Twenty five years ago standing in grand central station I was attempting to board a train to Darien, CT. I was a working actor hired for a production of Evita and although it was a union theater, it was outside of Manhattan and I was required to pay my own travel expense. I walked over to the ATM beside the main staircase to pull out cash to purchase a ticket and my card was rejected; I didn’t have enough money in my account. I slouched down on the grand stairway and began to cry. Without the money to travel to work, how was I able to work to pay for the ticket?
What in my mindset allowed me to take a job for so little money it couldn’t even cover my travel?
For a long time I was stuck in the belief to be a true artist meant to be a starving, struggling one.
Where did that come from? Rarely do we think of creatives as wealthy or even successful. Jokes are cracked about how you’ll never make a career in the arts, humanities, or for God’s sakes the theater!...
It is the eve of my forty-fifth birthday. I stand in front of a full length mirror readying myself for the party. I dissect my body: the lines on my face, my sagging jowl, the pecs and arms that are too small, the dreaded bit of extra weight around my waist, the legs I actually like, and even my odd shaped feet. I’ve done this thousands of times. Being a meditation, yoga, and creativity teacher I know this body is the shell for my soul, but my mind still plays tricks on me.
At eight years old my mother began calling me “Nicky Picky” because I was “skinny as a tooth pick.” As a young gay child this was humiliating and I feared it to be unmanly. In my teens I worried incessantly that I was too skinny; It seemed wimpy. When I reached college a gay professor poked my belly and told me I needed to stop eating. He didn’t want to see the ‘freshman fifteen’ on me. Then I moved to New York City and began the illusive search for...
This week I’ve been questioning the origin of inspiration. The root of the word “inspire” means spirit, and to take in or to draw breath. In yoga that it is referred to as “prana” the sustainer of life, also known as my “life-force”. If breath is everything, maybe every little thing can inspire me?
In my youth, the film Xanadu taught me about imagination. In this movie musical, nine muses visit the earth to help motivate others to pursue their dreams and desires. One of the muses (Olivia Newton John) is incarnated as a girl named Kira, and with the assistance of Danny, (Gene Kelly) a man she inspired forty years before, they guide artist Sonny (John Travolta) to open a roller disco. I loved this horrible film! I sang and danced on our shag carpeted living room floor to its soundtrack and choreographed new dances to its disco beat. Most importantly, it taught me that creation might come from beyond...
As an artistic child, I created on blind trust. I colored outside the lines, took two toys and positioned them together to form something new, wrote plays that were non-linear, and choreographed new dance steps.
Around adolescence I was taught critical thinking. The Little Nick in me desperately wanted to be the best. I believed my teachers and was rewarded. I learned techniques that sharpened my skills. I grew.
But over time, the little instinctual voice I honored as a child was taken over by The Big CT. He was a sensible adult, and his voice grew with intensity, becoming opinionated and loud. Eventually he brought a chorus of voices with him. Because of this cacophony of sound, I could no longer hear or express my truth. I lost my guidepost. Until I discovered the gut brain.
In the Tantric system, the third chakra (Manipura Chackra), is located just above the solar plexus. The yogic theory is that there is great intelligence in this area. Personal power,...
A Prayer for Creative Manifestation
O Great Creator,
Give me strength.
Allow me to begin without fear or judgement.
Help me explore with humility and humor.
Introduce me to new possibilities.
Deliver calm to my resistance.
Enable sharing of the creative force.
Grant courage to take direct action from a new angle.
May abundance flow.
Let gratitude be the mantra.
Editing a documentary is a tedious, painful, and glorious process. My editor and I have been watching hours upon hours of footage of Invisible. This is not only my documentary filmmaking debut, but I am also a character in this personal film. Invisible traces my search for knowledge regarding the little known, often debilitating syndrome called Fibromyalgia. I’ve had the good fortune to interview my mother, meet four other amazing women to chronicle, and investigate the syndrome by speaking with hundreds of patients, experts, and physicians. From all of this incredible information my editor, co-writer, and I are attempting to carve out a cohesive, focused story.
As an artist, I am continually making corrections or changes in my work. When in flow, I allow creative projects to ebb in and out without attachment. When I am not flowing I feel stuck, angry, anxious, and overwhelmed. Ultimately, I have the opportunity to shape my life by...