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If I put together all the voice over that I did this year that wasn’t in a class, it would probably take three or four, maybe five days.  Maybe six, when counting email, the Web site, business cards, etc.  But the last professional thing I got done this year, before holidays and overeating killed all forward movement, was a walla session.  So I am doing stuff.

I just need to do more.

It’s been a hell of a year, huh?  I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been figuratively booted in the head at least once in the last 12 months, and plenty of us were still reeling from previous sucker punches from life.

I knew it would be trouble from the moment I decided to stop stage managing FOOTE NOTES through yet another extension. It sucked up my January and I really wanted to get going on my goals…  The problem immediately manifested as how was I doing to get anything done without any structure to my days.  To say nothing of the added chaos that comes with living with someone who is schizophrenic.

Though, the truth is I did start to get somewhere. And it started on my last day at FOOTE NOTES.  (The two one-acts were located in a small town outside of Dallas.)  After several good-bye whiskeys and hugs to the cast, I met M and we went to a spa in Koreatown.  I’d never been so I had a few minutes to get used to the idea that the “co-ed” section one wore the facility-provided uniform of t-shirt and shorts, making it look like a bus station overflowing with Korean tourists to Disneyland, and in the women-only section one wore only one’s birthday suit.

I’ll skip over the details – which I remember keenly – and get to what I’ve taken with me.  And it’s that I’m enough and there’s nothing really wrong with my body.  And if I change it’s just a change.  In the years to come I’m going to lose as much as I could possibly gain when it comes to physical looks, and the point of that is it doesn’t mean jack when I’m laying down on hot clay marbles and my mind is wandering while impossibly insane Korean TV shows are playing in the background.  From the tiny little naked girls chasing each other around to the old grannies pushing walkers and letting it all hang out, we’re all here.  It’s all good.

The last trip to Dallas was aboard DALLAS NON-STOP, stage managing with a tiny bit of voice over thrown in for shits and giggles. I’ve always loved theatre for the chance to see the world through different eyes and this was something new and different still.  It was all located in the Philippines and imagined and realized by Filipinos and Filipino-Americans… and as much as it reflexively touched on the realities of Filipino life and culture, it was situated so that it looked squarely back at America.  I found I was looking at my own country and my own (Western) culture through their eyes.  Quite a heady experience.

Layovers are such a pain in the ass.  Enough time to not know what to do with yourself, not enough time to really go find an adventure.  That’s what it felt like this summer.  True, I was hitting a patch of depression by late spring, so I was forced to get up and take care of things when my mom had surgery.  Nothing else was getting me to productivity.  But some two-three months of pretending to be mom, cooking and cleaning, etc, at the same time that mom was around being mom and no one else was helping it out…  It just put on pause any attempts to work for myself while I couldn’t do anything to get away and relax.

And at the end of all that? My sister moved in and I started sharing my bedroom with my niece.  Hey, I love these people, even my asshole schizophrenic brother, but this house is ready to pop.  I was staying up until the wee hours before simply from being nocturnal, but as I tried to rearrange my life so I could get life moving in a more productive direction, I was starting to make good on getting some decent sleep during the night.  Now I’m back to nearly fully nocturnal because it’s the only time I can hear myself think.  This is the hardest part.  Making the life I’m aiming for work while the place I live in is slightly completely crazy.

At the least I have awesome friends who are generous with their resources.  S let me crash at her house while I worked on DALLAS and on a few occasions I got some recording done there.  It maybe that I have to do all my recording there.  It’s still not a studio, but it’s far calmer than my house.

Those are just the places I landed.  Spots where my feet touched the ground and I saw clearly what I was trying to get done, whether I was close to or far from my goals.  I coasted over fitness & weight loss, sometimes going to the gym regularly, and sometimes taking a month or more off.  I skimmed some Japanese without serious demands that I improve and commit more to the long-term memory banks.  I’m trying not to get too frustrated about these.  They’re important to me but I can have only one No 1 goal.

Walla is a term for the chatter produced when a group of people in a sound booth fill in the background conversation for scenes on TV or movies.  I can’t get into detail about the ones I’ve done, but I can say it’s a fun exercise in semi-free form improv.  Anyhow, I like that someone thought of me and called me in.  Next up: getting someone to think of me and pay me to come in.

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