Friday, May 23, 2014

Practice, And All Is Coming

The above title is a quote from yoga master K. Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga Yoga and all around nice guy. His quote relates specifically to yoga, in that the more you attempt to do the postures and breathing, the more you are able to do them. In my life, I see this concept in work in all aspects.

Specific to acting, I would also like to point out the wonderful book that my best good friend Sam gave me, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I have been recommending this book to almost everyone I run into, because of what he says about the power of resistance. He also says, "when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set into motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose." Basically what he is saying here is just what Jois was saying; if you keep plugging away, staying focused, your dreams will find you.

Recently these two concepts have begun to coalesce in my life. I finally subscribed to LACasting, and have been submitting religiously, I started journaling again, and reading and seeing more plays. Now, I'm currently designing costumes (for a stipend!) for a play I LOVE, I was cast in a short film and the producer asked me to work on another project with them, and I did some background on The Newsroom, where I met some lovely people and had a great time (even if my feet still hurt, 2 days later!). This was all in the last few weeks. I've also been going to more auditions than usual, and even got some callbacks! I'm also auditioning for more paying work than student work!

In Pressfield's book, he talks about "the professional." Who they are and what they do. One of the things that has stuck out to me is accountability. The best way I have found to diet successfully is counting calories. When you actually KNOW what you are putting into your body, you are accountable, and you can make better decisions and PUT DOWN THE FORK. I even drink less alcohol when I'm counting calories, because if I have to choose between a piece of chocolate and a glass of wine, I'm going for the chocolate! In that vein, I have started filling out time cards for myself, and project progress reports. Because guess what, I'm an employee of Lauren Billingsley LLC as well as the CEO! It's amazing how empowering doing these things is. I am inviting positive energy into my life as I work harder, and focus more.

Another thing I'm trying to put out into the universe is to be working somewhere other than Banana Republic by the time the holidays come around, so I can visit with family for the first time in four years! Because guess what, I don't want to put all my energy in a job that doesn't fulfill ANY of my needs, including the financial ones. So I'm taking opportunities, not suffering from my own pride, and keeping my nose to the grindstone.

Now, it's true, I'm considering making and selling some jewelry, because I know where to get bulk materials and I can do it in my own time. I'm considering this simply as an extra source of income. I don't think of this as losing focus because I sat and thought really hard about what other job would be flexible enough to let me run around and audition or shoot film or do theater whenever I wanted, and I came up blank.

But let's end this on a positive note. I have more auditions to prepare for, for projects that I'm really interested in, and I'm so excited for what's coming next!