FUN

I woke up on January 1st of this year without a plan.

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Kristen Annese, myself and Mai Deplapa on set .

As I surveyed my snow-covered landscape, I suddenly knew.. “I’m moving to Los Angeles.” It was a quiet moment, alone in my house. I had no goal, no plan, no idea of what was before me except that I would need to do a lot of shoveling. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t justify my decision. I just made it.

My type A, goal-oriented, list-making, chore-scoring rattled brain had enough. I was just done with objectively making decisions in my life. This winter I was like, you know what? I’m gonna have fun. FUN.

FUN. I don’t mean a vacation. I don’t mean coloring in one of those adult coloring books. I mean I decided this year that I was going to chase the fun.

Everything has fallen into place since I embraced this simple concept: I worked on hands down the most magical (YEP) set I have ever been on, made the type of friends I know I could live forever on a deserted island with, had wonderful opportunities fall into place, and guess what? I didn’t make a list. I didn’t predict this was going to happen. I just let go and trust myself and I have had the privilege and honor of working with and being surrounded by so much talent and love that I literally had moments where I cried I was so grateful.

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At the wrap party!

This isn’t the kind of thing you plan for. It’s the kind of thing to which you OPEN yourself.

One of my friends said, “When one door closes, and five more open, why would you try to keep walking through the closed one?” I have had a strong feeling this year that I would be headed somewhere new and that is exactly what I am doing.

Next month I begin work on another film.

After that, I fly out to LA.

Who knows what will happen after that?

But this time next year, I will be writing a blog post from California.

And if something isn’t fun, I won’t be doing it.

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Near the end of filming… ūüôā

Folks, it’s so much easier than everyone else is saying. Just be yourself. Make a decision. Go have fun.

2014 and how I got here

I read this amazing, kick-in-the-ass blog from Talent Manager Jenn Lederer this morning. ¬†I was having one of those weak actor moments on the couch, by the fire, wearing three layers of clothing, bundled up with my dog and sort of resenting myself for over-analyzing every move I am making in my career. ¬†I also blame my inertia on winter weather and the arctic blast, but I’ll leave that to someone else to blah blah blog about.

Just then I decided to take moment of reprieve from my pity-fest and saw an email come in from Jenn Lederer that absolutely grabbed my attention and made me say, “Well that’s a weird coincidence,” considering I was going through exactly what she was detailing in her blog post. ¬†The next words I read? ¬†“don’t even get me started on coincidences, btw.” ¬†

I had taken a seminar with her this summer that was extremely moving and encouraged me to just plow forward with my career in brave, new ways.  This email was a much-needed brush up.

You see, I normally go into a new year without TOO much of a plan. ¬†Yes, I make vision boards (laugh if you want, but call me up and I will convince you to make one in less than 5 minutes) and yes I am all about working hard with goals in mind, but this was the first year EVER that I had already acquired employment in December as an actor for the first 8 months of the following year. ¬†WHAT?! ¬†All I could think was, “Gee, last year I did say I wanted to teach to supplement my income. ¬†Gee, I did want to do this and that and this. ¬† Maybe it’s all just working out.” ¬†WELL, here’s the thing. ¬†It’s important to remind ourselves that we ¬†didn’t just magically end up where we are right now. ¬†Whether it’s on the 100th floor of an office building, or sitting on the floor playing ¬†games with kids, or driving cross-country to pursue our dreams. ¬†No, we make our lives.

Jenn also points out in this fabulous blog post (yes I will provide a link so you can read it too) that we tend to think that the GOOD things in life just “happen” to us, while the bad things that happen to us are the only things that we are responsible for. ¬†But what if we adopt the idea that WE are responsible for everything that “happens to us?” ¬†And find the goodness in that!? ¬†Holy crap, it’s a mega-mind shift.

Several years ago I was in an accident in which I was hit by a truck while crossing the street. ¬†I had finally processed what had happened to me, and I was talking to my friend Jim Hetrick about it. ¬†He said, “The thing that people don’t seem to realize is that everything in their lives…everything that happens to me, everything that happens to you, we bring it upon ourselves. ¬†We attract it to us.” ¬†I had JUST started to feel that was true, but I needed someone else to say it out loud.

Now I know what some of you may be thinking. ¬†“I didn’t ask to lose my job! ¬†I didn’t want a disease!” etc. ¬†Yes, some EVENTS do happen in our lives that we do not personally control. BUT…what if you just accepted the idea that you have the power to change events in your lives? ¬†That you weren’t just floating along through space? ¬†Cause if that’s what you think, that’s what you get.

Obviously, I wasn’t thinking to myself “Gee, when will I get hit by a truck! ¬†I really feel like eating some asphalt!” ¬†BUT you know what I ¬†WAS repeating to myself for YEARS?! “Nothing ever happens to me. ¬†Nothing ever happens to me. ¬†My life is so boring.” I was ungrateful and I needed a really huge wakeup call. ¬†Well guess what? ¬†Sometimes that’s why accidents happen! ¬†And they aren’t coincidences…

Anyway, back to my worried self. ¬†I thought about all the good things that are happening for me right now, and I decided to embrace them entirely as my own creation. ¬†Then I spent an hour and a half laying out the groundwork for what I want in the new year. ¬†Here’s what I ALREADY have laid out for myself this year:

Teaching Kids, ongoing acting as a patient at Yale Medical School, ¬†shooting a short film, “Tracy on a Bench” with the magnificent John Henry Soto, releasing “Holding” for all the world to see, oh yeah…and going to Cannes Film Festival for a ¬†production internship.

So I noticed that after the holidays I was feeling kinda down. ¬†Like…what power do I have to actually shift my career to the next level? ¬†When DUH, it hit me that I already am responsible for all of the great things I already have laid out for the year. And if I want more, I can go get it. ¬†And obviously, I want more.

NO MORE EXCUSES. ¬†NONE. ZERO. ZILCH. ¬†No more thinking that good things just happen to me. ¬†Cause I’m bringin it to myself! ¬†And I wish you the same for 2014.

Also, check out the blog I was speaking of earlier (even if you aren’t an actor, this still applies to LIFE my friends).

http://jennlederer.com/blog/

Cheers.