Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

WAIT Training

Monday, July 4th, 2016

_DSC3946  Noelle_Messier_096
First off, I did not misspell the title.  It will all make sense in the end.  I promise.

Noelle_Feb_02_100c copyI’m at the gym working out with weights.  WEIGHT training makes me feel strong, powerful, masculine, and beautiful.  I can lose the expectations of society and my ego and become one with my body, pumping and stretching and falling into the music.  One more bicep curl, one more pull-up, a few more crunches, and nirvana.  A turn-on, a sense of accomplishment, freedom, and instant gratification in an hour and a half.

_DSC4816I walk back home, soaking in the vitamin D, with a spring in my step, and a drive to push forward with my creative career and my love life.  I get the mail and open up a SAG residual check for $0.59.  Yes, that’s right, fifty-nine cents.  Hiding under a Hollywood Reporter and some bills on my steel topped table I see my audition sides and bam!  Back to ego, back to thinking about the future, back to not knowing what to do, back to insecurity, and back to waiting.  Noelle_Messier_073

I need to learn how to wait.  And wait consciously, without denying my feelings and without driving myself crazy.  How to just be.  I need WAIT Training. I look it up on Google.  Other than abstinence education, semen conservation, and waiting tables, there is nothing.  Well, I am a do it yourselfer so here goes… So, those sides were for an audition for a reoccurring lesbian role in a pilot for a major network. Whoohoo! Right? No. The audition got cancelled the night before. My manager assured me it would be rescheduled.  Well, that didn’t happen.  Then a new slightly different breakdown was released and again my manager submitted and pitched me.  Okay, still waiting. Noelle_Messier_022          IMG_4262

They probably went with a name.  Pretty normal in this business.  Or maybe it will still happen if I just stay positive and wait.
I look up at my ceiling beams for comfort and all I see is my dead plant hanging from a metal chain.
I need a distraction.  Oh look, there’s a message on my computer from a dating site.  She has only one profile picture and it’s out of focus and she’s wearing sunglasses.  Really? I want to fall in love with her eyes not her sunglasses.  I delete her and her sunglasses from memory.
Anyway, home is where the heart is, right?  Then why does my heart suddenly feel like it’s on vacation? Why does it feel like it is breaking under the pressure of stasis and loneliness?_DSC4946

Okay, maybe that was a little dramatic. Don’t get me wrong.  I am busy as can be.  Catering my ass off, submitting for projects, keeping up on my manager, auditioning for acting roles and voice overs, getting new headshots, re-doing my demo reel, writing my next feature screenplay, and trying like hell to keep up on social media, yoga, and the gym. Noelle_Messier_067Yet, I still have this sense that I am missing something.  A sense of constantly being in limbo and not feeling quite grounded. Waiting for something. The big WAITING finger poking at the back of my mind and the pit of my stomach.  And it just keeps getting multiplied.  The waiting on tables to pay the bills.  The waiting for casting notices that are right for me.  The waiting for those perfect auditions and then waiting to book the job. And of course, the waiting during the job to do the job.  IMG_2131And waiting for a part where I do not have a line that is either, “I am not a man,” or “ma’am I’m not a sir,” or some such variation.  Granted, I have done very well with those parts and am extremely grateful. Waiting for someone to recognize that there is such a thing as a sexy, butch lesbian. _DSC5057Or an androgynous, lesbian lead character.  Waiting to be comfortable in my own skin.  Waiting to be recognized for who I am and to own that without shame or discomfort. Ironically, it is through being other characters that I really learn how to be me.

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I do not just need WAIT Training for my career. I am still, almost pathetically, waiting for love. For that special someone who jumps off the page and down my pants and actually lives in Los Angeles.  I just put my profile back up on the dating site after a year hiatus. If and when I actually find a potential match, there is the waiting to meet, waiting to see what they actually look like, waiting for the next date, waiting to see where it goes, or waiting for it to end.

Our lives are full of waiting.  We spend endless hours in line waiting for food, waiting for entertainment, waiting to buy things, waiting to get things or ourselves fixed, and of course, waiting in the dreaded L.A. traffic.  Waiting to die and waiting to live. Waiting is part of life and death. It is what we signed up for.

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So how do I make it all stop?  Kind of an odd conundrum.  I want to find a way to stop the immobility.  Maybe one way to stop waiting is to be completely present in the moment because then there is nothing to wait for.  Whatever I am waiting for only exists in the future.  My frustration comes from looking at my past and feeling like I should have accomplished more or done this or that. The missing link is obviously internal.  _DSC4888So yeah, I’ve done the self- help route and therapy and Eastern philosophy and A Course in Miracles, blah, blah, blah.  I know I should be embracing the NOW, living in the moment, forgetting about the past and future, and manifesting blah, blah, blah.  And it is all right and true, and I get it. But why is it so darn hard to do?  And then I get mad at myself for thinking that it is hard, because I should be thinking it is easy, if I really want it to happen. But I have to actually believe that and not just say it, blah, blah, blah.

Noelle_Messier_043My fear of waiting is not really rational. It is almost instinctual.  A self- protection mechanism to soften the blow of disappointment.  I actually have a lot to be thankful for.  This year I booked a nice part on a major television show, Dr. Ken, and I actually had a scene with over 5 lines. DR KEN SCREENSHOT 3 I love my new manager and have been getting some great auditions and feeling confident.  I am in the midst of researching and writing a love story about my gay uncle and his husband who have been together for 65 years.  My uncle John was a singer, a tailor, and a war hero.  He was married to a woman when he met Richard at Julliard in NYC in 1950.  It was love at first site. They sang opera, taught singing together, started a vocal foundation and coached Broadway stars.  They raised a son who became an actor who tore the family apart with homophobia and scientology.  John&RichardA true story of endless love, humor, music, tragedy, and faith.  For me, it has already been an inspirational, moving, and personal journey.  BTR POSTER-WEBA feature film I starred in finally got finished after 6 years of waiting.  Granted it did not turn out the way I had hoped but I learned a lot and it did get picked up by a distributer.  WedlockedPosterThat film, Black Tar Road, did not make it into OUTFEST but a little short I was in last year, Wedlocked, did.  I’m the cute one in the white t-shirt on the right.
I’ve been waiting for years for that. I will be part of one of the biggest LGBTQ film festivals in the world.  IMG_3439I will sit with my peers and soak in the estrogen on All Girl Friday as I watch myself on screen.
IMG_4004I built a voice over studio out of a telephone booth and have voiced four paying projects.  From all the catering work, I was finally able to ditch the 13-year-old car and buy a new one I love.

As much as I like to complain about the food service industry, it has given me the flexibility to do what I love.  It also keeps me in shape and I have made some incredible friendships and made a lot of people smile.  Yeah, the love life is still lacking but I’m working on that. All in all, I am pretty happy. 80% according to a test I took. Noelle_Messier_014Yet why do I still feel stuck in the muck of the stagnant pond of waiting?Cher MV Muscle1

The secret to WAIT training was whispering in my ear on the way home from the gym but I wasn’t listening.  I drink a glass of wheat grass juice and the light starts seeping into my brain.  Okay, so, WEIGHT training puts me in the present, one with mind, body, soul, and the universe. Lifting weights is a challenge.  So is waiting.  I don’t look at WEIGHT training as a chore but as an opportunity and a positive experience.  _DSC4879Maybe if I change how I look at waiting, it won’t be quite so difficult.  Look at Heinz Ketchup.  Their late 70s early 80s advertising campaign with the whole, “anticipation it’s keeping me waiting,” Carly Simon song thing. They made waiting and ketchup look sensual and delicious.  If they can do it, why can’t I?  But, this is a new millennium.  _DSC4694I like to be in control of my ketchup.  I don’t want to feel like a powerless cog in the waiting machine.  I want to slap the bottom of my bottle and spill my bloody contents all over the counter. Here I go, not wanting to wait, problem solving, and making a mess of things again.  Noelle_Messier_035
Perhaps, I need to accept that I do not need a solution.  I simply need to be comfortable with the problem. Maybe the secret to waiting is that I have to practice being at peace with the waiting and feel my feelings and just be okay in the discomfort.

Noelle_Messier_051Or I need more sex. Look at me, making it sound like I’m actually having sex. Noelle_Feb_01_059c
There is definitely a sexual component to WEIGHT training.

The push, the build, and the pay off.  My favorite part of sex is the tease.  The give and take.  That moment right before the thing I want is taken away is the most intense and powerful. The wanting and the yearning can be pleasing in itself. Especially if I am focused and concentrated and allow myself to feel it without fear of loss.  _DSC5073In that instant I am in the abyss, the waiting, and yet the anticipation is intoxicating.  The energy in that second right before the actual orgasm is, for lack of a better word, orgasmic. That payoff lives in every waiting moment.  It is happening right now, constantly, and in complete nothingness.  _DSC3985Maybe if I just give in and embrace it.  Feel the spark hidden in the waiting where desire and gratification meet in the present moment.  Then just maybe, that energy, in that positive space, will find a new home, where my heart, mind, and spirit can become one.  Where motion is free to enter my life and I am free and ready to accept it.

IMG_4262Noelle_Messier_016I look up at that same dying plant and notice one long, living leaf reaching out of the bramble.  Everything has its ebb and flow.  I am exactly where I am meant to be right now. I am a homebody nomad exploring life through love and art. A loving person in a loving world that exists in every waiting, magical, infinitesimal moment. Waiting is simply, joyful opportunity over and over again.  At least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself.  I’ll let you know how it goes…

Noelle_Messier_078Oh and Miss Casting Director, can you please just give me that audition, so I can blissfully experience the joyful, orgasmic, intensity of waiting to get the part, waiting to shoot the pilot, waiting for it to get picked up, waiting for the contract, and waiting for the money to rain down and wash me with love.

Stretching Myself Between Three Sisters And A Truck Stop Prostitute

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

I stand tall, take in a deep breath, spread my legs, and stretch my arms in opposite directions reaching for infinity.   Lines flow effortlessly through my mind.  Lines from a play I performed in, lines from a movie I starred in, and lines from my ex-girlfriend in the throws of love.  I tilt my body towards my right leg to complete the triangle. The movement into Triangle pose softens the lines on my face as I attempt to balance my fictitious characters, my romantic life, and reality.

Yoga helps me to find balance, stretch my brain, and my body at the same time.   In this world of multitasking, I have gotten in the habit of going over my acting lines for auditions or performances while I breathe and bend. I hear Olga from the play Three Sisters saying, “In a little while we will know what we are living for.  Why we are suffering.  If we only knew. .. If we only knew…”  Heather from the movie Lot Lizard, in an emotional moment, reaches out to her lover and says “What I really want is to cut myself to pieces, but I thought maybe just maybe, if you touched me, I might not feel it for a minute. “ A romantic line from my ex-girlfriend on the other side of the world creeps in,  “You send me shooting stars and I send you sunshine.”

I recently finished performing the role of Olga in a world premier translation of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, Three Sisters, set in Russia during Perestroika in the 1980’s, adapted and directed by Pavel Cerney. Cerney re-imagined the role of Olga, typically played as the spinster sister, as a lesbian, trapped in small town Siberia longing to escape to the freedom of liberal Moscow.  Olga is the strength and matriarch of the family, comforting her two sisters through their romantic ups and downs, sacrificing her own chance at love for their happiness.  My challenge was suggesting “lesbian” without stereotyping and staying true to those beautiful feminine emotional sections as Chekhov originally wrote them.

Just before rehearsals began for Three Sisters Or Perestroika, I played the role of Heather, a down on her luck, truck stop prostitute, in the independent feature film, Lot Lizard.  Truckers use the term, “lot lizard” to describe the ladies of the night that skulk around the rest stop parking lots offering sex for money.  Heather, a former beauty queen, trapped in a dysfunctional desert town gets involved in a drug deal gone bad and becomes a speed queen and a lot lizard indebted to her abusive drug dealer with a god complex.   Like a lizard with a hard shell and a soft center, Heather falls for Charlie, a female, drifter junkie who gives her the strength to find hope and love in a world of darkness.

I lift my leg and reach out for a Half Moon pose.  After two weeks of shooting, Lot Lizard got put on hold for refunding, restructuring, and possible recasting.  I may or may not get the opportunity to finish the film.  My foot starts to twitch and my body starts to teeter.  Right after the filming stopped, my fairytale long distance romance came to an end. The bright white sunlight of reality throws me off balance and it is too late to stop from falling.  I hit the mat hard.  I stretched my love life as far as I could to Australia and back and in the end neither of us was flexible enough to reach Nirvana. Olga wanted to escape from cold Siberia, Heather needed to escape her dessert truck stop, and I just wanted to escape from myself.  “Breathe, just breathe,” I say to myself as I lift my posterior and stretch into a Down Dog.

As I do a Shoulder Stand, I think, “What is the next step?”  I hold my Tree Pose and wonder, “How long can I last?”  I attempt another Half Moon and I think, “How will I ever achieve balance?” and ”How do I link the center of my mind with the center of my body?”  I retreat into Child’s pose and surrender into Corpse pose.  “When do I give up if it isn’t working?”  When I first started doing Yoga a few years ago I could barely touch my toes.  Now I can literally kiss my knees.  It may not sound like much but to me it is huge.  I am more flexible now than I was in High School.  My strength and flexibility have increased dramatically.

Yoga poses alternate between strength and softness.  Yin and Yang.  masculine and feminine.  I return to these themes over and over.  I workout with weights not only to maintain my health but because I love to feel the power in my muscles and I love the look of a toned body. I have also come to appreciate the beauty of softness and the flexibility that yoga gives me.  Oddly they complement each other because my stretching has allowed me to strengthen muscles that were not previously accessible and my strength has allowed me to stretch into poses I couldn’t previously hold.  It is the same journey with my sexuality and relationships.  “Am I too butch or too femme?” And how does that dynamic influence the relationship to the other person I’m with?  My butch side gives me the strength to open up my feminine side and the emotion of my feminine side makes me so much stronger.  It is a stretching of myself, a molding of my body and mind, strength and vulnerability that give me the power to know who I am and the power to be one with someone else.

I get back up into Mountain pose and flow into Warrior 1 as I regain my energy and determination.  Last year I was cast as a lot of stereotypical hard, tough, lesbian characters.   I played the role of  “butch lesbian” twice on television and “butch leather biker lesbian” in a film, a secret service agent in a web series, and a butch gym teacher, Mrs. Greasby, in the movie, Piehead (coming soon, hopefully, to a theater near you).

I also performed the role of a woman disguised as a man in the play, Slaughter City and got my teeth knocked out in a stage fight (see last blog).   More recently however, my characters have become more of a combination of that strength and softness I strive for in my yoga practice and in life.  I played an A.D. on the T.V. show, Law and Order, Olga in Three Sisters Or Perestroika, and Heather, the truckstop prostitute, in Lot LizardHeather is by far the girliest role I’ve played in a long time and the sexiest in a traditional heterosexual sense.  As you can well imagine, none of the wardrobe was mine.  The other difference from last year is that none of these characters had to be lesbians but they all could be.   Is this a sign of the times or a change in society?  Perhaps diversity is becoming more diverse? Or am I just becoming more diverse and flexible in my craft? Either way it is exciting.

 

I open my body into the Lotus position to fill myself with the beauty of breath.  How do I cast myself in my own life?  My ex-girlfriend said I changed after I started filming Lot Lizard.  Maybe I did?  Or maybe that character allowed me to connect with that feminine part of myself which has always been there.  Every character I play becomes a new exploration into the unknown.  Every day I must take another step forward whether it is in improving the flexibility and strength of my body or my acting and writing career. The progress is slow and the dynamics are constantly changing and growing along with my characters, auditions, and relationships.  The harder the pose the more I am challenged and my body learns to adapt.

The darker the character the more I stretch and grow.  The harder the audition the more I improve. The more heart breaking the relationship, the more I learn.  The journey can be frightening, disconcerting, and devastating.  Yet also fascinating, ecstatic, and enlightening.  As I succeed and fail simultaneously from one audition to the next and one relationship to the next I persevere and continue to connect the puzzle pieces to cultivate the softness and the strength to progress on to the next step of the path.  By opening my heart and building the muscles to support myself I can power through the bad times and glide effortlessly forward into the sunlight of happiness.

A final Sun Salutation and I am ready to face the world.  Every role I play in fantasy or reality, every audition, every thing I write, and every relationship brings me closer to that balance between career, love and myself.  Those are my three sisters.  I navigate the three-sided triangle balancing on the tip.  Between action and inaction there is only breath.  Just breathe.