Big Country Blues Trailer

Big Country Blues Trailer
Sarah e Jacobs recognized as OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES at LA Webfest! And nominated for BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA at ITVFest! Click to watch the trailer!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Finding Peace This Season.

Every time I have a hard time formulating a post, I realize it all harkens back to my lack of honesty. To myself and to you. It’s hard to remain transparent on the interwebs. And I talk about it a lot, but as I’m constantly putting myself out there in my regular life, on here sometimes I get a bit self-conscious. So here it is. My return to brutal honesty and sickening transparency. Nothing like ending the year with a little self-exposure. …the legal kind.
Truth be told, I’ve been overwhelmed as all hell recently. It’s a common misconception that I constantly skip around town with a smile (though, slightly sassy disposition) and a fervent zest for all things organic. Real talk: Yes, occasionally I too, want nothing more than a plate of gooey chocolate and fried things. And I, too, must occasionally fight against the urge to cut a bitch. Recently …let’s just thank goodness chocolate onion rings aren’t a common menu platter and I don’t keep straight razors lying around.

My lack of rainbows and sunshine all came to a head a couple weeks ago after I was cornered by a close talker with the social skills of a feral cat. Locked in by two walls with flecks of spit from his quickly moving mouth flying in my face. We were chatting about my career path. He was curt. Accusatory. “So, you couldn’t make it as an Actress, that’s why you went into nutrition.” He kept saying it. Over and over. Just changing the order of the words.

I heartily resisted the urge to feel defeated. My eyes narrowed. Daggers. “Sooo, I’m going to take a stab in the dim light, here, Bob. Tact isn’t your forte?

Afternoon hustle. Boots on the ground.
In attempt to get TWP out on the town, it was my third business meetup in a week. Spliced into the usual madness of my motley life, I was in a constant state of go, attempting to stay charming as I was face to face with person after person after person. The conversation with Close Talker was the straw that beat the shit out of the camel. I couldn’t. I was done.

“Ok...Looks like I’m done.” I said with a smile. I gathered my things, slung my tote bag over my shoulder with firm bitchiness. “Have a good one.” I managed as I headed for the door. Too many people have been forcing their opinions on me. From boys demanding that I just don’t know what’s good for me, to near strangers telling me “what I should do” with my business (that they know nothing about), to finally the Close Talker, I couldn’t handle anymore outside commentary. The noise was maddening.

Two trains later, I trudged up the stairs of the Bedford station in Brooklyn. Upon exiting the tunnel, my phone dinged multiple times with the sound of incoming text messages. Brring! Brring! Brring! My knees buckled. Without looking I pressed the power button on instinct, and plopped down on the stoop of a conveniently located apartment building. My hands gripped the cold cement stair. I focused on the hard chill that worked its way through my jeans. Breathed to get all of my body’s mechanisms measured.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a proper anxiety attack. A common occurrence in my youth, I’ve learned techniques to find my Zen and keep a pretty steady state of calm. But that day on the cold stoop of a random building, I was as close as I’ve been in a long time to numb extremities and severe hyperventilation.

TWP is out in the world and people are interacting with us. We get emails on the daily about new opportunities and clients and buzz. It’s truly amazing. Honestly, every now and again, Rachel and I get overwhelmed with the awesome possibilities of what started out as an idea over coffee on a busy, Brooklyn street.

Coffee Shop Office.
I’m insanely proud of what Rachel and I are creating and accomplishing, and I am having a blast. But, as much as I hate to admit it, the Close Talker got me thinking. Recently, people constantly ask me what takes up most of my time, and I don’t even know how to respond. On any given day I go from audition, to meetings with Pilates instructors and health coaches and business mentors, to meetups, to talkbacks. There’s no single focus. Recently, it’s true (if I’m going to be honest with myself) I haven’t been as dedicated to Acting as I used to be. I mean, for obvious reasons, but still. I know I haven’t abandoned it, but on some level, what if that terrible guy was right? Am I letting go of my dream by shifting focus? Have I failed?

I know many people that hold on so tightly to the idea of being an artist that blinders shield them from seeing that in the grand scheme, their life simply isn’t working. I’d like to think that I’m setting myself up for success (even in my acting career) by hopefully finding stability elsewhere. I got to the point with Acting where I’m sick of waiting. No matter how good I am or how hard I try, it just may not happen. I hate that my success hinges on the fact that someone else gives me a chance.

As Actors, we’re constantly told to “never give up,” and to “keep going,” which I agree with, to a certain extent. But, for goodness sakes, I gotta make a life that works. Even if it means adjusting what’s been my identity for as long as I can remember. So, after some thought, no it’s not failure. It’s smart.

But I do strive for balance, and I’m having a hard time finding the perfect combo of my creative life and my professional life. While TWP certainly does take creativity, I can’t help but feel the burning need in my chest to create in the Actory sense. To slip into a role and connect with other actors and an audience. It starts as an itch and grows to a burning sensation akin to a condition worthy of an antibiotic.

So, I keep turning all my pokers in the fire. Because without them, the fire just dies. And that is the worst feeling in the world. I’ve done a few acting gigs, and go on auditions here and there (a few pretty awesome ones coming in the near future). And, I write - sent my short film to some people and am working on a few other projects.

All the while, winter has officially blown in to town. Fingers are stiff from the cold and the smell of hot dogs and chestnuts seems to cut through the air. The train is, once again packed with oversized coats and the sound of boots on the pavement has taken over the city’s soundtrack.

My favorite word is cozy. I’ve started bundling up with scarves and hats - a walking swaddle. Warm drinks are my lifeline. It’s right about now, in the bud of the season, with the first taste of bitter cold that the pang of claustrophobia from a NY winter makes its way into my bones. Time to cuddle up and wait out the storm.

Thanksgiving came and went. I had a great time with my silly family. I ate way too much, laughed a ton, and had mini dance parties with a semi-sick and fussy Nug.

Life is going by in a hurried Holiday frenzy. The season shortened with a late Thanksgiving. My earbuds pump constant Christmas music and I walk about warmed by the season. I’m going home this weekend and can’t wait to party plan with my Mom, wander the Costco with my Dad, and snuggle the shit out of the Nugget. His first Christmas. So exciting.

Until then, I’ll be the go-to date for my manfriends’ holiday parties and I’ll run from business thing to acting thing trying to stay warm. So if you need me, I’ll be in sparkles somewhere, sipping wine or bundled like a refugee tucked away on a crowded train going over sides for an audition, or giving a tour trying to make money to buy Christmas gifts, or sitting Indian style on a bench in a cold café researching web designers (ps if ya know one, I know a start-up that’s in the market) or writing about my nutzo life. Sometimes all in one day. And I’ll be pouring over my creative outlets, trying to scratch the inevitable itch. Accepting that I can be both a business badass and an artistic actress. And I’ll be resisting the Close Talker’s boring square box, and creating a life that’s some odd shape all my own.
Happy, Healthy Holiday Season, my friends. I wish you all good things.

1 comment:

  1. We all know there's a virulent crassitude that prevails in certain circles in this town, and business meetings can bring you near to them. Fortunately you don't have to inhabit anyone's "boring square box" -- you're smart enough to live according to your own values, whatever odd shape they may take. They instinctively feel right.

    Like a good writer, I think you want to rouse your readers to root for, to defend their heroine. So, when you begin here by self-critically asserting a "lack of honesty", you know we're going to disagree! You've shared much here, matching shrewd commentary with self-examination. You can be hard on yourself -- sometimes, it seems, too hard. (See "lack of honesty" above.)

    It's truly wonderful that you and Rachel have turned the idea into something real. So real, unfortunately, that it has brought new stresses into your life. But you're advancing a field that is really needed these days. As your own boss, you can decide whom to deal with. Imagine if Close Talker was someone you had to work with at a workplace. Instead, you can decide whom to do business with, and that's but one of the beauties of of your nutrition business. Take heart from the measure of control you have, as your own boss. Just put on your chain-mail and calibrate a steely gaze when you head into meetings. Think of it as a role. *Be gangsta*

    Can you be both business badass and artistic actress? Why not? Stressful moments aside, the balance between seemingly incongruous worlds may be healthy. Incongruity can engender complementarity. (I think it's already happening.) The way your mind works, it seems that a broad spectrum of life experience fuels the creative fire -- acting AND writing. So here's to the scribe, the thesp, and the avatar of the integrative!