A Deep Inhalation of Values

You might not guess it by reading the sparsely scattered posts I’ve written since September, but I just began week seven of an eight week course called “The Actor’s Business Breakthrough” by Dallas Travers. She says that a feeling of discomfort and overwhelm can sometimes accompany making a big change in one’s life, and I suspect I should just move forward with the faith that she’s right and breathe. With seemingly unlimited options and tasks, I thankfully drew in a big inhalation at this week’s class discussion: values.

First realization? All of my values are worthy. On the other hand, when I disproportionately focus on my fourth or fifth most important value, my first value (emotional balance) suffers terribly. So, I need to reshuffle my priorities (a great regular exercise) to keep numbers one, two, and three on top.

Second realization? Also my second value: contribution. Happily, I realized I make many contributions in my career and life: egg donations, meaningful performances, and participating to help further the careers of others. This week, I had the opportunity to work with Kara Morgan on episodes of The Kara Morgan Show and film for an upcoming Today Show (watch for it this week!) to discuss my experiences with Investidate! I can’t wait to show and tell those opportunities to chip in and help out these two talented women.

When I first auditioned for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, I commented to my dear friend Leat Klingman that I wanted to free myself of debt so that I could make a contribution to society. She insisted on making me see how many priceless contributions I already make as an artist, a perspective I now gratefully appreciate and cherish. As I ride the subway home tonight, I also remember Skydiving for Pearls and my joy in contributing here. Like so many things often brought to the forefront and then reshuffled, writing, exercising, and maintaining a bedtime elude me from time to time when change comes to play. Remembering what matters to me most and welcoming its impact? The perfect deep inhalation of peace I needed. Thank you Dallas, for the opportunity to prioritize and re-balance my values. For the record, it didn’t hurt me one bit, if anyone else considers giving it a try.

It’s the Kara Morgan Show!

Habits, both positive and unhealthy… I undoubtedly nurture many of them in life. I eat oatmeal and pasta just about every day. When not restricted by the demands of an egg donation cycle, I exercise for more than an hour on most days. I cultivate a strange proclivity for growing plants from random cuttings of other beautiful vines and creepers. Living without the routine advice and influence from inspiring teachers like Eckhart Tolle and Dallas Travers sounds  preposterous! I fight my television and Internet addictions regularly, and thanks to the influence of my good friend Elliot Ronen, I wake up to the LED white glow of my smart phone each morning.

Obviously, I can’t deny my addiction to The Kara Morgan Show, or just Kara Morgan in general, and she thrives on my radar as both my friend and one of my subscriptions on youtube (I also heart Dean Leysen). Today I woke, as always, to my Evo and email. Cleaning up my inbox, I spotted an email reminder from last night that Kara Morgan and I would have a tea date over the phone this afternoon! I cannot wait to share with her the new goals I’ve created with the help of Dallas Travers and hear all about her new mindset after her first trip to Hollywood. As two opera singers well-trained in acting at the same opera studio, we have so much in common and so much to share about our recent desires to branch out and fearlessly embrace our dreams.

How happily I opened the next email, my youtube subscription update, to find a new Kara Morgan Show episode! I love it when my favorite habits collide. After watching it, I feel so excited to talk with her about the next steps in our paths, over my favorite tea. I hope you enjoy the next episode presented in classic Kara Morgan style.

Kara Morgan Really Likes Four


Wolfy's Journey
Photo by Moviehouse

On the night of Wolfy and Leat’s premiere of Wolfy’s Journey, I sat and heard the tale of how Leat had begun her journey as a puppeteer and film-maker partly at 3rd Ward Moviehouse, providing themed material for one of their anniversary shows. Doubtless their encouragement of her art helped to contribute to her confidence and the brilliant film which followed, soon to be released on DVD. The moment I heard about this and Moviehouse’s recent plea to artists to submit specific shorts for their fourth anniversary, I immediately thought, “Kara Morgan.”

After a short explanatory email and a link, my dear friend pounced on the opportunity like a short-haired vixen and poof! created a brilliant episode of the Kara Morgan Show to fit perfectly into their theme. Their requirements? They requested “2-minute propaganda films relating to two pairs, four bases, four directions, four suits of cards, or the four horsemen.” Kara provided all of them, quite brilliantly. My only question? What’s her second favorite number? I smell a sequel.

Kara Morgan’s Hair Crisis ~ 151

For a woman who hates excuses, I have far too many to explain why my apartment, finances, and blog have suffered from my state of seemingly permanent distraction. Of course, I have a few side projects that have garnered my attention as of late and have socialized quite a bit. Still, now that my two-week flu has ended and the puppet opera rehearsals have a month-long hiatus, I feel a bit disappointed with my progress on blogging more regularly, preparing and beginning those five auditions per month, and missing the regular work I won’t see for a few weeks. My wallet misses it too.

Rather than glorifying the plethora of excuses I could enliven by complaining or indulging in some kind of justification, I need to go plan my recital program (Hold the date! April 16 at 7pm at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Teaneck, NJ), get my music ready for tomorrow’s rehearsal for our upcoming Valentine’s Day concert/dinner at the Cornelia Street Cafe downtown, and make some sense of the files strewn on my dining room table and bedroom floor. In the meantime, I must congratulate my dear friend Kara Morgan for winning a prize from NexTV Entertainment as the Director with the most votes in their Acting & Directing Talent Search! She couldn’t have done it without me. Seriously, I admire her comedic and artistic talent and persistence so much, and she gives me the perfect example of how to continually and happily present our gifts and ideas to the world without fear. In celebration of her achievement, I leave you with the latest episode of The Kara Morgan Show.

Kara’s Big Change

Kara Morgan

 

Last week, a friend of mine here in Tri-Cities, WA asked me, “Who is Kara Morgan, anyway?” Oh, that made me happy! I love this woman, and I can’t possibly stop featuring The Kara Morgan Show webseries. As long as I can promote her anywhere and everywhere I go, I will. Still, inspired by my intrigued friend’s question, I hope to post a thorough interview or entry by Kara soon. In the meantime, take a moment to sit back and witness her as she makes one of the boldest sacrifices known to womankind.

 

Eliminating Expectations, Day 129

Sunday offered an exhausting but exhilarating day of singing at Park Avenue United Methodist and with composer Rima Fand for an upcoming recording project, riding my happy purple Cannondale along the way, from Washington Heights to the Upper East Side, over the Queensboro Bridge into Queens and over the Pulaski Bridge into Brooklyn, all the way down through the warehouses and Orthodox communities to Prospect Heights. Of course, we (my bike and I) took the subway home when the weather got a bit colder and threatened rain, and I don’t think my legs minded the rest in the least. It felt good to expend that much physical energy after a personally somewhat emotionally tiring and professionally busy week.

Chatting with my friend Thomas Allen tonight, I couldn’t begin to imagine how he must feel, having already traveled to North Carolina from New York City on his bicycle in just forty days. He described last week as rejuvenating after spending days in downpours that closed roads and changed his direction. I’ve learned so much from my friends who not only abandon excuses in their lives but expectations as well. Kudos tonight to those like Thomas who can abandon their assumptions in life for a moment or a lifetime…

 

Props to my friends Charlene and Hermann who managed to make it out to Improv Everywhere’s mp3 experiment on Saturday, where presumptions never prevail. Perhaps I can join you on the next one!

Finally, another round of applause for Kara Morgan. Comedy takes a special breed of people who can jump into their imaginations beyond traditionally held assumptions. I’ve shared The Kara Morgan Show here before, but this clip rose to the top of my list immediately… of course, don’t let me setup any expectations for you. See for yourself.

The Kara Morgan Show, Episode IV

Oh, how did I miss this?  Perhaps you need this as much as I…  How to Relax:

I love me some Kara Morgan. Now off to convince myself to sleep before a long day of Yom Kippur services singing with a truly lovely congregation, North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, NY. For those of you observing the day, have an easy and meaningful fast.