Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Let it Be

Well said John; the late and great John Lennon that is. So simple yet tremendously profound; Let it Be. I've been doing some 'soul-searching' recently; and you can take that to mean whatever you want it to be, but for me it is focusing less on the superficial and more of the inside and what it means to me. This I find pertinent to my growth as an individual in life; to not take the 'Jair' too seriously and focus more on what the small girl inside needs most. I found it! I like to make that small girl happy, but how forgetful we humans are; I always need reminding, and I'm forever grateful for my friends, family and spirit guides that light up my way and keep me on the right track.

Most things in life we DO NOT have control over. We DO have control of the 'oil-spills' we transport in our precious water. We DO have control over treating people with respect and kindness. We DO have control on being compassionate and forgiving to people that have done us wrong. We DO NOT have control however on how rugged our path should be. $hit happens all the time; life is not a smooth ride, that's for sure, it's a mysterious upsy-downsy, topsy-turvy thing! The ups are marvelous and the downs, makes you feel like burying yourself in a hole. But even though we're addicted to the more incredible moments, it is only at the darkest and harsher ones we are able to build our character as an individual and truly blossom into that fearless, strapping and astounding person we can be!

I've mentioned this before – some of you that read may remember… J My father always said, life is like a traffic jam; you look ahead and you see a whole long line of cars ahead of you, and you wish you were at the front of the line, but if you take a peek into your rear-view mirror you'll see also a daunting line behind you. Be happy with the spot you've got, you'll get off the highway eventually, just be patient. And he's so right! You see, we always want summer in the winter, winter in the summer and we always complain about what we want, want, want. Yes, wants and desires are valuable and significant in life; because it is what gives us a sense of purpose and meaning in life. It makes us happy to say the least. However, we must think of our needs, our nourishment – and this doesn't only mean what you eat, but also nurturing that small girl/boy inside of you. Once you respect and love yourself then and only then you can move forward as a warrior of wisdom.

Some feelings/emotions and mostly people tend to have power over us; or so we sometimes feel. You value their words a great deal because you expect certain things of them; and you imagine that they are things they most certainly are not. You don't pick the story or the path, but you have to act the part of you. Have compassion; let go; let it be; you are still wonderful! Give that small boy/girl an enormous hug; they deserve it. Despite what others may do to you to make you upset, or when your positivity is drained and sucked away, try to remember that they should have no power over you!

Be the master! Of your thoughts, of your being, of your life!

Grateful for life, health, strength and for the single people out there! Your freedom! J These are some of the best days of your life. Lemme' tell you, I know, for no matter what games people play, know that you have the opportunity to be true to yourself. To walk bare-footed, and let your hair flow messily when you drive through the mountains of new destinations waiting to be discovered. That you can talk to who you want, when you want and for how long you want. That you can be just that….FREE! To dance, to squeal if you cannot sing and to just be! Enjoy the moments. And never stop being you and true to you, until someone worthy cares to join you for the bumpy ride 'se llama' LIFE! Be grateful of your spot…I'm quite sure you'll be rightfully blessed if you keep on the right path! J

Friday, May 21, 2010

Snakes and Ladders

I'm not quite sure how many of you may know the game of 'Snakes and Ladders', but how wonderful that you are reading this blog right now; you are in for a treat; or knowledge at least of a great game. I played many games while growing up in Trinidad & Tobago. Role playing with my pet turtles Shelly and Kermit, skipping jump rope, Red light – green light – one-two-three, Memory games, Ludo, but I must say besides watching films with the family, a time I relished significantly, I also loved climbing trees and sitting up there for hours reading heaps of Enid Blyton and Moby books, or looking into the nests of birds, wondering if perhaps they had different eggs than baby birds up there… Besides all these lovely games I remember 'Snakes and Ladders'.

'Snakes and Ladders' is a board game, with dice that was seemingly un-complicated but in fact quite tricky and similar to life. You see, one would roll the dice, and depending on the number scored, one would move forward. If you landed on a ladder, you could climb it, advancing to a higher level. If you landed on a snakes' slithering tongue, then you'd slide back down towards the bottom. The aim was to advance to the very top. There were many times I thought I might beat my brother and sister; I would laugh and coo and roll with delight when I was leading, but as quickly as I'd progressed, just as rapid did I fall.

I think life is like 'Snakes and Ladders'; many times we are traveling along quite well. With air in our tyres, and food in our bellies, but then sometimes, the policemen pull us over and give us tickets, while someone else whizzes by, or we wonder how on earth we can survive on such pitiable amounts of finances and not literally become skin and bone. I think many people can say that at certain points in their lives they were doing quite well, and then there were times where they were so miserable and down on luck. I think it happens in all facets of life, not only with finances, not only with emotions, but also with relationships, with career, and simply life in general. We are forever evolving.

How resilient can we be? That is the question…we must remember that misfortune teaches us of truth. And even though at times you become furious with yourself; it is at our lowest moments we learn the greatest lessons…I smile at this statement; because Gandhi, a man I tremendously admired said, ''Suffering brings you to greatness…'' Many people would scoff at this, but indeed it is enormous wisdom. For who can say that when they are happy and full and everything is well that they care to learn about humility, compassion and love based on the misery and despair of others. It is true, that people are so self-centered these days, and they only care about their own lives; but the rare individuals that I find truly fascinating are those who show love, kindness and respect for others, they are blessed with a fulfillment, not even food could fill or light as new tyres could take you along the road of life.

Everyone has their own path to journey and their own lessons to learn, some have it harder than others it may seem, but each is perfect for that individual to advance on the ladder of life. Everyone's struggles are important to that person, and therefore, I shan't complain about my struggles which at times to me seem endless; but instead try my best to shake off my childish humanistic behaviors and focus on the bigger picture at hand. To succeed, I need to take my hardships with poisonous tongues like snakes and know that at my next opportunity to advance I can take the rungs of those ladders and advance towards success, towards greatness; no mind if my fingers and hands have become callous and bloodied…

Friday, May 14, 2010

Too Polite...

We all know how self-centered people can be, and how much they like everything to be about them, but lets just take a moment and discuss this small issue. Yes; only 5 minutes of your valuable time, if your eyes can run that fast across this screen to gain some insight on this fascinating topic.

Clearly people are raised differently in different parts of the world; some with manners and courtesy and many without. You see, I was taught by my teachers and parents that it is decent to extend courtesies and be gracious with what you have, and make somebody's day a little lighter, a little easier. In other words not being greedy or pushy and allow people instead a moment to shine in the sun. For instance if Rupert and Magdalene are sitting with colouring books and they both want the red crayon, Rupert would offer Magdalene and instead use purple; or something as simple as offering your seat to a lady or an old person when using public transportation. Little things like this certainly show character and build elevated caliber. I've noticed few people doing such things; how lovely they are, and how meek and modest they appear to be. They are true and hidden gems in this polluted world. Humility and Compassion are such great virtues.

I happen to live in Los Angeles, the city of Angels and I do love it very much; creativity and flair to say the least but there are still ugly behaviours that stun me, or perhaps shock me at times, and I worry sometimes if it will become a part of me also. It's quite easy to assimilate and conform, but it isn't that easy for me. Change is said to be a good thing, but in some instances I greatly beg to differ.

There have been numerous amounts of times where people have expressed to me, "Jair, you're too nice!" or "Jair don't be so polite!" or "Jair, if you aren't rude and serve what you're dished out, you'll never make it!" 'Making it'; what they refer to is fame and fortune; two drugs that the majority of those who move and live here are highly addicted to. I am the master of me and I have other plans, my plan is success! What does that mean for me; is simply to enjoy and be well received in my film career, and live a comfortably, happy and stable financial life. A thoughtful, respectable and lovely equal man at my side named 'husband' and a few children in the mix, would be great too! Some argue that with success comes fame and fortune but that is not my ultimate goal. With success I strive to uphold, withhold and shed light on the importance and comfort of our elderly, and aid hopefully in the research towards a cure for the Lupus disease.

Usually at my Improv class, students dash up wanting to perform, and I like to practice at least once to get a feel of it, but tonight my teacher actually picked 4 students specifically to perform. That really bothered me; I thought was it because they were his favourite? Was it because they performed better in his eyes? I understood the rules just as anyone else, my gosh, I could quote them off the top of my head and I never denied or asked silly questions like so many of them usually did!

In Los Angeles it is a constant competition. Everyone is trying to be the next BIG thing and people in the 'business' tend to be very overpowering at times. Whether it be in that they usually barter their services, as in "What do I get in all of this?" Or most times, "Who can I use to get there?" And some times, "I'm going to push my way to the forward!" It is similar to a fight, you have to fight to be heard, fight to be seen, fight to be recognized. Does politeness have a place here? I suppose the obvious answer would be No! But what a shame…what a bloody shame, sure it is wonderful to express yourself and be free to perform on demand, but are we truly wild and mad animals?

I wrote a blog prior entitled 'Little Bo-Beep', and I wrote about feeling like a ballerina spinning in a world of hip-hop, that I'd been so domesticated throughout the years and I wanted to finally be free to express and do what I love. And although I do feel the same about that, I do also believe that it builds more human character and merit to be thoughtful, respectful, patient and grateful as opposed to being greedy, gaudy, pushy and boastful.

You be the judge. How strong is your desire? How will you travel along your path?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just the way you are...

Nadie es perfecto! One of the most poignant statements made in one of my most favourite films; 'Life is to Whistle'. In Spanish this means, 'Nobody is perfect'. Clearly this is the truth. For no matter what car we drive, no matter how much money we make, no matter whom we marry, who we happened to be related to or what job we may have, we most definitely aren't perfect!

I was sitting having tea one day with a friend I'm quite fond of, and we came across the topic of if we'd feel the same about each other if we were simply vagrants on the streets wearing rags. My friend declared that I would care more for a person dressed smartly as opposed to someone who had unpleasant odor and pitiable clothing. I can see how one may think that way, but it isn't the way I view the world. Sometimes one may just be 'down on their luck', or sometimes an earthbound angel could be in disguise, and have the most astute knowledge to share if I'd care to stop and listen. A test of sorts; I know I'd love my friend even more without attractive clothing because it was inside I so yearned for. There was no need to dress superior, or to make changes to impress me, because I enjoyed their company, I just wanted someone to listen, someone to talk to, someone to share with, and someone that simply cared…

Travel is one of the greatest gifts to man and one of the oldest adventures to date. From the beginning of time, man realized that once he came out of his comfort zone and explored the land around him, he would learn new lessons, gain new knowledge and study the way others lived. Unfortunately everyone nowadays does not have this opportunity, due to travel restrictions and documentation. One must know though, that even if we have similar wants, needs and matching emotions, we do indeed live differently.

I've had the pleasure of visiting Thailand and Nepal last year, among other places, but these 2 countries of the Far East I feel has changed me forever. I feel as though with each new destination I discover, my thinking is altered slightly. Sure there are very many wonderful and exciting places and people in these lands, but what remained with me were the not so nice moments, the ones that were hoping to be seen, hoping to be saved. I saw poverty there, I saw suffering, I saw sadness. They are considered 3rd world and I finally understood why. I remember growing up in Trinidad & Tobago and hearing Americans and Europeans pronounce that I lived in a 3rd world land, but after visiting these countries that are much larger and that were once empires living in such anarchy I knew they were mistaken about my small island paradise home. I look at the faces of these young children being lured into the hands of older rich perverts, wanting to bring food to their parents/families tables'. I look at the blind singing songs on the street for spare change, and my heart goes out to them. Not only because of their demise, but also because of the daunting reality we live in, one where we allow our own human race to perish in the name of gluttony and supremacy…perhaps it was them, the 1st world countries that had 3rd world thinking?

No matter the colour, no matter the social class, no matter the nationality, we are not perfect, we have all made mistakes, we all want to be loved, we all want to be accepted, and in my book, no amount of clothes or money could change that for me. I love you just the way you are…

Fame & Fortune

I look at actresses I admire like Audrey Tatou, Rachel MacAdams and Zoe Saldana; all a couple years older than me, and quite successful in film. I absolutely adore film and through my studies at University as well as my everyday learning I yearn to emulate the positivity in their lives… I would be lying if I didn't also think about the glamorous aspect that comes along with achievement in this field. In fact, it has crossed my mind many times…

Living in Los Angeles, my eyes have been expanded to the truth of many people who live here hoping all to accomplish fame and fortune. Countless amounts of people really and truly do not care about the craft or art of film; the majority only wish to have 'Papparazo' follow them according to the film La Dolce Vita. Fame can be infectious, it doesn't take a rocket-scientist to figure that one out, just log into your facebook. People love attention, they feel as though if they have more attention, they have more love, if they have more love, then they translate that into happiness.

Happiness is a bit tricky. It is fleeting, it comes and it goes; I've been meaning to read/buy the Dalia Lama's book on 'Happiness', but haven't had the prospect to do so as yet. I'm sure he says though that you are in control and in charge of your own happiness. It shouldn't be based upon how famous you are or become, it shouldn't be based upon how much money you make, or how beautiful you appear on the outside, because all these things are temporary…only your mind and spirit is what goes on forever. Therefore be the master of these addictions; set them straight and tell them whose boss!

On my last flight I had Ashley Simpson and Pete Wentz on board, and they demanded attention from the time they walked onboard. Their assistants and 'bouncers' claimed they'd be rushed by paparazzi upon arrival. I saw them huddled together, hand in hand with oversized sun-glasses at night, hoping to whisk away un-noticed to their secret location in Beverly Hills. Did I want a life like this? Would this bring me happiness? I love film, all aspects of it, but what about the fame and fortune aspect? I wanted to be the best I could be and successful, hence my immense sacrifice to live a lonely life away from all of my family and friends. So what did this mean? Was I also here in the City of Angels, hoping to strike it rich? Is this what success looked like?

It was good to ask myself all these questions, because only I had the answers within me. I knew that I did love film, I knew that if I didn't pursue this career I wouldn't be happy, I knew that even though being away from my dear family and friends was the ultimate sacrifice that I wanted to be the best I could be. But I knew also that I did not want to be a 'Hollywood' actress. In other words, bombs blowing up, big breasted women and fast cars were not stories I cared to tell. I want to be a part of positive change, of inspiration and simple stories that were profound and meaningful. I know those films are out there, and I know that people who make others famous, don't necessarily hound actresses/writers/directors who do films of this nature. Therefore I am safe, once I remember who I am, what I'm about and where this journey will lead me…