Sean's blog

Two days after WrestleMania 33

Watched some more WWE.  Not stopping any time soon–will miss Undertaker, but things move on.

The Retirement of The Undertaker…?

So I just watched Wrestlemania 33.  Spoiler alert:  looks like The Undertaker is retired.

I started following The Deadman 17 or so years ago, when the WWE, the WWF at the time, came to Tulsa and my sister bought me a ticket.  The Undertaker was one who I saw put as much effort into that house show as I saw him put forth at televised shows.  One would think, or I would have thought, at the time, that one would relax at the non-televised shows.  Undertaker didn’t.  Others there didn’t, either–like Stone Cold Steve Austin or Bradshaw–they also put forth full effort.

Undertaker stood out, and it was then that I became a fan of his.  Not a rabid fan or a superfan or whatever–just an admirer.

Approximately 17 years later, tonight, it looks like The Undertaker has retired with honor and distinction, as he deserves.

Thank you, Undertaker, for, for me, about 17 good years.  It feels right, and I feel a peace about it.  I do hope to hear you on some podcasts now, like those of Steve Austin and Jim Ross, but if not, then it is what it is.

Undertaker was the last of the old guard that I followed with the passion, the interest, that I did.  I don’t see Kane much anymore, nor Big Show–not that they’re not there, just that I don’t get to see them as much.  Time moves on, though, and if Undertaker isn’t there, then as much as I like the new crop of folks (congratulations to Roman Reigns, by the way), I’ll still follow, and I think I’ll always be a fan, but it’s just not the same.

Should it be?

It feels like a chapter in my life is over.  Fondly and with affection, turn the page, but don’t close the book.  On to the next chapter, the next section–and things look bright for the WWE.  That’s partially because of you, Undertaker, I think–thank you for helping leave the WWE in very good shape.  I’ll do and always will love professional wrestling/sports entertainment, I’m always a WWE fan, and you had a very big hand in that.

Once again, thank you.

What have I been doing?

So I’m sitting here late at night under the beautiful light of an LED bulb given to me by one of my sisters–a bulb tuned to “daylight”.  I never had any idea that the thing could be so beautiful, nor that the switching out of one thing, the light bulb, could make the apartment feel so like a new place.

Change.

Been going through a lot of change recently.  Loss of a long-held job, mostly.  Navigating unemployment, recognizing the opportunity God’s given me, being overwhelmed by the grace and generosity of others–living in interesting times.  I’m not sure if I mean that more in the Chinese curse sense or not.

It’s been hard, looking back at where I was twenty years ago, about to finish graduate school, and looking at where I am now and not think I’ve been wasting my time.  Nearly half my life, actually.  But what if I’d taken a different track?  How do I know I’d be in a different, better spot?

We cannot change the past; all we can do is learn from it and not make whatever mistakes in the future.  Everything else, as Solomon might say, is “useless”.

It’s times like this I need to count my blessings.  I live in a nice apartment in a nice area of town, I have people who love me, there are possibilities on my horizon, I have good internet (never underestimate the value of that) and a great computer.  Soon, there will be more unemployment money coming in.  I have skills that I think I can monetize–acting and writing.  It’s just a matter of making people aware of them.  It’s a matter of not being as lazy as I have been, of, as my friend Will said, not wanting it enough.  What I didn’t tell him was refrain that has been in my mind for over twenty years, a line from “The Untouchables”, starring Kevin Costner and Sean Connery:  “What are you willing to do?”

A lot more than in the past.

Hope

Somebody asked me today what I write about.  I said “hope”.

After spending the day with some long-unseen family and looking over my situation of having just been future-endeavored by a company for whom I’d worked for some time, I see a lot of that for me.  For the first time in some time, I feel released.  Free.  Not that I wasn’t before, but I’m seeing this time as an opportunity to use what I learned from my past to get to a better future.

I’m seeing in stark relief why my pastor says it’s important to always have at least two streams of income–if one dries up, you still have the other.  Why it’s important to give, and why I really should tithe–as my pastor also says, “tithe ten percent, save ten percent and learn to live on the rest”.  I haven’t been tithing, but eventually I’ll start again.

I’m blown away by some of the generosity of time and gesture I’ve seen from some of my friends.  One guy bought me lunch.  It was pizza (really good pizza), which one may not think is such a thing, but it was the gesture and what we talked about over lunch–some creative stuff might get done between us.

Mostly, though, I just thank God for the kick in the pants.  Sometimes, that’s what it takes to get back on track.

Muse-y

It’s Sunday after church, about 1:21pm, and I’m at a local Starbucks.  It’s the best one I’ve been to yet, as it’s darker and more urban-looking than the ones to which I usually go.

I’ve got my coffee, the environment is excellent, and I’ve got great music on my iPhone as I’m typing on my beautiful 2010 MacBook MC512lla.  I got here early, as I have a coffee date at 2:30p.

But it’s this moment.  Right now.  That I don’t want to get over.  It’s everything, but it’s mostly the song that’s got me in this mood.  Music affects me like that.  Pink Floyd in this case–“Shine On You Crazy Diamond” off of the “Wish You Were Here” album.  For those who don’t know, an album is a collection of songs, usually somehow related, not all necessarily singles.  It’s like a book with a bunch of chapters, some of which could stand as their own short stories.  The best albums tell a musical story, a musical novel.  The best at this that I ever found was “Operation: Mindcrime” by a band called Queensryche.  I haven’t listened to it in years.  Don’t even have it.  But an interesting story musically told.

I wonder if music affects a lot of others in quite this way–where their mood changes with the song or the type of song being played.  There’s an old saying about music soothing the savage breast.  Or beast.  Either way.  David would play music for King Saul when the king was in a bad mood.  One time he got a spear thrown at him by King Saul anyway, but most of the time it worked.

Myself, I think music is one of the greatest gifts God’s ever given us.  It’s hard to imagine the world without music.  I think eventually the sounds of nature, of the planet, would provide our music.  Sometimes the low moan of a winter wind is beautiful to me–reminds me of nights back in college when i would have the window open just after a snow and that wind was all that remained of the storm.  It reminded me that I was safe and protected from the elements not two feet away from me.

Even the planet itself makes some kind of noise that could be taken as music.  God loves it that much, I think.

I wonder what the universe sounds like?

Acting, Writing and Directing, Episode 031: Adam Shell

https://soundcloud.com/seankana/acting-writing-and-directing-episode-031-documentary-director-adam-shell

Today, documentary director Adam Shell joins us to talk about his rapidly upcoming film “Pursuing Happiness”.

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On-Brand Photos…?

So Bonnie Gillespie (@bonniegillespie), in her great book “Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business“, recommends strongly that actors have on-brand photos.  On-brand means it reflects who you are as an actor–what would a casting director think on seeing you?

Herewith, here are ten, in my opinion, very on-brand photos to view as examples:

  1. John Wayne
  2. Clint Eastwood
  3. Tom Hanks
  4. Tom Cruise
  5. Angelina Jolie
  6. Denzel Washington
  7. Julia Roberts
  8. Meryl Streep
  9. Katt Williams
  10. Anthony Hopkins

Thoughts?

No “Acting, Writing and Directing” this week

No “Acting, Writing and Directing” podcast for this week.  Will be back on Dec. 29.  Enjoy the episodes that are up on iTunes.  🙂  Thanks for listening!

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