Take chances, make mistakes

I rip out images from the New York Times and stick them on my wall. You are looking at photography by Irving Penn, a painting by Kandinsky, & some Bento Boxes

“Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”

Ms. Frizzle circa Magic School Bus

I used to be a shy, afraid, overly methodical girl who was never outgoing and never took a risk.  It was because of a fear of what others may think or if I would be the one making other people uncomfortable.  I also used to be overly concerned with what other people thought of me and if I was making the best impression.

Forget that.

These past few years I have learned to take advantage of opportunities that come my way, to say “yes” instead of “no” more often.  While this may get me in trouble by never being able to say no, I have had a better life experience by saying “yes” more often. To relate to my current situation, I find myself overbooked with school, work, and outside activities while running around trying to find a job after graduation.  Yesterday I booked it after class into Manhattan for a job interview about a marketing assistant position and then proceeded to run back for Hofstra’s Association for Graphic Artists’ “Not All Artists Are Starving” networking event.  Friday I have an audition at MTV and all weekend I am picking up extra hours at LICM.  My next three months are already halfway booked in my planner and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

More often than not, I feel that self-doubt gets in the way more than lack of experience or knowledge.  Everyone is their own worst enemy in that your perspective on any given day could make or break you.  When you are at your best and most confident, you produce better work, writing gets easier, inspiration comes from everywhere.  When I am at my worst, all insecurities surface, from wondering if that guy really likes me as much as he says he does to whether my friends feel they can still count on me to worrying about if I will find a job after graduation.

It’s the acceptance that life is unpredictable, unplanned, and unfair that will change your life.  We have just this one life to experience, so it’s fine to try anything and everything,  making mistakes along the way.  I would not be where I am today if I decided I was too afraid to apply to WRHU or move to Chicago for the summer or apply for an internship or speak up in French Literature or tell some one how I really felt.  With all that experience and insight on life you will get by saying “yes, i want to take chances and make mistakes”, you will be able to relate to so many more people.  You are simply being an active, passionate individual who takes the initiative to take their life for what it’s worth – as precious time to gain and grow as much as possible.

Being Proactive and Changing Perspective

Awesome building around Washington Square Park my friend Steph and I passed this past Saturday on the way to Dojo. Can some one identify it for me please?

My bad. My resolution to blog more regularly unfortunately has been placed on the back burner.  By far this has been my busiest semester, but as a whole I’m more content and self-aware than I have been in a while.  Between my capstone course working on a campaign for Pajama Program, doing media outreach for Long Island Children’s Museum, interning with Independent Film Channel, getting my fill of post Cold War Eastern European and Russian Cinema and Literature, developing PRestige Agency, delivering epic (if I do say so myself) speeches in Public Speaking, working on an independent study about the strategic thinking of Google for New Media, having adventures in NYC and spending quality time with my best friends – life is pretty good.

Everything seems to be coming together almost too beautifully – maybe I finally realized in my head I need to enjoy the time I have now, because nothing is constant.  Life is going to change once Graduation Day approaches.  Tonight I spent time with one of my best friends Maggie talking about how we were freshmen year and how everyone we knew has changed so.  Tables were turned slightly in that while I talked about my fears of the unknown, she talked about how one has to look forward to the future with excitement.  Every situation one finds themselves in is always subjective and in “the eye of the beholder.”  One’s perspective is the overall deciding factor on whether one is having a favorable or unfavorable experience.  It’s not worth wasting energy being negative – you miss out on seizing opportunities.

So if you are going to take anything away from this unexpected bit of optimism from yours truly (not that I am a Negative Nancy by nature – I’m truly a relatively positive person – but I do run the risk of having moments of cynicism – doesn’t everyone?) here is advice:

– Time and energy spent being stressed and sad is time and energy wasted – there must be something else  you can use that energy constructively on.

– Stop drinking coffee after noon, it is not an “elixir of life”, it’s a death sentence that leads to stress.  I speak from experience, my name is Reb and I am a recovering caffeine addict.

– If there is something you seek, something you must accomplish, take it upon yourself to figure out the right answer.  No one is going to deliver all of life’s answers on a platter.

– Acknowledge what you have, stop thinking about what you have left to acquire.  Figure out what it is that makes you unique and an asset and own it.  Never be ashamed of how you are.

– My mother (who you can call for now Barbara, my friends can call her “Mommy Carlson”) once used this metaphor on me and it has helped me more than I expected.  Imagine that you have a pitcher full of water and a table of glasses before you.  You can only filled so many glasses with so much amount of water.  Would you rather have many glasses barely filled, or a select few filled to the brim?  This is how you should look at the projects you invest yourself in.  Never stretch yourself too thin.

– Get your just rewards.  If you feel you aren’t getting the recognition you deserve, get it or let it go.  Demand the attention you deserve.

– It’s worth spending time finding the things that inspire you and ignite your creativity.  On better days I am able to start my day “combing through” the Internet looking through my Tumblr, RSS feeds, the news, etc. to find something interest and innovating that I can think about throughout the day.  Today’s great find courtesy of Kickstarter was a couple of rough sketches by The Museum Proper of their plans to create a 12-foot tall puppet.

I have a long night of homework and tasks ahead, and then it’s back to the grind in the morning.  However, instead of looking upon it in contempt, I have to admit it’s become characteristic of me to always be busy, always be thinking, always taking part.

CMJ – “Fleet Foxes Can Suck It”

A few lessons learned about CMJ:

  1. Bands never start on time
  2. Bands can’t believe they are there either
  3. New Yorkers of LES are one of the most passive audiences.
  4. Use the earplugs they give you in the CMJ Bag.

Amazingly enough, all the bands I saw were amazing.  AMAZING amazing.  Listen to them now – after you finish looking at these pictures.

  1. Terry Poison – Accidentally saw them rehersing in DROM.  This was before the Brooklyn Bodega showcase and I was def the only young white female there. “Gloriously sleazy, outlandishly dressed quintet mix electro beats with rock guitars.” (CMJ)Terry Poison
  2. Bodega Girls – Pianos was nowhere near large enough for the proper dancing required.  “These guys make everyone dance with their funky, hedonistic electrotrash.” (CMJ)  Face painting always wins as well.Bodega Girls
  3. Drink Up Buttercup – You have to love Philly bands with balls.  The guitarist broke is string halfway through and while waiting for a new guitar, the group took their maracas and trash can lid and finished the song acapella + stomping.  “Psychedelic without being cheesy, this bands sound like a sinister carnival.” (CMJ) They’ll be doing an acoustic set at the CMJ Happy Hour at Brooklyn Brewery tomorrow.  drink up buttercup
  4. BEAST – I was a little early when I went to Arlene’s Grocery, but though I only caught 1.5 songs I was intrigued.  “Punk rock swagger, trip-hop beats, and vocals delivered with the sting of slam poetry.” (CMJ)BEAST
  5. Think About Life – AHH! I can’t get over how good they were!  When first looking at this motley crew you wonder how they all were introduced.  What you get is a unique blend of retro sounding vocals mixed in with awkward/awesome dancing and electronic hooks. “The kind of lo-fi, funky dance party that occurs when a punk band learns how to use a synth.” (CMJ)  Listen to them, love them, feel young again.  Think About Life
  6. Mumford & Sons – Fleetwood Foxes can suck it.  This band fromthe UK…..(sigh)…too wonderful.  The lead vocalist had me welling up with tears during “White Blank Page” – for serious, I can’t pretend to be pretentiously apathetic.  “Rural-sounding stripped down acoustic folk inspired rock” (CMJ) – from the UK…that’s what I can’t get over.  Mumford & Sons
  7. Bear Hands – The lead singer looks like a grimier version of my friend Anthony.  That alone is a BIG win.  “Maniplated guitars create a solid wall behind aggressive, yelped vocals.” (CMJ)Bear Hands

As I sit here and type, I look longingly at my hand with all the admission stamps…and wish I was back there now.  Curses for being a college student.  More posts to follow about the “Being Your Own Label” panel and more glorious aritsts.  If I’m brave enough I will share my stories of the random ppl you come across at a music industry festival with 1,200 bands and many thousands coming from all over the world.