Your Passionate Life

Good morning! 

Last night, I held a round of casting for my play "Suspended", which is performing May 11, 14, 15 and 26 at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre. I need to recast it because this is a Non-Union showcase and the actor who originated the role in January, Justin Maruri, is a member of Actors Equity so he can't participate in this upcoming festival. Justin was stellar and it's a little hard to get my head around a replacement, honestly! But, alas, there are so many talented actors in this city so I'm keeping the faith that my bike messenger is out there!!

Casting is really, really fun. I LOVE IT. There's something thrilling to me about being on the other side. I set myself up in a studio at Ripley Grier and welcome the actors who scheduled auditions by appointment. They bring monologues and then if I like what I see, I ask them to stay and read sides. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, sides are a small excerpt from the script that the actor prepares from and uses in the audition. No need to memorize but it helps if you can get "off book" so we can see your face and eyes. 

The 90 minutes of auditioning actors went by in a flash. I was so focused, engaged and present to what I was doing and I felt deep appreciation for every actor I met. They were all so different! I can see each one working and I need to make the strongest choice -- at this point it's not just about a talent or look, but also knowing the person needs to be a very quick study since we go up in less than a month. 

Actors are really courageous. How bold is it to walk into a room, start talking to someone that isn't there (in the case of a monologue) and ask someone to come along for the ride and believe? 

Know me as I believe I am. As I believe to be. 

I could've stayed in the room 8 hours last night. It's a thrill for me to hear the words I wrote come to life. I feel the relief andsensation of the Ah. Students and friends of mine ask me how I discovered my passions and where I find the willingness to keep pursuing them actively? Well, let's start with the first half of that question:

When you're in PASSION, there is no sense of time. You don't look at the clock (unless you're afraid you're going to miss an appointment because you're SO in the zone)!

When you're in PASSION, you would do it for free or pay someone else for the chance to do it.

When you're in PASSION, you feel a sense of wonder, fascination and awe. You may feel unworthy but not out of place.

When you're in PASSION, you often feel a big letdown when you stop the activity and go back to something else which isn't it.

When you're in PASSION, you can let go of the goal. You're not motivated by or servicing the end result. You're so moment-to-moment involved that your end result feels like an accident, even though you created it.

So, that's a start!

As for the willingness to engage your passions and seek to develop, deepen, grow and evolve as a practitioner in whatever it is you love, that's a little tricky sometimes. I love music and I LOVE to sing. You probably know it because I talk about it a lot (that's another sign it's a PASSION!). Something that happens for me is I have this old, limiting belief that comes up when I hear someone with incredible pipes sing. I listen, I nod, then I say, "Now THAT is EXACTLY why I should NOT be singing in public. Clearly, that's her job." Then I need to go through a whole rigamarole to get out of that thought so I don't disengage from my PASSION (another sign is when you are not doing it, you don't feel well!), such as, "Well, not all vocalists have killer vocals. Some have poetry in their lyrics, they're storytellers, look at the voices that are hugely powerful and overtrained but lack soul, I do have a pretty good voice..." and whatever else I can do to stay in the game. 

Rodney McKenzie, the amazing teacher I mentioned I just met at Good Commons last weekend, was talking about this with me while listening to the new Adele album (INCREDIBLE). I shared that limiting belief that comes up and he said something to the effect of, "What if she is here to inspire you? What if she is calling you to step it up?! She can't do it alone! If it calls you..." I loved that. :)

So, the key to staying involved with your practice, with your PASSIONS, no matter what level you're at or how easy or challenging you find the process, is to simply believe that you are meant to "manifest yourself in exquisiteness every chance you get" and that there is nothing more exquisite than the unfolding of YOUR PASSIONATE LIFE!!!

Everything about your passionate life is exquisite. Stay involved by refusing to compare yourself to others -- you are on your own path. If you think of PASSION as oxygen, as air, as what you need to be and breathe in order, just to be ALIVE, it feels less negotiable, doesn't it? You can't negotiate whether you're going to breathe each day. You kind of have to do it. Or else you wither and wilt. Suffocate. Die.

I can go on but I will stop now -- ah, what song to give you now?! I did bring up the amazing Adele but let me share with you what she has couched on her website's home page. It's a cover of Rolling in the Deep by the chorus of PS22. Talk about inspiring, inspired PASSION! :)



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