12:48 am - Mon 8.31.2009
"When acting is this pure and simple, it doesn't look like acting at all."
Comment: I believe this was a quote from an article eulogizing Paul Newman (And I believe it's referring specifically to his work in The Verdict).
I wrote it down because I haven't done a lot of "pure and simple" acting yet, but I think that's the ideal, and I very much aspire to it.
The Slight Edge - How can I use this?
Comment: Dave Z. sent me a copy of this book - The Slight Edge - sharing that he had found it very helpful, and hoped I would as well.
And I did - It's been very helpful, when thinking about self-improvement, to realize I don't have to do everything all at once, that small, incremental change is a good thing.
Cause otherwise, when faced with the need/desire to "better myself", I'm easily overwhelmed by the enormity of the task.
Death - Fear/Relief
Comment: I used to be just purely and simply afraid of death. Didn't like the idea, didn't want to do it.
But it struck me some time back that, in recent years, my view of death has become...I don't know...more nuanced?
More ambivalent, perhaps; I'm still pretty afraid of death, and still don't want to die.
But that said, now that my childish fear of burning in Hell has largely disappeared (Cause it's a pretty stupid idea, really), I can see a certain appeal to death, as an end to the pain and suffering of life.
I'd say I'm much more afraid of the process of dying now - of being in pain, of being alone, etc - than of actually being dead.
Cause if death is just "the curtain coming down" on the "show" that was your life, and that's it, then what's the big deal?
Why is body hair disgusting to most people?
Comment: Basically, that's me wishing I wasn't so freaking hairy!
I don't get it - what purpose does it serve? It seems like some kind of evolutionary screw-up to me, and I don't like it.
And it seems a particularly cruel trick for nature to give me copious amounts of socially repellent and repugnant body hair, while I lose the only hair everyone enjoyed for some reason, - the hair on my head.
What's the difference? If hair is a good thing, why isn't it good to have it on your body? And if it's a bad thing, why is it good to have it on your head?
(My guess? Body hair is too much a reminder of "fur", and our ape-ish ancestors; we want to be above the animals, not be one of them.)
Objective Reality/Subjective Reality
Subjective reality makes "me" too important - Reality exists whether I'm here or not.
But is objective reality actually "knowable"?
Comment: I wrote that down after watching a Penn Jillette (sp?) video on the subject online; the "subjective reality makes 'me' too important" sentiment is his...but I agree with it (Which demonstrated to me that my thoughts/feelings actually have changed over time, because I think for most of my life, I'd been much more of a "subjective reality" man).
Become better at being myself - Authenticity.
Without worrying about being alone - I'm alone already.
Comment: This is an ongoing thing for me, especially in here - The desire to be more authentically "me", coupled with the fear that if I am, I will be disliked, rejected, and, ultimately, end up "alone".
Thus the "reminder" to myself - "Why do you care about that, Jim? You're alone already."
Not working hard enough.
Not digging deeply enough.
Not having enough fun.
Not spending enough time developing myself.
Comment: I pretty much always feel this way - there's no date on the post-it, but I could have written it last week, last month, last year, or 20 years ago.
And the parenthetical "Tired!" is my one-word answer for why I'm not doing whatever I'm not doing "enough" of.
"A Great Face"
Comment: I have heard, more times than I can count, about what a "great face" I have (Since I moved to LA, anyway - I don't recall anyone ever telling me I had a "great face" when I was back in Michigan).
They mean, basically, that I have an unusual "look" (Which I now know is due to a light dusting of Crouzon Syndrome, a genetic defect leading to a "premature fusing of the skull and facial bones" in the womb).
It's an odd thing for me to hear - "You have a great face!" - because I have always been unhappy and uncomfortable with my appearance.
In short, I am ugly, and I wish I were not.
And while I'm having some small measure of success out here in LA, it's never been like casting people are knocking the door down to take advantage of this "great look" (Hence the "For what?" comment).
But ironically, while I haven't had the success I'd hoped for out here just yet, I've booked the majority of the gigs I've booked on the strength of that "great look".
(That said, I really want to get my teeth straightened.)
"Continuity" (Of my life)
Comment: I think a lot about how fragmented and piecemeal my life has been, how there are years I don't remember.
I want my life to make some kind of sense, I want to feel like there's been some kind of "arc" or "trajectory" or what-have-you, and not like it's just a bunch of random shit that's happened.
But at the present time, I'm leaning toward the "bunch of random shit" theory.
"Life Beyond Acting" (Written on a couple of post-its)
Comment: For most of my life, I haven't had much of a life; now sometimes, I feel like I don't have a life at all.
I want an acting career, and sometimes I think I'd be content to have my life mostly be about acting, if it were possible (Though I think it would be a very tall order for me to ever get so much acting work that it would occupy the bulk of my time and energy).
But I've developed twin fears since trying to be an actor "for real" - The fear that I won't "make it"...and the fear that I will.
If I can't make this happen, I honestly don't know what else there is for me to do here on Earth.
And if it does somehow happen - if this "Great Face", along with whatever acting talent I possess, actually leads me to success out here in Hollywood - I worry that I'll "reach the mountaintop", take a deep breath, than say to myself, "That's it?".
I'm an actor, but what else am I? Beyond acting, I don't have a lot that tethers me to Earth, to life - a handful of close friends and a lot of friendly acquaintances, none of whom particularly need me here, really - and I hardly know where to look.
But I have to try.
"Sarah's Smash Shack", in San Diego - A soundproof room for you to break crockery (I thought of this years ago)
Comment: When I was young, and used to fantasize about living in a mansion, there were only two things I could think of that I wanted to have in my mansion - a room of masks (Surprise! - The unhappy foster child who felt ugly was a big fan of masks)...and a room where I could just break shit (Interesting to me that I realized, at a pretty young age, that I really needed an outlet for my rage)
Well, I don't know if you've enjoyed this, but I'm finding it kind of interesting, so I think I'm going to continue this in the next entry...
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