"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."
"This is what you shall do..." by Walt Whitman, from the preface of Leaves of Grass, published on this day, the 4th of July in 1855. Public domain
A short one for now. Just barely over 140 characters:
I have debated putting tweets on this and I have decided that even though I barely blog anymore to keep the tweets just on Twitter. My idea is that if you want tweets, go to Twitter. Where there's a lot. In the meantime, feel free to follow me for fun stuff! @AsherTV
Hello. This is a slightly different blog posting for me. Lately I've used this blog as an extension of my video promotion, releasing my videos on another format for additional random e-onlookers. Today I think I'll write about my experience (both internal and external) of a big fat American holiday, the Thanksgiving. The funny thing about blogs and I guess videos on youtube, is that you never know who will view them. True they are public, but the universe is public now. Blogging doesn't seem to be the rage it was a few years ago. Twitter seems to have replaced the blog. People want the micro-blog at 140 characters or less. And to be honest, writing more than 140 characters just seems like a lot of work these days. I guess the thing now is to tweet that you wrote something in your blog... to all of my 139 followers on twitter (both real and cyber-real, that is a promotional add on to companies who auto-follow you whenever you mention a word related to their product.) So understanding the somewhat futility of blogging, I'm going to make an old fashioned entry anyway, for the on-again off-again facebook "freinds" and the random cyber-world at large.
Lately during holidays (as in the last couple years) I want to hibernate. I want to crawl into a ball, pull the covers up and not talk to anyone. I don't want to talk to family and answer the same questions I answer every year, with the same answer. I have family all across the country and in order to talk to them I have to call several states and have the same conversations back to back to back. In order to share my love for them in the form of a phone call I have to answer; yes I am still a waiter at the same restaurant. No, kids aren't in my immediate future. Yes I'm seeing someone but that does not mean there will be a wedding anytime soon. No I don't have any work airing on TV right now. Yes this is another year gone by where I am pursuing what seems to be an impossible dream. Yes I do have videos on YouTube, and I'm sure your viewing of them will make you confused and even more concerned about my future. No, I don't know what I'm going to do next. I'm sure whatever I say you will nod your head and not really comprehend the meaning of. You will wish me the best, hang up the phone and wish I was doing something more secure, with more of a future.
Then there's mom, who wants me to always be there, no matter what all the time. Anything less is an insult. This year is a bit different as she is moving to another state and me not being there is another layer of guilt on top of a lifetime of a guilt quilt. It's heavy to say the least.
My father is the same as he usually is, but at least he seems happy. He moved in with my brother for the time being and he seems to be doing well, on the phone at least. I won't write anything further about him because chances are he will read this ;-)
Side note; I have to admit part of this feels like I'm aping Doogie Hauser MD, sharing something personal with the world at the punch of the keyboard.
Back to Blogging
Then there's the family who lives close by who I have no excuse not to see. And the problem is not them. They are lovely people and I genuinely care about them and love them, but the problem is me. By going there I have to answer these questions face to face. It's one thing to put on the "yeah I'm doing fine, everything is good" face on the phone, but it's another to look another in the eye and answer those questions. Despite my chosen profession of being an actor I find it hard to put on aires of success when I'm a struggling artist at large. I did go to my extended family's in the valley and I'm glad I did. I did enjoy it, despite the drive and The People's Court playing in the background, followed by Family Feud and Wheel Of Fortune. To be fair and honest, I actually enjoyed having the TV on. After dinner we watched Two and a Half Men together and I got to take my brain off and just laugh and say "That Charlie Sheen, isn't he crazy?"
But on the drive back home this swell came over me again of "What am I doing?" "How do I progress?" "How is my life going to improve and change?" And those questions hit hard. Maybe it's because these holidays create some force that requires you to face it with an appearance of success, but I end up feeling crushed. It makes me feel that despite my successes I am really just a beginner at this, a loner, an outsider, with only a fragment of a chance of success and for that I sacrifice my life, my living, my legacy. And I feel broken.
Then this song comes on the radio as I drive home on a jam packed 101 at 9:55pm:
And I cognitively realize that those feelings however much they hurt, are feelings, not facts. As much as I feel like a beginner I know I have had successes, and they should not be discounted, so I will force my myself to accept the good in me and my life. As much as it can be challenging to talk to family members who sometimes seem like strangers, at least I have them, despite their distance and differences. They ask these questions because they miss and care about me, not to embarrass or to criticize. As far as my mistakes made, I won't let it control my future. I like the metaphor that the past is like a trail you leave behind, much like a wave from a boat. That is, it's a vanishing trail that shows where you were. You can observe and learn from it, but it doesn't affect the course, it can't.
Most importantly I accept that I have a talent, a voice and it will find a way to be heard in this world. I just have to keep listening to that voice...