Okay, you’ve decided to take the plunge and write your first short film - maybe even a feature! If you’re planning on shooting the short film yourself, or potentially selling it to a producer, there are a few things to think about while writing that will save you from a major headache and financial catastrophe down the road. Being realistic and innovative is key when bringing a vision to life.
When writing your movie, thinking like a producer is necessary, and will provide excellent guideposts and attainable limitations when you’re first starting out and even down the road. Taking the following tips into consideration when crafting your big-hit may also give you a different spin on your creativity and imagination that may surprise you - I know they sure did for me.
Without further adieu, here are my suggestions on what to think about while writing your script:
This is always the kicker. I know you want to create this elaborate, commercial/studio film that people are going to line around the block to see, but in reality, it doesn't happen like that when you're just starting. You have to think of what resources you have and be honest with yourself when it comes to spending. Think of all of the things you need in terms of locations and permits, crew, cast, costumes, meals, set decoration, and the like! This is where innovation is critical.
When you’re writing your screenplay, especially if you intend to make it on your own, think of what you know will be available to you for little to no cost and use that and everything that comes along with it to all of your might. In turn, be honest and realistic with yourself in how much money you think you can raise and spend in making this movie.
If you can only spend a minimal amount, make sure you write in attainable and more affordable locations, fewer cast members potentially, maybe shoot the movie yourself - whatever it may be.
With your budget in mind, and whether you intend on paying your crew (you may be shooting with friends or at film school where the people may be on board for the experience) knowing whether you can find/have the proper crew members who know what they’re doing on some scale is essential.
Do you have someone in your area/hometown who knows how and would be willing to use a camera who can shoot your movie? Do you have someone to record sound? Do makeup and hair? Someone who can watch for continuity? Are you directing? Who’s going to edit your movie? Is someone designing the set you’re going to use to fit the tone of your film? Are there weapons in your movie? Stunts? You’ll need a stunt coordinator and an armorer for safety purposes.
Depending on where you live and the scale of your film, keeping in mind the crew members you’ll need for the scenes you write is essential. You might just be making a film with your friends in your back yard - but of course, you’ll need to write for this scenario too and making sure you have everything and everyone you need.
When you envision the story, you’re writing - your imagination will, of course, take action. Realistically though, you need to know the resources you have, what you’ll need, and what you can afford when writing the scene to be shot.
What camera are you going to use to shoot? Do you have any lights to expose your scene correctly? Did you want a dolly shot - if so, are you going to take the camera off sticks and walk with the scene? Use a skateboard? Or will you have to buy a dolly track? Did you want to have haze in a room for a scene? Do you have sound recording equipment? A mic? Or are you just going to use your phone’s memo recording utility?
Understanding and going through each scene, and taking note of what you might need equipment-wise is important when you intend on shooting what you write. In that regard, if you write a space battle scene - know you’ll need a green screen, the proper lighting for that green screen, someone who can do the visual effects in post, and overall someone who knows how to shoot on a green screen - not to mention a spaceship. If you think you’ll have some trouble, either adjust or think innovatively on how you can make what you want to happen.
Characters & Acting
We all know that your characters are the most incredible thing out there, and you need to share them with the world- but make sure they're able to live in the world you create with the rules you've set up. Also - be sure you'll be able to dress them, train them, and do their makeup accordingly for believability and credibility's sake.
Do you know someone who can play the role you've created, or can someone you cast fulfill the needs of your character? If your lead is a knight from medieval times, be sure you know that you'll have to teach them how to sword fight, have a suit of armor/or whatever you envisioned him/her wearing, and make sure their teeth are possibly not the greatest. The same thing goes for the Robocop inspired character or even your pregnant alien from the planet Shmeeg. Make sure you're ready and willing to get creative and know what you're getting into before putting that character on screen - don't let it ruin your imagination - but always think of what limitations you have and how you can innovatively work with them.
Setting & Location
When you're planning on shooting what you write, you have to make sure you'll be able to do it! As cool as it sounds - shooting a spaceship battle scene is a bit difficult unless you're terrific at stop motion and want to use Legos in your film, and/or you are incredibly gifted in visual effects and computer graphics. The same goes for if you're going to shoot at a diner, hospital, laundromat, beach in Hawaii, etc., using locations you know you can shoot at that are practical locations, already set how you imagined, is always the way to go.
Props & Set Decoration
Whether you write your scenes big or small, it’s good to know what the characters will be interacting with and the mood of the setting that they will be in. What I mean by this is if you have your character listing to an 8-track tape and watching a movie on VHS - make sure you’re able to get ahold of those things for when you’re shooting. On a bigger scale, if your character rides a motorcycle, a vehicle, you need to be able to provide that vehicle, maybe have a “stunt” driver if your lead doesn’t know how to ride, and a stunt coordinator.
The same thing goes for set decoration. If your screenplay mentions a character escaping through a window and getting caught in the Christmas lights in the process - make sure you’re able to shoot in a place where your actor can easily escape from a window. On top of that, make sure the site that you’re shooting has that window, and make sure those Christmas lights can believably be hung up in a way that your lead gets tangled up in them.
Costumes, Wardrobe, & Makeup
In terms of what your character's wardrobe and makeup, make sure you'll be able to follow through with that vision. For example, if you have zombies in your script, you're going to need a lot of special effects makeup (or improvise) to make your zombies look dead and disgusting. On the other hand, making tattered clothes and dirtying them is another thing to keep in mind. Also, if you're planning on getting a costume dirty: for example, if the lead character shoots a zombie down, and a squib shoots blood all over the zombie's tattered shirt, for continuity purposes - you'll need multiples of the same shirt, with the same tatters and dirt stains.
Finding the costume can help create your character. It's a lot of fun! Further advice would be, though, if you can't make it, find multiples of it, or buy your desired costumes and makeup at a reasonable price, keep them out of your scripts for now. What I mean by this, is if you have a 16th-century, elaborately dressed, queen, in your short film that time travels to your zombie apocalypse, you might have a tougher time in this department.
During my sophomore year at Studio School, I ran into a problem that involved weapons with my script, and it almost got me expelled because of miscommunication with the location. Weapons are a tricky situation. It would be best if you had an armorer, a permit wherever you are shooting (unless you are shooting in your garage, backyard, inside your home, or anywhere where anyone on the outside who doesn't know what you are doing can't see you).
If you don't have a permit and you are using fake guns on your set or out in the open - people are going to call the police, and they might do some horrible things to you if they think you're waving a gun around willy nilly - especially nowadays. Make sure everything is squared away with your weapons, that people know you're using them and that they're fake, and you have the proper permits and armorers.
Going off of what I said above, if you're planning on having a space shoot-out in your film, or maybe teleporting from the 1950s to present day, or only looking to use the screen of a phone for a text-messaging conversation, you're going to be needing visual effects to create the desired impact for your audience. If you're not entirely keen on the subject of using visual effects, don't know how to create them, nor do you have a close friend or someone else who is willing to do them for a wallet-friendly price - I'd suggest keeping them or the thought of them out of your script...until further notice.
now go out & make your movie!
Have fun and just go for it! Don't hold back! Your idea is better experienced out in the world compared to staying inside your head. Share your gifts!
Life goes by fast. It's busy, yes, but in the time that passes, we build so much that makes our lives so full without us even realizing it. It's difficult, or more honestly, guilt-inducing to take a moment, be in it, and appreciate just how special what we have, is.
When we were given these lives as gifts, we worked with the freedom presented to us to do what we wanted with them. Don't you find it funny though, or more ironic, that what we've crafted of our day to day lives, allows us little to no freedom?
I understand that responsibility, supporting our families, and working hard to achieve our dreams, keep us on the clock 24/7. Today though, in working with these schedules, I ask of you one thing: be in every passing moment today and let it sink in - and in doing this, pay attention to how you feel.
I understand, also with living these non-stop lives, it's difficult to entirely feel emotion, or sometimes even feel at all. So often, it feels like we are always just going through the motions without really living. Today, maybe tomorrow, or any day you think you can muster up the courage to take your time, as you move through your daily routine - soak every bit in, and appreciate what you have - not what you don't. Get out of your head and into your body and notice how you feel.
In the morning, when you wake up, feel the warmth of your blankets swaddling you so sweetly and thank the universe and God that you woke up today.
Take a deep breath in and out. Keep breathing like this all day. Check-in with your body and appreciate that you are healthy, and you can feel your limbs stretch. Wiggle your toes. Hug yourself. Smell the morning air. Give your heart a chance to speak out and take in the memories that scent may bring you to. Sit at this moment and bask a little while in the life you've had and how special it is that you've been given today to keep it going.
When you make your morning coffee, feel the air and the warmth from the sun shining through the window on your skin. Take in that sweet smell and how good that feeling of sunshine is. Appreciate that you can have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and something hot to drink. Stay in that moment a while. Know it's nothing to feel guilty about, but to be grateful for. Life, in general, is something to be thankful for.
Remember this feeling and carry it around in your heart for the rest of the day.
With that warm and toasty cup in your hands, sit and be still on the floor, your favorite chair, or lie down on your couch. Take a sip of your coffee or tea and let that warmth and the taste flow through your body.
Close your eyes, absorb the energy around you, and take time to realize and appreciate those around you who love you. Whether they be your kids, your parents, your siblings, your roommates, family, friends, dog, cat, or yourself - whom or whatever they may be - know you have love in your life and take in how much that means to you. If that love is there in the room with you, tell them how you feel, and hug them. Appreciate their embrace.
If they aren't in the room with you, let them know you love them through a phone call, a text, a video telling them how you feel. I promise it will make your day that much more full.
Next, maybe you'll take a walk around the block before heading to work. Appreciate the nature around you, how beautiful it is, and how important it is to protect and respect what this Earth has given to us. Maybe you're allowing yourself the opportunity to take care of your soul and your body by doing yoga. Listen to yourself and your intuition - what do you need? Breath deeply, and try your best to be in the moment and connect with yourself.
Admire the soul you have, and pay attention to its purpose. Are you fulfilling that purpose today? Think of your passions. When was the last time you painted, sang, or sat down at the piano? Pour your love into those things at the moment, and use your life today to give your heart and soul reign.
Love the air you breathe, and appreciate the little and marvelous things in everyone you run into throughout the day. Please take note of someone's smile, the way another held the door open for you, the work ethic a coworker may have towards what they do, or how excellent a stranger may be towards their significant other. Focus on the positives in people today. Realize humanity, and all we are given in this life and on Earth are the most precious gifts one could ever receive.
The way everything in our lives intertwine, make us exactly who we are, and the more time we give to appreciate these things for what they are, maybe complaining and negativity wouldn't be so constant.
Simplifying our lives and rooting ourselves in the moment will bring the beauty we're always searching for into the front of our minds, hearts, and eyes every day.
We are a little over one month away until the beginning of a new decade - can you believe that? How exciting! Though every day is a new chapter and an opportunity to be better than we were the day before, what is more, motivating and inspiring than the thought of entering 2020?!
With Thanksgiving taking place this week, we all have an infinite amount of things to be grateful for, but the number one gift we've been given is that of life. We were all put on this Earth to fulfill a particular purpose that only we as individuals can, by who we are.
Over the next month, let's seriously take the time to understand what exactly that reason is within our selves, and know that it's perfectly okay and intended that we lead this life with our happiness, skills, gifts, and purpose in mind.
The number 2020 symbolizes love, faith, and compassion, so let that be the root of this coming season of your life for yourself, and create a strong and sturdy foundation that will take you where you were meant to be.
Now with that said, the number *8* symbolizes rebirth and that of awakening. In meditation and yoga, the eighth chakra comes after the seventh crown chakra, and is defined as "the soul star chakra."
Reaching this state means you're absolutely in touch with your highest self and are on the correct and highest path to fulfilling your purpose. Eight also embodies magic, so I had no choice but to leave you with my eight tips for how to start your 2020.
Let's stroll along the path to discovering our highest selves.
Leave Behind Things Your Intuition Tells You to
You know that gut feeling? Listen to it. If someone makes you feel, even slightly, that you're not enough or is continuously giving off negative energy - leave it behind so you can grow. The same goes for situations. If you're always asked to do something you're good at, but you aren't excited about it, say no and spend your time on something that makes you feel good.
Using your intuition for an answer also applies to feeling (rather thinking) guilty or that "you have to," for certain people or occasions. If you don't want to go out to the bars or clubs, but your mind plays the age-old trick saying, " you need to be more social," throw that thought in the trash.
Whatever you feel serves you and will help you move forward, give you a break or pleasure - like a yoga class, grabbing a glass of wine with your mom to catch up, or watching the new Tarantino movie with your dogs - you can do that instead. It's your life.
You get to dictate your own rules. Usually, your intuition will always help you create the best guidelines to follow for your best interest.
Stop Using "Drugs & Alcohol" to "fill a hole"
Yes, libations are an excellent way to celebrate or wind down for an evening, and some "drugs" do help alleviate specific symptoms, illnesses, and pain. Still, if you're partaking in drugs and alcohol to a level to "forget" get "blacked-out," "not feel," or out of sheer boredom daily, you're doing yourself an extreme disservice.
I've been and am guilty of this. I think of how much time and money I've wasted on moments that weren't moving me forward to where I've wanted to be. When indulging in these things daily, the ability to celebrate with a drink on a special occasion seems almost numbing.
All in all, saving a drink or two, and frankly, the poisoning of your body in multiple ways, will give you a clear head and have you feeling so wonderful to achieve the goals and aspirations you've set for yourself, at a much healthier rate.
Be Mindful of what you're putting into your Body
As stated above, if you're putting things into your body that aren't naturally ever meant to be there, you're going to reap the repercussions. Alcohol, granulated sugars, processed foods, sodas, candies, foods high in unnatural fats and oils, energy drinks, extremely salty foods, illegal drugs, etc., anything that isn't fuel for your body, isn't meant to be ingested.
Of course, there are special occasions in which you can and should indulge, but on a daily basis - if you're saying you don't have enough time to fuel your body properly so it can function optimally, that is your first and could be your last mistake. If you take someone else's well being into account, such as your place of work, of course I understand you wanting to be a good employee, but you need to be there for you and your health first.
Food is medicine. It's truly such a simple strategy that will save you.
Practice Spirituality & finding your highest self
Whether you choose to take part or believe in the concept of spirituality, I will tell you from experience; it has changed my life entirely for the better. Yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, finding my spirit guides, educating myself on the science of it all, and believing in it, and I has, lead me on the path to finding my highest self. Ever since I decided to give all listed above a try, everything in my life - my purpose, what's important, and how I'm meant to live, has become that much more precise and has made moving forward that much easier.
I am at peace, and with anything that may come my way, I adapt to the lessons I've been taught through my spirituality. If I were to choose one of these eight tips, focusing solely on this one and its contents would be where I would direct you. If you've thought about giving yoga a try or are looking to become more spiritual - here is a book and podcast from Sahara Rose Ketabi that started me on my journey:
Focus on what fulfills you & makes you happy
This life is meant for you to enjoy and feel fulfilled. In 2020, allow yourself to focus on what you love and what you would rather spend every single day of yours on this Earth, doing!
The key is to combine what you're passionate about, what can make you money, and what you're skilled at. I feel if you're passionate about anything and are willing to educate yourself to become exceptionally skilled at what you love doing, the world is yours, and the money will come.
Take those things into consideration and make this life, your life, into something great and that you're proud of. Opportunity is endless.
Learn something New Every Day
If you want to lead a whole and fulfilling life, educating yourself and learning something new each day will only make you that much more complete. Whether you read a new book each week, learn how to animate on Youtube, take a course online, or anything at all that has always intrigued you - use the infinite amount of resources around you to become that much more knowledgable of a human being.
The world is full of so much available information. Use it to your advantage.
Distance Yourself from People & Situations that Hold you back or Ooze NEgative Energy
This deals directly with those who only bring you down. You are the combination of the five people you spend the most time with, and if the people around you are always complaining, bringing others down, and blaming the world instead of taking action - you don't need that in your life.
Find those who inspire you, are doing what you dream of doing, and are just in general people who will raise you up, and learn from them. They're everywhere. Who knows what will happen if you reach out; it could lead to a much brighter future.
Hold Yourself Accountable- Take one Step Forward Each Day
The only one in charge of your life is you. You're the one who needs to take the step forward one step at a time - no one can do it for you. Make 90-day goals and create an action plan. Get a planner and make sure you're doing something, no matter how small it may be, each day to get you closer to where you want to be.
Your life will change when you do. Consistency and creating good habits will take you farther than you could ever imagine. Now, hold yourself accountable each day and take responsibility for your actions. I promise, if you do this, anything is possible.
Everyone has gone through those monumental situations that bring life as you knew it to an immediate halt. Where you're forced out of the comfort zone you've grown to know and reside in and into a sort of "limbo," where you're stuck not knowing what your next move will be. All you know now is that you're lost - amid possible episodes of crying, pacing frantically around your apartment, or maybe hiding in your bed, dreading the thought of facing reality.
I'm going through this right now - slowly but surely figuring out what's next and picking up the pieces. Two months ago, I was eager to get the life I thought I wanted, to an even better state, but then all I knew for the last three of my five years in Los Angeles came to a plummeting downfall. I was kicked into that deep black hole called the unknown, forced to figure out my first step into the new universe my life was to become.
Everything I had come to know (my comfort zone) was obliterated. The beginning of a new chapter of my life had begun - even if turning the page caused a major paper cut along the way. My slate has been wiped clean - a major blessing in disguise - allowing me to recreate who I was going to be.
Though it's only been a little while, I've discovered so much in my healing. Here's what came to me:
1.) Know that It's okay not to know what's next
Within the state of the unknown, it's challenging to know which direction to take, let alone, where to set your foot down next. You regularly ask yourself when trying to decide which move to make, "...but what if I'm wrong?" I get it. The thing is, though, how do we know what is right or wrong unless we try a few things first?
It's okay not to know. Just know that no decision is wrong. Each experience in life is a lesson that will teach you more about who you are supposed to become, and maybe reveal something that you would never have known about yourself otherwise.
2.) Reassess what is important to you
If you sit alone in a room, with nothing to distract you, and you ask yourself, "if I could only do one thing for the rest of my life, what would make me happy?..."If I could be with anyone right now, who would it be?", "Where do I feel most at home?"..."What impact do I want to make?"..."When all is said and done, how would I want to be remembered?"
The answers to these questions will be a simple and straightforward sign of guidance to where the next chapter of your life could take you, and what you may (or should) consider focusing on. Chances are, if and when you decide to choose to go after these things, you will feel more fulfilled and at peace compared to maybe doing what you think others may want you to do or what you think you have to do.
3.) Consider your surroundings
When you take a walk outside, do you feel as if your environment is serving you? How do you feel? Overwhelmed? Underwhelmed? Wanting more? Needing fresh air? Yearning for more hustle and bustle? Desperately craving in-depth conversation and like-minded people? More opportunity? The ability to spend time with your family? Are you at peace, and do you feel like you're where you're supposed to be?
Sometimes, even in situations where life isn't turned upside down, we need to find a place that meets our needs and pushes us towards balance. Your environment strongly impacts your mood, your productivity, your perception, and your life overall. There is such a thing as adaptation, but when you're feeling lost or wanting to start over, coming back or to a place where you can be at peace with yourself is the best place to start.
4.) Take time to Explore Yourself
A new chapter of your life has begun, and one of the best things you can do is explore things, old or new, that excite you! You could go on a bazillion dates if you want. Maybe you'll take a train ride to wherever seems interesting to you. Paint, learn a new language, explore your sexuality if it's been something you've been curious about, learn how to become an aerial flyer - whatever it may be!
If you feel lost, stepping into that untapped place within yourself may fulfill you in small or large, meaningful ways. Take the time to ask yourself - what do I want to try? What have I never done that I've always wanted to? or "man, I've always wanted to do this - just because!" Do that thing, and see where it takes you! It could be nowhere, but at least you tried it, and you've made your life that much more full because of it!
5.) Stop Letting Social Media Influence your Place
Okay, this is an age-old tale, but always a good reminder. Most everything you see on social media is a highlight reel of all of the good times people are having, what they're proud of, what makes them happy, along with the moments where they feel beautiful and accomplished. You in no way, in any situation really (social media or not), should be comparing your current state and who you want to be with the things you see scrolling through your phone.
Sure, you can educate yourself on different matters, along with being inspired by things. Still, the only one you should ever focus on comparing yourself to is the person you were yesterday, better yet, the person you were a minute ago, and work and try your best to improve yourself by your standards, baby step by baby step.
All of the answers you need are within you and in the world around you, not on a device.
6.) Listen to Your Intuition
You know that "gut feeling?" Listen to it gosh darn it. If you're asking yourself the question of "where do I go from here...," listen to what your intuition is telling you! If you get a nauseous feeling after thinking about a certain possibility, then that option is not the one to go with. Then again, if you say, "maybe I'll go live in New York for," and this excites you, or "maybe I'll go back home and spend time with my family for a while," and you feel peace in that, those are probably more aligned with where your next chapter takes place.
Speak aloud to yourself and trust the response you hear along with the process. It may be the most in-depth and real conversation you have. You know yourself better than anyone, and if you listen to the truth behind who you are, you'll find yourself in a better place than you would otherwise.
7.) Take Everything a Day at a Time
Nothing monumental happens overnight. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, especially after you feel you've been blasted by a stick of dynamite and have to pick up the pieces before you even make it to the starting line of the race. Give yourself time and allow yourself to heal day by day. I know we all feel we have to meet the expectations that we and others have for ourselves, but what does it even matter if you're not able to do it one piece?
What matters most in your life is you, your health, and your well-being. This is your life, and you need to do what is best for you.
8.) Leave all that doesn't serve you behind
This is the key to anything you do, especially that of moving on with your life. Anything that has left you with negative connotations or feelings, has drained you of your energy, left you broken, taken you down a road that made you not recognize yourself, had you feeling disrespected, or has left you feeling like you're not worth even a fraction of what you actually are - leave it behind. Better yet, drop kick it out of your mind and into a different black hole.
What makes you feel anything less than at peace with yourself and creates a roadblock to your fulfillment and you moving forward, doesn't need to exist in your life.
This is the first and last step to moving on to your new chapter with strength, poise, and confidence. Everything will work out if you have faith in yourself and the story of your life.
Now, give yourself the chance you deserve.
Guys! It's been ONE YEAR since I launched Vagabond et Virtuosa! Man, it's almost hard to believe. Since July 16th, 2018 I've accomplished more within myself, discovering my mind, body, and spirit on a deeper level, and have pushed myself towards what I really want through who I am, and I owe a good majority of it to the concept of this platform and to those I've met and conversed with along the way. This idea was burning inside of me for about two years prior to actually putting it out there, and since I have, I've found myself near the same happiness and at peace with myself, as I did as a child. I find that to be such incredible progress in this life. Through what I've learned after taking a leap, it's the ability to find ways to enjoy the fall, before you fly.
Though it's taken time and moments of confusion regarding what path to take, writing each week through this platform and sharing my work and mind helped me to further discover what I wanted in life. Whether it had been putting my thoughts down on paper, or to have a discussion with my mom, dad, friend, loved one or stranger of any kind, putting my thoughts and true desires out into the universe helped to bring them to fruition, and truly understand how I felt about them.
You continuously let things go from your life that aren't necessary to hold onto, to become who you're supposed to be, and allow more time for the things that make your soul shine.
In understanding this fact in each and every day that passes, I've come to understand if I want something - if it sets my heart and soul on fire with desire and passion, that's my intuition telling me that, that thing is meant to be a part of me and my story - therefore, I've learned to just go out and make those things happen. After I launched this blog, I found a part of myself that had been hiding for so long. Seeing my website live, my words written on several articles, my photos, my videos, etc., it expanded my confidence and knowledge that if I put myself out there in the avenue that I desired, I could obtain anything I ever wanted, and so I did.
I have been working on my book for the last half year called, "The Art of Flying and Falling," that I am publishing on my birthday this year. I've written two pilot scripts and sent them to festivals, and have contacted and discussed with literary agents. I've discovered new strategies to get my work out into the world the way I want to. I've been able to be with my family and spend more time with them. I've found myself again with acting, and want to put my singing out there more often. I've began living a life practicing yoga, spirituality, ayurveda, and meditation, and am on my way to getting my yoga teaching certificate. On top of this, I launched Mary's Spell Shop, which lives out the mission of Vagabond et Virtuosa - connecting women from all over the world through our art, and sharing our gifts on our own terms. Through this, I've made incredible relationships with new friends - which accomplishes so much of what I've always wanted.
This is to inspire those around the world to go after their dreams without any limitations, and to see just how beautiful of a gift we have been given by being alive on this Earth. I will aspire to continue to do this through my blog and through my work, and make it my life's purpose furthermore.
This goes to show, your dreams and discovering yourself take time, but as long as you have faith in yourself and in what you do, anything is possible. Just go out there and do it, because, why not? It's better to either fail at something you love than something you hate, and this way, you'll have tried, and possibly (will) make your dreams come true. And along the way, you'll discover yourself in new and deeper ways, and may even find yourself with new dreams.
All that matters is that you go after them.
This is my final from my junior year in college - where the concept for Vagabond et Virtuosa was born. I couldn't be more thankful for this moment in time.
Mary Gabrielle Strause
Last night, I decided to take a bath. I lit a candle, shut the lights off, and stepped into the warm water with the same thought as always on my mind. "God, what do I need to do? What purpose did you bring me here for? Please, just give me a sign so I can do your will justice."
I was fooling myself with what should be a relaxing setting, with the "what they do in the movies" hope of finding an answer - or was I? As my mind kept racing as time went on, with the same questions over and over again about what I should be doing to move my life purpose forward, I told myself to be quiet and just be - and surprisingly, I listened.
As I sat there in darkness and in stillness, it gave me the chance to look within myself. Something I fail to do no matter how often I try. The reason I think it worked this time, was because I wasn't really trying - I just decided to let go. This is when I closed my eyes, laid back, and said to myself, "I know I'm supposed to be a light - to make people happy and to ensure they know they're loved."
I felt a oneness saying this out loud to myself. Then, I opened my eyes softly, and often like I do, I saw a story unfold within my head and immediately pasted it into my reality. This scenario consisted of me, in real time, seeing .a ghostly young girl standing at the edge of the bath tub watching me with nothing, but the look of being misunderstood in her eyes. Though I felt afraid and that she could possible hurt me, I also had a sadness wash over me, needing to hear her out. This is when the "sign" I was looking for hit me like a ton of bricks.
The last few weeks, I had been preparing for an audition that I submitted to on a whim and ultimately got myself a callback for. The moment I got the audition, I felt more connected to myself than I had in quite some time, and so incredibly excited to prepare for as it included so many aspects of myself I hadn't been able to use in so long. I sent my mom a video of the song I was planning to sing for it, and we talked soon afterwards where she expressed that maybe I should really give acting and singing a true chance - and I thought that was a great idea and one I was really thrilled about. A few days after, I performed at a showcase and I got the same feeling again - happy, like I was able to feel again (and so easily), along with having a lot of fun in the process. I also got great feedback, which on top of everything, was redeeming in so many ways.
With that serving as context, I asked myself, "How do you feel?" while sitting there in the tub, facing forward, but looking within. "This means so much, Mary. Look deeper." I opened my mind and heart to what I saw unfold within my imagination, and came up with this:
"Since moving here, I haven't really felt a connection with anyone. All I've experienced was false personas and lack of depth within scenarios and individuals. It has felt like I'm living on autopilot and going through the motions - but when I imagine things as they aren't, I am connected. I am living in a new world. I create a different life for myself. When I do this, I'm creating and living the lives of characters I see in these stories I see so clearly, except they're really not characters at all - they're me. They're versions of myself with voices I never knew I had, with feelings I didn't know I felt. This is why I act. I act to get to know myself better, and in doing this, I create the connection I've always longed for - a friendship that's almost indescribably full in so many dimensions. I couldn't think of anything more fulfilling."
Ultimately, the answer I was looking for was to create the stories, as literary works and words, that ever so easily come to my mind, inspire and connect people, and to bring those characters to life even more so, by putting myself into their shoes, pulling them off of the pages, and into the world they were destined to be free in, by acting.
With all of this, I have a very strong and simple point. Stop looking for answers in books. Stop looking for answers in other people. No matter how much you love someone, don't live your life trying to achieve what you think they want you to (chances are, they probably want you to do what you want to do), which is exactly the way to go. Have faith and hope in yourself and any higher power you might believe in, because chances are, if you're looking and asking for a sign, they'll point you straight back to you - it just depends on if you're willing to actually feel and listen.
I read once, I believe it was in The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, that someone once wrote regarding intuition, that the Gods thought of it as such a powerful gift, that the most clever place they could hide it, was within ourselves .- as no one would think to look there - which most oftentimes is true. Heck, obviously I'm a living breathing example of that!
So given my experience last night, if you're looking for an answer to your destiny, find a place where nothing else can impact your thoughts and where you can truly be still and look within yourself. No thoughts about anything. Just check in. I promise eventually, you'll find exactly what you're looking for. It's much easier than it seems.
I highly recommend the bath tub though. After you've given yourself the proper time and attention, who knows, you might even say "Eureka!" ;)
You've got this. Just trust yourself. After all, you're the one who knows you best.
Mary Gabrielle Strause
If there is anything I learned after completing film school - it was leading the lifestyle of calming, the fluff, down. After sleepless nights of burn-out from a certain story, or still wondering if I loved the idea of filmmaking, to having to pick up the extra slack after one of my crew members unexpectedly dropped out, and dealing with judgmental faces and a tone of complete and utter self-indulgence, I wish I knew then to take a step back and relax. Yes, your art is important, but hey - it's not going to get the chance to be shared with the world if you're in the hospital because of spiked cortisol levels and overall, sucky health and spirituality.
So when you're feeling this way, in any situation really, go through these few steps below to keep your clarity and integrity.
WHen the Love Fades - Take a Break
Simple as that. If you feel like you're being forced to do the thing you love to the point you're not sure if you like it anymore, take a breather and step away. I know that's difficult to do in any sort of art school situation where you're being graded on what you do, and your education is what you're paying for - and of course, most of your assignments take up a lot of time, but even if it's just once, put in the minimal you need to, to get it done, then get your mind off of it - even if it's just for the weekend. Go the beach, to the movies to lift your spirits a bit, for a weekend road trip, to see your family, whatever it may be - shake it off for a little while then come back with a fresh mind.
Be Kind, Open Your Mind, and listen!
In school and classes, you're often asked to give constructive criticism, but more often than not, the feedback you receive is more of an opinionated slam rather than a helpful and constructive suggestion. My take on this is that instead of just thinking about what you are going to say in response to your fellow artist's work or performance, allow yourself to actually take in what they've done and how you react to it. Keep and open mind, and get that selfish idea that whatever you may say is what matters most out of your head and into the waste basket. Constructive criticism is about helping your fellow artists strive, not your opportunity to gloat. With this, if anything stands out with their presentation - whether it be negative, positive, or a suggestion, respond with what my dad calls the "Oreo Strategy." What this means, is that you start with something you enjoyed or you thought was well done, why it was well done, then something they can work on, then end with something positive - this way, those receive the feedback respond in a positive way and also understand something they can work on without feeling shut down.
Don't Create For Others - Create for Yourself
So many say, "create for the masses," "make it commercial," "do this,""do that," but if you have no interest in what you're writing, I can assure you it probably won't turn out well. John Carpenter, master of horror and wonders alike, as well as Stephen King, said, "Write what you want to read, write what scares you, and what you have fun within the process of doing." After that, Carpenter mentioned, "if it scares you, chances are, it'll scare someone else too," and that way, your writing is unique, genuine, and probably loads better than what the outcome would be if you made something predictable and that you thought people would like.
Educate Yourself - But Don't leave Your Heart Behind
Learn from experiences, get on set, get behind someone who is doing what you want to be doing as a career and take it all in. Also in classes, participate - figure out what's happening in your industry and what people are into. Is it sci-fi films with aliens? Method acting? Black and white photography? Cubism? Whatever it may be, take it in and use it to your advantage. Along the way though, make it your own. Educate yourself within your world to set you up for the highest amount of success and response as possible, but make the experience come from your heart. Put yourself into everything you do to make your work that much better. For example, if pastels are in style and trendy, and you love bumblebees, add a bumblebee patch to each or some of the pastels you own. This way, your passion is something many can relate to and jive with, but you'll be even more memorable, because you added something new to the scene - you added you to the scene.
Don't Let Anyone tell You what Will and Won't succeed
As far as I know - not everyone is able to tell the future, and even if they can, there's a possibility of them reading it wrong. What I mean by this is that no one can tell you that your work won't be successful. Same goes for the fact that one person can't feel and think the way the other 7.5 billion people on this planet do, so if you feel strongly about sharing your art, you best go and share it, because chances are one of those 7.5 billion people will need it to make their lives better in some shape or form.
Keep your Word
If there's anything that truly grinds one's gears, it's trusting someone to show up in any regard of life, then having that person let them down. I find backing out of things last minute for no true reason at all, not keeping a promise, not delivering what you said you would, not making that call, not reading the fine print - whatever it may be, to be one of the worst forms of betrayal. Integrity is an essential part of living a full life - and if someone is counting on you - you best show up to your best efforts. This will gain you respect, self confidence, and an over-all feeling of well being that will send you much farther, faster.
Nothing is Worth Being a Jerk
It doesn't matter if you have the most experience, if someone made a silly mistake, or if something happens that wasn't according to plan - DON'T BE A JERK. There is no reason to be mean to anyone or make them feel inadequate, regardless of your experience. Take that opportunity to educate without seeming uppity nor making them feel bad. Also, just in general, it's exhausting to go out of your way to make someone feel badly about themselves. It won't make you any friends, people won't want to work with you, and it's just unnecessary. If you have something to say - think about it before it comes out of your mouth. This goes with facial expressions and body language too. There is no hiding that and it makes so many feel uncomfortable. Cut the drama. Also - being passive aggressive is childish. If you have a problem, confront someone with a genuine and mature question, listen, and create a solution in a positive and adult-like manner. Anger is a wasted emotion that takes up too much time and energy otherwise.
Let It Out - It's Necessary to Cry
Sometimes, things just become way too overwhelming and it's hard to get out of bed in the morning. Building up the stress, sadness, anxiety, and anger just leads you into an emotional spiral that can create someone you don't even recognize anymore. It is SO necessary to just cry and scream every once in a while - or dance, take a walk, or do all of these things at the same time. Just let. it. out! Who the fluff cares what anyone has to think about it - especially you. Don't stop yourself. If you want to continue on and be healthy and create your art - get what's bothering you out of your body and into the air, where it can blow away and slowly disappear.
You don't know everything, and if you think you do, that is a problem - because absolutely no one does. This is why you must ask questions. Ask those who are where you want to be how they got to where they're at, and what they advise for you to do moving forward. Ask how something works. How to do a skill. Tricks to create effects. What the business side is - whatever under the sun that comes to your mind that you want to understand further. The questions you ask tell you a lot about yourself, and the people you're asking genuinely find it meaningful that you want to enhance your career or your work- sometimes they'll even take note of it for possible opportunities in the future. Also - be sure to ask people questions about themselves outside of just a career focus too, especially in a more personal setting or a "typical networking event." No one likes to be used, and not everyone always gets to talk about themselves and the things they care about. Make them smile and realize how great they are too. What I mean by this is asking something like, "what kinds of things make you happiest outside of what you do for your job?" or "What's your cat's name? Where did you find her?" things that are genuine and personal. Life is more than just work - and sometimes people need to be refreshed and reminded of that.
Make It. Don't THink. Just do It
If you feel so much passion for something, just go for it. Put the time in, don't think, just create. That's when the best stuff happens. <3
Mary Gabrielle Strause
Okay, I have to gush. This last year, my boyfriend and I found a place SO magical and SO incredibly special that I absolutely cannot help but share it with the world. My love of Old Hollywood, glamour, musical theater, ambiance, and Italian food all paraded into my heart in one sweet and irreplaceable combination by the name of "Miceli's." Open since 1949 in the heart of Hollywood, this Italian treasure has been loved and visited by all, including those like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and the like for 70 years! This place is filled with the magic of what Hollywood was and is meant to be, with all of the heart and soul you could ever imagine. If that isn't enough to sell you on your next trip to Los Angeles, let me make Miceli's your obvious dinner choice for your first night in town, and the thing you dream of until you get here.
Singing Waitresses and waiters!
You know I mentioned musical theater above, and here is where that comes in. Not only are the waiters and waitresses here phenomenal at their job - feeding you endless amounts of delicious, carb infused, magic, but they also sing their faces off! In order to work here, you must be either classically/operatically trained in voice (or audition) to be able to give your guests dinner and a show - because you're in Hollywood and you should never expect anything less than to be entertained. Accompanied by an excellent grand pianist who plays throughout the day and into the night, these talented servers and possible future starlets sing stellar musical theater songs along with classics by Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, etc., and jazz favorites. You won't be able to refrain from your jaw dropping while slurping up your spaghetti, because boy, these folks will take your breath away.
open in 1949 - The history
Did I forget to mention that this Hollywood landmark opened in 1949?! Within the midst of the Golden Age of Hollywood?! In other words - the best and most becoming years of cinema?! I'm talking Rear Window, Sunset Boulevard, Singing in the Rain, All About Eve, Some Like it Hot - that Hollywood. Founded by singing shoe-shiner and war vet from Chicago - Carmen Miceli, Hollywood's first and now oldest Italian restaurant blessed the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Las Palmas Avenue. His brothers and sisters pooled their money together with recipes handed down to them by their Sicilian parents and relatives, to be able to open up shop in 1949. They sold 35 cent pizzas, which was a new and increasingly popular and loved trend among those living in Los Angeles at the time.
FAvorite of Marilyn and frank...
...and dozens of other iconic celebrities. Miceli's is where Lucille Ball learned how to spin a pizza for her show. Not to mention Elizabeth Taylor, Joe DiMaggio, Dean Martin, Richard Burton, and THE BEATLES ( on top of Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra) ! I mean, come on... For such iconic and legendary individuals to visit such a place on more than one occasion, it has to be so gosh dar special - and that's just what Miceli's is. A legend for legends - a place where Hollywood never dies, and the heart beats stronger every day.
The Food and free smells!
Holy moly, it's hard to go wrong with the food here...and the wine...and the garlic bread...and okay - if you want an extra meatball, you should probably get it. With their infamous pizza, phenomenal chicken parmesan, sensational cheese bread, pesto fettuccine, and my favorite, fettuccine carbonara, there is no way you'll leave this place without having to unbutton your pants and eventually wipe a satisfied smile off of your face. The food here is amazing, and so are the smells. When you walk in, it's like a cloud of the most enticing garlic has given your face a mouthwatering hug of love. As you sit down in your booth, the butterflies (or ping of hunger) in your stomach will only grow stronger with each plate that passes you.
The Atmosphere - the heart and legacy of old hollywood
The atmosphere here is by far the thing that outweighs the rest of Miceli's incredible features. When you walk through their heavy double doors into a dimly lit, checkerboard floored, wooden paneled and brick-walled dining room that eventually opens into a warmly snug three level restaurant with wooden railings, red and white table clothes, whicker and glass flasks hanging from the ceiling, and the smell of garlic bread dancing through the air with the melody of "A Whole New World," being serenaded from the grand piano. The hostess takes you in and greets you with a kind smile. You see framed photos of famous legends eating a slice of pizza lining the wall to your right as you absorb the energy of this place. This is a feeling you can't find many places. It is one of going back in time. You can't help but feel your heart warming and the corners of your mouth beginning to rise. You look from left to right to see couples and families spending time with one another, waitresses and waiters singing their hearts out doing what they love most, walls that hold the cherished memories and passion of what this city was built off of, and the understanding that you're entirely present in the moment, standing there, with the ability to just be and feel.
This is what Miceli's is to me, and I know, that when Carmen Miceli and his family built this place - that's exactly what they intended it to be and how they lived their lives creating such a special place. This isn't just another Italian Restaurant - it's home for those old souls who love to bask in the moment and the music. Those who cherish and celebrate times spent with friends and family. Miceli's is a place for the ones who's souls dance to the melody called life, and see it as a gift - smiling through the good and the bad. Most of all - it's for those who love - which is each and everyone one of us if we let ourselves.
So please, I beg you, if and when you come to LA - go to Miceli's. I will go with you in a heartbeat. You won't ever regret it, and chances are, you'll make memories there that will last a lifetime.
To read more about the history of Miceli's click the link below! (this is where I got my info from):
To visit Miceli's or make a reservation, click here for more info:
Mary Gabrielle Strause
Fair warning, this blog post may be a bit on the dreary side, but it's honest. After I left my home in Rio, Wisconsin and my family, friends, and everything I knew at 19, I experienced a LOT of things very quickly that I never once considered being possible. Granted, I went to UW-Madison which was only forty-five minutes away from home for a year before I came out to LA, but most everything I list below is relevant to both Madison, Wisconsin and Los Angeles. That being said, I recently had a deep conversation with someone I love so much, and realized all of these things had ultimately impacted our relationship and my worldview today. With looking back at my college experience, I wish I would have been even the slightest bit mentally prepared for the life that had hit me so hard. With that, I wanted to share my thoughts with those going to college next fall, and also to let everyone who has experienced or is experiencing these things now, know that it's all going to be okay.
You're incredible. Keep pushing through, even though it feels like you can't. The world needs your gifts.
You Lose A lot Of High SChool Friends
Though it may be, this wasn't obvious to me when I graduated high school. I grew up in a town of 938 people and was in class with the same kids since I was five years old. I thought the friends I made there and the depths of our relationship would withstand the sands of time, but even a few months away from one another proved me wrong. As you grow in different places and have different things happen to you, you slowly realize that the friends you had in high school were merely your friends because you were within the same environment at that time. Once you go out and are exposed to people from all around the world in a bigger city with more opportunity, it's only a matter of time before the people you surround yourself with in college become the ones that fill up your time in this chapter of your life. On top of that, the friends you had in high school are discovering different interests that no longer align with yours, and you are doing the same thing on your own path.
Though the memories you all had together were so incredibly special and unforgettable, the time comes where you need to flip the page in your story to make more memories happen with different people. Like they say, don't be sad it's over, be happy it happened. Also, of course, there might be one or two that stay - and nothing will ever be able to change that!
Loneliness is Your Shadow
If you're in a new space, especially if it's a big one and you have trouble fitting in or connecting to people, there's a chance that loneliness will creep up by your side and be a hard one to shake off. This comes with the inability to truly feel yourself with those around you, and if you try to be something else to appease them or fit in, it becomes exhausting, and ultimately leads to feeling even lonelier.
The trick to this is learning to understand yourself in the silence and fall in love with what you take in. In fact, being alone is necessary. The most consistent part of your life will be you looking in that mirror to the reflection of yourself every day, so might as well work on liking who you see first. With that, it will make everything so much easier. Then, when the time comes along for the right people to come into your life, it won't matter, because you'll already be your own best friend.
needing to make money gets all too real
I was blessed with parents that have always helped me out, but that doesn't change the fact that they raised me to earn everything I wanted. What I wanted was not to have to depend on them for everything, and also, when you're living out in Los Angeles, everything is SO expensive. Really though, being able to afford the essentials like rent, utilities, groceries, and the like anywhere packs a punch when you didn't have to pay for any of those things (possibly) in high school.
The dollar (or whatever currency you may use) sign truly adds up and up and up as you go on, and so do the hours you need to associate to making money outside of school. After a while, and trying to balance everything, this factor of life can stress you out beyond belief and can honestly shift your personality and shape you into an entirely different and ugly person. Don't let that happen. Learn to breathe, understand that it will all be okay, and find a way to make money by doing something you enjoy - that way it will make everything that much more worth it.
You miss out on a lot back home
Being 2,000 miles away from home, I missed out on a lot. I missed out on my cousin's wedding. I missed my brother graduating from college. I missed conversations and the celebrations of people I loved passing away. I missed watching The Voice with my mom on Monday nights. I missed going on midnight drives with my brother, and jamming out to our favorite songs. I missed having hour-long conversations with my Dad and watching Grease for the 50th time. I missed my best friends' birthdays, and didn't get to be there for their 21st's. Of everything that has impacted me while being away from home, missing out on the day to day life I used to have is the most painful to cope with. Though it only may be for a few years, it doesn't make it any easier to look back on and see you weren't a part of those moments.
Call and talk to everyone you love as frequently as you can. Let them know you love them. Facetime them. Send goofy notes or cards in the mail. Stay close and ask questions.
time management is everything!
Good lord, I couldn't stress this enough. This lesson hit me hard every step of the way. With every opportunity you want to take while going to school, hopefully making some money along the way, getting enough sleep, finding time to eat and eat healthily, finishing all of your homework, preparing for presentations or performances, squeezing in exercise and extracurricular activities, and last, but not least, any sort of social life. To be honest, I still find it hard.
Managing your time means choosing your priorities day by day, balancing some time here and some time there, and sometimes sacrifice - though you should never sacrifice your health or mind.
Finding a place to belong is difficult
There are obviously so many opportunities to try new things when you get to college that call to some sort of facet of your being. The thing is, there are so many people in each of these groups that what you maybe just "enjoy," that they absolutely live for! That being said, you'll like being around these people to an extent, but it will take finding the thing you really like (maybe) to feel one with the world around you.
There is a lot of trial & error (learning)
This is the constant with everything you do, but especially in college when you're trying to find the right major, AKA the "the thing you want to do for the rest of your life." You're not going to know something is what you want to do unless you try it! Sometimes, you're not even aware that what you love to do is a career, and you don't discover it until someone else you run into is doing it. That's what happened with me! When I was at Madison, I met a guy who was studying film. Little did I know then that it was a real thing to be able to make movies for a job. After I found out, I shifted gears as working with storytelling was something I always had a passion for, and pursued a degree in film instead. When I moved out to Los Angeles, went through film school and worked in the industry for a little while, I realized I love making movies, but what was most important to me was telling the story. This is why I'm now focusing on writing the books first and then adapting them into screenplays after. I'm sure I'll change my mind a few times down the road after I've tried writing books - but until I do it, I won't know if it's for me or not. When I do find that thing that I'm meant to do though (I think it's what I'm doing now), it wouldn't have been found out without going through everything I've done up until this very moment for me to realize it.
Some people are Great, a lot aren't so great
The one person who will always have your best interest, is yourself. Not everyone is trying to put their best foot forward for you, and you'll realize that by how often they show up for you in good times and in bad. Not everyone will be your friend, but when you can fully trust and be yourself with another person regardless of the situation, that you can be honest with and they tell you when you're being stupid, that's when you've found a good friend. Never put everything you have into someone unless they earn it. It takes time as well as many people to screw you over, but when you find those people who don't, you'll be able to count them on one hand. Having quality friends is always more coveted than the quantity. Choose wisely. It's okay not to like and spend time with everyone.
MEntal illness and health issues come into play
With balancing classes, trying to date and being screwed over, not having anyone to talk to about how you're feeling, or not having anyone to talk to in general, to trying to figure out who you are and who you were meant to be, not having time to eat because you have a half hour to get from your class to your part time job, having the worst time trying to make friends, or piling your plate with directing two plays, acting in one, joining the intramural soccer team, and making your short film on top of your 20 credit class schedule, it's a surprise you haven't already had a nervous breakdown. Not to mention, you probably haven't slept because you have a paper due at 8AM and you just got home at 11PM from rehearsal. As a matter of fact, this paragraph is your life on a daily basis and it just keeps running on repeat.
This is when that time management thing comes into effect as well as yourself being your first priority. If you don't practice self-love and care, which include sleeping and eating proper meals throughout the day, as well as getting some sort of exercise and sunlight, everything you do on top of that is going to drive you into the ground. With having no time to breathe and the inability to form meaningful relationships, this is when depression, panic attacks, anxiety, malnourishment and the like happens with no end in sight. This is very real.
Take care of yourself, or there will be none of you left that you recognize.
you realize just how important your family is
When you don't see the people you were surrounded by every waking day anymore, and you start to miss out on all of the daily goodness and memories that come with the life you've lived together, you truly and deeply understand just how important your family is. When you think about how much you miss in four years while being away at college, start to think about those special moments you haven't been there for, the conversations you've needed to have but couldn't, and the limited days given for everyone you love - including yourself. You start to understand the need to make money, the location you're in, and the lifestyle you lead, could never trump being able to see your family on a regular basis.
You understand how cold the world can be
Coming from little ol' Rio, Wisconsin, I would have never guessed I'd walk the streets of nearly 50,000 homeless people on a daily basis. I didn't think I'd see someone walk past a human being lying nearly unconscious in the street without stopping to make sure they're okay or that they had water or something eat. I never thought I'd see places set on fire because of an irrational and emotional difference. I would never assume there'd be public shootings and massacres every other day, and being able to hear gunshots every other night while I lay in bed. Thinking of someone having withdrawals from drug use or someone stumbling home obliterated because they drank too much, was something I couldn't imagine. Also - to witness someone so deeply in pain, who couldn't find help, take their own life right before my eyes. To see death firsthand in multiple situations due to being mortal or someone unwilling to stop after a hit and run.
The world isn't all sunshine and rainbows. We know this. What we need to do instead is exude as much love and positivity as we possibly can, and not allow that coldness and darkness to take us over. Sharing light in a world so dark, is exactly what we need to get us through.
You become more cynical
I mean, if you've read the entirety of this blog so far, you've seen that even I have become a bit cynical. I absolutely hate it, and am trying to be better. In fact, I find things that happen every day that help restore my faith in the world and in humanity, but given the circumstances of what I've experienced out here in Los Angeles over the last few years, it was hard not to view the world in a bit of a darker setting. Especially in the entertainment industry, having your worth judged on how you look or your gender, compared to how you think, only being merely a blur of a face when you're working for someone regardless of how much you put on the line for them, or the need to hurt people in order to seem more powerful just really puts your heart in a place of constant question to human kindness. Of course - human kindness is everywhere - it's just the matter of what mindset you choose to put yourself in, the atmosphere you decide to live in, and the person towards strangers that you're going to be.
Don't add to the darkness, fight against it. Crappy things will happen, but you'll have to decide that you're not going to let it affect you in a negative way and allow it to be a lesson on your journey.
You have to go through a lot of crap to eventually find out who you are