Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Experimenting, Exploring..

My life has taken a turn that I never expected. I knew there would be road blocks and alternative opportunities, but I never expected how off track it would be.

But...I think that's cool.

Here I am- with only about 6 months left in my masters program and I have a completely refreshed outlook on living. I don't know -- anything. But I am aware of so much more.
I think that's enough.

Trying to be aware, attempting to be thoughtful, always questioning, learning. My next endeavor? I can't really say. There are a million things I would like to try. But what am I DOING now? That's what REALLY matters. I am studying hard. I am trying to relax, have fun, and appreciate all the goodness in my life. I am desperately looking towards a greater goal. I am striving for fulfillment.

I have big dreams and I don't want to give them up.

What keeps me going is inspiration. Everywhere.
Here's a video that's been out for some time that I have yet to share on my own blog.
The video was featured on The Antidote, AULA's management blog last month. Stay tuned for more videos on that blog.

Daily Musings by NightandRei: Free the Shoelace! from Atomic Tango on Vimeo.

Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Reality show: My life as an Independent Video Producer?

I've decided that I should do a reality show of my life.
But then I realized that I would end up doing the whole thing myself and then nothing would ever get done.
It would be the ultimate vicious cycle.
Here's how it would likely unfold:
I set my camera to record minutes before I wake.
I continue through the day, setting up shots, doing something, pausing tape, etc.
For most of my days, the camera would show me sitting at a computer; looking for jobs, working for the communications dept. at my university, studying, or editing.
And then, at the end of the day I'd capture the footage and pass out.
Who knows when I would edit it. Let alone find music, edit the audio, create an appropriate logo, create graphics, maybe shoot and edit an intro or narration, export, upload, and promote. Oh I forgot that before I could do any of this I'd need to sit through hours of footage trying to find interesting pieces.

On the plus side, I wouldn't have to write content, seek out actors, book interviews, direct talent, or think about how to brand it too much. !!!
Woopdie doo.
"Such a fun job" everyone says. Yes, such fun jobs.

But seriously, having a camera has allowed me to be more creative, feel more in control, and also more confident.
I'm doing more work and getting more comfortable. Maybe I'll learn how to make money soon!

But I need to find a balance. Keeping the camera means producing full shows and segments that I am used to having a team to assist me with. So instead of the typical five jobs I used to perform, now I have all ten.
Nevertheless, I've learned some important things through this process that have been very helpful.
I am capable, even if it drives me a little crazy.
I'm always proud of my work, even if it's a little late to the party.
Although I'm not there yet, I'm moving.

So what happened this week on the reality 'show'?
Paid work on tuesday for a university event and behind the scenes for music video by a Grammy nominated video director. Plus a new segment about health and fitness with a fun 'spy girl' theme is in post production. And in the works- shooting a music-related segment featuring SoCal bands. So ready to start filming live music again:)
What will happen in the next episode of My Life As An Independent Video Producer?
Stay tuned...

Photo by the amazing Genie Sanchez aka Totally Like Duh

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Delicious treats for your eyes and ears

If you haven't caught this flying around cyberspace yet, here it is:
Click here for an awesomely delicious treat.

This is a unique, totally out-of-the-box, creative online music video project. You'll need to close extra tabs and any unnecessary programs to view. But it's totally worth it. Chris Milk leads this project, which is an interactive music video for Arcade Fire's "We Used to Wait". What I love about this is that it is something refreshingly new. This project made me realize that all the times in the recent past that I have used the word 'new', I had not fully realized the meaning of the word. I hadn't truly been 'wow'ed or made to rethink the way I have been doing things. This project gave me that feeling. Milk took some unique elements (music, html, google chrome, video, graphics) and married them together for an enjoyable aural, visual, and interactive experience. I'll admit I feel like this puts me to shame. I think creatively. I am aware and try to think outside the box. But how do I live it every day? What choices, interactions, and decisions can I treat with newness so that I can recreate this feeling in my life? This project also makes me think about interconnectedness and how everything is just a bunch of intermixed systems working together. What unobvious connections can I make in my world to recreate some newness? Connessione. ;)
I have a couple of video projects that I am working on and I am feeling much more confident. This is so essential because with creative endeavors, sometimes I doubt myself and then I get into a sort of editor's/shooter's/director's block. I think I've finally broken through and my colorful, energized juices are starting to flow. Here's a little something I shot and edited inspired by my newest inspiration: my tattoo. I have plans for a longer version in the works...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lemonade stands and Ipads

Lately I've been thinking about how perspectives are affected by age and the time period that we grew up in. I am also finding that when I am mindful of something, opportunities for continued consideration pop up everywhere.
Like, the Sunday funnies.
The above strip made me smile because last week I got my first tattoo despite the discontent I knew I would encounter from some family members. I have no regrets about the tattoo, in fact, I am very happy about the conversations that it has inspired. I am learning that one's upbringing heavily affects their perceptions of tattoos and the people who have them. This may just be the start of a new research inquiry. ;)
I turned the page of the paper and then I saw this:
As a supporter of vintage fashion and shopper myself, I am proud of the fact that retro clothes are making a comeback. From the perspective of an elderly person, this is probably funny, but not surprising. Trends often make a 'comeback' but it's great now because it's eco-smart! This brings up more questions for me: What makes us reach back into a past era for inspiration with fashion, music, and the like? Are we looking for something new and different? Do we feel that there are no new territories to explore? Do we yearn for something else in that era that we think we are missing today?
Then, when I thought I couldn't experience more themed thoughtfulness, I saw this:
Luann has always been one of my favorite comics. I think I feel a kinship with her and the youth/teen genre in general- craving independence, but also wanting to play. Every year, I feel myself being forced out of this age range- I push back with resistance. Maybe... I don't have to leave... completely...
Anyways, the evolution of technology is a change that my generation is experiencing. While we might have had some basic computer toys as kids, every child from here on out will come to expect it. This is a very present change. Cool and exciting.
But this comic brought to light my conflict with this reality. When I am at my computer for hours, frustrated by the machine, I yearn for a sprinkler, jumprope, and a endless summer day. Where mom is cooking dinner once the sun goes down and will call you in to eat. Giggling with girlfriends at all night sleepovers. Board games, puppet shows, decorate-your-own-cupcake birthday parties.
So, yes, sometimes I need to go outside and blow bubbles.
Every generation has a story and within that a new story for every region and every family and every individual. We change, we grow, we adapt. We reach forward and sometimes backwards. It's all good as long as we're trying, thinking and aspiring. I'm impressed with the Sunday funnies' ability to inspire me this week... ;)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Art Everywhere. Inspiration Achieved.

This past Saturday I attended an event at the House of Blues hosted by DeviantART.
It was magical. Although I've been to the HOB many times, in different cities, and in different rooms of the venue, this time I was able to walk freely through every room on every floor for the entire evening!
I brought my camera along for the ride and quickly cut something together to share:

Event Showcase-DeviantART 10th Bday @ House of Blues from Reinel on Vimeo.

I was very happy to attend this event for another reason. Lately, I have been trying to link my current responsibilities, my desires, and my goals together. I decided that I needed a fresh outlook and the only way to do that would be to physically put myself in new places. Friday morning at 4am my boyfriend and I dragged ourselves out of bed and went to the beach. We ate breakfast. We came home and slept at 10am. Then I went to the park to read. I ate lunch at a new place. By myself.
This art event was something different. I was in a venue that I am already inspired by. I love the art on the walls, the fact that music lives there, and the eclectic feel from all the surroundings. Then, to be around new people, artistic people at that, was a pleasant experience. No rubbing up against sweaty, drunk people. It was all ages, so instead I ran into very talented artists young and old.
Plus, I had my camera. And as I think about my opportunities, goals, and desires and try to find a link between them, video comes to mind. I have the ability and the opportunity, now how can I use these things to say what I want to say? How can I use these things to be where I want to be? What does it all MEAN?! :D

Monday, August 2, 2010

Don't expect anything.

Instead of planning every action, of every moment, of every day in order to feel productive and ready and prepared, I will only plan what's necessary and leave the rest to the universe.
I will follow what makes sense right now, not what I think needs to happen in order to get to my place of peace at the end of the week. I will get there today.

Today, I chose to stay and sit and talk because I could.
I chose to enjoy the lull in the conversation instead of jumping to 'I better get going'- something we do when we feel discomfort. I didn't need to be anywhere- but there.
I stayed a little longer- I did whatever I felt just then.
I knew that I had an hour worth of traffic to sit through...
and normally I feel anxiety towards it, but today I accepted it.
I decided to be in the moment, in my car, listening to my music, with the windows rolled down.
Here's one of the songs that got me through that LA traffic 5 o'clock commute. Turn it up. Roll down the windows. Play the drums on your steering wheel like your life depends on it.

As I made these new, conscious choices today I noticed...I felt... different.
I felt creatively liberated, relaxed... I thought about myself, thought about what I am doing now in my life.. I felt less restricted.
I tried not to think about what might go wrong. I tried not to think about the future. Slow and purposeful. I thought about the events of the day, and the things I needed to do to be prepared, but i didn't spend so much time stressing about what could and would happen.
I can't predict the future-- there is no sense in even worrying about it.
Prepare for that moment, and then improvise the rest.
Be flexible. You have to be. Nothing is for sure and nothing will happen as you expect. Don't expect it to be anything. Just be.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Oooh! Project"

I have started a new project. This is one of my favorite things to do.
In exchange for creating videos for one of my marketing professors, I will own a Sony HD camera. :D
The first video is complete and was featured on our new management blog for Antioch, called the Antidote.

What do you think?

Antidotal Evidence: The Junk Food Tax from Atomic Tango on Vimeo.

Completing this video gave me a much needed sense of pride. I think sometimes (particularly after being unemployed for over a year) you need completion of a successful project to remind yourself of how great you are. (wow that didn't sound egotistical!) I guess I mean to say more humbly, that I had forgotten that I had skill and talent in some areas, and was starting to doubt myself. Seeing the finished product online made it hard to ignore that I was good at something.
I think this is normal. Unfortunately, I think some people doubt themselves for so long, and are so anxious about taking steps forward, that they stay in that area of self doubt for too long. Feeling unloved and unproductive can have detrimental effects!
Luckily, I have supportive, encouraging people around me. I like to think that I choose these people on purpose. I could just as easily choose self deprecating people who only fueled my negativity! These are all things I am becoming aware of on my path to self discovery, which is, of course, never ending. ;)

It may be a silly movie, but I think I relate to Cher in Clueless's attitude towards projects (Pismo Beach Disaster relief, hooking up her lonely teachers, making over her frumpy friend). They are necessary to our progression and development- however small or silly they may seem to others.
More thoughts and videos to come!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Running for Life

I'm gearing up for my second relay in October. This time I'll be running 15-20 miles in Vegas with my sister and friend Melia along for the ride. When I ran the relay in LA, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I figured this would motivate me to work out, plus it sounded like a novel opportunity. I like trying new things (this is one thing about me that I love).
Post relay, I was sore, sleepy, hungry, and injured- But-- inside, I felt a strange sense of pride and accomplishment that I had not felt since 2005. This was the same feeling that I felt after I directed my first music video. It was almost an out of body experience- like, did I just do that?
What a great feeling! To execute something challenging (mental or physical) is a reminder that truly, the sky is the limit. You'll never know what you are capable of until you attempt.
Sometimes, I end up accomplishing something that I never thought I'd dream up. I'll suddenly get inspired by something unique and that will take me down an entirely new path of learning.
If only I could get over the doubts and restrictions that are set in my mind that keep me from fulfilling my wildest dreams. Why not?
Self reflection has made me aware of some of the reasons for these restrictions in my mind. Most of the time, they are pointless.
So where to next? Will I have time to fulfill all my fantasies? Will I keep pushing for those most challenging dreams?
Another year and I have no regrets. That is the most liberating realization of my 27th birthday. Thank you Mikey for helping me to accept that.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wise words for myself.

time for a little reflection. Not that I don't do that every minute of every day already. In fact, I reflect so much, that it would be impossible to blog about every thought, opinion, and revelation, that I have on daily, or weekly basis!
But something came to mind just now. I did something that I shouldn't have because past experience says it's no good for me. !! And I thought I was growing and learning!!
Today at work I noticed I was getting frustrated about answering the phones... it kept ringing, and I didn't want to speak to whoever was on the other end...
Then I realized, I DON'T like answering phones!

And how do I know this as fact and not just some whiny gripe of the day?
Back when I worked at Islands, I remember disliking it over all the other tasks, and even at times when I wasn't working, a sting of unhappiness would arise deep inside of me whenever the ring would carry through the restaurant. An intense emotional sign, for sure. Yet, all this left my mind when I applied for a receptionist work study job at my university. But, hey- this is what I can get for the time being, and it won't always be this way.
But from now on, I promise to myself-- simple tasks will not be so simple if you hate them. Do what you love, and you'll never have to worry. :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Inspiration is What Keeps Us Going

I came across something very cool today on Do Something's website, where they had announced their 2010 finalists for a Social Entrepreneurship award.

The girl that caught my eye was the second one, Alia. On a visit to Sri Lanka, she met some young girls ages 11-18 who were being abused by their fathers, uncles or brothers, and many were young mothers. She began teaching them how to make jewelry, and those items are for sale on Etsy!! They are so beautiful!

I guess the project, Emerge Global, not only encourages these girls to be creative and have self-confidence, but teaches them how to run a business through a five-step program. Here's an interview with Alia, who recently graduated from MIT, talking about her program :

I encourage you to check it out, and maybe buy something! I think what this girl is doing is amazing, and I hope it inspires you like it did me. :)

If this topic interests you, there's a book about prostituting in Pakistan called The Dancing Girls of Lahore by Louise Brown that is very good. It is a very surreal culture to get to peer into: disturbing, but eye-opening and worth the read if you can take it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


somehow it is already february. It's strange to have such a clear reference point to one year ago.
One year ago I was feeling almost exactly as I am feeling now. I have a new direction, but do I feel anymore confident about where I am going?
Some things are for sure and those things make my days much more pleasant. Like the support and security I have around me. A place to sleep, food to eat, cash to help with gas. I feel guilty sometimes that I am too spoiled. I'll never REALLY have to worry. But is that such a bad thing?
I also have support from people. Words, hugs, kisses, and interested expressions. Conversation, criticism, suggestions.
I definitely feel more at ease being a part of a community. Antioch is a great learning environment and I can tell that I am growing.
But patience. Ah, that virtue I love to hate.
Anxious for involvement, accomplishment... so the lesson is to just be HERE right now. So, instead of stressing about how I'm GOING to feel accomplished SOME day in the distant future, I can focus on what makes me feel fulfilled and accomplished NOW.
Right? Cause that's all I have right now.
I have Now.
And I can either hate Now, or love it.
And Now is pretty cool, I mean, I'm happy.
And someday I'll be MORE happy, or better yet-scratch that, a DIFFERENT kind of happy.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


today i feel slow. Shouldn't I be relieved that today is a slow day? It's raining lightly outside, I am warm in my room with no where to be and no pressing assignments to complete.
Slowness makes me feel nervous. Like I'm not doing enough. I remember that I only have 300 dollars remaining in my bank account and enjoying a nice weekend dinner is not exactly feasible.
I should be finding a job, I say to myself. But what good is stressing over a job on a sunday afternoon? I won't hear back about anything anyways until the weekday.
This quarter is a bit slower than last. I am working at the university, but only making enough money to cover my monthly bills. My boyfriend keeps reminding me that this is only temporary when I come home exhausted from my long day which included over an hour's worth of traffic there and back.
I'm grateful for what I have. I am content. But I am still having trouble.