That happened, Part 2

Monday, February 27, 2012

15 Wall Extensions
3 reps each of the 6 Lat Activation positions from the Shoulder Prep Series
15 Wall Extensions

Classic CrossFit Warmup
Take 15 minutes to perform 2-3 rounds of 10-15 reps of each exercise.  Focus on perfect form.  Take breaks, scale or use assistance bands accordingly.  Feel free to perform different variations of the same movement in the later rounds (ie, strict pullups/kipping pullups, PVC overhead squats/barbell overhead squats, pushups/dips, etc.)
Overhead Squats
GHD Situps
Hip Extensions
Pushups or Dips
Sampson Stretch

Workout of the Day:
For time:
100 Pull-ups
100 Push-ups
100 Sit-ups
100 Squats

Cool Down:
Jog 1 mile
Rest as needed
10 Wall Extensions
Roll out legs, 2 minutes
10 Wall Extensions

This is part two of an examination of my past and journey into CrossFit, health and fitness.  If you missed the introduction and reasoning behind this series, please read Part 1 here.  Also, if you enjoy the above film, feel to check out my wide range of acting abilities here.  Enjoy:)

When I arrived in LA, I was broke but had big dreams. I’m not sure how many of you have gone down the acting/artistic pathway before, but like so many other things in life, the reality is very different from what you imagine. I was and still am a movie nerd. Not so much television and definitely not music, I was a movie guy. The first thing I did was start researching and reading biographies of actors that I admired. How did they get their start I wondered. Much to my dismay, it ends up that a very high percentage of working actors actually have a long history steeped in drama and the arts, they went to school to study drama, their parents worked in the industry, or they have been starring in community plays since birth. The more I looked, the more this became apparent. Crazy shit, like, Robin Williams went to Julliard and Paul Rudd went to drama school since a young age, Jim Carrey has been acting and doing stand up since he was 11. Don’t quote me on the details, but you get the idea. A famous acting coach named Sanford Meisner stated that it takes 20 years to become a true actor…Fuck! The worst part was that it was true, it was fucking hard work. Scary, hard, satisfying work. I realized right away that if I was going to be great at it, I was going to have to dedicate my life to the task. I would have to throw all caution to the wind and risk the reality of working shitty jobs, scraping by and struggling for a dream that was very uncertain.

 Once again, a few events happened simultaneously that changed my lifelong dream and reality. First, I read a Vanity Fair interview with Bruce Willis where he states that all those big stars out there are just products of luck, there are a thousand other guys out there with just as much talent as him, but didn’t get that lucky break. (I bet that’s true too.) Shortly after, while working as an extra for the sitcom Joey (the Friends spinoff), I was in the catering line next to Matt Leblanc and Adam Goldberg listening to them talk about how they have no lives! How all they do is go to rehearsal and read scripts and write. I couldn’t believe it. These were two, by any standards, very successful actors and all they did was work! The last straw came from an acting book I was reading by the acting coach Sanford Meisner, in which he quotes Sigmund Freud. The quote reads, and pardon the length:

“Before you leave today, I should like to direct your attention for a moment to a side of fantasy-life of very general interest. There is, in fact, a path from fantasy back again to reality, and that is-art. The artist has also an introverted disposition and has not far to go to become neurotic. He is one who is urged on by instinctual needs which are too clamorous; he longs to attain honour, power, riches, fame, and the love of women; but he lacks the means of achieving these gratifications. So, like any other with an unsatisfied longing, he turns away from reality and transfers all his interest and all his libido to, onto the creation of his wishes in a life of fantasy, from which the way might readily lead to neurosis. There must be many factors in combination to prevent this becoming the whole outcome of his development; it is well known how often artists in particular suffer from partial inhibition of their capacities through neurosis. Probably their constitution is endowed with the powerful capacity for sublimation and with a certain flexibility and the repressions determining the conflict. But the way back to reality is found by the artist thus: he is not the only one who has a life of fantasy; the intermediate world of fantasy is sanctioned by general human consent, and every hungry soul looks to it for comfort and consolation. But to those who are not artists the gratification that can be drawn from the springs of fantasy is very limited; their inexorable repressions prevent the enjoyment of all but the meager daydreams which can become conscious. A true artist has more at his disposal. First of all he understands how to elaborate his daydreams, so that they lose that personal note which grates upon strange ears and becomes enjoyable to others; he knows too how to modify them sufficiently so that their origin in prohibited sources is not easily detected. Further, he possess the mysterious ability to mould his particular material until it expresses the ideas of his fantasy faithfully; And then he knows how to attach his reflection of his fantasy-life so strong a stream of pleasure that, for a time at least, the repressions are bout-balanced and dispelled by it. When he can do all this, he opens out to others the way back to the comfort and consolation of their own conscious sources of pleasure, and so reaps their gratitude and admiration; then he has won-through his fantasy-what before he could only win in fantasy: Honour, power, and the love of women.”

 All of this in about a month, and I was left to decide, is acting what I really want to do with my life, does it make me truly happy? Am I not capable or connected enough to reality to be successful in any other way? The question that got me was, am I willing to give up everything else I want to do in order to achieve success in acting? The answer was a resounding no, on all accounts.

 I began to realize that I wanted to use acting as a vessel to get to the life that I really wanted. When I spoke of success, it never included acting, but did include being active, traveling and helping people. Acting somehow seemed like the easy way there. Silly looking back at it, I know. This is the beauty of life. Would I have discovered that simple truth if I had never taken the journey? In retrospect, this is all so easy to see, but the decision was not that simple. The thought of telling my friends and family that acting wasn’t for me, after just two years of trying, seemed like admitting failure. And great, now that I knew I wanted to live an awesome life without acting, how the hell was I going to get there?

The plot thickens.


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