Archive for November, 2010

Easy now, hush, love, hush.  Don’t distress yourself, what’s your rush?  Keep your thoughts Nice and lush.  Wait…  Don’t you know, silly man, half the fun is to plan the plan?  Good things come to those who can wait.

—Sweeney Todd by Steven Sondheim

I’ve been trying to find the right career for me for about 6 years now.  My most recent venture has been to look into even design.  I’ve talked to event designers and taken notes and made a portfolio etc but I wasn’t quite finding my path.  I talked to someone who is a consumer entertainment producer and she’s awesome.  She throws awesome events for big ass companies that help them promote their brand while showing people a good time.  She also runs a yearly performance festival.  Sounds awesome, right?  So she asked me what I wanted to do and I was like

“That!  Exactly that.  I want to create huge and awesome events with my awesome friends performing and get paid stupid amounts of money for it.”  and she basically said

“Ok, so if Coca Cola calls tomorrow, what do you have to show them?  If they saw your show right now would they be dazzled and want to hire you?  Or would they think ‘eh, maybe she’s got potential but this looks kinda ghetto’?”

And I deflated.  Because as much as I love my acts and I love my show, I wouldn’t say “Hey, Coca Cola, come on down to Original Cyn, you’ll totally want to give me a million dollars to work for you.”  Because sometimes we have a crowd and sometimes we don’t, and we never start on time and there really is only so dazzling you can be in a $50 costume under a single clip light on a stage made out of a door and six paint cans.

One of the best teachers I ever had said “all you need to perform in a plank and a passion.”  And he was right.  Original Cyn is proof of that.  He just never said anything paid.  And I’m not knocking that.  I love the show more than almost anything else in my life.  But it’s never going to make me more than grocery money.  Because we’re the CBGBs of burlesque and if we want to make it to Vegas we’re going to have to hold on for another 30 years.  And maybe sell some t-shirts or something.

BUT then she said this and this is the bit of wisdom that I need to share with you all

“Don’t discount the gestation phase.  It took me years to get my festival to be what I really wanted it to be.  But it never would have gotten there if I had waited around for it to be perfect before it even started.”

She was right.  I wasn’t ready yet.  But YET was the operative word.  I’d already done the hardest part.  I had started.  I had produced something.  Now I needed to refine it, to build it, to get it to a place where I could show it to anyone and expect them to hire me.

I’m cookie dough (for the buffy nerds out there.)

For the past five years I’ve been cranking out act after act, idea after idea, just to get them out there.  Because there were things in my head and I wanted other people to see them.  I never spent HUGE amounts of time or money on a costume because I never knew if I’d do the act more than once.  But I’ve cooled down a bit.  I’m learning that I don’t have to manifest *every* idea I have (just like how I don’t have to own every cool thing I see, or sleep with every person I find hot) and I’m learning to pick and choose which ideas are worth really investing myself in.  And I’m going back to my old acts, the one that I love, the ones I will do a million times and investing the time and money I didn’t have before into making those acts the absolute best they can be.

And once I’m done with that, I’ll be producing more, bigger, awesomer events.  Performancewise I feel like I’m almost cookies.  When it comes to producing…. it’s going to take longer.  But apparently the only way I learn is by doing (and fucking up) so I’d better get on that.

And I’m going to work on finding some better day jobs.  Or get more zen with the ones I have.  Because it looks like I’m going to be stuck in them for a while.

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I want to talk to you about life. It’s just too difficult to be alive, isn’t it, and try to function?

—Christopher Durang, Laughing Wild

 

I survived October.  Just barely.

Don’t get me wrong, great things happened.  I had some good times and did some good work and, hell, any month that has both Halloween and the Best Birthday Ever can’t be all bad.  My birthday party and subsequent birthday/Halloween felt like one big victory lap.  But there was also alot of illness, injury, exhaustion, and random emotional breakdowns where the very actions of functioning (standing, walking, taking the subway to work) just seemed like TOO FREAKING MUCH and I lost a lot of money/time/sanity to it.

Obviously this was due to a lot of factors but very nearly all of them add up to the same three things: Stress, lack of regular exercise, and less than great eating habits.

I’ve read lots of things about how to reduce stress.  Many of them boil down to “Spend Money!” or “Meditate.”  I don’t have money to spend on a massage or a yoga class.  And I’m trying to meditate, really I am.  But I hate it.  I really do.  It makes me feel like I want to punch someone.  Or one time I felt dizzy and nauseous.  Neither of these reactions are helpful.

Taking baths seems to help.  I would live in my bathtub if I could, but that’s not really practical.  Exercise also seems to help but I haven’t been able to cram it into my schedule.  The time I have off is usually the day after I’ve been go-go dancing all night and the last freaking thing I want to do is move.  A month ago I was reading a book about having compassion for one’s self and lowering the crazy standards we all have for ourselves.  And that helped for a little while.  But whatever my standards are, they don’t make me any less busy or any less broke.

I’m trying to eat healthier but I know from experience that I’ll only eat food that I actually enjoy eating and I just don’t know that many yummy, healthy, cheap and fast recipes.

So I’m asking you, dear readers, what works for you?  How do you reduce stress without spending money?  How do you cram exercise into your life?  What yummy, cheap, healthy, recipes do you recommend?

Life is tough sometimes.  Let’s help each other out.