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, May 13, 2014

Work in Progress

Vignette [vin-yet]
Noun

1. a drawing, photograph, or portrait that is shaded off gradually at the edges so as to leave no definite line at the border.

2. any small, pleasing picture or view.

3. a small, graceful literary sketch.

I would love to come to you with some bit of brilliance. Some lovely post that weaves story with feeling. The center some moral. A lesson learned, a truth revealed. But, recently, my brain has left me with ink blot ideas - amorphous and unrelated. Administration duties dulling my creative brain and the stressors and responsibilities piling high on my to-do list, clouding my usually colorful vision. Ordinarily, there are moments when words play and form neat sentences, clever conclusions, and clean lines.

But, life right now is a jumble of too many things to make sense in one linear composition. I have the usual scribbles. Pages of sentences and poetry and schmaltzy combinations of words that leak emotion and thought onto paper. Some stark and bare, and others too sentimental for words (so to speak)… And, so…

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1.
The crowded coffee shop had attention in my direction. Our words in volley. No progress being made, just contention. Loud and potent.

My body cornered the thief. Blocked his exit. I was certain this man took my phone off of the table where my friend had been sitting as I went to the restroom. Certain. And I was certain he was not getting away with it.

He started turning his pockets inside out, blow pops of all flavors flying in various directions. He handed me his bag to search through, “I didn’t take your phone, girl!” He spat sternly. In an attempt to keep him put, I pulled out his belongings on the floor.

The tension in the air was taut. Electricity. Molecules on edge. The effect of a room full of raised arm hairs and goose bumps.

He started to push past me. Forcefully. I backed up a bit. He started pleading, “Please, girl. Don’t call the cops. I got a warrant. I got kids!” He whispered loudly. His eyes wide like a child, tugging at my female heartstrings… my girly sensibilities resisted. I’ve been in this city too long, my phone-stealing-friend…

“Should have thought of that before you stole my shit!” I said - emphasis on the “shit”. I decided to follow his lead, take to reasoning, “Look, I need that phone. I can’t afford another one.” I looked him directly in the eyes. “Please. Just give it back and this is over.”

…Wishful thinking. Didn’t work.


“I don’t! Got! Your phone!” He yelled. It was clear we’d reached his limit. He shoved past me. Instinctively I grabbed at his chest, clenched a fistful of his sweater. As he accelerated past, I felt the skin of my knuckles scrape against the fabric as I heard a loud rip. My friend who had been searching through our stuff in hopes to find the mistake was on me, stepped in prompted by the sudden physicality of the situation. There we were, two girls at the door of a coffee shop, desperately detaining a drugged-up thief from getting lost in the mix of 14th street with my iPhone 5.

After some time and some unsuccessful negotiations, something in the guy switched. I saw his face. He was tired, unaware when he nabbed the phone that two girls would put up such a fight. He turned around and bee-lined for the bathroom. I followed. He ducked into the door and then came out right as I turned the corner. “Here! Here’s your phone!” I grabbed it from his hand.

“Dick.” (I added that more for me than for him.)

“You left it in the bathroom!” He exclaimed. Like a kindergartner. Youthful and excited. It was a surprisingly smart tactic. Though, I knew he was now a thief and a liar.

He left quickly. (Long before the cops showed up.) In the entirety of the situation, Sam and I were left unhelped. No one came to our aid. No one interjected. No one. Finally, after the fact, I was approached by a bystander. “He definitely took your phone.” Captain obvious stated proudly.

“yeah. I know he did.” I said.

“No, I mean, I saw him.”

“You saw him?”

“Yeah, I saw him take it and put it in his underwear.” (Swell.) I was dumbfounded. Now he says something. NOW! Not worth another confrontation, I simply thanked him and accepted his business card, you know, “in case I needed help with the police…” #bullshit

A few hundred deep breaths and a couple disinfecting wipes later, I was home. My heart rate finally slowed to normal. Peacefully, via text, I recounted my experience to my Dad, my Mom, the boy I was dating, from the safety of my Brooklyn apartment. And while I had rightfully recovered my property, I had unfortunately lost a bit of faith in humanity and all around decency.

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2.
Lorde Pandora. Background chatter. Glasses clinking. The ambiance on the porch was sun drenched and abuzz with assumed wealth and pretentious energy. The combination of diamond rings, flip flops, and Ed Hardy an odd display of money.

I was sitting outside of the W Hotel in Atlanta, the taste of day old bachelorette party in my mouth. I stuck out like steerage on the first deck – ripped denim and Target tank, eyes half open, heavy with the memory of a dimly lit club and 2am bouts of twerking with a tambourine. (seriously.) …it was not a good look.

I was waiting for my Dad to come pick me up and whisk me away to baby snuggling and family time. Ready to recharge and slide back into my place as the younger sister, the daughter, the bit of odd-ball at the dinner table.

After a day with my people, my body recalibrated to the cadence of GA life. Where the soft lilt of words seeps into the energy and makes days slower. There was time to breathe. And the air there is different. It’s greener and fresher and fuller.

I had quality “Fun Aunt Sarah” time with baby dance duets and slobber soaked kisses from the Nug. And I laughed with my people over food and wine until my stomach ached. And while there’s a lot going on with my family at the moment, I was grateful. Thankful that we not only love each other, but also quite basically, like each other.

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3.
The discord of life in a town of millions sometimes drowns out my voice. The tempo of my thoughts fight to match the buzz of the city. The motley crowd of people usually giving me life and energy turn to annoyances. I trust no one. I turn inward.

I needed to step outside, see the city from afar and remind myself of the bigger picture. It had been quite some time, because shitty weather has been lingering- the irritating guy at the party that can’t end a conversation. I couldn’t stand it anymore. So last week, the air still a bit chilly with spring dangling over the town, an imminent gift, I went down by the water to my spot.

For the first time this season, I sat with my city. I had my first of many quiet mornings alone with my town that tries my patience, but has also come to teach me patience.

There are things about this place that I can only appreciate once I see it from the outside. Like a watch - a tangled mess of metal and gears. No one part making any sense without the others. But stand back and see that all those hard angles fit neatly into one another, and somehow make the jagged puzzle of a skyline filled with people that keep the machine ticking in some kind of offbeat rhythm.

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So, that’s the thing of it. My creative mind has been frozen. Locked in and petrified, overrun by a volcanic output of "shoulds" and "musts". One morning recently, I had a terrifying thought - what if inspiration and creativity are finite resources? A well that can dry up, tapped out like Brooklyn Lager at a hipster barbeque…


Found a new swing set on a quest to
 let my mind wander...
Sometimes, I tread in a sea of “what," and lose the spark of the “why.” Forgetting that it’s best to look at tasks not as chores, but as conduits. Shoulds and musts are useless unless they are stacking upon each other to build something higher. And "work" has its own malleable definition. The work is sometimes the act of cultivating creativity. Inspiration takes work. It’s not to be found sitting at a table, cooked and ready for feast. It has to be hunted. Bare hand wrangled and coerced into submission. And it’s found in all sorts of ecosystems – books and movies and art and conversation. In life.

So while I’m trying to free myself of “shoulds,” I guess there’s one more “should” that I “should” keep… I should stop being so hard on myself. Love the necessary hard work, the ebb and flow of creativity and motivation. After all, I can’t expect to be anything more than human or I’m bound for the utmost of inevitable disappointments.

The fact is, sometimes I’m unfinished. Untucked and disheveled. Sloppy. Scribbles on notepads. Remnants of inspiration. My colors and corners bleeding outward, the brush too saturated. And like this town, I need to take a step back and allow the parts to become whole - big picture style. Allow those strokes to work in tandem and create something discernable. A vignette. A portrait of a person whose edges are blurred and whose lines aren’t always so clear.

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