on Isolation


I’m so grateful for the opportunity to see all these fine films at Sundance Film Festival. I’m watching them with a slightly different eye this year. Other than just being a spectator, I’ve made the conscious choice to watch them with a critical eye (positive connotation) to see what works and what doesn’t from a storytelling point of view. I feel like I’ve learned a lot and I’m coming away with renewed inspiration and hope.

On the list of “Symptoms of Underearning” that my friend sent, #8 is:

Isolation. We choose to work alone when it might serve us much better to have coworkers, associates, or employees. 

Writing is a solitary activity. It can sometimes be very lonely. I’ve actually found it less lonely at times by feeling like my characters kept me company. I know that may sound crazy but it’s true. I think part of the challenge I’ve found in making myself actually sit down to do the writing is that I’m lonely and I really do love the company of other people. When the writing is done and it’s time to bring it to the stage, I’m at my best. I love when other people have come on board to help bring my visions to life. Tech rehearsals, some of the most notoriously arduous rehearsals in theatre, are actually something I enjoy. I love when there are a lot of creative types coming together to make the magic happen.

My vision is not limited to writing. I’m a good actor, director, and I hope to become a good producer. Remember too that part of my dream for my foundation is to bring other Iraq and Afghanistan veterans into the entertainment industry— not only in live theatre, but film, TV, and live concerts as well. I cannot manage all this by myself. I definitely could benefit from “coworkers, associates, or employees.”

The next step is to get the foundation funded and moving. I’m headed back to New York in ten days. I’m both excited and terrified. I am completely trusting God to lead me to the right resources to help my vision come to fruition. Fear is not the opposite of faith. Faith is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

The foundation website needs help. I have actually gone through four different people who said they would help with the site and none of them have followed through with it. I’m still looking. When the website is up and the donation link is connected to the bank account again, I can continue fundraising. The first thing I want to do is produce Lilac and Liquor for off-Broadway. To do that, I’m going to need to learn to produce. I’ll also be looking for other OIF/OEF vets who want to learn a position inside the machine that brings a play from page to stage. First I need money. First I need the website to be tweaked. Can you help me?

So isolation— yeah, I got that symptom too. Addiction is a disease of isolation for sure and I’ve been facing addiction (in all its manifestations) for so long, I’m used to this by now. It’s time for me to come out of my cave with the underearning stuff and start reaching out for help. I’ve got big huge dreams and I can only accomplish them if I am willing to let go of isolation as a way of life.

I think possibly my compulsive use of social media is part of some desperate attempt to reach out, not only for companionship but for others who believe in what I’m up to and want to be a part.

If you have this underearning symptom of isolation, I hope you’ll take some small step to step out of your own cave right now when you finish this blog. My small step in this direction has been to come out to you about the fact that I’m lonely and that I have (even in a crowd) been isolating when it comes to the things that are most important to me. I’m also going to make a phone call to another person in recovery. What will you do? Message me on Facebook and let me know. I’m holding you in my prayers.

See y’all tomorrow.

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