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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Motion Pictures

One of my passions is FILM as an art form, entertainment, storytelling, character study, and so on. I have explored this through Theater/Film starting in High School. For the past couple years I have given it a break and finally am opening back up to the possibility of getting back into it.I remember my first love was The Karate Kid series. I truly believed that Pat Morita "Mr. Miyagi" was going to train me someday.
Then, when The Next Karate Kid came out and Hilary Swank got the role - I was 8 yrs old, back flips solid, somersalts - you name it. I was ready. Perfect for the part;) ... Touche. Needless to say, I grew up...

I found that acting was an outlet for me outside of my love for sports(basketball). Studying scripts and characters was exciting. It inspired me to be open to the possibility I had something special to give/offer/communicate to my peers. My grades in school went from average to A's. My mind was stimulated differently than it ever had been. There was freedom in expressing sides of my personality I didn't know existed. I got wrapped up in the story, discovered the process, and learned to perform. It translated into my mental game as a basketball player. Every game anything was possible, it was an opportunity to show up and be so present that no one gets past me, no one can stop me. Same w/ scene work. You're surprising yourself all the time, moment to moment. Spontaneity and unpredictability are key. The stage presence became stronger as I perfected my preparation skills, just like fundamental drills in basketball practice, or repetitions w/ any skills set. I outsourced and used imagination to grow that character emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I could speak, move, be that character at any given moment, just like I could take anyone that walked on the court to the hole( in my mind). I was confident in my characters as well as myself.. I felt that zone that professional actors/athletes talk about, the catharsis that happens when you fully commit to your choices w/ specificity. The devils in the details and so is the humanity. I value and feel this is part of why art is important. To be fully self expressed is essential for the soul.
I have a mantra: Connect, Communicate, and Conquer. I see film as a medium of connecting w/ people on a universal level, a means of communicating emotions by creating space to convey the human experience, and an insight into conquering fears through examining the human condition w/ compassion; seeing life from another's point of view. Appreciating the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing our dreams w/ the world. Whether you are an athlete, actor, writer, poet, coach, carpenter, lawyer, construction worker, teacher, doctor, photographer, novelist, singer, dancer, mechanic, artist; the most valuable thing you have to offer is yourself. This is a lesson that I am learning. Don't doubt the power of being your authentic self or discourage your dreams for the sake of being liked. Stand up for what you believe. Not every one will like you and it doesn't mean anything. That person just doesn't like you, and guess what.... You'll LIVE.


  1. A lot of people worry about what other people think way too much! I used to be one of those people. It's liberating to just be you, isn't it? Great post, Emily!

  2. Free yourself! I love when you post - always well written. Lisa

  3. Emily, I second Lisa's comment, and I also dig the word "specificity." Nerd that I am I love words and quotes. (I'm quirky as hell, and I'm okay with that.)

    I have to share two favorite quotes that came to mind when I read your post (instead of going to bed like I SHOULD be). The first is "If you're pleasing everyone, you're probably doing something wrong." and the second - at the risk of being cliche - is "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." by Dr. Seuss. I guess if the second quote is taken to its logical extreme, it's not true... for certain interactions, it's definitely necessary to have a basic level of acceptance or civility. But as for the first quote, I think it ties into the second in two ways. As Matt says to me when I'm worried about how being firm (when necessary) can be perceived in my male work world (i.e., as a "bitch"), he says "People are judging you regardless all the time. Do the right thing knowing that. Not doing the right thing doesn't stave off their judgment."

    As for the case of friends, anyone who is a genuine friend will value a person based on who they are instead of some non-existent ability to be in agreement on every single topic or belief. If it's true that we can't all agree on everything, we will always have disagreements, and I want to believe that it's worth the risk to be genuine, as the true friends will allow a person that individual space, and as people who react negatively to differences in opinion or belief have problems that were never caused by my espousing my beliefs or thoughts or interests in the first place. I don't take those people personally because regardless of how they act or what they say in response (even if it's avoidance of me due to differences), I did not cause their actions. I can be introspective about WHO I am, and what my true motives are and what principled action is, but I can't really cause people's actions. "Bigotry and judgment are the height of insecurity." -Jasmine Guy. I do not have to feel better than those actions of judgment of which I am the recipient, but I can realize that those judgments are internal reactions caused by another individual's own suffering, and the hatred or distaste directed at anything I might do is really their own picture... their own suffering, their own rationalization of why they are better than others. I believe people who are judging others are always trying to compare themselves to others, otherwise, their judgments would just exist as matter-of-fact thoughts in their head: "this person is Hindu" or "this person is a ballerina" et cetera. The thoughts become emotionally loaded judgments when their identity becomes wrapped up in an assessment of what's good enough or better or worse or so on. Sure, comparison can be good for assessing certain accomplishments, but it is so singular and pathetically inadequate when considering an entire person. I don't think it's ever easy, but I want to believe it's the right thing to do... to seek the truth, about who we are and about everything outside of ourselves.

    No, I am not high, and sorry for the book! Your posts inspire me (clearly), and I feel lucky to have gotten to know you this year.