Wednesday, May 27, 2015

It's a Beautiful Day for Good News, Vol. 7

Just in case you're new here, "Beautiful Day" posts are my effort to remind everyone that the world is an amazing place, and that it's filled with incredible people doing inspiring things. Don't watch the news. Unless there's a tornado warning.

A 102-year-old former chorus dancer sees herself on film for the first time.

A Pittsburgh detective's heart breaks, and he helps a couple of kids like no one else could.

"Wanksy," a Manchester, England "street artist," finds a new way to get potholes filled, and quickly.

A moment of anonymous generosity on the 6 Train, caught on video.

A scientist accidentally invents sunglasses that correct color blindness, and a dad sees the color of his children's eyes for the first time.

You may or may not know that I'm a big ol' bird nerd. (I caught it from my dad.) So, some of my personal good news last week was adding a new bird to my Life List, when a great-crested flycatcher landed on my back deck!

This guy, here. Or a relative, anyway.
Look for good news. It's there, it's just that ugly news is often louder. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Mastery Pursuit

Laura Isaac
Laura's so cool.

My friend Laura Isaac began an overwhelming project a few years ago, called "10,000 Hours." Trained as a printmaker, Laura sought to push herself as an artist and took up knitting, something she'd never tried before, as the medium for her new project. It's based on the idea that 10,000 hours of practice, at the edge of your ability, will make you a master of it.

It's a revelatory project, in many, many ways. The sheer commitment to a project that, by definition, will take TEN THOUSAND hours to complete is beyond my understanding. I find that a very courageous undertaking right there.

As part of her project, she started a podcast, in which she interviews artists of various disciplines. I was shocked and deeply honored when she asked if I'd be willing to be interviewed.

I was really nervous, but it turned out to be a lovely experience. Theatre people don't often talk about their art and their creative process, so this was unexpectedly welcome and fun. We laughed a lot. I cried a little too. Because I do that sometimes. Don't let it bother you.

Here are the links to my interview with Laura:
Part 1: "I realized that I was teaching process-based acting... but, as an actor, I wasn't part of the collaboration."
Part 2: "I think people feel pressure to be supportive, and that's often interpreted as being encouraging and positive."
Part 3: "The reason I'm not happy with this is the reason that I do this."
Part 4: "Giving up is the end, and letting go is not worrying about the end."
Part 5: "I've got to listen to the story and figure out how it wants to be told, not how I want to tell it."

And here is website of the lovely, talented, and brave Laura Isaac. She is fascinating and wonderful (haha, Laura!) and loving and super-cool. Check it out.

Thank you, Laura, for the space to re-discover that maybe I do know what I'm doing. A little, anyway. Sometimes.