The Tall Guy’s Office Hours Are…

I had a film cinematography teacher who was a cross between Jeff Goldblum and a mid-80’s era Lou Reed. One would think that this sounds incredible. How lucky was I to encounter such a magical creature?

Okay, but imagine a person made up of all of their absolute worst-known qualities. The self-indulgence, the myopic vision of what makes things good and bad, the shunning of people who just ‘don’t get it.’ Okay, this is just Lou Reed in personality with the looks of JG. One third of the time in class was devoted to his opinion on tragically misguided Hollywood blockbusters that would turn into conspiracy theories; one third spent on wistful tales of his time as a filmmaker, including sexual exploits done with a wink because it was just so CUTE AND NAUGHTY, RIGHT!? What a mischievous scamp!!

The final third of the time, he’d walk down in front of the podium, take the two steps down to the next level where a small table and chair was, slip his shoes off, sit “Indian” style with his crotch front-and-center and pick out anyone he thought had stopped paying attention to grill them on obscure, philosophical questions about cinematography or the dreadful assigned reading for the week.

His name is lost to me…Perhaps I blocked it out because he was also super sleazy and bummed cigarettes off of the students (rotating who it was) when we smoked in the stairwell (since it was too cold to go outside and we were up so high in the building), sneering at the brand if it was anything other than American Spirits. If they were his preferred brand, he’d crouch down to sit down on a step, as he fell into silence, with his eyes closed in feigned orgasmic glee. Then, he’d actually moan.

I should remember him since he taught me how to navigate infuriating and indulgent personalities, roadblocks to any kind of success in a career, and the ability to find ways to turn those challenges–delivered via disdain, of course–into success. Smashing the demands from him when he thought I wasn’t paying attention, by answering his questions in an equally confrontational manner, delivering stellar project work on difficult-to-watch obscure movies and acing the course.

And if I gave him the benefit of the doubt? That maybe it was all a lesson swaddled around a seemingly impossible and somewhat arbitrary course. A lesson that you would encounter people even worse in the film industry, so develop a thicker hide, honey.

Sure.

But, did he have to be so gross about it?

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How to Establish the Message for 2015

For 2015, I want to pick a verb as a form of action for my resolutions instead of a laundry list of how to improve myself or sweep out the ashes.  It’s so easy to just say you’re going to do something and to have it be perfectly expected to fail since “everyone else does” only to move on to the next year and do it all over again.

It will be an annual tradition, starting this year, so I chose “connect.”  It wasn’t solely because I’ll be joined with my BF in holy matrimony by the mid-point of the year.  I had to pick a word with a quality that didn’t automatically take a direct object, one that possibly only involved the subject.  There are no rules, per se, but to me it was important to ponder over it enough that it had to have multiple meanings and could not be passive.

Last year, I set up a playing field, with my career, that made it easier to move onward and upward in the second year.  A one-year plan started to feel too rushed and when you deal with other people’s schedules and the cycle of when job opportunities arrive it created panic.  What actions had to be done, right away, or what I needed to learn the most, so that way the second year of the plan, it was easier to wreck it in just the right away?  Not wreck my potential for a better-paying job, but destroy those expectations, methods, and illusions that were unhealthy.

And then it was obvious what created momentum came from new people, new relationships, new connections.  Old friends, far away in various cities across the country, who kept me in their world or were pleased to share with me their new arena and dreams, made me feel it was okay to reconnect.   The support felt so great and new opportunities arrived because of it.  I opened up to new people and saw they rolled out a bridge to escape to a more exciting future.

Life takes on more meaning for me with writing, art, reading and love when I connect.  Transfer to the page with my thoughts; join up with the mood of whatever I’m painting or sculpting; to couple up with new and old favorite literature; to join with my fiance for a lifetime.

“I don’t understand how the last card is played
But somehow the vital connection is made”

Read more: Elastica – Connection Lyrics | MetroLyrics