The Girl in the Painting: The "You Never Know..." Moments Conclusion

girl in the painting with New York skyline as the backdrop

I dedicate this blog to the artist and a dear friend, I affectionately call Bushnell...or Bushy (Thanks Sasha, for that one!). Having never taken a professional art class in her entire life, at the age of 18, she used her natural ability to capture a moment by taking a photo of me, on our high school stage while I was studying my lines, under a spotlight and transforming that moment into this painting of my destiny with her, in spirit, watching over me from Texas.

To conclude the "you never know..." moments, I've now come to the realization that there's nothing conclusive about them. However, the chain of events that followed when publishing "The Change", "The Growth", "The Values", brought me to the discovery that every action taken, dream visioned, impact lived, are all ignited from the same place.

Before I get to that, let me start from the beginning...

While writing "The Values" I received a call from one of my friends through my performing arts world, named Jenny. Jenny and I have a great deal in common; we are close to the same age, we're from Texas, have the ambition to seek creative control by developing our own material in show biz, and we value the importance of showing support for our fellow first-time producers. We just happened to plan our Kickstarter campaigns and shoot our web series' pilots around the same time and we both ran into post-production delays that left us unable to achieve a certain ideal time of completion. And although "Tempt!" is still in post-production, it has been thrilling watching her web series gradually get out of post and go on to winning international awards. When reaching out to her in a time where I was at my wit's end, she then turned the conversation around to ask me to come onboard with her production team for a new project. I was elated!

Woman with camera during production

It was a 72 hour film challenge and I was the new assistant production manager. Being that this short film had to be shot and in the can in 72 hours, needless to say, it was a very exciting challenge, like no other. After six months of being in a comatose state, I reported to set to find that the spark was back and so was my strength... and so was my insight of what's important. I wish I could say more about the project, other than it was a blast, but being that it will be out there soon, I will provide more behind-the-scenes commentary at a more appropriate time :)

late night shoot, lights and camera set up

And there's more...

Just hours later, after having a drink with a fellow actress and new friend, I told her about the premise I had been working on, for years, for a full length play. I was uncertain about a few scenes that left me struggling, regardless, she highly encouraged me to submit the play for a prestigious writing program. I've always admired the theatre company responsible for this program so I thought that I needed to hold off until I solidify the dialogue. But, I received an e-mail from the literary manager of the company, informing me that my friend nominated me to submit the play. This was it! No procrastinating! Butterflies were fluttering around in my stomach when reading the part of the e-mail that stipulated that the deadline was one week away. And here's the catch: my treatments and outlines I managed to complete, but the dialogue still left me struggling. And my schedule that week, involved working two late nights into early mornings, plus the premier party and Q & A for the 72 hour film challenge, plus flying into Texas to see family... Yep, this was going to be tricky, but it had to get done. Like the lyrics from Hamilton, I am not throwin' away my shot!

Last week, I worked on the dialogue with every second I had to spare. The challenge bled all the way over into my days in Texas and literally turning in my assignment at 11:59pm on the due date. After spending, roughly 50 hours hashing out dialogue and stage directions that consisted of 13,405 words and 71 pages, the one lesson that I take away from this is figuring out the art of time management...And I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Am I proud that I manage to submit the play? I'm not sure. Am I happy with the ending product? Not exactly, I wanted to go back and re-work some of the scenes, but the clock was ticking, not to mention that I didn't get a chance to to proof read the entire play because I ran out of time. Once I received the submission confirmation e-mail, a part of me wanted to say Wait! It's not finished, I can do better! But something inside of me screamed let it go and see where it lands. I can always go back and correct it if needed. And before I could feel the disappointment starting to loom over me, my husband asks, "When is an artist's work ever finished?" ...Good point.

Upon completing the submission of the play, I am lead to my planned mission to not only spend as much time with family as possible (for what little time I had), but to bring back my treasures I kept locked away during my move back to NYC.

woman's journal entries from the past 14 years

These treasures are my journals...

Since leaving for New York, for the very first time, at 18, I documented everything (or at least I tried to). As I look at these journals, who would have thought they would be the core of honesty in my next stories, coming to fruition?

When reading a journal entry dated back to 2003, that's when the discovery hits me: the girl in the painting, the need to strive for "The Change", "The Growth", "The Values" - The need for my journals, the need to submit my play, the need to be a part of a production, the need to spend time with family and friends- The action, the passion, the care, these all come from the same place. And that place is love.

For once, I see me, I see my surroundings and that's it! It's all love. It's giving love, receiving love, growing love, bringing love to life.

I could never quite understand people who would use the term "I am searching for love"... And I know there was a reason why.

I found in my poetry journal where the girl in the painting wrote her very first quote the moment she landed in New York - "You have all the love in the world. Take it and go." I don't know why I put it there and it was hard to explain what I meant by it. Now, I finally see that she knew exactly what she needed to do and knows what it takes to make anything possible.

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