Just Keep Swimming

And so lying underneath those stormy skies
She’d say, “oh, ohohohoh I know the sun must set to rise”

This could be

This song came on my shuffle today and it got me thinking about some recent events.

Yesterday I got to be on set (whoo!), but not as an actor (whoo?).  As a Rubik’s cube solver.  Yes, one of the many useless skills I have on my resume.  I can solve the 3×3 Rubik’s cube with an average time of 2 minutes.  I’m not a genius, I just memorized the directions when I was a kid.

My friend Ross Ching (he sat across from me in homeroom in the 6th grade <3) was directing a music video for a YouTube star named Jason Chen.  Ross really tries to stray away from the mainstream, concentrating on things that haven’t been done or featured before into his projects.  Through time lapses, dominoes, light fixtures, yarn and with his most recent work (this video) Rubik’s cubes, Ross is always letting us see things in a different paradigm.

This video uses Rubik’s cubes to substitute pixels in a photograph.  From close up, it looks indistinguishable, but as you back out, you begin to see an image take shape.  He had posted an instagram picture of all these Rubik’s cubes in his apartment and I had commented if he needed help solving any of them, just for fun.  He never responded until maybe a week later, asking if I would be able to help out on the video.

To play with Rubik’s cubes all day, get free lunch and snacks, and network?  Uhh yea! Of course I’m there!

Looking at the call sheet (a spreadsheet with the schedule for every person involved in the production of the project), I have to say I never expected to see myself on it as a “cube solver”.  How nerdy. I always expected to see myself on any call sheet as cast. But since I haven’t really booked anything lately, this was as close as I could get.

Being on set was so fun.  Everyone was really nice and I made some Facebook friends.  Even chatting it up with the star of the video, I found him to be very approachable and grounded.  He was really a sweet kid.  After we wrapped, he came up to me, gave me a hug and thanked me for my work. I was just grateful to even be included.

But anyways, seeing the whole concept come to form, I found it to be a metaphorical reminder.  In the midst of all the chaos, I’m usually fixated on the problem and blinded from the bigger (and almost always much more beautiful) picture.  To relate it back– fixated on the fucked up individual cube and missing the whole image.

On set yesterday, my role was to be that guy ^, the one manipulating each cube to form the final piece.  By having a clear view of the full picture in my mind at all times, the task to make it happen became fun.  I really enjoyed the process, sitting there and playing with 500+ Rubik’s cubes.

In my last post I had voiced my worries toward my career track.  Because I hadn’t booked anything as an actor, life began to suck and I had doubts to “just keep swimming”.   I wasn’t having fun anymore in acting class.  My part time jobs that allowed me the flexibility to go on auditions became unbearable.  Living check by check and eating McDonalds was annoying.  I questioned to myself, is it really worth it?

By fixating on the problem, I lost sight of the bigger picture and it began to affect everything in my life negatively.  But reflecting back on how I felt yesterday on set, I realized that yes, in the midst of all the chaos, I must never forget the dream, the full picture.  Because if I do, I wouldn’t put it pass me to give up prematurely and never make or contribute anything beautiful.

To really reiterate this point, I went to Death Valley this past weekend.

death valley

The picture above is Zabriskie point, one of the places to check out in the Death Valley national park.  Anyways, death valley was formed by the erosion of sentiments and the unpredictable movements of the earth pushing up and out away from the valley over millions of years.  “Erosion”, “unpredictable”,  “pushing up and out away”, even “death” are words that sound pretty problematic.  But if the earth had stopped doing what it was doing, would something so overwhelmingly stunning exist?

True, the earth didn’t have a clear image of this in the back of its mind when it was moving about, but there’s something to be said when you give in to the feelings of uncertainty and unpredictability.  Yes, you might not know what is going to happen, but is that so bad?  Could something greater happen that is beyond our human intellect and imagination?  Absolutely! Why not?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s