Sorry I haven’t been on in a while. It’s been kind of a crazy time. Had to move back home to find work slash help out with my mom’s health. It’s really great coming back home, nothing like last time but I think that is because of the circumstances. This time there is a lightness to everything even though I can’t open my wallet indoors as the moths that would fly out would become a nuisance.
I have travelled and lived in multiple places over the past few months and it is hectic but I think it puts things in perspective. You understand that material possessions are relatively useless and it is all about the connections you make. I feel humbled and enlightened but I have gotten so much perspective on things. I understand what I need, what I want, what I have, what I had and what needs to be and all came about by a single picture.
I was fixing up the spare room at my mother’s house, going through box after box of goods that were being stored there. I found old toys of mine and the hula girl I got in Hawaii. I found this great book my mother had special printed for me that is about me time traveling to a land of dinosaurs. I have loved dinosaurs since I can remember and being in a story where I was the main character and they were the back drop. It was a seven-year-old’s dream.
I kept rummaging through these small totems until I found this poster I got a few years ago. It is a black and white poster of James Dean. He looks just past the camera, into the distance of the crowded city streets with that longing dark gaze of his and at the bottom it has his famous quote, “Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today.”
This flooded my mind with memories that were long forgotten. I have been so preoccupied with everything that has been going on; my lack of moss as I rolled my stone. I forgot the single thing that defined me for years.
I wanted to act.
No, it wasn’t that simple. I wanted to be bathed in all that had to do with being in the theatre and film industry. I remember the first time I was enamored with an actor was when I was about six and I saw Rebel Without A Cause. I watched the screen as he spewed what seemed like such genuine emotion. Remember the scene at the police station when he screams his eponymous line, “You’re tearing me aparttt!” Me too. I didn’t understand the overall themes of the film, I mean what seven-year-old could, but I recognized that there was more going on there. After that, I fell in love with film and acting. I took acting classes in grade school, I was in a few plays, I even played Ringo in a musical called, “All Around The World”.
I learned as much as I could by watching any movie I could get my hands on. I would walk around quoting Bogey from Casablanca (he is still one of my favorite actors; I could watch “Maltese Falcon” all day).
I put the poster up and it reminded me of how much I love entertaining people. Not just to act a part but to get reactions from the audience. I remember in high school we put on a small production where I only had a small part. Just before the show, someone dropped out and a part was open. It was a really great comedic part and I jumped on it. I did the scene and the crowd of a couple hundred people laughed in unison as I hit my mark. I finished and had to run off stage as they were setting up the next scene but I could still hear the laughter. I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face for hours.
Not too long ago I tried my hand at stand up. I brought one of my best friends because, even if only he laughed, someone laughed. The guy just before me bombed so hard. He was telling jokes that didn’t land and began asking the audience what he should tell a joke about.
“Come on guys, give me a topic. Anything. You tell me what to say,” he said in desperation.
“Goodnight,” the house comic said, offering him up a harsh resolution.
That got a laugh.
So, he bowed out and I was next. I was so nervous and the crowd was stiff due to the previous comic. I opened up with this, sorry about the foul language, I actually do have a pretty foul mouth in real life.
I walk up the stairs and to the microphone. Light blind me and they are all I can see as it eclipses the audience.
I improvise, as it is what I feel best doing.
“How many of you guys would have laughed if my big ass would have tripped up the stairs,” I ask to dead air.
“Wow, you guys are a lot nicer than me. I would have laughed my ass off,” I said and the tension broke.
The audience laughed and it was a relief. When you hear laughs where there should be laughs it is almost symphonic. Some sort of sweet calliope. I love it. My set ended and the applause came. My heart raced and I collapsed into a chair with elation.
I loved it but I enjoy being part of an ensemble more than strictly just me.
The poster was finally hung and my memories flooded me and I realized that that was what I wanted. I want to be happy and going through college as I have done has been amazing and I can’t wait to start my master’s in the fall but I know there is more. I want to keep my stone rolling closer towards my dream. In neighboring Illinois, in Chicago, there is a place called Second City. It is where people like Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi called home. I have decided to take classes there next summer and really focus on that. Hone my writing and acting skills. Revel in the forgotten dream.
A rolling stone gathers no moss. That is the old saying and it usually is said with harsh emphasis but I think it is a term that is befitting of life. Let moss take root when my stone is done rolling. That’s a ways off because my dreams and wants and aspirations, those stones still roll.