The Art of Coloring

Recently I was able to do one of my favorite things in the world.  I got to spend some time with my nieces and nephews.  It’s always a blast and the energy just blows away any bad juju you have going on in your world.  I would never say dinner was a relaxing experience-more like a food triage system of trying to get nutrients into ever moving mouths and keeping butts in the seats.  But it is enormously entertaining.

After dinner one  nephew, who has recently discovered he likes coloring, brought out a huge Star Wars cartoon coloring book, you know the kind that is about 18 inches by 30 inches.  We had our choice between a box of markers, thankfully washable, and a bucket of crayons.  He and I started coloring together, mostly him, but soon his sister had to get in on the action and the attention (I have no idea where she gets that from) and I was nosed out of the picture, literally.  It was kind of hard to get my southpaw in to do any work with 2 kids sitting on my lap and the third one trying to climb up and join them.  There was much jostling for real estate between the two.  Eventually it settled down, the toddler moved off to another flight of fancy and I was able to get in a few strokes of color.  We were staying in the lines but the cool thing was we were also drawing new lines within the bigger spaces.  Colors weren’t locked into specific parts but instead were all over the board.  The big gloved hand had about 20 different colors and patterns on it.  He was promptly christened Rainbow Plo Koon.  It was beautiful in its own uniqueness.

Kids have such an amazing way of seeing things.  They don’t see the rules, the way we’ve always done something, the way it should be done or the logical progression of a picture.  They just put the color down without a thought and are quite happy with the result.  They enjoy the process of coloring and really don’t care about the outcome at all.  Auditioning and performance should be this way and it’s something I strive for every time I step in front of the camera or the mic.  Letting go of all the thoughts and the head drama seems like it would be an easy thing to accomplish but this isn’t always the case.  Next time I’ll thing of Mr. Rainbow, enjoy the process and not worry about the end result.

Closed fist/Open hand

As I mentioned the other day, I was talking with my career coach Kristine Oller about my transition from full time j-o-b to full time artist and she mentioned that so many times in counseling people  in this particular aspect of their career, they hold on so tightly to what they know that won’t let go until they have a for-certain guarantee that what they are going towards will be successful.  They won’t let go of the past until they are sure of the future.  Which of course can never happen.  We can never be sure of the future.  Life is full of twists and turns that can’t be predicted.  I was in that exact same spot.  I wanted to make sure I had every base covered, every potential pitfall considered, every monetary need accounted for.  And on top of that I wanted an absolute sign that I was doing the right thing.  I wasn’t asking for much right?

The image that kept coming to mind was the one in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana had to cross an uncross-able ravine.  There was no bridge that he could see.  He closed his eyes and stepped out, fully expecting to plummet to the bottom but instead his foot hit solid rock.  There was a bridge only it was disguised so his eyes didn’t see it.

I realized I had to let go.  I had to unclench my fist from the past so my hand could be open to receive what the future was offering.  Letting go is easier said than done but it is necessary to move forward.  Otherwise you’ll always have one foot in the past not moving you forward.  Let go a little and see what the universe brings to you.