#Week13: Pure Happiness And Nothing Else

So once again I was busy and am posting a day late, so I decided that my new day of posting is going to be on Mondays. I also have decided that I am not going to post my blog on facebook, instagram and twitter anymore. For anyone who wants to read they can find through the link in my bio or previous links. This doesn’t mean I won’t share them ever again on social media, but for now I’m going to focus on what I am trying to accomplish as opposed to who’s reading it.

This week I was happy for happiness. And that’s the main thing that should make me happy. Not likes or follows. There’s nothing wrong with that but I have focused on it too much lately. So my focus is happiness and nothing else. 

Sorry this was a short post, but I felt I need to go in this direction.

So here’s to pure happiness and nothing else, and of course, eaxh beautiful moment.

Fellow Adventurers, 

Here’s to Happy!

Week #12: More Beautiful Moments…

So this week has been particularly exhausting, therefore I had to post a day later. So here we are, Monday night is just as happy as Sunday. This week I returned to school in Virginia and today began my junior year; my how time is flying by. This week had many happy moments, but I will try to sum them up as best as I can.

The first moment is that I moved in to my first apartment this week. It is very different to live in a house. Especially when you realize how many thing you have to buy as opposed to a dorm room. But I thoroughly enjoyed decorating my room and other details of living off campus. Plus my roommates are pretty awesome, so that’s awesome.

Another moment is that I got to catch up with a lot friends this past weekend. Whether it was watching funny movies, eating tacos, star-gazing, jamming out to music, or giving each other unnecessary, but beautiful gifts; I love everyone in my life that I am honored to call a friend. And each moment with them is beautiful and very cherished. There is nothing better than being able to sit down with people and forget about life for a while. Just sit back, chill and be present in this current moment. I’ve been infatuated with the idea of moments lately, if you couldn’t tell. They’re so interesting and I love finding everyday possible to enjoy them.

I’ve also come to realize lately that life is so precious but very fragile. We hear these sayings all the time that say things like, “Life is too short to not, etc…” or “You only live once,” and yes those are true statements, but to me that just reminds me how every decision I make is going to affect the rest of this short, individual life I have. So, no, I don’t want to be reckless and irresponsible; I want to be cautious and careful while seeking joy and always remaining open and accepting to all that may happen. As I’ve said before, life is made up of moments; and the cool thing about moments is once one ends another one begins. I want to cherish every moment and also be wise with everything in my life. So maybe I’m saving up for a trip to Vienna instead of a wedding dress; so I get more excited for a new Jamie Cullum jazz album instead of a high paycheck. Or someday want to live in a lighthouse…I like a lot of odd things, anyone who knows me knows that haha. I’m not trying to make it seem like I’m on this higher wave-length of life, I’m merely expressing the thoughts and things that have made me happy in the last few days. And I deeply encourage you in every way possible, think on the happy things. It doesn’t make life easy or rid you of any problems…but it sure makes it more enjoyable.

I wrote something on my hand the other night, I honestly don’t know why I did, but I wrote:

“If the stars and moon never shined, the sun would have a million pointless sunrises.”

I’m not sure what it meant but every time I think about it or read it, I get this odd feeling of joy inside. I guess its an odd way to say that everything in life is special; maybe not to you, but to someone, somewhere. Why would the sun rise if the moon never appeared? Without the stars and moon, day would seem incomplete and night would be unknown. You may not agree with that, but I find it fascinating.

So here’s to a new school year, new places and people, beautiful seashells and gorgeous records, weird obsessions, individuality and each beautiful, sacred moment.

Fellow Adventurers,

Here’s to Happy!

Week #11: Life Isn’t Pretty, But It Sure Is Beautiful…

Hello all!

This is week eleven and also the last week of the summer for me. So this one is a bit of a reflective post. I have had a very eventful summer and have experienced/learned a lot of things. This summer has been one for the books, I made new friendships that I’m very excited about, new places I’ve fell in love with, and countless reminders of God’s grace and faithfulness towards us. I came up with a list of eleven things I’ve learned and will keep in mind for the rest of my life.

  1. Life is out of our control; we can’t control what happens, but we can control our perspective on everything we experience; Be. Optimistic.
  2. There are two types of people you will meet in life; those who will stick around and those who won’t. Doesn’t mean they are bad people it’s just how it is. So find the people who will stay and hold on to them.
  3. There is a difference between knowledge and intelligence; Knowledge is facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education. Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Strive to apply what you know to your life.
  4. If you want to grow and be pushed in any aspect and/or field, you have to do it yourself; don’t wait for someone to tell you to work harder. You and you alone are your biggest motivator.
  5. Don’t rely on people for your own happiness; People can definitely make you happy, but they can not be the source of your happiness. They will let you down every time; we are all imperfect.
  6. Keep an open mind; we live in a society overcome by “political correctness.” You can have your own opinion that others may not agree with, but it does not make you or the other hateful. Respectfully disagreeing has not gone away. Stand firm in your beliefs, but understand you will not always agree with everyone and that’s ok.
  7. Tell your family you love them every chance you get; we have no idea how long our time is on this earth. Take advantage of every moment you have with those you love.
  8. Don’t merely exist, LIVE! Have fun, go on adventures, buy records, write a poem, learn a new skill. Accept reality and be responsible, but remember life is meant to be enjoyed.
  9. Take every negative thing you experience in life and allow it to affect you in a positive way; Let every experience in your life, good or bad, mold you into a stronger and better person.
  10. Work hard for what you love; no one can make you care about something. If you are passionate about anything, gosh darn it, SHOW IT!

This summer has been full of new experiences, scary moments, great friends, awesome road trips and my attempt to seek joy as opposed to self-pity. I’m almost a quarter of the way into this personal project and it has already changed my perspective on life. With the help of a few people who are always there for me, I have learned that each moment is special and has the potential to be beautiful. So my goal for the rest of my life is to embrace every one. For all reading and for those who saw a hint of how they were mentioned, thank you and I love you! Stay optimistic!

Here’s to another beautiful summer, a new semester, new journey’s, every beautiful moment and I almost forgot; here’s to #11.

11. Life isn’t pretty, but it sure is beautiful.

With that as my new mindset, I can say I am very excited for my new friendships and experiences this next year holds.

Fellow Adventurers,

Here’s to Happy

Week #10: Thriftstore Finds

Hello again! So here’s week 10 we’re in double digits now, woo-hoo! This week was a pretty exciting week. My brother’s girlfriend Abby and came to visit and tomorrow my cousins, uncle, and my grandparents are coming. The Camacho’s are in a hospitable mood so now is the time to come visit. 😉 

This week was pne where I was very happy because I finally made a purchase I have dreamed of making for a long time…I finally found and bought a typewriter. 

I. Cannot. Express. How. Happy. I. Am.

I have actually gone back and found everything I’ve written recently and typed it out. There’s something haunting about the sound of the keys and when it slides back over after a sentence is typed. Its got a beautiful nostalgic feeling and as I have told certain friends; makes me feel like a real writer. It was $5 I will never regret spending.

Here are a few pictures of my beautiful contraption:

   
    

 As well as buying this I bought some records and can’t wait to play them.

So this is another short post, but this week has been full of happy and I am very glad to share my joys with all who read these posts. (My mom and Aunt Julie)

So here’s to thriftstore finds, new beginnings, re-visiting old thoughts, each beautiful moment and the simple things.

Fellow Adventurers,

Here’s to Happy!

Notes from a David Mamet Acting Workshop.

These are notes from a student named Ashley who attended a David Mamet Acting Workshop. For those who may not be familiar with him, David Mamet is a playwright know for works such as American Buffalo and Glengary Glen Ross, as well as a director for stage and film. I censored as much as I could without changing Mr. Mamet’s words but these are the notes:

THE ART OF ACTING 6: NOTES FROM A DAVID MAMET WORKSHOP

NUMBER ONE Lesson of Acting
The only Rule (since rules were made to be broken). DON’T BE LATE

This chick walked in maybe, maybe seven or eight minutes late and he [Mamet] yelled at her at the top of his lungs. He said: “I can’t teach you how to act but don’t you ever insult anyone and waste their time by being late.” No Excuses.

“That’s all I can really teach you today.” – D.M.

THERE IS NO SINGLE METHOD THAT WORKS ALL THE TIME

Propositional Aesthetics – the Ancient Ones.

Popular thinking: if you don’t prescribe to these things (Uta Hagen’s teaching, the Method), you are doing something wrong.

No. Actually these things can open you to a moment. They are not law.

Don’t fall into the hypocrisy of mystery – that only a chosen few can “be in the moment.” And lose it – spend the rest of the time trying to find it. Acting is not a religion. There is no mystery that we are trying to hide behind.

It’s what works for you. Just SHUT UP, SPEAK UP, LISTEN!

But Acting is a mystery. Acting itself. Because some people are just naturally good at it.

Remember, for those that are good, it’s [acting] always going to be traumatic. You will never find self-satisfaction. No matter what your name is – you’re never above it [the struggle and the dissatisfaction].

NOTES FROM A DAVID MAMET WORKSHOP 2

THE DRAMA

Drama is:
Searching for something hidden.
It is either:

1. Restored to the universe
2. Revealed

Don’t Create Chaos
It’s there, or it wouldn’t be drama.
Create ORDER out of chaos. Really concentrate on the other players. Drama is conflicting desires.
Find drama in the everyday.

THE SCENE

The scene is a little play.

What is the scene about?
What is the character doing? What does that mean in the scene? What does that mean to me?

Your job is not to obey but to perceive.

Question: what is the nature of the scene, and its purpose to the text?

Answer: Be interesting – look at it cock-eyed. Something like what the writer intended – the obvious can be too obvious sometimes. Be Bold. Stick with a choice. It’s likely the wrong one, but go in guns blazing. Make an impression or stay home. There is too much competition and too many starving actors.

You only have one moment. Prevail in that moment (not in three pages – I’ve lost my interest).

NOTES FROM A DAVID MAMET WORKSHOP 3

Responsibility of the scene = bulls**t.

Situation = bulls**t.

Character = bulls**t.

Pull away – WHAT DO YOU WANT, DAMN IT!

You have a point to prove – stick to it. Fight it out. Don’t be general. Don’t be universal. BE SPECIFIC.

“I want to prove (whatever) point this f**king minute!” Forget the scene
Forget the essence of the scene
Forget the “emotions” of the scene

Speak clearly – what do you want?

SPECIFIC

What’s it like? A party [for example]. What kind of party? Orgy, swimming, birthday?

NEVER use: “really” – “just” – “kind of” – “sort of” – in your objectives
It’s hard to get past doing what you rehearsed. Put your “feelings” aside and do the active.

Pick up your cues. Unfortunately words are not always the best tools, but get what you want no matter how you get it!

Don’t give up – keep trying in a scene.
Don’t fight a losing position. Fight a winning position. Fight to WIN.

NOTES FROM A DAVID MAMET WORKSHOP 4

What do you do with a badly written scene? 

1. The scene is not your responsibility.
2. It’s what you do with it.
3. Dedicate yourself to truth on the stage.

4. Get in there and have a good time. 5. Don’t try to make it work.

Just do something! Your body comes alive when you do something “like” the author intended.

Act “as if” – use your life.

1. What’s your character doing in the scene?

2. What is the action?

Words – they’re just gibberish, people.

Never surrender. Learn the lines – have your own objective. They don’t mean a freaking thing.

Do “as if” to train your body how to react. Realize what you already know. Thank you. 

THE AUDITION
SHOW UP ON TIME!
1. No excuses.
2. Dress appropriately.
3. Present yourself well.
4. Please God have good speech! 

Diction, diction, diction.

NOTES FROM A DAVID MAMET WORKSHOP 5

FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU WANT – with what you have.
Please realize that your feelings don’t matter. Thank you.
Invest in yourself and take yourself out of the equation. Get out of your own way. Forget the fantasy of the “chosen” one. We’re all special – your mom was wrong.

The circumstance is always: at the right place + the right time = success.

Never repeat a command to a director. You’re not a dog.
Don’t do “actor-y” talk. It’s soooo annoying.
(Have respect for your craft).

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ACT IN THIS MARKETPLACE?

Be Prepared
Have Self-Respect
Have a Philosophy – A Way of Thinking
If you don’t feel like it, go home.

THE CORE OF DRAMATURGY – YOUR FOUNDATION

Devote yourself to the stage, especially when you don’t want to or feel like it. You will be rewarded.

Technique will not help you act. Remember: Spontaneity is an Art. Some people just have the ability.

What is happening?

BE PREPARED. 

Always, Always, Always. Don’t come to fail or you will.

Be something greater than yourself. Be physical.

Just BE – don’t “Act.”

NOTES FROM A DAVID MAMET WORKSHOP 6

“I can’t hear you.” SPEAK UP – Engage your body. “That’s what acting is, people.” 

“Don’t be a talking head. Thank you.”

Speak to get something from someone else, not to express yourself (we’re not whine-y teenagers). 

WHAT DO YOU WANT? Speak up!

Please have perfect diction. Thank you.

Don’t betray your limitations. Speak beautifully.

Take dance, take yoga, take karate. DON’T SLOUCH. It’s so unattractive.

Take care of your body. Exercise – it will help you. It’s your instrument – duh, people.

BODY – MIND – FOCUS

Don’t constantly gesture (you dissipate your energy anyway).

Be physical. Do what you have to do to get what you want from the other person.

Be creative or go home.

Don’t be a beaten dog – you’re a man in a difficult situation. Stand up, damn it! What do you want? Get it, demand it.

Be direct. The action comes down to a verb. To get him come out. To wake up a delusional fool.

Pick an objective that will engage the other person. Suggest something more fun than yourself.

Look your partners in the eye. Let them know your will. No matter what. PREVAIL. HAVE POWER. People respect power.
Gesture only to get what you want. Move to go to the blocking. Connect. Don’t dissipate your energy. Put it in your voice.

Do something active. Thank you. Have intent. Thank you. Enforce the law – prove a point.

NOTES FROM A DAVID MAMET WORKSHOP 7 

You’re not there to create drama but to create order out of a chaotic situation as simply as possible.

Enunciation will help you achieve your goals. Speak up! What do you want! Commit yourself. Evoke unexpected feelings.
You don’t have to like it, just do it. Especially if it upsets you.
You don’t have to believe a word of it – just engage with the other person. Only rehearse the objective – rote. You will do what you rehearse!

Let the words come out as they will.
1. Go up on the stage – don’t warm up on stage.
2. Be in GREAT SHAPE.

Reduce acting study to simple tasks:
1. Learn to speak.
2. Stand up straight.
3. Get a good objective.
4. Keep it simple, stupid.
Get so involved you have to do it 

EVERY MOMENT.

NOTES FROM A DAVID MAMET WORKSHOP 8

MYSTERY, BRAVERY, BEING IN THE MOMENT

The stage is essentially upsetting. There is always a sense of loss. If you’re not losing, what are you winning?

Live with Uncertainty.
Act with Uncertainty.
That’s what really makes a GREAT ACTOR.

Never be cocky – always be somewhat out of control and get something from the other person by truly listening. If you do, you can’t truly control a scene – it has a life of its own. FLOW.

The superiority attitude of an actor (in a scene, in an office, in a workshop), is bullshit. The whole point is that we’re not afraid to look stupid – to play the fool. To screw up and fall in front of everyone.

Get out of your own way. Leave the attitude at the door. Search for the truth. When you feel unsure, you’re bringing mystery to the stage.

What do you care enough about that you don’t care what you look like [while you’re] doing it?

BE BRAVE!

Become comfortable being uncomfortable.
Be caught off guard. Come to life. Accidents are drama!

Do “something like” what the author intended. Have fun, and don’t settle for security. How boring!

The unknown is ALWAYS MUCH MORE FUN.
In your legitimate desire to please, keep in mind: it’s inappropriate, it’s boring.

Remember: F**K IT. BE BOLD. BE MEMORABLE.

Find what is not trivial. Don’t degrade yourself.
Let the amateurs worry about the car, you worry about the motor.

NOTES FROM A DAVID MAMET WORKSHOP 9

Daydreams are fulfilling and irrational. Go for the irrational. You’re acting. Indulge yourself.

Don’t bring obedience to a scene – bring exhilaration!

Act out the fantasy. Enjoy! Don’t worry about looking stupid – you probably do!

Love being involved in the fantasy.

If you’re gonna live in this theatre world, for goodness sake LIVE IN IT. Indulge the fantasy.

Encounter: Doubt, Shame, Humiliation. It will finally be worth it. FINAL ANSWER:
“ACTING IS MORE ABOUT COURAGE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.”

Hope this was helpful and enlightening. I would suggest reading some of David Mamet’s work if you have not. He’s a phenomenal playwright and a favorite of mine.

Week #9: I’m always gonna be okay

Hi again! We’re still trucking along with this year project and I still seem to be enjoying it, so that’s good news! This week was again, a week with nothing extraordinary, but I’ve been realizing lately that the ordinary are usually the most extraordinary things we experience.

My first happy moment this week was being able to explore the new area I live in. I went to a coffee shop, the park in downtown Greenville and found one of my favorite beverages in existence: BUBBLE TEA! I captured a few moments. Again, I’m not a photographer, but I thoroughly enjoy capturing sights I see.

IMG_6704IMG_6703IMG_6705IMG_6720IMG_6722IMG_6725

These are just a few images, but I never realized how beautiful Greenville could be. Which leads to my other happy moment from this week.

I will be honest, I was not excited when I heard about my family’s move from upstate New York to South Carolina. I actually was very upset about it at times, but something happened when I was drinking bubble tea and walking downtown yesterday. I took a step back from everything for a second and had a flashback to every panic attack I’ve had in the past year; in extreme detail…but I realized something. They were all in the past. And I was in the present. In those moments when I was terrified and full of emotions, I thought happiness and peace would never be possible to feel. But I can honestly and humbly tell you today, last night I truly felt happy and at peace for the first time in a while. I was breathing, I was enjoying the place I was, and I was okay. Nothing made me upset and nothing else mattered. I wasn’t bothered with people, I wasn’t worried about the future and I wasn’t lingering in the past. I was simply enjoying myself and the present moment I was in. I was fine. And I know now, looking back on it all…I’m always gonna be okay.

And for the record, I am in no way trying glamorize the struggle anxiety and other issues are, they are very hard to deal with and everyone experiences it in a different personal way. I will never fully understand what everyone else deals with, but I can try my best to relate based on what I have experienced. But I am able to say that you will be okay. You may not feel it now, but I assure you and hope that someday soon, you will.

So here’s to exploring new places, downtown coffeeshops, beautiful parks, BUBBLE TEA, being ok and every beautiful moment.

Fellow Adventurers,

Here’s to Happy!