I need to rest up from my weekend!

That’s right.  From my weekend, not for.  From.

Thanks to some wonderful incredible and generous people at work, I was able to get a  couple of days off to attend a seminar called “Acting Success Now.”

The hosts, Michelle and Bobby Colt, have been giving this workshop for the last 7 years and this weekend’s was the very first in San Francisco.   They do plan on coming again just before Thanksgiving. It’s’ so weird to say this, but it wasn’t at all what I expected, but at the same time it was.  Lemme break that down, cuz it’s a little whack.

I was thinking it was going to be like an “acting class” where you work with partners and move around and “perform” little skits in order to practice a lesson or exercise.  It was actually the opposite.  It was more of a lecture and the exercises were mostly individual and internal in our seats.  A lot of what is worked on is our personal relationships with emotions and beliefs and such, there’s a list below.   So sitting for 7 hours for 3 days in a darkish room with no natural light was quite the chore.  Not only that, the chairs got uncomfortable after a while (which is probably the purpose so no one falls asleep) and I kept having to shift weight, cross and uncross my legs, etc.

It did help me find out things about myself as a person and not only a performer that will forever adjust my thinking.  That’s what I expected.  Also, that I would like what I learned, and I did.

On Saturday night when my friends asked me what the workshop was about, I couldn’t really put it into words in a good way since I was still digesting ALL the things that had happened for the last two days. So I am going to try and boil it down for you: Now this workshop is so individualistic that how I interpret it may not be the same way another person would.

The tagline for this seminar is “Getting Out of Your Own Way” and they mean it on the most subatomic level!

There are 5 levels that keep us locked into who we are and all of them are given to us for our “survival.”  I will do a podcast featuring the 5 levels but I am still readjusting my notes and recordings so that it can truly sink in. And maybe I can find something that I didn’t catch before.

But the 5 levels are 1. The Brain and Nervous System   2. Thinking Level   3. Emotional Level   4. Biological Level   and 5. External Level

All of these levels are given to us by our environment and society, but the great thing is that it can be overridden.

But that’s another topic.

Here’s a quick example: When you’re a baby, how do you breathe?  You breathe from your stomach as well as your diaphragm.  People don’t do that anymore because everyone is trying to look skinny.  That’s not good.

When you’re a baby, when do you sleep?  Whenever you’re sleepy!  As we get older, we are told when to sleep and that becomes our habit.

When you’re a baby, when do you eat?  When you’re hungry!  Again, as we get older, the parents make you eat when it’s dinner time even if you aren’t hungry.

Do you see the things that we hold on to?  There’s so much more than just these, but these are the questions that stuck with me the most.  Those are some of the biological questions.  The others are equally fascinating.

Until next time…

You can change the world…(revisited)

or at least help to change the world!  On August 20, this Saturday, Yamagami’s Nursery will host a Hope Services Recycled Bike sale. Due to the success of our March collaboration, we decided it should happen again.  The last sale averaged about 25-30 bikes sold in just a few hours.  It was nice to see those happy faces (including mine) leaving with a “new” bike.

Now you’re probably rolling your eyes and saying, “Jery, how is a recycled bike sale going to change the world?”  And to that my friends, I answer thusly:


Hope Services is a wonderful organization that provides programs and services – including job training, counseling and community living — that assist more than 2,500 children, adults and seniors with developmental disabilities.   When you stop by the Nursery on August 20th and purchase a lovingly refurbished recycled bicycle from Hope Services, your money goes directly to Hope Services and they can continue their work in bettering the lives of the people they work with.


When you buy a recycled bike from Hope Services, you will be helping to save the environment!  Yup, you’ll be easing congestion on the road, consuming less of our limited supply of oil, and saving metal from taking up space in a landfill!  The folks at Hope Services have put a lot of time and energy into bringing the bikes into tip top shape, and three or four of the display bikes have already been snapped up by Yamagami’s customers! So that’s a great indicator of what we’ll be expecting this weekend.


Save yourself a heap of money! As gas prices near the $4 mark, how many times less will you need to fill up your tank and what kind of dough does that leave in your pocket? Also, if you do use your car less and your bike more, you may want to check with your insurance agent to see if there’s a lowering of your premium since you use your car much less.  I don’t know if it’ll be the case, but it doesn’t hurt you to check, right?


By hopping on your new bike, you are being active and making your body stronger.  Bike riding can not only be beneficial as an exercise item, but also a relaxation devise as well.  Did you have a stressful day? Ride a few miles uphill and you’ll probably forget all about your problems as you focus on the task at hand.

Maybe your thinking, “Jery, I have three bikes and I can only ride one!” Well, then buddy have I got a great idea for you!  Why not donate your other two bikes to Hope Services?  I don’t know if they could be utilized as a tax write off, but come on down to the Nursery on August 20th and talk to the people from Hope Services.

What happens if you can’t make it on the 20th but you still would like to buy a bike?   Never fret, my dears, for Hope Services holds a bike sale every Friday in their warehouse in Santa Clara.  You can find their address and directions on the Hope Services website at http://www.hopeservices.org

I hope we see you at the Hope Services Recycled Bike Sale on August 20th at Yamagami’s Nursery.  For those that don’t know, the nursery is located at 1361 S. De Anza Blvd, right off of the 85 freeway.  The sale will last from 10 am until 3 pm.

If you don’t need or want a bike, then come on down and just walk through the flowers and plants for the fun of it.  You can even check out the winners of our first ever Photo Contest! The top ten photos are on display in our seminar room.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll be doing that event annually.  Help us support the community, just by stopping by!

Be Careful What You Wish For…

Well, I guess my  “vacation” is ovah!!

Almost a month ago, I put it out there that I would love to live a more creative life.

My first step was accepting the first opportunity with an open heart and to commit to learning from that opportunity.

So, I attended a small seminar that was mainly to learn about a new way of thinking and breaking through personal subconscious barriers.  The four columns that uphold this new line of thinking are quantum physics, Eastern philosophies, neuroscience and a trick or two from theatre.  I am a science nerd at heart and love this sort of stuff, so if it helps with what it says it does, then great! But even if it doesn’t, I would still love to find out what these people are teaching and how these four methods are combined.  There were some interesting stories that were told. My fave was about the natural mind versus the acquired mind.   The natural mind is the “empty” brain that we have when we are born.  The acquired mind is what we have stored in the brain through experience.  They say that the majority of everything you know is learned by the time you are 7 or so.  The hostess spoke of turning down more money when it was offered to her.  The theory is that she had learned that she was only worth so much and wouldn’t know how to handle this new responsibility.  Coincidentally, her sister was also offered a crazy good promotion and turned down the offer as well.  When they finally talked about it, it turned out that both offers were much more than what their mother had made as a nurse when they were growing up.    The seminar hostess made sure to tell us that both offers were made in different places and times and they hadn’t discussed it with one another at all, AND that they both talked themselves out of taking the opportunity.  So the question is: is this somehow a subconscious betrayal that they’ve learned as children and did it truly affect their decision?  I am so incredibly excited to be able to attend this 3day workshop at the end of the month!! What will I learn about myself that I’ve supressed?   Ugh, in some ways, I don’t really want to know.

So that has become opportunity one.

Opportunity dos came in a Facebook message from the gorgeous Jillian Toby-Cummings asking if I would be interested in working on Aladdin Jr. for Theatre in the Mountains.  At first, the thought terrified me.  Then I thought about the seminar, so with a big inhale, I replied back saying I would be happy to do it. For a while I didn’t hear anything so I thought maybe it wasn’t going to happen.  But then, I got more emails, and soon availability was talking and auditions.  So now I can’t wait.

Opportunity three came via email from Nancy Kwong asking if I would be interested in being a part of the performing group at the West Valley Light Opera ERMA Awards.  It’s just a song here and a dance there, so of course I’d be happy to do it.  The rehearsals have been few and far between and the banquet is at the end of the month.  It’s on the last day of the seminar, so I have to RUSH home and change and get to the dinner before the entertainment begins to get all situated.  Boy this one is gonna be tough.

Number four: Was one that was poorly planned on my behalf.  I wanted to audition for WVLO’s How To Succeed partially because I wanted to do another show, but mostly because I want to stop being so fearful at auditions.  There were about a dozen auditions happening within these last two weeks that I wanted to audition for as many as I could.  Turns out that the “Succeed” auditions were first.  I didn’t think I was impressive in the least, but soon after the callbacks, I was being offered Bart Bratt, the Personnel Manager.  Cool, but I said I’d like to get back to them because of the other auditions.  The producer, Sergio Pena,  is such a great guy and I get along well with him, so he made me feel like I was terrible for not doing his show.  He first told me “I totally understand, what you are trying to do as far as creating a career and how it’ll affect shows, but not when it’s my show.”  On top of this, he and I spoke about it over dinner one night when we were hanging out AND he said I should try to audition more outside of my little corner of comfort.  So he talked me into doing the show.  That clever little man!  hahaha

And last but not least, number 5: I’ve been taking classes at Zohar Dance Studios for a couple of months now.  I guess every year during Christmas they have a winter recital.  Now I have NEVER been one to want to join in this, but the teachers are just so nice and fun and enthusiastic about teaching that when they asked me to participate I had to say yes.  The number I am in is called Inner Man.  It’s me and 3 other guys each trying to be the Alpha Male.  The music is tribal and percussive so it’s easy to feel that sort of primal urge, but some of the movements are tricky, tricky.

I told my partner Perry this morning at breakfast: “I know I said I wanted to live this kind of a life, but I didn’t expect it all to just jump right into my lap.”

But I am ever grateful and cherishing every opportunity and moment of it.