Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Finding Your Yellow Rose

There will always be days and events that are hard to weather through. My grandfather always felt when you had a rough time you look for yellow roses and give them away. I will likely do that monday.
My birthday has always been rough. I found my dog lying peacefully on the front porch dead on my sixth birthday. I sat and spent about an hour petting him one last time before anyone else got up. He was unintentionally poisoned.
I was eleven when I came home to a cake mix on the table and a pack of number two pencils with a notebook for school. My birthday was the day I knew my marriage had been a terrible mistake. It was the day two years ago that I lost my best friend and companion, Rumor.
As a child, my friends were animals. My emotional support came from three great grandmothers, a number of barn cats and a few dogs that never lasted long.
Each year my heart sinks and dread rises as the day gets closer. This year I have been fighting it instead of letting sorrow rule my heart. This year I am taking more walks, taking vitamins, focusing on finding the positives and on getting done things I know I need to work on.
Turning it around: this year I turn forty. I am performing on stages and in lanes. Both of my shows are going well. I have a wonderful, considerate significant other. I have many friends I care about spread across the country. I have been to many beautiful places. I have stretched and done things I never thought I would get to do. I value myself. Forward is a beautiful direction to go.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Life as a Human Cartoon

First thought, being a cartoon- even a half cartoon would be great! Cartoons fall from great heights to reappear perfectly fine moments later, they costume change easily and they come with a laugh track.
A half human cartoon, on the other hand lives with the attributes of both worlds. Mundane life complicated by the universe's twisted sense of humor. Walking down the sidewalk and ending up in the right place at the right time to get doused with a huge puddle by a passing car. Finding out the guys in high school avoided you because your  brother sold them dates with you that never happened- keeping their money and telling them to avoid you fury at the "arranged date" by avoiding you. Going on a date only to find out the guy has a girlfriend and has to suddenly leave: and cue the falling off a cliff with funny sound effect and anvil afterwards. Little tasks may become epic through random chance. Laugh tracks, in real life do not always have good timing.
I studied Wiley Coyote as a child; marvelled at his perseverance. Now I use a sense of humor and perseverance to work on moving forward. Emotional reactions and expectations can get in the way of moving forward. Being half cartoon, easily distracted is part of life that you adapt to and accept. Adapt.
Patches. I patch myself up often, with the goal being that each patch offers the chance for healing to take root, offering a buffer until I address the root causes fully. Each patch reduces the weight and severity of what I carry and deal with.
I offer patches out. The idea that other people may have the same or worse battles in their own heads, sometimes burdened by dark emotions that are better tossed into a trash heap than experienced motivates me to share so that we all move forward.
Now, profound expressed I will likely slip on a banana peel or end up chased home by a runaway giant dragonfly or perhaps instead I will just get to enjoy the sound of crickets and the sight of Fox River. Perhaps today, I can just be human and that is enough.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Seeing the Forest and the Trees

Seeing the forest or seeing the trees, can you do both consciously?
It seems like a trite little phrase until you live it. Standing on stage working through material, watching and gauging audience response with mental analyses and adjustments whirling at thought speed it is the trees and not the forest you see. You look out and notice someone looking at their phone instead of watching. Why, you wonder. You see a few people join the crowd or leave. Why, you wonder. What can I change to draw more? I want to see their smiles, faces rapt at the stories or antics.
Then you have a moment where you talk to the proverbial tree. Then that one says they only came to catch Pokemon, they are in your audience inattentive and brazen about it. Not everyone comes to a show to be entertained. Not every audience member is there for the same reason. Some just want a place to sit, others may visit briefly to get a taste of multiple shows rather than just picking one.
When you look at the trees, it may help find areas to work on but it may also be setting you up for a bad head game. If you try to put a reason on another person's choice you may not pick wisely. You cannot assume someone is leaving your show or interaction because they are avoiding tipping or are not entertained. You may not be the right fit for them or they may just have wanted a sample- they may have a dozen reasons to leave that have nothing to do with you.
Look at the forest instead.  The crowd that stays or returns. Why? A friend of mine, Geoff Marsh, asks candidly of patrons. It is a hard set of questions: did you see my show, did you like my show, feedback on my show. Not fishing for compliments but open mindedly tuning in to be able to enhance his performance. He is a top notch entertainer because he sees the forest and the trees.
I am asking those questions now too. I am learning to step back out of my head trip of negative self defeating conjecture and into analysis and problem solving.
When I ask for feedback, I am asking so I can improve perspective and keep growing. Whatever your challenges and goals, are you taking time to see the forest and the trees?

What can you change in your perspective to move forward in the positive direction you seek to grow in?