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4:08 am - Fri 6.13.2008


(The following isn't really stream of consciousness. But compared to how I usually write in here, it's pretty close.)

It’s easier to do nothing. To not try. Doing nothing keeps things in the realm of the “possible” - “I could _____ if I tried” - while trying makes the dream just another thing to risk failing at.

I’m too easily frustrated. Too easily stymied (Particularly since I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, a stupid man. I’m too smart to be as helpless as I let myself be sometimes).

Getting past the fear of failure, the frustration and downright anger at “not getting it right” - cause who “gets it right” their first time out of the gate? - is critical. Just write, just try, get over worrying if it’s not “right”, get past the inner critic, the censor who won’t let you out of your cage.

Get past being a “performer” (The irony being that when you do that - as a writer, actor, whatever - you become a great performer). Diaryland has suffered because I’ve put myself in a box, worrying about “what people will think”, and - even more - worrying about boring people (Again, the irony being that once you start along that road - worrying about your “effect” - you’re probably a hundred times more likely to be boring than you ever were before. Because you’ve stopped being honest, and you’ve stopped communicating).

A tough nut for me to crack - I worry almost constantly, and no matter how often I get proof that there’s no point to it, it’s my default mode. I always snap back to it. I want to shake it, I need to shake it, because worry drains the pleasure away from my life, and if I’m not getting any pleasure out of life (I am, in many regards, “getting pleasure out of life” at the moment, but I’m talking “in general”), what use am I going to be as an actor/performer/writer/person? Who wants to watch a joyless actor, read a joyless writer, be around a joyless person?

I’ve been trying to think of what I have to share with the world, what I have that isn’t just “here’s what I’ve been doing...” reportage. And I don’t know the answer yet. Sometimes I think, “You just have to get better at doing what you already do” - better. stronger. faster. definitely funnier - which sometimes seems like a cop-out (“Yeah Jim, make sure you don’t try anything more ambitious, cause that would be BAD...”) and sometimes doesn’t (“Yeah Jim, you’ve spent your adult life doing this, so just maybe there’s something TO it...”).

Thinking a lot these days about sexual content in movies, and realizing that one of the things that intrigues me about it is the vulnerability and openness involved on the part of the actor. Literally being “exposed” to the audience, who may not understand, who may not approve, who may be unkind, who may judge harshly.

And what if they do? I seem to need everyone to love and approve of everything I do, and since that’s not possible, I end up doing nothing very interesting.

Writers write. I’ve now heard that from a number of quarters, and I believe it to be true. Writers do any number of things, undoubtedly, but in order to be “writers”, they have to write.

Am I a writer? I don’t know, not the way I know that I’m an actor (Though oddly enough, I’m still an actor, even when I’m not acting. Not sure how that works). But there seems to be something inside that wants to get out, something not satisfied, not fed by, what I’m currently doing in Diaryland. But I don’t know if that means I’m a “Writer”, or if I’m looking for a way out of doing less appetizing work (And I know Diaryland isn’t it), or if I just have a generic need to “express myself” more fully one way or another (“I haven’t really acted in forever, so I have to do something...!”) or what the story is.

“What the story is”. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. One thing I became very discouraged about years back is that I thought my life was a very interesting story for awhile - I did interesting things, found myself in interesting and odd places, and seemed to have more to say - and then my life essentially stopped. The story stopped being interesting. I did the things I did, and the next year, I’d be doing the same things, and in five years, the same things, until and unless life imposed change on me.

It’s why I had to do this. And now it’s why I’m not working at ArcLight. And now it’s why something is nagging at me to write, to really write (Whatever that means). And it’s why I think about my acting “career” and wonder how I can do more to make something interesting happen (I’m an interesting, charismatic actor. How do I get that across to people when I am a very small fish in this very large pond?).

What can I do? Who am I? What am I willing to do? What am I willing to show people? To tell people? What do I want for myself? What can I admit to myself? To you?

A few weeks ago, something struck me, a small voice asking - demanding, actually - that I admit that I think I’m “special”.

C’mon Jim, you think you’re hot shit. Yeah, you have your doubts and fears and your general fucked up-ness, but when it comes down it, you think you’re exceptional. You wouldn’t be out here otherwise. You wouldn’t have kept a public journal for years otherwise.

Admit it, Jim. Underneath it all, You think you’re really something. You’re special. You were meant, by virtue of your experiences, your talents, your intelligence, to do big things.

You’re exceptional. You’re special.

Admit it.

Now start ACTING like it.


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