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  • Brian Martin

Promises

July 2, 2020:

It’s after midnight, I’m in my mid-forties and managing a convenience store. Really moving up in the world. A sketchy woman in her twenties walks in looking to buy a pack of smokes. She gives me exact change and then gets pissed off because I have to charge her extra for the matches, even though it’s not my fault. You see, it’s store policy. Then she looks at the box of lighters on the counter and tells me that she’ll flash me her tits if I let her have one of them. I suppose I’ve had worse offers.

In this new part I’m playing for my scene study class that’s the set-up. Invariably though, the sketchy woman takes the lighter and runs out the door never fulfilling her promise, and to me, that exemplifies exactly what’s wrong with the world today. Where’s the common decency? You make a promise, you should live up to it. Right?

People say stuff all the time that they don’t mean just to get what they want, or because they don’t want to look bad, or maybe they don’t want you to feel bad. I’m sure I’ve done it myself from time to time, but what if instead, we followed through with the promises we make, not only to others but more critically to ourselves.

I know that sounds kind of pushy (maybe, I should hook up with Tony Robbins or something), but after listening to a few different motivational speakers, the message really is the same. It’s so easy to just stay in our comfort zones and live our lives without any surprises, good or bad, but given that a person on this planet has only the one life to live, is that really the way to play it?

I’m not saying take everything you have, put it all on black, and spin the wheel, but a small amount of well-placed risk once in a while could lead to something a little more interesting and exciting. Then again maybe not, but like a surfer floating out on the water, don’t let the good wave pass you by because it’s never coming back.

This world is a pretty screwed up place. I know that’s an obvious statement, but when you consider that there are leaders of various countries out there vying for world dominance and all most people could give a shit about is their ‘Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich, wellI know I have to shake my head and ask, “Are their chicken sandwiches really that good?”

I’ve realized a few things so far on my journey to creative self-discovery. One of them is that it’s a workout trying to stay in shape to meet whatever opportunity comes along, but preparation is everything. In my case, it’s keeping up on my guitars (each one is different in its own way), writing (always a work in progress), and acting (which, given the current on-line lesson structure is not really cutting it). Live interaction with other people is a big part of the artistic process, but unfortunately, given the current set of circumstances probably not going to happen anytime soon.

I’ve been lucky in some ways though. Sure, I’ve met some flakes along the trail, but I’ve also been able to make some good friends who don’t mind helping out when something is needed and that’s where the “promising” comes in. The ones who deliver are the gems and hopefully as time goes on will be rewarded in some way for their unselfishness.

We’re all different and we all have a unique background, I get that, but ask yourself, why do some people get all the press and others not so much? Yes, it’s about privilege for many. They have the money and the connections (and that’s all it takes for the chosen few), but for the rest of us (like me) it’s about taking risks, putting it out there and keeping those promises. Embarrassment be damned! Like I constantly hear from those in the know, “Fake it til you make it”.


Here's an original for you.



Until next time.

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