The two questions you should ask yourself before any business endeavor!

Uncategorized Nov 16, 2019

There are two questions you should ask yourself before you take on any business endeavor:

1. Why this? 2. Why now?

There is no wrong answer, just the one that is intuitively right for you. There might be several reasons to take something on: money, connections, a great passion. So sit and ask yourself the questions. If the answers resonate for you, go for it! However, if you are questioning your decisions you might be creating out of fear.

Many of us believe if we don’t take the first opportunity that appears another might not come our way. Or we are so desperate for money we will create something that will “sell” vs. something in which we have passion and belief.

As a theater producer these were ALWAYS the questions I’d be asking myself. Why this show and why now? As a creative entrepreneur I ponder if the time is right to create and launch something or if I’m merely feeling scarcity within. I have to dig deep. And so do you.

It is vital you know these...

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Do you fear money?

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2019

Okay, I’ll admit it. I talk a lot about abundance and creativity. And the more I understand it, the more I realize how fearful I’ve been of money in my past. However, I let that fear become my teacher.

Let me be clear. I was raised in a privileged upper middle class upbringing. We had all the trappings of a prosperous 1980s suburban life including multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and a swimming pool that we could only utilize about 3 months of the year. It was Northern Michigan, after all. My father worked hard; he worked very hard. I mistook that to mean if I didn’t work full throttle every day I might end up poor. In the decadent 80s that was simply unacceptable. I wore my designer jeans and cashmere sweaters to school every day. The label meant everything. Despite these advantages, we rarely spoke of money in our household.

When we did talk about it I was told that being an artist meant I’d have to give up the pleasures of designer jeans and swimming pools. I...

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Hey Potato! Get off the couch and into ACTION!

Uncategorized Jul 23, 2019

Are you home plopped on your couch watching that award show and wondering how they did that? You know you have as much talent as anyone up there (maybe even more) yet you are paralyzed with fear and regret.

If you are sitting on the side lines you will always be an aspiring, aka wannabe creative and not a working one.

The people you are viewing share one thing in common. They take massive action. It is through great creative play and even greater risk they reap these rewards.

I know you don’t want be a snarky, unfulfilled shadow creative. So, here are six reasons to take massive action:

 

1.  Research can only take you so far.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for researching your project, product, and business. Educating yourself on the process, the art, the trends, and the marketing is vital. However, it’s a bit like reading a book on playing the guitar. Sure you can see what fingering the chords look like. But until you pick up the guitar and feel...

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It's a SNAP! (no crackle and pop)

Uncategorized Jul 17, 2019

When was the last time you stopped and asked yourself, how do I feel? And why?

As as I mentioned a few weeks ago, feelings are the gateway to the soul. They are your internal guide that offer clues to your deepest desires. Although sometimes overwhelming, they can be your greatest tool as they are subtle thought forms. When you embrace them for what they are there is an opportunity for growth. The key is not to repudiate them. When you deny and push down feelings rather than acknowledge them, you are blocking your path. I get it. You have a desire to feel good. However, it is often when someone is placed in extreme situations like the loss of a family or a great challenge such as loosing a job, they experience deep feelings of rage, shame, and sorrow that true transcendence begins.

As artists it is vital we are conscious of our feelings. It is from this that we create resonate art. As many great actors understand, it isn’t just the big emotions. When we have knowledge of the...

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Stop in the Name of Art!

Uncategorized Jul 11, 2019

All through school you were told to “work on your craft.” In order to succeed as an artist it not only was your priority but required single pointed focus and discipline. Good advice, right?

Actually… no.

When you solely work on your craft ahead of everything and everyone, including yourself, you actually aren’t a better creative artist. It even perpetuates the outdated ‘poor, struggling, tortured artist’ narrative and puts the outcome before the process.

In order to achieve you are supposedly required to be 100% dedicated to your discipline. You are even made to feel guilty when you take a vacation or put family ahead of your art. This is B.S. 

In this kind of thinking you have spent absolutely no time learning about the self. And if you want to reflect society, make a difference in the world, and evoke change - which is the job of the creative artist - you have to know yourself. We are, after all, microcosms of the great macrocosm. As...

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Time to come out...of the spiritual closet

Uncategorized Jun 25, 2019

Enough of this term “woo woo.”  Enough I say!

In 1989 I came out of the closet as a gay man. This was not a great time in history to be out. At the height of the AIDS crisis, in the midst of the very conservative first Bush administration here in the US, I decided I could no longer pretend to be something I wasn’t. I was tired of denying my authentic queer self and needed to live in truth. This was twenty years after Stonewall. 

On its fiftieth anniversary we celebrate those who came before us and how far we have progressed. My eighteen-year-old self could never have imagined getting married or an out presidential candidate. So much to honor and celebrate!

Whether you are queer or not, there is another closet for you exit. The one I’m speaking of is…Yup, the spiritual closet!

I’ve gotten so used to hushed murmurs regarding transcendental experiences. I’ve gotten so used to people pretending that metaphysical experiences...

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Don't be a starving artist. Board the train!

Uncategorized Jun 18, 2019

Twenty five years ago standing in grand central station I was attempting to board a train to Darien, CT. I was a working actor hired for a production of Evita and although it was a union theater, it was outside of Manhattan and I was required to pay my own travel expense. I walked over to the ATM beside the main staircase to pull out cash to purchase a ticket and my card was rejected; I didn’t have enough money in my account. I slouched down on the grand stairway and began to cry. Without the money to travel to work, how was I able to work to pay for the ticket?

What in my mindset allowed me to take a job for so little money it couldn’t even cover my travel?

For a long time I was stuck in the belief to be a true artist meant to be a starving, struggling one.

Where did that come from? Rarely do we think of creatives as wealthy or even successful. Jokes are cracked about how you’ll never make a career in the arts, humanities, or for God’s sakes the theater!...

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BODY JOURNEY TO THE SELF

body Apr 25, 2019

It is the eve of my forty-fifth birthday. I stand in front of a full length mirror readying myself for the party. I dissect my body: the lines on my face, my sagging jowl, the pecs and arms that are too small, the dreaded bit of extra weight around my waist, the legs I actually like, and even my odd shaped feet. I’ve done this thousands of times. Being a meditation, yoga, and creativity teacher I know this body is the shell for my soul, but my mind still plays tricks on me.

At eight years old my mother began calling me “Nicky Picky” because I was “skinny as a tooth pick.” As a young gay child this was humiliating and I feared it to be unmanly. In my teens I worried incessantly that I was too skinny; It seemed wimpy. When I reached college a gay professor poked my belly and told me I needed to stop eating. He didn’t want to see the ‘freshman fifteen’ on me. Then I moved to New York City and began the illusive search for...

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INSPIRATION

inspiration Mar 12, 2019

This week I’ve been questioning the origin of inspiration. The root of the word “inspire” means spirit, and to take in or to draw breath.  In yoga that it is referred to as “prana” the sustainer of life, also known as my “life-force”. If breath is everything, maybe every little thing can inspire me?

In my youth, the film Xanadu taught me about imagination. In this movie musical, nine muses visit the earth to help motivate others to pursue their dreams and desires. One of the muses (Olivia Newton John) is incarnated as a girl named Kira, and with the assistance of Danny, (Gene Kelly) a man she inspired forty years before, they guide artist Sonny (John Travolta)  to open a roller disco. I loved this horrible film!  I sang and danced on our shag carpeted living room floor to its soundtrack and choreographed new dances to its disco beat.  Most importantly, it taught me that creation might come from beyond...

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TRUST YOUR INSTINCT

instinct Feb 28, 2019

As an artistic child, I created on blind trust. I colored outside the lines, took two toys and positioned them together to form something new, wrote plays that were non-linear, and choreographed new dance steps.

Around adolescence I was taught critical thinking. The Little Nick in me desperately wanted to be the best. I believed my teachers and was rewarded. I learned techniques that sharpened my skills. I grew.

But over time, the little instinctual voice I honored as a child was taken over by The Big CT. He was a sensible adult, and his voice grew with intensity, becoming opinionated and loud. Eventually he brought a chorus of voices with him. Because of this cacophony of sound, I could no longer hear or express my truth. I lost my guidepost. Until I discovered the gut brain.

In the Tantric system, the third chakra (Manipura Chackra), is located just above the solar plexus. The yogic theory is that there is great intelligence in this area.  Personal power,...

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