The Path of the Beam

photo // Shawn Bannon

Being a blogger makes me overly sensitive to internet trends. There is one in particular that begs discussion, one that I’ve noticed more and more recently. With the rise of entrepreneurial culture, there is this proliferation of the idea that if you pursue your dreams with vigor you will get what you want. It is The American Dream. Work hard and you shall prosper. It’s a nice idea, isn’t it? But lets get serious for a second. It’s just not true. Now let that sink in for a second. The truth is that you do have to work hard to get what you want but working hard does not guarantee anything.

First, I’m not trying to be the harbinger of bad news nor am I trying to stomp on your dreams. It just seems we all need a good dose of reality. Second, I’m not saying that you can’t live your dream in some fashion. Besides, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who actually gets exactly what you want.

Mostly I’m wondering about this idea that people have a singular life goal. How many people really have this one true passion they must follow for happiness? Is that something that comes to you in a flash of light or a dream? Is it the love you feel when you first do something new that you think you could do for the rest of your life? I personally have so many loves like that. Whenever I go on a bike ride I’m filled with a sense of elation, but that doesn’t mean I want to become a professional cyclist. There is something diminishing in turning a love into a career. This reason alone is why I’ve never turned this blog into my profession.

Very soon, I’m directing my first short film. The first since I was in college and I made “video art.” The first since I was a teenager and had to edit videos on dual VHS decks. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m terrified. Part of me has always wanted this. Part of me has always been afraid of this. I can’t tell you if my perpetual trepidation is a result of me not wanting to let go of other interests or if it is because I’m am unsure of myself and the possibility of failure. Despite the fact that I’ve produced a feature film, making this short is somehow much harder for me.

Making it in the entertainment industry is hard. That goes without saying. Of course, it’s even harder as a woman. Only 5% of the top 250 grossing films of 2011 were directed by women. I just love movies. While some have always known they want to be a writer or director, I’m not absolutely tied to any one piece of filmmaking. There are about 10 thousand different people that have a part of making a film, many of which I’d be happy doing (many I would not). My trajectory is not so much a clear path. It involves a lot of trying things out. It involves a lot of working really hard at something and realizing that it’s not what I want at all (the number of times this has happened is embarrassing).

Yet, I still have hope. I’ll admit sometime it is wavering. I believe that I will find my place, where there is actually a connection, or at least a balance, between what I do for a living and what makes me happy.

What do you think? Are you following your passion career? Do you even have one? Can you imagine yourself being happy with something else?

gloom and light

May Day signals a change in life’s seasons. Looking back on what I wrote last year, I was full of so much hope, and yet expected so little. Things surely have changed in this past year in many ways I never could have imagined. I cannot say that all has been for the better, though much has been.

Spring should be heralded with flowers but today is filled with gloom. Yet, I still have hope in my heart. The world keeps moving on and changing as it always will.

seasons of life

March is here. Spring is creeping in. In this mixed-up, seasonless city, that doesn’t mean too much, except more sunlight in the evening, which surprisingly makes a huge difference. More importantly, it signals the progression of the year and the cycles of life. Things are surely changing around here. February, while peaked with some wonderful things, was a trying month, so I’m greeting March with open arms and high hopes.

We spent the weekend starting a massive spring cleaning. We moved in to our apartment nearly a year ago now but there are many cabinets, closets and boxes filled with things that have gone unsorted for much longer. It felt so good to reorganize and get rid of unwanted things. Not to mention the joy of finding so many strange treasures in the process. Sometimes, cleaning our home is like going to mystery estate sale for me, as Shawn has so many collections of trinkets, memorabilia and vintage medical equipment hidden away. I’m working on finding ways to display more of it, rather than having it packed in boxes.

This weekend was just the beginning of home projects that I’ve been thinking about for months. From simple things to putting up some new shelves to more complicated and time intensive projects like repainting our kitchen and all its cabinets. I’m going to have to do some serious research on stripping paint and restoring wood. Any tips are greatly welcomed. There are years of paint on everything in our place, but the last coat was done with a cheap white which has left all the previously glossy surfaces peeling. So much work, but I’m looking forward to it.

So here’s to March. Has spring rolled around your neck of the woods? Do you feel the impending changes and light it brings?

2011 in Review

Here I am, snuggled up on the couch, with my little cats, and the sun shining in over my shoulder. I’m welcoming 2012 with open arms. I feel as if there is a new hope and openness with the turn of the year and I am trying to embrace it with hard work and creativity. In moving forward, I also think it’s important to look back and to find your current place. So here is a glimpse at all the wonderful things that happened in 2011.

cream and sugar

January was filled mostly with wedding planning. I sent out our handmade book wedding invitations. My mother and her friends threw me a beautiful bridal tea party filled with exquisite china and scones. We also celebrated vegan pizza day. Yum!

February was the month we got married. So that was the best ever.

We started March on our honeymoon in New Zealand. We hung out with alpacas, went camping and hiking and had an amazing time. When we got back, I introduced you to these little creatures in our home and we made toadstool terrariums. I also shared photos from our rehearsal party with Seabirds Truck and took you all on the adventure of making our wedding cakes.

In April I finally was able to share the beautiful photos from our wedding. We found a new place to live, packed, moved and then had a huge, wonderful, fancy Easter brunch.


In May I did a lot of cooking. I made fresh bread, chocolate chip cookies, and mint infused vodka. I also finally got my own camera. We celebrated Memorial day with BBQ and s’mores.

tofu pesto sandwich & soup

In June a tragic thing happened, our favorite restaurant, Pure Luck, closed its doors forever. We went to the second Vegan Beer Fest, ate awesome food and sampled a ton of great beers. Kim and I launched A Moveable Feast, a vegan secret supper club. I started making our wedding quilt, even though I’d never made a quilt before. I started writing a little bit more about films I love like The Piano and A Woman Under the Influence.

red white and blue cake

July was filled with fun events. We attended the Renegade Craft Fair in downtown Los Angeles. Plant Based Parties had a kickoff dinner and we sampled some great vegan delicacies.  To top it off, we threw a Batman birthday party for Shawn’s brother, Kyle.

August was exciting because I performed my first aerial silk routine since I was a teenager (and even posted a video). I made possibly my favorite pizza ever. There was a little glimpse into our home and some of our collections. Not to mention, Kim and I pulled off an amazing Spanish style secret supper.

In September, I finally shared a few rooms of our home, including the bedroom and dining room. I made some more crazy dishes like fried green tomatoes and vegan nutella.

October was huge. To start it off right, we went to the horrorthon at the New Beverly. Our film, Brainwashed Love, was in the LA Femme Film Fest. I made lentil loaf. I decorated the mantle with smiling pumpkins and made cute bat cupcakes. Then of course we had our 4th Annual Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, which was crazy and a huge success. Plus, I made Shawn his very own black velvet cape.

November held some life-changing experiences. We had a fantastic Thanksgiving at Madeleine Bistro. I turned 28. We went to AFI Fest and saw some of my favorite films of the year including Snowtown, Oslo August 31 and Kill List. It was so inspiring to see such well crafted films. Then, we went to our dear friends’ wedding in Ojai, which I attempted to dye a dress brown for.

And finally we’re in December. This past month was full of celebrations for holidays and friends. I finally finished our wedding quilt. We went on a really nice little trip to Palm Springs. I got a surprise delivery from a new friend. Last, but not least, we spent the holidays on the East Coast with Shawn’s family and had quite the adventure. I’ll get to share some tidbits from that over the next few days including some fantastic restaurants we went to.

Looking back, this past year has been filled with wonder. I feel truly lucky and fulfilled. I can’t wait for what this year brings, as there is so much in the works. I’m nearing the finish of writing our second feature film, a psychological thriller set in the woods, that I’m so excited about and honestly really proud of. Both Shawn and I have a few short projects that we’re going to put together as our major goal of the year is to make more films. We’ll be going to at least two film festivals in the next few months and in just a few weeks I’ll be attending Altitude Design Summit. Major stuff. I love it. Hooray for 2012!