Sunday, February 7, 2010

Never doubt Margaret Mead and Me.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
-- Margaret Mead.

Hello my cyber-friends... I am writing to you all tonight after having watched a killer Superbowl game and then enjoying a yummy, inspired dinner at Luna Park in the Miracle Mile with some friends. If you go, you definitely have to try the mojito, the goat cheese fondue and the smores dessert fondue. Yummmmm...

1. Commit. And though my fellow diner was super generous and well-read, he also felt cynical to me. He, like many others whom I've come across in the past year, was howling into the moon with his frustrations wit the world. And though I am acutely aware that much of the world is hurting at this moment in time, I truly believe in what Margaret Mead said. First, a shout out to her, my fellow Barnard Grad! And secondly, a small group of thoughtful citizens tore down The Berlin Wall, created The Civil Rights Movement, abolished Apartheid (practically one citizen who sat in jail for 29 years, and so on. Honestly, it takes one person who is committed to a cause to effect change. Positive thought and action -- faith and acting "as if" can transform your life. I am already living "as if" I were a millionaire. That doesn't mean I'm raiding Armani or cruising Ferrari dealerships. It simply means that my head space has shifted. I am seeing Los Angeles through brand new eyes. This city I have been acting in for over 6 years feels suddenly fresh and like a newborn, brimming with possibility. And as a result of my commitment to become a millionaire this year, I believe that I am. And the crazy thing is that when you truly believe something -- in yourself -- so do others. So does everyone.

I remember when I was finishing up Barnard College, MM's alma mater!, I remember knowing inside I wanted to be an actor. And then, one day, I had the courage to say that I was. And I thought people were going to laugh at me. Like -- "What makes you an actress?" But no one did. No one laughed at me. They believed because I did. And two years later, I was on stage in front of 2000 plus people depicting Margot Frank in a story close to my heart. (I am half-Dutch and my father was a baby in the Japanese camps in Indonesia.)

Today in my Improv Class with Tobo (Stephen Tobolowsky), we did an exercise where he took out a pile of brown paper bags and we each had to pick a bag and sit down in the chair facing the class and instantly make up a story about the object in our hands. We had to make the story come alive, make it real.

I told this story about these gardening gloves and this older English with a humpback who used to yell at me for standing on her periwinkle and then one day, as a child, I got the courage to ask her if I could smell the amazingly beautiful roses in her garden. And she let me into her wrought iron fence and we began a friendship. 10am every saturday from that day on, we enjoyed tea and roses together.

The whole story was made up. But I committed. And I believed. And so did everyone else.

Commitment. This year = movie star and best-selling author. And thus, every action I take in my career is leading me to these 2 goals. I am committed. What are you committed to this year? Write it down. And take 5 steps each day towards that goal. I will be blogging my dreams for a full 365 day year. Take the journey with me!

2.Breathe. Sometimes in life, our first reaction is fear -- and we want to kind of lose it when we don't get the reaction we are seeking. But I have found -- am finding -- that when we breathe and pause before merely "reacting" to a situation, we win. Meaning -- we invariably come from a place that is calmer and more confident. And those people whom we so want to affect -- they will be so much more likely to give us the answer we are seeking when we approach them with a "knowing" -- like, this will all work out awesome. Somehow. But when we work off of that -- Holy shiite. This is so not the way I wanted it to go, can scare someone off. And wreck an opportunity before it has the chance to blossom.

Today, I breathed before reacting -- in fact, last night I did, and late in the day today I sent a friend an email -- a friend I so want to work with. I came from joy and I was relaxed. I definitely thought about what I was going to say -- I didn't send a random email, but I came from love. I was light. And I had a sense of certainty I did not have when I very first got his response. We shall see what occurs in the next few weeks and months, but at least he knows where I stand and I am not going to give up on our working together. He's too special.

3. Work out. It's like a gym for the spirit. Find a role to keep tweaking and working on, developing. This is what I am doing with ELIZA my character in my movie. On Jon Sheinberg's advice, I am writing lists for my character -- what do I do when I feel empowered, when I feel love? What about sharing my dreams scares me? These are questions I am asking ELIZA, me. And I am emailing them to Bekah, so that even though she lives in NYC, we are in constant communication. And we are creating ELIZA together. And as Bekah said to me, "I LOVE what you said about her dreams. That's amazing, an amazing character attribute and I think it'll be great to make her heart like as HUGE as possible. can you talk more about this?"

And so I will be talking more about this. I am doing my homework tomorrow morning and we will continue to move forward. I shall dream about Eliza... And her dreams...

And for you, my little blades of grass, I wish for you your greatest dreams. Just remember first commit, then breath throughout the process and then get to work on realizing your dreams.

Love to you all...

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