January 2017 - Tempting Habits

January 25: A moment of gratefulness.  I won't go into the political side of it as I keep that point of view to myself.  I am talking about the Meryl Streep's speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, and the ramblings and usage of social media by the 45th President of the United States along with the peripheral actions/reactions of his entourage.  That, I will keep my opinions to myself. 

However, what I would like to share with you is that I am grateful for the profession that I chose to practice. Having worked in the corporate environment for so many years and now, making a living in acting and music. Through acting, I am grateful to have the chance to see people, places, situations and things from an objective point of view because you see, when "getting into character", an actor goes through a critical thinking process which is quite detailed and extensive. There seems to be an assumption that acting is being told what to do, when and how by a director.  It isn't the case.  As an actress, I've been given the opportunity to work in a profession where deep analysis from ALL points of view is a standard practice, this happens before memorizing the lines; this before offering our interpretation to the director. 

As a songwriter, I find that I am blessed to be able to write about people, places, situations and things from so many points of view; but at the same time from a personal stance.

As artists, it is in our nature to be inquisitive; to ask all questions again and again before, during and after creating. That is why some of our works resonate with you. It is our job to feel the pain so that you may "get it".

Recently, I've been given a script for a role. I read and re-read the script about a little known migration of people to Asia in WW2 and it hit hard. I cannot go into further detail as it is in production but once it is made public, I will go deeper into detail the awakening I've just gone through, thanks to this project.

All I can tell you is that assumptions are very dangerous - but we know that, right? We've heard it over and over again but yet, we fall back into our comfort zones and habits.

January 15:  I keep wanting to go about things the way I am used to go. But there is a turning point and I am there. I am getting bored with the old. Wanting so much to move forward; to push away from tempting habits that want to keep me in my comfort zone. I remember once upon at time at the start up of my corporate life and company, there was this deep burning in me - it was do or die. I am feeling this once again and, more and more as each day passes. It's a do or die situation, it's unnerving, it's definitely destabilizing. Will I come out of it again as I did before, again and again? You'll see. I'll see. Tempting habits keep calling.

January 3:  The images are still tugging at my heartstrings. As I sang Auld Lang Syne to bring in the New Year I saw many beautiful moments happening around me, snapshots that will remain with me for a very long time. But there were two very touching moments that tug at my heart strings. The first was seeing the loved ones of my fellow band mates waiting patiently on the side for me to finish singing so they can wish their husbands a Happy New Year. As they wait, I see the look in their eyes - so full of love, hope and the "peaceful excitement" of what the future brings. The second one, that took my breath away and almost made me cry while singing, was seeing my friend with his partner - they hugged, kissed, looked deeply into each others eyes...and then they cried because you see, one of them is about to go through a nasty war with Cancer...and yet through the uncertainty of their future, they are solid in the knowledge that they have each other. This is when my job is not a job.

January 1:  I'm not going to hide it, although there were moments of reprieve, 2016 sucked the royal pineapple! I'll put it on the turning of a page. We lost so many artists - icons, legends - those who paved the way. In retrospect, I guess I shouldn't be surprised because when you do the math, time tick-tocked on. We tend to forget that they are human, just like us. People's health wane, they get old. So I guess we are to brace ourselves for more changes. But what happens now?

Go see tribute bands? Sure but I prefer to listen to the albums and hear their voices. See old movies? Sure, why not. But with every ending, there is a beginning. There is a new breed out there, they've been making small waves and creating interesting sounds and sights. You don't believe me? How about if we go out and see those artists in their element?

Here's a thought, we all have our favorites so we know where to find them, that's the same old same old spoon fed material backed up by a well oiled machine. But how about venturing out beyond comfort zones to discover those we don't know yet? You know, like breaking a habit? At first it's hard, it's uncomfortable, it doesn't feel right but eventually it starts to fit.  Ever since I started hosting my radio show, Unsung and On The Side, I've discovered so many talented people, creating amazing music-theatre-dance-art-what-have-you. I knew they were out there but to have so many; and I am sure that those I've discovered is just a drop in the bucket. Those artists are out there and they are even more accessible today then they were in the 50's-60's-70's. So I hope that you'll get out there and see concerts, gigs, shows of those who you do not know. Push your envelope because those artists who are now gone certainly did, and those we have yet to discover certainly are.

So here we stand looking forward to the next 364 days. We will mourn more losses, we will discover the undiscovered. We will laugh, cry and wonder why. We will run, walk and sometimes, we will jump. Whatever it is, turn away from the comfortable temptation of old habits and look forward. Savour every moment because this is not a dress rehearsal. This is real.