Happiness

draft_lens9869081module88838141photo_1268076723Charlie_Brown_SnoopyIt’s a movie star interview staple. He or she is asked by the interviewer when they knew they wanted to be an actor. He or she mines his or her personal history and shares a memory of being in a school play or talent show, how they made the whole school laugh or cry or both and from that moment on, “I KNEW that’s what I wanted to do with my life!”. 

 Of course, it is not only the successful actors that have that memory. This town is full of lost souls trying to chase that high, relive that moment, at 8 or 9 or 10, when they stood on a stage and felt the entire world loved them. 

 The irony that my first great success at anything was my title role in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown is not lost on me. Playing a hapless failure came naturally for me. Still does. It was 5th grade and I’m sure not more than 500 people saw my star turn, but even today, that high that came at the end, where the entire cast closed the show with Happiness, well, is probably the happiest I have ever been in my entire life.  

I’ve written about my many failed auditions in the last two years or so. It’s been nearly three years since the last time I booked a job. I’ve been lucky enough to have an agent sending me out more regularly than I deserve and yet, nothing.  In every audition, I second guess every choice I make because it feels like every choice I’ve made in the last three years is the wrong one. 

Last week, my friend Michael, because he cares, asked me what I was doing creatively. I told him that I had all but stopped writing and storytelling. It’s been years since I’ve been cast in a play. He asked me how I might be able to think outside the box a little, create my own platform.

I cut him off. “I don’t really want to discuss this. I can’t. I am stuck and I wish I knew what to do to unstick myself, but I don’t. That’s what I’d hoped to do with the blog. But the blog has just ended up being a failure just like everything else I have attempted.”

“We can change the subject,” Michael offered. And we did. We talked about what we were going to have for dinner and then the play we looked forward to attending. 

A couple of days ago, I deactivated my Facebook account. Maybe you are more evolved or just more successful than me, but of late, Facebook has become nothing more than another reminder of all my failures, too. I’d post a picture or a blog post and only get a couple likes. Does one exist if no one clicks like on their FB status update? It should be noted that the only person who noticed my disappearance was my Mother.

I’ve tried acting and sketch comedy and improv and standup and storytelling and writing and blog writing and most depressing of all, social media, to get the world to notice me, validate me. And for the most part, none of it has worked.  

So, the good news is, this is the last time I will bemoan my life on this aptly named platform I created almost two years ago. I am hanging up my keyboard, so to speak.

I came and I tried and I failed. 

I’m going to step away from the social media. Read some books, catch up on Empire. I’m going to feel sorry for myself for awhile and then we’ll see. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m done with this blog, but I’m not done. After all, I am Charlie Brown and the eternally comforting thing about Charlie Brown is that no matter how many times he’s down, he is never truly out. 

Thank you to all who read my story!

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15 thoughts on “Happiness

  1. Hopefully just a case of winter doldrums….enjoy your posts and will look forward to a renewed energy by summer😃

    >

  2. I look so forward to reading your blog even if I don’t comment often. I think you are way too hard on yourself. Please don’t deprive us of your thoughtful, poignant and comical insights!

  3. Ray……I am sorry to see you stop your blog. I read, relished and remarked to others about your posts. I should have shared with you how much I enjoyed each one and anticipated the next!!!! Funny, my perception was that you had “made it” because you were living a fulfilled life. I feel like I should have given you more feedback so you could have known the pleasure I got from your blog!!! Sending you love and hugs from Kansas

  4. I am sorry to hear Easilycrestfallen will be no more. I enjoyed reading your blog very much. I laughed, I cried, I pondered and I have a feeling I wasn’t the only one.
    But change and reflection are important.
    You are a powerful, creative, loving being and I hope you find what you are looking for.

  5. I love your blog. I read every one. Some of them I have read several times. You have no idea how much I can relate to it and how much it has encouraged me and brightened my day. Sorry I didn’t tell you sooner. Hope you will reconsider hanging up your keyboard. You are talented and creative and I will miss reading your heart. Big hug!

  6. Ray I agree with the others, Your blogs have brought many emotions in the course of reading them and I will miss them too. Take a break and let this melancholy pass. A lady of wisdom told me many times, “Keep Your Chin Up.” I hope you will. Dad and I love you and asking God to bless you.

  7. You must be delirious. I read all your blogs. I may not remember to like them all, but I appreciate them. I was just thinking the other day about my failed attempt to blog and I hold you up as an example of success. Think of yourself as alternative, like the sundance independent type of blog. It’s not commercial success, sure, but it’s artistic success. take some time, feel your feels and then get your ass back in the game. And goddam it, don’t quit Facebook. I like old LA architecture and shit.

  8. Dear Ray,

    Okay, I’m sure this took a lot of thought and care to make this decision but I for one will miss it sorely and I’ve only really known about it for a year or so. It occurs to me that there are many reasons I would read every blog post you sent out and not “like” it on FB. I think it would be more a failure in systemizing than a reflection on your work product…

    I think your voice is extraordinary and I would laugh and cry with nearly every reading. Exactly my type of writing!

    I hear you’re in pain and feeling shitty – I can totally relate – it might be in the air as this has been one of the worst weeks in a very long time for me – but one thing that would make my days better would be getting to read your take on life and to not have that will be a loss to me.

    I hope you reconsider and I’d still love to work on something with you. I’d thought maybe the new restaurant job made it too difficult for you to consider but I am still very interested.

    Much care and love coming to you,

    Tamara

    Tamara@TamaraZook.com

    Cell (323) 807-4455

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0957846/

    http://www.youtube.com/user/tkzook#p/a

    You are the Universe in ecstatic motion.

    Rumi-

  9. Oh please reconsider the blog! As I read this I totally resonated with it. I like your writing style.I like going along on the journey with you. I admire that through it all you just showed up to do the work. Doing my work as a quilter there are a lot of things that just don’t work. There are quilts entered into shows that just don’t win for whatever reason. There are blog posts and articles that work and don’t work.
    Whatever you decide to do, thank you for all you’ve done and for just showing up.

    Teri

  10. All writers wonder who is reading, you have to find the inner strength to tell yourself that they are. Even when they don’t reply. But beyond that – you are expressing yourself because you have a need to create – which is the purpose of life, to move from disorganization to organization. How many people have the desire to create, to express, but don’t? You are in a boat in which most do not have passage: you are a writer. You are doing it. All the rest you have no control over and shouldn’t worry about. Remember what Hammett said to Lily in Julia: Mink coats are nice, but they have nothing to do with writing. Writers write. Get back to work.

  11. Ray… if this is ‘failure’ then you fail so beautifully. Your voice is clear, engaging, poignant and fun. Your writing has meaning, soul and wit. We all need to step away from this stage now and then. Come back. Your audience is sitting here in the dark, waiting for the curtain to rise on your next act.

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