Dream 43

If you know me you probably know I have a collection of great coats. In addition, I feel this dream is RIFE with psychological layers. Like a psychological onion. Especially for actors or anyone in the movie/Television business.

In this dream, I was on the set of a very big movie. I was only an extra, but my friend, Brian Villalobos was one of the four main stars (that alone is a loaded psychological onion ready to be peeled). I believe it was being directed by Sean Cain who I worked with when he directed Terror Birds. The production had me bring all my sweet coats as possible costume options, but had ended up not using them so I had hung them all in an unused closet.

After filming had wrapped, the 4 leads had to do a photo shoot for the movie poster. As I was walking out to the holding area, I saw all my coats in a pile on the floor. Apparently, they wanted as many possibilities for costuming as possible for the photo shoot so they had just went around the entire place grabbing everything they could find including my coats from the closet, and just thrown them on the floor temporarily while they were collecting. I was furious! Those were my personal coats and were stashed in a non-production closet! I went to a table where one of the costumers and a bunch of other crew were sitting and explained the situation. They all agreed with me that it wasn’t right but also didn’t really know what I could do about it, and told me if I raised a stink it would just look bad on me and give me a bad reputation.

I was fuming, but I was also worried about pissing people off or having a bad reputation. I walked back in the studio to see if I could see what was going on. On my way some water dripped on me. I looked up and saw that a bunch of trash bags had been somehow attached to the ceiling and were holding water for a amateur and precariously-rigged rain simulator. Wait, were they getting the actors wet? Were they getting my coats wet? Placed on floor under any place there was a leak were these little fizzing sponge-pucks that somehow soaked up a lot of the water. I got close to the set and saw several wardrobe racks. From where I was, I couldn’t see my coats, but was slightly comforted by the fact that at least they were hung up on racks. I was happy for my friend Brian that he was a lead in a major film and was going to be on a movie poster, but felt very lonely, disconnected and “so close, yet so far” from my career hopes and dreams.

Then I woke up.

Dream 42

Such a simple dream. Just a moment with my ex, being behind her, maybe sitting in a car or something. Maybe a couch or hammock or something where she was more lying down but I could still be “behind her.” I put my chin on her shoulder from behind, right in that soft spot where her shoulder meets her neck. Our cheeks pressed together, we both smile and nuzzle up against each other. And in my dream I thought “This is where I belong. Nothing has ever felt this safe and right. This is home.”

Then I wake up. And I can still smell her. Her scent lingers in my synapses from the dream.

Dream 41

The ex and I were in my car. At an intersection, some crazed drugged out people ran up to the car and pulled her passenger door open. They started throwing money in the car frantically saying we had to keep this safe for them. I tried to floor it but Since one of them was holding on to the passenger door handle, my car skewed that direction (dream physics don’t have to make sense). Eventually I got loose and we sped around a corner and into a dark area behind a building. We were trying to figure out what to do next, fearing these people would be trying to find us.

Something that has happened to me many times in real life, is that I’m having a bad dream and in the dream I’m trying to yell or scream but can’t so it’ just comes out as a kind of weak moan, and then it turns out the reason is that the exact same thing is happening in real life. I”m trying to yell in my sleep but am just sort of making weak noises. As has happened in the past, she’s next to me in bed and gently nudges me, saying it’s just a bad dream and snuggles up close to me. I’m comforted. Our bodies are close with our arms tight around each other.

Then in that moment, I start to realize that this too is a dream. I start to cry as I’m ripped from the dream world into the actual real world where my face is wet with tears. I try to pull myself together, grab my phone to distract myself for a moment and put on an audiobook as I try to forget my heart re-breaking, come back to the present, disengage from these emotions and just breathe. It was just a dream. But then it was just a dream.

Dream Theatre 38-40

I haven’t documented a lot of the dreams I’ve remembered but there’s 3 I wanted to try to document before they totally fade. Hopefully, I can still remember enough details even though it’s been a little while since they occurred.

Dream 38
I was at a party at someone’s house. I think it was most likely a house occupied by several (or more) college students. I was saying goodbye to a few people sitting at the dining room table and I remember one was a (fictional) girl who I think I kind of had a crush on so it was kind of that awkward excitement type interaction where you also want to hug someone but also totally overthink it and wonder if you should or if it’s weird or something. I said my goodbyes and left but as I got outside I realized I’d left my phone somewhere inside. So now I was faced with the more awkward reappearance and “Oh, hey, just me again. Forgot my phone,” type explanation. I went past the table into another room that was extremely and strangely packed and cluttered in an almost M.C. Escher-esque way. There was a stairway that went up the right wall then turned 90 degrees and continued up the front wall but it was totally blocked off with furniture and shelves so I had to climb over it and then walk along the hand rain squeezed up against the wall. When I reached the second part of the staircase, there was a couch on it that extended up the stairs and through the doorway at the top so there was just barely enough room between the couch and the top of the door way to squeeze through and drop down. That’s all I remember of that one.

Dream 39
My mind has been extra cruel with constant dreams about my ex. One standout was that I was watching some “hidden camera” TV show on TV and much to my surprise, suddenly there was some “night vision” footage of my ex wearing only a button down shirt and glasses having sex with someone.

Dream 40
In a more subtly cruel dream, my ex and I were driving around revisiting some places where she had gone to college. It was night and she was driving and pointing things out like “Oh that’s the building where…”, etc. At one point, she pulled over and seemed really sad and I saw tears welling up in her eyes. I asked her what was wrong.
She said “I just don’t want you to ever leave me.”
I looked at her with love, surprise and reassurance, tears in my own eyes, put my hands on her face and said “I’m not ever going to leave you. I love you,” and kissed her.

Yeah, that was fun. And ironic. I haven’t figured out of cruel dreams about your ex count as sadism or masochism.

Heartbreak Vs. Death

I find it interesting that in general I am very hesitant to post things of a darker, heavier nature. It’s always more pensive and philosophical in my head, but I fear it sounds more depressed or depressing when expressed. I find it also interesting that this is why I am am expressing these particular ruminations here on my blog. Because, generally, not many read it and people are pretty hesitant to leave the walled gardens of Facebook and such to read things externally. SO in a weird way, the fact that my website gets next to no traffic makes it a safer, more private space. And yet, if I’m writing something publicly then why do I care about “privacy” at all? I could not write it or write in a private blog or journal. I do not have an answer for that question. I just know I want to express these thoughts, but not necessarily to the widest audience possible but I’m also not afraid of anyone finding or reading this. So, in short, I don’t understand my brain either, but here we are.

I’ve discovered that, for me, heartbreak is worse than death. Death as in losing a loved one, not as in my own death. Because while I don’t fear death and have on occasion, kind of wished that my time was up, that’s a very “permanent solution to temporary problems,” as I’ve heard it put. Now I feel there’s a few very important facts related to this highly individual and personal opinion:

  1. I have lost people I was very close to including my father, so I do know that kind of loss.
  2. BUT, I am also someone who deals with death very well. I am very zen about it. It’s a part of life and I know that my loved ones would not want me to be sad or suffer when they’re gone, just as I wouldn’t want that of others. I believe our culture really fears it and feels that we should be utterly shattered and devastated by it. This is really a whole other can of worms, as I believe we have far more choice than we think we do about our feelings, but I also know that it’s not as simple as “Well, hey, just don’t feel that way!”
  3. This is simply an expression of my thoughts and opinions and not at all an attempt to sway anyone else’s opinion. However you feel about it all, your feelings are completely valid and there is no “right” or “wrong” here. This is in no way meant to diminish or trivialize any loss anyone has felt or feels. It’s all so personal and individual.

In death, someone leaves this plane of existence as we know it. We miss them. It sucks. Depending on your personal beliefs on death and what, if anything, happens afterward, your experience with it will likely be completely unique from anyone else’s. I’m not sure exactly what I believe, but the scientific law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. So nothing is ever “destroyed” or completely gone. Our energy continues to exist somehow. Maybe it gets reincarnated. Maybe recycled into stars, trees, rocks, gas, everything. Maybe there’s ghosts, souls, spirits. Many possibilities, but it is science that our energy will definitely continue to exist in some form, whether it be sentient or not.

In general, we are not given a choice about it. My father didn’t choose to die of pancreatic cancer. He most certainly didn’t choose to die of pancreatic cancer because I was somehow not a good enough son. I don’t think I even shed a tear (again, I”m pretty good at dealing with death). Sure I miss teh hell out of him and wish he was still here, but I’m at peace with it, as he would want me to be.

Now in a heartbreak, especially and particularly a non-mutual breakup, someone makes the active choice to no longer be with you. Now there can be any number of reasons that this supposedly has nothing to do with you or your worth. They just need to “figure their own shit out,” or sometimes despite you both being great people, you just aren’t compatible as a couple. I’ve heard many different, totally legitimate reasons from people who weren’t just full of shit or making excuses or whatever. And to be clear, I’m talking generally, not about just my own personal experiences.

But in the end, that person chooses not to be with you. People will tell you, “They’re an idiot. If they don’t see your worth, you deserve better any way,” or any other number of platitudes. The thing is, even if you know your self worth, even if you have great self-esteem and love the hell out of yourself, it doesn’t change the fact that the one person you choose, does not choose you. And that one indisputable fact lodges in the back of your mind like a little, black, poisonous seed. It infects your subconscious.

“I’m very happy with who I am. I think I’m a good person!”
But not good enough for them.
“I am special. I’m an amazing partner. I am seriously a magical unicorn of a catch.”
Hmm, and yet they had no problem moving on and deleting your existence from their life.
“What we had was true love. Magical. A bond beyond this world. No one will ever compare to me!”
Except that new person. And probably a bunch of other people. Maybe you’ll wind up in the top 10.

It will fuck with your self-esteem. Like Wormtongue to King Théoden of Rohan in The Lord of the Rings books (and films). I consider myself to have a very strong mind. A very strong mindfulness and meditation practice. An extraordinary sense of self-awareness. Yet even my tools and defenses are not enough to make me impervious to this insidious poisoning. You question everything you think. Everything you know. Unlike a death, this is a choice. And you know this person is walking through life everyday. Without you. Each day, a constant reminder of their choice to not be with you. Might as well set a Calendar alert. “DING! Tuesday: [person’s badly mispronounced name] still chooses not to be with you!” Because somehow you fell short. You were deficient. You were not good enough for them to want to continue sharing a life with you. It doesn’t matter if they’re “wrong,” “blind,” “stupid,” “self-destructive,” “delusional,” or any other adjectives anyone wants to apply. The end result is the same. They do not choose you, Pikachu. It’s almost like reliving a death daily.

I think this is compounded by the fact that I’ve never really “dated.” It’s really rare for me to connect with someone on that level so I only really bother when it feels like something really special that might last a lifetime. So if that ends, it feels like a tremendous loss of something exceedingly rare and precious. A loss of a huge part of life. So much time and history invested and now you’re back at square one.

“Buck up, Buddy! Time heals all wounds!”

Shut yer platitude hole. I know them all. Yes, I’m working on “me” and self-improvement. Yes, whatever I feel is valid and okay and I don’t beat myself up.
The Law of Attraction says you can manifest any reality you want by just picturing the way you want it and then genuinely feeling the feelings and gratitude of having that thing! Live and think as if it’s already reality!
But Eckhart Tolle says all pain comes from resisting what is and not accepting the now and living in the past or future. Now I quite like both the Law of Attraction philosophy and Tolle’s writings but these two things seems directly at odds to me. (Please keep any disparaging opinions on these or any other philosophies or new age ideals to yourself; my intent is not to bag on them but to point out that sometimes even our own beliefs can be contradictory and confusing). Can a person walk in two worlds simultaneously? Not giving up hope while also continuing forward?

I know it’s all about perspective and so much is just the lies that our egos and fears use to feed themselves but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier. So, while I understand it may be a controversial statement and not true for many others, for me, heartbreak is worse than death.

Well, shit. I don’t know how to salvage this into some cheery ending. Go Google some cute baby animal videos or something. Those are always awesome spirit lifters!

Dream Theatre 37

This dream was very much like an ’80s John Hughes movies or something. There was a girl I was in love with (portrayed in the dream by an actress I know who shall remain nameless because I don’t know her well and I’m old enough to be her father probably). We were all at a big party and Will Ferrell was there too. It was no secret how I felt about her, but she walked up to Will and said “You wanna go bang?”

Will looked over at me, kind of sheepishly and was like “Well, I mean, that might be kind of awkward…he really likes you.”

And so, in a truly ’80s movie kind of way, I delivered some noble monologue along the lines of “Look, any guy she wants to…” I paused, starting to say “make love to” but hesitating, wondering which term to use.

She enthusiastically jumped in with a thrusting hips motions and said “Bang!”

I continued, “…bang, is the luckiest guy in the world and would be a fool to pass that up.”

He kind of shrugged and then off they went together, presumably to “bang.”

I started to walk out of the party totally dejected feeling like “This is what you get for being a good, noble guy.”

Then I slapped my forehead and felt like an idiot realizing that I should have said “Hey, look, Will is married with children, so that’s not really cool.”

Cue credits to some ’80s music as the camera cranes up.

Processing The Surreal Physiological And Psychological Experience Of Winning An Award

I want to write about this because I want to process it and get it out of my brain and yet I’m also hesitant as I don’t want to come off as over-important or anything of the like. But maybe some of you will find this interesting or familiar. At the very least, it will be mildly amusing, I hope.

Tonight I had the great honor of winning the 2016-2017 B. Iden Payne award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy for my performance of Magnifico in La Fenice’s Death race Inferno. From the moment I found out I was nominated to…well even still now, I find the whole experience surreal and interesting. Whenever I’m nominated for something like this, I’m always excited and honored but I try very hard not to get to hopeful. You’re up against talented people and odds are that it will not be your name that gets called. So you try to be cool. Frosty. Zen. But there’s always that part of your mind that goes, “Ah, but wouldn’t that be cool…but I mean probably not. Forget about it. It’s totally an honor just to be nominated. But wouldn’t that be cool…no, no, stop it.”

In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, your brain occasionally wanders to “So what would I say if I won? Don’t be an ass. Don’t be so presumptuous as to construct a speech or something. But I mean, you should be at least mildly prepared, just in case, right? An actor should always be prepared! Now I feel kind of douchey. Nothing wrong with getting a general idea!”

Now I also had the honor of being nominated last year for playing Orin Scrivello D.D.S. in Little Shop Of Horrors, which I didn’t win. I mean, there’s been plenty of other awards I didn’t win, but I say that to say that I was specifically acquainted with not winning a B. Iden Payne. The lead up process was pretty identical. And again, you try to let it go and not be too attached to it, but when that name isn’t yours, I firmly believe that no human is so zen as to not be at least a little bummed. Last year I at least had the extra boost of happiness that my friend, Jonathan Itchon won and I was legitimately happy for him while being a little bummed for myself. So this year, I really tried (unsuccessfully) to detach. I’m a pretty zen guy and stuff like this doesn’t ever really get to me on anything more than a shallow, very temporary level, but still, there’s always that part of you that wants to win. To be recognized for the work you create so passionately from your soul.

The night finally arrives. Thank the universe I can stop thinking about it at all after tonight. The same battles wage inside. Trying not to care. Knowing you (not so secretly) want it. My category is about half way through the night. Such…a…long…time (not really). The moment arrives. They read the nominees. My name is first on the list. “Heath Allyn as Magnifico in Death Race Inferno by La Fenice.” Silence. Not a single clap. Oh god. I’m humiliated. Everyone hates me. Oh wait…that’s right…they specifically asked that no one applaud until all the nominees were read. I’m an idiot. Oh crap, they’ve read all the nominees, I should be clapping now. Well, here goes nothing. Brace for impact. And the winner is…WHAT? THAT WAS MY NAME! I THINK. I was sitting with Aaron and Genevieve (cast mates from the show) and Aaron grabs me. Maybe says something, I don’t remember but it’s apparent that it was definitely my name they said. I get up, probably looking completely stunned and in shock, though elated (A woman would later tell me in the lobby that she was sitting behind me and could feel my energy as I got up). The applause seems like the most clamorous din I’ve ever heard. I’m humbled and a bit overwhelmed. Man that is some thunderous applause. Now, of course, I know that the applause would have been there regardless of the winner but in that moment, just as the previous silence had been deafening, so seemed this applause and I felt like I could fly.

I make my way to the stage and jabber like a speed freak for a bit and make a fool out of myself (in the absolute best possible way, i.e. being pure me). I race along worrying about taking up too much time but also knowing I’m a verbose guy who always has a lot to say and trying to remember what important things I want to say. Or what utterly silly things I want to say. Tomato, tomato. I get emotional. My voice starts shaking. I have no idea what reality was, but in my mind, at least, I finished strong and got off the stage.

I was greeted by Kate and other well wishers and I hugged and gave thanks and floated through this strange dreamlike haze, probably seeming like a shock victim. I had some photos taken. Actually drank a glass of champagne (I never drink). Sat down for a minute and collected myself. After the massive adrenaline rush, I crashed hard and had a headache and felt exhausted but I stayed for the remainder of the show and mingled with all the amazing, talented people there. Eventually I made my way home and picked up some celebratory Whataburger.

I’m still buzzing. processing. Humbled. Honored. Elated. I don’t know exactly what I said in my acceptance speech, but I do know some major themes that are important to me that I want to reiterate here. Winning this award for this show is particularly meaningful to me for so many reasons. This was a collaborative show where we all created it together. We all created our characters, our own dialogue. I had such a strong vision and mission for this character, so that makes this even more special. I’m so thankful to La Fenice for first inviting me to play with them all those years ago and continually inviting me back. And for this show, for specifically wanting me for to create role. So much so that they didn’t say “Here are the dates, are you available?” They said “You have to play this role. When are you available?” I hope I lived up to the faith you had in me and this award is definitely all of ours as Magnifico would be very little without everyone else and their brilliant characters, writing, set design, props, et al. It was truly a 7 way collaboration. A completely original, crazy, wonderful show.

I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t thank my mother who was in community theatre before I was born, and was immediately toting my bassinet to rehearsals as soon as she was able. She has always supported me in everything I did or wanted to do and never pressured me to “Go to college,” or “Get a job.” She always allowed me my own path and supported it with nothing but love.

And then there’s my standard “awards” manifesto that I’ve written on several occasions and at least paraphrased at the ceremony tonight, but I feel it’s important. Every time these (or any) awards come up, a lot of people feel hurt or left out, and that sucks. I’m certainly not anti-awards. Celebrating and recognizing excellence is not a bad thing, but I always say to let those kinds of things be the dessert and not the sustenance you need to feel full or validated. Keep you head down, do good work and let that be the reward. Let the journey, the honing of your craft be what drives you. And if you’re lucky enough to be nominated or to win, yes, enjoy the hell out of it. Be grateful. Just don’t let that be the end all be all or let the lack thereof trigger your ego into thinking you aren’t a talented, amazing being. Because for every one person up there giving an acceptance speech, there are countless unrecognized geniuses and virtuosos out there. Maybe some are your friends. Maybe you know a few in passing. Most you’ve probably never even heard of. Enjoy your dessert but let the work itself be your sustenance.

If you’ve actually read these 1400+ words, then a) I’m surprised as hell, b) That means more to me than I can say as well and is its own reward. I feel like I should give you an award for that. I hope this doesn’t seem self-important, or…

Whatever. Enough self-conscious, self-deprecating disclaimers. This is me. I have shit to say. I know this isn’t life changing, or “The Oscars” or what-not and all my troubles and problems still linger as much as they did before tonight, but this does mean something to me. And I’ll enjoy the extra dose of happiness while I eat my dessert. Thank you. To the universe, everyone I’ve ever worked with, all those who continue to repeatedly work with me, and you. Yes you. I love you.

The Magic Of Radio

I can’t remember the last time radio was a part of my life. I got my first vehicle somewhere in the mid-90s and from that point on it was CDs, iPods, iPhones, and podcasts. The last real, strong radio related memories I have are laying in bed on Sunday nights during high school and listening to Dr. Demento from 10 until midnight.

Recently, my friend and band mate, Karl, was espousing the SiriusXM Beatles channel and I was intrigued. I have the capability in my car but have never subscribed since I have more than enough podcasts, audiobooks, music and Spotify to fill all my time. However this Beatles channel sounded cool and I wanted to check it out so eventually, after encountering a mountain of annoyances and technical problems in the research and signing up stages alone (bad form, SiriusXM), I finally managed to sign up for a free 30 day trial of their streaming service.

I found myself lying in bed trying to drift off to sleep to all things Beatles and feeling a little of that magic again. Feeling a connection to the world as these waves streamed in to my bedroom live. I had no control of what played (though there is on-demand content as well if you like) and no idea what would come next. I found it especially appropriate to be reliving this with The Beatles as they often spoke of the influences they heard on the radio that had such a hug impact on them. I felt a kinship knowing that John, Paul, George and Ringo probably spent many a night listening to these magical sounds of rock and roll streaming into their bedrooms.

I’m not sure if I’ll actually subscribe when my trial is over (I also hate the fact that they still use the outdated annoyance model of making customers call if they want to cancel), but the content of The Beatles channel has been cool enough to at least make me consider it.

One Razor to Rule Them All

For many years I used a Mach 3 Power razor (the one that has a AAA battery and vibrates while you shave). Then on a whim, I decided to try the Harry’s razors since Mach 3 cartridges can be a but pricey. I thought, “Well, I’m sure a razor is a razor and these little guys are doing the world a solid!” I had the top of the line chrome Harry’s Winston model and used it for years. But I noticed I wasn’t really happy with my shave. I tended to have to go over and over my face and the blades were so close together that they were hard to rinse and got clogged.

So, on a whim, I went to Wirecutter.com, my go to site any time I want to know “What’s the best (insert thing here),” and sure enough they’re top pick was the Mach 3 Power. Sadly, I had got rid of mine in the intervening years and the model they specifically recommended has become really hard to find (though any Mach 3 power, or Mach 3 will likely give you as good of a shave). I don’t shave every day and a cartridge can last me quite a long time. Combine that with the fact that you can get Mach 3 cartridges cheaper if you buy them in bulk on Amazon or wherever, and it seemed worth the extra dough for a better shave.

Years ago I tried the whole “Safety Razor, badger hair brush” thing that many sites rave about as “the best shave” but I never liked it. After a year or two I went back to my Mach 3. I just don’t want to put that much time, effort and thought into shaving.

So here I was being led back to the razor I had previously used. Because I’m a weirdo, I wanted the specific model they recommended (mostly because I liked the green) so I ended up getting one off ebay from a guy in Korea for like $20. I just had my first shave with it and I’m never going back. Such a huge difference. So learn from my experience and research, and just get yourself one of the Mach 3 line. I’ve been to Mordor and back, shaving all the orcs along the way, and I can say it is the one razor to rule them all.

“Well, I’m back,” he said.

Sea of Idiocy

Okay people. I try to keep it pretty positive here, but I truly want to know: what do you do when you feel like you’ve lost faith in humanity as a whole?

I’m incredibly lucky in that my personal world or “Bubble” is filled with wonderful, amazing, beautiful people, but I can’t help but feel like my personal sampling is greatly skewed when event after event after event seems to definitively tell me that those amazing people are vastly outnumbered by vast sea of idiocy, or Idiosea, whose tides cannot be stemmed, sandbagged, leveed or otherwise contained. I’m seriously ready to be abducted by aliens.