Last week I was on location in Houston. (This is the third time I have been on location in almost eight years since I have been in the industry and it’s the first time I have been on location since I have been in LA.)
This show has been many firsts for me. It is the first documentary I have worked on, the first time I have been in my position on a show of this scale, the first show that I have held a key role for a department, functioned without “training wheels” and the first time I have been on location out-of-state.
When you work in the union/ studio world the lines of what your job requires are clearly defined. The smaller the budget or the more independent a show is the more that line gets blurred. Independent films are the foundation of my career; it is where I got start and how I learned the skill set that makes me competitive in this industry. I often forget the amount of knowledge, experience and skills I have until I am in a situation that requires that knowledge, experience and skill. When I interviewed for this position the first thing my boss said was “you have a lot of experience.” That statement caught me of guard and in that moment I realized, I do have a lot of experience.
The more I move forward, the more I pay attention to myself and learn all the ways I am socialized. I am starting to see and understand myself in a way that I feel would benefit everyone, if they could understand themselves in this way. It’s becoming very clear what my areas of growth are and how past experiences have shaped how I live my life. I feel the universe speaks to us in our environment, though us and through our friends.
I have been told, on many occasions, that I don’t give myself credit for my achievements or knowledge. Every time it occurs I’m caught off guard. I constantly keep myself in check and I do not brag about my achievements nor do I really share my achievements either. This industry is fast paced. It has made over night successes, it has torn relationships, friendships and families apart and it has changed people for the better and worse. I walked into this industry knowing what I was getting into and I constantly keep myself in check to make sure I don’t change.
Life is about living and living creates growth, learning and change. The change I fear is loosing myself in the process of achieving my dreams. This is something that has come up in my voice class and something that is on my mind. People are drawn to me because of my grounded nature, ability to see things clearly, my wisdom and the integrity I hold for others and myself. I am very patient and understanding, but I don’t need bullshit in my life. I wrote about how life has shaped me to get used to good byes (This Isn’t Goodbye) life has also shaped me to hold all relationships to the same standard regardless of the relationship (Out with the Mold). If I were going to change for the worse, I think I would have changed by now. I am still grounded through all my success and humbled by my life and realizations as they unfold before me. My earliest struggles, some of which I shared and others I am not ready to share yet, have shaped and grounded me.
Some of my past experiences are starting to weigh me down. Or perhaps they have weighed me down this whole time? Perhaps I am only aware of it now, because now is my time to shed this last piece of my younger self to get to the next level of my evolution? I have studied improv for a year. It was improv that prompted me to take voice classes because I didn’t like the conclusions I was coming to with my inaction on stage (Redirection: 7 lessons from living differently).
There is something holding me back and it’s really starting to piss me off.
The “thing” that is holding me back, is the same “thing” that terrified me to read a personal poem last year, and it’s the same “thing” that sometimes make me cringe when I write certain blog posts. Not fully knowing what the “thing” is I think the “thing” is vulnerability specifically truly being seen.
I have clear moments in my mind, when I would just be free and I was judged for not being how people perceived or labeled me to be both as a person and as a person expressing my race. I felt it easier to dulled my light so that others would stop judging me. I got tired of defending my expression of my race. As a result, I am very accepting and understanding of others. I allow people to be who they want to be in my presence. I do what I can to free people to step into their light.
What I realized last year was by dimming my light I was depriving myself, which was one of my hardest realizations to have. I have also deprived the world of my full beauty and light.
Since this is a newer realization I need to be kind to myself, however it makes me mad that residual from past experiences have weighed on me in my present. I resolve to cleanse myself of this and all residual from my past by the end of this year (or two) and be truly free. I will have a breakthrough in improv and it will be beautiful. I may not have been ready for this realization and understanding in my past, and I am not really ready for it now because it makes me cringe thinking about it. However, I know am ready for this now since it has come up now. Fear is a signpost of future growth. Where I am is where I am is where I am meant to be and I will surrender to this experience as it unfolds like I have with past experiences…even thought is scares me.