dani channels her inner gypsy power

Dude. So before, when Britt and I talked about being gypsies, I was being somewhat facetious. I mean, yes, I do tend to move around a lot and I do really feel like myself when I’m traveling, but am I really a gypsy?

I mean, technically I’m not.  Technically I’m German and Swedish and Irish.  But let’s think about this for a second! Humanity started in Africa, right?  So my ancestors migrated from Africa so far North into the cold frigid Northern European lands that they lost all the pigment in their skin and became weird crazy Albino humans.  You know, like me and Britt.

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“I’m gonna eat this horse!”

Then they got pissed off from being so damn cold all the time and so got on some boats, put on some silly hats, and pillaged a bunch of other people.  Even then they weren’t satisfied, so they moved all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to America. And THEN my predecessors STILL were too antsy to stay put and migrated all the way across the continent to the wild wild West.  So maybe my ancestors weren’t gypsies but they were some nomadic mofos!

Johnny Depp as a gypsy in Chocolat

Don’t look at me like that gypsy-Johnny!  I’m not trying to insult you!  This is SCIENCE, yo! ………Okay let me try another angle on this……

I would be lying if I tried to say that the movie Chocolat is not, to this day, one of my favorite movies.  Maybe it doesn’t have the reputation of The Godfather, but it does star Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Lena Olin, Alfred Molina, and Johnny Depp, which is an incredible lineup. In case you haven’t seen it, it’s about a French/Mayan woman with a nomadic soul who moves to a conservative French town and tries to open a Chocolaterie. Of course, she meets a gypsy and falls in love, blah blah blah.

But watching this movie as a kid, the thing that called to me most achingly from the movie was the concept of this North Wind. Whenever the North Wind blew, something in (the main character) Vianne’s bones told her it was time to move on to the next place, and she packed her bags and moved on, forever. It was a sort of blessing and a curse: She had to abandon any relationships she’d built, but she also got to fulfill this deep primal urge to move on to whatever’s next.

When I was a kid in Boise, my absolute favorite time of year was the Fall. Literally, the North Wind started blowing: the air turned crisp and fresh, the leaves turned, and their was a sense of campfires, hot cider, and impending winter on the way. The winds of change started blowing, a new school year began, and the frigid winds promised that snow and holidays would eventually come.

Extrapolating this out to my adult life, for the past two years, I can’t seem to stay in one place for more than three months, on average. At first I blamed it on circumstances of living situations, on being in my 20’s, whatever. But this Spring I came to realize that, damn. It might just be Me. I think it’s in my blood.

“That’s deep, Dani.”

Awwww Thanks, empathetic Oprah!  You’re the best.  But as soon at March 20, 2013 rolled around, Spring officially became the Season in season, the Santa Ana winds started up in LA, and I started feeling antsy as fuck.

It makes no sense. I LOVE everything I am doing. Lately, the ole Grad Program has been piling on material, and every time I get another scene or sonnet or project or whatever to work on, I get a sick pleasure out of adding it to the pile of stuff to memorize. But another part of me is waking up in the morning and making the same damn drive to the same damn parking structure and trying to force myself to eat the same damn healthy foods and be such a good girl with such good habits and LOSING MY MIND.  Routine is killing me.

I’ve come to realize that I literally have NO habits. Good or Bad. I have tics, maybe, mannerisms, but habits?  Not really.  I think I am incapable of doing something consistently. I can do anything with a Puritanical discipline for two or three weeks. Then I get bored and distracted and feel restricted. So I guess I have a bad habit of not having good habits. Or I habitually break habits.  

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Curses!!

But here’s the thing that this realization has helped me realize… (Shut up, y’all, I didn’t major in English.)  I can actually turn this quirk to my advantage!  You know why?  Because there are only 3 1/2 weeks left in the semester!!  WOOOOOOOO!!!!!

tumblr_mh9h4kstQA1qhg3z2o1_400If you had talked to me a week ago, or even two days ago, you would have encountered an antsy, dissatisfied, grumpy chick whose mind already had flown across the globe to India.  But no more!  Today I am re-framing my life:  3 1/2 more weeks of hard work, then 3 weeks of preparation, then 8 weeks of India!!  I can do anything with Puritanical discipline for 3 weeks, remember?  So maybe that’s the secret for me.  I’ve just gotta bite off life in 3 week chunks, so I can really be present in devoting myself to whatever I am doing.  It is incredibly empowering to me to acknowledge the fact that, maybe my inner nomad starts to call to me with the change of seasons, but that also gives me all this great energy to pour into my work.  

So with that said, I have no choice but to leave you with this song.  I’m not a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, but baby, I was born to run. 

britt talks GCOES

I just finished writing down a list of worries and fears into a notebook and then chugging a 16oz coffee. I think both of these things were good decisions.

I’m not going to lie, you guys… this week has been a bit of a struggle for me. It has been one of those weeks where I felt the need to change my iPhone, personal laptop, and work computer backgrounds to inspirational shit like this:

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..that’s how you KNOW its bad.

In a nutshell, this week has been a whole lot of Brain Mess and a whole lot of GCOES.

What is GCOES, you ask? Oh, friends…

GCOES is this:

mutha feckin GCOES.

mutha feckin GCOES.

… “Glass Case Of Emotion Shark”. I’m pretty sure it’s my spirit animal.*

But really. I can joke about anything to make myself feel better (and it almost always works), but I also believe it is important to let yourself feel and fully process the not-so-happy stuff. It is valuable for me to feel that heart-break, that stress, that fear… so I can own it. Because I cannot change what I do not own.

Dani said to me a couple of days ago: “Remember to surrender. Control is just an illusion anyway.”

Wow. D. You save my life and my sanity everyday.

I need to “remember to surrender. Isn’t that beautiful? I mean, it’s so true that even it rhymes, people! So one would think it would be way easier to remember. But it’s totally not. Giving up control, especially for me, is difficult.

The Surrender post was a pretty big deal for me to write back in January. It allowed me to give myself permission to publicly “come out” about my plans to move to Los Angeles and to stop defending my personal and professional decisions to others. Even if I end up in a gutter somewhere, I’d much rather be chillin’ in that gutter as a result of acting on my instincts than sleepwalking through life, unfulfilled.

See how the GCOES is coming out?! It’s awesome. Let that crazy GCOES flag fly. Who cares! I’m GCOES and proud! 

GCOES must be here to teach me something. I have made the choice to not settle for Comfortable. I have made the choice to tell those I love how I feel about them. I have made the choice to be vulnerable, knowing that my heart will get hurt. I have made the choice to be a good human. I have made the choice to spend quality time in limbo, waiting for the pieces to fall into place.

And you know the best part of being in limbo? This song.

At least for me, Radiohead makes everything okay.

And also, dancing.

Mad, mad, dancing. In your underwear. To something embarrassing like Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” or Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA”. I may or may not have done this already today…maybe.

And on that note…

I know you all will now use the term GCOES in your everyday speech. It is okay. You have my blessing. Go forth and spread my genius. #GCOESandproud.

all my love,

~britt

*(Full credit given to my dear friend Suzzane for finding this GCOES gem on the interwebs and integrating it into my everyday vocabulary.)

britt talks surrender

This week has been a week of surrender.

Some weeks are periods of work, some weeks are times of triumph, or stress, or badassery… but mine? Definitely a week surrender.

This is what had kept me powering (with what power reserves I had left) through my workday:PDX cold season

That’s right. The dreaded PDX cold/flu season is upon us once again. I guess you could argue that this is the case 9-months-out-of-the-fucking-year here, but the month of January seemed to hit especially hard this time around. It’s like the plague. I’m talking about the kind of sick you want to hibernate two weeks through just to get to the other side of it.

Ultimate body shutdown can be a blessing in disguise. At least for me. It makes me forget the worries and burdens I am constantly carrying around. Later I wonder, “Really? I had to get to sick to realize that the world isn’t going to end if I don’t solve every one of my problems overnight?” That’s right. Even after shutting the daily routine down for a few days, all of that junk is there waiting for me on the other side. Right where I left it. (Epiphany!)

I am about to pull the trigger on a series of choices that will lead up to a pretty big change in how I will be living my life. That’s right people, I’m moving to Los Angeles. 

Dani recently called me out on “being in the closet” about my plans to move, and she is right– it’s time to come out. I have been going back and forth about this event for about a year now, and I would say that this strategic life move for me is, at least at this point, equal parts undeniable-gut-pull and fear. This fear has reduced me over the past few months to a small, wavering voice in my own head that I do not recognize, afraid to make a decision for the deathfear of making the wrong one. If anything will ultimately destroy me, over-thinking things will. Simultaneously however, this fear makes my gut-pull stronger, making me want to move in the scary direction even more. 

Someone once told me that fear is an indicator we are moving closer to the truth. I’ve carried this thought with me since.

I came across this recently: “There is nothing to be afraid of. The truth is the truth. You are better off knowing the truth than to not know it.” -Jack Canfield

Hmmm. That doesn’t make things sound so scary. The truth is just the truth. It is what it is.

So I guess, I am on a constant quest for truth. When things don’t feel right, I am compelled to adjust them. As an actor, this makes sense. It’s written in us–the unquenchable desire to find truth in each moment and tell stories that matter. Soooo (another epiphany!), I know that I need to find truth. My truth. My story. Not someone else’s story, or the story others want me to tell. And lately I realize I’m just scared out of my mind to make the decisions I need to make to get closer to it. This knowledge of my own truth has become a burden to me for reasons that MAKE NO SENSE. Why fight them? Let go. Surrender.

“I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” –Joan of Arc

I thought about all of this in a weird in-between-sleep-and-awake state that one seems to spend hours in while sick. Physically letting go somehow opened the door for me to mentally and emotionally let go as well. And I think in the midst of this life change and big choices, I needed that. I needed the sick time. I thank the sick time.

But I didn’t just wallow in my bed all week, NoSireeBob (though trust me, I did do a lot of that). Here is a re-cap on interesting endeavors that came my way over the past few days:

My Week Recap

I finally watched this little beauty! “Throng” is a mockumentary about the auditions process and the northwest film scene at large, produced by my friends at We’ll Fix It In Post Productions. Let’s just say you’ll see a familiar face (cough cough) make a few (slightly embarrassing) cameos. (…isn’t it normal to get asked out during a casting??)

And speaking of auditioning, this week also brought about casting sessions for my pal Amir Shirazi’s musical, “Crumbs”, that will be workshopped next month. I always find it very interesting as an actor to sit on the other side of the casting table. I think I learn more from watching 40 auditions than doing 900 of them myself.

Here is a Mr. Amir and Mr. Max Maller in action, looking oh-so-very-serious (stopitboys, immediately):

Amir & Max

And here is Mr. Andrew Bray, our fearless accompanist, making a poopy face:
Andrew…All taken with the amazing quality of my iphone. Like ya do.

But mainly… the energy of my week was spent on an intense focus of getting through my day job so I could head straight to bed and be pathetic. Don’t be fooled.

Take your vitamin C and zinc people, because at least in Portland, winter is out to get you. (Or, get sick and super hopped-up on cold meds and have life epiphanies of your own. Wheeee!!)

Until next time,

Britt

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