Thank you, Stress and Anxiety…

You have thoroughly ruined the majority of my weekend.  I’ve missed 3 festive gatherings because of you and I’ve decided that enough is enough.

One thing that I have always believed in as an actor is to honor your feelings regardless of what they are.  That being said, I feel that I’ve felt stress and anxiety as much as I can handle at the moment.  For an honest to goodness moment, I actually stopped and really thought if I was going through a period of depression.  I’ve been functioning, but not feeling like my usual jovial self. Maybe I am depressed, but every time I feel any sort of negative emotion, I have conditioned myself to take that energy and try and create something with it or to put it to beneficial use.  For me the thinking behind is it, is that after I’ve “memorized” what these emotions make me feel physiologically, this energy doesn’t do anything.  It just makes me fidget or eat (that’s the last thing I need to do on a budget as tight as mine.) but it doesn’t help me in any way.  So, I try to redirect myself to find a project that I can complete or begin.

SO…

One of my co-workers asked me if I have any New Year’s resolutions the other day.  I told her that I didn’t.  Because I don’t believe in them.  This seemed to surprise her.  But why do you need them?  I look at resolutions the same way I look at Thanksgiving.  When it comes to being thankful, it should be something that you do every single day.  I don’t need to be reminded.  Besides, what we are taught in schools is not why “thanksgiving” was celebrated in the first place.  It was for the slaughter of a nearby Native American tribe.  I am NOT thankful for that.

Resolutions are almost always about making yourself a better person in some way.  And what happens if you don’t keep to your resolution, for even a brief period of time? You feel like you failed.  After that, then it’s like “why bother?”   I am always looking for ways to better myself, so again, I don’t feel the need to make a resolution.  I do make goals not resolutions.  Goals can be created or revised when you need to re-evaluate.  Resolutions, we have been trained to believe, are steadfast.   Just call them goals.  Why put yourself through the ringer if you don’t stick to your resolution.  Check out this site for some interesting stats.  Or if your interested in seeing what the top resolutions are, check it out here.

I’ve still got some goals that I am working on.  Here are what I am working on:

1. Finding more performing opportunities.

2. Get an agent.

3. Pay off all my debts.

4. Fill my brain with more monologues.

and lastly,

5. Come to a definitive solution: sacrifice months that I can perform and get paid more OR keep my pay and audition for everything that I want to.  With everything I am supposed to do, in addition to giving up what I am most passionate about for a 1/3 of the year, I feel like I should be making more money.  If that’s not something that can happen, then I shouldn’t have to give up that 1/3 of the year.  If I need to leave the wonderful place I am at now, then I’ll have to take that into serious consideration.

So what kind of goals do you have? Have you ever made a resolution that you were able to stick to?  How’d you do it?  Leave a comment and let’s chat about it.  I am sure you can teach me something new!

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Something stressful this way comes…

Sam Valenzuela and Lalo Lopez acting like hams!

We had a designer run-through last night and the work was very, very rough.  There were a lot of questions from people, usually starting with the words “In the script it says…” and then adding a detail that hasn’t been spoken of, or addressed as of yet.  It’s funny how many things can be accidentally overlooked when focus is on one aspect of a play.

When we get into the last few weeks before Opening Night, things begin to get stressful sometimes.  Everyone begins to intensely focus on the task at hand.  People begin to “wear” their characters in the hallways and in the wings while waiting to go on stage.  The usual lively jokiness that abounds in the hallways may cause the actors to break concentration.

One of the many things that I try to do is be respectful of my fellow actors and before performances, I try not to fool around if I see them focused on their entrance.  One of the worst things that an actor can do is either miss and entrance or come onstage late. I would hate to be the cause of something like that, so I do my best to stay out of the way.

Since we open in two weeks, things are going to be tough and a wee bit on the stressy (yup, it’s a made up word) side. One of the best things that we as actors can do for each other is to know our lines, our scenes and entrances, and to keep the silliness to a minimum.  But I have to emphasize that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop laughing.

And with these people, I don’t think that will be a problem.

Lalo Lopez, Sam Valenzuela, Jay Vera, Anees Guillen, Maya Malan-Gonzalez, Jessica Castaneda