Ooh La La (Land)
I did it. I finally saw La La Land.
And I fucking loved it.
As I knew I would. I knew it was one of those blue moon films that I would have to see by myself in order to really feel all it had to offer. And I am so glad I did. What started off as another day sick in bed, slowly turned into another day of random lessons, resulting in me somehow ending up at the Vista theatre by myself. I am not going to critique the movie or by any means relay the dirty details, but I am going to point out the one thing this movie reminded me of that I had forgotten over the past few days (which to me, feels like a lifetime):
MOMENTS. (and passion)
The beauty of mastering, of capturing, of relishing in just one special moment. The ability to hone in on one unique moment of time; where the environment, the movement, the music, the intention is just so pure that the passion and beauty is undeniable. Even if you aren't a fan of old school musicals or even new school attempts, this movie captured the essence of the Hollywood glory days that really just brings me to tears. The subtly in every shot and the drama of even the smallest actions reminds me why I chose this life. Every person (mostly actors and artists) who have seen this movie have warned me that the plot and characters hit close to home. In other words, prepare to see your life flash before you. And to some, this may be a disheartening wake up call that this life here in LA, the land of dreams, the place we actors flock to, may very well just be a pipe dream. But there are some of us who stick it out. The ones who need it. The ones who, despite the money and fame and failure, love it so much that it defines us. This isn't a post where I go deep into why I am an actor, no, this post is about moments. The moments that fill us to the brim of life's spell. The moments that take skill to recognize. If you haven't noticed yet from my previous posts, I believe I have a knack for noticing and highlighting these moments. The moment you hear a song that makes you stop in your tracks. The moment you see someone you sense you're bound to know. The moment your fear propels you into inspiration. La La Land did it. It captured the moments we live out here in the city of stars. Sure, I may be bias, as I am an actor and a die hard fan of anything you can sing to. But it's more than that. This film reminded me of something that only took a day to forget, which is why I am here. It's that easy. It reminded me that it takes everything you have. That a dream is not easy. A dream is not forgiving. A dream demands every ounce of magic you have to offer.
It's not always easy to hold onto the magic.
But it's necessary. I realized a little piece of me will always have to fight to hold onto that magic, but I will do it. I will do it because of the way this movie made me feel. Even if it isn't me who graces the silver screen, I will still always understand what it took to get there and what it takes to stay there. It's a gift. It's a soul wrenching, heart crippling, mind boggling, body draining gift. And it's one you have to rewrap every day so that every day you can open it and feel the rush of what it has to offer. It's funny. This talk about moments reminds me of a conversation I had the other night with my dear friend. He asked me about something I had once mentioned to him. He asked me what I meant when I said I had the ability to create movie moments. To which I replied, after a sigh and some thought:
I have the ability to recognize a moment that should be fully felt. When the environment, the company, the music, the beauty, or the feelings should be immortalized. Whether it's driving down the highway to an epic song or simply sitting to a cliff to see a sunset. Every moment demands to be cherished. I don't claim it out of conceit, but I do believe I live my life like a movie. So I give it to the people who don't.
And what's crazy, I actually believe this. I believe if you try hard enough, even when our big dreams aren't fully realized, we are capable of capturing moments along the way that feel like the movies. It's the stuff in between. It's the cream cheese icing on a double fudge brownie. It's the plastic gems that get placed on the bento boxes. It's the word on the wall at the sweat lodge. It's the curve in the street on the midnight drive. It's the ring around the moon. It's the way you flail down the bannister rail. It's the way you glance at someone across the room. It's the way you feel in the car with the windows down and your song comes on, and you feel so invincible that you don't need an audience because inside your head, you're cheering yourself on. It's love. It's loving every moment and every aspect of all the aspects that get us to that big dream.
I started this day feeling once again uninspired and anxious. This illness that struck me out of nowhere threw me off the path toward my dream. At least, that's what I thought. But I now see there were moments in these past few days that were necessary in me getting closer to my dream. I could've gone home to take a Tylenol Pm and pass the heck out, only to wake up hoping I would finally have the motivation to get back on track and feel the momentum of doing all I can to feel accomplished. Instead, I followed some instinct to drive to the movies. I sat all by myself in the classic theater and I accepted the little pang of nerves that struck me when I realized I was going to watch something that would reflect a part of myself to me. And it did. And when I drove home listening to the soundtrack, with my hand out the window, the almost full moon above me, the crisp air on my hand and the purity of joy in my heart, I was reminded:
Damn, what a moment.
And as I end this day, and hopefully this bout of illness, I look forward to a new day to take what I've learned and go full speed into my dream once again. I thank my instincts that led me to see La La Land tonight. I thank the moments it inspired in me. I thank the tears that ran down my face as Emma Stone croons out the ballad to the dreamers. What a moment. Don't forsake those moments. When you think you see one, own it. Make it yours. Share it if you can. If you're like me, you may get out in the middle of your dimly lit street and dance a little jig to the soundtrack under the luminous sky all by your little lonesome, because its a moment you will have forever.
Maybe I'm brave or maybe I'm insane, we will just have to see. But here's to the ones that dream, foolish as they may seem. Who knows where it will leads us, but that's why they need us.