Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All the World's a Stage

Have you ever wondered whether you'd be good at acting? It's something I think about quite a bit. How difficult could it be? You are, in essence, pretending to be someone which, let's face it, everyone does (I refuse to believe that  Sarah Palin and Glen Beck are real people-- either that or evolution really let them down). Of course, it's not that easy. I find it fascinating that an actor or actress can (convincingly) transform themselves into live characters after repeating the same dialogue and actions over and over again on stage or on camera. Performances by Daniel Day Lewis or Cate Blanchett are never shy of remarkable for me because I literally forget they are not Daniel Plainfield or Bob Dylan. It are the actors that are constantly reminding me of who they really are that I classify as bad (i.e. Keanu Reeves as himself in The Matrix/The Lake House or Julia Stiles as herself in Dexter-- which I'm still pretty pissed about).

I had the pleasure of seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 this past weekend and absolutely loved it. I have always been a huge fan of the story, but this time, it was different. Not only was the production value almost flawless (at least in comparison to the previous films), but the acting was fantastic. I was incredibly impressed with how far Daniel Radcliffe. Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson have come since their days as first years!

Here are a couple hilarious videos of Radcliffe and Sir Ian McKellen (not sure why I have already mentioned him twice in two separate posts) and their takes on acting that I've come across that are sure to have you rolling on the floor! Enjoy and I hope everyone has a relaxing and lovely Thanksgiving!

*** Harry as Dan ***

*** Sir Ian as Gandolf *** 

(Also not sure why these are both referencing fantasy/magic film... I swear I watch other films!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Friday!

Another week! The job is going great and I really love my office. The people I work with are very nice and the commute is SO short! Not to mention I am only a few blocks from Union Square, my favorite place in NYC! I plan on getting my apartment together and going to see Harry Potter this weekend-- I wasn't all too pleased with the last one, but that's never really stopped me from seeing other sequels (i.e. Transformers and National Treasure. Don't judge.) Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Today is Eve Marie Carson's birthday. She was UNC's beloved student body president that was brutally murdered March 5, 2008. She was a bright, lovely, and an incredibly kind person. I miss her everyday.

Love life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love Thy Stranger

Friends and Enemies (Kristen and Abby), 1991
Photographer Julie Moos shoots portraits of couples who are either best friends or worst enemies and places them against a non-descript background. (http://www.mintmuseum.org/_if_exhibit.php?exhibit_id=28)

I will go out of my way to avoid an awkward situation. I mean it. I can hardly watch an episode of the Office without hiding under a table and turning red. I think the feeling of embarrassment (which is always unfortunately paired with an awkward situation) is among the worst… other than the feeling following a night of heavy drinking (What is that called again? Death feeling?) I hate embarrassment so much that I do anything in my power to prevent it—but not only to myself, to others too. If I see a stranger walking down the street with toilet paper stuck to their shoe, I will stealthily follow them until I can successfully step on the trailing paper and ensure that they will not be embarrassed. If I hear a coworker unintentionally fart, I’ll act like I have suddenly gone deaf... and lost all sense of smell. If a new acquaintance makes a dumb and possibly offensive joke, I laugh loudly and change the subject before anyone realizes what just happened-- “Wait a second…that was racist!” they may say, but they don’t… because I make sure of it. It’s really a beautiful feeling when I am successful in blocking the formation of embarrassment. The best part is that the stranger has no idea that I have saved them from mockery and shame. You’re welcome, I’ll think when I am success in my vigilantism.

I am of course kidding when I make my strange behavior out to be noble. It’s possibly even classified as timid behavior—or psychotic in the eyes of bystanders watching me quietly take enormous strides down a New York City sidewalk in hot pursuit of a stranger with toilet paper on her shoe (remember how bandits in cartoons snuck around? Yeah, like that.) How ever you classify it, I think my reason for preventing embarrassment for people I have never seen nor met before is because of my (somewhat) newfound compassion for other human beings. It can be difficult to relate to a homeless man on the subway or a screaming child in a restaurant, but I have been trying my best to internalize resentment.

I can be an angry person. Unfortunately, I inherited my father’s temper and will sometimes be completely irrational with my feelings. I can be inpatient and much too harsh in difficult situations. But before you change your mind about being my friend, know this: It has become more apparent to me that compassion has a higher rate of resolution and satisfaction than anger.

Last year I attended a No Doubt concert. I have idolized Gwen Stefani since the 7th Grade and I was practically giddy to have the opportunity to sit on a lawn miles away from her. However, I had to share that lawn with a crowd of Paramore (the opener for the show) fans. These are some of my least favorite people. A bunch of pre-teen brats in tutus and bikinis prancing and stumbling around after sharing half a pint of beer. I tried my best to ignore their distracting behavior as I waiting for No Doubt to take the stage, but my anger got the best of me. After intentionally pushing one of my friends and standing directly in front of us so we couldn’t see, I had enough. One of the girls turned around, looked straight in my eyes, and shoved me out of her way. It all went blurry after that.

“WHAT THE [BLEEP] IS YOUR PROBLEM?!” I screamed at her as I pushed her back. She immediately began screaming back, surprised that I had to guts to confront her. Of course, she was much better at screaming and cursing. I have never been the type to lash out at a complete stranger and did not come prepared with “dissing” material. I turned bright red and I could actually feel my head getting hot. At this point we were both screaming obscenities (I’m not even sure what I said… I actually think I blacked out from being so angry) in a wide open space… in broad daylight… in front of hundreds of people… including children. In the end, I didn’t get to throw a punch because her friends pulled her away (maybe they knew I could stomp her little…wait. No. Not the point.), but I didn’t feel triumphant. I felt like crap. The looks of embarrassment on my friends’ faces (and horror on the 9-year-old girl standing next to me) immediately turned my anger into regret and shame. I couldn’t enjoy the concert after that and it still bothers me to this day that I chose to immaturely confront a difficult situation with hate. As a person that avoids embarrassment, I had single-handedly caused me and everyone around me to feel its full effects.

That is the last instance that I can truly say I felt ashamed and embarrassed-- I learned my lesson. Buddhist belief suggests being compassionate to others but the most compassionate towards enemies. When someone shoves me on the subway or cuts me in line, I take a deep breath and put myself in their shoes. How could I possibly know who they are and their motivations? They honestly could be having a terrible day or their actions are completely unintentional. It is better to give them the benefit of the doubt than to just assume they’re assholes. It is completely illogical to assume a person is completely hateful and angry all the time (how exhausting!). That person most likely has a family, loves someone, cares about these issues, etc. They’re just like you.

And if they’re like me, then they’ll help pick up the spilled contents of a purse in the middle of Grand Central Station (and not say anything about the condoms or Justin Bieber CD) or take out a piece of gum for themselves and offer it to the person with bad breath as if it wasn’t originally meant for that person. You don’t have to know someone to understand and love them. So my advice amounts to this: Do yourself a favor… love thy stranger.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Well it's finally happened... I found a job! I could not be more thrilled or relieved to find a place to work and explore. I have applied and interviewed at countless companies-- and I'm not just saying "countless" for dramatic effect. Honestly, I cannot count the number of emails, cover letters, and resumes I have sent out into the universe. But it finally happened like everyone said it would.

People are always asking me what I want to do with my life. To this day, even after reading thousands of job descriptions, I have no idea. I'm not kidding when I say anything sounds good to me because I honestly think that I need to just learn and observe at this point. I know I love film and I love to create, but I don't think I would be the best at creating films. I love to interact with people and work together-- that I know for sure. It's kind of crazy, but it seems like you must try anything before knowing for sure that it's something you definitely want or don't want to do. A woman I interviewed with at a high end fashion house explained to me that she used to be an accountant-- now she's the director of a design team. You never know where life is going to take you.

So as vague as that sounds, I think I'm heading in the right direction, which is forward. I took a full time job as an assistant for a small ad agency and I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone there and learning more about advertising. I had a quick drink last week with a truly inspiring media specialist that just started work in Brooklyn and he gave me a piece of advice that I think will really help me find my true passion: "Never let your title restrict what you can do. You can always do what you love and if you're not doing what you love, you can always get the fuck out."

Happy Friday everyone and thanks for all the support and love!

Also, here's my random favorite picture of the day... Sir Ian McKellen being a rock star. Enjoy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy (Pi)day!

Another week past! Can you all believe November is here?! That means December is next month-- as in CHRISTMAS. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. So today isn't really pi day... pi day is actually March 14th. You know... 3.14159265... right. You're probably going to stop reading this now. But I think from this day forward on every Friday, I will post one of my favorite pictures/images from the internets. This week will demonstrate my inner nerd... x 8.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This train is going to Brooklyn

Subway Riders, Bernard Safran
 This summer I had the pleasure of working as a production assistant at a small film production company in Dumbo, Brooklyn. I was so excited to finally utilize my creativity and be able to observe film professionals in their natural habitat-- that being an enormous (but endearing) factory turned office building. It was my first time taking the F train and, still new to the somewhat (ha) confusing MTA, it was necessary for me to break out my handy map even if it meant shattering the illusion that I was a true New Yorker. I discreetly unfolded my map and began tracing the direction of the train when I felt someone watching over my shoulder. I dared not look and find a look of pity or worse...disgust.

"This train is going to Brooklyn."

Damn. I've been found out! Abort! Abort!

I calmly began folding my map and looked to my side as if I had not heard what he had said. Sitting next to me was an elderly Asian man. He had a look of pride in his eyes and smiled gently. It was apparent that he was trying to help me, not judge me. Of course, this kind old man was not going to stop me from pretending to know what I was doing.

"Oh, I know." I smiled.

He began to laugh. It was the sort of laugh that was incredibly infectious and hearty. He shook his head and spoke with a slight accent that reminded me of my father.

"I'm so sorry! I thought maybe you were a tourist!"

I laughed with him and assured him that I was no tourist. Sensing an end to our interaction, I pulled out my book and began reading the wise words of Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma.

"That's some heavy summer reading."

"I suppose it is... I'm just really interested in food..." Before I could continue he immediately perked up.

"Oh really? How interesting! Are you a vegetarian?"

"Er. Yes..."

"Oh wow!"

I was a bit taken a back and even suspicious by his enthusiasm. I glanced around the car to see if anyone else was sitting on the edge of their seats to hear more about my interests. A hipster was scribbling in his moleskine notebook while a homeless man continued snoring in the next seat over.

"You know,"  he continued, "I often find myself in the omnivore's dilemma myself."

I nodded and just when I was about to form words, he continued once again.

"I often watch the news and special reports on the industrial food production facing our nation today. It is shocking how corporations treat people and only care about making a profit."

It was difficult for me to mask my expression of surprise. He was so articulate and passionate, especially for a conversation with a stranger on the subway. Suddenly, a feeling of compassion and joy overcame me. He continued rambling happily on the subject of food, unaware that I was finding it difficult to pay attention... his charisma was so distracting.

"Where are you from?"

"North Carolina... I went to University of Nor..."

"Oh really?! That is fantastic!"

I smiled even bigger this time wishing I could possess the same amount of enthusiasm as him. The F train pulled into the station and I regretfully got up and told him this was my stop. He nodded.

"So I suppose you're a southern girl then?"

"I guess so!" I laughed as the doors opened.

He smiled and waved. "Have a lovely day!"

As the doors closed and the trained pulled away, I found myself feeling as if I had just experienced the purest form of human kindness and connection. This man exuded happiness and had unknowingly passed it onto me-- a southern girl in the big city.

Words into a Paper Cup © 2008. Chaotic Soul :: Converted by Randomness