Question 14: Of the myriad of different things you do (acting, writing, teaching meditation, podcasting, stand-up, etc...) what do you find to be the most fulfilling?
I feel like I want to say teaching is the most fulfilling and performing is the most gratifying.
I wasn't sure the distinction, so I looked them up.
fulfilling is satisfying. gratifying is enjoyable. So I think my instincts were right.
I love teaching somebody something. I love teaching meditation -- people only 100% identify with their thoughts, then they get this whole new experience.
it's amazing to see and incredible to play a role in that. it gives me physical energy and it affects my heart emotionally - it's sharing a heart connection with someone.
performing i love because - oh shit, i just realized it's in the same way. i'm connecting with a roomful of people, but it's different because it's about me initially.
when i teach it's about the person i'm teaching. i share information and experience and I'm tuned in to how they're receiving it. my focus is --is this landing with them? is this helping them?
when i perform, i'm interested if what i say is landing, and i make adjustments for things to land, but 80% or more, I have stuff I'm going to say. I thought of it, i've said it before, I think it's funny.
i'm not trying to get the audience to some new place.
both are about connection, though. i guess i say teaching is more fulfilling because it's a connection but the person is, sorry to put a heavy thing to it, they're changed forever. teaching someone fills in a gap in education or experience with the intent that it benefits the person.
performing, i connect with an audience, or i don't. but when i connect it's mostly super fun for me, they're not going to be forever benefitted by my performance. but we are all sharing nice moments during the show.
I love that you determined that both teaching and performing are aspects of connection. I definitely have not framed them both through the same lens before. Individual versus group connection. Even though they are ostensibly for different ultimate purposes, they are still human connections and interactions.
So... Question 15: other than when you are teaching meditation to someone, where do you see yourself being most present?
Easy. When I'm making out with someone I like. Next!
That makes sense.
Question 16: Is there a question that you were expecting me to ask that I have not?
I thought you might ask the follow up question of: Have you made out with people you didn't like?
To which I'd have answered: most certainly.
I think most people have made out with people they do not like. I know many people who have made with people they thought they would like. Turns out many people are not as great judges of character as they are judges of physical attractiveness.
So... Question 17: What do you look for in someone you want to make out with?
I got stuck on this one. What do I look for in someone I want to make out with? To be sadly honest I'm not that picky. I kind of wonder what it's like to make out with almost every guy. When you're 10 ppl say you're boy crazy. Older, ppl call it slutty, I guess. Tho I was never labeled that. I think my baby face protected me.
If I'm at a party & chat with someone for a while, I want to make out with them. I guess if they show interest & make me laugh. I think I'm supposed to look for more qualities but that's about it.
Cute, makes me laugh & wants to make out with me.
No shaming here. You could want to make out with someone because their hair is brown and we'd all be fine with that. As long as the make-outs are between consenting adults, who am I to judge. I would not say that is slutty behavior at all. Older people are dumb.
So, now I turn the tables for a question. Question 18: Is there a question/are there any questions you would like to ask me?
Here's my question for you - What's the most gratifying part of doing 20 Questions for you?
& I have a 2nd question. Has someone already asked you that? If so, I want a do-over.
Well, that is an easy one. I get to know people in a much more thorough and (in many ways) intimate way through this process. We have been emailing back and forth for 5 months, and honestly I don't often do that with some of my best friends. I will let you in a on little secret. This process is honestly a bit of an excuse to become friends with people I enjoy on the Internet. It works to varying degrees. There are people that I asked my 20 Questions to years ago who I consider friends now, and there are people I spent over 6 months corresponding with who might not remember who I am.
Now onto the second question. Yes, I have been asked that. You may have a do-over, so Question 18A: Do you have any other questions for me?
If you had the power to change ONE historical event (excluding Trump not being elected)....what would you change and what would you hope would be different in the world today because of that change of history?
Wow, this is a crazy interesting question. The whole idea of the Butterfly Effect makes this question have ramifications far greater than just altering the action. Historical actions have historical significance and if the action is removed, what does that mean? Private negative experiences are what I have grown from, so I am less likely to remove events from my life that may have been negative to start with because they have made me who I am. To mitigate the potential error propagation, the altered action would need to be relatively personal and recent, so we are no longer talking about any significant historical event and just taking the definition of "historical" as meaning "in the past." I had loaded nachos today for lunch and it is not sitting well with me. I think I should have made the time to walk to the market and get something healthier.
So, we are at the penultimate question... Question 19: What are you taking from this 20 Questions that you did not bring with you?
I appreciate all your big words but I think you avoided the question. Wasn't about personal history, was about World History - if US hadn't made the Louisiana Purchase or brought over slaves or if G Washington did want to be king or if Henry 8 hadn't started a church or if Hitler's parents had been nicer to him ...YOU HAD THE POWER TO HYPOTHETICALLY CHANGE ANYTHING AND YOU DIDN'T!. That's something you'll have to live with.
What I have taken, so really, what you've given me in this experience is a greater sense of comfort in the world.
Sounds big, and it is. But surface-level Twitter is like, no thanks kinda scary. Sometimes there's a sense of finding a like-minded person in a tweet and maybe follow them or go down their rabbit hole posts for a while.
But you were like a hand extending outward in a good way and invited me into what's become about 6 months of intimacy. Honest questions and honest answers. More in-depth than 2 people at a party, unless it was maybe a 6 month party.
So that's what I've gotten. A connection. Which comes with a sense of being seen & heard and on some level appreciated. Which is a great thing, especially amongst all the sound and fury.
Okay, here is the thing. I will clarify my response for the historical time-altering. Everything that is now is only because of what was in the past. I am a big believer in the butterfly effect and non-linear recursive mathematics (chaos theory) which both ascribe to the concept of compounding the effects of change over time or iterations.
So let's look at a historically significant change that many people talk about. A bunch of people would say that they would go back in time and whack Hitler before he became a force to be reckoned with. So Hitler started a world-wide war that killed a total of 75 to 80 million people (including the ethnic genocides, civilian casualties, and military losses). Potentially those 75 to 80 million people would be saved if Hitler had not invaded Poland... but by saving those 75 to 80 million people you have basically made the close to 10 billion people that have come after that war to not ever be. I am one of those 10 billion people and my family is part of that 10 billion. I like my family and am happy with how my life has turned out, and I like the movement forward by society since the 1940's.
Now let's look at personal tragedy that is life altering, but may not actually effect the overall timeline of world events (as we know it). On my 19th birthday, I witnessed my best friend's father get hit by a drunk driver. He was killed and it really messed with me. At 19 I lost my invulnerability, I realized that we are mortal beings who only have a limited amount of time on this rock spinning around a star spinning on a galactic disc. The trauma of the event altered me to my very core. The changes that have taken place within me are in no small part due to that event taking place. The person I met and married, I would not have met and married. My children would not be, and my best friend who just had a beautiful baby girl would not have brought that life into the world had that even not taken place. That event, while tragic and despair inducing at the time, has tempered me into the person I am today, and has formed many of the people who I love today. I do not think I would change that now, 20+ years on.
So, I may have been a little flip in my response about loaded nachos (which were not great, I mean seriously they were like lead in my belly), but I stand by the analysis. I can happily live with the results of my hypothetical inaction. I did think it through, and very seriously, because it is a great question.
Now onto what you have told me that you are leaving with that you did not come in with. Wow. I am humbled by your response. Connections... real connections are difficult to generate in today's digital world. So much of our interactions are fleeting noises that when we have a sustained connection it actually means something.
I really have relished the contact that we have had, and will miss it when we are done. I have seriously enjoyed conversing with you via these 40+ odd emails and hope that this conversation has helped us to become actual internet friends. You are a person I would love to meet up with to share food and laughs, and I hope that the feeling is mutual. I hope that we both make the effort to stay in contact, because you are a goddamned delight.
last one... Question 20: What's next? Be as concrete or as vague as you want, as short-term or long-term as you feel comfortable, and as grounded or philosophical as you would like.
FEELING IS MUTUAL!!! Let's stay in touch & maybe we cross paths in human form face-face one day!
Next? Going back to bed. Ha just kidding. i will give you a characteristically super long answer.
Your questions have corresponded with an interesting time. My boyfriend of 6 years, 2 off/on before that, 10 sort of circling each other before that-- so 18 years of liking this dude, some of those years included travel and holidays together, parents birthdays, hospital visits. Family. Well, he broke up with me in a sentence on July 31. "I don't want to work on it any more."
So, while I was answering your questions, I was also working on myself -- why was i with him, what was i getting from that, who am i on my own, what do i really want.
the things we explore when things fall apart and it's time to rebuild.
And it's been good. As you clearly understand from your answer to my last question. I didn't want it to happen, but I like where it's gotten me.
I want to act. I came to LA to act, then I shut down somewhere. I've made a living writing and I've kept performing to various degrees, but I know I want to act - so I am.
I will spend the next year boyfriend-free and continuing to pursue my own best interests. all the energy i was willing to use to work on that relationship gets poured back into me.
So what's next is to keep on with where I'm headed. Letting myself show up for the life I want.
Well, I, for one, love you working on yourself and pouring all the energy that was consumed by your relationship into yourself. I want to remain email friends and will happily email with you for as long as you are willing to put up with me.
I have enjoyed this 20 Questions immensely and, as I stated previously, you are a goddamn delight. I feel like I am a better person for getting to know you better.