KF*CK Radio.

These days I often feel like a broken record of positivity, gratitude, and joy.  It can be sickeningly nauseating even for me!  I never thought growing up would be so much fun.  The life tools I am acquiring and honing blow my mind.  It’s a beautiful journey.  Some of the tools that help me:

Turn off KF*CK radio
KF*CK radio is the thoughts that swim round and round in my head.  “Does he like me? Does he not like me? Will this happen or that happen, should I do this or that, what did s/he mean by this or that, how will I possibly manage this or that, blah blah blah,” ad nauseum.  When that radio station kicks up, I have to actively turn it down.

Three Questions
I’ve adopted three questions to ask myself throughout the day.  They guide my decisions and keep me sane.

  1. What’s the next indicated action? 
    It’s simple.  What’s next?  Brush my teeth. Make my bed. Make coffee. Drive to the place. Get dressed. Do the task.  Whatever it is, if I ask myself “what’s the next indicated action?” and then I do it.–Keeping it simple like this brings me peace and sanity.
  2. What’s the most loving choice for myself?
    This comes in handy for me, and it’s often a different answer depending on the circumstances of each day.  Between the gym and a nap, what’s the most loving choice for myself?  Well, some days the answer is “nap” and other days it’s “gym.”  Between a bagel and oatmeal, some days it’s “bagel” and others it’s “oatmeal.”  But asking the question always seems to help.
  3. How can I be of service?
         This gem of a question has done wonders for my sanity and joy.  It’s shifted my paradigm from “me, me, me.”  From “How can I make all my dreams come true?” “How can I get this and that and make this happen?” to– “How can I be of service to my friend right now?”  “How can I be of service to my fellows and colleagues?” “How can I serve my job today?”  And when it comes to my acting career and producing jobs — “How can I best serve the script?”  “How can I best serve the filmmakers? the production? the story? the characters?”
    It changes everything for me.  It’s no longer about “How can I book it?” “How can I make them like me?” and instead approached from a “How can I help?” perspective.  Often that means I prepare as best I can, suit up, show up, and let go of the results.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gratitude, Growth, n’ God.

I have tremendous gratitude today.  I don’t always.  But today I do.

This year has been an important year for me… one of loss and shedding layers… I am learning and growing so much.  It’s not always easy.  In fact, it’s sometimes incredibly painful.

This year I ended an on again off again 2 year 7 month relationship with a man I thought I would marry (his choice, not mine).  My cushion-y ultra-convenient side job ended because the company wanted someone willing to work full time from the office.  My acting teacher idol referred me to a production of a play, and the referral felt like I won an Academy Award, but then I didn’t book the job.  A company was interested in paying me a very nice salary for a similar work-from-home job, but then decided they wanted someone to work full-time in their office as well.  It really has been apparent “loss” after “loss” after “loss.”

I’m writing this because I want to attempt to articulate the growth and tools I have learned and the faith I have accumulated that have carried me through these losses and reframed the way I’m experiencing them.  I have a tremendous faith in God, that everything is working out for my Highest Good, and that acceptance is the key to a peace-filled life.  For several years I was atheist/agnostic, and the story of how I came to believe will be for another day… but today, I know with complete confidence God exists.  He/She/It is watching over me, loving me, and caring for me.

Today I know

Rejection is God’s direction.

Rejection is God’s protection.

It’s scary not knowing what my life will look like.  I don’t know what comes next.  It’s scary “restarting” or realizing that what I had envisioned isn’t panning out the way I had thought it would.  It’s scary being vulnerable and putting myself out there.

I have no idea what the next year will look like, or even the next month.  I have no idea if my dreams will come true (the way I want them to)…but I have tremendous faith that I will be provided for, and that I will continue to be a-okay.

So maybe my relationship ended.  Or I’m not booking jobs I want.  But I trust that if I continue to show up and do the work, if I continue to grow and be the best me I can possibly be…that more will be revealed.  That these apparent “rejections” are really a higher force pointing me in the direction of something else…  We’re all just a part of a beautiful journey…

I’m excited for what comes next. 

 

 

Stevie And Lindsey: A Love Story in Six Songs

 

I love acting. Storytelling.  It is such an honor to delve into human experience and behavior and try my best to bring characters to life.  I am forever grateful to my teachers, cast mates, and scene partners along this journey.

I recently signed on to play young Stevie Nicks in an experimental film titled “Stevie and Lindsey: A Love Story in Six Songs.”  Wow. All my characters have been fully-fleshed humans that I’m tasked with discovering…but in this case, the fully-fleshed human being isn’t just birthed out of imagination… I am tasked with researching and embodying her in a way that’s different than what I’ve been doing.

And I’m excited for the task.

Add to that the fact I get to sing and play the piano… what a wonderful, fun challenging role.

So going into this process I knew nothing about Fleetwood Mac.  Or Stevie, other than my songwriting partner Lance Turner once telling me I should check her out.  So I knew she was some famous singer/songwriter person… that was it.  Now I’m diving in.  Turns out my friend and mentor Ethlie Ann Vare wrote the unauthorized biography of Stevie in 1986.  What are the chances?!

So – if you have experience portraying real-life people, I want to hear it.  If you have experience or stories about Fleetwood Mac or Stevie Nicks, I want to hear them!  Or if I just haven’t caught up with you in awhile, that would be great too.

 

Happy Saturday!

 

 

Lessons from My Papa

I am so grateful for my experience–I was raised by two loving parents who have been married for decades.  And in honor of Fathers’ Day I want to share what I love about my father.

He is loyal and trustworthy. 

I can tell my dad anything knowing that he will hold it in confidence and not tell anyone, particularly my siblings or my mother.  This was huge to me during my wild years when I got into more trouble than I’d like to admit.  I knew I could always go to my dad.

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Summer in Saratoga Springs, NY with my Pop-pop, Daddy, and Andrew

His integrity is impeccable. 

My dad keeps his word. He honors his commitments.  He always does the “right” thing, the moral, kind thing.  I have never heard my dad say a curse word. Ever.  I’m not sure if he’s ever said one in his life.  Maybe pre-kids or something, I’ll have to ask him.  But as long as I’ve known him, no cursing.  No lying.  He’s such a beautiful combination of honest, kind, and trustworthy. A genuinely good man.

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He’s very intelligent.

My dad seems to know just about everything. He is a voracious reader and he does daily math problems to stay sharp.  I love how much I can learn from my father.  I love his mind and his consistent acquisition of new knowledge.  I love how much he reads.

He makes to-do lists and he actually does them.

As long as I’ve known him he’s written out to-do lists by hand (despite being a doctor he has incredible handwriting), and then proceeded to actually do everything on his list and cross it all off as he goes.  My mom says he’s always been like that.  He does what he says he’s going to do.

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He’s generous. 

My dad gives and gives and gives, and he loves doing it.  As an emergency and shock trauma physician, he used his intelligence, integrity, work ethic, and interpersonal skills to save lives.  In addition, he is always willing to help guide me with legal, financial, or business decisions.  And not only me– my dad volunteers his time and his knowledge to so many of my friends.  He’s helped some of my friends set up their investment and retirement accounts and has helped dozens more with their health concerns.

He financed me through college AND taught me about money. 

Not only did my parents pay my college expenses, they were incredibly kind, loving, and generous my whole childhood.  They paid for all of the following:  ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, soccer, cheerleading, violin, piano, voice, ice skating, skiing, and a summer science and math camp (where one year I discovered theatre!).  Every week my dad would order books from Books-A-Million and we could order as many as we’d like.  I could get dozens of violin books. They bought me a nice violin.

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Daddy and my beautiful sister Katie Rose

But if I wanted a shirt or money for a manicure?  I was told I could weed the garden for minimum wage.  I love them SO SO much for that.  I love that anything academic or skill building, they supported financially. They gave me the tools to pursue my passions and develop my talents.  But when it came to anything else – movies with friends, nails, new clothes, highlights or fancy hair cuts — I was on my own. I began working at 15 years old (Dairy Queen was my first job) and I never stopped.

My siblings and I received an allowance each week.  $2 a week as a 10 year old and then each year it would go up.  If I had made it to 18 I would have received $10 a week.  I never made it that far… got grounded at 16 and had my allowance revoked.  (A story for another time.)  My dad ran our allowance like a bank account.  Interest accrued and everything to teach us the value of savings.  He used a DOS program he probably coded himself.

Thank you Mummy and Daddy for my life.
Thank you for teaching me.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for my childhood. 

I am so blessed and grateful for you both. 

Happy Fathers’ Day.

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The 5 of us pre- baby Andrew. 

 

Side note:  My father is also super private and hopefully won’t be too upset that I wrote a public blog post about him!  Fingers crossed!  

 

A Healthy Form of Judgement

What to blog about when I don’t feel like I have anything worth blogging about, yet I want to be “better about blogging?”

I’ll share some insights and things I’ve learned on my journey…

Today’s insight:

 

It’s okay to judge people.


I know, I know… that sounds bad.  So let me clarify:  it’s not okay to judge people on a hierarchy… “This person is less educated than me and therefore I am better.”  No, no.  Not okay.  “This person struggles with _____ and I don’t, so therefore I am superior.”  No, no.  That’s the kind of thinking I need to stay away from.

But what I am learning to embrace on my journey is that it’s OKAY for me to make judgements and observations about people in a healthy way.  For example… “I want to surround myself with positive, inspiring people.  My experience with Person X is rarely positive or inspiring.  In fact, around Person X I feel drained and dizzy from hearing about problem after problem after problem. Well, you know what?  I get to choose how I want to spend my time, and I don’t want to spend my time with Person X.”

judgement4That kind of judgement is A-okay for me.  It’s healthy for me.  It doesn’t mean I’m better.  It doesn’t mean I get to be rude or dismissive or unkind.  It just means I get to assess, or “judge,” and take the time to decide and listen to my heart regarding how I feel about someone or something.  

My healing is a two step process… Step One:  I get to practice letting people be who they are.  Not changing them.  Letting others live their own lives and be themselves.  But then there’s Step Two:  I get to decide who I want to spend my time with.

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I’d love to hear others’ experience with this topic.  I know the “bad judgement” is something I can struggle with.  I am so grateful for the reminders that we are all in this beautiful, crazy world together and we are equal, united, and One. 

Dear Diary.. I Don’t Like S.M.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Dear Diary–

     I don’t like social media. I just don’t.  So much of my experience and life have led me away from my phone and social media, to becoming focused on being present and living in the moment.  Being focused — whether on work or quality time with friends and loved ones.

     And now, my research and my friends tell me I have to suck it up, to “evolve or go extinct.”That Social Media is critical.  (<– says Stu Heinecke, author of “How to Get a Meeting with Anyone.”)

     It just FEELS so… unimportant to me.  Uninspiring.

     Recently I read an incredible book — Gary Keller’s The One Thing. (I highly recommend it- it’s one of the most inspiring, insightful, practical books I have ever read. And I read a lot.) He offers a focusing question, “What’s the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will become easier or unnecessary?” Really, you have to read the book, but I’ll try to share a bit about how I’ve applied the book info in my own life later.

     But first… I have had the privilege of studying with Larry Moss, the best acting teacher in the world. Through my work with him and my spiritual experiences as I’ve gotten older, my dream has changed.  My focus has changed from “making it in Hollywood” to mastering my craft.  From mastering “19 year old sorority girl” to mastering characters, a la Meryl Streep.

     And then “The One Thing” convinced me to dream bigger than I ever dreamed before.  Another incredible coach of mine, Aaron Speiser (you can check out his studio here), used to say, “If a human being can do it, I can do it.”  So my new career dream:  win an EGOT.  Emmy.  Grammy. Oscar. Tony.  It may sound pretentious but I’ve always loved the quote “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”–Unknown.   It gives me a place to aim. A lifelong goal. A direction.

     So when I ask myself, “What’s the one thing I can do to win an EGOT?” I answer, “Win an Oscar.” What’s the one thing I can do to win an Oscar? Master my craft. So as much as possible, I’m attempting to spend 4 hours a day minimum working on my craft.

    And I love it.

     But then I report to my accountability groups and friends all the voice work, accent work, physical work, script analysis work I’ve been doing…and they point out that it doesn’t matter how talented I am if the majority of my acting takes place in my living room.  I’m reminded that I have to jump on the social media bandwagon.  That I have to network.  Stay fit. Look pretty every day.

    And that, dear diary, aggravates me.  So in an effort to find “social media motivation inspiration” I ask my dear friends:  Do I really have to get in the habit of posting regularly?  Any advice for a girl who’s dragging her feet?  What’s your experience been?

With love and resistance,

Krystyna

Inspiration vs. Perspiration

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There’s an everlasting debate centering around the idea of disciplined, sometimes “forced” action, versus waiting for inspiration to strike.

For example, let’s say Joe Blow wants to write a screenplay.  Steven Pressfield, author of the must-read (and I should undoubtedly re-read) War of Art, would insist Joe should force himself to sit down each and every morning and write. No matter what.

However, Abraham Hicks, my new guru, has a different message:  Wait.  Her YouTube video on procrastination  blew me away.  More or less she says, “If you don’t feel like doing something, don’t do it.”  Her logic is that if it’s uninspired, forced action, you’ll be treading uphill, hating the process, and feeling icky.  But if you wait and focus on feeling good, eventually you’ll feel “in the vortex” (her words, but you can think of it as “in the zone,” “on-fire,” “inspired,” or “juices flowing”) and you’ll want to write the screenplay.  You’ll feel great writing it, and the work will thrive.

Both schools of thought make sense to me.
They both have valid points.
Hmm….

I’m opening this up for discussion.  I would love to hear what other people think, feel, or have experienced.  Please go ahead and comment and share this blog with anyone else who might add his or her two-cents.  

 

Some of my thoughts on it:
I’m biased at the moment because I have been incessantly listening to Abraham Hicks YouTube videos, and it’s been around 4 years since I read “War of Art.” Abraham’s general idea seems to be that life should feel good, and feeling good is the only thing that matters.

And before you get carried away arguing about things we “must-do” or how selfish it would be to only focus on feeling good, hear me out.  Abraham’s message:  God, Higher power, Source Energy, the Universe, whatever you want to call it — wants what is best for us.  Wants us to be our best self.  So if we focus on feeling good, what that means is focusing on being “tuned in, tapped in, turned on,” and being in alignment with what God/Hp/Source wants for us.

If we get ourselves “in the vortex” to that happy, inspired place, Source/God will take over, inspiration will come, and we’ll do what we want to do and what we need to do.

Abraham doesn’t ignore that there are things we must do. (Though I bet if you look closely at your “must-do” list, you’ll discover most “must-dos” aren’t really must-dos after all.) What she would say:  Get in the vortex first.  Take the time to get yourself in the zone, feeling on-fire, feeling in-tune, and then do your must-dos.

Could “War of Art” and A-Hicks go hand in hand?

I think so.

I need to refresh on my “War of Art” specifics but I am sure Pressfield doesn’t suggest rolling out of bed and immediately hopping into an office chair to start typing.  He probably concedes you should wake up, feed yourself a nutritious breakfast, maybe move around for a little bit, and then get to work.

That morning pre-writing ritual could be akin to “getting in the vortex.”

Larry Moss

12256628_863532737097621_633659456_n.jpg <–Selfie w/ Larry Moss!

Larry Moss, who I refer to as “the god of acting” is a big advocate of discipline (and therapy, but that’ll have to be a later post).   I love when he says something like “Wake up. Do the work.  Wake up. You hate your life, your dog died, your dad abused you, boo-hoo — do the work.”  (I have messed it up egregiously… and Larry is super empathetic, kind, and loving, truly the best teacher (not just of acting, I mean teacher, period.) in the entire world.

 

**UPDATE::** Ironically- I wrote this months ago before posting.

Babies.

What to do when I want one and he doesn’t.

Unfortunately I don’t have the answers here.
I fell in love with a remarkable man.  Who already has three kids.
And doesn’t want more.

After 14 months of dating we’re both pretty invested in this.

Bleh. I thought this was going to be some sort of witty smart piece-with-a-point, but it’s not.  But it is one of those forks in the road of my artist/life journey.  Where I have to pick a path, or at least acknowledge and recognize that I’m purposefully walking in place because I am unwilling, for now, to make some hard decisions or force an ultimatum.

Laura Doyle, one of my favorite relationship authors, talks about how babies are a “fringe benefit” of a relationship and never the purpose or reason for one.  Because after 18 years the baby will be gone and it’s the marriage that remains.  I love that idea.  But I also love the idea that all of my dreams can come true, and that includes being a mother.  A biological mother.

 

Bleh.  I’m not asking for opinions or advice.  I’m not asking for anything really.   Just sharing a very real, grown-up struggle I am grappling with. And praying for some clarity and courage.

 

An Update:: Not long after drafting this post, the topic came up organically with my beau in the process of working through the book Getting the Love You Wantand doing an imago dialogue (which I highly recommend! Click the link for more info!) I still don’t know what the future holds, but I have a greater appreciation for his point of view and vision, and the talk deepened our love and connection.  I guess this is a…. 

To be continued.

 

 

Featured Photo:  Me as a baby!

 

Late Night AHicks-Style Rampage

1:21am Law of Attraction, Into the Vortex (albeit sleep deprived) Rampage
A Focus Wheel of sorts

I have time.
There is nowhere I have to be right now.
There is nothing I must do in this moment.
Everything always works out for me.

I love my home.
I love my home now, and I am excited about my ideas to make it even better.
I love the way inspiration feels.

I live a pretty blessed life.
I love living in Los Angeles and living dreams.
I love living in a city surrounded by dreamers, doers, and creatives.
I love letting go.

I love freedom.
I love knowing that everything will work out, even if I don’t check off every item on my list.

I love surrendering control and opening myself up to the Universe and to God’s plan for me.
I love my health.

I love that my parents instilled in me a love of learning and adventure, and the belief I could do anything I put my mind to.

I love that I’m sailing along the path of least resistance, releasing concern, embracing authenticity, letting go (bit by bit) of what others think.

I love.

Enough’s enough.

For as much as I seem to gab endlessly to my friends and fill pages and pages of journals with my thoughts, it’s always shocked me how choked up I get when it comes to publicly sharing my story and finding my voice.

Even now, it’s taking me a disappointing amount of time to get words formulated into sentences and typed up for my “first official blog entry.”

My problem is:   I never think my voice matters.

What could I possibly have to say or to share that couldn’t be found somewhere else with a quick Google or YouTube search?  Who do I think I am to think that people might want to read my story or my thoughts?  Why would I waste my time and other people’s by word vomiting posts when I’m not a professional writer and I haven’t studied this?  Isn’t this vain; aren’t there other things to spend my time on?  Would anyone read it? Would I even want anyone to?  How much can I actually share anyhow?  Can’t exactly be totally candid if there’s a chance my truth would hurt or affect others….

…those are just a smattering of the thoughts that course through my head at ninety miles a minute and stop me dead in my tracks.

…those are a sampling of the voices and insecurities that tell me I am not good enough, I won’t ever be good enough, and I couldn’t possibly have anything important to say.

Well, enough’s enough.

     Today I say:  My voice matters.  My story matters.  And if I want to create a blog and publicly share my journey as an artist and a human being, I will.

No, I haven’t thought this out.  I can’t tell you what I’ll be writing about or how often.  Just like my life, I’ll be figuring out most of it as I go along.

 

 

DeleteMe_Autumn

“Make today count. You won’t ever get it back.”