Archives for posts with tag: bravery

Many local librarians know me on a first name basis. Katrina Perkins Admittedly, I currently have as many books checked out as I have years to this Life’s experience.  Times past I would visit the “discount chain” store and impulsively purchase items.  These days, an impulse strikes me to learn about a subject (finance, speak French, meditate) or a specific book comes on my radar (a book club, movie soon-to-be/in production based on a book, or referenced in yet another book) and immediately I logon, sign-in, search the on-line directory and submit a request for pick-up at my nearby repository.  The New York library system is unrivaled, and gratitude saturates my existence to reside in a world wealthy in easy accessing of books, movies, and music.

Last year was particularly strengthening, in parts because within six months I divorced from a relationship spanning half my life and my Dad died.  Listening to CDs of chanting monks, Ayurvedic Sutras, and spiritual teachings checked out from the library became my salvation.  Calmed, perked, and inspired- I was reminded Life gives no more than can be consumed and to surrender to this blessing.  There was a moment, I believed I may very well be on the brink of  insanity- feeling so much ripped from my gut- in a state of not knowing anything, including how to sleep alone in a strange space alone.  I felt completely crumbled, and yet, still, undeniably uplifted.  When, acquiescing to the truth that only sane people have the where-with-all to contemplate such an inquiry as lucidity, a hope and appreciation for what I was previously blind to created a bravery I had not known to be possessed.

Many beautiful, fulfilling, inspired relationships and opportunities have come into Life.  Allowing myself to become open to them, thankful for each “wrong turn” fore the scenic route takes me on a drive past the lake I never saw.  Before, I felt myself to be alone- my mother is not one to speak frankly with, and as an only child mostly growing-up friendships are few, but flourishing.  Now, I respect “No man is an island” though occasionally forgotten in ego-ick-feelings.

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A New Year!  Every moment is new, an opportunity to see the world fresh, full of favorable circumstances.  Last January 8th my phone rang, waking me, just after midnight.  In my depths I instantaneously knew all was not well.  It was my mother; my father had died. Emotion struck hard, even now, because Dad was ‘my guy’- I could count on for support, easy understanding, and open communication with honest comfort.  His death spurred me to push toward a life less shackled and more a waking joy to live.

The torment at not traveling home for the holidays; Dad :)his haunting response to a declaration I would be there in March- “I hope I’m still around”.  He is Peaceful now- not dealing with doctors and breathing machines while he sleeps, or my mother nagging as his nurse to use less salt, stop eating coffee cake muffins at Dunkin’ Doughnuts, and remember to take his pills.  In order to make it through the ten days I was in Florida to speak at his funeral and be at the military memorial, it was a must to find purpose from his passing.  Before returning to New York, I vowed to move confidently in directions to accomplish my dreams.  Confiding in a friend, fortunately an excellent business manager, a promise was fashioned to forge a detailed plan of action.  Every moment is for a purpose, every relationship serves an intention- acting drew me to Her- fore if I had never married, thence moving to Los Angeles, I would have never been immersed in the curiosity and subsequent motivation to live poetry.

Fortunately, the acting classes on my path in Hollywood were great- fostering truth and reality of life through doing.  While each day presents its own challenge in WORKing for myself with as much discipline as I work for an employer, I am closer the the life of my dreams this year.  January of 2012 I was happy to be acting in a play as the lead character.  January of 2013 I am even more thankful to be working on movies and optimistic about finding the best agent to add to the team of Katrina Perkins Inc.

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There’s a place that no one knows

Sometimes most I love to go

Always here I’m all alone

Near to me and close to home

The space is small and warmth resides

No fear exists; no truth to hide

I’m loud and free, out of my mind

More paths must be I want to find

Searching- there, is happiness

Landing- comfort, I confess

Always, you expect to be.

Changing is reality

Know final words, of what,? to say

My feelings here have gone astray

Growing them from sad and glum

Smiling now I laugh and hummm

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During eight years living in Los Angeles, I had the great pleasure to perform voices for a prolific writer of radio plays.  Once every month or two he would schedule a read through and studio time to record.  A gathering of about eight artists with rich vocal instruments and the vivid imaginations required of good actors would unite.  There is a freedom bestowed upon one performing in a room full of wonderfully gifted voice actors, each with their own mic and music stand before them, which electrifies.  One arrives wearing comfortable clothing and clean non-camera ready faces, preparations focusing more on the voice(s) and active energy infused into a character whose sole life resides in your ability to create through a spoken voice.

Occasionally there were more than one character to distinctly articulate. !AN OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY WITH AN ACCENT!  I absolutely LOVE to speak with a different sound in my mouth- imagining I have traveled and lived in all the worldly destinations I aspire!  Often, my standard voice evokes praise for clarity of elocution from multiple professionals, teachers, and even near deaf people with hearing aides who appreciate the intelligibility, pitch, and tone of my speech.  This is a grand starting point for incorporating a dialect- which I am equally applauded for an ability to voice numerous accents realistically.  Some are more challenging than others, notably Italian and Scottish, and these be the tests I revel!

As with everything, “practice makes perfect”.  Utilizing worksheets, accent/dialect instruction CDs, and recordings of native speakers, I practice in my home and car, repeating or talking to myself and any family who thankfully endure hearing.  Graduating to speak with confidence in public to strangers, I regularly pass as a foreigner and delight in the same attention lavished upon others when I detect a little something different in their utterance.  It takes more bravery to speak around people you know in an altered cadence, because they are the ones that will giggle and mock.  However, when you live with a voice in your everyday speaking, rather than merely exercising through the dialogue written, it becomes a part of you – therefore strengthening.

When you have a target, and the aim is true, you will hit the mark.  The director of the play I just finished performing in offered me parts in both ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘MacBeth’, without my needing to audition.  After first working with him last summer in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ I took the time to send a Thank You card following the final show.  Since then, in addition to his recent offers, he has cast me as a lead role and a few supporting roles in his productions.  By recognizing an opportunity to express gratitude, I strengthened a relationship and established myself as an appreciative actress interested in working with him again.

My ambition has been to achieve larger roles and work regularly while getting paid within the field of acting, in turn generating favorable circumstances to practice marketing and networking.  A few weeks ago I invited three newspapers to the most recent play.  This was the first step (after researching and calling to generate contact information) in establishing a relationship. Whether they showed-up this time or not, I have taken steps, with follow through, to grow a friendly working rapport.  In the near future I will compose another e-mail welcoming their attendance at each of the Shakespeare month long runs in July and August, with an extra line or two expressing interest in their current work, moving me one more notch above a ‘never heard of’.  Expanding the list to include three additional newspapers with each production, to make a total of nine writers I consistently contact professionally, will surely increase my chances of a favorable review in at least one periodical.

Truly, I admire writers, anyone living creatively really.  Having written and loved poetry since childhood, to be paid to write- songs, articles, greeting cards- is a chance I would hop on in a heartbeat.  Life can be perceived as random and less than envisioned.  However, each moment prepares us to live more fully, each day presents a chance to create the destined dream.  Make a S.M.A.R.T. plan, devoting one hour everyday to your objective, for, with perseverance passion can be made a paid reality.

A fellow actor told me I would make a great Magenta in a live performance of ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’.  He followed up by asking if I can sing.  Stammering to answer, eventually I came out with a “yes”, explaining my hesitation how- despite mother’s teasing of my then preteen rendition of  Madonna- I have been told by a teacher, in a singer’s voice workshop, I am good enough and should go out for vocal auditions.  Confidence is the challenge I face when standing up to ambitiously belt it out in front of people.  Akin to anything, if you do not sing with all you have, from the depths of your guts, the outcome will be splintered.

Additionally, the aforementioned actor is currently undergoing chemotherapy in order to survive stomach [strike that, I was corrected, it is actually] “ASS” cancer.  In response to my embarrassed explanation he said “without being rude or insensitive, get over it- life is too short”.  Perspective is a wondrous skill.  He is, of course, absolutely right.  Keeping my voice private because of a silly fear to be judged is a handicap I volunteer to carry as my burden.  Realizing this, I can choose to cast off this albatross, just as I have forbidden ‘guilt’, now too shall I deprive fear.

To state in the affirmative: I foster innocence and demand bravery for this life.  It is no surprise to find often the two go hand in hand- when I shirk away from something due to fear, guilt remains for not going after my ambition.  No tomorrow is promised to me, and though I not-so-secretly dream of living to be an all around healthy 111 year-old, the best lessons I have learned from my elders has been one of no regrets, which notably includes saying and doing as you please (causing no harm to others) in pursuit of happiness.  A spry woman 95 years of age tickled me when she shared her two secrets to great health: sex and yogurt!  She made no qualms and did not take herself too seriously.  Life is about the living of it, for the brief whole time we remain above the ground.

Sometimes energy evades us to pursue the passions that make us feel truly alive.  A j-o-b, spring cleaning, taxes, eating well, getting enough exercise and adequate sleep are all necessary to keep our individual worlds revolving.  The evolution of life, however, demands creation to free our soul.  At a rehearsal this week for a play opening in May, the director needed me to read the other actress’s lines.  One section was a lower class period British servant making raunchy remarks.  Though my weekend had been long and my workday stressful, once I heard people laughing, at the silliness of the words combined with the tripping ease of the accent, I was electrified.

Later, I came upon a great reason to don a Scottish burr- Tartan Day, a national celebration for Scottish-Americans.  A supervisor detected the difference and laughed, sharing with co-workers who made jokes, and the day was lightened with good humor.  Putting on an accent is a challenge for the tongue and a practice in acceptance because sharing requires courage- keeping something locked away until ‘perfected’ is an exercise in fear and excuses.  Acting outside of our comfort, being Brave, we break constraints of “safety” thus growing stronger.  I had never asked a fellow employee if she is Russian or Polish because I thought it rude.  Casually querying, I discovered she is indeed Russian and would be happy to lend her authenticity to aide my practice of the Russian accent- a skill I look forward to honing.

Another forum in which I stepped out of familiarity this week was being on a live web show: MakeARightLeftHere.com .  A lot of people showed and I had a really great time participating in person; usually I only watch at home and comment on the board.  It is easy to make excuses:  I don’t have enough time, I am tired, I have so much to do, I’ll miss part of it so why bother at all, but the truth is we are scared to not fully succeed.  Every time we dare do something we could have rationalized our way out of doing, we Have WON through experiencing the adventure that is Life.

 

I went to my first comic book convention today where the man himself STAN LEE was in attendance.  Comic book movies are some of my favorites, especially ‘Captain America’,’Thor’, and ‘The Incredible Hulk’.  I admit, I was a little daunted by what to expect.  A bunch of comic nerds talking about characters of which I have no clue?  Would I spy super-fans dressed as their favorite super-hero?  What about the many sexy ladies giving away free swag…  actually I was looking forward to all the fun- the expected and the coincidentally unexpected!

Yet still I pondered- what is appropriate attire?  For the answer, I queried Blackle.com to find out.  Everyone wants to makes a good impression.  I was prepared to use today for the OPPORTUNITY  it was: a chance to market myself as an actress in New York City.  Earlier this month I ordered postcards from OverNightPrints.com with my headshot/website address on one side and a watermark on the back.  They arrived Tuesday: the quality is great and the price could not be beat.  I was quite excited to have a new tool for marketing just in time for this event!  As for an acceptable comic book/marketing outfit: one can only go right with skintight black head to toe.  So, donning vice-like black Under Armor shirt and pants belted with a thick patent leather belt, kick-ass five inch boots, and my lovely titian tendrils I terrifically rocked the comic-con!

Upon arriving early to set up, a marketing gentleman with Pixar’s newest movie ‘Brave’ had to take a picture of me holding up their poster because I “look like the main character, Merida, brought to life”!  I was asked repeatedly after to pose with the poster for a picture.  Craig, the marketing guy, is passing the photo he took on to his boss, and thanks to the new postcards with my website address, KatrinaPerkins.com , I will be going to the premiere screening!  In addition to handing out half of my new postcards, and even being asked for autographs, tons of people wanted their picture taken with me.  Everyone thought I was dressed as ‘Black Widow’ and I enthusiastically agreed.   All in all, I had a very productive day practicing self promotion as an actress.  !KA-POW!