Friday, May 28, 2010

meteor shower by owl city

i can finally see
that you're right there beside me

i am not my own
for i have been made new
please don't let me go
i desperately need you

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the culmination of my thoughts on lost

mild spoilers ahead, not too bad i think, just purposely vague references.

today, i watched the two hour preview that abc broadcasted before the series finale of lost. it brought back the memories of what lost was about and gave a quick plot summary of what happened on it. i kind of wish i saw it before i saw the series finale, but the truth is by this point, i wasn't really that invested/obsessed that i had to know everything before going into it. i had already accepted that it would be useless to peruse every available material available to me and to revisit all the possible websites/blogs/lostpedia/sources in order to piece together what actually happened.

after thinking about the finale some more, i came to accept that not everything would be resolved satisfactorily no matter what they did for the finale, and in some ways, they dug themselves into a hole a bit too deep than they could really climb out of in a reasonable time frame. so i think now after i've digested it, i think that i do actually think the finale, while not completely awe inspiring, was satisfactory.

i remember hearing about lost and the hype surrounding it, and i was skeptical. plane crashes and they get stuck on an island. great premise? meh. it wasn't until one cold winter when i came back from college my senior year depressed about my job prospects that i found lost and went through major catharsis after going through the first season.

the preview made me remember what i liked so much about lost. the first season of lost, as with the first season of all the television shows i love, was the most powerful. the way it was cast, in an almost spontaneous manner, creating parts for the actors that they found, gave way to an organic feel that made it believable that these were indeed strangers from different walks of life that came together on this island.

all the characters (the major ones at least) that come from the plane crash, have some sort of past that they were seeking redemption from. you come to realize that they needed the island as much as the island needed them. each episode of the first season explores a specific character, and goes into why they are the way they are, and how that affects their interactions with the other members of the island. one thing that stuck with me from the preview was that people take joy in flying with each other, but there is also bonds formed when they fall together as well.

what intrigued me the most was how you almost understood each character's motivations and desires, how they hoped to be redeemed or changed or accepted by the others, against the stress of trying to survive and understand the new land they had come across. the character development on lost is probably second to none from any tv show i've ever come across. even after the inclusion of the confusing nature of destiny/time travel/mythological stuff into their stories, the writers managed to keep the aspect of constant soul searching and self discovery alive throughout the series.

after reflecting upon it further, i come to realize that it is indeed an actor's DREAM job to work on something like this, where you explore a character's deep psyche in an intense and constantly emotionally charged environment. and you get to work in hawaii, i mean how freaking sweet is that. i went through some of the profiles of the people afterwards, and found that some of the actors were around my age when they were first cast for their parts. to have that kind of opportunity would truly amazing. looking back, i think that this show on a subconscious level, inspired me to become an actor, to be able to experience the powerful emotional experiences that they had in this kind of environment would be a "high" that would be unparalleled to anything i've experienced so far.

towards the end, the island started to touch upon HEAVILY on christian themes. my favorite quote: "Christian Shephard? Really?" i won't go into all the references it makes, but i will say that it reminded me how much we are all looking for some sort of redemption and purpose in life; jacob and the island served as a guiding force that healed the broken people that it brought to the island in a way the real world could not. i enjoyed the way they presented the idea of faith in a truly intellectual manner, instead of how it typically is derided in american media.

as for the finale itself? to be honest, i wasn't as emotionally connected with the characters by this point because much of their stories were kind of exhausted and already told. there is some satisfaction of the redemption that the characters are offered at the end, but in some sense, i was already ready to move on a while ago, and would have enjoyed a bit of clarification with respect to the many plot holes that the show left behind. there is some disappointment in the sense that it feels like the writers somewhat cheated at the end by using an exhausted literary technique, but overall i have to say that they did a pretty good job given the series as it existed up to that point.

well so marks the end of a relationship with me and lost. it truly does feel like a relationship with respect to the amount of emotional involvement i have with the characters. it's been a good ride.
well except for like the second half of season 2/first half of season 3 which sucked.

tune in soon for my thoughts on 24.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

nerves (part 1)

a typical music school recital. just around a few short violin solo pieces, an entire program of 15 minutes or less. i was here a billion times. why did this experience still make me nervous? maybe it's because i didn't practice enough. no, maybe it's because i hate this music, and they'll know i hate it. maybe it's those lights, they're really bright. i can't even see anything with those lights. damn lights. they're like heat producing bright. no, it's probably cause i didn't practice enough. damn it why didn't i practice? ugh, it doesn't even matter anyway that's why. but then now i'm here and it kind of matters, it matters in the way that i don't look like a total idiot when i play these dumb ass pieces. oh, my music teacher is here. i hate it when that happens, cause then you're not just letting yourself down if you fail. you let her down, like if she had something riding on your performance too. maybe she does. like the teacher who needs those kids to get above a certain score on their math regents to keep their job or something. oh well here goes.

tuning my violin was never easy for me. i think it had to do with my violin's pegs sucking. they weren't fluid, it probably could've been fixed with a little oil or something or other if i knew more about the mechanics of wood instruments, but i didn't and didn't really think it was necessary to ask how. i mean when you practice you can take all the time you want to tune, but when you're in a performance and your accompanist is playing the 440 Hz "A" for the eighth or ninth time, you get kind of anxious for those stupid sticky pegs to freaking get in the right place. and then after the concerts over you're just relieved it's over and you forget about that problem until the next solo performance.

i hated those solo recitals.


when i get nervous, it's pretty easy to tell. you can spot it by seeing how often i'm rubbing my hands against my pants. any more sweat coming out of my palms and i'd be freaking hydroman. i'd say the scale from 1-10 of nervousness is approximately logarithmically proportional to the amount of times per minute i'm rubbing my hands against my pants as i await the dreaded moment. the moment to perform.

the times we get nervous are when we allow the possibility that what we present to our audience will be judged in a negative light. if we perceive that the audience will love us no matter what, there's no pressure, there's nothing making us look at what we're doing while we're in the moment actually doing it. nervousness comes from the lack of belief in oneself, and the fear of not being good enough.


there are pockets of time, where there were genuine moments where i was confident enough, or foolish enough, to believe in myself in performance settings to just own what i was doing. those moments are truly out-of-body experiences, where it's like you're watching yourself do something awesome. it's like how i would imagine life would be like if i could clone myself and then remotely control my clone with like telepathy to do the stuff i wanted. i call these moments my "mask"/stanley ipkiss moments, where i totally let go of any inhibitions and really have lost the sensory input of fear.

these moments of fearlessness are when i truly feel like i feel like kicked-in-the-teeth alive, and can just let all my energy unleash. i have inspired, led people, become a source of strength that i am not typically in these moments, with just seemingly limitless amounts of power. yet these moments are very hard to come across, in the sober/sane sense where it actually does something useful.

i feel like there's a mental barrier that i need to push through in order to really tap into this source of energy. constant self-doubt and image consciousness plague my mind. in the past, i've resorted to using an alias, an alternate personality if you will, to try to embody this fearlessness. this has been effective up to a point, where it's almost like that clone scenario i was talking about earlier, except that clone ends up having a separate identity from my own.

anyway, i don't know why i write about these things late at night when i can't fully complete my train of thought, but maybe i'll come back to this later and my recent experiences and thoughts of being a performer.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

my favorite TV show

i've been rewatching season 4 of dexter with my sister, and i was up wondering why i liked this kind of show so much.

dexter is a show about a blood spatter analyst who works in the forensics department of the miami metro police station, in the homicide department. however, dexter's other life involves being a serial killer, one who hunts out and kills other serial killers. dexter doesn't kill out of a need for justice, however, he kills because he has an insatiable desire within him that drives him to. his late father, a respected detective in the department, recognized this desire and trained him to kill in a way to never get caught and only kill those who "deserve" it.

the show is well written, the dialogue is tight, the show is very fast paced and plot driven, and the acting has probably been the best i've seen on TV. although towards the later seasons there are some things the show could probably do without, the show has maintained high qualities from season to season. i also love the music and the way the culture of miami is intertwined with the storyline. you definitely get a sense of being removed from your own world into the world of dexter when you watch the show.

i think that my love for this show stems from the fact that i do have an obsession about understanding the cause of our neurosis. dexter's psychology is a complex story that i won't spoil here, but i will say that one will definitely empathize with his character by the first seasons' close. you might even say that he was a victim of circumstances, that he was almost forced into position he was in, that he is a character of tragedy rather of villainy.

however, the fact that i can relate to the evil that he performs and how he justifies it to himself makes me wonder about the own evil that i possess. dexter's struggle is a constant one of how he can live a normal life and continually satisfy his inner demons. while i can never imagine myself killing someone, i examine the motivations he has behind his killings, the humanity he possesses and think that it is totally within anyone's capabilities to fall into the same kind of justifications and compromises he makes. i'd like to think of myself as morally sound, but under all possible permutations of paths, given the circumstances that it is possible for anyone, even me, to commit unthinkable acts of evil.

of course, i always consider every action that we do to be selfishly generated and constantly think about the motivations of all our actions, and technically, everything we do is then going to probably be tainted by some sort of evil. but a show like dexter shows you how the lines to what is normal can transition into what is most illustratively evil, and makes you think more about why you do the things you do.

anyhow, i'm getting quite philosophical...and my brain hurts. and i'm tired. what i'm trying to say is, the show is awesome. watch it.