see if I actually agree with what I’m agreeing too. And for the most part, I am. There’s someone I’m currently working with who is driving me absolutely insane but I can’t blame her entirely because I am agreeing to accept her behaviours and work with them. If I chose not to agree I would either bitch slap her or not work with her – two options that I currently don’t agree with (however, if I have to work with her a day longer, my agreement with her might change!).

Consciously recognising and understanding the agreements we make with people involves a high level personal responsibility. It forces a person to accept control of their life and situation. It forces them to recognise that they have made a choice to do something and an agreement with someone else. There’s so much blame in the world as to why a person isn’t happy instead of realising a lot of it has to do with agreeing to be unhappy.

This ties in to an earlier post and it’s been something that’s been coming up a lot for me. The more I understand what I am agreeing to do, the more freedom I feel I have to do (or not do) it. There’s no more feeling of helplessness, of loss of control, of things being done to me. It’s a realisation that my life is made up of choice and agreements and that everyday I am agreeing to everything (good and bad).

It’s a lot easier to live this way than to blame.

Everyday Words

Surreal Life

January 31, 2005

This afternoon I went to the producer’s home office to do some work and after a little while, there was a ring at the gate. It was a girl scout selling cookies. After pre-ordering a box and speaking with her, I realised she was from next door and that I had just ordered cookies from Steven Spielberg’s daughter.

What is strange about this event is how unstrange it really was. It wasn’t surreal, or odd, or anything other than ordinary. Being here and all the events that are going on are much more normal than one would ever think.

Everyday Words

Grace

January 26, 2005

Grace

It’s been a slightly traumatising morning as my cat of eight years, Grace (who can fetch, play hide and seek, understands commands and crosses her paws when she sits all ladylike), is very, very ill.

I rushed her to one vet where I got really bad vibes from the office staff and vet and felt terribly uncomfortable with the chaos that was going on, the coldness/grumpiness of the staff, the way things were handled (taking Grace back to a cage and not letting me be there during the exam) and the rush to totally medicate and do surgery right away.

There were a lot of things that I was uneasy with so I listened to the sign and asked to have Grace removed from the back room cages (since they wouldn’t even let me hold her or see her), removed her from that office and rushed her to another. The second vet has turned out to be amazing and soothing to all of us (this reenforced the notion that one really ought to listen to their gut instincts and not apologise for walking away from someone/something that they’re less than comfortable with).

Currently, Grace is hooked while they hydrate her and do a little surgery. She’ll be there for a couple of days while I sit at home trying to move forward with errands, bill paying and preparing for a new work project that begins tomorrow. But it’s hard. The worry, the helpless feeling, well, at moments it’s a little too much.

So, all I can do right now is have some hope, drink some tea and continue to do what I can. Everyone gets through everything, even though the process might be trying.