onceuponarealityproductions

Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Dare to be Wendy…

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2012 at 4:44 am

In case you haven’t guessed, I’m obsessed with Peter Pan. Its the story I grew up with. Its the story I believe in. Its the concept that I live my entire life by.

When life gets nuts, take a flying leap out the window and find a new adventure. Wendy Darling is one of my favorite characters of all time. She’s the inspiration for the new play I’m developing, and lately, I feel like we have a hell of a lot in common.

People always think that I’m naive. That I have no understanding that sometimes, the world is a shit storm. People think I don’t have problems because I smile all the time. People think I suppress my feelings because I don’t complain every waking moment of every day.

Here’s how I see it…

Life is difficult. Its not perfect. And yes, sometimes, its an endless shit storm. I have problems. I have worries. I have concerns. Not only do I have all of these things, but I’m very much aware of them. If I dwelled in it every waking moment of the day, and if I complained to everyone around me, I would sink. Here’s the true secret to happiness: You are not entitled to anything. There are too many people walking around thinking they deserve to have their careers/love lives/etc served to them on a silver platter. You are not entitled to any of it. If you want something out of life, believe in yourself and take the leap. Work your ass off for it. And if you don’t get it, it doesn’t mean that you were wronged. It doesn’t mean that the universe is blind for not recognizing “what is such an obvious gift to mankind.” It simply means, you need to swallow your pride and work harder.

I’ve made a lot of choices recently that have made people question me. Some people would be quick to assume that I’m running and hiding from my problems. Others might assume that I gave up. That I was desperate. That I wasn’t enough of a bohemian trying to live the dream. Or, that I need to give my life a makeover and call it quits before I get myself into so much debt that I will suddenly have a new topic for my next play…which I’m actually considering…my conversations with creditors could be an entire comedic monologue series on its own. Moving on…

Here are a couple cold hard facts about me:

The idea of “authority” makes me nervous. I hate wearing suits. Furthermore, I’m uncomfortable around people wearing suits. I sound like a girl who has daddy issues.

But I don’t..my dad’s actually really cool. I kinda won the lottery in that department.

I’m just anti-convention. When I’m asked what my “5-year plan” is in interviews, I always laugh and say, “I don’t know.” I usually don’t know what I’m doing next week, little yet in 5 years.

I dream big. Dreaming big isn’t enough for me. I’m a planner. I have a plan for every cloud that is sifting through my imagination. I’m a doer. You can tell me ‘no’ a million times and I’ll take it as a compliment. I’ll find another way to get things done. The past couple months have been without a doubt…challenging.

Its been a shit storm.

I dream to escape reality. But I also dream because I believe that I can create something new to provide a new reality for myself.

Wendy Darling was a kid in the nursery who had issues with the idea of growing up. She was wise beyond her years, but unable to let go of the childish side of herself. One day, after what had to have seemed like the turning point in her relationship with her father, she went to sleep and dreamed of a land that was better. A land where dad was the villain. Dad was Hook. Everything was justified. Not only was everything justified, but there was a boy who could fly. A boy who believed in the same things as her. Even in a place that could only be described as Wendy’s paradise, Wendy came upon a realization. A realization that even though she was exactly in the place she wanted to be, she had to grow up. Not because she had to, but because she wanted to. So she flew away. The lost boys assumed that she would forget about them. She would never forget. She could never forget. You see, Wendy wasn’t flying away from her life. She wasn’t ending the adventure. She was simply flying toward a new adventure.

I feel like that’s what I’m doing right now. None of my dreams have changed. I’ve just made a hell of a lot of sacrifices to ensure that they happen the way I want them to happen. I dream of living in New York. I dream of creating theatre. Producing theatre. Writing theatre. Acting theatre. Every little choice I’m making now is a choice to push me in that direction. I don’t expect everyone to understand. All I want to say, is I’m on an adventure. Its scary. Its something I’d never thought I’d do…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Morning pages.

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I have this book called, “The Artist’s Way.” To be honest, the book is pretty religious. Not really my style. However, I’ve referred to the book frequently when it comes to writing, because the message of the book is the same. Write. Just write. Anything. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t judge what you put down on paper. Just write something and don’t judge it because its ‘art.’ Art won’t be perfect every time, but you gotta at least give it a chance. One of my favorite exercises from “The Artist’s Way” was the morning pages. You get up first thing in the morning. Sit down with your cup of coffee, and write. There doesn’t have to be a topic. It doesn’t have to even make sense. Its simply a way to flush out your thoughts so that you can clear your head and start your day properly. Think of it as an emotional laxative. I’ve decided that I’ve missed doing the morning pages, so I’m about to give it a go…here they are for your early morning enjoyment…

I decided to wake up early today. 6:30. Me waking up early for no good reason is something that I have to talk myself into the night before. I literally have to give myself a pep talk. I have to convince myself of the wonders of waking up early for no apparent reason. 

‘You get to see the world before anyone else!”

That’s when I tell myself, “Not true, silly Erika. There are truckers all over the world who were up earlier than you, therefore they saw the world earlier than you did today.”

So I woke up early. Took a shower. Fed the kitties. Then what? What the hell do you do this early in the morning? I sat outside. I enjoyed the morning air. I sat down with “Cosmo.” A nice addition to my morning coffee. Reading “Cosmo” at 7am is a silly notion. I don’t quite care to be reminded that the most action I’ve gotten in months, has been a hug. I saw an entire article on 10 different sexy ways to paint your nails. I’m not a “nails” person. I get bored shitless in salons. Hell, I get bored painting my own nails. But my god that article was awesome. Damn you “Cosmo.” Now its 8:00am. I want a boyfriend and I want cute jewels on my nails. Shit.

I haven’t worn a pair of ripped jeans in a week. I don’t feel like myself. I don’t think that I ever thought that I would identify with a pair of ripped jeans, but damn…it just screams ‘Me.’ A mess. I’m a mess. I’ll never be the girl with the perfect hairdo. I’ll never spend more than 10 minutes on my makeup. I’m just not that kind of girl. I don’t think I’m frumpy. But who the heck knows…maybe I am. Here’s an idea of ‘me.’ I would go barefoot the rest of my life if it were allowed. I picture my wedding day as me holding a bouquet of daisies and standing on a hill somewhere far away. I actually LOVE it when my hair gets wild and knotted up. I don’t like wearing makeup. Sure, its fun if I’m in a show or for special occasions, but jeez, I could honestly be fine if I never wore it again. 

I’m bored. I should put on some makeup.

Kidding.

I’ve recently brought instant netflix back into my life. Instant netflix has made my A.D.D. even worse. I get too excited about everything. The other day, I watched 20 minutes of “Paranormal Activity 2,” 10 minutes of “The Wonder Years,” 6 minutes of “The Vampire Diaries,” 5 minutes of “Hello Dolly” and 2 minutes of “Valley of the Dolls.” I can’t seem to focus. I’m the same way in life. I’m ridiculous. In 5 minutes I’ll decide the following: I want to travel the world. Move to New York. Take a tap dancing class. Read a play. Tech a play. Move out of the country.

Its not really that silly, though. Its all doable.

I was watching “Shall We Dance” last night. It was during the last scene of the movie where J-Lo throws a going away party…that I realized…I’m kind of a loner. I was introverted as a kid and no matter how much I open up, I believe a part of that has stuck with me. I used to party like hell and drink my way through most social situations. At that time, I honestly thought that I was an extrovert. The truth is, I was an introvert disguised as an introvert. I don’t drink half as much as I used to. And…well…I’m just not that social. I think I’m missing part of the “human” element. I don’t go out a lot. I usually blame it on money, but maybe thats not even it. I really think I’m just a loner by choice. I don’t get attached to people. On the same note, I don’t expect people to get attached to me. When people do get attached to me, it completely throws me off. I never expect it. There’s only a handful of people I talk to regularly. I don’t keep people in my life who are assholes. It sounds simple enough, right? Its not though. Think about the assholes in your life that you might’ve kept around. Whether you dated them, worked with them, were friends with them…everyone has an asshole. I’m in the process of trying to wipe out the negative things and people from my life. I finally realized what makes me happiest, and I’m sacrificing a lot to make it happen. You might not understand the choices I make. You might want to make fun of the choices that I’m making…but for me, its just a bunch of stepping stones to get to the place I want to be. As life gets harder, it also gets easier. It takes hard times in life to slap you upside the head and make you realize what you want out of life. When you finally hit that “a-ha!” moment, its all downhill from there. Its easier to make choices that will push you forward. Its easier to take a chance. I’m really excited for a new gig I have coming up this week. I’m working backstage on “La Boheme” this week. I’ve never seen an opera in my life. And now I get to work on one, and there’s someone willing to pay me to do so…and trust me…in the theatre world…that’s hard to come by. Take chances. Make an ass of yourself. I think my coffee just kicked in…

I’m realistically unrealistic.

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2012 at 6:05 am

I had probably one of the best conversations with someone that I’ve had in awhile…just yesterday.

Thank you, Julie.

 

Thank you for believing in a foolish dreamer. Julie is quite a character. She always has been. She always will be. Me and Julie practically grew up together. We became more than cousins. We were sisters. And if you asked the 10-year-old versions of us, we would convince you that we were twins. We dressed alike. Finished each other’s sentences. We even had a secret language. To this day, we have weird nicknames for each other. We’ve become more than Erika and Julie. We’re Kah and Juu Juu. We encourage each other’s dreams and whims. I can tell her that I want to be a tractor when I grow up, and she will support it. A lot of people who know me now, know me as a goofy person. Half the time I have eyeliner gunk falling from my eyes (if I’ve remembered to wear makeup at all). I usually have a stain on my clothes or mismatched socks. You can find a half jar of mayo in my car. I talk to my cats like they’re humans. And I snort when I laugh. I’m happy. I smile a lot. I laugh hard and proudly.

When I was a kid, I was quiet. I had a hard time talking to people. Making eye contact was out of the question. I was so introverted that it hurt. My cousin was one of the few people who could make me laugh. Belly laugh. I’ve acquired the belly laugh from years of watching the stuff my cousin has done. She used to throw potted plants off the windowsill just to get me to chuckle.

Now, we’re 26. I’m single with 2 cats. She’s married with a child. We’re seemingly completely distant in our experiences that we’re going through at the moment, when in reality, we still get each other. She tells me her dreams. I tell her mine. No matter what we tell each other, we still believe in each other. She knows that I’m realistically unrealistic, and she cheers it on. I respect her for that.

Dear Julie. Thank you. Thank you for pushing the pots off the windowsill. Thank you for reminding me that my life is my own. It doesn’t matter which state I live in. It doesn’t matter what I end up being when I grow up. It doesn’t matter. None of it does. The only thing that matters, is that I live my life. For me…and only me. 

The Wendy Darling Initiative.

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Hi, I’m Wendy. 

I’ve dated or swooned for more Lost Boys than I care to admit. I’ve kept the window open at night hoping with every fiber of my being that the men of my past will suddenly want me back, and fly back through the window. If life got overwhelming, I  would escape as fast as I could. I’m a dreamer and I’m a sucker when it comes to men. I choose men who don’t want to grow up, because in reality, I don’t want to grow up…

Sometimes, even Wendy must grow up. Not too much, or life would be quite boring. I promise you that the sound of a fart will make me laugh until the end of time. If I see a puddle, I will always be tempted to jump in it. And if I see a tree, I’ll want to climb it. These things will never change. I’m a 26-year old Wendy who has finally figured out what I want to do with my life. Its not conventional by any means. I just want to be a storyteller. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. When I graduated from high school, everyone wanted to know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. In every essay that I submitted to potential colleges, I wrote the same thing:

“I want to tell stories. I want to inspire people. I want to change the world.” 

Its taken me 26 years to decide how exactly I wanted to do this, but I think I finally figured it out. I feel like I’ve learned more about myself in the past month, then I’ve learned in my entire life. I’ve realized what’s truly important to me, and the people who are truly important to me. Its a funny thing when a Wendy finally figures things out. You start to realize how many people you allowed to take advantage of you in the past. You start to realize that you let people treat you like you were replaceable. You let people disrespect you. You let people make you believe that it was ok for them to treat you that way. You let people make you question your feelings. You let people make you believe that you were mistaken.

I’ve left the window open. I’ve waited. I’ve given 2nd chances to people who didn’t deserve them. I’ve mistaken stupidity for understanding. I’ve played every game in the book, hoping that in the end, someone would fly through the window and realize how great they had it. What I’ve realized after walking the plank, and running like hell from the crocodiles….is that I’m always in control of my life. No one else. It does me no good to blame the Lost Boys in my life. Recently, I was blatantly honest with myself. And it was scary. I flew back to Neverland and I took a good look around. I was honest with myself about a couple things…

I’m not that crazy party girl that I used to be.

I want kids one day.

I know that it’ll be awhile before I settle down, but I’m not scared of what I want.

I want a guy who returns to the window and isn’t scared off by my ridiculousness.

I deserve these things. I deserve to be kept around.

And most of all, I deserve someone with a sense of adventure. I deserve someone who doesn’t want to grow up….