Sunday, October 17, 2021

Journaling Through The Years Episode 16: Inner Workings Of My Mind


In this episode, I reflect on how the majority of my life I have lived outside of myself, creating an alternate universe that was my own creation & was safe. In addition, I look back at my past selves and my experiences in the last several years of re-visiting myself at these times & giving the love & reassurance & attention I needed then. Add to the story: "I stand erect as a tree on the platform of an empty train station, with three young children to care for, my old crotchety uncle (who really isn't my uncle) and my grammy all decked out" Continue the story in the comments!

Friday, October 15, 2021

Wisdom From Night Court

 


Over the last few months of this year, I have finally been able to re-watch Night Court reruns, having not been able to since the death of the magical Harry Anderson in 2018, due to grief and the time  needed to heal.  Through the wonders of streaming services, my partner and I have been able to purchase and watch seasons of the episode, starting with season one, through Amazon. 

To say that it has helped fulfill the lonely pang of my heart fraught during this time of recovery would be insufficient in itself.  The magnitude of what that little courtroom comedy inspired and gave to me first as a child, as I grew into my creative profession, and now in this time of healing early trauma is beyond comprehension.  But, thus it does, to which the majority of such comes hence from the magical human that was Harry Anderson, whose presence fills up the rest of the cast to their fullness of capability and creation.  I don't mean to lessen their talent and worth, for on their own they are some of the most talented performers I have yet to see (yes, my bias is apparent here somewhat), but even so, within that talent alone could not suffice if it wasn't for Harry.  There are certain breeds of human throughout this existence of time we spend on this blue and green marble of which we abide that have a spark about them that carries with it the power to uplift and encourage with mirthful love.  Harry Anderson was such and his Harold T. Stone was that such embodiment.  (With no respect towards Melissa Rauch and those involved with the reboot, they have an uphill battle to showcase the sequel with the absence of him.)

As a child, I could not express fully into words or thoughts why I loved the show so yet my heart and emotion knew.  I longed for and needed the comfort found in the presence of Harry and his courtroom.  As I grew as an actor and writer, I see now how the effects of the talent both onscreen and offscreen affected my creative evolution.  As I watch the episodes today, I understand more fully just how divinely perfect the fullness of the show appears, from the writing, the acting, and so much more.  The different cast members who came and went throughout the years, whether it be by death or some other reason, until the right cast was discovered, I can now see just how each character that was brought in was needed to complete the happy arrangement.  For example, Harry, with only Dan Fielding and Bull Shannon as his male counterparts, was lacking, he needed a buddy with a similar mindset and wavelength of which he need not always rescue, assist, or advice, but one who could share the burden of such while also helping him to laugh at the foibles.  Enter Mac Robinson.  As I mentioned earlier, the rest of the castmembers that came along that filled the cast as we recall it most fondly were that which rounded out the Night Court family, nothing against the actors who were a part for a brief time, but in the grand scheme of it all, the right actors that found their way at last to Night Court were what was meant to be. 

Why can I say this?  Because as I watch the reruns, I am struck with the deep love and enjoyment that seems to be infusing out of each actor for each other as they perform together, which colors how their characters feel for each other as well.  As a performer in both film and stage, I have felt this communion with my cast and crew members, a familial bond forms that never dies even with the final curtain call and credit roll.  That is such I see as I watch the old reruns of my beloved courtroom comedy, which is apparent also in the social media posts I read by the remaining cast members as they pore out their grief over the losses of their family.  

This I saw watching episode nineteen of season two, "Married Alive" last night which featured prominently the storyline of Dan Fielding, always bound to be good especially for this Larroquette Fan Girl.  In my opinion, John Larroquette is one of the most talented actors I have ever seen on TV or film, more recognition of that needs to be made apparent today!  It is often wondered how the character of Dan Fielding would fare in today's social climate, with its #metoo worldview and other such reality.  The more I re-watch Night Court I am struck with the reality that Larroquette's Dan is not as problematic as one would think in today's standards and perhaps was more so back then.  He was self-seeking, always trying to get ahead by any means necessary, and most definitely, a horny little devil.  But underneath it all, beat a heart of gold with an extreme sense of honor to his work and loyalty to those he loved.  None other could show this dichotomy of character so expertly as John Larroquette did.  In last night's episode, Dan finds himself in the presence of an socially awkward heiress who he courts with the attempts to better his financial situation, to the disdain and disgust of his courtroom counterparts, most specifically that of Billie Young.  But, as the relationship unfolds for Dan and wedding bells are put on the table, something unexpected occurs, he falls for her.  As he shares with his colleagues in a heart-wrenching, time-stopping, silencing monologue:

Dan Fielding: Yeah okay, okay, I get the picture. And I even understand why you feel this way. I'm not saying there aren't differences. Socially she's a little... underprivileged. But when we're alone, I feel good. Very good. Relaxed, wanted, and accepted. [snaps his fingers] Poof! I mean just like your magic, Harry. She makes my problems disappear, my anxieties subside. I mean God's in his heaven, all is right with the world, there's nowhere to go but up, look for the silver lining, don't give up the ship! And I'll be damned if that's not what each and every one of us is looking for, and I just happened to find mine, so the best of luck to the rest of you. You know that crazy stuff that we all carry around inside of us? That stuff that eats little holes in your brain and churns at your insides? That stuff that you know you cannot possibly tell another living human being? I can tell her. And she listens, and she understands. She says "It's all right. [long pause] It's all right." And it IS.

The episode was chock full of the highs and lows of the nuance of Dan Fielding, I found myself in side splitting gut busting laughter, almost to rolling about the floor, tears rolling down my face, then the silence befall as I took in the above monologue, and lastly real tears caught in my throat at the close of the show.  In the final moments of the show, Dan's fiance calls of the wedding, a human being he has allowed himself to fall for and feel closer to than anyone else, breaks his heart, leaving him lost and dejected.  Momentarily, he finds reprieve in a cute blonde who comes begging for a date, leaving Billie Young and Selma Hacker with much disgust.  But, as they walk out the door leaving him alone with Harry, the two men start to exit when suddenly Dan expels a tearful, "Harry!" and Harry immediately puts his arm about Dan with the comforting "It'll be okay, Dan!"  And, together they walk out the door arms about each other.

That love of one another, both character and especially actor, was apparent in that scene.  The depth of the love and appreciation I have for the show deepened then more fully in that moment than ever before, a show with such beautiful acting, exquisite comedic timing, and great writing, demonstrating the camraderie that the togetherness of creating is truly built upon, never fades, nor dies.  I started to ponder how painful it must have been for John Larroquette to walk back onto a similar set for the sequel, to be alone with a new cast and to be hit with the difference therein.  He's acted in other series and films so much since the original Night Court ended, but to be back in a place where so much love, laughter, and life was shared and to know that never will the faces of those you loved, who supported you, walked with you is painful.  Around each corner did he expect to find one of them, to find Harry, ready with a magic trick, a joke, or a hug.  So, wondering that in my heart, a sob caught in my throat.

But, more immediately hearing Harry's comforting words, "It'll be okay, Dan!" brought upon the strongest wave of heartbreak.  All of my life those were the words I wished for more than ever from him.  Could I get that on a soundbite then, "It'll be okay"?  Such that I could play Harry's words over and over whenever I need them, a sense of comfort and encouragement, a meditation.

It may be that in this time we find ourselves parasocial relationships seem perhaps more paramount than ever before, however, I believe that all connections we make are for purposes decreed from before, a soul contract of connection, whether that be in our personal life or more external.  Nothing that the heart attaches itself to is accidental, but all has a purpose, a lesson, to assist in one's personal evolution towards reaching the higher self.


My Favorite Song

Hear more about my love for Night Court as well as other fandoms of myself and my friends on the podcast, FanGirlHour

"Your Heart is Your Truest Self,

Trust In That Alone

Make Your Dreams A Reality!"


Monday, October 11, 2021

Our Roaring Twenties

On New Years Eve 2019, many gathered together to celebrate the turn of the decade with much excitement at  1920s inspired theme related parties a plenty.  As many a New Year before, these party-goers as well as those like myself who were more contemplative in nature looked forward to the year approaching with hopeful expectations and an exuberance of what may come yet this one seemed filled with a higher degree of mirth for we were all moving into the "Twenties" and images of the former flapper era of probition and speak-easies abounded.  

Then, only a scant three months later, in March of 2020, the world as we knew it came crashing around us, all that we had clung to as normalcy was dissipated as we all ventured forth into the new reality of pandemic life.  As the year progressed, more darkness seemed to come ravaging in one upon the other and it seemed as if the very natures of good and evil were battling outright before our eyes.  Many in the United States (my country) were outraged and devastated, with the utter despair of losing not only what they had expected based on the image of "The Roarin'Twenties" but also with the loss of all that they had clung to externally as security.  With that, the battle deepened not just outwardly but at the threat of having to look within at oneself, many sought ways to distract and busy themselves in the new reality, which, for some, came about with wanting to point fingers with blame.

Now, there is a time and a place for that, yes, however, what I wish to express today is that although our "twenties" may not have seemed to appear as we had longed for yet due to the array of craziness that we have experienced with more to follow, can we not see that we are truly living in our own version of the Roarin' Twenties?


If we get in the time traveling machine of our imagination, let's examine what life was like truly during the 1920s.  On one hand, there was a sense of prosperity economically, however, fragile and based on control, which came crashing down on that fateful black tuesday of October 1929.  Have we not had our fair share of Tuesdays black, or rather dark, full of hardship in the last year and a half? Moreover, the government sanctioned prohibition on all alcohol as illegal brought its own tumult and division among the countries.  Yes, it brought on the glamour we so fantasy about with the flapper girls, the speak-easys, the jazz music, all with its danger and intrigue? Yet, there was danger, there was division, those who were law-abiding and for the ban on alcohol and those who were not. A country divided, sound familiar?  

Perhaps the 1920s were the precursor to our Twenties A-Roarin, in that, all of our past, collectively and individually, builds upon each other and hardship not dealt with will continue to increase, deepen, until it can no longer be contained and outward it flows, rampaging all that comes into its path, personally and corporately.


Yeah, that's right.  So, what is the answer when hardship approaches, as it always does? For myself, these last two years have been ones of intense growth professionally and personally as those two merge, as well as healing and inner peace.  No stranger to turmoil from my past history of a Bipolar breakdown, fleeing a marriage of intimate partner violence, and deconstructing from a disastrous cult, 2020 was in itself not something to be feared but instead faced. 

Thus, with that mindset, I continued forward, refusing to scream "FU" but to enjoy my time to rediscover and create for myself a life built on healthy thriving.  For if we strike out angrily at the circumstances of life, thus we shut down and are stagnant, unable to continue, but if we embrace all of the craziness of life, both positive and negative, we will endure and in our perseverance, find our thrive, our wholeness, and our peace. 



Journaling Through The Years Episode Fifteen: Love Heals

In this episode, I touch on the loneliness and pain I felt as a youngster, seeking security in a love I could not find and relay how I have grown from that pain and discovered the peace & security of unconditional love within myself and from others. I discuss the ways in which the heartbreaks in life haven't weakened by heart but strengthened it. Finally, I talk about the ways we can handle the immense amount of trauma and horror we see in the world today & how we can make a difference.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Chronic


 I have openly spoken in the past about my struggles with my mental health conditions, namely Bipolar Type II as well as CPTSD, not to mention having Celiac Disease which affecting physical, mental, and emotional.  However, recently, for reasons unknown to me, I have begun to experience frequent physical chronic issues, such as fatigue and flu-like symptoms.  Due to these physical issues, cause yet unknown, I have often found myself within the last year, if not longer, days on end, struggling to motivate and needing far more rest, weakening my productivity and ability to work for financial increase.

However, due to this unknown physical strain, lessons have been learned upon my mental and emotional that have strengthened a sense of peace and resolve within.  If the pandemic life taught me anything, it is such that time is what we decree it to be, there is no need to rush through life, always striving to succeed, never fully reaching satisfaction.  During the time of quarantine, both personal and corporate, I have realized the value in trusting in the flow of my inner guidance to help reach my chosen intentions and in such have achieved a sense of peace in prosperity, success being now something vastly different than what it was some two years ago, if not ten or even twenty.  

Thus, due to the issues of chronic illness of any variety, I have found the value in learning and listening to my body and soul's needs for self-care and rest and in that I find the strength to accomplish what is needed for that day, resting in the truth that all else will be achieved in its time. My purpose is to focus in on this present moment and rest in the fullness of that alone.


Moreover, I have discovered the beauty in the cleansing power of physical illness in such that it mirrors that of the spiritual dynamic.  In these last several years, I have witnessed a purge, or rather a cleansing, of a variety of relationship and connection that I once held dear yet proved to be toxic, that which the relation has exceeded its purpose and is necessary to drift away, the lessons learned from the time spent together.  Just as I witnessed both the positive and the pain from this removal, so to the feeling of a fever ravaging the body as it burns away the physical mirrors the cleansing of the soul.

In my deconstructive journey out of fundamentalism, I have come to the conclusion that, in a very real sense, all paths lead to God, something which my former fundie teachers would look at with dismay.  But, upon my journey from the trappings of fundie Christianity, I spent time looking into a variety of other spiritual practices and world religion, and what I discovered was that similar wordings, rhetoric, teachings, and methods were used across all variety of belief, whether pagan or organized.  Thus, my conclusion was such that the true purpose of living is seeking something beyond ourselves and such there is truth to the belief of the spiritual.  Thus, I see this time of chronic suffering, whether it be the physical fever or the pang of anxiety, as a means of cleansing, refinement, and clarity within.

In that, basing my intentions of purpose secured around my wellness journey, all is reached in the time it is meant to be.




Monday, October 4, 2021

Journaling Through The Years Episode Fourteen: Where To Find Me


In this episode, I reflect upon the nature of the divine within the love found in friendships and share how that helped me through my dark times ultimately to discovering myself and becoming whole. Dedicated to my Ravencliff besties!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

FX Make-Up Tutorial #horror #ghost #localhistory

Make-Up Designer, Michael Meyer, shows off his talents & teaches director, Lia Dugal, how to make 17 year old Madeleine look like an aged ghost. Watch Cemetery Sisters on October 31st!