Thursday, March 15, 2012


Okay, so it’s March already? I guess that cherry tree blossoming in Central Park should’ve tipped me off. Thinking back, I can’t really remember trudging through snow this year. Maybe one time. I don’t even have my snowboots here, they’re still tucked away in my closet in Connecticut.

Anyway, I skipped doing one of those 2012 resolution blogs I usually do back in January. Thinking back about it, it just makes me think of what I want that I don’t have already or things that are out of my control anyway. I mean, yes, I obviously want a meaty role in a feature or a part on a great TV show a la Breaking Bad or some funny sitcom like Parks and Rec, but those aren’t really in my control. What is in my control is what I do every day to lead to those things... and just enjoy myself. People always say you have to enjoy the journey, right? What's the point if you don't?

Over the past few months I’ve been trying to audition constantly, build connections with filmmakers, actors, casting directors, anyone in the industry. I’ve been reading a lot about acting, screenwriting, filmmaking – anything to learn more. An educated actor is a better one. If you’ve read this blog at all since September, which was unfortunately my last post, you know that I’ve been going through some pretty rough times with my dad. I can’t believe his stroke was way back in September. I’ve learned so, so, so much from that situation and I think it’s bettered my acting and my approach to this business - a healthier one.

When I’m 87 (his age) and if I’m in his situation (basically paralyzed) but hopefully surrounded by a loving family, what am I going to regret or wish I could do? Well, one thing is, I would want to move. So, I’ve gotten off my butt -- not that I wasn’t active before. I’m a self proclaimed gym rat. But, I’m running my first half marathon this coming June and have increased my running so much that I’ve gotten a really ugly black toenail. It’s a proud runner’s trademark of an increase in mileage, I assure you. Or, maybe my shoes suck. Don't be get too freaked out.

I’ve also written a screenplay based on my relationship with my father. It’s a complete rewrite of a screenplay I was working on two years ago. I believe the fact that I’ve matured about 20 years in the past 6 months has changed my approach to it. The story is about acceptance and understanding. For much of my life, I was extremely impatient. I wanted everything now, now, now – I was young and naïve. I thought that I would drop out of NYU with some kind of great success, like I would be “discovered” overnight. That was so immature of me, and I’m very glad for my own sake it didn’t happen. As much as the artist’s struggle sucks, I’ve had time to think about myself and be with my family.

I wasn’t thrilled last year after my amazing meetings in L.A. that my phone didn’t ring, but it allowed me to be home with my family and be with my father before his stroke. I don’t believe things happen for a reason, I just don’t think I was ready for the phone to ring off the hook. I am coming into my own, and I don’t know what to expect and I’m not trying to force anything anymore. I’m working on my own things and I’ve never felt more productive

My first draft of my feature script poured out of me in one week, completely without an outline. I've performed scenes from it in workshops with casting directors, some of them have made me promise to use them as the casting director when it kicks into gear. I think my own story parallels that of my protagonist. I’m becoming patient. I’m accepting my father rather than judging or worrying or regretting or wishing for something else.

We have a way of communicating where he moves alphabet magnet letters on a board to form a sentence. We’ve gotten so in tuned with each other that despite his horrible spelling, I know exactly what he means. Sometimes it takes 15 minutes to spell a few words, but I wait for him. I would want someone to wait for me. I mean, “Chir is no god,” in my father's spelling world meant “Chair is no good.” Right after his stroke, I was extremely upset with myself for not writing down his story or recording him talking about his life experiences, but regrets are a waste of time and make me feel like my brain is melting. Instead of wasting energy doing that, I’ll just stay patient and wait for my dad to start speaking again. But, until then, I’ll tell my story and his through acting, writing and performing. I’ll even run a few extra miles just for him.

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