If you’ve been watching my Instagram lately, you will have noticed someone has a gripe against a guy named Vinnie. 😉
I was back on the set of James Balsalmo’s The Litch this week and I was again impressed by James’s wizardry, this time with masks, snot fabricated from cottage cheese and blood from chocolate syrup and food coloring. It was a messy, fun, albeit, occasionally odorous time. It’s amazing what creativity we have when we use it and James is a truly creative fellow.
What makes you tick? What makes make you say “That’s IT.” This past Wednesday’s What Women Want Talk Radio episode focused on finding your “IT”—what makes you tick and feel alive. I think this show is great for the new graduates out there who may be struggling with finding a personally fulfilling path.
Chaitra Radhakrishna started her career in computer science in Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, but after finding herself unfulfilled, she moved to the US and discovered her talents for web design and marketing. She founded PinkPot, a lifestyle blog that blossomed into something more.
Jane Bishop spent her early life traveling the globe with her military family, which pushed her to develop a strong sense of self and constantly find her “IT”. After a corporate job caused her severe burnout, she focused on building her own business and now offers consulting, coaching, public speaking and is the author of the new book, The Bread Box, which focuses on finding the extraordinary in the ordinary stuff of life.
I also opened up about my “IT”, which is the movie business. I constantly had to say “yes” to my it over the years and still do so today. I love when Jane mentioned the power of play in our lives, because I think that’s something that so many adults lose touch of when “adulting”.
Seriously, the Ghost Busters jingle was echoing through my head all through our latest What Women Want Radio Show broadcast. We’ve all had blocks. We’ve all been stuck. We’ve all had that same issue come back over and over again and smack us in the face (or rear).
Once upon a time, in a summer stock theater troupe in a galaxy far far away, I was assigned to play one of those obscure Shakespearean characters. This was one of those comedic relief characters in the heavy drama right before the king gets killed. If you are an actor, you know these characters exist in the Bard’s work and they are hard to nail. Mine was the Duchess of York in Richard II. In many productions of the play, this scene and this character are cut.
Weeks of rehearsal and the director’s input were more about purging the bad choices than discovering the good. It was trial-and-error and both trial-by-fire AND error at the same time, almost all the weeks of working the scene on stage. I couldn’t wrap my mind around this quirky character in this equally off-the-wall scene. People wanted to get to the poetic and tragic death of the king, right? I was frustrated.
It wasn’t until I owned the character’s block as my block that I did finally break through.
The group I was working with paid special attention to the meter of the verse and had a process of using the verse as the momentum of the emotion. My meter was irregular. Great. Irregular scene, quirky character with irregular meter. Awesome. So reading the scene for the umpteenth time, I decided to make her obstacles my obstacles and my thoughts about those obstacles hers.
What was her obstacle?
Getting in the door-literally. In the scene, the character was locked out of a room.
I decided to improvise using a make-shift battering ram. Using the sound effect value of the battering ram helped me focus my intentions, beat (literally) the pesky meters and own it. I made a big, bold choice and it worked for me.
So, not of all of us are going to have to delve into weird characters in the Bard’s world, but we may get handed a sort of surreal set of circumstances.
Own the block—cautiously. Don’t make harsh judgments about yourself. There’s a language difference between “I am blocked,” and “I am experiencing a block”. Verbs move you through. Adjectives might weigh you down.
Identify the most basic part of the obstacle. What’s your basic objective or intention? Start there and get specific. If it’s a conceptual block, try externalizing (mind-mapping, modeling). Perhaps it needs to get out of the head and into the body or on paper.
What is not working? Keep discarding the things that are not yielding the results you want. Keep at it. Keep moving. Don’t let the block weigh you down spiritually or emotionally.
Make a big, bold choice when it makes sense. If it doesn’t work, discard.