Move Nourish Believe Challenge (Week One Wrap-Up)


The first week of the Move Nourish Believe Challenge is over. I have really enjoyed the structure of the various challenges, and the new people I have been able to interact with.

Monday’s challenge was “sweat it out — show us your favorite way to sweat”!

Monday was a “stretching” day for me but I shared an older “sweaty” picture of a running day; running is always my favorite way to sweat.

Challenge Day One

Tuesday’s challenge was “Change it up! – Sweat a new way”!

Tuesday was a “regular run” day for me but I shared a picture from my “Kangoo” workout last year. It was definitely a new way to work out and a fun challenge!

Challenge Day Two

Wednesday’s challenge was “Let’s get planking — plank at least five minutes today”!

I did this in five one-minute segments: an elbow plank, a regular plank, a left side plank, a right side plank, and an elbow plank.

Challenge Day Three

Thursday’s challenge was “Buddy Up – work out with a friend today”!

Since I had no buddies for my 6 am run, I shared a picture from last summer, when I got together with my friends Diane and Amelia for a Saturday morning workout (I ran with Diane then kept running while she did an open water swim with Amelia) on Clearwater Beach.

Challenge Day Four

Friday’s challenge was “Show us your five fitness faves”!

Five Fitness Faves

My faves are (clockwise from top left):

1) My coach, Jeff Kline;

2) Yoga;

3) The child I run for through I Run for Michael, Gareth;

4) The camaraderie of runners (this picture is from our day running “Megs Miles” from Badass Fitness);

5) “The sheer joy of running.”

(And although I was only supposed to demonstrate five things, it’s important to note that Charity Miles is almost always part of my running!)

There you have it! There are two more weeks left in the challenge, so please feel free to join us! For more details, visit this link.

Thank you to Lorna Jane for sponsoring this challenge. Check out their cool fitness apparel via this link.

And although today wasn’t an official challenge day, I’ll close with the highlight of the day. My son (who has been sucked into a few years of gaming after many years of being an active youngster) joined me for the “Run for the Cookies” (he ran the mile, I ran the 5K). It was a happy happy moment.

Cookie Run Mother Sun

Elephants, Flowers, and the BFA Class of 2011

I have been involved with the Florida State University Film School for about five years. Prior to November 2008, I had been an extra several times, and my son had been in a BFA thesis film, but I had not been in a non-extra role. When Leelund Kim contacted me in November 2009 to perform a speaking role in Shane Spiegel’s, Water Wings, I had my first experience of being in someone’s “F1,” which is a student’s first film.

Being part of that F1, which I wrote about in Disheveled, gave me an opportunity to meet the five-student crew at the very start of their Film School journey. Between Fall 2009 and this summer, I worked with them and almost all of their classmates as an extra or volunteer many times. These students graduate next Saturday, and their thesis films will be screened. I won’t be able to be at their screenings because Tenley is dancing in “Christmas in Narnia” with her ballet company.

Since I won’t be able to say “goodbye” in person, here are some parting thoughts.

For Shane Spiegel, who wrote and directed Water Wings, I still shake my head at my good fortune to be involved in that production, but whatever stars aligned to put me on that set on a November Sunday afternoon, I am glad.

For Leelund Kim, who produced Water Wings, I have never admitted reading this in your Facebook notes because it felt a little stalker-ish, but I agree that “extras need to be directed.” Having “extra’d” a lot now, I have come to appreciate a director who takes the time to help us understand where we fit in and how we can help the production be the best it can be.

For Briana Frapart, thank you for your positivity, for your many kindnesses, and for, um, the challenge (which we met of course!!!) of finding light-up Christmas deer at a time of year that was more “Fourth of July” than “25th of December.”

For Carissa Dorson, thank you for explaining the term “Director of Photography” to me (yep, I did have to ask). Thank you too for allowing me to extra on Parental Ties, which was the last time I worked with Jarrod Heierman, and for being behind the camera that first time I gave a monologue.

For Justin Reager, you’re the only college student with whom I have ever waxed rhapsodic about Lunchables. You really helped me relax that day and made me laugh.

The rest of this post is more general, for all of you in the BFA Class of 2011. In the text that Hugh McLeod uses to explain this drawing, which is part of his Flowers vs. Elephants post:

Image Credit: Hugh McLeod, Gaping Void

He ends with this statement: 

…..success is a very delicate flower. It doesn’t take a very heavy elephant in order to trample it to the ground.

So one has to work twice as hard, keeping those pesky elephants out of the yard.

The trouble arises when you get SO BUSY battling the elephants, you forget all about the flower. We’ve seen it happen, many times before.
During the time that you have been refining your craft, I have been battling with a lot of things that come along with being closer to 50 than 25. There are some paths in life that are now closed to me, and I have to make peace with that. There are (hopefully) many new adventures awaiting. Sometimes it was hard to look forward to the adventures because of the resignation that comes along with letting go of what won’t be. 
Each of you, in one way or another, helped me stop battling the elephants long enough to remember the flowers.

Thank you all.

Acting Happier (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

This week, handed me Mama Kat prompt number four: Kids say the darndest things…describe a time a child’s honesty made you think.

Three and a half years ago, I could still tell my two kids (then 9 and 12) “let’s hop in the car and go on a trip.” Now there would be strings attached – pleas to bring friends along, complaints about being cooped up in the car together – it just wouldn’t work.

In August 2008, Tenley, Wayne Kevin, and I took a trip to Orlando. The “goal driven” part of the trip was to visit an open casting call at Background Entertainment, an extras-casting agency. The day after the casting call visit, we planned to spend the day at Wet ‘n Wild Water Park.

A picture from our day at Wet ‘n Wild!

For several years prior to this trip to Orlando, I had ridden the waves of several emotional ups and downs (mostly downs). One of the lower points of that period was when I was visiting the St. Louis Arch and approached a staff person to ask if I could use my admission ticket for a slightly different time. It was a small housekeeping inquiry in the scheme of things, but the tone with which I asked it (it must have been sort of Eeyore-like) led the employee to say, “Smile, things aren’t that bad.”

As I began to claw my way out of the morass of concerns that had been weighing me down, I got involved with the FSU Film School (I got involved with the Film School because Tenley was auditioning, then Wayne Kevin who could barely read was auditioning … and I started going in to auditions because that was a lot more fun than sitting in the waiting area). My interest in filmmaking and acting started as a tiny spark. The spark got fanned considerably when the HBO Film “Recount” was made here in Tallahassee and I had an “extra” role as an attorney. That scene ended up on the cutting room floor but starting off an “extra career” on an HBO Film three feet away from Kevin Spacey was kind of like learning to drive in a Mazerati.

The trip to Orlando was a way to dip a toe in the water of the film business outside of Tallahassee. Background Entertainment had done the extras casting for Recount so I had met some of the staff already.

Here’s where the “kids say the darnedest things” part comes in. As we were driving to Orlando, Tenley said, “you seem happier now.” She was right. I was no longer alarming customer service people with my low affect; I felt more positive about the options in my life; and even though the acting/film world steps I was taking were very small, they were steps. (I had not realized my daughter was so tuned in to my low mood.)

And like my friend Jarrod, who had a “day job” but contributed such heart and commitment to so many FSU Film productions before his untimely death last year, I was discovering an avocation that, despite a lot of hard work, a lot of “hurry up and wait,” and a lot of unpredictability, made my heart sing every time I walked onto a set or interacted with the students. That happiness was not an act.

Still isn’t.

The making of “The Looking Glass” with Nestor Bustamante
October 2011

Dots, Stripes, and (Occasionally) Febreze – Welcome to My World (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

This week, handed me Mama Kat prompt number two: Write about the last item you looked for. Why did you need it? I am tempted to write about prompt number one, A List of 22 Things You Have Done because it would be an interesting counterpoint to last Sunday’s list of 22 Things I Haven’t Done. Maybe I’ll do that this coming Sunday.
For tonight we have something much more mundane. I suppose it is the ubiquitous “missing sock’s” business-dress cousin, the unmatched knee hi.
Take today, for example:
 (I hate the way the stripes don’t match each other. A decent day, however since it was not dots and stripes.)
Matching knee-his may not be the last thing I have looked for, but this issue has existed for quite some time now. It got much worse in August 2010, right after high school started for my daughter. My husband was going to be the designated super-early-to-leave the house guy (6:55), leaving me the more leisurely 8:30 departure (which correlated with my son’s middle school start time). Well, three days into the school year he lost his job and I become the early-morning girl. This meant a rapid lowering of my standards about wrinkledness of clothes and other criteria for getting out of the house dressed for work.
And, as God is my witness the knee-hi situation is going to do me in! Way back in September, 2009, my friend Fred Davenport dared me to blog about my sock drawer, which has been meticulously well organized ever since (thanks Fred!). Still, almost every morning I look in there hoping to find a matching pair of knee his that have been washed and paired. They’re never there, perhaps because of the laundry processing breakdown in the family. (I’ll spare you the picture of laundry mountain – it is embarrassing!).
If I had the amount of money I have spent on “last minute” runs into Walgreens, I could probably buy a Kindle. Yes, blogland, I am sheepishly admitting that I have sprayed Febreze onto knee his to try to get through one more day in the work world (sometimes they matched, most times they didn’t, but they sure weren’t freshly laundered). 
Sunday, when I had the opportunity to do one of my very favorite things on earth, a film shoot with an FSU Film project, I had to take a variety of clothes because the director wasn’t sure what he wanted my character wearing. You’d think I would be über-prepared for something that means so much to me. I had taken mostly black/gray (and yes, the knee his matched – I’ll avoid the topic of Febreze) clothing. But I took a few things in the brown family, and the only thing I could find hosiery related (despite having purchased quite a few “emergency” pairs at Walgreens over the year) was a pair of cream hose, the plan being that I would cut them off and make them into knee his if I had to. Cut them off? What is going on with me? (We stayed with black.)
(Fortunately the director, Nestor Bustamante, and I were more concerned with figuring out how to write messages in lipstick on glass than with my hosiery!)
 Here’s another example: a funky tan/cream pair balled up in a little bag I found in the car:
Where have my standards gone?
I think it’s time to admit “defeet.”

Believing (A Goodbye/Thank You to the MFA Class of 2011)

Spend any time at all on one of my social media sites and you are likely to deduce that I enjoy helping the FSU Film School find people and things. Pigs? Babies? Restraining Straps?
Yes, you heard me right – restraining straps. And here’s how the conversation went. A Sunday, around 1:30 p.m. in advance of filming the following day in which said straps would be needed:
Film Student: Can you please call Tallahassee Memorial and see if they have some brown leather straps like you would use to restrain someone?
Paula: Um, sure.
[Paula calls TMH]
Volunteer on Duty at TMH Main Desk: Hello, Tallahasee Memorial Hospital, how can I help you?
Paula: Hi! I am a community volunteer with the Florida State University Film School and I am wondering if you have any leather straps, you know, the kind I could use to restrain someone with?
Volunteer on Duty at TMH Main Desk: Well, you’ll need to call back tomorrow and speak to public relations about that.
The straps were needed for this scene in Heather Gillman’s Medea:
(Alana Dimaria in Medea)
Photo Credit: David Barrow Wiley
See more of David’s work here.

I still wonder what the TMH volunteer really thought about my request!
At some point during this class’s time in the MFA program, I was on set with each member, as an extra or volunteer. Before you all go off to the next stop on the journey, a few thoughts.
Having a community volunteer with no formal film training must, at times, be sort of like having a curious three-year old around who can find no end of questions to ask. Thank you, Heather Gillman, for answering my questions about acronyms and terminology even though I may not ever be asked for a quarter CTB again in my lifetime – at least if I am asked I’ll have a clue!
Another target of my many questions-to-which-I-don’t-SERIOUSLY-need-to-know-the-answer-but-ask-anyway is Hillary Lavin. As a set design volunteer through several films, I came to appreciate the difference that attention to details can make. For instance, you don’t want to create an anachronism by placing a “Cars” (released in 2006) themed toy in a little boy’s room if the film he is in takes place in 2005. Hillary also answered her fair share of questions I asked about technical stuff, just because I was curious.
This class is the first one I have worked with on pre-production. I still marvel at how much I like something that involves two things I hate – 1) asking people I don’t know for unusual things and b) returning things. But something about doing that, with a group of people I genuinely like so much, has alleviated some of my fears. Even if TMH won’t take my calls anymore. 🙂
I will always chuckle when I think about Jim Ed Wills asking me if I would be okay with having eggs cracked over my head when I was an extra on Playback Henry (the answer was yes).
I thank Faren Humes, whose vision for her thesis film touched on a time and topic that is difficult to address and equally difficult for viewers to process. But it takes courage to lead people out of their comfort zones into a deeper understanding, and Our Rhineland did that. Behind the scenes, I learned a lot helping to recreate Berlin out of Tallahassee and Pensacola, providing casting assistance, and helping locate a cemetery that would permit a night shoot (hint, don’t ask in Tallahassee).

“The Red Truck” – The Curse

Matt Ryan produced Our Rhineland and then Faren produced the thesis film that Matt directed, The Curse. (This is where the pigs come in.) I am pretty sure the first email I sent after reading the script was, “we need to find livestock for this?” (Yes.) There were other fun challenges in being a “Curse” volunteer: finding an infant under six months old, researching for multiple location needs, finding a red pick up truck (done!), and locating a barn with a basement. What stands out to me about my interactions with Matt is that he included me in components of the process, such as watching the audition videos of the prospective actors, and asked my opinion. That meant a lot to me and made me even more invested in the final outcome.
There is one other conversation I had with Matt that summarized so succinctly the essence of good acting. We were talking about the search for a German-speaking actor during pre-production for Our Rhineland and somehow digressed a bit into how you know when an actor is going to be effective. Matt said, “you can tell when they believe.” It’s true. You can take lessons about many parts of the acting process, but letting yourself believe begins somewhere inside.
The best directors and crews bring that belief out and help us viewers believe too. I have faith that every member of the MFA Class of 2011 does that and will continue into the future.
Keep doing what you do.
The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind. – Kahlil Gibran

Caught in the Act (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

It is Mama Kat prompt day. Here’s my prompt:

If Social Media died tomorrow, describe another hobby you might get into.
If you are reading this, I am guessing you are least mildly pro-social media (or you are a social media hater who is being punished by being required to read blog posts written by people you don’t even know). If you’re like me, you would feel pretty bereft if social media died tomorrow. How would I fill the time?
The hobby I “might get into” is something I am already “into” but I would probably be able to focus on it a bit more if I weren’t blogging, Facebooking, or Tweeting (or DailyMiling or LoseIting or my latest, IDoneThising). I would do more acting classes, volunteer more with the FSU Film School, and dabble more in live theatre.

(One of the things I do as a volunteer is help find locations, such as this “teenage girl bedroom”.)
When asked, I usually say that I started hearing the siren call of acting and filmmaking when I got tired of sitting in the waiting area while my kids auditioned for FSU Film projects. I decided “I might as well audition too!”. Then my friend Duane reminded me that I had, after all, played Sue Ellen Ewing (from Dallas) in a high school production back in 1982. For some reason it does not surprise me that I have totally blanked that out of my memory bank!
(No more Sue Ellen Ewing for me; I have moved on to a respectable “career” in the faux medical field!)
I have so much to learn about acting and am frequently in the presence of stellar amateur (and some professional) actors whose talents stun me. What I do know is that I learn something about myself each time I audition or am fortunate enough to be an extra or actor in a production. And I walk away, without fail, mystified at the paradox of how pretending to be someone you are not somehow brings you closer to who you really are.

BONUS! I guess it is fortuitous that I wrote a prompt about the “end” of social media the same week the comedy sketch that satirizes Facebook, in which I was an extra, was released on YouTube. Here it is (fyi it contains language that will make some of you want to press play immediately and some of you want to skip it!)

Jarrod’s Lesson: Be Who You Are, Passionately

“And while we’re talking, there’s a scene that involves having eggs cracked over your head while you’re standing in the checkout line. If that’s you, will you be okay with that?”

The above question came from Jim Ed Wills, when he was casting extras for Adam Isaacs’s FSU Film, “Playback Henry.” He used a tone of voice that indicated he thought it was asking a lot to ask a perfectly normal adult to agree to have eggs cracked over their head. The thing is, for those of us in the FSU Film extras/acting community, I’ll bet that, unless it was the individual’s first time being an extra/actor, the answer was not just “sure” but that the person being asked secretly hoped there were some eggs heading the way of their head.

I once heard a student telling an actor, “well, you fit the profile for a film I was casting for, but since you had just done another one, I didn’t want to bother you.” The actor’s response was (summarizing here): Bother me please.

My friend Jarrod Heierman, who died suddenly, at the age of 40, in early December  wasn’t in Playback Henry, so he missed the opportunity to be an “egg head” for the day. However, he did many other things in FSU Films; I understand he was in 40 films, and I have only been exposed to a few of them. Most significantly (to me), he was my “husband” in Shane Spiegel’s Water Wings. I had just arrived on set when Jarrod was about to film his scene, but he told me my name would be easy to remember because his mom is named Paula. I heard him joking around with the crew when they asked him to change into a hospital gown about not being ashamed of his “man boobs.”

I encountered him a few weeks later, on Chris Oroza’s SAE. I was a nurse; he was a huge (like 8 feet tall), black, furry, something. The costume can’t have been comfortable; I didn’t hear a peep of complaint.

Me in “Nurse Mode” in SAE with Riley Moran and Virgil Bates III 
Photo Credit: Natalie Warrender Shepherd LaBarr
Jarrod as the Big Black Menacing Something in SAE
Photo Credit: FSU Film

In August 2010, I saw Jarrod perform in a film that involved him doing some crazy dance in a pawn shop, shirtless. It was hysterical.  The last time I saw him, we were playing “college student parents” on the set of Carissa Dorson’s film, “Parental Ties.” Needing something to say, I mentioned that I had googled him and learned that he had won an oyster eating contest (28 dozen + 8 oysters in eight minutes, to be exact). I am still not sure if he was creeped out by the fact that I had Googled him or flattered that he was “famous” for his speed eating acumen. I’ll never know.   

The Oyster Eating Contest
Jarrod is the one, um, focused on the eating!
Photo credit: David Adlerstein

I didn’t know Jarrod well. Like many other people in the FSU Film community, I only saw him on sets. But time on set does not function like “regular” time. If it is your film to produce, it probably feels like time zooms by. For actors/regulars, it is a more insular thing — for the period of time you are filming, you are family, or shoppers in a store (watch out for the eggs), or partygoers, or bank customers, or medical personnel, or any of a hundred things. It is an experience that you will have had just with those people; even though the final product will be shared with audiences, you will have been part of a team, creating an experience together.

At Jarrod’s memorial service, I heard person after person tell stories about growing up with him, working with him, and playing sports with him. So often the stories came back to what a “team player” he was. The characteristic I pointed out was that Jarrod, among a social-media obsessed world, was not “plugged in.” No Facebook (that I knew of), no tweeting about every thought he had. There’s something to be said for being so secure in yourself that you don’t need to make sure you tag the right people and pile on the “friends.”

At the service, Gavin Boone mentioned Jarrod’s role on Matt Sklar’s “Green Christmas,” a film about (among other things) an overzealous environmentalist who loses sight of the spirit of Christmas because he is caught up in his own agenda. Jarrod’s character, a “hire-a-Santa,” tells the down-and-out homeowner “Don’t forget the Spirit. The Spirit of Christmas.” Our family has been in the position of grieving a loved one just weeks before Christmas; I hope in some quiet moment, Jarrod’s family and friends feel his presence with them. Even though the holiday spirit is easily lost in a frenzy of buying, partying, and posturing, its authenticity can be rescued via treasured memories of a guy who just wanted other people to feel happy.

Jarrod on the set of “Green Christmas”
Photo Credit:  Madeline Eberhard 

As I was writing this blog earlier today, this quote flitted across twitter:

When you live your passion, there is no line dividing what you do and who you are.
They are one. – Leigh Caraccioli

Jarrod, you gave a gift every time you shared yourself with us.  The strong simplicity of your presence, fueled exclusively by a passion for being “who you were” was a present beyond measure. 

Thank you. 

Can You Remind Me of Your Name?

Tonight’s topic is one that I have had in the back of my mind (maybe THAT is what is taking up the room where my memory for names/faces should be) for a long time.  Today’s incident at the Film School sealed the deal. 

Five years ago, when I started auditioning at the Film School, I didn’t know anyone.  When I went in twice yearly to audition, there would be a new trio of faces behind the camera and directing the action.  Over the last year and a half, I have been sufficiently involved that the faces behind the audition table are frequently ones that I have encountered on one project or several projects as the students cycle through the various responsibilities involved in making a film. 

When Laura walked out to call me, I could mentally check off one face (and Facebook friend).  Another young woman in the room is a student I have dealt with, but not someone I have worked with extensively so that interaction was okay with a “hey how are you?”.  But the student behind the camera is a student I have worked with on enough films that I have lost count.  I said, “Oh, I think you auditioned me last time.”  He said, “No, I didn’t work auditions last time.”  Backpedal, backpedal.  I kind of brushed it off, naming the person who auditioned me last time.  But I was still struggling to name this person.  

This names/faces problem is really, really irritating!! 
I vaguely remember hearing an ABC news story about faceblindness awhile back and thinking, “hey! I feel that way a lot!”  I remember running into Carladenise Edwards, someone I was meeting with several times a month at the time, in Publix once and literally having no idea who she was.  The list of these types of incidents in my life is pretty long by now.  (By the way, this is one reason I am such a huge fan of Scott Ginsberg, also known as “The Nametag Guy,” who has worn a nametag for the last 3,616 days.)
Why did my interaction at the Film School, just another incident like all the others, matter enough to make it blogworthy?  It matters because when I fail to recognize someone that I have been involved in a project with, for a cause/enterprise we are both passionate about, I can’t help but feel that the person feels minimized or less important.  It matters because, although acting talent is the absolute main thing that a film student looks for when casting a role, I don’t want to be the one that the student’s main recollection is, “oh yeah, she’s the one who didn’t remember my name.”  It matters because, after reading Still Alice (about early onset Alzheimer’s Disease), I didn’t feel any better about this problem.
When I started researching material for this blog tonight, I realized that this onion is going to have many, many layers now that I have started peeling it.  There is a Yahoo group devoted to the problem (the medical disorder is called Prosopagnosia, but I am not self-diagnosing, just confirming that I share similar frustrations) and blogs.
I would be interested in hearing about your experiences with names/faces difficulty, along with any strategies you have for coping.  I have tried this:

But, as my experience today showed, I am far from being any kind of “memory champion”!

In the meantime, bear with me if I ask your name again (and again).  And if you have a juicy role coming up in your film (or not juicy, just a role) (or a job trimming beer bottle labels for the breakaway beer bottles!), let’s face it, all you have to do is call my name.

Faster, With More Energy

I love being an extra on film sets.  When I try to pin down exactly why I love being an extra, I find that the reasons refuse to define themselves in a linear list.  I enjoy having a “bird’s eye” view of the production process, the great people I meet, and the sense of common purpose shared by cast and crew.  Because my full-time job is filled with tasks that will not show any type of defined outcome for years (if ever), it is nice knowing that putting in hours on set now will result in something to watch at an appointed time.  Here is me in a “jazz club” scene for Waking Eloise, an MFA thesis film I know I’ll get to see in August.  Hooray, a defined outcome!  (And note the look on my face because it applies later on in this blog.)

I have been auditioning at the FSU Film School twice a year for about five years now.  Until today, I chose one of the “sides” provided by the film school for each audition.  With these sides, one of the FSU Film students reads a part and I read the other while being filmed.  After the first reading, one of the students gives direction about how to read the part differently, and I read it again.  This time I did a monologue that I had chosen; doing so gave me the opportunity to memorize the part in advance.  I have found that trying to read material I am not that familiar with while also trying to emote and make eye contact with the other “actor”/the camera is disconcerting.

As much as I love being an extra, I discovered when I had an opportunity to have a speaking part in an FSU Film (Water Wings), that I love that too, and that the experience rocked my “I -want-to-express-myself-in-addition-to-being-a-mom-of-two-kids-with-a-full-time-job” mindset out of dormancy. (Read about it here.) When I prepared for Water Wings, my role was a monologue with several accusatory questions in a row:  “Why did you do this? Why did you need to hurt me? What was so wrong? What couldn’t you take?, etc.” When I practiced this at home, I spoke them as I read them, with pauses in between each question. As it turns out, the Director wanted more of a rapid fire delivery. Check.

It was in giving me feedback about today’s first monologue delivery that Aaron Nix summarized in four words an improvement I need to make in my acting (foreshadowed by Shane Spiegel’s direction in Water Wings) that I also want to make in my running (and in my life).

Faster, with more energy.
As of noon today when the audition occurred, I had not decided what the subject of tonight’s blog was going to be.  I still want to write about the “scientific so,” but that requires more research (pun intended) as does the reason that several convenience stores I frequent feature men’s undershirts and clean “tshirts” near the checkout (apparently sales are brisk, even at a significant markup).  But Aaron’s four words crystallized a great blog topic, so here goes.
Last night, in preparation for today’s audition, I decided to record myself delivering my monologue.  Someday, when my acting improves and if I accumulate additional credits, I’ll get a good laugh out of this.  There’s only so much you can do with your point and shoot camera when you are holding it at arms’ length and recording yourself, but I saw enough to decided that a) my glasses create a barrier that doesn’t help me engage and b) my delivery was so low-key that I wouldn’t want to watch me! 
With Aaron’s feedback about my second delivery today, the direction I received in Water Wings, and my own observation from my self-recording last night, I am starting to detect a theme!!  Furthermore, what’s with that de-energized look on my face in the shot from “Waking Eloise”?
It’s exactly what I want out of my running:  Faster, with more energy.
For running, getting to that sub 30 5K is obviously going to require “faster,” but the “more energy” part is something I can tackle.  I think sometimes I apply restraint to my running on the premise that I need to conserve energy when there’s more need to push myself, and to apply more energy to the things in my life that can improve my running, like better eating habits and more challenging cross training.
As for acting, I love it therefore it’s time to figure out how to get to “faster, with  more energy.”  As Seth Godin says in his blog about the dangers of the category of “neither”, “If you spend your days avoiding failure by doing not much worth criticizing, you’ll never have a shot at success.”
As the week begins, I encourage you to look for that territory beyond neither.  As Godin says, opening yourself up to taking the risk of being criticized may lead you to “encountering the very thing you’re after.”
I’ll “run” into you next week, readers.  I’ll be the fast, energetic one!
Some of the wonderful friends I have made on set — this one is “Banoffee Pie,” and FSU Media Production Narrative Project film!