Harry Potter

Power and Attaining It - "There is no good and evil. Only power, and those too weak to seek it." - Voldemort

Maybe it's the Slytherin in me, but I've been considering that quote a lot lately and to what extent it actually is true.

Most of the time, if I want something to happen, I make it happen. If I want to be in movies, I make them. If there's a person I like, I ask them out. I am the one in control of the world around me, and I shape it to my liking.

That sounds an awful lot like putting myself out there and taking risks and doing all of those other things creatives are supposed to do. AMAZING HOW THAT WORKS OUT.

It's interesting, though, that it sounds like creatives have all this power, but it's not like we have the ability to say "go" to a major project. It's really just personal power.

But isn't that the same thing? People follow those who take the lead, which gives those with that personal power a broader kind of power. Influence over those people, for instance.

Maybe power compounds upon itself? And maybe that's why it can be so hard to come into your personal power, because we know that it will expand, and that's terrifying?

And maybe the greatest of us can do it because we have something we're fighting for, and that's what gets us through the terror? And the best of us are so good because there is a good and evil, and they are good and have power?

I'm legitimately working this out for myself as I'm trying to figure out how to be powerful and take what is rightfully mine (or at least legitimately go after it) while not being selfish about everything that I want.

Basically what I'm saying here is that this theme came up on my Pandora the other day, and it reminded me how much I want to be like Daenerys Targaryen. I'm just sayin'. As I get prepared for the new year, I'm pretty sure one of my resolutions is going to be to try to make myself more like her.

Avoiding Burnout

If you had told me a year ago that I would come close to burning out, I never would've believed you. I would be coming straight out of NYFF 2015 having seen a bunch of the movies that would come to compete in Oscar season, hella inspired, and wanting to tell all of the stories and explore all of the human condition.

I've worked a lot since then. Both as an actor, and at my day job just to keep myself stable.

Now, in all fairness to me, I've been doing pretty well for myself. Over the summer, I was the lead in three student shorts, I was cast in two features, I did a play, I went through a solid portion of the post-production process for my own short film, and I started work on my new solo show. I'm literally living the dream, and it's pretty awesome.

In fact, I was so happy with the work I had been doing that I didn't realize that, between all of that, working at my day job, and trying to have some kind of a social life, I was burning out until I got on the plane to go on vacation, and my whole body lit up at the prospect of just being on holiday.

Oh yeah, a couple of weeks ago, I went to London! There is a massive blog post coming up about everything I did, the love I feel in and for that city, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I'm wearing my new Slytherin necklace now and everything. It's pretty badass. I also went to Edinburgh. I had never been there before. It's so beautiful I can't stand it. And I ate haggis. I'm pretty brave.

Now, part of all that is just me and how much I love to travel. But it was such a change to wake up in a hostel room at 7am after maybe five hours of sleep and instantly be awake and excited for the rest of the day instead of oversleeping if I try to make myself have any less than seven and a half hours.

I'm not really sure what the answer is here. I still do the work now that I'm back in the US, and I love doing the work, and it makes me happy. Maybe it's just that it's that much easier to be excited while on vacation because you know you only have a week to do everything so you want to soak it all in while you can, and it's a totally normal thing.

It does help me remember how lucky I am, though, that I can be an actress and still travel the world, it helps me remember how important my discipline is while working at home, and it makes me especially excited to go to Peru later this month! So there's still all of that.

Work and Friendship Priorities - "She NEEDS to sort out her priorities." - Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone

So I've been thinking a lot lately about my priorities.

On one hand, I know I need to be the person who works the hardest to succeed in my industry. There are plenty of people who are talented and there are plenty of people who are beautiful and there are even plenty of people who are smart, but not everyone is going to work as hard as I do.

And that all sounds really nice. But then... what about the rest of my life?

Guys, I haven't gone on a date in a really, really long time. (Don't worry, I promise this post isn't about to be all about a twenty-something person's melodrama.) That's mostly by choice; I don't want to just go off on a date with anyone who will have me, I want a meaningful relationship with someone I really care about, who feels the same in return. But also... that means there's a whole part of my life that's missing.

I barely even hang out with friends anymore. I do one social thing a week every week, and it's fun, and I still, you know, go on Facebook and stuff. But I also plan my schedule two weeks out, so whenever anyone texts me asking "hey, are you free tomorrow?" the answer is always "no." I'm always about to go to some job, or I'm working on a script, or I have to prepare for an audition. There's always a reason. It's not like I'm choosing to be anti-social. But that's also a whole other part of my life that's missing.

And if acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances, and if I draw from my own life to create characters and to understand scenes, then what do I have to draw from if I'm missing these hugely important parts of being human?

Of course, it may not be intrinsic to being human, per se. It's a deeply recent development in human history that we all have to be connected to our friends all of the time. Back in the 1800s, an "accomplished" young woman could sing, play piano, speak several different languages, dance, et cetera. And that's all helped by the fact that she would only do maybe one social thing every other week, since it would take, like, a month to visit anyone. Keeping up your correspondence meant responding to letters for, like, an hour a day. Today I'm incredibly rude because it'll take me a few hours to respond to texts/Facebook messages.

I'm sure there's a happy medium in there somewhere. I just don't know where it is, yet. At least the work-in-progress part of the human condition is something to which I can deeply relate.

There's also the part where I have to choose with whom I want to stay friends at a time when I can't be close with everyone on my Facebook friends list, but it's also impossible to just slowly fade out of someone's life if they've decided they want to keep you in theirs. But that's a whole other blog post for another day, when I figure out how to talk about how to let go of friends in a way that doesn't make me sound pretentious and like I'm complaining about being too popular.