Scene: NYE Elevator

FADE IN:

EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING ENTRANCE – EVENING

MADELINE GIARDINA, age 29, a passionate gardener of Italian descent, enters the building with a BLOOMING POTTED GARDENIA TREE. Sounds of a party can be heard.

CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR

Maddie enters the elevator and presses the 8th floor button.

NICOLA DOBEK, 31, a famous actor of Czech descent, holds the door and gets into the small elevator.

NICOLA

(over PHONE)

… Yes, of course. I’ll be in Amsterdam for the premiere, and then I’ll- hello? Can you hear me?

NICOLA (CONT’D)

Damned phone batteries. Can’t live for six hours straight. Why, hello! Nice bush.

MADDIE

It’s a tree.

The elevator goes up. Around the third floor, it stops abruptly.

NICOLA

Wh- what’s going on?

MADDIE

It broke down.

NICOLA

Oh, really? How do we get out of here? Does this happen often?

MADDIE

Every couple of weeks, it’s quite old and maintenance is terrible.

NICOLA

And can’t we call anyone?

He starts banging on the elevator door.

NICOLA (CONT’D)

Help! Someone, please!

MADDIE

Stop shouting! There’s no way someone will hear you. The guys from the fourth must be drunk already.

NICOLA

Well, it is New Year’s Eve after all.

MADDIE

As if that’s an excuse, these people are always drunk.

NICOLA

Can you call maintenance?

MADDIE

I would but there’s no signal.

NICOLA

Great. Absolutely perfect.

Silence. After a couple seconds, Maddie looks at Nicola through the leaves of the gardenia plant.

MADDIE

I’ve actually never seen you around here before. Are you new? You look familiar.

NICOLA

No, I’m here to visit my parents. And, don’t you know me?

MADDIE

Am I supposed to know you?

NICOLA

I’m Nicola Dobek. From “Beware The Walking Dead”? You know, Ricky, the nice dude from Minneapolis?

MADDIE

I don’t watch it, sorry. No idea.

NICOLA

So… When are we going to make it out of here?

MADDIE

In an hour, if we’re lucky.

NICOLA

At eight?! Wow, I had just promised my parents-

MADDIE

Eight? Is it seven o’clock already? No, it can’t be, I’m sure it’s only…

She checks her PHONE. It says 07:02 PM.

MADDIE (CONT’D)

(raising voice)

I have to be home at seven thirty! The rhododendrons have to be watered by schedule or they’ll die! What am I going to do…

NICOLA

Your… plants? I’m sure they’ll be alright without water for half an hour.

MADDIE

You don’t understand, if I don’t water them exactly at seven thirty they’ll-

NICOLA

(reaches toward her shoulder)

Stop worrying, they’ll be OK.

His arm knocks a flower off the blooming tree.

MADDIE

(screaming)

No! The poor thing! How could you-

NICOLA

I- I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-

MADDIE

(tearing up)

Look at it!

She picks up the flower and caresses it.

MADDIE (CONT’D)

(to flower)

Shh…

MADDIE (CONT’D)

So, why are you here?

NICOLA

I’m visiting my parents. I haven’t seen them in a year. I promised I’d be here on time. I actually was going to make it! They’re always complaining that I never come to visit.

MADDIE

I’m sure I’d feel that way too if I had a son that I can only watch on TV.

NICOLA

It’s one of the few flaws. But I get to see them from time to time!

MADDIE

If “from time to time” is once a year, they must miss you. My parents live in southern New York and I visit them every month.

NICOLA

Well, they do live nearby, I have to travel hours to get here.

MADDIE

It’s 300 miles to Saranac Lake from here. Takes me seven hours to get there.

NICOLA

Oh… At least you aren’t alone here, are you?

MADDIE

No, I’m not! I have my whole zen garden, the rock garden, my exotic plants-

NICOLA

You’re alone on New Year’s Eve?

MADDIE

No, I already told you.

NICOLA

Don’t you find plants a bit quiet?

MADDIE

I like the quiet. Makes me think.

Awkward silence.

NICOLA

You should come celebrate with us this night.

MADDIE

With you and your family? I don’t want to intrude.

NICOLA

I insist. You can’t stay alone all night.

MADDIE

I told you, I won’t be alone.

NICOLA

Yeah, you’ll have your bush to keep you company. Sounds like fun.

MADDIE

It’s a tree!

NICOLA

Sure. You should really drop by, at least.

MADDIE

I’ll… think about it.

NICOLA

You can bring your bonsai along, if you want to, my-

All of a sudden the elevator starts working again.

NICOLA (CONT’D)

Hey, great! It’s not even seven thirty yet! Really, come on down. We have pudding.

The elevator stops at the fourth floor.

NICOLA (CONT’D)

You never told me what your name was.

MADDIE

Madeline. Maddie, for short.

NICOLA

Okay, Maddie. I’ll tell my parents you’re coming down.

MADDIE

I’ll be sure to stop by.

Nicola picks up the fallen gardenia flower.

NICOLA

See you later. Don’t drown the rhododendron.

MADDIE

I’ll try not to.

The elevator door closes.

FADE OUT.

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And A Hint of Myself

It’s quite ironic that the sound a moving train makes is “track-a-track”, isn’t it?

 

I’m sitting in the dusty train, thinking about that. How does a thought like this one all of a sudden form in my head? Look at my friends, sitting there, laughing. I was having fun with them just a moment ago, sitting on the dusty cushion of an old, moth-eaten chair in the train. I’m sometimes moody like this. Especially in situations that require so much self-control. Traveling to Bucharest, being completely alone for a week, with no family, no relatives and no “coincidentally” close family friends nearby. The train was shaking away the slight fear of the unknown. Their laughter helped. Writing was another option I had stuck to, spending an hour alone in the neighboring compartment of the train, building a syllabus of a blog post I was planning to write about the week to come. But I can’t do that for the whole eight-hour trip. All I had was isolating myself for a moment, to clear my thoughts out. And I was thinking about the damned rails of the train. I guess I’d be going back to my friends. Gosh, how I love these people. We had worked so hard the last months and we would finally be getting our reward. We crushed competition with our performance, our text adaptation, and our bold direction choices. We had won. I still can’t believe it, even two months later, even while we’re traveling that way. Ah, how fun this week will be. I could see myself meeting the family that’d be taking me in for the week. I wonder what their house looks like, what they look like… I know that I don’t actually care about that. I’m not sure if it’s selfish to say it, but having a great week is much more important than the social or financial status of the family. I was also excited to see the city. I’d heard it looks like Paris. I’ve never been to Paris. Based on my experience in Vienna, though, I know it’s going to be spectacular. I’m really curious about the tour of the Palace of Parliament – I heard it’s the second biggest in the world! I should really stop daydreaming… “Get up, Martin. Go to them. Attaboy.” I think I’ll sit over here for a second. I love these people. I’m so used to them. Yet right now, I feel like thinking. Just staring out of the window and processing everything that’s going on. We’re going to spend time together all week. We’re going to get to see Dracula’s castle! And the next day, we’ll be performing! I can’t imagine the nervousness when it’s our turn to get on the stage. I remember three years ago, when it was our very first time acting together. This was going to be our third play. Wow, how fast time flies! Yet we’re still together, bound by the Art. We have different endevors outside of It. One plays the guitar, his life is all music. Another‘s a book worm. She’s a total party animal, while she had just performed “Swan Lake” at the National Ballet. I hold that tiny blog and write about what I feel. It’s crazy how the arts are all parts of our lives. That’s what’s keeping us together in this train. Outside of it. We all need time to think, and we all need time for ourselves. But when we collide on stage, there’s no stopping us. No matter where, we’re united by this force. Except maybe on stage. I remembered the story our Drama teacher had told us. The story of how an actor gets on the stage, gives his heart to the audience, and then forgets about it. A “blackout”, she calls it. When an actor isn’t himself, when he drowns so much into his character that he doesn’t even remember his time on stage. In those moments, we were not ourselves, we were not together. But it’s for our own good. I’m sure this separation from reality is going to happen to me this week. I will give every single piece of myself and dissolve in front of those people from all around Europe, until I’m nothing more than the dying scum that my character is. Honesty and sincerity are things I like and I don’t plan on lying to people. So I’ll show them the self-indulgent, awful human being that the Baron is. I’ll make them hate me.  And then, I’ll be back, as that other person, that other guy that’s traveling and thinking. The guy who’s standing in the train, hesitating for a moment whether he should go and talk to his friends or drown in his own thoughts. I should go and laugh with them. I need a gulp of fresh air that isn’t contaminated by my feelings. After all, after a week in the capital of Bucharest, after such a majestic performance, I deserved a rest. I was going towards them, as myself minus one hour.

 

And the train was still going “track-a-track”, “track-a-track”…

Silver Linings

And who could understand her?

She closed her eyes and jumped. For half a second she flew and landed on the cold, wooden floor.

She jumped again. And again.

Not once had she managed to do it properly. She could feel something was wrong. Sweat was pouring from her brow as she flew once more. What was she doing wrong?

The face – calm. Her feet – steady. Her mind – determined. Her heart was set to this thing as much as she could allow it to be.

She was crazy to try this. “It’s too difficult”, people said. “You’ll never manage to get it right.” She knew she was crazy, it’s what the doctors had said.

And what of that? She was going to try. A diagnosis won’t stop her. As bad as it may be, she had one thing in her life and she wasn’t about to lose it too.

She jumped again. Five, six, seven, eight… And to think people don’t understand… She stumbled and fell.

Getting up, she felt tears run down her face. The little droplets crashed onto the wood. Two and three… She knew it was too difficult. Too new. Too advanced. But when did that ever stop her?

It was next week when she was going to show them all that she could. Alone. She was going to prove what she could do.

A lunge and, stop. Sixth, forth, seventh.

She fell. The tears kept rolling down. From the start, now…

She remembered the seashells. Her eyes while she was smiling. The laughs, the smile… She hadn’t forgotten. The good feeling, the feeling she knew she provoked in so many others… in her eyes.

Seven and, eight. Why not stop? For that last look, for that last smile. The tears hadn’t stopped. One, two, three… They would understand. She’ll show them.

Because she can. Because it’s the only thing that keeps her sane. The only thing that makes her breathe properly, that makes her get away from the hard wooden floor…

She jumped and landed on her feet. She could do it. Perfectly. She had to do it, for that feeling of having something come to life. For that feeling of accomplishment. For herself… and for her.

And to show them. Vulnerable, crazy, ill she might be, but she was doing it. What was wrong then?

×

Dub-dub. Dub-dub. Dub-dub.

image

I was lying down. On the bed I knew so well, paralyzed by the unknown. As nervous as ever, I looked around the small green room I knew oh-so-well. Ironic, eh? There was the old record-player, clean and obviously used throughout the years. The window that faced the mountain. An old TV, the small kitchen. I loved the place – I had spent so many hours both dreaming about it and being there. And finally, I was there. And I sat up, worried, about what was to come.

I decided to get up and make a step or two – my feet were sore from my sleep. One step. Another. There’s the third one. How long had I been there? Ten minutes? Twenty? An hour, or was it already tomorrow? I should get going – I didn’t even know why I was there. But… wait. I already was in the room I loved being, where I’d always hoped to… To… Why would I be here now, the question was. Or maybe, why would I leave, now? Ugh, too much thinking… I went to the sink and filled my hands with water. Splashing it onto my face, I felt a shiver going down my spine. The water was cold. How hot was it in this room?! I can’t believe I’m still alive, it’s so hot! And I remembered I had left my t-shirt next to the bed. I splashed myself once again; I wet my hair. Phew, that’s better. But I’m not feeling too well…

“You got the kind of look in your eyes
As if no one knows anything but us…”

I had not noticed the modern stereo system playing. It was silent, why was it so silent? But it was still playing, emptying the room from the tension within. I felt the music with my very brain, as if it passed through my skull and into my head. It stayed there.

A flash.

I lost my balance. I saw a crimson liquid flowing out of my nostrils. I knew it was too hot in here… I lied down once again. “Breathe, Martin.” I was getting better. The world stopped swirling. I was better. I slowly got up. I went back to the sink and grabbed the sponge. I soaked up the red from the tiles on the kitchen floor. I went to the small bathroom and washed my face again. I was better.

“Well, tell me when it kicks in
Well, tell me when it kicks in…”

Was the music supposed to sound like this? I loved this song. It was repeating the same line over and over again, I couldn’t seem to unhear it.

“…kicks in…”

Oh, damn. I fell down. Did I trip on something? Wait, what is that? God, I bloodied up my favorite pair of shorts. Ah, never mind. I just think I’ll go back into that cozy-looking bed… Or not… I didn’t even feel it coming. The warm, sour, and particularly unpleasant surprise flew out of my stomach and onto the bathroom sink. Am I sick? I was starting to get worried. What in the name of God was going on? Uh, here it goes again… Bleh, gross. I think I’ll lie down now, for sure. I slipped onto the carpet in the middle of the room. World, stop spinning, please…

“Should this be the last thing I see
I want you to know it’s enough for me…”

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The Joyful City of the Shepard: Arrival

Six AM. It’s a nice Wednesday. After two months of waiting, the day has finally come. After winning the National Theater Festival (In Spanish), we’re off to the International Festival in Bucharest.

It’s a strange place. It copies Paris, with all it’s glamour and luxury, but it’s a dustier, communist version. The food is horrible, some people are, too. It’s too much for me.

This was the first review we got from our Tour Guide teacher at school: an awesome, energetic woman who’s sometimes a bit too honest. I packed my stuff (after the worst job I’d done at a Biology test) and went to sleep, after repacking four times (thanks, Mom). In the morning, I barely woke up. In a hurry to be on time, I grabbed my stuff, passed through the bathroom, put my coat on and jumped outside. It wasn’t cold: a good omen, after the last three months… My Dad took me to the Central Railway station. I got out of the car and, after making a whole circle around it (they’re renovating the building, which is one of the oldest and most communist buildings in Bulgaria), I found my group. My friends were huddled around in a circle, each with their own problems. Some were talking with their parents, one was running from the pigeons, another was half-sleeping on the cold metal benches. I was as sleepy as always, barely standing with my backpack (stuffed with food) and my two bags (filled with clothes and theater stuff). We waited in the Hall for the train to be announced. “Platform 8”, a woman’s voice said said. We went there. It was as cold as it was two hours earlier. The red train, the same one you’ve seen in The Expendables 2, with the sign of the National Railways (БДЖ) on front. The platform, under construction. The people, way too old… We took our places and so started part one of the journey to the city of Bucharest.

An hour passed. We were sleepy but not enough: the ten of us kept talking, and talking, and talking. We didn’t squeeze into one compartment so we went to another part of the train, where there were only seats to choose from, like in a bus. We were traveling up the Iskar defile, on one of the oldest railway tracks in Bulgaria. We watched and thought about stuff. Just imagine: in the same way that we’re sitting here, our friends are sitting in class, not moving, listening to boring lectures about post-WW2 countries and 1900’s Spanish literature. Amongst the high cliffs of the defile, we watched the river flow peacefully. It was like another world, full of little people that looked back at us, that were working and walking and talking. Even the noisy train didn’t interrupt their daily tasks, and they continued whatever they were doing: as if we didn’t exist. I thought: do we really exist if these people don’t know about us? I mean, of course we exist, but in so few of these people’s worlds, in such a vague way…

Continuing along the river, we remembered a story we’d heard in Bulgarian Literature class. Written by Ivan Vazov, one of the biggest and greatest poets and authors in Bulgarian history, it told the story of an old blind man named Yotzo. Grandpa Yotzo lived in a small, cozy village along the Iskar river and all he dreamed of was Bulgaria’s freedom. And he had the luck of being born almost 400 years after the Ottoman invasion. When he Bulgarians were free, but he couldn’t (metaphor incoming) see it with his own eyes. He had heard the tales of this freedom, and he wanted to understand it for himself. Close to his home, at the bottom of the small cliff, railway was built, with Bulgarian money, by Bulgarian engineers. Grandpa Yotzo was so proud, finally being able to feel Bulgaria’s freedom, that every day he went to the edge of the cliff and waved at the passing trains. Even though he was a character from a simple story about freedom, he was a symbol, a legend. At the very cliff that Vazov had seen in his story, today there is a statue: a reminder that Dyado Yotzo is still there, watching. Waving. We exist in his world. And does he exist in ours?

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Raindance

Drop. Drop. Drop.

The little droplets slowly fall onto the windshield. Passing by the Balkan, the giant gray clouds swirl around in a graceful waltz. We fly by small gardens of trees and uncut herbs. There isn’t a car in sight.

Drop. Drop.

We pass little villages, the little chimneys smoking as we pass by. It is quiet. We’ve passed the bigger cities: Vratza, Mezdra, and nature is starting to take over. We cross a bridge. The river below is the longest river in Bulgaria – the Iskar river – but although it’s big, it’s barely moving. Peacefully, its waters flow, the surface untouched by the slight Eastern wind. I open the window to hear the river’s song. The air whooshing through is strong, loud, but warm and pleasant. I can barely hear the lazy river’s sounds. Through the window enters a fly. It makes a little circle and stops on my lap. It rubs its tiny feet one against the other, then makes a couple of steps. We are traveling fast. I hear the river no more as we pass from the riverbank towards the mountain. The fly buzzes back into the air. It gets closer and closer to the open window. Soundlessly, it gets sucked into the world outside.

 

Drop.

A droplet of rain lands onto my nose. It is slowly stopping. The clouds have started to rip away, torn apart by the spring winds. The sky is turning a grotesque shade of pink. Dusk is approaching.

Parting from the main road, we drive towards my great grandfather’s house. Five minutes worth of time into the fields on the third class road, a small horse is happily munching on some fresh grass. Alone the horse stands, far from people, far from houses and cars, and other horses. Farther along the old road, a dog chases a flock of birds. They swiftly fly off, but land again. The game continues. The stray jumps. The birds flap their wings. Annoyed, they decide not to come back. The flock lands on a high wire over the dog. We speed up along the new road, leaving the scene.
All of a sudden, the road comes to an end. An old dirt track continues into the field, leading to a small gate, made of chopped wooden sticks and rusty wire. We walk towards it in silence. I carefully pull the old gate open. We pass through, into the giant field that is the forgotten cottage’s yard. I close the gate after my sister.

Thump.

We talk for a half an hour and leave the old man to rest, as it’s almost dark. The last rays of the sun are barely visible over the old Balkan. The clouds are darkening, but they remain in the distance, too afraid to turn back towards the desolated road. We enter the car. The click of the locks is a deafening sound after the deathly silence of the fields. We start the engine, which is surprisingly quiet. We go. Along the road, the dog I saw earlier is happily munching on a pigeon’s corpse. The horse is nowhere to be seen. We reach the main road again and continue our way home. In the skirts of the mountains is the small village of Lyuti Dol. On the one and only road of the village, a few people are walking, huddled together. Their chatter is barely audible through the glass of the windows. We exit the village and speed up again.

The sky is still darkening. My eyes adapt quickly to the low-light environment. On a small hill by the road, I see a pile of white dots. Slowly focusing onto them, I make out the clear image of a graveyard. It is silent, barely visible, illuminated by the light of the road down below. A dog is barking somewhere.

Drop.

A fox runs across the road. We are getting nearer and nearer to the highway, from where it’s a fast trip home. We have finally caught up to the clouds, which are blocking out the stars. The sky is dark. I lean against the window and start to think. I always think while traveling, it relaxes me. Staring into the sky, I see the light of a single star that managed to pierce the rainclouds. I point it out to my sister. Opening the sunroof, I show it to her.

Drop, drop.

The rain is getting stronger, so I close the roof of the car. We have almost reached the city of Botevgrad, from where not much of our journey will be left. I see the city in the distance, illuminating the dark clouds above. I sink into thought again. I think of times to come, of exams, of school and friends and theater. I think, I think, I think… The Gypsy Kings’ greatest hits are running on the CD player. I am swallowed by thought. We have finally reached the highway. The car speeds up. I think… I wonder. I hesitate. My eyes slowly close. The only thing I can hear is the rain getting stronger. Hitting the windshield of the car, it starts a melody. The journey continues. I am asleep.

Drop. Drop. Drop.

PS: Happy Easter to all my Orthodox comrades!

PPS: Valar morghulis.

The Frostball

My Free Time In One Photo
My Free Time In One Photo

It was a dark, gloomy night in 2012. 

Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dark and gloomy: I needed a good start. Anyways, I was 14 when I decided to try a new game that was getting popular fast. I admit, it sounds incredibly lame, playing video games, but it’s a sin that I commit when I have the time. I loved playing games like the Winnie the Pooh Educative games, Worms, the JumpStart series, when I was a *wittwe* kid, and moved to playing Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, when I grew up… You get the idea. This new thing was a new genre to me, and, truth be told, it was a lot of fun. Challenging and with a variety of roles and characters to play, I loved it right away. Yeah, I know, most of you are “Why is he telling us this?” and “This guy is probably the lamest person that exists”: hey!, I’m trying to tell a story here, people! Bear with me.

So, I was playing the game and, being the curious guy that I am, I decided to google it, just for the hell of it. Amongst the sites, I found this place called “Surrender@20”. It was a paid blog that this guy, Zack, held, with his girlfriend, and posted news about the game. I started a Disqus account, named after one of the champion’s abilities, Anivia’s Flash Frost, the stunning ball of ice of an ice bird that protects the rocky and cold Freljord mountains in the north of Runeterra.

Three years have passed since I was “Anivia’s Flash Frost” in the Surr@20 forums, and in these three years, I’ve been integrated into the community (I commented an awful lot: I have a total of 7500 comments to this date) and I’ve gotten to know one of the coolest people on Earth. You know, I don’t believe that you can find love over the Internet. How can you express your feelings without being able to look someone in the eye and say “I love/hate you.”? I couldn’t imagine that. But the people I got to meet (and because of which I had to make a Twitter account, sigh) are one of the most lighthearted and amazing fellows I’ve met in my life. I thought about this the other day: how do you actually develop feelings for people you can’t see? Well, maybe the fact that we never really got to communicate was what made us such good (or at least, as good as can be in this situation) friends.

Feelings are strange. Love, despair, sadness, euphoria, depression. Disdain and absolute bliss. Feelings are awesome and are the most humane thing that exists in this world. Yet, there is no way to transmit these feelings through the new technology. And maybe, just maybe, this exactly is the thing that made the whole Surr@20 relationship exist. I was on Twitter the other night and I was talking to the folks from the site exactly about this: how is it possible for us to be such good friends? And then, one of them explained it to me, and I couldn’t believe how simple it was. Every single one of us, whether we’re tired, depressed, mad, happy or just “meh”, was on Twitter every night, talking to the rest. And we forgot about our joys. Our problems. Our worries and fears. We forgot about the bad days at school, about the long-gone boy-/girlfriends, about our family’s problems. We didn’t worry about our (so-called) social status, about our crushes, and the fact that we can barely talk in front of a crowd of more than three people. We were just being ourselves. And, I guess, that’s what’s important to most people: for us to just be ourselves. And, eventually, it’ll work out. I dare you, reader, to try doing that, too: be yourself for a day. And live that day like a king.

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Motivation 101

24…25…26… Oh, hey there! Let me just… 149… 150! Phew! That’s enough for today, for sure, don’t want to get too buff and make people sad now, do I? I was just doing some push ups, you know, a bit of exercise is always a healthy thing to do. When did I start, you’re asking? Yesterday. Well, yesterday I did only the half of what I did today (70, of course), but today was my first real day of training. That is, if we don’t count last Friday’s 200 sit ups… It’s almost noticeable already, isn’t it? Right… Oh, who am I kidding? I did nothing today. I’m too tired, I don’t feel like it right now, I need to do my homework first, but then comes dinner, an after that there’s that boring test I have to study for… I guess I’m not that much out of shape. You know what? Starting tomorrow, I’m a new person. A healthy person that does exercise and sports and eats properly. I will do it! I feel the motivation in my veins! Here’s to The Frostball 2.0! (Eats entire chocolate cake to celebrate.)

Sounds familiar?

You can probably guess what happens on the next day. The “tomorrow” that so many people dream of, that half of the ordinary people of the world talk about, remains tomorrow forevermore. Imagine if we put today’s and tomorrow’s plans on a scale to compare them: if you ask me, the scale would break under the weight of what we’re going to do the next day and what we plan to do in the future. And, you know the meme: “I’m not even mad, that’s amazing!”. It really is incredible how little motivation some of us have for stuff in our lives. I rarely can just decide to start doing something one day and keep on doing it for more than a week afterwards – especially if it’s something I perceive as boring or useless (and you’d be surprised by how many activities there are, in my opinion, in that category). This blog is one of the few things there are that I don’t feel obligated to do, that I just want to do and that I have fun doing, along with my drama classes and maybe some school projects. So, how do I get myself to do stuff?

I have tried everything. I’ve tried playing “mind games” on myself, by “tricking” myself into doing stuff. That is probably the stupidest of the things I’ve tried: true, it works for some time, until it turns out that I’m smarter than I thought I was (I don’t really get it either) and I just laugh at my feeble attempts to persuade myself to exercise, for example. Making a schedule doesn’t help me at all, either, nor does setting up alarms, putting sticky notes all over my desk or rewarding myself with stuff after I manage to do something (You did 20 sit-ups? EAT A PACK OF GUMMY BEARS TO CELEBRATE.). So, how do I motivate myself?

See, I really didn’t understand how I managed to do it in the first place either. But I just got up one day and told myself: “It’d be awesome if you finally started that blog you wanted to, today”. And I just got onto the computer and started writing. Word after word, sentence after sentence, I made my first post. And I thought about what I’d did. I had just written stuff that I thought for people to read. And people actually read it, and some of them even took a bit of advice from the post. They thought of what I’d said and they’d changed something in their own life, all because of… me. My stomach stirred when I saw how many people had actually given up some time from their lives to read something that I had written. The feeling was incredible. And on the next day, while I was traveling, it hit me: that’s how I can motivate myself. That’s how I’ve done it before – drama wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t get to show our work to the audience, and hear it laugh and cry and applaud. When I work out, I always think of how my muscles are going to ache because I’ve actually used them, and how I’m getting stronger, thus more confident, more powerful as a person, too. Even studying for the most boring Literature class can feel fulfilling if you know that you’re going to get a good note and some recognition. Some of you might be thinking that I strive for attention, and you’re probably a bit right – although who of us doesn’t, to some extent? But, to be honest, I don’t even see that side, the side of “Oh look at me, I’m so good, bow down to me, peasants”. It’s all about the fuzzy feeling of accomplishment that does it for me. Imagine it the first time, remember it the second, live it the third and eventually it’ll become a part of your life – one of the many parts that make this life worth living.

My Relationship with the Stage

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women are merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

William Shakespeare

Let me start this blog off with an overused Shakespeare quote. Maybe I should’ve started it all off with a short autobiography, a description of me, my life, my friends and family, maybe a little bit about my hobbies, what I like and dislike… But I decided not to. My first post will simply be a quote with a bit of my thoughts with it, so you, my dear reader, can see the real me, how I think and what as perceive as right and wrong. I’ve always loved writing stuff, essays that I can express my opinion through and with which I show how I see the world, cheesy songs that I just can’t find the right melody for, poems (most of which usually suck, but rhyme, so what the hey). So, let me get to the main point of today’s (or this week’s/month’s, I’m not so sure how often I’ll be posting) post: ME.

I wouldn’t consider myself a “player”. Truth be told, I’ve never even had a girlfriend. By Shakespeare’s interpretation, I am one, so I’ll accept the great poet’s word without arguing (something quite unusual for me). I’m a player in the bigger game of “Life!” (no copyright infringement, MB) and I’m doing my best at making the most out of it, simply by playing in my own way. But sometimes, The Game of Life is a hard game to play and I get tired, say “To hell with all of this.” and give up. It’s a mistake I’ve made a lot of times these 10 years of my conscious life and I decided that it couldn’t go on. I was always a person that loved being, well, other people. When I was a little kid, there isn’t a superhero that I haven’t pretended to be, a place I haven’t imagined I’ve visited, a person who I hadn’t played out a conversation with. After watching a movie, I’d get all excited and relive the motion picture the next three days, building castles of pillows, using fallen branches as wands, or climbing up a tree as if I was going up a long-forgotten temple. This, sometimes seen as childish, part of me I’m proud to say I’ve preserved and I still feel the same excitement after seeing a movie. I read a lot, I play PC games, so I try to keep this part of my personality functioning – and I really think I’ve managed to do that. And, despite all my efforts to do so, I think I still wouldn’t have managed to retain the childish Me running. That is, if I haven’t discovered Drama.

Ah, arts. So much meaning into something so small/short. Whether it’s a simple painting, or a play, or a movie, the effort put in it is humongous and is always appreciated. Once I discovered that drawing is not for me (oh, the horror), I switched to the most expressive of arts: theater. True, it is in Spanish and it’s a bit more difficult than it would be in Bulgarian (or English), but it’s something. And, although a bit skeptical at first, I found it was just for me. And boy, do I love it. I love it to bits, I love it so much that I’ve decided that’s what I want to do my whole life. The expressiveness, the movement, the feelings are all stuff that add to the feeling, but the best part for me is the possibility to be another person, to live other lives. It’s not like I’m not happy with what I have or who I am, I just need to be someone else, from time to time. To forget all my problems, my worries and live another life, the life of the crazily happy old hotel manager, of the worried father, of the cranky Baron Von Von… and much more people to come. I feel acting in my blood, and I feel the need to act as much as I feel the need to eat (15234 times a day – it’s a 17-year-old thing). It’s fun and it helps me breathe more easily every day. Now that the Play (I’ll be talking about that a bit later) has passed, I start to feel the hands of life slowly starting to choke me once more, and I’m slowly drowning in the boring school-homework-sleep cycle once again. And I need a lifesaver to pull me out of the whirlpool that my lame pre-Drama life. Any suggestions, readers?