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I've been thinking lately about choices.
Hmmm... I'm not even sure I know what to say about this. It was all a lot clearer this morning. But now it's late in the day and I've been busy finishing my new Road Rules recap and playing on the boards there and doing work and drinking diet coke and forgetting lunch again and so I'm a bit spacey.
Take my job, for example. I don't like it. I don't like being here. It doesn't fulfill any need in me, except to make money and have freedom to other things while making said money. Yes, that's a great thing, and I meet very cool people, but I want out. A while ago a job presented itself that would have been perfect, given the notion that I had to have a job and wasn't making enough money solely doing what I want to do yet (write and act). The money was better, the company was more fun, the atmosphere was much nicer, but I didn't take it. I didn't come to some huge decision one day, I just let the offer sit and eventually I realized I wasn't going to take the job. I realized it, I didn't necessarily decide it. I'm completely happy and at peace with my decision. But that wasn't really an active choice. Now, my apartment, for instance: I'm also sick of it. I've been in the same place for five years now. (Can that be right?!) Wow. I think it is. Now, my instinct is to leave. To find a different place. I don't know if I'd find a space or neighborhood I like better (it's doubtful) and I know I won't find a better deal, but I desperately want new surroundings. However, I've felt like this before, and I'll probably just stay for a while until I have more money. Where am I going with this? I'm not sure.
Choices are, in acting terms, extremely important. The word is thrown around willy nilly, but it is really the foundation of action, which is the foundation of organic behavior that is true to an imaginary set of circumstances. We come to a role with only so much information. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes none. And in either case, we have to take what's there, take the circumstances of the scene, the story, step inside the skin of the characters, such as it is, and begin building. Begin to make "choices" that inform who we are and how we live within the fabric of the story. If you sit in on auditions, you'll always hear, "Well, I'm not sure they were the right one, but at least they made interesting/strong choices." The making of a choice, regardless of whether or not it is necessarily the right one, is a virtue here.
But here's a question: can all choices be equal? What if your internal voice, your internal compass is not leading you in any direction? When I had to choose which college to go to, I had it narrowed down to Boston and New York, and I couldn't decide. All things were equal, and so I ended up flipping a coin. To this day I think of that decision and I do not wonder what would have/could have been if I had gone to Boston. Rather, I think of all the people I would not know and experiences I would not have if I had gone there, and I'm glad the quarter landed on heads instead of tails. I don't have a lot of regrets in life. Some, but not too many. Does this mean my choices have all mostly been right? I don't know. Maybe I've just lucked out. Or maybe, when all things seem equal, either choice is OK.
But what happens in this case... when everything points to one thing. Let's say everything pointed to my going to Boston, and I didn't. I kept seeing movies about Boston and running into people wearing Boston sweatshirts and I visited Boston and fucking fell in love with it -- every hand in the universe seemed to be pointing towards Boston, and I decided to go to New York anyway. Would I be making the universe very angry at me? I somehow fear so. But then what about this: what if every hand points me to Boston and I decide to go to Boston, and then Boston suddenly revokes my acceptance, or raises its tuition and I can no longer afford to go. I have to go to New York. I never get to Boston. What happens then? That's not my fault, so is the universe still mad at me for not finding a way? Will such obvious and perfect choices no longer be made available to me from then on? Will the universe reserve pointing the way to people who will find a way to follow it? Did I give up too easily? Should I have forced my way into the university? Stood knocking on its gates until it let me in? And what happens then when I'm in New York and I'm still seeing Boston movies, and meeting people from Boston, and tripping on the curb on 5th Ave. and 10th St. and landing with my face on a discarded bag from Boston Market? Do I tell the universe to shut up? Have I already pissed it off so much that it's just tormenting me before leaving me to my own lost devices for eternity?
People say that the choices you make aren't what's important, it's what you do with those choices after they're made. I don't know... is that true? Were I thinking of moving out of town, I would be afraid of missing out on those things I've been working so hard for then coming to fruition. If I left, would that still happen? Would blank script still get sold? Would I still get the role in blank film? What if those things are around the corner, and I just left? Does that still make all decisions unimportant and somehow equal, depending on what I do with them? In fact, a friend just called me. I haven't talked to him in ten years, but he's in Hollywood, having decided to move later this summer from San Francisco. Is it the right decision for him? I don't know. Is there even a way to know? Maybe he's sure. Maybe he's as sure about this decision as I would like to be about all of mine. Hell, some of mine.
And I know people who cling to one decision until their fingernails are bleeding and they've lost ten years of their lives because they are just that afraid of change or that tenacious about keeping what they have, and I know people who flit from decision to decision, person to person, job to job, and city to city, trying on everything in sight in hopes of finding that which feels right.
And what is right? Is there a right? Are we in danger of seriously pissing off the universe, throwing the earth off its fucking axis by ignoring its wishes for us?
I do not know.
Blood and Chocolate. I hope you're satisfied what you have done. You think it's over now. But we've only just begun. I asked for water. And they gave me rose wine. A horse that knows arithmetic. And a dog that tells your fortune. It's in your eyes. It's in your eyes. It's in your eyes. It's in your eyes. Uncomplicated. I want to buy you. A big blue Diamel. Cheap white plastic shoes. That don't walk out and don't let in. I want to show you. How I love you. When you're over me. There's no one above you. It's in your eyes. It's in your eyes. It's in your eyes. It's in your eyes. Uncomplicated... speaking of which. You know what's uncomplicated? Interviews. They just come naturally for me. Every night I come into the studio, look my guest in the eye, sit up as straight as I can these days, and read directly from the questions prepared for me by my staff. See? Easy!
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