Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Finish Line

I just sprinted through 3 days worth of work and homework and to-do list items in one day.

Late last night, I suddenly realized that my schedule was alarmingly full for Friday and Saturday, and wouldn't really give me much time to do all the things I needed to do. So I had two options: don't do any of it, or do it all today. I chose the latter.

I've been "on the go" since about 8:30 this morning. It's nearing midnight. Logically, I know I should go to bed like, RIGHT NOW, but I needed to take a moment and detox. Then I can take all the survival stress of today, fold it up, put it away, and leave it until it's absolutely necessary. (Or dismiss it entirely, really.) For me, stress is sort of residual...unless I consciously tell myself "It's all taken care of," I'll have this sort of background hum of stress for the next few days/weeks/months after a mini-crisis like today's.

But dammit if I didn't write a short screenplay, critique five flash nonfiction essays, respond to two poetry critiques, clean the house, buy groceries, take care of my nephew, do laundry, work 3 hours, write four notes to friends, plan a Sunday school lesson, make rice krispy treats, pick up a prescription refill, and balance my budget. TODAY.

I'm exhausted.

But now it means that I can give my full attention to working at the U of U tomorrow and doing a performance of Jane Eyre, and then doing TWO performances of Jane Eyre on Saturday, followed by an sibling-in-law family reunion.

Listen, I'm not sharing this because I recommend it as a lifestyle. It was kind of awful. Every time I got near my bed, it was like being sucked into a vortex...I just wanted to lay down and just...lay down. I'm sharing it because I have a compulsive need to write about my experiences, and to assure you that if you are feeling overwhelmed, you most likely CAN do all those things on your list.

I mean, it's probably fine if you don't, too. I've taken that path plenty of times. The world hasn't stopped turning every time I don't get things done.

Anyway. If you feel like validating me for accomplishing hella things today, that's cool. I'm going to bed, though, so I probably won't read it for a while.

photo via Seattle Municipal Archives, "Footrace 1925" 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Island King

Dug this out of the drafts today. This is an old entry from like, November, inspired by the story I told a friend when he laid down on the couch before rehearsal and said, "Tell me a story!" Also inspired by my mother, who has made up short, enchanting stories like this one since my childhood, and continues to do so to this day, occasionally posting them on her blog

Once upon a time, there was a young boy. He lived all alone on a desert island. One day, as he was walking along the perimeter of his home, he thought to himself, "If I am the only one here, I must be the ruler." He stopped and said out loud, "Why, I'm the king of this island!"

And no sooner had the words left his lips than an enormous crowd of people appeared. They came out of the jungle, they stepped up from behind him in the sand, they crawled out of the ocean. One among them stepped forward, bowed before the boy, and said, "We have been waiting the arrival of a king."

The boy was surprised, but took this all in stride. Just to be polite, he bowed in return.

"Thank you," he said.

The man who had spoken looked up at the boy. "We have been waiting for a ruler who can slay the creature who has us at our mercy." They explained that their island floated on the back of a giant sea monster, who would occasionally eat a wandering islander, but they couldn't figure out how to destroy it without also destroying themselves.

Well, the young king had never been asked to do something like this before, so he was a little unsure how to proceed. He gathered all the island's scientists to form a plan. (They were just sort of "freelance scientists," as the island didn't have any universities.)

Finally, they came up with an idea. It was a little risky, but it involved killing the monster and then attempting to re-inflate it using primitive bellows. They all gathered the necessary supplies and on a certain day, they gathered to enact their plan. They were just about to thrust their spears into the creature's side when suddenly they heard its voice rise up from the sea!

"Oh, do not slay me! I only wish to be loved! I do not mean to eat your people. I mistake them for seals and other sea creatures! I'm sorry for the sorrow I've caused you."

The islanders and the king stood back in amazement. Finally, the boy king spoke. "Creature, if we wear bright colors when we swim, so that you do not mistake us for seals, can we live in harmony?"

"Yes! Yes!" the sea creature cried.

So the islanders all agreed to wear bright colors whenever they swam, and the sea creature lived in harmony with them, letting them float on his back, and joining his voice with their island festivities. And they all gathered their weapons of war, and build a mighty monument out of them, and there it remained on the beach for the rest of time, as a reminder of the day that the young king brought peace to the the island.

Thursday, May 5, 2016


There's this improv game called "Fortunately/Unfortunately." It makes a better workshop/drama class exercise than show game, but it goes something like this:

Actor 1: "The plane is ready to take off!" 
Actor 2: "Unfortunately, I'm not on it." 
Actor 1: "Fortunately, I'm friends with the pilot, and I told her I'm on my way." 
Actor 2: "Unfortunately, I've just been detained by TSA." 


I'm styling today's blog entry after this format. Here goes. 

I saw "Peter and the Starcatcher" at the Hale tonight and it was magical.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see a handful of friends after the show, because "Captain America: Civil War" came out tonight.

Fortunately, I do have a best friend in Jacob, and I get to see him all the time.

Unfortunately, some of that time is occasionally spent in asking him to do nice things for me, because I suddenly realize, with literal sickness, that all I've eaten over the past 6 hours is a donut and my blood sugar is like, a really big problem.

Fortunately, Jacob does nice things for me, like buys me grapes and bread and things that are easy to digest and that will raise my blood sugar so that I don't feel on the edge of death, and will let me eat them while laying in the back of our van in a grocery store parking lot, because that's how classy we are.

Unfortunately, my digestive system is wrecked a little, from today's roller coaster of nutrition/lack thereof, from anxiety, from poor habits.

Fortunately, I've got Pepto-bismol.

Unfortunately, Pepto-bismol doesn't help much with anxiety. And anxiety is a b***h. When will I get paid? What if no one likes the essay I submitted for workshop? How did Trump become the Republican nominee? Is that lint or a spider? Is the zombie apocalypse starting? Am I actually not a very good actress? WHAT IF NO ONE REALLY LOVES ME?!

Fortunately, 99% of the things human beings are anxious about rarely come true. I've got enough money, it doesn't ultimately matter if no one likes my essay, it's just lint, zombies aren't a real thing, I'm a decent actress at the very least, and I'm fairly confident that at least a handful of people love me.

Unfortunately, Trump is still the Republican nominee, though. Still anxious over that.

Fortunately, I can...

...hold on, I'm still a little anxious about Trump.


Fortunately, at this point in my life, regardless of the presidential primary results, I get to do what I love on a DAILY basis. Every single day. I get to do what I love, whether it's writing or learning or acting. Yesterday, I had such a perfectly lovely day. I shot a commercial for RC Willey, and there's something about being on a set that I just adore. I'd been craving it lately, and yesterday, I got to satiate that craving. While in front of the camera, I got to improv and act and make people laugh. In between takes, I made new friends, had some great conversations, ate wonderful food, and for a solid hour, sat on a cool, breezy porch on a sunny spring day, reading a book and thinking. I'm learning more and more about writing, turning corners and reaching goals. I get to spend every other evening performing onstage (and recently got a favorable review in the Deseret News--hey!) with other capable and talented people. Jacob and I are moving towards our mountains.

Life is good.