A Giving Actor

A friend of mine asked what a “giving actor” was. Here was my response, may it serve you well:

To me, being a giving actors starts with the other and works backwards. Read the script. What is the other person saying? This will make your lines come more naturally and be more easily memorizable. Get the memorized words out as word-perfect as possible without dwelling on them. The goal is to give your acting partner the cues they need to react appropriately to what you’re saying. Word perfection is both a huge confidence boost and gives both of you more room to play. Study your partner. How are they crafting their character? Even if you are just reading for them, study study study, let this inform how you are crafting your character, so that there are not two contrasting visions going down. Feel free to dialogue about it. The end goal is good chemistry and everybody is different. So, do what you can to complement and move on. Especially if you are reading for multiple people, this can be both challenging and a lot of fun, since a group of people often have a group of interpretations of the same scene. Be present in the read and when they are taking your partner’s coverage during the actual filming. Sometimes this will give you your best performance because the stress is off you. Study how that feels and channel that when the camera is back on you. Also, give the same love you’re showing to your actors to the director. If he or she throws you a curve ball, run with it, so that it becomes more of a game of “Simon Says” rather than “Guess Who’s Right?” We’re there to serve the production and make it damn good, and often times that involves a lot of dialogue and flexibility to make the scene work and visions vibe. Finally, work to create a comfortable atmosphere for your partner. We do a lot of hard scenes in our line of work. Make sure they are okay. Joke around. Note: some people stay in character in between takes. This is fine. You want to present the best performance you can, as well. So, in this case, find the balance. Hope that helps. All these things really help, and trust me I continue to work on them as well. That said, rock it, have fun, and, yeah, totally give me your answers as well! All my best.

Friendzone?

Guys, let’s be honest: the friendzone is a lie, an imaginary penalty box of self-loathing, and handy gimmick to get us to buy relationship advice.

It’s natural to develop romantic feeling towards those you are close to. Be honest about that. Honor those feelings. When those feelings pop up and sustain themselves, find a appropriate time and place to relate them. If the feelings are met and reciprocated, then great! Have fun. If the feelings are not reciprocated, you have a choice. If they just want to be friends and you’re okay with that, be friends! If you really struggle with it, maybe take a break, step away. You may want to invest in friendship later on, once the hormones die down.

Now, you may have those feelings but choose to invest in the friendship anyway. If you do this begrudgingly, this is not friendship. It will eat at you inside. This is masochism, not love, and relationships are built on love. It’s in this space that the “friendzone” thrives, because it’s easier to commiserate than to own your stuff and take appropriate action.

So, respect your feelings and those of your friend. Be honest and check in. And in all things, excel in love, in whatever form that love may take.

Body Issues

I’ve had plenty of body issues in the past:

Spent a lot of middle and high school anorexic

Had a horrible self image of myself,

thought I was garbage,

the eating patterns began to wane in college,

thanks to the support of friends and family

and a solid therapist.

The self image still lingers.

Now, I love to eat,

and I’m working on loving myself more.

 

Funny, the more I invest in others,

the more I forget my own problems,

but you still need to love yourself.

Generosity and good deeds

do not a full recovery make.

 

I surrender my life to Jesus daily,

I’ve gotten into this whole naturist thing.

It’s all connected.

It begs the question:

Do you love who you see in the mirror?

It’s not a complicated question. The simple questions are

the hardest to answer.

Jesus made me. I can either accept this form

or throw it out.

Sure, I’ve made mistakes,

but Jesus always responds with grace.

Do I trust Him?

Do I love Him enough to believe He loves me?

At Haywood Street Congregation,

we have a simple mantra, a call-and-response:

Q: Whose child are you?

A: God’s child!

Let it be, LORD. Let it be.

Escape Artists

My cats are wannabe escape artists
They dream of being outside cats,
but they’re not.
That does not stop them from trying though.
Every day when my wife and I get home,
they try to get out.
Sometimes, they double-team us,
figuring with our attention divided
they could finally succeed.
Sometimes they get out as far as the porch
and freeze,
as if utterly awestruck at their own accomplishment.
They have tried this enough times
that finally the day came
where one of them managed to escape detection,
slipping past us into the front yard.
My wife was the first to notice, but not until the following morning.
She walked around the house with a can of tuna,
then outside the house.
Finally the cat appeared, covered in cobwebs while trying to seek shelter
from the elements.

We’re not all that different from out feline friends.
We go against ourselves, telling ourselves we are this or that
when we’re not.
God entertains us for a time,
but eventually the truth hits the fan.
And we wander back a little wiser,
with our own tale of woe to tell.
Still, God is patient and kind and has a can of tuna ready.
We’re His after all.
He always is glad to see us return.

Windshield

My front windshield is cracked,

has been for several months now.

Every now and again,

I have the money to fix it,

but end up spending the cash

on something else.

Yes, yes, we only have so many resources

but still

I feel this a metaphor for something:

life, probably.

The world’s problems are vast and consuming,

and we can spend all our days chasing

after all kinds of things,

that seem good and productive at the time;

or, we can spend time fixing the windshields

of our lives.

Ah, yes. I can see clearly now.

The crack is gone.

Drinking Dobrá with Jeremy

We sit in the tea shop. Jeremy reflects on his mission trip and the vacation that followed.

“It’s funny,” he said, “when I went to Kentucky, I wondered what I would do there, and they told me ‘just be.’ When I went to Hawaii, I was searching for a feeling, and missed all the wonderful things I did.”

Life isn’t one thing or the other. Every situation calls for a different response. The trick is to listen, to be present, and let God instruct us on the specific way we should go.

The Editing Room

In film,

once all the footage is in,

the editor is given the task of

cutting, copying, and pasting the film together

so that it forms a powerful and cohesive whole.

There are scenes, brilliant snippets of reel,

that end up getting cut because they do not fit

the master narrative,

either they slow down the pace or otherwise

take away from the work as a whole.

Life is like that, sometimes

we must cut out even the good things

if they clutter, clog, or distract.

There are a billion different ways we could go.

LORD, give me the wisdom to know which paths to follow

and the strength to persist in the paths You have marked out

for me.