"Knowing that each day I was going to need to blog about something forced me to live with a greater awareness, I've lived just a little more present in each moment and that has caused me to tap into a realm of creativity that is always there and waiting to be discovered. That's just the thing though... it must be sought after consistently, and I'm finding that the enemy of creativity is laziness, negativity, fear and self doubt, I've had my days where I've given in to it. It happens... but it's all good cause "I'm trying, I'm doing the work, I'm not a slacker". "Why do I forget this so often? The Prophet(s) have been telling us to write in our journals and to keep records of everything. Sometimes I think it's not important at all, sometimes I think I'm spending too much time and effort on it. It's all good! This blog in and of itself already has a year life-span and Jon Low is such a different person now than when he started, even if I've been pretty lazy with it.
So what is there to update you with right now? Well, not a whole lot. I'm still working online full-time so I'm indoors a lot. If you ever want to do something fun and outdoors (well, just out of my bedroom really) call me. Please. I'm serious.
Yesterday I went to dinner with a very dear friend of mine, just cuz. I love those occurances and those relationships, don't you? People you spend time with just for the sake of being around them? It's the best kind of relationship, I think. It's funny how you learn who your real friends are. Sometimes you just give and give and it's never enough.
Speaking of giving and giving, I found a true gem on YouTube yesterday. I competed in forensics all throughout high school and the event I focused on my senior year was Dramatic Interpretation. 10 minutes to interpret a published piece of literature however you'd like. Play all the characters, play one character, narrate the story, whatever. I remember throwing mine together at, literally, the last minute. I used one of my favorite books The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It's the story of an autistic child who discovers lies his father has told him, trying to maintain his innocence, and subsequently, discovers his own emotions. My first time using it was at the biggest competition in the state, Ceaser Cicero at Northridge High and I was still working out kinks in my script moments before I walked into my first round. And you know what? Looking back on it, it was pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I felt extremely insecure doing it, but I did everything I could to connect to the characters I established and give honest moments. I even remember shedding a tear in my third round. I think the stress of it all really got to me and I incorporated it into my performance subconciously. It's funny how sometimes your best moments are accidents.
When I found out I had made the final round of six, I was absolutely in shock. I was certain the judges had seen through my thrown together, flawed piece, but there I was. I had to go first in that final round. I was terrified but I'm quite glad I went first, everyone else was sensational. Now I was really scratching my head as to why I made it to the final round. Everyone had gone except the last speaker. She was in another final round in a different event so we had to sit around for a minute and wait for her. When she walked in the room, she was followed by an entourage of people that had come to watch her. Yes, everyone in the round was amazing, but this girl was in a league of her own. She walked in and did this:
This is her at the National Championships, and yes, she won the whole thing. She is a national champion.
Back at Ceaser Cicero, I remember during the awards ceremony, they had all six finalists come on stage to receive their awards. They would award first, second and third place and the other three received small trophies that said "finalist" on them. They read the names of course, in dramatic fashion, from the bottom up. I remember wanting them to just call my name first. I was the weakest of all of these people and I felt so guilty being up there. I had just thrown this thing together the day before! They didn't call my name first. By the time they had read three names that weren't mine, my rowdy Davis High teammates were chanting my name. I have never blushed so much in my life. I thought for sure the other kids wanted to beat me with their trophies, my piece was weak. Finally, my name was the fifth name called. I took second and I'm sure you know who took first.
I ended up taking second to Jane every other time I competed against her. We'd always laugh and congratualte each other right after the awards ceremony. At the National Qualifying tournament, the pressure was on. My coach watched my piece several times and gave me all sorts of suggestions. Two people qualify in each event and everyone expected Jane and I to be the qualifiers in Dramatic Interp. The Nat Quals tournament runs on an elimination system. Everyone does two rounds and then the people that have an average 4th or 5th rank are eliminated and they go until they have two winners. (Un)Lucky for me, Jane was in both of my rounds. I knew I wasn't going to be getting any 1's. But I knew I could pull off 2's and stay in the competition for a while.
I was eliminated right off the bat. I only did two rounds. I remember Jane asking me which room I was in for my next round. When I told her I was cut, she kept apologizing and asking me if I was ok; almost as if she was expecting me to burst into tears.
The funny thing is, I really wasn't that disappointed. I saw pieces in my other rounds that were pretty bad, yes, but others that I thought deserved to go to nationals more than mine. The piece that ended up going (aside from Jane) was from Murray High (who are randomly in our region when it comes to Nationals because apparently the schools around them don't care for Nationals) and it was almost autobiographical for the speaker. How could I go instead of him? My coach asked me what had happened the next day at school. She said I had been ranked last in both of my rounds. I still, to this day, don't know what happened. I feel like I was blessed with a charitable heart when it came to that experience. I honestly didn't mind. I could've gotten upset and fought the scores and wrote angry letters to the judges, but I was content. I think that was an important thing for me to feel. Had I been bitter, I would been even more bitter knowing that the one person I couldn't beat all season was the national champion. I think I might've hated myself a little bit.
I had forgotten about this experience until my friend mentioned Jane at dinner yesterday. The memories all flooded back. Good thing I'm rememering them now and blogging about it, right?! Seriously friends, blog. Keep a journal. It's therapeutic.