EDIT- as I was proofing this, I got truly unfortunate news about a family member of one of my dearest loved ones who suddenly pass away. I won't go into details as I'm completely shocked and want to respect everyone involved. It's so in line with this whole blog post it's scary and just want to say, there are more important things than most of what we allow ourselves to be concerned with and I believe family comes first here. Think about them often, let them know you are thinking about them and be grateful for their influence in your life. Forgive me if this post is all over the place or full of errors, as I didn't finish going through to check once I heard the news.
A few nights ago I had this really unsettling dream...I was on my deathbed.
Dreams are always so strange for me. They start one place, or with certain people and before you know it, you are in another part of the world with someone else entirely and it's no big deal. I don't always remember my dreams thoroughly, but this one stuck with me in some ways.
I wanted to write about this for a few days and like everything, there is a time and place. While eating dinner last night, Erin mentioned a story she heard and as she finished the story, I realized that this would be the time to write this blog. Strangely enough, I had also planned to blog about something that happened on Valentines day, but it ties into this dream in a way, so I'll share that here too.
There has been a lot going on it seems. With the ending of 2011, I set some serious goals and mentally focused in on a lot of things, some of which I've shared in some of my other posts here. The year has started off in a bang...In fact, it feels like I've been non stop since late last year. I really have felt the affect of it in different ways. In a physical sense, I've been fighting to stay healthy and fresh. For a few weeks I had a lingering cold, which turned into a flu that wouldn't leave for a week and a half & then I also I caught a stomach flu that set me back a few days. All in all, it's been a careful balancing act to keep everything in order, especially when I had to do the TOUGH MUDDER, which I'll detail in a later blog.
Aside from dealing with being sick (which I've finally kicked!), I've had some amazing blessings lately, which would be the main reason for the crazy couple of months. There have been some big changes, most of all my new representation and a few great gigs in a short period of time that I have worked on or booked to begin shortly. It's been great and I'm really excited for so many things that are going on right now. My new teams have been keeping me super busy, which is great! I've also gotten back into an acting class to polish up and work out some bad habits I've picked up along the way. It's been a few years since I've been in one and I've missed it. Very thankful for what I've been learning. It's been great to learn and be able to put things to use in auditions or on set recently.
I find myself taking on some pressure on the career front as a result. Not horrible, stuff, just things come with the territory mostly.
I'm excited to be busy and value appointments, but it's also important to not get caught up in an outcome. We're told it's a numbers game, and you'll book one out of a hundred. That's crazy right?! Just imagine going on ONE job interview. Now think TWO...5...20...50...this is what we do. At some point you have to be ok with rejection. Still...I'm human. Great to have the opportunity, but there is some work that goes into not letting yourself get caught up in what happens AFTER. Here is that, "pressure." At least..or up until my dream, that was all I thought. It's tough to argue that it's anything but me putting it on myself I guess, cause in the end you alone have to accept what you take on. Of course I want to nail all of the things I'm being considered for.
It's dangerous what we do. In life, you are taught you can't try to please people...but, in our business that is the very nature of what we do. Is entertainment not that at its core? You are pleasing someone just by entertaining, and throughout our job you have to please SO many people. You have to please your reps, you have to please the people hiring you when you audition (sometimes that alone is like 6 rounds of pleasing in that phase), when you get the job, you have to please everyone involved; producers, directors, DP's, costumer, makeup...its endless. In some way, they all have their expectations. Somewhere in there and what we fight for in the first place is to PLEASE YOURSELF. That's as much of the game as anything else. Just...Make every moment count...for YOU.
This ties in to the Valentines Day.
Erin and I were walking to dinner and discussing career stuff and how some actors prefer to be on shows that are on the HBO or Showtime networks because those shows don't film as long as some of the others so you have more flexibility to do outside stuff. Obviously, it sounds like an ideal situation and as we were discussing this we happened to be walking down an alley way. As we were mid sentence, a homeless man startled us as he looked up excitedly and said, "Yay! I just found a chocolate chip cookie!" It was a quick rush of different emotions. Obviously it was startling, but then kind of funny considering and then it just instantly made Erin and I look at each other. Without words, we knew that we were thankful. Here we were talking about the "challenges" or tough times some people face in our business but it was plain silly. We'd been caught up in discussing the trivial differences of obvious successes and how they could cause hardships in different relationships, but this man was just happy to find a cookie to eat.
High class problems right?
After our meal, we were walking back and were stopped by a older man. His name was Ron. He was from Seattle. He had a weird energy. I could see him coming from down the block and I knew he was headed for us. He stopped us as most people do in that area and it felt like it was, "pitch time." He was going to be asking for money in some way. 20 minutes later this is exactly what he did, but I NEVER had experienced anything like this. Ron was a Cinematographer who hadn't archived his dreams as he so put it. He was very unique and reminded us of Dustin Hoffman in RAINMAN. He was completely fascinating and obviously BRILLIANT, probably one of the smartest people I had ever come in contact with. He repeated his fascinating stories, while interjecting and cutting himself off to communicate who Erin and I reminded of, before starting back in sometimes remembering details he covered or asked us, others times not.
What struck me beside his obvious brilliance was his PASSION about his dream and in a sad way his understanding of how he hadn't achieved them. This plain scared the shit out of me. I thought about it for days and weeks after. Here was someone that was I'm sure a genius...but what happened??
I would hope to god that he reached some happiness, but I couldn't help but feel like what he was communicating in some way was true, that he wouldn't attain it. Obviously, I don't know his story or anything else that would tie into what he could or couldn't do, but I just found a relevance because of how hard everyone I know, myself included, is working to achieve our own dreams. Hoping to tackle each one. Will we all do this?
Back to my dream...
In my dream, from what I remember, I was thrust right into it. It felt like I just turned on the TV and it was the middle of a show or movie.
I was dying. And...it felt REAL. I've never had that experience before. It was like I was OBSERVING it, even though I was in it...really weird. This gave me a really strange perspective within it. I relate it to the classic Scrooge movies when he is standing beside the ghost, watching his life. I was instantly drawn into this world and I felt pain. Pain for everyone in it. I was in a hospital I believe and was surrounded by a few of my loved ones. I cant recall who exactly, but it FELT like my family and Erin. I could feel their pain. Instantly I was sad, but I wasn't feeling it viscerally like you sometimes do when you are being chased in a dream or the classic FALLING DREAMS. I was sad as the observer. It wasn't made clear what I was dying from, but it felt like cancer of some sort. This could have been because of my Dad and recent encounters with people who've been affected by Cancer in some way.
But what struck me most was that in the dream, I understood it was SUDDEN. Not only was it going to happen soon, but it came out of nowhere. Not that any death should be expected, but obviously there are the cases that it's been a progression of some sort. This was not that. It definitely felt like...it was something that JUST happened...like three days ago. It was that feeling. Shock, disbelief, despair, sympathy, pity..I don't know...but this is the thing that I think affected me most, and continues to. My mind was informing my dream I believe, that this was just pain unfortunate because, "he had potential." This could have just been my ego trying to throw in its two cents. But I also think it's ties into the pressure I've felt recently, because throughout the dream, while I was sad...I was also angry. I was angry because this would be it. I would not get to do the things I've dreamt about since I was a kid. I would not have the chance to surpass goals to be able to provide things for my loved ones...things I think they need (and who's to say they do?). This is what affected me the most. This is the thought that I woke up to. Like I said before it wasn't a dream that you wake up from and sigh because you realize it's not real. It was like I was witnessing it so I was aware it was a dream, but was so caught up in it, I Almost couldn't differentiate it.
When I woke up. I was grateful. Thankful I wasn't causing pain to anyone, thankful to have another go to see things through...but then it hit and I was thankful to realize this alone...I will be ok. I wouldn't have enough paper to jot down the things I am blessed to have in my life, but most of all, the only thing I would need in this moment is to know that air was traveling in and out of my nose (or mouth because I was stuffy). I was alive.
With all of the things I've mentioned earlier there were things that made me scared--What if that happened to me? There were things I was grateful for--I have a roof, food & loved ones to share it with. There are also things in a way that Even though I do my best to move on to the next, as a result of other things that have happened in my life, I've allowed some of then to sit on my shoulders as I accepted to carry them along.
In the grand scheme of things...of life, it defines a very small part of me. Of course I hold it in high regards, but there is a reason I haven't referred to this dream as a nightmare...like I said, it taught me and put things into perspective and it showed me that it's only MY perspective that creates this worry or pressure. I like to take things on by myself at times and it can sometimes get me in trouble I guess lol. I'm very thankful to have been worked into a stir with this dream.
The story was on Ryan Seacrest's radio show about a little girl named HANA HWANG. Erin was so touched by this and she shared how this little girl who just turned 13 has the body of like a 90 year old. It's a rare fatal disease and the life expectancy is 13 years old. She said that the Hana's tutor broke into tears talking about her, saying that even though she was when tutor, Hana had taught her more than anyone ever had.
I was really touched by the story because of how it just put my dream and feelings into perspective. This little girl does not have much time left. She knows this. She has never led anything close to a, "normal life"-- but she has inspired so many people and touched their lives. She fights and keeps moving forward. It's also very Clear that she has SO MUCH love from her family.
This link points to an audio clip of her story. If you have time, check it out.
Hearing this story made me think of this story my sister shared with me a while ago about Ben Breedlove and how this young kid passed away on Christmas, just a few days after posting a couple of videos about a dream he had. He had a heart condition since he was a kid and the doctors didn't believe he would make it past early teens.
These things always just make me think about how silly certain things in life are that we get so worked up over.
I was meant to be made aware of these stories and I was meant to have this dream. I thank my mind as well for knowing that it needed to teach me a lesson by creating this dream.
Love to all.