Archive for year 2011

Under Construction

I always like to give anyone interested a glimpse behind the scenes into the whole process of creating a song. Like looking at something under construction and wondering what it will be like when it’s completed. So here’s the lyrics and the acoustic guitars and bass tracks that I’ve recorded so far for “Waiting For Ms. Elusive”.

http://www.heathallyn.com/audio/Elusive.mp3

Waiting for Ms. Elusive on the corner of past and time
Waiting for Ms. Elusive to bring me back into my prime
Waiting for Ms. Elusive, I know she comes here for the view
Waiting for Ms. Elusive so I can be elusive too

Rapt within her conversation, overflowing with elation
Then she’s gone, you’re on your own
How you miss the effervescence that you feel when in her presence
Now you know the meaning of alone

Waiting for Ms. Elusive, her voice is music to my ears
Waiting for Ms. Elusive to take me far away from here
Waiting for Ms. Elusive to say the words she can not say
Waiting for Ms. Elusive to be effusive any way

In her eyes you can see another world
But you know there’s no way to travel there
Once you’ve seen it you’ll never be the same
The one you live in just can’t compare

Waiting for Ms. Elusive, though I know that she can’t come
Waiting for Ms. Elusive, to warm my heart, so cold and numb
Waiting for Ms. Elusive, she has to leave you far behind
Waiting for Ms. Elusive, forever living in your mind

Bending laws of time and space, the world stops when I see her face
Her name sits precariously on your lips
How you wish that you could sleep, to dream the secrets that you keep
She’s with you on every imaginary trip

Work/Passion

Doing what you love
Can it really be called work?
Work would be all else

“Work”

Acting. Music. It’s what quenches the fire within me and yet stokes it at the same time. It’s what fills me up, fulfills me, makes me happy. It’s when I feel the most alive and the most “in my element.” It is why I am here. It’s what satiates the hunger. It’s when I shine most brightly as my true self (which is kind of ironic to say about acting). I guess I shouldn’t really call it “work”. It’s my passion. I guess “work” would be anything else I do for money.

Valentine’s Day

Always express love
Not when Hallmark tells you to
Show your love daily

Special Valentine’s Day Greetings

I know. The last “Live Imperfect Raw Acoustic” (LIAR? RAIL?LAIR?) video I posted was, like, in the paleolithic era but here’s a new one for Valentine’s day.

And this one has a generic intro so that you can tell your partner (or just someone you like) that I recorded it special just for them.

*I do not guarantee the success of this ruse nor am I responsible for any ramifications

And as a bonus, this unearthed Valentine’s video from Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (beware: profanity and sexual themes).

Epiphanies

Be interesting
This can’t be emulated
Do not try, just be

Epiphanies in Acting

I tweeted earlier “the secret to acting (and one of the hardest things) is to BE interesting and not to TRY to be interesting”. This was as I was sitting on set preparing to shoot a small role as a bartender and trying to find a way to make this small part “interesting” to watch. I needed to quit trying to be interesting.

This brought to mind another example from my own life when I was auditioning for a 3 line role as an FBI agent. I went in and just read my 3 lines as naturally as I could, in character. I didn’t really think I had done anything all that original or spectacular but when I finished my 3 lines, the room erupted in laughter and praise about how great I was. I smiled and thanked them and left, a bit baffled. To me, I just delivered my lines as real and naturally as I could, as the character I had created in my head. I wasn’t trying to be funny or interesting but apparently I just was.

I got the part and the director actually expanded my role and wrote me into several more scenes and into the sequel.

Another story I’ve heard was something about Marlon Brando in a stage production where he was not the focus of the scene. He was just supposed to walk across the stage eating an apple while some other characters were having a conversation. However, there was so much going on inside his head, behind his eyes, that he was utterly captivating and stole everyone’s attention, and the scene, from the main characters.

This is obviously a tough balance to strike (in fact, much of acting is a balancing act…to be prepared, but not too prepared, rehearsed but not too rehearsed). As actors, we all have our own methods and tools and in the end we are acting, pretending but sometimes if you can just inhabit that character as a real person, you will be far more interesting than trying to find some artificial way to make that character interesting.

In the immortal words of a master (Jedi master, that is), “Do or do not, there is no try.”

Restraints

The shackles we wear
Sometimes put there by others
Sometimes self-imposed

It’s a Shame That We’re the Weird Ones

As most of you know, my ex-wife (Jess) and I are still really good friends. In fact I’m also friends with her boyfriend John who is pure awesome and absolutely perfect for Jess. I am, in fact, friends or at least friendly acquaintances with a large portion of my exes. The few that I’m not aren’t because of any bad blood, I just don’t know where they are or they lead insanely busy lives and even their families don’t hear from them much, or other such circumstances.

I find it sad that so many people seem taken aback that I such good friends with my ex(es). I can understand why in a way but that’s a whole other subject. Most relationships end up being somewhat dysfunctional, end badly, or at least end unevenly with one person hurt by the other. Last October when I would tell people “I’m going to visit my ex and her boyfriend” many times I’d get that look, that kind of polite vacant smile that says “Oh, okay…interesting…whatever works for you”.

At least the three people involved (Me, Jess and John) are all cool with it. I not only feel lucky to have such a great friendship with someone who obviously meant (and means) a lot to me, but feel very lucky that she’s with someone who I love and who has no discomfort (at least as far as I know) with me or my friendship with Jess.

One of the things that has been hardest about my divorce is when I realize things like the fact that I’ll probably never see many of Jess’s family members ever again (her family is all in England). Or many of the mutual friends in England that I met through her. It’s not that couldn’t if I wanted to, it’s just that it probably won’t ever happen. I love all those people. It’s sad. The mummos and daddos, the grandmas and grandpas, the Flons and Helens, the mUrts and Delles, the Scotts and Caths, the fun friends and co-workers of these people who we met, cavorted around Liverpool with, went to bachelor/bachlorette parties with, the Clares, Richards, Maxs, Nells, of the world and so many more.

I was talking to my friend Staci about this last night. About how, sure I could and hopefully will go back to England someday but even then, I just don’t think I could go back to Leek by myself just for a visit. London is one thing. I mean it’s London and there’s so much more there to be had than just my old memories. But Leek or Stoke are so small that it would just be weird to be there on my own, visiting Jess’s family without Jess and John there.

This led me to a simultaneously awesome and kind of sad thought. I thought “Oh my god! Visiting England with Jess and John would be AWESOME!” It reminded me of when my cousin Casey came to England with me and Jess. Only this time, it would be me visiting with Jess and John. It would be more cool people and fun than the universe could probably tolerate and very well might cause some kind of tear in the space/time continuum. For me, it would be just like going on a cool trip with Casey, or Greg or any of my amazing friends. However then reality hit me that this would far too weird for the rest of the world. Not that I really care about what the rest of the world thinks but I would be really self-conscious about being a “third wheel” or some lingering ghost from the past that won’t go away. I’m sure John would like his own future with Jess and vice versa. And again, it came back around to the same initial point. It’s sad to me that there’s these extenuating circumstances all because of a shared history. Circumstances that would not apply to any other friend. They didn’t apply to Casey when he came with us. They wouldn’t apply to any other friends but in our world, there has to be some “weirdness” about it because I’m an ex. It’s a shame that Jess and I are the “weird” ones because we remain close. Because people find it too hard to believe that’s possible without some hidden drama or something not being at face value.

More than anything, it’s a shame that I at least in part, put these shackles on myself. Not just with Jess and John. Several times, my friend Greg has invited me along on trips with him and Becky and I think “I can’t go on a trip with you and your girlfriend!” Total third wheel syndrome! Huh. It also only just occurred to me that none of this would be an issue if it was me and a girlfriend in the equation instead of just me. Interesting.