I feel like I have been here for months already. It will have been a little less than one as of Monday. My life has been broken down into either working, watching Arrested Development, or debating over what Pokémon should be on my upcoming Alpha Sapphire team. I have no money and my personal schedule is all out of whack. I need to find a way to reengage myself and get back on the horse.
STRUCTURE for the win.
Last week, I was asked to do a workshop of a new play. I jumped at the opportunity, which was presented to me by my ever supportive and awesome mentor. It was exactly what I needed; to sink my teeth into work again. It was a play for young audiences and was dealing with aspects of social media. After the table reading in the morning the director, writer and the cast (myself included) went to a high school to get the opinions of some eclectic students. They were awesome, and really responsive, which made the whole experience extremely fulfilling.
I had my SummerWorks Leadership Intensive Program meeting a little more than a week ago, which was great. At this point, I don't know if I have been chosen, but it was great to talk to people who are passionate about what they do and their encouragement of young artists. Leaving that meeting I got to thinking about what I want for my life and I think that, more than anything, I want to be respected and known as an artist. Any way that I can accomplish that, is where I want to be. I realize that in order for this to happen I need to start developing ideas and bringing them to life. I constantly find myself creating "projects" with friends that they perceive as a funny scenario, or a joke, but I am genuinely serious about moving forward with these ideas. I need to find people that won't just create with me but who will actually follow through with our riffs.
This leads me to wanting to find like-minded people in general. I need to keep discovering and surrounding myself with people who share the same drive and passion for respect and notoriety that I do. I need people with similar work ethic and conversational topics in my life. I feel so different all the time and I want to feel accepted. I want to find my group of people/artists. I don't want to waste time faking my way through a conversation simply to be social. I want each interaction to mean something, to learn about myself and that other person. I want honesty and authenticity. Maybe I have too many expectations for everyday life and I will only let myself down with all these hoops, but alternatively specificity has never let me down.
Prince has also never let me down, and Toronto is home to a Prince inspired party called Purplelectricty.
Perhaps these are the ones I am looking for....
Yesterday, I saw my good friend Sebastien Hiens perform his show Brotherhood: The Hip Hopera at the Toronto Clown Festival and it inspired me, as it always does. It inspired me to really dig deep and see what I have inside me. Sebastien kills it in the show. It utilizes all the things that he loves and that are specific to him as a performer. His unique skill set. This is what sets artists apart, their specialties. I sometimes find myself trying to imitate other artists because I like what they do. But it never feels like home. I know what some of my abilities are, but not all of them. I need more time and opportunities to stretch my wings and truly find where I am happiest, what my ace cards are. Sebastien said this great thing about the show when we were hanging out post-Brotherhood, "...I have performed that show in living rooms and in grocery stores and now it will finally get it's main stage debut..." He has proven to me that if something is real and authentic to someone as an artist (and you pay your dues) then other people can't help but see and, more often than not, want to support that truth. He loves that show and it's easy to see why.
For as long as I can remember I have been concerned with what people think of me and how I am being perceived. It dominates my life. I get so stressed out thinking about trivial things that for the most part don't matter. I get jealous of people doing things that I actually have no interest in doing, I simply wanted to be considered.
I am aware of how ridiculous that sounds.
This "envy monster" is the bane of my existence and I know that once I am able to delete him from my consciousness, I am going to discover so many new possibilities creatively and personally (at this point in my life these two words mean the same thing).
I have glimmers of confidence in my daily life and I feel so alive and focused when those moments happen. I feel my confidence is the strongest in performance, which I why I come alive on stage. I simply execute and think later. I know it's possible to live that way all the time. To be in a constant state of confidence, to take every moment as it is and deal with it authentically. No insecurities allowed. I have to stop keeping up with these "invisible Jones'" and live MY life. There is, actually, no point in comparing myself to people, I am never going to be them or have the same chances, jobs, lovers, families, lives as any of them. I am only going to have my own. I need to embrace my own truth and live for me.
Everything that is happening to me right now is necessary. I have to work this Joe job out of need, not want. I have to miss out on the things I would love to do because I need to pay rent. I don't have financial freedom, I have a lot of debt. But what I do have is true independence. All the things I have are mine and are here because of me. Sure, washing dishes every night it isn't the easiest or most entertaining way to live but it's teaching me about myself, about food and people and I really like all those things. My friend said this to me recently, "...hard living makes you a stronger artist. People who are privileged don't know what it's like to struggle and makes end meet, which means they can't truthfully bring that emotional context to a character."
From now on, if someone asks me how I'm doing I am going to say, "Character building."