Inspiration or Insanity…

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Image taken on 4/13/14

I have been called crazy probably a million times.

Lemme ask you something.   Is it crazy to look for ideas from the world around me?  For example, the picture above is actually a white strip in a parking lot that marked the spot that I parked in.  Upon opening the door, I looked down immediately and saw this.   I know most people will see random grey and white markings and not much else. To me, it looks like a cosmic notice calling out.  I can see my name.  Well, at least the first 3 letters.  What are the odds that I was just about to put my foot on this exact spot as I got out of my car.

This is how I see the world.  Check out this:

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Image taken on 8/14/10

This image I took in the parking structure of the Santa Clara Library.  It is simply a tire smudge on a column.  I see a Native American tribal elder.

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Image taken on 5/12/12

I call this one a Crystal Skull.  I got this image when I was closing a window one day.  This is just a reflection off the glass, but it freaked me out a little.  I know that our brains are  hard wired to look for patterns.  Facial patterns are usually the easiest ones to recognize. I find a ton of them in the dots on our bathroom floor.

I don’t like to think of myself as crazy, though I can see why people would use that word. I know that my imagination is always working.  Sometimes it is a curse when I can’t turn it off at night.  I like my skewed view of the world and even though I see a lot of dark things like this image above, I try to always focus on the fun and happy things.

Goofy things are the best kind of things and they always seem to find me.  I call the next one “red Wilson”  Hahahahaha.

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Image taken on 4/14/14

I never thought I would find a use for any of these pics aside from the first one, but it was nice to dig back in my photos to see this pattern emerge.

I look at the world and see things all the time that I glean ideas from.  The smallest things like  a steady stream of cars  driving over a grate give me the beginnings of a beat for music which I usually forget before I can get to a computer.  I will see the way a vine trails up a stake and seek to place that motion into a dance step.

Somewhere in my “insanity” I find my inspiration.

How do you get inspired? Nature hikes?  Those are fun, too.

I just realized how silly I am…

Over the past few months I have cut back on my television watching habits.  I’ve picked up more books and magazines and even my knitting with my new free time.

I really only try to keep up to date on a few shows like The Big Bang Theory, AFV, Castle, Walking Dead, and  Ancient Aliens. And when their seasons return: So You Think You Can Dance, Breaking In, and Destination Truth.  Oh, and SMASH!! But that’s new, so I kinda forgot to mention that.  Everything else, if I catch it, cool, if not, oh well.  I felt that TV was wasting too much of my time.

But it just hit me while commenting on a friends Facebook post regarding the television show, Supernatural.  My idea of TV is a little silly.

My realization was this: While I think that a lot of shows aren’t my cup of tea, it could be an opportunity to not only watch and but to analyze the acting, the writing, the casting, the costume design and the direction of any show.  Whether or not it’s good, could be irrelevant.  I could figure out why it is or isn’t my cup of tea.  (Usually, it’s only tiny moments that I happen to catch while walking in and out of the room.)  As someone who would love to pay my rent and my bills with the paychecks I would earn from gigs, why would I not utilize the free time I have while watching TV for something a little more productive rather than just a passive voyeur of what’s on the screen?

This then brings me to other contradictory quirks I have.

Let’s take pictures.

As someone who loves to be on stage and in doing so, have people watch, why can’t I get past my aversion to having my picture taken? There are special times when I power through my issue, such as for the Fatty Affair event.  I think it’s because feel like moments are meant to be fleeting.  And the moments that people do want to capture are what have passed and so they try to recreate them and thus making it less true.  I don’t mind the candid shots.  Of course, I always have the most horrid looks on my face when these happen.

Speaking of horrid.

I enjoy going to the theatre and going to the movies as well as watching movies at home.  The thing that these activities share is that the lights get turned down so the focus goes to the stage or screen.  The original storytellers were cavemen.  They told recreated the events of the day’s hunt and relayed it to the clan crowded around the fire.  There’s something in our ancient self that still enjoys the shared experience of listening to a story together.   I love it.  When it comes to scary movies, they are totally my faves!  Hands down, no doubt.  When the lights come back up, I can logically sort out in my melon all the things about the film or show that make it impossible to be true.  But at night when it comes time to go to bed and be alone with my thoughts, my imagination, the thing that helps to transport me to different places and times on stage, begins it’s process of putting me in a new place with influences of what was recently watched.  Because I refuse to try and control my imagination, I do believe that there are things that go bump in the night.

There are times when I feel like my imagination is my biggest asset.  It helps me to create or recreate worlds and people.  Conversely, it sometimes feels like my imagination is my biggest fault.  Sometimes, I feel like I can’t leave those worlds, or when ideas arise, they are overwhelming when I know that they can be pared down and streamlined.

There’s a quote that comes to mind.  It’s from Clive Barker’s “Nightbreed” that says, “Everything is true.  God’s an astronaut.  Oz is over the rainbow.  And Midian is where the monsters live.”

Have you ever noticed contradictory things about yourself?   Please feel free to share your contradictions or not.

 

✸✸ Jedi Mind Trick ✸✸

This IS the show that you want to see this weekend.

Last night we went to go and see the One Man Star Wars Trilogy at the San Jose Rep.  I am not sure why, but I told Perry we should leave much earlier than normal so we find parking.  He thought that we should be fine because it was a Thursday and nothing really happens on a Thursday in downtown San Jose.   So we hop in the car around 7:20 and head over to the theatre. When we get off the freeway, I notice that there are a very large number of high school age students out and about.  I mean a lot! I mention this and say maybe there’s something going on.  Turn the corner on San Carlos and we can hear Music in the Park is happening.  On top of that, the next performers were the Neon Trees.  I love the Neon Trees.  Bummer!  Then we get to the parking garage and it’s full.  So we have to park over near the freeway exit and power walk to the Rep. I don’t do that so well.

We had 13 minutes before the show started.

We get into the building with 2 minutes to spare, and as we walk down the isle the cell phone reminder is playing overhead. We squeeze past the people we are sitting next to just as the house goes pitch black, so I keep trying to go farther than I need to stepping on Perry before realizing I am right in front of my seat.

Then a single spotlight begins to light up the stage as Charles Ross vocalizes the opening music of the Star Wars movie.  He is a tall fellow in a black jump suit that only makes him look taller.  There is nothing else on the stage, and as he get more and more into the movie, you find there doesn’t need to be.  Your imagination begins plugging in the movie images he creates with his body.  At times, I remember thinking that it felt like I was watching a kid playing on that stage trying to explain to his friends a movie they had never seen.  You could see that he genuinely enjoyed being a fan of the franchise and performing this show.

Mr. Ross takes only the essential parts of the script that move the movie along and uses those in his show. So some things like the iconic Jedi Mind Trick “These are not the droids your looking for” and the Han Solo vs. Greedo scene aren’t in the show and Leia’s “Scruffy looking, nerf hearder” line is also omitted.  Although, I am very interested to hear his take on the Han v.  Greedo scene.

The transitions from scene to scene are fluid and dissolve into one another with ease.  The lighting tech and the actor have this show down the a science.

My favorite parts, aside from the little talk session he had at the end of the show,  were the Death Star blowing up (Twice), the Luke attack by the Wompa, and his dead on impression of an AT-AT Walker.  Oh yeah, and his Chewbacca reaction at the end of A New Hope.  Oh, oh and his dead on impression of the Emperor at the end of Return of the Jedi.  HILARIOUS!!!

You really do want to see this amazing show.  It’s only an hour long, but I feel like the tickets are totally worth it.  He has crafted a truly funny love letter to the original Star Wars Trilogy that every fan boy/girl can love and appreciate.  For more information on show times, click HERE.

You can read an interview with Mr. Ross in the Metro.

Check out what I mean.