THIS IS BEING ALIVE: A Very Rough Draft

So earlier I had one of the un-ignorable fits of inspiration that took me flying down Hastings on the way to do my radio show. Written/Chorded/Recorded in about 90 mins total. Here’s to a very rough draft! Cheers.

THIS IS BEING ALIVE

It’s like running to catch a train

That you know you’ll never make

And then somehow

You just sail through the door

Or someone holds it open

Cause we can’t move mountains on our own

And that’s when

That’s when you know

This is being alive

When all the odds defied

When you jump and then you fly

You succeed after you try

You know you know

This is what is right

Your mission matches your life

(Your mission is your life)

And somehow

Simultaneously

I want to throw up

And swim the sea

Cause I could win at anything right now

This is more than being lucky

This is just believing something

And maybe

Maybe This time I’m just right

That man doesn’t believe in love

And that man can’t feel god In His blood

But I can and it always brings me home

And I think of

That feeling when you know

You’re doing something right

Maybe I’m just crazy

Maybe this is what it means

To be manic an uncontrolled

Living in dreams

But I don’t care that I can’t explain

And I don’t care what’s wrong with my brain

I’ve got a feeling

Oh oh oh

Had some well spent time

There’s peace under my eyes

And it shows

I feel like I have a glow

And I want the whole world to know

That were doing better everyday

Yes we are better every day

I’m on the wrong side of the street

And there’s needles on the ground around me

But I don’t care an I just wanna scream

How much I love everything

And I wanna cry

Cause I am more than happy inside

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Perfect Stranger

Skytrain

Today a boy I met on the skytrain. We had a little skytrain romance. Before we parted he told me my boyfriend was very lucky because I am beautiful. 

So I see you

and i’m not sure if you caught my eye

or I caught yours

but we keep meeting briefly

in the middle

and I have this urge to know why

to understand

to explain

but I don’t want to ask

I don’t want to break the perfect forcefield of dilated perfection between us

so I sit

and I make up stories that I know you

or you recognize me

or you love me

and then the more I think about it

the more familiar you look

and suddenly we aren’t perfect strangers anymore

we’re just perfect

reunited

or united

I can’t tell anymore

because the past and your unfamiliar face

has become a fantasy

today

was a beautiful day

your face

i love the way

was a beautiful day

a lovely perfect wonderful

beautiful day

I talked about writing this, and this PostSecret I saw about how sometimes people stare at people on the train because they are beautiful, and the wondering…. and I forgot to tell him he was beautiful. And inspiring. And polite. Oops.

Also, he did not mention that I am the lucky one : )

We Day! And a song!

Today I was part of the Vancouver We Day Crowd Pumping Team! Wow! I felt happy, sad, moved, inspired, uncomfortable, energized, tired, confused, clear, hungry, full, disappointed, overwhelmed, amazed… and more! What a day! I spent 11.5 hours at the arena (arriving at 6AM today) and still went to improv practice after! Bam!

I have been writing SO MANY songs lately (like 5-7 a week!) and I have decided I need to start sharing some of them and putting the music down so I don’t forget the vision I have in mind when I write. I really wanna be in a band but I don’t have time at the moment so I have to plunk my own guitar haha.

I have more thoughts I want to share later but for now I was inspired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Demi Lovato’s messages (at We Day Today) to write this song:

For My Children – Lyrics

VERSE ONE

When I think about what I need

I got clean water and a place to sleep

I’ve friends and community

but there’s something missing

separation that I see people hating and being mean

I want respect for everybody

PRE-CHORUS

That’s the world I want to live in

A world that I want for my children

CHORUS

When you’re scared, turn to love

When you’re alone, remember love

We can change the world with love

Before you judge, remember love

Show somebody that you care

Speak up for those who are not there

Treat each-other with respect

and believe in what comes next:

it’s love, it’s love, love

VERSE TWO

It is easy just to blame

Other people for our pain

If they’d only change their ways

“The world would be much better”

We all have a role to play

You contribute everyday

We have to work together

PRE-CHORUS

That’s the world I want to live in

A world that I want for my children

CHORUS

When you’re scared, turn to love

When you’re alone, remember love

We can change the world with love

Before you judge, remember love

Show somebody that you care

Speak up for those who are not there

Treat each-other with respect

and believe in what comes next:

it’s love, it’s love, love

BRIDGE

Structures are in place that make it hard to see beyond the struggle

Hating only add more hate. I think that love’s the only way to move beyond… and make the world incredible.

CHORUS

When you’re scared, turn to love

When you’re alone, remember love

We can change the world with love

Before you judge, remember love

Show somebody that you care

Speak up for those who are not there

Treat each-other with respect

and believe in what comes next:

it’s love, it’s love, love

Dreamtime!

For a long time I gave up on the things I really wanted and settled for mediocre dreams. Forget that (Cee Lo Green style). People told me I wasn’t good enough, and that I’d never make it, and that can’t do it. Too short, too fat, not a US citizen, pitchy, talk too fast, not connected enough… But I am done with that.

Truthfully I have been on this kick since I saw the “Katy Perry: Part of Me” movie with my Mom this summer. I only get one life, why am I wasting it chasing my boring “attainable” dreams? It’s time to go big or go home, and if home is where the heart is then big I must go. During my later years of high school and the start of my university career I really settled into a frame of mind which let go of all my big aspirations, the dreams that are so exciting and so improbable that I’m scared… But that is the place where living truly happens for me.

But what will I do? What are my dreams? They have been quietly growing inside me for the past few years… Slipping out in the odd twitter post, inspiration, impulse to take an acting class at SFU, trips, meeting new people, the desire to audition… Professional role model, public speaker, leader… All guises for what I have really wanted since I was little…

I want to be a star. but not just any star, I want to be an entertainer, a famous entertainer. And I want to use my powers for good. I way to show the world my compassionate vegan self am bring more love into this Earth ball.
I think “entertainer” is a good word to describe what I want to do. I really have so many interests in so many things that it’s hard to choose… Comedy, music, acting, speaking… But there are people who get to do it all, and I want in!

Things I want to do:
Be on SNL (hosting or as a cast member)
Perform for a stadium arena
Write a book
Release an album (music or comedy or both)
Be in a movie
Host an awards show

I just have this feeling inside that this is what I was born to do. I am scared it will be hard, but self: you are special, you are unique, you are worthy… And you can do anything with enough perseverance and faith. If its not here yet, It’s just around the corner.

Free-Writing Inspiring by Indiana’s Thunderstorms

lightening strike003

The real cowboy. There’s a story in her eyes.
This is the place where idea clouds brew.
Where the lightning strikes the dawn anew.
Where poets die nourished for only they knew
To express- not detest this sprawling, wandering, golden-eyed tattoo.

With a flash
The paparazzi of the sky
Ambushes us from up on high
With a slash of light
At night it’s time to strike

In the darkness the room is a million miles wide

I could choose to get and angry or frustrated or cry, but instead I’ll choose to be happy and I don’t have to know why. And I could choose to be tired or burnt out or wrecked, but I’ll smile instead and laugh with the best.

Frantic feet might dance in the street but when they get on stage they keep the beat.

The bar doesn’t water down their drinks but my melted ice does a mighty fine job.

BAM.

How Not To Get Screwed Over as a Freelancer

Zacharias Legal Document Collection - 1743 Power of Attorney

During my travels as a freelance creative (I do photography, graphic design and video work) there have been a few occasions where things have not worked out as I had hoped. Recently I learned some lessons and got lots of different perspectives on how to keep myself safe in client relationships.

Here are the tips I collected:

  1. Create a contract. This contract should have clear terms and conditions such as payment information, cost, delivery method, communication guidelines, copyright information and usage. This site, dontgetscrewedover.com has some great tips and links to http://www.docracy.com/ which provides free, open source legal documents for use.
  2. Someone recommended getting referrals to me before working with a new client. Most of my clients have been friends or friends of friends and with these people I have had few conflicts.
  3. Get 50% payment up front (deposit) and have the client pay the balance upon delivery of the finished product. This is especially important for substantial jobs.
  4. Watermark all drafts and content sent before payment is delivered.
  5. Include a creative brief (either in written or oral format) to explain why you made certain choices to the client. This can be helpful in ensuring clear communication.
  6. If someone does not pay you a substantial amount of money and they are a homeowner, it is possible to put a “lean” on their house, and they will need to pay you before they can sell their property.
  7. Get a new job! Freelance work is not for everyone and running your own business can be hard. A different job might be the best thing your your lifestyle and preferences.
  8. Small Claims Court (at least in BC) can help you with amounts over $1000 but will probably cost you more than it’s worth for smaller amounts.

Stay Safe! Thanks to Allison, Jeremy, Sam, Julian, Cedric, Amanda, Jacquie, Jay, Dari, and everyone else who contributed to this list and gave me their wisdom!

Monologue Madness: Long Monologues (5 minutes and over)

In January 2010, the big 'W' sign was put back in place atop the newly renovated original 1903 Woodward's Building on Hastings and Abbott street

There have been so many changes and exciting things in my life recently I have not had time to write about all of them… or even most of them! One of amazing things that made me jump up and down and hop around my hotel room (I was in Indiana for my sister’s graduation from nursing school when I found out) was being accepted into the BFA Theatre Performance program at SFU! I have decided to try and finish two degrees (my previous joint major between Interactive Arts + Technology and Communications and now the Theatre Performance major in addition). Bam! It will be fun. Anywho… in my acceptance letter for the program I was also given my first assignment. I need to come into class on the first day with a 5 minute monologue memorized. No big deal right?

At first I was excited and then I began to see how challenging it is to find a monologue of that length from a published play. Phew! Luckily I have some great mentors who gave me some suggestions. I read ALL of these plays before I finally decided on a excerpt from Adult Child/Dead Child by Claire Dowie. I wanted to publish this list to help others who may be looking for long pieces of text. Break a leg!

Long Female Monologues:

  • Autobahn by Neil LaBute
  • Problem Child by George F. Walker
  • Five Women Wearing the Same Dress by Alan Ball
  • The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute
  • The Occupation of Heather Rose by Wendy Lill
  • Theresa’s Creed by Michael Cook
  • The Weir by Conor McPherson
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill
  • Lion in the Street by Judith Thompson
  • The Russian Play by Hannah Moscovitch
  • USSR by Hannah Moscovitch
  • My Pyramids by Judith Thompson (in Palace of the End)
  • Instruments of Yearning by Judith Thompson (in Palace of the End)
  • Body and Soul (in Palace of the End)
  • Faith Healer by Brian Friel
  • Medea Redux by Neil Labute
  • Homebody/Kabul by Tony Kushner
  • Dying to be Thin by Linda Carson
  • Adult Child/Dead Child by Claire Dowie

Long Male Monologues:

  • Billy Bishop Goes to War by John Gray with Eric Peterson
  • Lion in the Street by Judith Thompson
  • Harrowdown Hill by Judith Thompson (in Palace of the End)
  • Faith Healer by Brian Friel
  • IIphigenia inOrem by Neil Labute

Further Reading: What I meant was by Craig Lucas (might have something, didn’t get to this one)

Special Thanks to Patti Allan (and all her awesome friends at Bard on the Beach which you should totally go see btw), Deborah Solberg from Theatrix Youtheatre and Dolores Drake for their contributions to this list. I could not have done this without their suggestions and insight.

Time to Move: A Song for a Sunday Night

I have had a tough few days emotionally. I have been feeling really sad thinking about many terrible things that are happening in the world (for example…) and today that experience turned into a song.

I heard recently that the reason the new Jason Mraz album took so long was because he wrote tons of songs that didn’t make it on to the record. I have decided that I want to start finishing a recording as many songs as possible to practice my performance and presentation skills. Even if some of them are depressing like this one, or things I wouldn’t want to be MY song, I think it is all part of the creative process that I am getting in touch with. So here goes.

G

I can say thank you with a smile

C

But I’m weeping

Em

all the while

Em

The pains too great, This sadness makes me

C

weak

D

and weary

G

I can pray all day and night

C

But that wont make things

Em

alright

Em

Our world is sick

C

inside

Em

The light is hidden

D

by the night

G

There is something telling me it’s time to move,

Em

Weather I stay or weather I go there’s a part of me I’ll lose

C

Either way maybe it will all work out the same

D

Cause I’ve lost hope in the status quo

D

And I need help to travel

A7

through

G

Wish I could change the world I see

C

but I can’t do it

Em

just with me

Em

the world is wide, the web is

C

finely

D

connected

G

I want to stop all of the pain

C

without creating foes

Em

to blame

Em

the sun hurts

C

my eyes

Em

I wish for guidance

D

through the fight

G

There is something telling me it’s time to move,

Em

Weather I stay or weather I go there’s a part of me I’ll lose

C

Either way maybe it will all work out the same

D

Cause I’ve lost hope in the status quo

D

And I need help to travel

A7

through

REPEAT

G

Today.

IMROV

What a lovely semester it has been! This term I took dance, acting and writing and participated once again in the SFU Improv Club.

Through improv I have learned many relevant life lessons, such as “being a yes”, accepting offers, supporting others, going with the flow, having fun, listening, being present and more. It was a really fun time this year as I actively maintained our twitter and facebook, posting QUOTE OF THE WEEK to highlight the best one-liners from our practices.

We hosted three bi-weekly shows at the Highland Pub called Funny Monday’s, where we featured improv and stand up comedy (which I am hoping to try this summer). One of them was 2.0 themed, a dream I have had for a long time.

I also got the chance to perform as part of the festival ensemble at the UBC Impulse Festival where I got to meet some awesome people (including the brother of a guy from a TV show!) and see some innovative improv (including two amazing formats: the EPIC [suggestion: mundane task = half hour adventure] and hostage [three improvisors were taken hostage and given a case of beer, for inspiration the improvisors would yell HOSTAGE and a live Skype feed of the increasingly drunken hostages would play for a while, inspiring the cast to improvise more]).

I am really lucky to have such a funny, awesome group of friends.

The SAN Dance

The SAN Dance