This was a revelation I had in August 2019. This revelation has now been practically approached with the technical crutch of pneumonic memory techniques to capture text in object form and - just as importantly - to recall those objects after applying a trigger to cues. The larger revelation however is that in auditioning for countless commercials I was not preparing myself fully. And conversely when auditioning for costars I was putting too much pressure on "The Career of It All" that I wouldn't perform to my own standards. So, how can I find a happy medium between not caring TOO MUCH and not caring AT ALL? Well, the secret for me is - like a riddle - hidden in its question. The Happy Medium can be found for me by finding my happiness. Chasing joy. I want to make interesting choices and to express myself and contribute as a creative robust storyteller so I have to find ways of doing that with the script I am given. I have to first take a script and find my way of getting excited. How do I find the joy in ____ script? If I can't, I really should turn down even the offer to audition. Until I can afford to do that, however, I am tasked to find and to chase the joy in every script I can find. IT'S NOT ABOUT DOING WHAT IS "REQUIRED" NO MATTER WHAT THE ACTING COACHES, ACTING CLASSES, OR BOOKS ON ACTING SAY. It is about building something from the ground up. Being there FOR REAL. It's not about tricks. Tricks will fail you. They fail me ALL. THE. TIME. Because tricks are only the icing on the cake. They only make the eye focus on one thing at one point in time for one reason. But if there is no substance and I am failing in my duties IN GENERAL...how do I rectify this? By showing up, by being true to myself, and - when they don't want me YES this can be taken more harshly as a personal slight or failing or rejection - BUT ACTUALLY what is happening is that you are playing the odds. FINALLY. You are in the mix as you, Jamie. You are being considered as the person as the performer as the bright light that you are. Just shine. And what fuel allows you to shine? The fuel of sheer joy. So find it and chase it!
- Oct 14, 2019
- 2 min read
Today's revelation has to do with personality. I think people are like plants. We expand to fill the area we have and are always trying to grow. Unlike plants in a pot, or bed, or seeds pushing up through stony ground, we do have categories of Need. I always like to think of people living and working together in those small tribes of old. These were communities that hunted, gathered, or eventually settled. Regardless, these tribes had roles that certain men, women, and children followed or were forced upon such as they matured into their parent's profession or place in the community. In 2019 America, we no longer have many roles to play within our community or indeed even within our family. But the need is still there in our DNA. So, to fulfill that historic Need we build ourselves up to others and to ourselves. We can't help it. In fact we largely need to do it. That's how we distort ourselves and become the personalities that the larger world sees though it is ultimately judged as productive or "normal" through the individual viewer's lens. If our family, community, society that is hyper local to us is not providing for us on a historic level for our Needs or in fact if those supports are actively doing something to remove or supplant those Needs...then our personalities in our youth are greatly and permanently distorted or - in our adulthood - we feel a sense of being unbalanced. Whether or not there is any conspiracy out there to unbalance us the reasoning behind the unbalancing is almost pointless to resolve. What those who feel unbalanced seek is to balance. To right ourselves. There are many salves for this sense of unease and ways to satisfy our historic Needs. But I think that it makes most sense to find an organic community of hand-picked people to surround yourself with and with whom you can reciprocate support. It almost ties in with the idea of every individual finding a passive income stream or creating a product or company for themselves. The Gig Economy as it is so often called is something that might now resonate for our emotional and spiritual selves as well. We are in the Information Age and our great challenge now is to sort data and to deliver it as efficiently as possible to the people who require such knowledge. This Age then requires us to create for ourselves every support from the ground up. Some of those historic supports can still exist from birth if you are born into a loving nuclear family with financial stability in a safe middle-class suburb. But that world of modern American stability exists less and less. We are being asked increasingly to build everything and to find or manifest that niche product/service that our global community requires. This is true for the global community but also for our hyper local one. And the most hyper local community or me. Or you. Build that support for yourself and for your friends so that everyone's historic Needs are met. Otherwise find those salves that can help you and your friends feel less unbalanced. But realize that a salve only works temporarily and decreases in effectiveness over time.
- May 25, 2019
- 2 min read
This is a riff on the idea I had in college of "Just Keep Pushing" from philosopher Rene Descartes. I have spent my life pushing forward. But what I now need to account for is the pushing forward of individual ideas in my everyday speech. I have a tendency which has been reinforced at Cambridge and by teachers and in classrooms that I should stop and think and choose my words carefully. This can be useful. But it has developed into something that shows weakness and disrupts my speech causing confusion or allowing others to disengage from me. This cannot happen. I know that I have spent years studying acting, performing in various mediums, and interacting with many different people from different cultures and backgrounds. I am a thoughtful guy. So I no longer need to self-censor because that is built into me. I automatically do that. SO pausing to think of the exact right word which most accurately continues to prove any given argument is not as useful as just continuing to talk. This has been impacting my acting career and my lack of a-sense-of-focus in conversations might also be impacting my relationships. Internally it is quite the opposite of how it is interpreted; I am struggling to be as articulate as possible. But ironically that struggle is interpreted as a weakness. Well, no longer! I am resolute in speaking and continuing to speak. To command people's attention in life. And to command the audition room so that decision-makers can see just how talented and passionate an actor and a person I am. I am going to keep talking and to keep pushing and driving towards ideas in my acting and in my life. To paraphrase is OK. To struggle to come up with the exact right word or line of argumentation is almost always harmful because in that struggle I lose people. I am so excited to have discovered this interpretation people have of me and I am already censoring myself less and less as an actor and as a human being. It is a spiritual breath of fresh air and I am only learning to free myself more from those Jamie-isms that create barriers between my soul and others. Let's talk!