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Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm Thankful.

Alberto recently wrote about Family. His post has inspired mine.

As I approach the end of my Institutionalized education, I am terrified of the future, but I am also thankful for everyone I have crossed paths with, and I am beyond excited to move into the next stage of my life with two of my best friends, to a city that 150% supports everything I love and want to do.

College has been anything but easy. I remember getting into UF, I also remember getting rejected shortly after. I auditioned as a trombone performance major, got accepted, received close to a full ride, was ready to move back to Florida, and a month later I got a rejection letter into the University itself. What the hell? That can happen? Yes.

My grades were great in high school but I’m a terrible standardized test taker. You’d think coming from a state that does nothing but teach you how to take a test....Anyway,  I never took the SAT, and I miserably took the ACT four times. 

I wrote a really shitty appeal letter (Which is terribly embarrassing to read now. It will probably do some good in a standup routine) and was told that the school received 20,000 appeals, and I had no hope. My mom made me audition at FSU which was a total abortion, and I just decided that somehow I would get into this damn school.

Eventually the head of the music department walked my appeal over, my trombone professor fought for me, and I got in under the condition that I would take elementary English (AKA learning how to write a sentence) and elementary math (AKA graph making! Look mom I’m a big kid now!)

Being a music major was serious shit. I miss it because I have never experienced that type of discipline in any of the other majors I explored. Every move needed to be planned and scheduled or you were doomed to fail or jump off a cliff. Living, breathing, and studying your craft was the daily motto. The thought of “IS THIS WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO,” came up at least a few times a week.

I clearly remember my music theory two course, we had a temporary professor that semester and he was a genius. Pure genius. He pushed us more than ever. We were lost the majority of the term. No one got an A that semester, and I remember telling him that he made me cry more than anyone, but I loved him for it. I fought hard for a “C” in that course. I remember him saying if I resubmitted three assignments PERFECTLY he would pass me. You bet your ass I stayed up for 18 hours making sure that shit was perfect. I showed up the next morning looking like a homeless person, turned my paper in, and crashed on the couch in the music hall. I was dedicated. I often wonder why I changed my major, sometimes thinking it was a mistake,but without that change I wouldn't have the amazing group of friends that I have now, or the survival skills developed along the way.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I don’t have a good relationship with my mother. I left summer of 8th grade to live with my aunt in Maryland. I hated Florida, I was fat and unhappy, and my moms boyfriend got coked out and tried to attack me one night. Most of my friends were doing hard drugs (yes in middle school) and I really needed a change. I even remember going to a party once, and the kids told me I was “emo” because I didn't want to drink or smoke CRACK with them.

Maryland was a nice change. Crack free. It was challenging going from a very low rated education system to a much much better one, but I was instantly welcomed into the music community and felt at home. 

I think I ultimately left the music world due to stress. Living with my mother in college was awful. I had the constant pressure of finding a job, or three, eating off of less than 15$ a week, practicing my instrument 6+ hours a day in addition to taking 8-9 classes, it was just too much. I did everything I could to get out of the house—I became obsessed with working out, and got pretty skinny, but didn’t see it at the time and ended up abusing my body. My form of “dieting” was eating cabbage soup, or taking diet pills or worse. It was a bad environment, and I decided to leave. I showed up with three friends and moved my entire life out of her house in less than an hour.

I met Eric during all of this madness. We met on our birthday (twinzies) because our mutual friends took us to the same hookah cafĂ© that night. He could have sworn that we would never see eachother again, but being the fruitfly I was becoming…that wasn't an option. He was understanding, and dealt with the crazy that was rubbing off on me, and most importantly smacked me back into reality. He was one of the first friends I ever had that said “Sacha, you are being a bitch and can’t treat people like you have been.” The stress literally transformed my personality and I was turning into someone that I wasn’t, someone I never ever wanted to be. He helped me find who I really was again, and I will never forget that.

I moved in with him, without meeting his roommate Alberto, or Alberto’s parents, but as soon as I met them I fell in love. Alberto really brought a warm happiness to my life, introduced me to his wonderful friends, and his family was the long lost puerto rican family I never knew I needed in my life. He always tells me that I bring out the crazy in him. I would agree. I mean we did in fact dance with pillows to Frank Sinatra one night. We would have long conversations about the friendzone, life, the universe. We would watch movies and cry together because some movies "I just couldn't watch alone." 

Who you surround yourself with is extremely important to your well being. I couldn't of asked for better roommates. We are all three completely different people, but really completed eachother. Then of course there was Christa. She has been my everything this year. I think this has been the hardest semester of my life and she has always been there to help me clean up the mess I make of myself. I don't know what I would do without her or my current support system. 

Writing all of this has made me realize how much I have been through in college. I fought my way into this school, and will somehow work my way out. 

I have successfully dropped too many classes, fought with financial aid on a semesterly basis getting my way, recognized when things were toxic in my life and when I needed to escape, switched into the theater department and developed a wonderful bullshit detector and have learned how to treat people with respect--because if you can't even do that--you are going nowhere. Learned that not everyone will like you and that is okay. Learned that you do not have to like everyone, and that is also okay. 

I have learned that it is okay to ask for help, because you can't do everything on your own.  I have also learned not to rely on the kindness of other people--because what a stupid thing to do.

I have successfully started my own comedy show, and have SOMEHOW kept it alive, I have overcome a lot of self-hate, have gotten much better at improvisation--something I used to be absolutely horrendous at. I have slowly fixed my posture, have become more aware of my body and habits, have safely and successfully lost about 40 pounds, performed as much as possible, directed twice.

I have traveled the world. I taught in Italy two years in a row, went on a peace and love tour around Norway, met my father's best friend in Russia, experienced unbelievable theater in London and Berlin, watched the World-Cup in Amsterdam, volunteered on a healing garden in Denmark, and have met and kept in touch with some of the most amazing, open-minded individuals in the world. The 50,000 I have in debt doesn't seen that bad anymore, because school has given me these opportunities, that I would not have otherwise.  Most importantly, I think I am beginning to understand the difference between Pride and Egotism. I used to think it would be wrong of me to happy about everything I have done here, but I should be impressed and happy dammit! I still have a long way to go, but I am headed in the right direction. 

Candice, Ryan, Marissa, Lauren, Katie, Mike, Charlie, Amelia, Megan, Luke, Fernando, Eric, Alberto Christa...I don't know where I would be without you, or your words of encouragement. Probably not here, probably not in a good place--I am so incredibly lucky to have you all in my life. You are my family. 

I am incredibly grateful to be where I am. It's been such a life lesson, and challenge to have to support yourself fully through college. There was a point where I had three jobs, or had to donate plasma to get by. It has never been easy, and might not ever be easy. What is easy, is to take the time to stop,breathe, and be thankful for all of the amazing friends in your life.









Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I graduate in less than a month

I can't say that this semester has been easy. I think I probably lost my mind more than once, and I apologize to all of those witnessing it, but I am thankful for you as well :) I don't know how I've made it this far--I've been way too much of a "Yes" man recently, and my plate is overflowing, but somehow I am making it through and happily creating some type of art. My last comedy show (in Gainesville) is coming up soon and I am both terrified and extremely excited. I have had writers block (that's a nicer way of saying trust issues with my creativity) for at least 6 months and consistently convinced myself that I couldn't write anything. You know, that "every idea is shit," phase. I guess I have a habit of putting myself down, however, I have busted out a few ideas/pieces that I am pretty happy with. I think it will be bittersweet to end my final semester with my best friends attempting to make people laugh. When I think back to our first show--it was a disaster behind the scenes. We were editing last minute. I didn't know what I was doing, (Do I even know now?) we never ran the show until opening night, and I swore that I would never do it again because I shaved about 6 years off my life from stress. Four shows later, we are still going strong. I'm starting to think that whatever you enjoy doing the most in life, as much as it might stress you out, and as much as you might beat yourself up over it, it's probably worth doing. Comedy has always been that thing for me. It's what keeps me going, and is probably what keeps me alive. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I'm 24 and still a little girl

I thought it would get easier telling people you liked them as you get older--but it's quite the opposite. When you are younger you display affection by pushing boys off of swings, or yelling "I LOVE YOU," and running away. It used to be so simple! The biggest commitment you wanted was a valentine card, or getting chased occasionally on the playground. And then as you get older the fear of rejection lingers. I'm thinking to myself I'm 24 years old, and I feel like if I tell this person how I feel, the world will end. Right here and now. You know how in the old Zelda games, fire consumes the planet? Yeah? That's how I feel in this moment--I WOULD RATHER get engulfed in flames than talk about this. 


Oh god, oh god, oh god. Can I be 5 again? But I can't be five again. Is it weird that I'm listening to Chet Baker right now? Dramatic. Hey--I have to make myself laugh while I'm being a baby. Right?  

And isn't attraction odd? For me  humor just does it--if you make me laugh, I'm sold. I think it's one of the most important qualities in a person. It makes me feel like I've met one of several comedy soul mates--but sometimes they don't want to join you for the ride. It's like you're laughing at two different jokes, and when you realize it, it's awkward. 

Why do people have to date anyway? Couldn't we just live in world where everyone is in the friend-zone ? No one would be disappointed then. We would just nod at each other and say "Oh well." Actually--maybe everyone would jut be extremely sexually frustrated--you know scratch that--that kind of shit leads to war. 

Well the good news is---I'm not 5 again like I wished, that would be exhausting--I don't want to relive the last 19 years, and the world didn't engulf in flames. There's always something to be happy about. Sometimes you have to experience the fall. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Who creates the rules on test taking? Why do we only have an hour to showcase what we have learned over a six week period. How does that make sense? I worked my ass off all weekend for my exam tonight--and I barely pulled through. Sigh. It's one of those "I feel like I'm never going to graduate and should find the nearest bridge" moments. Could my semester get any more stressful? Still broke. Still no financial aid. Broken phone. Ridiculous amounts of tension. Yikes.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014

Oh hey blog it's been awhile. So I am actually really excited for the new year. This year I am graduating, might be working in France for a month teaching kids, hopefully returning to Denmark for some pre-chicago inspiration, MOVING TO CHICAGO to pursue comedy--my childhood dream and love, putting on the final Funny Woman Show back at the Brew Spot, and of course getting rock hard abs like everyone and their mothers. But really--I do have some very realistic goals for the new year and I know that they will come true--and hey if they don't, at least I worked my ass off. 


Health Goals

* Commit more to the primal/paleo lifestyle--changing my diet has really changed my life this year and I would like to fully transition and commit 100%.
* Walk More
* Yoga More 
* Be happy

Educational Goals 

* Go to class. Everyday. Read. Finish assignments early. GRADUATE

Chicago Goals 
*Move to Chicago 
*Volunteer at Second City 
*Audition for the Second City Conservatory Program 
*Perform some open mic improv shows
*Try stand-up 
*Find a job or a sugar daddy to support me
*Find a safe and convenient place to live

I can't wait for the semester to begin. Two days left! I'm excited to improvise again and begin rehearsals for Angels in America! This semester is going to fly.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I can appreciate a man that goes out of his way to jazz up his online dating profile. I mean don't get me wrong, anything is better than the "hey girl look how big dis fish I caught is ; ) ;) ;)" picture, but sometimes guys can seem too perfect.  Any guy that has a picture cuddling a baby tiger and/or petting
horses is a winner. He might as well have a picture feeding the hungry, or putting out a fire with a garden hose with a caption of "He does what he can," or stopping someone from tripping the Pope. Dear Guy, do you exist? I'm just going to go back to waiting for my hot Chicago improviser boyfriend**


*accepting applications 
*side note: anchorman 2 was fantastic.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Seminar

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience BECOMING, to find out what’s inside you, to MAKE YOUR SOUL GROW.

-Kurt vonnegut


You know--one amazingly terrifying realization I have made from working on Seminar is how much of a scaredy cat I can be. I am terrified 90% of the time of sharing certain ideas, sketch work, new songs--pretty much anything personal that I keep close to my heart. I ADMITTED IT OK?  And why? Why is it human instinct to hold onto our creations until our fingerprints are burned there, and then let days--weeks--months--years go by before showing them to anyone. If we even man up to do so. It doesn't make sense. This is the time to be failing, and it's only then that we learn and better prepare ourselves for all types of criticism. Putting yourself out there is nerve wracking, but it's also the right thing to do, especially in a University setting where people care about you, or at least are great pretenders.

My show opens on Friday, and I'm still trying to figure out where the last four and a half weeks went. I am really excited. I couldn't be more happy with my cast--they are all really wonderful people, great players, and have a group dynamic that I think is difficult to find. Maybe I'm just being biased, or stroking my ego boner right now--but really. I have never once stopped believing in them or their work. Even when lines are forgotten, and moments are lost, and no one is listening--it's part of the process, and it amazes me every time what being present and just listening to words does.

The show questions what is at the core of the creator. What keeps an artist passionate, and when shit couldn't possibly get any worse, how do force yourself to keep going rather than give up. It's a place we have all fallen into, or are currently trapped in--and I think everyone can relate to the struggles of an artist.

It's kind of a perfect idea to explore right before graduating, because soon enough I'm not going to have quiet as large of a support system I sometimes forget that I have right now. We have access to so many wonderful resources whether a professors opinion, a free rehearsal space, thousands of books and free articles, access to people that will work on projects for free, computer labs, filming equipment, etc.

A few years/months/days ago I was complaining about what I have not learned at this University, and what I feel that I have missed out on, but honestly? You have to create your own work. You have to read books. You have to admit that you do not know everything, you will never know everything and sometimes you just need some god damn help. So ask for it. It won't kill you. Sometimes you have put down your cell phone and BE with people. Sometimes you have to be that person in class that raises their hand, while everyone else is too afraid to. Sometimes you need to scream at the top of your lungs and get all the negativity out. Sometimes you have to LISTEN to people. FEEL for people.

Just. Be. Present.

It's one of the most beautiful things you can do.