I recently spent some time playing with odd bits of SNL history—also the history of my comedic sensibility. This show is at least 33% responsible for what I find funny. Seeing props and artifacts from sketches I'd seen as a kid was like sifting through boxes of elementary school science ribbons, vaguely remembering who I was when I'd last seen them. Only much funnier.
A very simple hymn arrangement for this Thursday sunset
I've always been ashamed of my teeth. I hate smiling in pictures—there I said it. When my agent told me I'd booked this commercial, I really thought they had the wrong guy. That could happen right? The casting director called my agent and asked for a different Michael?
Shame is a subtle poison.
If you've read any of Brene Brown's work you know it's fundamentally a lie aimed at keeping its victim locked in a tight cage of inaction. I was so sure no one would hire me for something like this I almost skipped the audition. I just made funny faces at the callback—anything to distract from one of my longest held insecurities.
So here's what I think I think:
- Shame's assessments of my abilities, talents, and limitations— though long standing—are a clever deception.
- If I should doubt anything in this world, perhaps it should be the assertion that I don't have what I need, not underlying goodness. #scarcitysux
- Having the courage to show up (i.e. try, audition, sing, wait, dance, etc.) diffuses shame and sometimes leads to getting work.
"One day at a time. It sounds so simple. It actually is simple but isn't easy: It requires incredible support and fastidious structuring."
- Russell Brand
I've been shamed by the best of them: friends, co-workers, family members, agents—the list doth vastly enumerate. Political party was, until recently, not a member of the list.
Below is an excerpt from a letter sent to me by a political party which I will not name (underlining for added emphasis).
Please clowns, try harder next cycle.
Me wishing I knew something about building houses or wealth
"The hardest thing to do is something which is close to nothing."
Here is a lovely thought from Constantin Stanislavski on the artist's duty to cultivate a warm inner posture in observing the world:
"A true artist is inspired by everything that takes place around him; life excites him and becomes the object of his study and his passion; he eagerly observes all he sees and tries to imprint on his memory not as a statistician, but as an artist, not only in his notebook, but also in his heart. It is, in short, impossible to work in art in a detached way. We must possess a certain degree of inner warmth; we must have sensuous attention. That does not mean, however, that we must renounce our reason, for it is possible to reason warmly, and not coldly."
For those who love kids, food, or kids with food—the NY Times Magazine takes a group of 2nd graders to Daniel for the $220/person tasting menu.
A nice reminder of early career uncertainty from the forward of the 1960 edition of Zoo Story:
Careers are funny things. They begin mysteriously and, just as mysteriously, they can end; and I am at just the very beginning of what I hope will be a long and satisfying life in the theatre. But, whatever happens, I am grateful to have had my novice work received so well, and so soon.
Having worked with Don Chaffer on several of his musicals, I know that what he says here he also lives.
Drive across America and you realize that we are more a myriad of small countries joined by a common language, and that only sometimes.
Here, finally, is the finished video from R/GA and Samsung documenting our trip across this great land.
How often do non-essential characters get writing and performances this good? The truthful answer is almost never, except in the case of this scene from an episode from season one of the wire.
Step 1: Find Do The Right Thing (1989) soundtrack tape on the side of road
Step 2: Insert tape into functioning tape player at home
Step 3: Press Play