6 things typical of drama students

I have been observing myself quite a lot (which is one of the mental features I will discuss) and I have discovered some typical and perhaps interesting habits and feelings. I thought it might be fun to let you know what goes around the mind of an actor in training, and perhaps of a working actor. I would be even happier if you are a performing artist and you find helpful information in this post. So here goes nothing:

  1. Health. Being healthy is incredibly important. Cancelling a performance costs a lot of money, so you don’t want to have to ask for that just because you have something as “silly as a temperature”. Yes, that’s how harshly some of us think. Many of my mentors and fellow actors have told me about incidents where they have performed during critical physical pains- high temperature as I mentioned, broken arm, bleeding head from bad props, and I suppose those are magnificent examples of how the “show must go on”. Because canceling is extremely unprofessional, actors know how to cure anything quickly, and as a student of drama I am no exception. Although I have been training for a year alone, I have noticed certain ways I can control or avoid health issues. The first moment I feel a slight hint of a sore throat or a cough I take medications for it right away, after consulting with my doctor first (taking random medications is irresponsible), and I try to warm up my body through hot showers, tea and maybe rubbing down my skin to get the blood flowing. For that reason, I have a small bag in my backpack full of basic medicine, disinfectants, and a bar of chocolate just in case, because I have a very low blood pressure. I do not drink cold water, ever, no matter how hot it is, and I always bring a sweater with me. I used to drink vitamins every morning but I found out that it’s useless unless you have deficit, so I rather eat fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits to get natural source of energy. Warming up to avoid injuries is also a must, or if such arise I try to stop what I’m doing and give the injury time to recover, despite how pouty would make me. It’s a responsibility that we learn and as narcissistic or phobic as it may sound it is part of our job- to maintain the instrument which is our body.  I personally get really upset when I am sick, I feel like I have failed at something so I prefer having my strange ways but feeling good and being able to cope with the amount of work without canceling.
  2. Empathy. Hopefully, empathy is something present in you, whoever you are, but for us it’s quite different. The sense of understanding and justifying people is heightened in a way that we can truly believe in their story and circumstance. My sister always tells me I should have been a lawyer because I can justify anything, part of the reason she always comes to me when she feels guilty or unsure of her actions. Funnily enough, I am a lawyer, I have been the advocate of every part I’ve plaid so far. If I am in a rehearsal mode and you come to ask me about my character I will be responsible of protecting their decision and their personality, even if I as a person don’t approve of them. The most recent example of that is Gloria form “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” It’s a character who wants to die badly but doesn’t have the courage to take her own life. It was quite an interesting journey for me while I was exploring the personality of a suicider, and at first it felt foreign but after a while I understood the comfort Gloria felt in the story. When people asked me why I chose her the answer was simply because I understood her, it had nothing to do with me, and my perceptions of life, or a similar experience I’ve had. It was about empathy. Some people judge…we justify.
  3. Curiosity. I have not seen an actor who’s not curious, maybe there are some out there…but I have never encountered them. Actors are curious about life- nature, human behavior, science, different countries, politics, economics, medicine, space, history, literature, music, dance, sports, food, bad habits, a little spot on the floor, animals, everything! It’s also part of the job- to research and to explore, which can be quite fun. I am currently preparing for Shakespearean season and it’s an era I know nothing about. With contemporary drama I found I could relate to nowadays experiences and behaviors but I have no idea what was considered normal behavior during the Renaissance. I can’t simply read Shakespearean plays and be done with it, I must research the time, the culture, fashion, food, music, religion, politics, the Queen! It’s exciting and it’s embedded in actors, or that’s how I feel at least. You might often see actors doing games such as asking strangers about their lives or simply staring at someone for hours, which is not always appropriate, but it’s because they have found something interesting and they want to fully consume it. There are so many unique gestures and face features and it’s quite amazing to observe them.
  1. Vanity. This section will be longer than the rest because it’s also quite important. It’s no secret that performers are very particular about their looks. There are standards that actors must conform to unfortunately, and I say unfortunately because not every actress must be blonde, with long hair, flawless skin, thin figure and luscious breasts in order to be a part of the industry, I mean theater and cinema are about authentic life with its imperfections, not about some fantasy of flawless figures. That’s something typical for fashion but it shouldn’t be for the performing arts. It will be tough for you in this field, if you are sensitive or too conscious about how you look. I have thought about all of those things although I have never been discriminated for a role because of how I looked. I don’t think I look as perfect as the “rules” imply so I try to better myself on daily basis but that strive for development in my body and image I do for the good of art, at least that’s how I see it. I have said this before but I have a very strong graphic sense for the stage and for life in general- I have a vision of how I want things to look and I implement that vision on myself. I won’t get into details of what I consider beautiful because it is the principle that’s important. We, as performers have a duty to art but that art should go through our spectacles and we have to interpret it the way we understand it. I don’t think all actors should be “beautiful” or athletic, among actors everything should be colorful and different- each face, each personality, each individual. I have had people tell me all the typical things: “You are too fat”, “You are too Slavic”, “You are too fair”, “Your eyes are too blue”, “Your lips are too small”, “Your boobs are small” and if I didn’t have a thick skin I would have quit long ago. You must understand it’s normal and it will happen often. For the play of Don Quixote all the girls were picked based on their height and we were all literally standing in a line next to each other waiting to get picked, like dead meat ready to be sold, but that’s just how it is- the idea requires tall women, and you can’t really scream that that’s discriminating because it is someone’s artistic choice and it is exactly that respect I was referring to. Still, all of those things make us observe ourselves constantly. Might as well make good use of that by channeling your insecurities into artistic development if you are part of the industry. I have never let it get to me I rather try to look at it professionally because as an actor I should be able to change and flow in accordance to the director’s choices in a healthy responsible way of course, it’s part of the job and it’s nothing personal.
  2. The ability to fail …. Many…many times. Being an actor means you will get rejected at least a million times. At first it hurts and many quit after several times but those who remain are usually the hard-core part of the performing arts. We are designed to think about failure as something normal. For instance, my education at the drama school this year included displays of my work in front of my mentors every week. Between those displays, my colleagues and I would stay up until midnight working, getting together at our homes to rehearse or staying overnight locked at the college building itself…with no bathroom available. We would do whatever it takes to come up with new ideas and show the best we’ve got and every single week until the very last showcase for the season our ideas would get rejected. Exactly when you think you have nailed the part or have a brilliant idea the chance of getting kicked in the butt is huge. It’s the same with auditions and university exams at drama departments – you work hard, you think you’re the one, you show up with high hopes and you end up crying. I have applied to 3 universities for a master’s degree in USA and I have applied at the Academy in Bulgaria for two years in a row and I got rejected from all of those establishments. For random people this might be a signal that someone like me is not talented enough, but for us it’s just a normal part-of-the-game thing and it doesn’t mean one is inapt. The truth is we have to deal with a lot of competition for very few slots and it can be rough but it’s why we train so much not just physically but also mentally- to withstand rejection and failure. It’s a bit funny to me how we are all basically striving for the opportunity to sit in front of hundreds of paying people who want to observe our metamorphosis into something spectacular and we have to have the courage and the strength to hold it together for two hours of a non-stop show and carry all of the burden on our shoulders. We are fighting for the chance to get scrutinized to have no privacy and to have no time for our loved ones, to devote our whole being to something that might not pan out or give back. Correction! It’s not funny, it’s mentally unsound! But, here we are, fighting for the few slots available at the clinic called theater. I guess it is that craziness that helps us overlook rejections and concentrate on the love for theater and what it entices. I can sum this up with one sentence actually: when it comes to rejections and failure, we simply don’t give a damn.
  3. Emotional hygiene. I do not want to sound arrogant because I am aware all beings feel and we all have our emotions to deal with so actors are not exceptional in that sense. When it comes to the job however the flow of unknown emotions can be overbearing. Many times after I would rehearse Gloria I would feel very exhausted and sad, extremely depressed- I would see and notice things on my way home like faces and destinies that to me were doomed. Everything seemed completely empty. At first I did not recognize this and I thought I was the one feeling this, it was coming from my life and my personality, but it really wasn’t. I was dealing with the desire to die (which was the key task of my character) at least 4 hours every day. My partner and I are both very sensitive so the scene where Gloria asks Robert to shoot her was very difficult for us and we would always schedule those rehearsals last because we couldn’t do much after. Later on, during the process, I understood those were not my feelings, those were things my character was experiencing and I was a bit happy that I got so close to her, but it was not very hygienic for me, and that’s a term we often use: “emotional hygiene”. That’s when we decided to always end the rehearsals on a positive note, playing fun music and dancing together in a silly fashion so we could get out of those thoughts and feelings. A good technique is always needed in order to deal with these moments and to remain professional. It’s just very difficult to shake off a character sometimes, especially when you like them or when they have great depths and complexities, which are qualities always charming to play. You will often hear actors repeat lines of the play randomly at any point. When I was 16 and I was playing at my home town theatre one of the actors, who was also my neighbor, would sit in his garden every morning, sip his coffee and I would hear him repeat the same line from the play we were doing at that time. I find myself do the same sometimes, especially when the situation is similar to that of the character. It’s a unique feeling.  Still, I’d like to stress on the importance of technique and emotional hygiene , taking away the character’s emotions is not what you want, what you want is to portray them as correctly as possible, respect them and leave them where you’ve found them. I don’t appreciate actors who start drinking because of those states or do other reckless things- it’s not what to me qualifies as acting. Again, this job is very hard and it has its specifications so one must be very respectful and sober during the whole process of training and in my opinion throughout their whole career. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

 

I guess those are some of the basic things I could think of that describe features typical for young actors, based on my personal experience. I think this profession is extremely beautiful and dignified and I am honored to be given the chance to train as an actor. I hope you enjoyed i

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“I love being given endless talents which I begin to utilize today “

 

It’s great when you have some sort of a talent and it’s even greater when that talent can provide food on the table. Whichever the case though, we must always remember that first comes discipline, technique and hard work and only after that comes talent. Talent is extremely important but it requires care and nurturing. These are some of the thoughts I have been considering for the past week or so, and they have served me a great deal of inspiration. We often get tired, and we don’t want to run that extra mile, it’s much sweeter to sleep a bit more or to eat a bit more, to go out and see friends or to watch a fun movie, which in itself distracts us from the work that must be done. I have decluttered my head and the space around me which was something I thought would help me go through my wish list of things I want to achieve by the end of this summer. And, it was helpful, but not enough. Only when I realized very consciously that if I didn’t go through with my plans, I would be unable to move forward in my career, regardless of how talented I am, did I get on with my plans.

What inspired me to step on it?

I recently watched an acting class where they talked about “happy accidents”, it’s basically a great performance which for the actor is enriched by emotions and therefore he comes up with tiny gestures that contribute to the character or great pauses, but it’s accidental. I often like rolling like this when I rehearse: I try experiencing the emotions as if for the very first time on the spot, and sometimes I get to that point but it’s a matter of chance. I do not want to be a happy accident and rely on talent alone. I want a technique. Technique is something I have been dreaming of for quite a while but it’s not something a teacher can simply give to me, I have to piece it together myself and find out what works best for me. Acting is far more complicated than it seems- sometimes what you might consider a brilliant performance for professionals is thought of as shallow because the actor hasn’t gone through a process. For example, if an actor enters the stage crying and already in the mood they are supposed to be in, no matter how amazingly well it is done, it’s not something that would be prized by the director/mentor because they don’t actually see how they got to that end point- you don’t see the process. And a process can be difficult, it requires concentration and highly trained sense memory, it requires a great deal of relaxation and physical training as well. What I am striving for is exactly that- a great amount of consciousness and awareness, I want to train my mind and my body. That is a very hard task that may take years of non-stop daily work.

What are the challenges?

I believe this applies for everything, no matter what sort of profession we are talking about, it takes commitment to succeed and grow. I certainly want to grow and I want to make each one of my days a masterpiece and that can be quite wonderful as long as you don’t think of your goals as chores or something you have to do, no, you don’t really have to do it if you don’t want to, but what waits on the other side is good for you probably, if you have chosen it. Many things in life seem frightening, and we have the wrong perception about everything like calories for instance, people think calories are bad and they are not- it’s what gives as fuel to go through the day, they are most definitely our friends. Working out is a game changer: it gives us endorphins and energy; it has tremendous health benefits, but we think it’s annoying or difficult and we don’t want to do it. Fear is also something we instinctively avoid and sometimes that’s good but when that fear has nothing to do with your life or health I suggest you go for it. I always try to challenge myself in that regard, honestly sometimes it works, other times not so well, but I try myself as best as I can and if I get asked to do the things I am afraid of for a performance I will probably do them. I used to be very afraid and very conscious about everything I do but I don’t think that serves me any good besides feeding my fears. It’s in the little things even, for instance, I went to a vacation with my friends this summer by the coast of Black Sea. My friends like extreme things and they would explore the sea floor and jump in the water from the shoulders of one another and do flips, but for me all of those things were a nightmare. I don’t like knowing there are crabs under my feet or any living things at all, I don’t like the fact I can go underwater and have it enter my ears, my eyes and my nose, I most certainly don’t like to try flipping in the air… what if I break something or what if I hurt someone else?! Despite all of those thoughts and feelings, however, I decided to do exactly that. I spent hours in the water, playing volleyball, getting incredibly messy, swallowing salty water (feeling discussed by that), and I jumped and flipped and found very cute shells. And all of that was fun and adventurous and interesting.

Conclusion

Those are all the blockages we must fight in order to work on ourselves and our development. I have been considering two mantras: “Take each day as it comes” and “Make each day your masterpiece” and I think they are both charming but I pick the second one. I want to make something of my days and plan them in a way that I can, not just hope for the better and keep my head down. We may have talents and great gifts but they become useless if we don’t take care of them. It’s silly when you think about it: so you have time to take care of all the stuff you have and watch TV all day long but you don’t have time to explore yourself? Who knows how much more amazing and creatively able you are! Why not invest time in that…in you?

Hello world of moderation! Goodbye …things

 

I want to become a minimalist!

I am not someone who likes labels or limits herself in any way, but this particular definition is something I desperately want to try. As I said in my earlier post, I believe many of our problems come from the storage we clutter in our heads, but today I realized it can also come from the real storage rooms we keep filled with crap! Hence, here I am, trying to improve my life! I started my research on how to become a minimalist, but before I get involved in it, I have started my typical planning routine.

Something that I do when I set goals in my planner is to explain why I want them and how they will benefit those around me and me. This helps me focus on what I want. Moreover, achieving your tasks becomes more productive when you have a purpose and not just desire.  By becoming a minimal person  I think I will be able to focus on my work and spend less time maintaining items-  it will give me more time to do what I love.

Perhaps I am romanticizing this definition, and I haven’t fully grasped what it means but in the shallow side of it: I would much rather come home to a comfortable couch, clean table and open nicely lit space than heavy furniture, big carpets, luxurious heavy curtains or what not. I would much rather open my closet and find 5 shirts, unlock my drawer and find only important documents and books. I would love to wake up in the morning and get ready in less than 30 minutes, without stressing what I will wear, when I will do laundry, when I will arrange all the plates and mugs I have, when I will be able to assemble my library, when I will be able to live normally, whatever that means…

It might be tough and challenging to change your life drastically but you never know what waits on the other side. I won’t stress myself about it, and I will do it slowly. As a person who likes to keep memories, I might reconsider some rules. Any actor needs items that provoke their sense memory, so I might keep things that make my heart beat faster. Plus, I doubt minimalism means you have to take things away and live in an empty space. I think it means simplicity and moderation, so you can use and keep only what you need. It’s something we are all missing greatly, I believe.
We eat more than we need. We buy more than we need. I hate going to the store, filling up my cart and ending up the week with half a bread and a jar of peanut butter because everything else got spoiled before I had the chance to eatit. I hate the fact I own tons of dresses and shirts I realized yesterday I haven’t worn in a year. Why do I need to keep them?! If I keep them, I have to make time to clean them, fold them, iron them, and find a place to store them when the seasons change. It’s so annoying! We just consume everything satisfying uncontrolled hunger rather than needs. I don’t want to be a slave of primitive feelings and instincts; I want to be considerate of what I do with my life and my time.

I am extremely excited to start this new lifestyle. Maybe decluttering my head and the space I live in will help me make my work more sufficient and fill up my time with pleasant and intriguing things. It’s important, I think, to make that sort of decisions if you have many things you want to do before it’s too late. Furthermore, at some point I believe each one of us has realized how important our time is, and how many things we can do with 10 minutes… It’s a matter of priorities whether you want to devote 10 minutes watching a master class or reading, or servicing items…

Methaphorecally speaking, I choose to light the match and start over!

 

 

Feeling stressed? Well, stop.

Stress and anxieties are your worst enemies. I will start with that single sentence. Those two conditions can lead to self-doubt, self-sabotage, self-loath; they can lead to arguments with your loved ones, depression and other physical discomforts such as eating less, sleeping less, low energy levels, headaches, stomach aches, or similar.

As a person who had to struggle with depression, I would like to believe I can handle those two emotions that have absolutely no logic, no reason and are not as influential as you may think. We usually give in to stress right away and we start to think very less of ourselves; we find no point in the world. Those are symptoms typical for depressed people and those are feelings the first thing we must do is acknowledge.

Why?

Avoiding our fears and feelings is a bad idea, first of all. By avoiding any discomforts you are not fixing the problem, you are assembling a storage, and every time that storage builds up it explodes and makes everything in your head messy and chaotic. Every single time when I felt afraid to do something or thought I should compromise with myself I experienced nothing but misery and depression.  On the contrary though, every time when I sat straight in front of any danger or any doubt and questioned its presence I would move forward in my life, feeling more confident and stronger. I will give you a very simple example from my life. On my birthday this year, a couple of friends and I decided to take a long night walk on a beach. The water was calm, the air was nice and cool, there were no people around and everything was beautiful and relaxing. Suddenly, a pack of big stray dogs started barking and running towards us. My first instinct was to run for it, but where would we go? We were on an empty beach in the middle of the night with no one around to save us. My friends however sat still and waited for the dogs to approach, then they started calling them gently and it turned out the dogs just wanted to play with us. It’s the same with problems and feelings, isn’t it? You can run as long as you can and let them chase you until you get tired and they eat you alive or you can stop, calmly examine the case and give it a good pat goodbye. In that string of thoughts:

Here are my tips on how to handle stress, anxiety and depression.

  1. Always remember this is a temporary feeling over which you have total control. I cured my depression years ago the moment I started to realize those feelings of neuroses, doubts and sadness were merely a condition much like a stomach ache. What do you do when you have a stomach ache? You cure it. You change your daily habits: you rest more, eat well, sleep well and drink a lot of water. You should also remember that this discomfort does not define you, it is not you. Every time I would feel uncomfortable I acknowledged it and I tried to cheer myself up immediately, telling myself there is no logical reason for me to experience these emotions at the present moment in time, making them irrelevant.  Here is the thing, going along with self-doubt clouds our minds. We believe nothing is possible; we think nobody loves or cares about us; all our future goals and plans seem like they don’t matter, which is not true, and we should be intelligent enough to know that. If we believe nothing matters all we do is make ourselves cheap and we often hurt our loved ones with wrong judgment or premature reactions based on fear and stress. That’s irrational, and we are considered to be very rational beings by nature. We shouldn’t try to defeat our nature, this may be the strongest asset we can count on.
  2. I have heard many General Managers have a daily routine that allows them to deal with all their responsibilities in a timely manner and to also experience some personal time at the end of the day.  I implemented that to my life. Getting up early was the one thing that made life easier for me during my college training this year. I found out that I had the most energy when I wake up first thing in the morning and I took advantage of that time to deal with important agendas and daily goals. That made my schedule considerably more bearable. And, at the end of the day I made sure I had some time for myself where I could relax in some way, much like a General Manager would do. Just pick something that gives you pleasure and reward yourself with it every night before you go to bed. Not having enough time is one of the main reasons we get stressed or anxious, so planning ahead can be a good way to avoid that.
  3. Give yourself time to adjust. I am a hasty girl. I spent 4 years of my life studying something I wasn’t passionate about and dealing with a path that wasn’t mine, thus the moment I was allowed to chase my dream I could not stop myself and I wanted to try everything…. a lot of everything. That’s a tendency I have had for some time, life for me is made out of cycles, If one cycle means I have to study for 10 months I study hard and I concentrate on that, if the next cycle means I have to find a job then I do that the very next day after the first cycle has finished. It’s just constant shifts from one thing into another. Working hard has always been great for me, I feel alive, inspired, I have little time to think about anything else but what I am doing and that brings me comfort, joy and allows me to be practical, but I rarely leave myself a window to adapt to the next task. That stresses me out. Those are things we should notice about ourselves I believe. Any good professional knows their limits. There’s no point to be involved in many things if we can’t give our full attention, not unless we want to be considered average or go crazy because of the pressure. Quality over quantity always!
  4. Explore your body. I have to say I am much more aware of my body and mind than I was before and that has a tremendous influence on how I handle myself and my health. Explore where those feelings come from, what happens to your body when you feel anxious, what happens when you first experience fear. I have and I discovered something hilarious. I noticed that when I am tensed or nervous, I stop breathing. It’s weird, but I have noticed my body’s muscles tense up a lot and I forget to take steady breaths, which influences everything about my thoughts and reactions. I am more aware of that now and controlling it helps me feel more relaxed and be in the present moment. Breathe, that’s important! We often fear the unknown, so try to get to know your own skin and mind; you might be surprised of how comfortable and pleasant they can be. I mean… the body was designed that way, wasn’t it….
  5. Reach out. Unfortunately, at first I did not have my family close to me to support me in my difficulties, and as a private person I would have never dreamed of bothering my friends or colleagues with with myself. Today I am the exact opposite. I have learnt a lot about empathy in my acting training, and I found out there is no shame in being hurt, or showing your tears to someone. There is no shame in expressing happiness either. We judge ourselves too much; we have expectations and visions on how we look, how we present ourselves, but it’s a paradox- what is the point of seeming strong and healthy when tomorrow the storage room explodes again and you can’t work well or be supportive to anyone else. I may disappoint you with the following sentence but the chances are what you are going through won’t shock anyone. All human beings feel, and we feel pretty much the same way, that’s our weakness. Some people, like actors, singers or artists, have decided to turn that into something really beautiful and graceful rather than hiding it. Take Frida Kahlo who turned her pain into art, J K Rowling who wrote about magic and adventures while being very poor and very distressed in her life, Robin Williams who tried to make all of us laugh because he knew what it meant to be sad and alone. When did we take the only characteristic that defines humanity and threw it away? If we hide ourselves and we don’t signal what we go through, if we don’t feel empathy towards other, can we even call ourselves „human” anymore? 

Honestly, I believe love is the best cure, but I don’t just mean love received or given, romantic or not, I mean love for who you are. We are all unique, and we may feel the same things and we may dream the same way but we are different, we think differently and we have different hearts. The point is though we might be important to others, which is a lovely feeling, but we must also be important to ourselves. We should never stop exploring what we have and what we can do, we should never stop believing and defending that which is within us.

Vacation? What to do now?!

Summer is here! Finally! After all the hard work and all the sleepless nights it’s time to take a break from college and relax, time to drink salted caramel iced-coffee on the beach, buy all the fancy unnecessary clothes, get wasted every day, stay up all night and just enjoy to the max!

If that’s how you plan to spend your summer or your vacation I would not blame you, being able to relax and let yourself sail wherever the current takes you is nice. I, myself,  just came back from the most amazing week with Mr. B, we got to see museums, eat at splendid restaurants, binge on TV and butter and be in love all day, every day.  Although two days have already past sinde its end, I am still in a haze of those lovely moments of pleasure and weightlessness. It was like we fell off the edge of the world and it was hard climbing back. I wish we could do this continually and spend the whole summer adrift, but it’s time to go back to work.

If we get free time larger than we are used to or a broader time span of not working we have a choice to either use it to enjoy ourselves for hours to come or to plan. I am a strong believer in planning and organizing so I have decided to be smart about my time this year. I think of summer as an opportunity more than a much-needed rest so I have laid out a beautiful plan for my goals that is not hasty or hectic as it would have been in October for instance. I designed my goals to fit my needs. I would like to begin the new school year with a worked out acting technique, which until now has always required my personal time, and that I did not have. I would love to take care of my body and mind a bit in the upcoming months and to prepare myself for the next season so I can be competitive. There are also things I would like to learn about, like Renaissance in England, or a language, things I rarely have time for. It’s also lovely to schedule the rest of the year, budgets, any appointments or important dates- you know, really enjoy life combined with good sleep, afternoon walks, balanced diet and a clear mind.

What helps me plan is my organizer, which is a cool way to keep track of your goals. You don’t really need much but a piece of paper where you can write what you want and how to achieve it by breaking it into small steps. Easy enough, right? And when you are not preoccupied by too much work you can concentrate on over one activity by dividing your week into several sections. I, for instance, have decided that Monday through Thursday I will devote my time after work solely on Shakespeare, his work, his biography and the time he lived in. Thursday through Sunday will be a day for me to practice new languages and develop my business plan. This week schedule was designed by me to fit my needs and to allow me to concentrate on one thing at a time so the process can bring satisfying results. I don’t enjoy dividing my time by the hour because I get tired too fast and because it’s much better to consume something fully and practice it as often and as much as needed in order for it to stay with you. I would like to point out again that there is no need to pressure ourselves when we are less busy and want to  do some unfinished or dreamt of activities. At least that is how I have structured my time.

I will post more about organizers and how to find the most sufficient ones, but for now I think the most important step is to figure out what you want, and what you think are the steps to reaching your target. Write it down somewhere and really consider it, what is important to you, your work and your being.

To conclude, I don’t mind vacations; I love them, and the one I had with my darling uplifted me and inspired me to work hard and to be more positive and less aloof. I believe it’s charming to feel excited, ready to meet goals and to have the time to calmly plan your future while sipping… well, I guess salted-caramel iced-coffee on your desk J

“We can’t build our dreams on suspicious minds”

One of the greatest performers, one of the royalties of the world was born in 1935 in Tupelo Mississippi. He gave us songs such as “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Hound dog”, he helped in the making of movies such asLove Me Tender”, “Follow that Dream” and many more. He was acclaimed as the King of Rock and Roll, his role in music was beyond winning awards and entertaining the world- he also lifted it up and inspired many of the preceding musical performers. Everybody knows who Elvis Presley is and how he has contributed to the growth of musical art, but I doubt many people know what barriers he had to break before sitting on his throne.
He was considered a loner as a child, the trashy kid who played hillbilly music. He had Cs in music class, and his music teacher told him that he had no aptitude for singing. When he was older, he decided to make a gift for his mom and recorded a few songs for her at the Sun Records. He was registered as “Good ballad singer. Hold. He failed an audition for a vocal quartet, the Songfellows. They told him he couldn’t sing. Elvis began working as a truck driver and at that time his friends encouraged him to contact Eddie Bond, leader of a professional band, which had an opening for a vocalist. Bond rejected him after a tryout, advising Presley to stick to truck driving because he was never going to make it as a singer.
I believe he had a harsh amount of rejection at a time when there weren’t all that many opportunities. Even when he was considered a great star, he had to struggle with growing as a performer, he didn’t want to play the same roles or just appear funny and shallow as a character, he wanted to be challenged. In all of those moments, when he was put down, he didn’t look at the ground; he looked at the stars. I think his love for music was so great and so personal that he could not let it die. Maybe Elvis didn’t know how to read music at first, or only just brought his guitar to school, trying to learn how to play daily, and maybe he wasn’t ready for some opportunities that came his way, but he believed in himself and most importantly in his music. He expressed great emotions through it, he told stories, he touched hearts and aren’t we all grateful that he decided to keep pushing forward and made his way to the stage?
Following our dreams is hard. We always begin by sayingNo matter what, I will make it, no matter how hard it is- I won’t give up”, but sometimes we don’t realize that “hard” can become really- really hard. People can hate you for what you believe in, you most definitely will feel judgment at some point, people might not tell you the truth always, and you will for sure feel hurt down the road. What I liked about Elvis’s story is that he simply loves what he does. I would like to have that same love for my craft burning forever, because if I keep loving it this way, I will take care of it and make sure it evolves and contributes more, and that’s important when we talk dreams-it can’t always be about us, we have to think about the contribution that dream can have to the world or even just one person.
I felt very inspired by the King of Rock and Roll and his work ethics and ideals when it comes to music. After you finish reading this post, open one of Elvis’s songs, put your headphones on and listen to his voice, the emotions that are etched in every word, the expressions, the waves of the music and think of those sentences:

“No aptitude for singing”
“Elvis could not sing
“Stick to truck driving because you are never going to make it as a singer

I guess not every feedback is constructive and not every opinion should matter so much, but as long as you have the heart for the job, you’ll know your way around this confusing world.

I hope one day I will be able to bring as much passion and energy to the stage as he did with his whole being.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”

I am entering the month of my birthday. I can’t say I care about my birthday too much now that I have passed through half of my 20s and I don’t like having big parties or receiving glamorous gifts and wishes, not when I haven’t done anything to deserve them except not die… That day, to me, feels like a day of pressure and unnecessary attention- that day should be a celebration for my parents and all they have gone through to make me the human being I am today- now that’s hard work.
So, I have decided to make this birthday of mine a bit more appreciative and meaningful to someone other than me thus I have decided to try to inspire myself every week by referring to successful people who have managed to do what they love despite everything and everyone. I’ll be happy to be sharing my inspiration board with you and hopefully, make your day a bit brighter.
Part of this month’s surprise begins with the following words:

“He’s too stupid to learn anything”
“Non-productive”
“Addled”

Those were things Thomas Edison had to hear at certain points of his life. That’s right, Thomas Edison, the inventor of the phonograph, the alkaline storage batteries, the kinetograph and something we use every single day- the light bulb. Edison was born in Milan, Ohio with dad a political activist and mom a school teacher. He was hyperactive as a child so his teachers couldn’t handle him, and he was pulled out after 12 weeks to be home-schooled. He was considered addled. After an ear infection and scarlet fever, Edison was left with hearing difficulties for the rest of his life. He was fired from his first two jobs for being non-productive. This man helped built the American economy during the Industrial Revolution, a smart and capable individual who will be forever remembered for his many accomplishments, that’s right- he too experienced setbacks and rejections in his life. What is extraordinary about him and his thinking is the appreciation he had for his knowledge and his efforts. When a reporter asked him: “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” In my opinion, that’s exactly what this answer means- appreciation.
I don’t think we ever give ourselves credit for the hard work we have done prior to the failure we have experienced. We only concentrate on the fact that we didn’t win, rather than analyze what happened and extract more information and knowledge of that single unsuccessful try. And, that’s a graceful and smart approach to any project that’s under development.
I think that’s what I managed to take from Edison’s biography and life. We all come from different backgrounds, and we have different families and influences, we have different locations and possibilities, but when there is curiosity that lives within us and fuels us every day there’s always hope for success, as long as we do things with heart and passion. The man could not hear well but decided against fixing that problem because he wasn’t sure how a louder world would influence his work. What I liked about this great inventor was his desire to learn and explore and though he was misunderstood he was happy within his work and vision, and he was appreciative and humble about it. He gave us a lovely example of how to handle our setbacks and how to be more focused on what we believe to be important.

P. S.

Get even more inspired by reading his full biography here.

#positivefromthealoof