I know it has been quite sometime since I have sat down to this computer to input all the things in my brain, and that perhaps you may have missed my mentalities. But have no fear, John Cleese and Woody Allen have set me straight. I know what you’re thinking; “Gosh, that girl has friends in high places!”. Well, take comfort in the knowledge that you too could know them as well as I do, if you spent way too many consecutive hours trolling the internet; instead of actually being productive. But no matter the medium the lessons remain.
Let us begin with Johnny-boy, I can call him that, cuz he’ll never read this. In a recent column for Cracked, he reminded me that anything worth doing is worth doing for free, until you can convince someone to pay you for it. That little by little is the only way to consume an elephant. Oh, and there was also something about how getting what you want might be a lot harder than you ever thought it could be, but that doesn’t change the fact that you want it.
On the other hand Woody Allen’s reputation and repertoire speak for themselves. His work ethic is unparalleled. With over 75 movies under his writing, directing and starring belt, he is proof that if you make it, they will come. A true testament to the fact that, no matter what you do, if you like it, if it makes you laugh, think, cry, ache, it will effect another. Period. Full stop. The only thing stopping people from loving your body of work, is that you haven’t created a body of work.
It is with those ideologies, that I launch myself back into cyber-space. I challenge myself to keep growing as an artist. A writer. A performer. A beautiful disaster. And I hope that you will re-enlist as a reader. A cheerleader. And all out fanatic…though, I might have to be earn that last one. But I’ll take that bet, and roll the dice, and go all in, if it means someone will appreciate my body…of work that is.
Ladies and Germs,
I have always been a happy multi-tasker. I love having many strings of my life weaving the beautiful tapestry of my story. But sometimes, those threads get too long and tangled. This is where I am right now. I am working on too many different projects with too many bosses and not enough sleep. So, as my creative self is stifled, rushed and in disarray, I must release myself from the self-imposed pressures of performance. I love writing this blog, but my fingers have been and continue to be, otherwise occupied. And I have to be okay with that- cuz that’s the way it is. So, until after things settle down, which doesn’t look like that long from now, I am going on hiatus.
Sad, I know, but this is the perfect opportunity for you to catch up on a nearly perfect year of blogging. Thanks for your ongoing support & love, it’s helped me the whole way. And I look forward to getting back to this again soon.
I grew up in a small town in a time when people weren’t focused on a cellular device while being out and about. We held doors for each other and shared umbrellas in rain storms. Now, of course not everyone in a small town is a nice person, but sometimes in this big city, I feel lost in the hustle and bustle. Especially when all my brief encounters are with people who are so disconnected from the world around them.
Q1. Would you rather live in a small town where everyone knows your beeswax or in a big city where it’s tough to find a friendly face?
A1. I have found that if you look hard enough, even a big city can feel like a small town. Those who I’ve invested in, know my beeswax but I am still able to maintain a certain level of anonymity in the city. I’m also mature enough to know that just because someone knows your business, doesn’t mean they know you.
Q2. Would you rather invest in online relationships or live encounters with strangers?
A2. Ooooh, that’s a crap shoot. There are so many lost connections that the WWW has helped me rekindle the dying embers of those relationships, that wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of FB, Instagram and Twitter. But it is always fun to roll the dice with the strangers sharing your interests. The way I see it, you wouldn’t be where you are doing the same thing, at the same time, if you didn’t have similar interests. And that’s one thing you have in common, think of all the other things you might connect on. A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met.
Q3. Is it better to be alone and online or surrounded by people without?
A3. I love people. I love the instant gratification of the laughter and shared experiences. My Hubby and I try to put our phones away when we’re out in the world (as long as there’s no pressing work to be done, i.e.; this blog) and the first person to reach for their phone pays the bill. It can be a challenge but everyone who’s had to go without their social device for a few days knows, that by day 2, it’s liberating. Maybe it’s something I’ll encourage more of in the future.
I feel like I have been droning on and on lately about my love/hate relationship with the web. And that’s exactly what it is. A web of time sucking social encounters that can wait, but it just keeps sucking me in. I think of how productive I could be, if only I’d put my phone down. So, in the future you will find me here, there and everywhere, but no matter where I am, I will try and be present. And that’s my gift to you.
Humans are designed to consume information. There are books and magazines. There are blogs and websites and conventions and lectures. The world around us is bursting with delectable knowledge to munch on. Everyday is full of appetizing opportunities to fill our minds. As children we learn from our parents. In school, we learn from our teachers. And as grown ups we learn from each other. Now, what we learn depends on where we learn it and how we’re taught. And since no two students learn alike, how can we quantify what knowledge is truly and deliciously powerful?
With the ever increasing availability of information, it is difficult to sift through and find the knowledge we need to survive, thrive and pass along. In this world of high tech, low connection interactions; FB status updates and Instagram poses have become our main source of human contact. Which is great on so many universal levels, let’s all agree on that, but can be the cause of so many other issues that didn’t exist even 10 years ago. As an internet savvy society, we are able to be active observers in the lives of those around us without actually participating. This is where knowing and doing meet and split. I find this passivity has made me lazy. Just because I know what someone wants to show me is going on in their lives, doesn’t mean I’ve actually learned anything about them. I miss long winded phone calls and brief catch-ups and brunches with long lost friends. I miss late night gab sessions filled with tears and toils over boys and truly learning who all these people are, not just who they want the world to think they could be. I want to learn about the real, damaged and delightful them.
Now, as a person with multiple personas, I can see my opinion being negated by they fact that my public identity and my private one are often at odds with each other, but I am learning to live in the spaces where my realities cross-over. Those lovely green and purple areas of life. My identities include: Gracie the kindest, sweetest and most humble version of myself. She is the person I would be if the rest of the world wasn’t such a jerk. I’ve learned it’s easy to be an optimistic sweetie pie on stage and online. Now, Melicious is a bit more vile. She gets mad with those jerks for being Jerks, and then there’s Melissa, who knows that she’s a jerk most of the time. The happy green mix of yellow and blue is learning that even if all of my identities merged into one, there would still be a world full of jerks both online and off and dealing with it daily. In the end, I guess the most powerful knowledge is learning who you are, what you want and what you’re willing to do to get it. I am willing to go for it and now I am trying to learn how to do so. Hello, my name is Gracie, Melicious and Melissa and I am an information over-eater and highly sought after trivia teammate. And I just needed to share that knowledge with you.
The Grease soundtrack has been rolling around in my head for a few days now. So, I let that inspire today’s TalkBack Topic choice.
Q1. What are the worse things I could do?
A1. I’m not sure that Hubby would agree there are worse things I could do than go around with a boy or two. Though as a teenager in the 50’s I imagine the only thing worse would be to steal the captain of the wrestling squads heart after getting pinned to Becky, the head cheerleader.
Q2. Would I kiss and tell on my Summer Love?
A2. Are you kidding!?! 1950’s me would never kiss a strange boy. But, if I was in a love, summer love, than I might hold hands under the boardwalk. But no kissing until we’re going steady.
Q3. What if Grease really is the word?
A3. It’s got groove it’s got meaning
Grease is the time, is the place is the motion. Grease is the way we are feeling. But honestly I can’t decide between grease and bird. They’re both good words.
As an artist I have found myself being asked to provide my craft for free. To perform for exposure. Without thought to effort, time or cost. And in the past I have taken all those gigs; anything just to share my talent with an audience. Gaga says it best: ‘I live for the applause.’ Now, as an artist I know it’s difficult to quantify what my craft is worth. But I know for dang sure it’s not free. And I cannot live on the applause.
So, lately I’ve found myself expanding my vocabulary. And I’ve found comfort in one tiny word: NO. So small but so mighty. Oh yeah. It feels good. Like taking back the power position in my art. And making a choice to make art instead of flinging as much as possible at the wall; hoping for something to stick. If I choose what I do, when, for what and why, I can hold myself to a higher standard. I become a creator with passion instead of pressure. Cuz if all I’m doing creatively is taking on more so I can take on more, then all those important and paying gigs are devalued. And if I devalue my art, how could I expect anyone else to see it’s worth?
Since I’ve started using no, I’ve noticed the yeses increasing. Now, I know that the universe is about balance. So, turning something off, turns something else on. When you start rewarding yourself the universe congratulates you and gives you a, wait for it, reward. By saying no, you can decide who you want to be as an artist- and better focus on that. You can start creating better art for a better world. But seriously now, don’t get me wrong, I love freebies. I can’t say no to a promo gift bag;)
Creativity is something that needs to be nurtured. It needs coaxing. It has to be cajoled and convinced it to come out and play. This is the best and worst thing about being creative- it’s work.
My family is creative. At least we’re creative thinkers. We can turn a phrase and make up words, terminology and conceptualize like you wouldn’t believe. Though, if you read this blog you might already be hip to that info. What you don’t know is that words we’ve made up become real; at least to us. So ingrained that the whole family -even those who marry into it- know what they mean. When I spend time with my family, I am firing on all cylinders. With each joke I am aiming to one up the last. It’s a mental workout. Sadly though, this intellectual intensity isn’t readily available in my daily life.
Now, now, that’s not to say I am not mentally stimulated by my day to day routine, I am; it’s just not brain boot camp. Plus if I was always ‘on’ I might find myself spending even more time alone. I guess what I’m trying to say is being creative doesn’t just happen, it’s a decision that needs to be made. Maybe it’s writing in a journal when you wake. Or it could be baking a cookie mansion. How about designing and building a performance art piece every month? Then again it could be writing a blog, where you get to create anything you want. So, even though I haven’t been writing as much as I would like, I know that I am being creative elsewhere. And it seems to be paying off. But I do miss these words we share.