Keeping Creative

As my bump grows bigger, traditional acting roles are dwindling. I can’t submit myself to most breakdowns. Yeah, I have booked pregnancy specific roles, and I believe there are more where that came from (hear that, universe?!) But for the most part my acting gigs have slowed down. As I get closer and closer to my due date (YIKES!) and taking time off for the baby, I’m finding new ways to express my creativity: writing and producing my own work.

I wrote a short film that my husband and I shot while we were on vacation in Hawaii. Now, this isn’t typically how I would spend a vacation but this wasn’t a typical vacation. There was a series of events leading up to this that’s kinda important when discussing why I was inspired to spend part of this trip ‘working’ rather than ‘relaxing’. Let’s start off with why we were in Hawaii because that’s a great story in and of itself.

I won the trip in a contest. Yep, that happens. So first off, free vacation in paradise. YAY.

Screen Shot BabymoonAfter figuring out all the logistics surrounding claiming the prize and booking the trip, I found out I was pregnant. Awesome. And something new. I’ve never been pregnant on vacation (hell, I’ve never been pregnant.) What would that be like? Forget the pina coladas and cancel our surf lessons because this chick will be chillin’ on Waikiki beach. Which isn’t easy for me because I like to be active. I started wondering exactly what this would mean for me.

Shortly after learning about our pregnancy, my husband and I attended a workshop on creating movies on your iPhone. One thing that was expressed by the panelists was the importance to just start making things. You don’t need all the fancy equipment yet. You’ve got everything you need right there in your hand. I took that to heart and started writing. Hawaii seemed to be the perfect starting point so that’s where I set the film. And you write what you know and I know I’m pregnant so I started to explore what vacation during pregnancy would look like for me. From there, Babymoon was born.

Babymoon is just the beginning and that’s the exciting, creative part because now the juices are flowing. I’ve written two more scripts to shoot next month when I’m 8 months pregnant. So it will be a trilogy of sorts, chronicling my pregnancy. As a friend recently pointed out, my son will have already starred in his first movie and he’s not even born yet! How cool is that?

So I’m turning this slow period into a productive one by producing my own work, staying curious and saying yes.

Bliss

I’ve been thinking a lot about bliss lately. I have a Post-it on my computer where I’ve written ‘Bliss be my guide.’ I just listened to an intriguing podcast from Radiolab titled ‘Bliss.’ The dictionary defines bliss as: noun. supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment. How lovely does that sound?

This picture was taken from the balcony of the B&B I stayed at on my honeymoon. Supreme happiness

Wouldn’t life be amazing if everyday were filled with supreme happiness? I realize this is next to impossible and that sometimes you have to work really, really hard at being happy. I mean, when you don’t have time to do laundry and you’re out of socks and you miss your favorite Zumba class and you haven’t had an audition in a couple of weeks and everything is FALLING APART – utter joy or contentment is pretty far away from you in these moments. I get it. In these moments, I try to take some time just for me and meditate or reflect on what I’m grateful for and it brings me back. (Ok, I’m not trying to get all Oprah on you, but let’s face it. The woman has a point.)

Creating is my bliss – my passion. Writing, producing characters just for me – really being the character. Creating new characters, telling new stories. The most fulfilling work I’ve done are the projects I’ve created for myself.

What’s your bliss?

The Ultimate Party

I’m a member of a wonderful group of actors called the Thriving Artist Circle. Each month there is a guest expert who offers amazing insight to the world of show business. This month the guest was Molly Pearson, who teaches a workshop on producing your own work. She mentioned that producing something you’ve created is kind of like throwing a big party. That’s a pretty awesome way to look at things. Who doesn’t like a party?

Me.

I have a childhood fear of throwing parties. I have no idea where it stems from, all I know is that I’m terrified that no one will show up. So how is it that I’m right in the middle of doing both – throwing a party and producing my own work?

I’m getting married in 2 weeks. The ultimate party. I’m also producing ALICE IN ASTORIA. It’s almost done. These are two HUGE things happening simultaneously in my life. I usually don’t associate them together, but when you look at it from a different angle, I see how similar both these events can be. I think the link between them is that they are both happening because I WANT them to happen. And that helps me overcome the fear and lets me pursue my dreams.

And that feels incredibly fulfilling and empowering.

Changing It Up

Hey howdy hey,

I tried video blogging for a while, and I love it. However, I was never as… er, um, consistent about posting as I’d like to be. So I decided to change things up. I’m going to start blogging twice a month – with occasional video pop ups to add excitement. I think this format will suit me much better. I hope you agree.

I’m currently on a crazy journey writing, producing and acting in some short vignettes for the web and I want to share the process with you. I say ‘crazy journey’ because, if you’re like me, any time I write or put myself out there in the world, you open yourself up for criticism and that is scary. I’m facing crazy limiting beliefs, but at the same time I know I’m on the absolute right track. Ever feel that way?

This is exciting! I plan to dedicate my next post to explaining how this project came about. Stay tuned.

Talk soon,

Amanda