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Positive energy…

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This was a blog I wrote over a year ago.  After rereading it, I felt compelled to publish it again…

I’ve known that for many years now. If you’re putting out nothing but negative energy, that’s what you receive in return. It isn’t always easy, but I honestly make an effort to always be positive about everything. And my life has been filled with my Creator sending me wonderfully positive things! This morning I met Pat.

I assume her name was Patricia, but we never really got that far. We didn’t really have to. Heck, we’d spoken deeply for almost 45 minutes before the “name exchange” even came up.  It was only about 10:50AM but I was hungry. I pulled into a local McDonald’s hoping to find them still serving breakfast sandwiches, but alas, I was only able to order lunch. I almost forgot. When I arrived at McDonald’s, I located a sit at one of the high-top bar tables that has about 8 seats around it. I chose the spot because of its proximity to a power outlet. I like to plug-in my laptop and check emails during my lunch. And McDonald’s has free wi-fi. I sat down my bag, pushed in the seat, and wandered up to the counter to order my meal.
Upon returning I noticed a distinguished looking older woman sitting in the chair right next to my bag. I will admit I considered moving all together, because after all, “did she not see my bag sitting there?” But she smiled, and I decided to stay. I chewed on my dollar McDouble as she spooned out her yogurt parfait and read the Washington Post when out the blue she asked, “Do you mind if I ask you a question?” I replied, “Not at all!” She proceed to tell me about this study in Washington regarding new Malaria medications. It seems a pharmaceutical company was hiring people to be injected with malaria so they can then try out these new medications on them. She asked, “Who would do that?” She laughed. I said, “Well, I wouldn’t but I’m sure there are people who need money that would jump at the chance.” And that was it. The beginning of what would be an hour lunch…Pat and me…talking about life.
Pat’s husband died just over a year ago. She’s a retired teacher with one daughter and two sons. Her sons, my age, don’t speak to each other and they are constantly arguing with her. Pat’s own brother is constantly yelling at her too. She asked, “What am I doing wrong?” I could have politely excused myself, but I felt compelled to stay…listen.
What a glorious hour it was. We both laughed…we both teared up…we both shook our heads and knew this was not a chance meeting. I hope in some way I helped her. Perhaps just by listening I did. She thanked me over and over again. But it was I who should be thanking her.  I’m so thankful to have had that experience. And it reaffirms that mantra…what you think…so you are. I’m thinking I really love listening…and helping others. And I can’t wait to see who crosses my path next!

Why does he do that?

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If you disapproved of what I was doing would it then cause me to desist?  If you felt what I was doing was silly would that lead me to find it silly too?  If you looked at what I did for a living and thought, “Why does he do that?”, would that that make me question it also?  


No.


Let me be perfectly clear, there are actors and non-actors.  There are artists and non-artists.  By no means am I saying one is better than the other, I’m only making a distinction now so I can better explain myself.


My assertion is two-fold.  First, why do people feel the need to always comment on things they don’t understand?  And second, why do these same people look at actors as if they are playing and not working?


A hard-working, blue collar worker heard me mention once in jest, “Well, I’m not getting rich doing this (acting) I’ll tell you that!”  This person looked at me and said, “Well, do something else then!”  I’d heard it before.  I expect that reaction actually.  I smiled and said, “Well, it’s what I do.”  “What exactly do you do?” this person asked.  “I’m an actor”, I said proudly.


I truly believe in the right-brain, left-brain psychology. And for the most part non-artists, are lead more by their left-brain.  They’re the thinkers.  They are lead by more rational, logical and sequential reasoning.  Artists are the feelers.  We are lead by intuition, emotion and aren’t as concerned with details.  So when I’m questioned by others, by non-artists, I understand exactly where they are coming from.  I know choosing a life purely on feeling is foreign to them.  


In a world where how much money you have determines the “winners”, it’s a wonder there are any composers, artists, musicians, writers or actors.  Yes it’s true that some of the mentioned achieve extraordinary monetary success, but for the most part we are a poor lot.  And I am referring to “poor” as in our bank accounts.  But if we so choose, we will be rich in so many other ways.  


I’m rambling now.  On the one hand my mind is telling me I’ve said enough, and to wrap this up.  On other other hand it’s also telling me that this is my blog and I can say what I want.  Even if it’s long and boring.  🙂  So, I will attempt to bridge the gap between the two and satisfy both sides of my mind.  


I know what I do is difficult for some to understand.  Why would I torture myself financially to pursue something that has such a limited chance of financial success?  Why wouldn’t I just get a job that pays more?  I understand those questions.  But, I would never tell anyone what they do for a living has no future.  I would never attempt to dissuade any friend or family member from pursuing whatever path they choose.  As long as it wasn’t harming them or others in the process.  


I started off with questions.  Your questions.  And all I can say is, “I do what I do because it’s what I do.  I was born with God-given abilities and nothing makes more happy they using them every day of my life.  I know there are those who don’t and will never truly understand what I do or why.  And I’m o.k. with that.  Just know in your hearts that I will never knowingly question your decisions or career choices.  You too are who you are, and are doing what you do!  Whether we are lead by our left brain, our right, or a combination of both, we all serve an integral purpose on this beautiful blue planet.  I wish all of you the same spiritual happiness I feel every day of my life!”       

What a theatre!

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I still remember walking into this theatre the first time.  I walked in to audition for a production of “I’ll Never See Another Butterfly” at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, Kentucky.  And even though I’m a paid actor, and I knew this was more or less a community theatre production, I auditioned anyway.

I auditioned.  I was asked to play a part.  And I had to decline.  I was offered a wonderful professional contract doing a musical at three theatres in Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona.  And I couldn’t turn down a paid acting gig that kept me employed for 24-weeks!  But I was so disappointed I could perform in this beautiful space!

While I was in Pennsylvania doing the first leg of my 3-theatre tour, I realized that I would have a 6-week break between the PA leg and the FL leg.  And the break fell during the holidays!  So, I emailed the Paramount to see if they had any upcoming holiday productions.  And to my delight, I was offered a part in their production of “It’s A Wonderful Life”!

All I can say is, I’m incredibly excited!  At last, I’ll  have the chance to perform on this beautiful stage in this 1400 seat historic theatre!  I highly recommend visiting http://www.paramountartscenter.com to make reservations to an upcoming show.  And what the heck, why not see mine!  “It’s a Wonderful Life” runs December 15, 16 and 17.

Keats

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I’m a romantic. When I delve into romantic literature I relate not only to the words scribbled on the page, but to the poet himself. I have a collection of letters John Keats wrote between 1816 and 1820, collected and edited by Robert Gittings. The letters Keats penned are filled with candour, and they show the working processes of a poet. I revisited this collection to read his letters to Fanny Brawne but ended up rereading almost all of the letters…again. Beautiful. 

In a letter to J.A. Hershey from the “Morning Chronicle” dated October 8th, 181 Keats writes, “I will write independently-I have written independently without judgment-I may write independently & with judgment hereafter.–The Genius of Poetry must work out its own salvation in a man: I cannot be matured by law & precept, but by sensation & watchfulness in inself–That which is creative must create itself—In Endymion “, I leaped headlong into the sea, and thereby have become better acquainted with the Soundings, the quicksands, & the rocks, than if I had stayed upon the green shore, and piped a silly pipe, and took tea & comfortable advice.–I was never afraid of failure; for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest—“

A few weeks later Keats defends his poetry to Richard Woodhouse by saying, “As to the poetical Character itself, (I mean that sort which, if I am anything, I am a member; that sort distinguished from the wordsworthiain or egotistical sublime; which is a thing per se and stands alone) it is not itself–it has no self–it is everything and nothing–it has no character–it enjoys light and shade; it lives in gusto, be it foul or fair, high or low, rich or poor, mean or elevated–It has much delight in conceiving an Iago as an Imogen.What shocks the virtuous philospher, delights the chamelion Poet. It does no harm from its relish of the dark side because they both end in speculation. A Poet is hte most unpoetical of any thing in existence; because he has no Identity–he is continually “informing”–and filling some other Body–The Sun, the Moon, the Sea and Men and Women who are creatures of impulse are poetical and have about them an unchangeable attribute–the poet has none; no identity–he is certainly the most unpoetical of all God’s Creatures.”

Nice.