In the Making

What I’ve learned this summer.

Posted by cjaxon on August 13, 2010

I was going to post something about the second half of my summer, but between the President of the World post and the High School Musical post, that’s basically it. July became a month of “Work/Perform/Hang out all weekend long, then recover mon-wed and do it all again.” Things have finally slowed down, alot. The shows are over. I’ve only been working at the Beatnix fri/sat mornings. The youth’s big projects are done. The summer classes are over. And while I learned alot in those classes, I learned just as much, as always, from real life. Some of it’s about acting, much is about dealing with people, some is about myself, and some is just, well… unique. Here’s a sampling.

It takes work (intention), as an actor, to keep it fresh every time.

I, as an actor, can’t for a second stray from being in the moment – there’s no such thing as autopilot. I’ll screw up what I’m doing.

Making latte art is hard. Just getting the milk right is tough.

There might be a particular way someone makes their sandwich. But come on, it’s a sandwich. I can make a sandwich.

When you’re feeling sick or tired or not just in it, that’s the time to blow it up even more. Show that song/situation/problem who’s boss.

Joking in a negative way builds up negative energy and feelings. Even if you’re joking, you’ll start to believe it after a while. Lighten it up a little.

There’s a lot in life that I can begin to question. In fact, everything.

Some questions don’t, and shouldn’t, have answers.

Being with people who occasionally frustrate me is still better than being lonely.

It’s not her fault my sister is fabulous. And that we all know it.

Everything you read or learn is someone else’s interpretation of something. Many interpretations agree, but not always.

A new or unusual interpretation doesn’t make fact. The more time you spend thinking about an interpretation doesn’t make it fact.

“A calm word turns away wrath.” Sometimes an apology (even if it’s not really your fault) can turn away wrath. Wrath-less people are better to be around.

Say “Yes” often. It’s surprising what can happen.

When something’s not working, a different approach must be used. Sometimes it’s okay if that approach begins by throwing out  everything I think I’m supposed to do, and making things fun again.

Sometimes people just need to talk. Give them that chance.

Other times, this can be draining. Make sure to recharge, so you can be a better listener next time.

Be nice to everyone. They appreciate it.

An extra 10 minutes in bed past my alarm clock isn’t going to do anything of value. It will only tempt me for more, and make me late. I might as well get out of bed and stay out. (Still trying to master this one…)

I’m rarely actually trapped by someone else. I just feel trapped, because I’m limiting myself on their behalf. But I’m the only one limiting myself.

Be fearless. Go there. Making a strong choice means doing something that you probably wouldn’t do normally, or in real life. And that’s what makes it interesting.

Work like a professional. Work ahead of schedule. (Still working on this one too…) Prepare.

When a friend doesn’t live up to your expectation of a friendship, that doesn’t mean they’re a bad friend. Enjoy relationships for what they are, and don’t dwell too long on wishing for something they’re not.

Assume that new people are interesting. Try to find out what makes them so interesting. Then you’re not surprised when they turn out to be. (As opposed to the way I sometimes write people off before giving them a chance. Then it is surprising when they turn out to be amazing.)

Do what you’ve got to do, because you’ve got to do it.

And you can do more than you realize, if you choose to want to.

.  .  .

Ready or not…

Now to finish getting ready for school to start. I’ve realized the reason I’ve been reluctant for the school year starting has nothing to do with trying to avoid the inevitable (of graduating and entering the real world.) Nor is it senior-itis, or just being lazy. It’s that between work, classes, and shows, I’ve not only been given more responsibility, but I also feel that in a way I’ve had more freedom. I had several commitments, but I generally set the pace for each day. These were all things I chose to do. And could easily (and occasionally did) choose not to. I fear when school starts I’m going to be locked down to more responsibilities that I haven’t chosen for myself.

But you do what you’ve got to do, because you’ve got to do it.

Or perhaps it’s that with these summer projects, I could see immediate, or at least tangible, results. Perhaps I just need to reevaluate how I see the results of projects or classes or commitments during the school year. The results of a class may not be tangible, but I know I’m learning things. The process may not be immediate, but I know it’s worth it.

Another thing different about this summer is that I said “yes” more: more invitations. More random outings. Or even just talking to different people, whom I wouldn’t normally hang out with. Not necessarily for personal reasons, but maybe it wasn’t always convenient. Or I just didn’t feel like it. As I’ve said “yes” more, I’ve given people a chance. I’ve experience and shared Life more. I don’t think it’s coincidence then, the way I’ve built and strengthened new relationships over the course of a short two or three months.

Well, school is looming on the horizon, whether I like it or not. I’ll say it one more time, you do what you’ve got to do. And right now, I’ve got to do school. I’m sure there will be opportunities for life and fun outside of classes. I may need to look around more than usual. Say Yes more than before. Or just create opportunities for myself.

P.S. –

soon I’ll be able to start posting things in the present tense, instead of summaries and reviews of big chunks of time.

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2 Responses to “What I’ve learned this summer.”

  1. Dylan said

    I love all of the lessons you learned this summer. It’s really true that the best learning rarely comes from school. The best learning comes as a trojan horse sneak attack when we least expect it.

    Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep writing.

    -D

  2. Destry said

    I love this post. Ironically, I have learned some of the same things this summer. 🙂 Keep them coming. You are the type of friend that keeps me grounded and level-headed, so reading your posts definitely benefits me.

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