Hello friends! After a BITCH bout of the flu, I am finally up out of bed and in almost back to fighting shape. Almost. Let’s get our
Question One: How many days this week did you do your Morning Pages? Have you allowed yourself to daydream a few childhood risks? Are you coddling your artist child with some childhood loves? Oh Julia. I get what you’re going for, but “coddling your artist child with some childhood loves” is making me laugh. I’m imagining a child sitting on a bed painting and a crane dumping a bunch of stuffed animals on the kid. Because that’s what I loved as a kid. Stuffed animals. Ok. Anyway. My Morning Pages went to SHIT this week. I did them only four days. FOUR DAYS. I know. Fact is, I woke up sick on Tuesday and went to work late and with the break in my routine I completely forgot about them. I did my Pages Wednesday morning, but Wednesday evening the flu hit FOR REALZ and I was pretty much flat on my back until Saturday morning. I did no Morning Pages Thursday or Friday, nor did I do any of my Artist Way tasks. Thursday I did nothing but sleep and vomit (and cry, because I’m a baby when I’m sick) and Friday was more of the same except I added “watch a few episodes of Buffy” to that list. My Morning Pages yesterday and this morning have been scattered as I try to get back in the habit and get back on track. But speaking of childhood risks and childhood loves, it just so happens that I am going after a few of those, although they haven’t played much of a part in my Morning Pages. More on that in a mo.
Question Two: Did you do your Artist Date this week? Did you use it to explore any risks? What did you do? How did it feel? As you may remember from last week, I decided to keep my exploration with Abundance going and see how many Artist Dates I could do this week. So here goes. Monday: Singing Class (I never thought Monday would be my favorite day of the week, so there you go). Tuesday: I wrote my essay on the Lena Dunham/Patrick Wilson GIRLS kerfuffle. Writing that piece was THE BEST kind of writing–the kind when I have a strong point of view about something (which is always, because I have ALL THE OPINIONS) and the words pour out in exactly the right order. Wednesday: Took myself to a Zumba class where they allow kids, because watching kids dance for fun is the single most inspiring thing ever. Unfortunately, it was about 2/3 through this class that I started to get sick, so the last part of the class pretty much sucked. Still. Thursday: Even with the flu, my boyfriend and I were able to get cozy on the couch for Valentine’s Day. We watched Jumanji. I’m counting it. Friday: Nada. So sue me. Saturday: For my “official” Artist Date, I treated myself to a Musical Theatre Audition Class. Because, in the spirit of taking risks, I’m auditioning for musicals this year. Class was rough as I was still hadn’t eaten and was weak and tired and didn’t have full access to my voice, but it was really important for me to go. More on that in a bit (I’m so cryptic today). That night, I went out with some friends from singing class to see our teacher perform at a Cabaret. I was only out for her set before running home and getting back in bed, but it was time well spent and I’m glad I made it out. Sunday: I have tickets for a show tonight with a friend I haven’t seen in FOREVER.
It was a powerful thing to see how much time I could allow myself for Artist Dates, and what things I could transform into Artist Dates. Inspiration is everywhere. Open your eyes to it.
Question Three: Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it? Yes. Getting the damn flu. First off, lying naked on the bathroom floor puking in the middle of the night really puts stuff in perspective. And being forced to rest for 2-3 days really cleared my head. I’ve been really focused since I started The Artist’s Way on building a creative life for myself. And I had some very specific goals that I’ve been working towards really hard. Maybe a little too hard. This week I realized that I need to cut back a little, allow myself to expend more energy on actually being creative. My mission to build the life that I want to live is an important one. But it might be time to go after it less aggressively for a bit. Recharge. Just do creative things for awhile without worrying about where they will lead. Keeping the goal in sight, but coming at it sidewasys. Also, I’m finding that my time off as an actor has been really worthwhile. I feel like I’m in the strangest place of becoming a better actor through not acting. But I’m pretty certain that the time I’m taking to develop myself as an artist is what will set me up to do bigger and better work once I get back in the game. So I’m preparing for the next round of auditions and seeing all the art I can see. Developing my point of view. Sometimes “rest” is when the magic happens. This week being sick taught me that I need to calm down a little and let things come to me rather than going after them like a sabretooth tiger and that there is value–real value–in rest.
Question Four: Were there any other issues that came up that are significant to your recovery? This week the theme of risks came up in a big way. See, kids, I love to sing. Love it. My background is in musical theatre and I spent my childhood doing musicals. But as a teenager I was always really frustrated with my voice. I wanted to be a big powerhouse belter like Linda Eder, who was really big in the 90s. I just didn’t have that kind of voice. So I went to college and started exploring straight theatre–and fell in love with it. But I kept up with voice lessons because I wanted to keep musicals as an option for myself, and I kept hoping that my voice would strengthen and change. And then I took a class with a teacher who pretty much dismissed me straightaway. In a way that was pretty dickish. And that did it–I stopped doing musicals. The last musical I auditioned for was 12 years ago ( I did perform in a musical about 5 years ago, but that role was offered to me without a traditional audition). Then, during my apprenticeship with Portland Playhouse, we had a couple of singing classes. And I received wonderful feedback from our (utterly fucking fantastic) guest teacher and my fellow apprentices. And more than that, I discovered that I had the voice I wanted when I was sixteen. I matured and now my voice is big and strong and powerful and it feels really fucking good to sing. So I started taking this singing class. And it’s done wonders for my voice and for my confidence and it’s basically the best thing I’ve done for myself in the past year. So now it’s time to audition. And I’ll be honest, I’m not even concerned with getting parts or being called back or any of that. Right now, at this moment, auditioning is enough. Even when I was singing all the time, I was not a strong singer in the audition setting. The nerves got to me every time. But if I eventually want to do musicals, I have to get used to singing at auditions. So here goes.
Whoa. Being stuck in bed thinking for two days gave me a lot to say. Weird that a week with so many sick days could be so productive. That’s how she goes, I guess. On to Week EIGHT.