I do too much. I can not seem to ever say no to a project. Presently i have the Dandy Pirates that we will be doing in Pennsylvania, The Lords of Adventure with John Williams that i am trying to get a press kit together for (mind you i have no idea how to make a press kit), The Saltwater Moonshine Boys here in Colorado, NJ Ren Faire coming up in September, trying to figure out where and when to teach martial arts, and i am sure there are other things i am forgetting about. I need to focus a little i think but i am not willing to ever give anything up.
The thing that i really find annoying is the constant trying to market myself and these projects. It is really hard to get people to even return a call when you are starting out in the entertainment business. I guess that is what irks me. I am not really starting out. I have been doing these things since 1997 yet in a lot of ways it really feels like i am starting over because outside of PA, no one really knows who we are.
A lot of times it feels like it would just be nice to get a 9-5 job and be able to go home afterward and leave the job at home. As it is i feel like i am constantly online or trying to keep up with the mountain of things i have to do to keep marketing. I drives me slightly mad. What i really need is a manager. I would love someone to call me up and tell me where to go for auditions and such so i could just do the part of it that i am good at. Oh well.
By the way, anybody a manager? Namaste.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I played guitar in front of people during shows this weekend. Myself and Rook formed the band "The Saltwater Moonshine Boys" with about three days notice this past week and had shows at the Colorado Renaissance Festival this weekend. We also had to audition for the faire owner and the entertainment director. It all worked out but it was definitely outside my comfort zone. Usually i have a Dreagn with me when i am performing music and he handles the guitar. It all went well and i only screwed up a couple times so it felt pretty good.
I was talking to Cameron of Barely Balanced after we got the gig and he said he tries to do something outside his comfort zone 3-4 times a week. I always have admired that about him. You can always find him working on new skills and practicing hand stands outside his trailer to better himself and his talent. It is easy to slip into complacency when you are working on something or get to a certain comfortable level. That is something i always liked about working with Dreagn as well. He was always trying to perfect the show. It made us a lot better. Little things that a lot of performers do not pay attention to, he would think about and work on. It bothered him when we were not at a level that we both knew we could be at. Working with Dreagn has made me a much better performer.
It felt good to do that this weekend. Since working at various Ren Faires for the past 13 years, it is hard for me to find something that makes me nervous. I do not find that same sense of nerves and tension in my stomach i used to get back when i was teaching and had to talk in front of people back when i started in 1992. This weekend did that. I feel 10x better as a guitarist just after this one week of work and am thankful i get this whole run to continue to improve. Another side effect is that i feel it has also raised the level of my singing.
When we train in martial arts, i tell my students, as i learned from my teacher Craig Stanton, that most fights are at intensity level 3-5 and that we should train for intensity level 10. That makes the real fight you get into anti-climactic. Train to fight multiple people and weapons and intense crazy situations and the most common real situations will be easy. It is like driving down the turnpike at 65 MPH and then getting off into the residential neighborhood and having to go 25. Everything feels like it is moving in slow motion. That is how you want a fight to be. Another analogy is playing your favorite video game up to level 47, and then going back and playing level 1 all over again. Super easy right? I think that after singing and playing guitar, going back to doing the Dandy Pirates with Dreagn will be like that as well. It will up our game.
Do things outside your comfort zone. That is really how we improve in whatever thing it is we are doing.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Let me say first off, i am a cat person, cat is my totem and i was raised by cats. My cat Ninja, Grandfather, wise man of the hedge row, was one of the greatest teachers i ever had. He taught me about patience and how to appreciate the night. He was Buddha. He would sit outside at night and meditate. I love the calmness of cats and as a person, i would much rather be cat like than dog like. I usually tend to look at dogs like cats do. Sort of with a sense of, "oh my God man, get a hold of your self and just calm down." This being said, i would like to send this blog out to the dogs.
There have been several times in my life that dogs have won me over. The first time was when i was living in the ADE frat house at Rutgers as a boarder. One of the sisters had a dog named Oliver, or rather maybe, he had her. I loved that dog. He would smile all the time and watching him chase around after stuff was an utter joy. He fully embraced life and totally enjoyed every minute of it. Every scratch behind the ear or morsel from your plate was a miracle to him. We took him hiking to the Delaware Water Gap and he did laps around us the whole time, thrilled to run and play in the mountains and chase after squirrels. We hiked three or four miles, he must have gone twelve just lapping us.
I had an opportunity to spend some time with dogs recently again and they have also won me over. Up at Bethany's parents' house in South Dakota, the three dogs, Dakota, Gypsy and Azlain all got to run free in the mountains with us and again i saw that joy. It is a whole different thing with dogs. They just love you so much and go so fully into whatever it is they are doing. I think, theirs is the kingdom of heaven, like a child. Where cats seem like they know that they are entitled to everything you do for them, dogs just appreciate it so much. There is something to be said for that.
Living with Bethany and Azlain i am really appreciating having that big lug wag his tail and get excited when i come home. It is pretty beautiful. I do not want to be that in my life, but i do appreciate it. I love you Azlain. Thanks for teaching me that dogs can be pretty good people too.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Have been at Bethany's parents' place in South Dakota for a couple of days and i really think that eventually we will move out here and set up stakes. Spending at least part of the year here would be amazing. This is exactly what i have always looked for in a place to build a home. Everyone has their own property of at least twenty acres and at night i have been walking out into the woods, looking for elk or being one with the beautiful sky. I also find that i am able to relax here. The days go by on God's time in the mountains like this.
You can see what i am talking about in watching the dogs as they laze about or watching the cattle graze. There is no rush. Life simply is. It is the time of the Great Mother and the time of Father Sky. It is not measured on a clock, it just is, eternally present. Beautiful. I love the east coast as well, and that is home, but there is always such a buzz there and rush to do everything. I am learning how to relax in the mountains.