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May 18, 2006

Option Overload

I remember learning about Option Overload my senior year of college. A Leadership UGA program speaker discussed the issue that is simply having too many choices among which to choose. I remember thinking about how much I'd like to sample everything and maybe just save any "official choice" for some moment of reckoning when I was FORCED to select. (I always did prefer having a few mini-spoonfuls of Baskin-Robbins flavors to ordering a scoop of one flavor--way too much commitment.)


But I was led to believe that I was scattered, unfocused, fickle, AFRAID of commitment, aimless. Hardly. As soon as I found something I wanted to do, I would do it all the way. Anyone who has known me for any stretch of time knows that about me. In for a penny, in for a pound.

I remember reading Barbara Sher's I Could Do Anything, If I Only Knew What It Was. She talked about skimmers vs. divers. Some people skim across the water and try lots of different things. Others pick a thing and dive very deeply into it. I always wondered what that made me, since I'd skim, then dive, then get bored and go skimming again....


I'm antsy again. Restless. At once inspired by and bored with the day-to-day of my life. Do I want to produce podcasts? Do I want to produce movies? Do I want to write scripts? Do I want to produce actor showcases? Do I want to teach Self-Management for Actors courses regularly? Do I want to write another book? It's not that casting, writing a weekly column, and guest-speaking regularly are gigs that don't fulfill me. They really do! I'm just... wanting to skim to see what else is out there.

I told Keith tonight that if I were the baby-having type, this would be when I'd want to get pregnant, since I'm bored and want a new project. Back when I was in college, this would be when I'd pick another degree program and pile on another set of courses for certification in something. If I were in my 20s, this is when I'd head to Europe again, stay in youth hostels, become inspired by anything outside my comfort zone.


It's like I need a rush of the first high. I needed to worry that the new edition of Self-Management for Actors would bomb. It hasn't. I've felt a blast of energy that comes from seeing films I've cast not only get into festivals but WIN awards at them. When "I want to be in the Bonnie Business" meetings started coming one after the other--each bigger than the next--I was an adrenaline junkie (both with worry over what could go wrong and with excitement over how right it all went instead).

One of the things I love about Hollywood is its collective embrace of the hyphenate lifestyle. It's actually cool to reinvent yourself, start a new career, drop and pick up whatever tickles your fancy. But what about when you can't figure out what that might be? I'm open to the universe and what it might send my way, but I'm stymied by my lack of passion right now. Which is especially weird considering what a swirl of things-amazing I've enjoyed lately! I haven't even begun to return all of the phone calls and emails I have in front of me, all "the ball's in your court" type contact made in the "let's get to work" arena.

I just don't always know what I want to be when I grow up.

I asked Keith tonight, "What do YOU want me to be when I grow up?" "My girlfriend," he said. "Okay. Check!" was my response. To which he replied, "Great! Then I have all I want." *sigh*

I guess it's not that I'm looking for someone to show me the path I'm supposed to take as much as I'm looking for there to be no path... only air, or water, or light. But the humanness of THIS is what gets frustrating. What do you do when you want to do everything and nothing at the same time? Just BE.

Posted by bonnie at May 18, 2006 03:02 AM

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I'm in much a similar position in life. I know a few more people who are,as well, so don't feel as if you're the only one. It's the Year of the Leemer thing, I think. Somehow it's affected us all. I hope that how we come out of it will not be a measure of our quality as individuals, because I'm not sure my year will end well, and I hope that how we handle our own crises, transistions, skims and dives, soul searches, and personal quests does not negatively affect those around us. I get crabby when things are out of motion or focus, and I'm unable to get them started or get them in focus. Plus, I'm losing my interest in things. That's never a good sign.

Posted by: Ed R at May 18, 2006 04:05 AM

Thanks, Ed! Great response!!

Posted by: Bon [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2006 04:20 AM

Bon, as for new projects, I say "hello". You'll have plenty with the PROJECT.

Also, you already have all the plans you need, it's just that there are things holding you back.

Personal creativity and work are processes, not events. Think of a river. Rivers don't happen, they just ARE. A river is a process.

Posted by: Cliff at May 18, 2006 04:26 AM

Thanks, Cliff. I'm so intimidated by the PROJECT. It's another of those "the ball's in your court" emails.

A river... yes. Thank you. I knew you'd have something wise to say.

Posted by: Bon [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2006 04:35 AM

I'm sorry, I'm lost. What is 'THE PROJECT'?
Yes Keith, I know, I'm an idiot.

Posted by: Ed R at May 18, 2006 05:27 AM

Welcome to my world, sister. Sigh...

I think the lesson is to stay in process, as Cliff mentioned. This is part of the trajectory of accomplishing/conquering/your-type-A-fix-here: it's just not the fun one for people like us.

This is where you get up, eat your cereal-alternative, play with the kitties (ooo...playing!), do the work on your projects and generally live your life until the thing wells up inside of you that impels you toward the next clear thing.

Look at it this way: in however many years you've been on the planet, it always has; why should this time be any different?

Posted by: communicatrix at May 18, 2006 08:26 AM

Bon, I'm so right there with you. I just got back from a conference that was chock full of the most famous folks in my field, talking about their 40 years of research. I feel like I should've been inspired, but really, I'm just kind of "meh."

I so hope that spending next week in Biloxi doing hurricane recovery work will help. Because that "meh" feeling just sucks...

Posted by: Hannah at May 18, 2006 10:08 AM

I have *just* the project for you!

Find me a Gabriel Byrne/William H. Macy/Daniel Day Louis type (30ish) who wants me to be his girlfriend when I grow up!

*tee hee*

Okay, so not *really* tee hee. I'm pretty fucking serious. DaisyScat.

I just saw the cutest boy last night named Andrew (I think) who is somehow related to my super-cute talented actor friend Kevin (I think, although is bro's name is not Andrew, but maybe this was his bro whose name isn't actually Andrew) and I smiled at him, he smiled at me, and I bonded with Kevin's super-adorable dad over workshopped-reading-refreshments...

So now I'm all like, should I *say* something to Kevin? I really don't know who that guy was except that he is close if not somehow related to the family. He could be married...who knows!? But he was so cute and we totally smiled at each other.

So yes, I am using your comment section as a manifesto of teen-like boy angst.

Posted by: babes at May 18, 2006 10:43 AM

Qu'est-ce que c'est, le PROJECT?

Just BE!!!! I love it!!!

I still want to be a rockstar, a ballerina, a business mogul, a non profit venture philathropist, an author, a designer, and an all around uplifter.

Lucy just told me she wants to be a nature scientist, a sales clerk at a book shop, and a spy.

Yes, sometimes once we tick the item off the list, it's unfolding felt like the next logical step, which means that it was the perfect thing to do in that moment of life. And then, like fresh air comes the stirrings of a new desire...and we're off to the next one--or in Bon's case, she's off to the next five...


Posted by: Anna at May 18, 2006 01:52 PM

The PROJECT? Very hush hush. We're all set for June 19th.

Also, Bon - don't be intimidated, most of the work is already done, with almost everyone ready to go.

Posted by: Cliff at May 18, 2006 03:13 PM

Oh. I see, it's a SECRET.

Posted by: Ed R at May 18, 2006 04:35 PM

Hey guys, I'll come back to respond with y'all soon. I had a major muscle spasm in my left shoulder/neck area that led to some sort of nerve weirdness/numbness down to my fingertips at about 4am Thursday and spent several hours on the floor sobbing. After taking muscle relaxers and finally getting to sleep, I was able to do a little bit of desk work during the day. Then, at 8:30pm Thursday, it happened again and I've been in the floor again until about an hour ago.

Just wanted to let y'all know... I want to interact about this--I just have to use any non-floor/sobbing time to prep for my producer meeting in a few hours. And now my tummy hurts from all of the drugs and I smell like IcyHot. Ugh.

Send vibes. Thankee. LYMI

Posted by: Bon [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2006 12:53 AM

VIBES! Serious good vibes and positive energy directed at you !

Posted by: Ed R at May 19, 2006 02:32 PM

Scat, I hope you feel better!!!

Cause you only have a few more hours to vote on my poll!!

Posted by: babes at May 19, 2006 03:39 PM



Posted by: Cliff at May 19, 2006 03:48 PM

Thanks, guys. Feeling a bit better. Meetings are over--now it's time for a nap. I'm sure much of this is psychosomatic. Stress sucks. Patience is hard.

Vibes help! Thank you!!!

Posted by: Bon [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2006 04:06 PM

What the hell is going on over there????

I'm so, so glad you are feeling better, my Sweets. Sending you lots of vibes to heal heal heal...and DE-stress.


Posted by: Anna at May 19, 2006 09:42 PM

what do you do? you have panic attacks daily, of course!

Oh wait, that's just me.

No answers, just know you're not alone


Posted by: Ali [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 20, 2006 06:59 AM

CLiff- 'LYMI' is 'Love Ya, Mean It'.

Posted by: Ed R at May 20, 2006 10:35 AM

Just BE. Good LAWD, that's my mantra for the week.

(((VIBES))) to you, sweet Bon. I love you!

[I'm so sorry that you were having psycho-somatic muscle stuff going on too...but I'm glad you're better now].

Posted by: Jeannini-Nini [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 09:02 AM

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