Monday, October 19, 2015

Human or Dancer?

As I write this, I'm wearing red pants. What does this mean? Whenever I put on my red pants it signals that I have run out of all the good clothes in my closet and it’s laundry day whether I like it or not. Last weekend I was on a film set for four straight days, so this weekend I have been trying to catch up on some rest. But dirty clothes wait for no one!

This morning I went to a church called Mosaic and the pastor’s sermon was about living in the here and now. We should live these present moments to the fullest, because they are what make life count. It reminds me of the quote, “Life ain’t a dress rehearsal. This is it, kid – you’re on!” Often, I find my spirit living in the here and now and my mind planning for the there and then. I think we should strive for a healthy balance of enjoying the moments at hand but also considering how we want our lives to play out in the future.

If I may step out of the here and now for a moment, I would like to talk briefly about the there and then of my life. As I was getting my things ready to come to California, I decided to pack everything I would need to stay out here, just in case. My amazing mom even put together a little apartment box for me. As time goes on, I am feeling more certain that I want to permanently locate in Los Angeles after my internships are over. I am continuing to keep my resume updated and expand my professional network so that this transition is as smooth as possible. I’m blessed with a supportive family who promises to love me even if I don’t make it back to the Midwest for a while. Thank goodness for FaceTime!

I have had the song “Human” by The Killers on repeat lately. It speaks to the season I’m in right now:

“And sometimes I get nervous
When I see an open door
Close your eyes
Clear your heart
Cut the cord…
Are we human?
Or are we dancer?”

Those last two lines are a mystery even to fans of The Killers. But to me, it shows the tension between fretting over the future (something humans tend to do) and living in the moment (a trait exemplified by dancers). I know the steps ahead will be filled with moments that are very human, but I hope I can dance my way through them and enjoy ‘em for all they’re worth.

A favorite recent moment was meeting executive producer Ken Wales. Ken produced Peter Sellers comedies like The Party and Revenge of the Pink Panther. He also played a key role in introducing his friend Blake Edwards to Julie Andrews, and he was the best man in their wedding. Whoa.  

The TUHIP guys with our adopted grandpa, Ken Wales.

Time to get back to the here and now…my laundry is done. See you in a few weeks, red pants.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The "Who Knows" Box

When I organized my basement over the summer, I had a "Who Knows" box I threw things in that looked too important to throw away but too random to have a proper home. 

This blog post opens up the "Who Knows" box of my West Coast adventures.

Item 1: Pepto-Bismol 

There are certain experiences you want to avoid at all costs in LA traffic, including (but not limited to) left turns, rain, digestive system that is having a particularly volatile day. I've said too much already.

As I was driving to my internship on that fateful morning, I had a feeling sweep over me. You know exactly what I mean. Below is a transcription of my words - some in my head and some spoken aloud - from the car ride I will never forget.

This is not good. No, this is not good.

Siri, take me to the nearest public restroom.

Okay, no problem. I'll think of something else...Siri, take me to the nearest McDonalds.

What do you mean?! This is the 21st Century, there should be a McDonalds on every street corner!!!

Siri, take me to the nearest ANYTHING.

We'll settle this later, Siri.

I'll call Grandma to get my mind on something else.

How's life, Grandma?

Grandma, I have to go. It's an emergency.

Now I know what it feels like to be in labor. 

Our Father, who art in heaven...

I can't pull off, I am going to be late for my internship.

Do I have any buckets in this car?

NO! Keith, don't even go there. You are going to pull off, even if it makes you late. It's the humane thing to do. 

Yes, I pulled off and found a divinely-placed grocery store not far from the exit. I arrived at my internship on time with my bottle of Pepto-Bismol hidden out of sight in my sack lunch. Probably not the beverage most people would choose to smuggle in and "drink on the job," but that day it was my lifesaver.

Item 2: Chocolate-covered peanut butter balls

At my internship one afternoon, my supervisor called me into the kitchen. It was a special occasion and they were all celebrating by eating homemade chocolate-covered peanut butter balls. I was in close quarters at this tiny table with a big name director, equally prestigious producer, and two other industry professionals. We were just popping these chocolate-covered peanut butter balls into our mouths one after another and telling stories. It was like a Christmas party in the middle of September with people you aspire to be someday.

Item 3: A stuffed bunny

I observe the oddest things when I am behind the wheel driving through the city. I am almost always talking to my mom on speakerphone when this happens, so I describe to her what I am seeing in vivid detail. I try to snap a picture, too.

I recently saw a stuffed bunny hanging from a telephone wire: 

Or how about this jeep that's all armored-up for the zombie apocalypse?

My personal favorite was an itty-bitty car that had all of a person's belongings strapped to the top. It was like the sleigh from How the Grinch Stole Christmas after the Grinch raided Whoville. I would have been absolutely terrified if I was driving behind this guy. 

Not my picture, but it captures the spirit of the moment.

I could probably find a few more items if I kept rummaging through this "Who Knows" box, but I'm sure the Pepto-Bismol, chocolate-covered peanut butter balls, and stuffed bunny will give you enough to chuckle about until next time.