Being “On Go” Update!

Hello my fellow artistic warriors! I hope you all are having a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Last Sunday, I posted a blog entry about being “on go”. I challenged myself to be on go for the next seven days for my career. I also encouraged others to share with me how they would be on go for their careers as well. Here is the link to that blog entry: http://wp.me/p8uI5M-cK

Today, I’d like to share my experiences and accomplishments. Now, please understand that this is not about me showing off. Not at all! This is about creating accountability for myself. To hold myself accountable and to see where I backed off when it came to being “on go”. I hope that what I experienced will help others out with being “on go”.

When I look back at the last seven days of being “on go”, I think I did a pretty good job of doing so. I tackled and accomplished a lot of things from my list without hesitation. I reached out. I acted on something. I moved on something. I asked for things. I communicated and expressed. Again, I think I did a pretty good job of being on go. Being on go forced me to not question, to act now. To do it now.

I learned that being on go means that you also honor your instincts. I had an instinct, a knowingness about something on Tuesday morning (May 23rd), but I went against it and now I’m experiencing the repercussions of it. Fortunately, the repercussions are not damaging or devastating or irreversible, but still annoying because I KNEW. I KNEW! My instinct told me to act in a certain way and to go in a particular direction, but I went against it to not rock the boat. To not cause trouble. Lesson learned. I won’t do that again.

I also flinched Wednesday morning (May 24th) on executing the beginning of my social media campaign for a project I have developed. I flinched (to draw back or withdraw from) because I realized I wasn’t ready to launch that social media campaign. I know that this social media plan (plus a couple of other things related to my project) will put me in a position of attention and accountability…and there’s just one dynamic regarding my project that I haven’t mastered yet. So that’s where my flinch came from and why I stopped being on go in this particular instance. I was like, “I have one shot with this. I have to make sure that when I do launch this campaign, that I’m ready to deliver.”

But like my teacher, Richard Lawson, says, “The wrong way is the right way.” Meaning that it’s better to stay in motion than to remain at rest. Cause at least while you’re in motion, you’ll figure out that you’re going the wrong way and then you’ll equip yourself with the right tools or knowledge to start going the right way. I didn’t want to start my social media campaign because I’m still trying to understand this one important dynamic about my project.

That being said, I should have started my campaign and then been on go to get the information I needed. Being on go means that I’ll figure it out. Being on go involves trust and confidence that everything will work out. Being on go means that there are no regrets or what if or would have, could have, should have. I wonder what would have happened if I had launched my campaign on May 24th? I’ll never know now.

However, I won’t stay stuck on that. I won’t kick myself and feel bad for myself. The point is that I identified my stop and now I’m on go again. Since Wednesday, May 24th, I have been on go to get this information and I will execute my social media campaign once the holiday weekend is over. Be on go! I still don’t have all the answers, but I’ll start the campaign and know that I will have the answers and info I need. When the opportunity comes, I will be ready. Trust that, Jorge (“George”)!

Here is a list of things I was able to accomplish by being on go. And this is not just a random list of things. I’m not trying to be busy for the sake of being busy. I’m pushing a career forward as an actor and writer. All these actions are connected to my DOIN’ (Declaration of Independence) aka my business plan. These actions are connected to what I want to accomplish this year from my DOIN’. For each action, I bolded what area that pushes (e.g. actor, writer, producer, human being)

  • Responded to a contact that used to work with someone I am targeting. (Writer)
  • Printed a series of postcards at FedEx for my feature film project. These postcards will be part of my campaign. (Writer)
  • Typed up and printed mailing labels for postcards. (Writer)
  • Posted new blog entry about being on go and shared it on social media and with my contacts. (Actor and Writer)
  • Responded to post-production timeline on a film I produced. (Actor and Writer and Producer)
  • Returned a ton of emails. (Actor and Writer and Human Being)
  • Found other projects that a casting office casts and engaged with them via Twitter. (Actor)
  • Found out who the casting directors were for two TV shows I could be on. (Actor)
  • Donated to a fundraising campaign for a web series that my friend created. (Human Being)
  • Reached out to a director in scene study class and asked them if they would direct me in a scene. They said YES. They suggested I look at “A Fish Called Wanda” (the Kevin Klein character.) I will watch the movie as soon as I post this blog entry. (Actor)
  • Emailed a showrunner to check in and rekindle communication. (Human Being)
  • Posted two procedural auditions on Youtube and shared them with my agents. (Actor)
  • Followed up with and read the marketing campaign my commercial agency did for me. (Actor)
  • Continued reading articles on pitching movie scripts. (Writer)
  • Sketched the floor plan for my office. (Mogul. Empire)
  • Read three new scenes for my actor reel. (Actor)
  • Communicated with team about my feature film project. (Writer)
  • Met with a student from class to answer questions they had. (Human Being)
  • Helped another student on their journey to secure an agent or manager. (Human Being)
  • Sent self-care reminders to another student. (Human Being)
  • Emailed my agent a proposal. (Actor)
  • Engaged three separate times with a list of individuals I admire and respect. (Artist)

 

Sleeping With James Franco Part 2

Dear James Franco,

I haven’t forgotten about you! I know, I know! The last time I wrote you an open letter was on July 15th, 2015. It was titled, “Sleeping With James Franco For 8 Months”. For those of you who are interested in reading that blog entry, here is the link:

https://chasingthegeorge.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/sleeping-with-james-franco-for-8-months/

Rest assured that I haven’t forgotten about you! I am implementing the next phase to seal this deal! And to make it up to you, here is a song I want to dedicate to you from “The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd”. Lyrics appear below the picture.

james-franco-smile-computer-wallpaper-52853-54571-hd-wallpapers

“Look at that face –
Just look at it,
Look at that fabulous face of yours.
I knew first look I took at it,
This was the face that the world adores.

Look at those eyes –
As wise and as deep as the sea.
Look at that nose –
It shows what a nose should be.

As for your smile, it’s lyrical –
Friendly and warm as a summer’s day –
That face is just a miracle.
Where could I ever find words to say.

The way that it makes me happy
Whatever the time or place?
I’ll find in no book
What I find when I look
At that face.”

ShondaLand Update!

So in last Sunday’s blog entry, “Yale + Harvard = ShondaLand?”, I shared with you all an assignment I received to read challenging material out loud for five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night for one full month. The objective was to train myself to pick up material cold, on the spot, and read from it with confidence and fluidity. This practice will help me with procedural auditions (cold readings in particular)

I decided to tackle articles from the Yale Law Review, the Harvard Medical Journal and the New England Journal of Medicine. I want these journals to be one of the tools I use to understand and get myself into a procedural world like ShondaLand.

Lord chile! I stumbled through all of the journals for the first fews days. I think I had a 70% success rate of ease and comfortability. The remaining 30% of challenge came from law and medical terms I was not familiar with. Or a series of large words that require effort and thought. Every time I stumbled, I would read the section over and over again until I nailed it.

DEFIBRILLATOR!

AORTIC!

UNILATERAL HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION!

Critics of the criminalization of aggression adopt the same understanding of the internal normative posture of the law, but object to its classification alongside the other international crimes precisely because it privileges sovereignty over humanity. (Yale Law Journal. “Why Have We Criminalized Aggressive War?” by Tom Dannenbaum)

The cool thing I noticed was that I read each article as an actor. Meaning that even though I stumbled over unfamiliar words here and there, I still had a strong sense of storytelling. I understood setup and payoff with certain sections. I added emphasis in certain sections to drive a point home. I felt like I was delivering a speech to an assembled audience of doctors or lawyers and I wanted to make sure that my communication landed on them. That I was impinging them. That I was connecting to them.

One week down! Three more weeks to go! At some point, I’d love to film myself reading one of these articles cold and then sharing it with you all.

Yale + Harvard = ShondaLand?

I recently did a cold read audition in class. I had 10 minutes to prepare for this procedural type material. I was playing a character who was one of the top heart surgeons in the city. I quickly started making strong choices, but I found myself tripping over the medical terms. I realized that procedurals are an area where I need more strengthening. By the way, “procedural” is a term used to describe a type of television series: medical, law, cop/detective.

I did my cold read on camera and it went very well. When I watched my audition and assessed my work afterwards, I said that I was happy with what I created in 10 minutes. However, I could see that my attention was on making sure that I delivered the medical terms correctly first and that my performance came second. I was more focused on getting the words right then focusing on my performance.

So my teacher, Richard Lawson, gave me an assignment. Actually, he gave the entire class an assignment. Over the next month, he wants us to pick up and read challenging material out loud for five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night. In this way, we build certainty and strength in picking up challenging material and reading it cold out loud.

Like anything else, it’s about the reps. It takes practice. Some people are just naturally at ease when it comes to procedural terminology. For others, like myself, it takes practice. If I go in for any procedural show like Scandal or NCIS New Orleans or Chicago Med, I need to be comfortable with saying their words in a clear and confident way. Picking up challenging material and reading it out loud for the next month is going to be very helpful.

So I decided to read articles from the Yale Law Journal and the Harvard Medicine Magazine. I’ll also read articles from The New England Journal of Medicine.

In a month, we’re going to do cold read auditions again and he’s going to give us sides from procedural TV shows. It will be great to see how much I improve in picking up challenging procedural sides and reading them cold with more certainty and confidence.

Will Yale and Harvard lead me to ShondaLand?

Stay tuned!

Sending The Elevator Down

I recently met with a talented actor and friend to help them with his business plan-or DOIN’ as we call it at the Richard Lawson Studios. DOIN’ stands for Declaration of Independence. We only focused on his raison d’être (which literally means your reason for existence. Your reason for being.) In other words, purpose. What is your purpose as an artist and as a person? Why are you pursuing this particular career and not another one like law, medicine, etc.? We only focused on this part because the raison d’être is the engine that drives everything. It colors and influences everything that comes after it in your business plan.

It was great to hear his raison d’être and then ask the next question so that it could be a little more specific and personal to him. What he had already written down was great! I just asked questions to help him take it to a higher level of specificity and personal resonance.

And there was one part in his raison d’être that really struck me. He mentioned “sending down the elevator” to others when he reaches a certain level of success. “Sending down the elevator” meaning that he’s reached a high level of success and now wants to give back to others in the same way people have supported him in his journey. He wants to pay it forward to others who are just starting out, who need direction or help, etc. He took the elevator up to the top and now wants to send it down to others and help them make it to the top as well.

It’s interesting because I’ve heard this similar desire in others who have shared their raison d’être with me before. They too want to help and inspire others. And what I told my friend is that he can send the elevator down NOW. Through small, simple, meaningful actions of GIVE, he can help others now.

Now, as he becomes more famous or wealthy, his sphere of influence and give will increase. But he can take actions now. He loved that perspective and it opened up his eyes to the fact that he can give now. He’s excited in what he can do now to help others and I can’t wait to check in with him to see what actions he’s taking.

So, you don’t have to wait until you “make it” or become famous or rich in order to send the elevator down. Your raison d’être exists in you now. That’s what drives you every day to be who and what you are. So give now.

For those of you at home experiencing a similar situation as my friend, here are some simple, doable actions of give that I’m going to quickly throw out as they pop into my head:

Offer to help someone do their first scene in scene study class.

Offer to help someone with their film shoot by being a production assistant or first assistant director or running craft services, etc.

Support someone by attending their comedy showcase.

Help someone out with their audition.

Be a buddy or mentor to a new student in class and show them the ropes, the ins and outs.

Offer to help someone out at their headshot session.

Share someone’s weekly blog entries with your contacts and on your social media 🙂 🙂 🙂

Introduce someone to your agent or manager.

Introduce someone to your friends.

Volunteer at a shelter.

Donate money or time to charities.

Donate money to a fundraising campaign to help bring a person’s passion project to life.

Offer to listen and provide helpful advice.

If you see an opportunity for someone, let them know about it.

Go to the movies with someone.

Take someone out to lunch.

Share someone’s weekly blog entries with your contacts and on your social media 🙂 🙂 🙂

Write someone a note of thanks and appreciation.

Do research for someone in a particular area they need help with.

Donate items to someone’s yard sale.

If someone is looking to repaint or redecorate their room, offer help.

If someone needs help moving out of their old place and into their new one, offer help.

What other ways can you think of to pay it forward and give? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Writer Whore?

I love James Franco. He and I have a special connection and relationship. Our chemistry is undeniable. I’m about to start the third draft of my screenplay where James is the antagonist. By the way, I finally have a title for it! But I won’t reveal the title until I finish this third draft and register it with the WGA and the U.S. Copyright.

Every time I read James Franco’s dialogue, I blush. I become giddy. When I read his dialogue, I hear his voice and I see him looking at me with an irresistible twinkle in his dark brown eyes. At 5’7", 167.5 lbs and 10 inches…….in shoe size…….he is my muse for this particular script. We love each other and I always thought we would be together forever.

But lately, something strange is happening. I find myself sneaking out at different hours of the day and I don’t want James to know about it. And to a certain degree, I don’t want the other characters in the feature film to know about it either. But James in particular because he is my favorite.

What am I doing at these different hours? I’m writing a new series set in NYC! And I feel guilty because I’m falling in love with the new characters in it. I feel like I’m cheating on James Franco. I invested all this time into James and now I’m investing time into these new characters. And like James, one character has emerged as my favorite and he might end up being the break out character of the series. He is scraggly, skinny, unkempt, rocks dental braces and looks like his brain is a little fried. I love writing dialogue for him and breathing life into him.

This new character makes me laugh. He makes me smile. He makes me blush. I find myself reciting some of his lines out loud as if they were Shakespearean sonnets. I have a visual prototype of this character and I can look at it forever. His eyes are also dark brown and he looks at me with a twinkle in them. And don’t even get me started on another character who comes in at a very close second place. At four years old, audiences will fall in love with this adorably complex character.

OMG, I’m having a fucking affair behind James Franco’s back. I feel horrible. I’m betraying him. Should I come clean to him? What the fuck do I do? I’m a horrible person. Then it hits me: I’ve done this before. I was in love with the characters in a feature film titled Love Returned. It was all about them. And then, when I came up with the idea for the James Franco screenplay, I moved on from Love Returned. I’m a fucking writer whore. Oh God, a writer whore. Brand me with the scarlet letter.

A writer creates characters in a particular world for a certain period of time. A writer develops a very personal, intimate and long-lasting relationship with these characters from conception to completion. Sometimes, completion occurs when the project is released in the cinemas, or on TV, or online, or in bookstores, etc. Completion could also occur once awards season is over or once a project has run its course on the film festival circuit. And once that journey is complete, the writer moves on to a brand new set of characters and begins a whole new relationship with them. Or sometimes, like in my case, writers will be simultaneously managing multiple projects with different sets of characters and worlds. I’m having multiple affairs. Oh God, I’m a fucking writer whore jumping between the peeps in the James Franco screenplay and the peeps in the new series. And oh shit, I just remembered that I recently revisited a short film script and made changes to it as well.

But wait a minute, this is a common occurrence in the literary world. For example, JJ Abrams created the TV series, Alias. He was incredibly involved with Alias until he turned his attention to creating LOST. LOST became his new lover. And he kept that up until he created and/or executive produced other TV shows and movies. He’s just ONE of COUNTLESS examples.

I have written two feature films, two TV series, a short film and a non-fiction novel in the last few years. I was madly in love with the characters from the TV series, Chris/Tina, before I moved on to the amazing characters in the feature film, Love Returned. Then I moved on and fell in love with the characters in the short film. Then I moved on to the James Franco feature film. Now I’m falling in love with the characters in this new TV series. And each project has that one or two characters who become my favorites: Chris and Diego in Chris/Tina, Xavi and Jordan in Love Returned, Emilio in the short film, James and Laura in the feature film, Pito and Dominic in the new TV series.

But the amazing and cool thing is that whenever I re-visit any of these stories, I fall in love with the characters all over again. They are all part of my literary universe and life. They all are part of an artistic theme and arc. Baz Luhrmann has his Red Curtain Trilogy (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge) Krzysztof Kieslowski has his Three Colors Trilogy (Blue, White and Red) Quentin Tarantino wanted to combine Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained with a third film to create a Rewritten History Trilogy. Other writers have their own trilogies, arcs, series or themes. I feel like the body of work I have created falls under an arc. And they fall under the category of Urban Operas: Works that are cinematic, dramatic, musical, hard-hitting, real, impinging, tells it like it is, humorous.

Every character and world in each of my projects is connected to each other and they create something greater. The challenges Xavi experiences in Love Returned is no different than the challenges that Chris faces in Chris/Tina or the ones that Laura faces in the James Franco screenplay. These are human beings trying to survive and be the best that they can be against extraordinary circumstances and challenges. Even my non-fiction novel chronicles my own personal journey against a particular set of extraordinary circumstances and challenges during the summer of 2014.

I share something special with each character. Each one brings a new dynamic to the table. Sometimes a character in one project informs a character in another. Sometimes I recycle dialogue: I’ll take a paragraph or a monologue from one project and use it in another project and I’m amazed at how beautifully it still works.

Wow, maybe I’m not cheating after all! Maybe in this case it’s okay to be a whore. These characters and these worlds all take care of each other. They are part of an artistic whole. Part of the Urban Opera I’m weaving and conducting.

So now that I am aware of this, I don’t have to sneak around anymore. I don’t have to feel guilty anymore. I can embrace my whore. I can look James in his dark brown eyes and say, “Babe, I’m going to spend some time with the peeps at the new series. I’ll see you later tonight.” And vice versa, I’ll let the peeps at my new series know that I’ll be spending time with the peeps at the James Franco movie. I can tell Laura that I want to spend some time with Emilio and Jacob from the short film. And on and on and on.

I’m a writer whore and proud of it. Brand me with it.