Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Cat

My acting exercise last night was so powerful to me and I wanted to share. Hope you enjoy.

I step into the center and embrace my inner 5-year old by playing double dutch, dancing, primping, and giggling. I shift into my Actors Fear, slow at first, but found my truth quickly and through tears released "I don't know how to do it!" "I'm not worthy!" "Are you sure it's me?". I was crying so hard and real that all I could do was recall the action of a cat cleaning themselves as I fell to my knees. So I move into my Animal, still crying and displaying cat like actions. As I come out to Conquer my fear I begin licking my wounds and stroking my face with my paws. Trying to comfort myself, rubbing my head against my shoulders, still clearing my tears with my paws. I'm growing stronger and I begin to fight and swat my claws at the cats circling me and meowing with a loud streak-like sound. Similar to a mate call when in heat and ready to birth something inside of me. As I move into my Triumph I begin to swat less and I want to share my triumph with the other cats. I approach them cautiously, inquisitively, scared to make eye contact, then move in to rub my head against theirs and meow my love to them. I pass by several cats and share more meows with the ones my heart is purring towards. They rub heads back and I notice other cats wanting, waiting to rub heads but I pass by...its not time for that yet. I begin to WIN as I stand to my feet and twirl, crying continually with my hands raised to the sky. I see through the ceiling of the building confining me and raise my hands to the sky, twirling and crying and smiling saying "Thank You, Thank You!". One hand raised after the other, twirling, "Thank You!" twirling, crying, "Thank You!" smiling, embracing this moment. "Thank You, I know I can do it with you!"

It felt so great and free to love and live in that moment. I thought I was coming to portray a Lion which represents a mature, strong, bold, conquering, powerful feline. But what I realized is I'm a cub and yet I still displayed strength, power, boldness, and I conquered. Praise God for this epiphany and the direct relation to my spiritual life not just my artistic life. I can embrace my cub and be bold as I grow into the Lioness He created me to be. Thank you for the freedom to release in a public forum.

Peace yall!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Script of My Life

The more I allow myself to dream and see where my career as an actress can go, the more I have to be realistic about the industry I work in. My transition into Film and TV has had one major roadblock besides the slothfulness previous mentioned... and its NUDITY!!! Now I'm not saying everything on the screen has to have sex and nudity but why does everything have to have sex and nudity LOL!?!? I've submitted myself for short films, student films, and such with slim pickings for roles that don't contain nudity, implied nudity or some dark demonic character (which is what every other project is about...vampires and demons). Profanity even challenges me from time to time but my acting coach helped me to understand it a bit. Even more so, after a heated discussion with other Christian actors I've come to more revelation.

It's no secret that I'm a Christian and to most who knew me before I was saved it's also no secret that I had a lot of challenges and still do. Most of us born-again Christians have come from some darkness or else we wouldn't be "born again". Keeping in mind what I've been delivered from I see portraying my old character in a project as an opportunity to shine light. The roles of a promiscuous, naive, insecure, untrusting, defensive, lust-filled, potty mouth, scantily clad dressed, abandoned and unloved young woman are in the majority of the projects out there. The dark behavior of these characters depict me at various points in my life. To get it in my head that I'm saved, I can't do this because I'm saved and God won't approve is very limited thinking. The idea that "I could bring realness to a character and tell not just my story but the story of pretty much every young girl out there who isn't saving herself for purity or battling some other evil" is the bigger picture. Don't misunderstand, I'm not about to jump out the box butt naked and just getting it in on camera, but this does open me up a bit more to consider roles. I have to pray over every opportunity and be sure it is of God's purpose before moving forward.

I work with young woman three days a week here in NYC and see them on the streets everyday, even observe the young woman in my family. These roles of nudity, sex, drugs, abusive/unhealthy relationships and so on are in most projects because it's the reality they walk in everyday. Society is drawn to these projects because they can relate unfortunately. I would love to bring light to their darkness and have a character find God at the end of her troubles. Even if the script isn't written that way, I have a platform to talk about a character I might play and how that translates to real life and still get God's light in there. Interviews, blogs, tweets, however... I'm gonna get some light up in this industry. This is a vision I have and God willing it'll happen. The script of my life is all up in some of these projects and I want a piece of it to have my story told the right way...Your story too!

Peace yall!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Actor's Favor

I've been calling for increase in my life, mostly in my career during this new season I'm in. First I had to give myself permission to dream and expect more because I've had the mindset that I should be humble and content and stay here where God has me. Once I got over that hurdle I begin to believe that I deserved more and begin asking for it. I prayed for two specific auditions I attended. I went all the way through to being put on hold for the biggest one I wanted and got released in the final hours. I went back and forth like a mad woman in my head. "BJ don't be disappointed if you don't get it, God will set up something bigger." " No wait, BJ you deserve this, you've been obedient God has this for you, its yours, so walk in it now." Just craziness back and forth with doubting that I could get it and telling myself I deserve it. I didn't allow myself to sit in pity when I didn't book it and held on to the teachings that God has 3 answers when we request something; "Yes" "Not Yet" and "I have better in store for you". So I let it go and moved on with life, still requesting increase in my career and what did I need to do to get it. I was softly telling myself that I must not have booked the audition because God still wants to teach me something or there's something I'm doing wrong. And I know better than that because God doesn't work that way, He will bless you in the midst of teaching you a lesson because He loves you that much. Moving on to the point of this entry called The Actor's Favor.

I'm writing in my morning pages and realize that I've already received the increase that I've been praying about. I've been nervously entertaining the idea of joining the union to get more bucks for my bang in the commercial world. Telling myself that I won't get the Film/TV opportunities unless I shift my focus off of the hustle and bustle of commercial auditions and put the energy elsewhere. But in my writing I remembered I have 3 film opportunities on the table and I didn't have to shift my focus completely off commercials, which is my bread and butter. His Favor! More than that, I had to check myself because I've been getting antsy about increase thinking my career has been "slow". True I may not be shooting 2-3 times a week like I used to but I'm still working and if that's not increase, than BJ what the heck is your definition??? His Favor! For as much as I've been praying and desiring to "transition into the Film/TV world", and sometimes getting impatient with God, I have barely lifted a finger to be prepared for that increase, but yet I've still received His Favor. I don't say this to brag, I say this because here I sit getting impatient and losing hope when I haven't recited my monologues since the summer, still ain't printed a professional headshot, barely taking classes to sharpen my instrument but yet I'm calling for increase. I take that chin check all the way cuz I've got some nerve.

I consider it nothing but His Favor over me that my career is moving forward in spite of my slothfulness in business (Romans 12:11 KJV). Let me take it a step further since I'm talking about the increase I've been asking for. I prayed after writing my morning pages and God checked me some more. He's been increasing me in every area of my life and I've had the small mind to only focus on the increase I've wanted in my career. How about the increase in knowledge, health, family relationships, friends, and so on. The last two weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts, I'm grateful to settle HERE with my eyes open to see where I'm standing right now and recognize what the Lord has done for me.

To all you creatives: I'm sure if you look at your life you will see The Actor's Favor on you too. I hope you do, if not, get ready for a chin check from God cuz it's coming. I humbly accept my correction and say Thank you for Favor!

Peace yall!