Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Idea of You

A chirp came from the computer as I'm navigating 20+ tabs of random flows of thoughts.  My chrome browser sessions are on par with being at a epic rock concert while meeting with your accountant: Fun = yeah... But still has this peppering of 'work' that won't go away.  I'll randomly think: "I wonder how batteries are charged..."  and BOOM! new tab is open with a web page explaining bulk charge, absorption, and float battery charging steps... REALLY interesting!!!!!  So battery charging is apparently a very heated topic in the electronics community as it's not actually... "STOP PJ! YOU'RE DOING IT AGAIN!"  </sigh> Sorry.  Welcome to my world.

<BEEP> That chirp happened again!  Crap, where is it coming from?  I click through tab after tab, each with a new world of information and teachings... "What does the octane number mean?" "How do power transformers work?" "Distance from Istanbul to Los Angeles in miles".  Nope, those aren't it.  <click>  Ahhh... Yep:

Facebook.  Figures.

A new photo was posted by a friend of mine.  "Hey guys!  Check out my new one-sheet!  Tell me what you think. Mwah!"  Ok. Cool.  Nice photo, name is easy to read, tagline = "Smart Upscale Mom meets the Brat-Next-Door"...... ok.  Let's talk about this....

The "idea" of you.

There's an actress I met in acting class who is covered in tattoos, but every head shot I've seen she's covering them all up.  "Why?" I ask, "They are who you are..."  She scoffs a bit at the line of questioning: "I don't want to be seen as that kind of person."  She says.  "But why? You're very proud of your ink, why not tell the world? This is you."

For her and the tag-line actress before, they have created an "idea" of who they really are in the industry.

There's an actor mastermind group that I'm a part of here in Los Angeles.  We meet once a quarter, and each meeting I see the new faces come in with branding exercises, taglines, what-show-am-I-a-fit-for facebook polls.  And that's how I get to know them, well... not 'them', the "idea" of them.  I'm acquainted with the "idea" of who they think they are.  And slowly, one-by-one the real person will emerge.  Tagline actress from before?  Yeah... Competitive pro pole dancer!  "Wha?!  Seriously?"  It's like she allowed me to know who she really is, and I got to toss away the "idea" she had before.  I think so many actors/resses get lost here in LA.  Buried in the scopes and formulas to build the ideal "idea" of them to showcase off.  

I find that all of these "hidden" parts of their lives are the parts that give them the most uniqueness.  That really and truly separate them from everyone else. And when you are unabashed about allowing others to know whom you really are, nobody can compete with you.

Think about that.  "Wha?! Being an actor/ress with no competition?"  Yeah.  There's not one other Paul Jacob Evans in existence.  So the more the industry gets to know about me, the more unique I become.

Look at this.  I'll give you some items that define me, think of the others in the same group that I might be competing with.  Then just walk down the list, adding each to the overall:

1.) Actor...
2.) Los Angeles
3.) geek
4.) ...that still watches cartoons
5.) ... ... .... including Spongebob
6.) ... that's been paid to build Legos
7.) Was a drummer
8.) ... in a 2-piece metal band
9.) ... that toured the US 5 times
10.) ... almost kidnapped in Mexico
11.) ... that was deported from the UK
12.) Attends Burning Man
13.) ... will be my 6th this year
14.) ... 2nd as mayor of my village
15.) ... I've built yurts
16.) ... the water tower for the French Quarter
17.) ... and manage an art project
18.) ... ... it's that TV in the desert
19.) ... ... ... that plays Ren & Stimpy 
20.) ... ... ... ... which I can quote almost all episodes

See how fast the "competition" shrinks?  What number did you get to before you were "Damn... uh... don't even know if I know anyone else in the group." And I could go on for months!  Here's the best part: I didn't have to do some exercise to figure this stuff out.  It's LITERALLY MY ACTUAL LIFE! :D

So: Have you tried just being yourself?

Ditch the "Idea" and just go for the real thing.

Geek & Burn!

-Paul Jacob Evans


Working on the new BRCTV DeepPlayaTV for Burning Man 2016...