Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shake It Off, Shake It Off!

How did I get here?
Only one day back from New York and I’m at it again. Despair. Worrying. Letting my mind drag me so far down to depths that I never even knew existed within me.

STOP. ENOUGH. If there’s one thing this amazing trip has taught me,restored within me, is faith. Hope. Belief in myself again.

It gave me back some positive. It gave me the perspective I've been digging for under the rumble of this past year. Pushing past rocks and grim, trash and sorrow to find some sort of gem, some sort of sign to help keep my faith alive.

I don’t know if it was the isolation and beauty of upstate New York. The time, freedom and safe, creative environment that allowed me to work on my crafts.  The sleepless nights, the grandeur of the city and lights that seemed too much to take in at moments. Walking everywhere around the bustling, busy streets or being surrounded by talented fellow artists and hearing/seeing their great work at the retreat and in the Big Apple. It helped to rejuvenate my spirits. Fill my well.

Skyline of NYC from Brooklyn.
I was in Greenport, NY for a week participating as an actress and writer in the Manhattan Film Institute’s summer program, Writer’s Retreat With Chazz Palminteri. After that I visited friends in the city and explored, soaking up the culture. As an actor I helped workshop materials of fellow writers and as a writer I got to pitch my own feature screenplay idea, read some pages from it and receive feedback. When I pitched my 7 or so ideas for features and pilots to Chazz and Tony they both kept telling me, “I like that – this, these are very good.” Chazz called me out telling me something to the effect of, “You need to pick one and just go. Stop BSing around and making excuses and just do it.” It’s true, I am. I was.

Sunset from my hotel in Greenport.
The retreat helped me remember that I am destined for greatness. As I think we all are. We all have many gifts to share with the world and as Chazz put it so eloquently in his one-man show turned film A Bronx Tale, “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.” And I think that’s what I’ve been mourning over. The wasting. The waiting. The lack of money that has made me feel a lack of self – worth and motivation.

Then what am I waiting for? And if not me, if not us, then who? Who can we depend on to share their talents? We can't all be waiting for others to step up. To transform the world through art. "Whose gonna save the world tonight? Whose gonna bring it back to life?" Me. You. Us. Together.

Tony Spiridakis leading a Q&A with Chazz Palminteri
after a screening of A Bronx Tale.
I'll never forgot when Chazz was telling us how we need to think about every choice we make and ask ourselves if it's moving us closer or farther away from our purpose, our dream, what we believe in.

He used the example of the character of C in A Bronx Tale. His character was trying to decide whether or not to get into the car with his friends who were going to commit a crime. Are you in the car or are you out of the car?

I'm out of the car and I'm moving forward.

The best teachers I could have hoped for!
(Left To Right: Jeff, Me, Chazz & Tony)

Words cannot express my gratitude to all of my mentors, teachers, supporters, family and friends throughout the years and particularly through this dark time where I’ve found myself, a person of usually very positive demeanor and spirit, not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Jeff McCracken, one of the few professors and amazing mentors of mine from Chapman who I felt truly supported and believed in me from the get go and encouraged all my passions; writing, directing, acting and producing. He never discouraged me and told me I needed to pick a focus. He’s been like a father to me. And that’s saying a lot for me considering I’m estranged from my father and even when I wasn’t I still was in a sense. I’m extremely grateful for my newfound honorary father figure mentors and teachers from the writer’s retreat, Tony Spiridakis and Chazz Palminteri. Two wonderfully creative men with such honesty, intelligence and heart. I'm so grateful to have been guided and taught by you all at the retreat. I finished the first act of my feature and my outline for the rest is ready to go. It's just up to me.

3 Generations Of Amazing Friends!
HS, College & "Real World."
I'm Truly Blessed!

To my past transplants and newfound New York family/friends, I thank you for showing me such generous hospitality while exploring your state and city. I had the time of my life and I've never felt this way before - TANGENT! Pump the breaks! No, but seriously, I'm so grateful for people like you within my life.

And now that I’m rejuvenated, now that I’ve found a little bit of hope again I’m ready to …

"Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back

So shake him off, oh whoa"

So apparently I thought they were saying “Shake It Off” not “Shake It Out” this whole time. But whatevs I like "Shake It Off" better and it's my blog so I can title this entry whatever I want! Ha!

What will my next step be? In the car? Out of the car?
This inner battle of not believing in myself; not allowing my inner artist out to play as they stand at the closed glass door longingly staring outside as the rain pours. No matter the puddles, thunder and lightening - I want to play. I’m ready to play!

1 comment:

  1. Man this is crazy motivating. One step forward at a time, Carly! If your crazy awards aren't enough proof that you're destined for greatness, this trip will be a good mentor memory to check in with yourself with while you're on the road. I can't wait to hear about how you accomplish said destiny. haha!

    Good stuff :)