I sometimes wanna yell in their face, "Don't ask me such a personal question in public!" Okay, maybe I'm a bit sensitive sometimes and maybe I just need to eat or take a nap. I know it's just meant to be a general greeting but, as I get older, I wanna answer more honestly and sometimes, well, I'm not doing too well.
Tomorrow marks the sixth anniversary of my mother's death. Her passing was the first major experience that forced me to understand that pain, real pain, is a critical and defining part of life. And that type of pain never goes away, you learn how to put it away.
She was my biggest cheerleader. When she disappeared, I lost all confidence and faith in my ability. But, as I've learned, these experiences are there to challenge us. Do these experiences hold us back or do they propel us forward?
I have chosen to find the beauty in her passing. I have worked very hard at rebuilding and restructuring my life. I've asked myself the tough questions about my career as an artist. I've grown to learn and understand that, yes, my career is not as stable as I'd like it to be at this age but also, yes, there is nothing that I would rather do.
I've worked at restructuring my friendships. When my mom died, it was like a massive redwood tree at the center of my existence was uprooted and, with its removal, a massive amount of love disappeared. I have found a way to fill that empty space with the love of numerous important family members and friends. I have grown closer to my dad, my sister, my godfather and my Uncle Mike. In my social media, I do my best to give honest testimonies about the people who have chosen to step forward and fill that void in my life. We cannot live healthy lives without the support of our friends. I wouldn't believe in my voice as an artist if not for my friends' encouragement.
I am finding a new way to move through the world. I am turning off the Netflix, pressing Command-Q as soon as I start scrolling through Comparisonbook, I mean, Facebook. I am working harder at my skills as an actor, a poet and a comedian. I am far from where I want to be in my self-expression but my new year's mantra is "Do not give those voices any chance to breathe." I'm done doubting, I'm only doing. I'm no longer worrying, I'm only working.
I shot a national Subaru commercial this past Wednesday. I'm really psyched. Hopefully it came out well and hopefully you're gonna see it on your television and computer screens A LOT in the next few months.
Tomorrow, I'll be on a fun internet show called "Breaking Into" with host James Lott Jr. I think the homie is going to interview me for a FULL HOUR. You can watch us LIVE at 11:30am PST/2:30 EST. Just click on the above link and it will lead you to where to watch it.
And last but not least, my writing and performance partner, Joshua Silverstein, and I will be performing this Friday night in Santa Monica as part of the "Fireside at the Miles" series. It will be a mix of spoken word poetry and comedy that's guaranteed to make you laugh. We will also be having a very special guest singer/comedian named Jackie Tohn. You do NOT wanna miss her.