I have a tendency to overshare through the internet (and other mass media) as those of you who know me know, so let’s try this, friends.
I do weekly goals and reflections. They’re usually not terribly personally revealing in a way, but they might help people who want to know what my methods are for trying to achieve things I want/stay productive in a self-motivated community.
This is all taken from the PATH class that I did with Betsy Capes, which I highly recommend.
To start my “ultimate career vision” is to make my living writing or performing in a way that is expressive and satisfying to who I am.
My one-year goal, started at the end of June is:
-To book 5 national commercials (I’ve counted 3 so far)
-To put up a sketch or one-person show at the UCB Theater
-To start auditioning for comedic television shows.
Here’s what my week’s reflections look like for action ideas I had, things for my mind or body that work towards increments of the aforementioned goals:
(R means Reflection, a hopefully brief non-judgmental assessment of what to take away from what you did toward that weekly action idea. FUA means a follow-up action, an optional thing you might be inspired to do based on that)
> 1. Yoga 3x a week (Thurs 12:30-2, Sat 1230-2, Sun 1230-2)
R- When I make time to work in my body, I feel good about myself and empowered to tackle other things in my life.
> 2. Two rewrites of sketches (Fri 730-830am)
R- When I follow though on things like rewrites that might be difficult for me, I feel like I’m more capable of doing things that scare me. FUA-> Keep it up!
> 3. Send check-ins about podcast to guests (Tues 12-12:30pm)
R- Even if I don’t get what I want, I should thank myself for the diligence to do what I set out for. FUA-> Find more time to smile, feel thankful.
1. Yoga 4x a week (Mon 11am-1215pm, Wed 4-515pm, Sat 1230-2pm, Sun 1230-2pm)
2. Write a sketch to throw up at BYOT!!! (Mon 8:45-9:45am, 9:30-11:30pm)
3. Do my check-in with Betsy Capes (Thurs 6-7pm)
So, to give perspective, I had things I wanted to do this week, action ideas. You try to be honest with yourself and find positive things to do. The most important part is the reflection, because it involves your capability to grow, change and adapt to things that might be interesting to you or overcome obstacles along your way.
For instance, the “two rewrites” action idea was a follow-up to an idea I had had about writing a sketch and doing a rewrite. I didn’t end up doing the rewrite even though I wrote the sketch because I didn’t allocate enough time for it, rewrites are tough and I need to focus on them if I want to get better at them. I reflected on that and forwent my usual “essential action idea” of writing a sketch to do two rewrites to flex that muscle. Through reflection, I was able to get better at something that was difficult for me to do.
Also, you’ll see things are scheduled like a doctor’s appointment and not just things like “write a sketch”, but things like yoga, which helps my mind/body/spirit, all of which are essential to my craft. Some weeks you have tons of things that “directly” relate to your career and some weeks you make time to clean your room, clear your closet, make space for yourself to grow.
I even scheduled a half-year check-in with Betsy (my first since the class) to just take stock and see what advice she could give.
These are the things that have helped me to organize my life and ambition from a maze of infinite and infinitely daunting possibility, to a focus over a certain amount of time, a discipline and some structure in which to grow.
I also wanted to include here something outside my career, because people who talk only about their careers are well, boring.
(If you really wanted to tie this back in, it’s referred to in career-speak as “clearing”.)
It was Friday, I had just gotten done with my job temping for the arts organization where my mom worked and had gotten out of some yoga and good halal food, down Broadway. I walked through the underground Rockefeller Concourse because it always gives me that sense of Manhattan ownership, that feeling of being somewhere people don’t know about, passing the hidden Canadian consulate and looking in, trying to discern what Canadian matters people were tackling today.
I went in my underground journey past Ben+Jerry’s where I stopped in, guiltily (kids scoop, Choc. Fud. Brow.) and over to Nintendo World, where I took out my 3DS in an attempt to do something called “StreetPass”, where you trade virtual selves with other people on the street, visiting each other’s systems with a high-five and participating in each others’ games, all without ever having really interacted, a gamer’s way to feel “social” without having to leave their shell.
To my surprise though, I found myself engaging in actual social activity. The automated store 3DSes were already full of their 10-person quotas of people they could meet, so I walked over to the people sitting by the giant circular table in the middle of the store, a bunch of multi-ethnic high-school kids and some nerdy college-ers.
“Yo, you!” One of them shouted. I looked up from my system, closing and unclosing, trying to StreetPass. “Yeah, you!”
I pointed at myself.
“Wanna race?” A kid in a hoodie was looking at me and smiling.
“I don’t have a game.” I told him.
“Don’t need one.” He replied.
The game was Mario Kart 7 and anyone with a 3DS could play. even the store ones wired to the table could play, it part of the ingeniousness of the system. So I said yes and became part of the group.
It was there, all of us standing around a silly table, racing. I was and am always terrible at racing games and came in last in all the races except about 2/3rds of the way through when one of the store attendants asked the kid to leave who had invited me to play, since he’d been in the store for more than an hour.
Then I lapped the stationary Shy Guy as I raced around a volcano, a rainbow, and a mushroom-filled landscape, trying desperately to get the hang of these mushrooms, golden mushrooms and giant bullet-men I was using, while inevitably falling off the track, with a cartoony womp-womp.
I was terrible. I was having fun. For those 20 minutes, I was part of a solitary group round a Nintendo World table bonding with people I never knew as they made plushie Pokemon dolls have sex with each other in rather innocent fashion.
“Yo, when Mew gets it up, he looks like this.” One dude exclaimed, taking a Mew dolls and flying it around the sky until it fell into the back of a watery-whale-type Pokemon.
“Ew, you are perverted.” The girl next to him said, eyes still on the system.
“This is why I love playing Mario Kart with real humans.” The college kid said. “You can always mess with them.”
At the end the college kid shook everyones hand. Some of them knew each other. Some of them went on to another game. I had got my 10 streetpasses.
I had dinner and shows to see and friends to meet and my day.
But for 15 minutes, I was part of something strange and wonderful and real round that pokemon-fucking table.
And as I looked later as their virtual “Mii”s hi-fived my virtual-self, I felt a little extra, or maybe a little sad.