I feel like in this process of creating a play with nine other amazing people, I am creating a side of me that has atrophied… a side of myself I was so familiar with when I was younger that I took it for granted. I though this muscle of introspection and creativity came from my mother’s womb. In other words, I assumed I was “special” and just born with this wild imagination the allowed me great freedom in acting and creating. The thing I forgot to mention to me was that I was spending at least 6 hours a week in acting class. Spending hours upon hours improvising and writing and building characters and ideas. But this was fun! It couldn’t have been work. This is what I told myself to continue the lie of “special-ness”. I think believing this lie has been one of the greatest disservices of my life; Something so sad. I have spent the last 8 years on Smallville assuming I was just “gifted.” I completely suppressed myself as well as my teachers for all the time I spent refining and honing this craft I had built for myself.
As a result I felt less and less facile with my ability. Every season of Smallville I felt more and more a victim of my circumstance. I felt more and more fearful of opportunity and even ability to play other things, let alone my current job well. The depth of imagination and creativity I once had was fleeting fast and I was blaming it on everything other than my lack of effort in building it in me.

Today was the day I re-discovered the importance of practice and effort in the art I once felt so magnificent upholding, but have felt so disconnected from. I am working with a team of unbelievable creators who have no ego, no suppression or competition, only joy in the creative process.

We have spent the last 24 hours brainstorming ideas. Any idea you could think to come up with, we threw out there. Just looking and thinking and thinking and looking, exploring every avenue, until our minds hurt and we didn’t know what else to say to each other. So we went for sushi (yes, there is a “Mr. Sushi” up the street from our apartment in old town Prague, weird?) and cleaned our minds with a nice dose of wasabi. And we got into putting the ideas on their feet.

What came out of this exercise was a 25 minute improv based in movement, music, text, and song that was so moving and rich, I was humbled and inspired! I was reminded of why I love what I do; why I want to do these small project that take so much time and cost so much money, but fuel my soul and help me to see what I am missing in my world. I am so passionate about what I do again. It feels like I have found it after having been lost for a long time. I have found me again.

Throw out the ego and pride of already knowing something and build a practice of learning something new each day, in each second, look for that which you don’t know, where your knowledge fails, and go for that. Because joy lies in growth and learning, not complacency and pride. There is no depth or support to a superficial image, so in the end you live with fear that someone will tip you over, and the whole world will come tumbling down around you. Essentially, you are living on a centimeter of security!

Ok, it’s 3:23 in the morning here in gorgeous Prague and I have an 11 am rehearsal! I will try and get some video up tomorrow, sorry about the delay on this. Rehearsals are going a bit longer than expected and I kind of think getting the show on it’s feet is important, considering that is the reason we are here!

Jenny just figured out how to stream a live cast of the show though! So I will keep you all updated with that info so you can see us perform in real time!

Fun, no?
ok ciao
xo
a

Add yours Comments – 42

  • Justin Salvato

    on May 18, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Strange reading your blog and actually finding… common ground. I’m no actor, I have no idea what that’s like, or the creativity involved. But I used to be a… performance artist, in the ring. The ring, to me, is a grand stage. A place to put on a show and display my talents. Somewhere along the way, I got content with just being average. Had I maintained my ambition, MY creativity and love of the sport, things may have been different. So… congrats on the improv exercises and self-discovery. And big congrats on being self-critical. Sometimes we need to take a step back, look at ourselves to see what we’re doing wrong in order to get better.

  • kris

    on May 18, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    So happy for you…that’s it. Best of luck and can’t wait to hear & see more of what you all are working on.

  • Susana

    on May 18, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    aww Allison that is great that you found that which you love again. I think it’s amazing the process you have to go through & you have done it in a very humble way :).

    I hope to see how your stuff is coming along & I hope your trip in Prague has been great :).

    Take Care,

    Susana

  • Jade Ruby

    on May 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Knock ’em dead Allison!

  • Beth

    on May 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    That sounds absolutely awesome Allison.
    It reminds me of my impro classes.
    This stuff is just awesome.
    Can’t wait to hear more…

    xoxo
    Beth

  • Eduardo

    on May 18, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    thats the bes to refound your self and feel happy for what you are doing good luck with that play and i hope you feel happy for your trip and have time to spent with the things that make you so passion

    Eddie Wulf. xo

  • Jade Ruby

    on May 18, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    P.S.

    I JUST read about a brainstorming technique where each person writes their ideas individually, then everyone joins the group and shares the ideas they came up with. It’s supposed to be quite efficient.

  • Brittany

    on May 18, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Hey Allison. It sounds so much fun and my kind of thing! I can’t wait to hear more! You’re so amazing and talented. Keep up the great work!
    BrittanyXOXOXOXO
    P.S. Smallville Season Finale was great! Can’t wait to see what happens.

  • Tom

    on May 18, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Congrats on finding yourself again! It inspires and motivates me to find the things I love to do in life. You’re the best!

  • Grayson

    on May 18, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    I guess it’s not exactly like riding a bike, is it? But, as long as you keep going forward, you don’t fall down, right?? Can’t wait to see the “live acting action”…from Prague even!

  • arash

    on May 18, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    “Live cast of the show” ?
    I must have done something good recently.

  • Andrew

    on May 18, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Allison,
    I know exactly what you mean about being “special”, I’ve had to get over that myself so I could continue to grow as a person. I love how you seek out growth, experiences, and learning; I believe they are the keys to a rich and rewarding life. Enjoy Prague, I’m sure it’s beautiful!

    ~Andy

  • thomas

    on May 18, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Working hard or hardly working?

  • Lydia

    on May 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re doing in Prague.

    It’s fantastic that you’re re-discovering yourself and what you love to do. Enjoy every minute!:-)

    I’m going through a tiny little rough time and your journey inspires me to continue my own journey and to pursue my dreams. Thanks for sharing.:-)

  • Beth

    on May 18, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Arash says
    ‘I must’ve done something good recently’

    I totally get what u mean. This is so cool isn’t it!

  • william

    on May 18, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Allison, you are so real, so amazing! Your also a very deep person, its so interesting the way you think about things, fun too!!! dont be to hard on yourself, its good you realize what’s important and whats made you who you are. Trip sounds fun!!! THANK YOU so much for keeping us up to date with you, its like we came with you. Have fun!
    william
    (also, for some reason I think its cool you stay up till 3 am!, I do sometimes/rarely. u just never think of a tv actor/star doing it!- I dont know…)

  • MarilyneL

    on May 18, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    That’s really great if you re-found your passion at its pure essence! Live cast?! :O That would be awesome! 😀

  • David Hayes

    on May 18, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    There is the analogy of an unused muscle that needs to be stretched and worked to get it back into active use. A lot of time, with creative people, this analogy doesn’t fit. Sometimes putting aside a talent you have is more like leaving a field fallow for a season or two. The soil gets richer. The seeds seem dormant but are actually germinating. So when the time comes again to return to the field, the harvest at the end of it all is more abundant than anyone could have imagined. I know this has happened to me … several times in several ways.

    [My current plan is to let my field lay fallow for a couple hundred years so that, when I begin again, the things I do should be simply amazing.]

  • David Hayes

    on May 18, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    … and “live cast” is a much better idea than “dead cast.”

  • Irene

    on May 18, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    “Well Dorothy, your not in Kansas any more!” 🙂 It may be figuratively speaking, but for me it was a sereal moment when I moved from Kansas.

    I moved back to Texas, I felt my life was very traditional- very box like at the time.

    One day I went to a bar with a friend, I was the des. driver…later that night, I ran into an old friend from High School.
    we were in art class together, best friends back then, & my hidden crush for 4 years.

    The thing is, when we saw each other, it was a very powerful moment. In his words, ” When I saw you, it felt like the earth stood still, and when you hugged me, it was like time paused.”

    For me it was like I had been
    living in black & white, but when we colided in that hug, I saw everything around me turn to color!

    My friend has always been a source of inspiration for me as an artist, but that day brought me back to life.

    I share this with you, cause I feel like I know where your coming from in finding yourself again.

    After that powerful day, aside from being in a daze for 3 whole days & only being able to say “Something happened, something happened-I donlt know what, but something happened.” I cut my hair, died it red, threw away all my traditional preacher clothes, and began again to be the person God made me to be.

    I love the Lord, I serve him freely, and I mostly now express his message threw art: Drawing, painting, song writing, poetry, singing, and, or dance. Whatever creative inspiration overwhelms me to express.

    Anyway, thanks for the fire of the joy of life! Have fun being a kid again! Enjoy wonderland! Oh & thanks for keeping us posted.. your so sweet and considerate.

  • Ruthie

    on May 18, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I love this, Allison….something my husband and I have been talking about lately, actually, and has been awakening in me as an artist and as a mother.

    Again with Pema Chodron….

    She was telling a story about inviting a Tibetan monk to Gampo Abbey to teach the nuns to play Tibetan instruments, cymbals and drums. The training lasted 49 days. Every day he would sit and listen with a pained expression to his pupils play and then patiently show them the proper way to play. The students worked hard, wanting to get it right, but everyday he would show them again the proper techniques, always encouraging. When the training was done and the last concert arrived, the teacher listened and then he confessed to his students…they had played well from the beginning when he first came, he never told them before, though, because he didn’t want them to become satisfied or complacent in their practice. So for 49 days, under his gentle instruction and prodding, they continued to work hard to improve.

    It’s easy, especially as artists, I think, to feel special, to set ourselves up as gifted, and become stunted rather than flourish with humility and practice.

    But here’s the story that really hit me this morning as I read. Chodron was beginning a new meditation practice and was struggling with it. The people around her seemed to be doing well and having success. She went to her teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and expressed her concern. His response, “I’m always suspicious of the ones who say everything’s going well. If you think that things are going well, then it’s usually some kind of arrogance. If it’s too easy for you, you just relax. You don’t make a real effort, and therefore you never find out what it is to be fully human.”(From The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron, p. 8)

    This was encouraging and humbling at the same time. For one, I’m always making mistakes and struggling with something, and two, I tend to let pride sneak in when I’m doing well. Of course, ALWAYS after some personal “success”, I seem to trip over my own feet and have to start over again…humbled. But that also is the teacher…and I’m thankful.

    Diving in to finish my English and Writing Degree has been a scary experience for me because it’s challenging my comfort zone…and challenging me as a writer to stretch myself…to grow, instead of depending on the “I’m just creative or gifted” mindset. Instead, I’m choosing to be a learner…to hone the craft and be inspired by others who have so much insight to offer. What a joy!

    Truly, Allison, I am so pleased and encouraged to read this entry today! You’re doing it…you’re growing! Doesn’t it feel good to be open to whatever life has to teach us?

    Happy Creating to you all!!

    R 🙂

  • Ornella Santilli

    on May 18, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Dear Alli:
    I’m extremely happy for you!!!! I’m looking forward to watching your video in Prague!!!!
    Good luck!!!!
    Orne from Argentina

  • Amanda N.

    on May 18, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    This is very cool!Its super awesome how with each new experiance you learn something new about yourself.I totally love that.It keeps me optimistic of all the things I know is in store for myself,and excited as well to begin something where I have no clue where it will take me.Allison I think to a certain extent you were born gifted and special.And as you grew you learned that practice was an essential key to magnifying your creativity and art into something you could be proud of.

    I too for the past 8 years (okay well 6 years,since I technically began waching the show in it’s 3rd year) have thought you were just incredibly gifted and brought forth some amazing perfomances weekly.What I think I failed to realize at that point was just how much work an actor actually puts into their craft.You and all the others do something so well and normally given not very much time to do it.

    I have a high admiration for actors and what they do and bring to people.It is not something that is done with little care and quickly without thought.I have always found it incredible how jealous “regular” people are of actors.They get frustrated when they hear actor’s salaries and of the fame they have attained,and think it is ridiculous because what they do for a living shouldn’t be that highly rewarded.

    I on the other hand can respect it.I know what a lot of amazing actor’s perfomances in both films and television have brought me.They entertain me and make me think,and dream,and wonder.And that is something that I will always treasure.

    I love the feelings I experiance when watching a movie or show.They drag me into that time and I feel what the characters feel and experiance.I love how for an hour or longer I can be so happy and immersed in someone else’s story.It uncomplicates all the little problems I am experiancing at that time,if only for a short while.

    It is very nice you are working with good,fun and creative people.It makes your work seem less like work and more like fun.It is also nice you have realized that practice is very important in what you are doing.As corny as I will sound right now “Practice makes Perfect”.I know perfect isn’t something that is easily attainable,but it is something that we all strive for.

    What you are doing is something that is not only admirable,but beautiful as well.For me I think it’s downright awesome how you have traveled to a foreign land to perform something totally created by you and your friends.As someone who aspires to enter the field of film I am greatly inspired,but just as a human being I am awed by your sense of bravery in trying something new and having no clue as to what the outcome will be.You obviously have a lot of confidence in yourself and what you do.I wish I was more like that.

    In the words of Savage Garden “But somethings you just don’t question”.I think that applies to your goodness,talent and creativity.In no way do I question your skills or preparation as an actor.In a way you might not be giving yourself enough credit.I’m sure you have been doing a lot for your roles.Though subconsciously you may not completely realize it.I know for Chloe I have always thought you put a great deal of thought into your work.

    A video sounds awesome.I would most definitely be excited to see how well things have been going with the play.As a big fan of yours I will always be interested in your story Allison.So I am looking forward to it a whole lot.

    I apologize for the long rant.

  • Ornella Santilli

    on May 18, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Allison, I love you unconditionally!!!! ‘Cause you are so humble and make us feel like your friends!!!!

    See you tomorrow, I must watch “Smallville” Ja, ja, ja!!!!

  • BOUROUX

    on May 18, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Allison.
    It’s great to discover something you had forgotten. Do not blame you for leaving aside that part of your creativity.
    You just learn a little something that you missed and you can add to your regular activities.
    Several actors and actresses in Montreal involved in a league of improvisation to keep in shape. Many of them began their career in this league.
    It’s wonderful your work. This year you have produced a short film, directed one episode, playing in a play, in two films, 2 short films and 22 episodes of Smallville.
    Each experience allows us to grow and it is thanks to them that you are in Prague today.
    Play different roles, directing, write screenplays are challenges that will enable you to give free rein to your creativity remaining in your comfort zone.
    It’s fantastic that you’re re-discovering yourself and what you love to do.
    I look forward to seeing your videos. Do not forget to sleep.
    Take care of you.
    Bye
    Claude.

  • Meifang

    on May 19, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Hi Allison, looking forward to see the live performance…cheers!

  • Dick B

    on May 19, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Perhaps off topic. This means much to me. Every girl in this world must be free to go to school.

  • Vanessa (spain)

    on May 19, 2009 at 1:36 am

    I think it´s easy for someone involved in creative activities to feel “special”. People who see it from the distant tell you so, and even though you can try to be humble, you believe it.

    I´ve always have a good imagination to make up stories, and I won some contests at school. But some years ago I came up with an idea to write a book. I got all excited about it, I had the characters, the story, the ending… Everything. But then, I didn´t really want to start writing. I don´t know why, I just couldn´t. I think this was 2 or 3 years ago, and all I´ve written so far it´s a few pages.

    I know I´ve got imagination but without hard work, it´s useless. My biggest problem has always been my lack of motivation, and I´m trying to change that now.

  • Lohengrin

    on May 19, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Happy to hear that you have find again yourself and the love to recite.
    To change, to leave own certainties for something new it’s never easy and needs brave.
    I think you have it.

    I hope to see you in Smallville for many years, but I’d like to see you in new roles, to see give “life” to new characters. You have all the abilities to succeed in whatever you do…
    Time for new challenges?

    Buona fortuna Allison,
    Ciao ciao

  • jennygirl

    on May 19, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Congrats on having such a good time, and it being time well spent. But you wouldn’t have so many fans following you if you weren’t fantastic on Smallville, and that IS gifted. But have fun. And no matter what you say, the people working with you DO have egos…

  • Jesse

    on May 19, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Hi Allison

    You are special and have a lot of innate ideas and intuition. This seems like a very interesting project and I hope everything turns out well. Ummm

    -jesse

  • Jenny

    on May 19, 2009 at 6:47 am

    I am so happy for you Allison. I can’t wait to see any videos or even pics you are willing to share with all of us. You are so talented and so loved by everyone. I hope you continue to do what you love and keep us all updated.

    PS:You were great in the Smallvile season finale. Too bad the episode was a huge disappointment. You see Aaron….tell him we miss him already.

    Take Care Allison

  • Dream_Walker

    on May 19, 2009 at 7:26 am

    I believe the my biggest fault is also my non-existent eagerness to learn and push forward, i mean i wanto but something holds me back so hard is struggle to achieve something new, but i recognise problem and will try to encourage myself to push forward. Its almost as if i need a guide to say “hey its ok , just try it…” heh kinda pathetic but thats the problem of being introvert :/ Prague Sounds nice, will add to my “places to visit” 😛 Hope to see the play Youre in, keep us posted, im sure Youll be magnificient as always, Have Fun , DW

  • Silvia

    on May 19, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Hi Allison,

    I guess you made the same mistake as I did, but you’re lucky as well for you realised it. Now you can straighten it out. I learnt early that nothing is actually granted. Ever since I can remember I’ve been able to empathise with my opposites. So I can put myself completely in somebody else’s position – as if I would be this other person myself. I can feel and even think the way the people, I put myself in, do. It’s always been the easiest thing for me to do. Some of my friends say that I was a born actress with this ability. However, there are two reasons why I didn’t chose this occupation. 1. I don’t like cameras. Hence, I don’t like it to be filmed or photographed. 2. I’m not that type of person who needs an audience. Yet I’ve got quite a good knowledge of human nature thereby. One day I made a big mistake. I started to take this ability for granted. Even though I knew that actually nothing is granted in life – except death. I regret this mistake bitterly because for the first time in my life my ability abandoned me. Unfortunately it took me a long time until I got it. So I finally had to relearn to trust my instincts and how to use my ability properly again.

    Be this as it may, I think you are a special creature, Allison. Besides, to be special does not mean to be perfect or flawless. Remember, you are only human, too. Our abilities need respect. So treat your ability with respect, keep in mind that it is not granted and be thankful for every time your ability allows you to do your job the best as you can. I’m sure you’ll acquit yourself well and the play’s gonna be fantastic.

    take care,
    Silvia

  • Smallvillekent

    on May 19, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Allison, I am glad you are enjoying live theater again. Looking foward to seeing the video. Keep it up. You were excellent in the Smallville finale. It was alittle depressing though. Also even though Clark and Chloe I guess will never have a romantic relationship I wish they would come out and tell each other they love each other because the are definately more than friends.

  • Avitable

    on May 19, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Sounds awesome. I can’t wait to see what this new creativity does to your future projects.

  • Robin

    on May 19, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Wow Allison, just by reading your comments I can feel the energy, fun and passion you have for this “Crossed Wires” project bouncing off the keyboard.

    It must be great working on a fresh challange with other artists from the different spectrum of all the arts, just sounds like such a great idea!

    I along with most people tend to get stuck in a rut in seemingly doing the same thing each day. However I really feel this is just a state of mind and if we look hard enough even us in the most mundane of careers can find an “individual” moment to treasure each and every day, no matter how slight, tiny or insignificant it might appear!

    It must be very difficult for actors especially to play roles for a long period of time, yet even characters develop and in a fantasy show in which you appear it must be lots of fun playing “different” or at least extreame versions of characters.

    Being a police officer, well somedays you witness some negative sides to human nature that can leave you feeling a bit down about people, getting home and putting on a dvd of a daft, fun and positive show like Smallville really helps to rebuild my hope in human beings..because hey life is fun and funny.

    Look forward to seeing video of the rehearsals…I just wish I was in Prague to see the performance…keep having fun!

  • lior

    on May 19, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Hi,
    I hadn’t have the chance to read your blog yet (which sounds awsome btw) but I just really want to tell you that I looove (like really love) the way that you play on Smallville, even more than Tom Welling (but don’t tell him that..).
    Really hopping to see much more of you next.
    In hebrew what I’m writing to you right now is called HetHet, it means reinforcing what you are doing. Cause you’re doing it perefectly.
    Hope you understood at least some of my bad english,
    Lior =]
    PS. you’re making my weekends so much happier watching you play (or is “act” a better word?), thank you

  • Kathy

    on May 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I sometimes think you are too hard on yourself. Never doubt that you are an amazing and creative person, a talented actress, and a wonderful singer.

    Break a leg at rehearsals, enjoy Prague while you can, and I can’t wait to see the performance!

  • Aziza

    on May 19, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    you’ll do great! 🙂

  • Maria

    on May 20, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I love the way that you think every little detail and take your time with the process! You’re definitely a true actress that really care about your work! I really miss doing that, when I used to go to acting class and we’d brainstorm ideas it felt awesome to know that we were creating art! I miss it! and I wish I could be in Prague brainstorming idead for a play that si definitely one of my biggest dreams! jeje

    xo

    Maria

  • Amber

    on May 20, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Allison you are being too hard on yourself.

    I think your problem that you’ve been addressing in this blog isn’t that of thinking what you do was special or not, it’s that what you want to do isn’t what you’re doing now.

    Allison you said this:

    “Spending hours upon hours improvising and writing and building characters and ideas.”

    That’s not acting, that’s writing/producing.

    Allison, the reason why you feel less then creative is that you finally realized the boundaries in being an actress. Being an actress only allows you to express yourself so much.

    Allison, this blog post sounds to me is that you want to be a Producer. You want to form stories, characters, brainstorm all of this, do things you can’t do as an actress.

    I understand with Smallville, that you don’t really have a say where your character says and does, you realizing the constraints of being an actress.

    Sweetheart, you’re a producer at heart it seems. I hope you realize that and stop being so hard on yourself.