Seriously, thank God for music.
I just got out of a rehearsal that was really stressful. By the time we done and I was on the train my brain just wasn’t working. I felt stressed and like I was suddenly nowhere with this character and that I was suddenly not going to have enough time to really do everything. I was panicking. My brain felt like all that was there was static and that was stressing me out because I needed my brain to focus on what the problem was and…
Well you get the idea, my brain was all over the place.
I took a breath and put on some music.
Music, like all art, has the ability to reach inside of you. It can make you feel things, it can stir things up, it can repair broken things, it can soothe, it can calm, it can pump up, it can subdue, it can subvert. And so I make playlists of music for different things. I have playlists of music for writing, or for when I need to think critically. Every character that I play gets his own playlist and I play it before rehearsals, performances, or before filming scenes. I have a long playlist meant for working out (and in theory should help encourage me to do that more often than I do).
I also have a playlist called Songs that Make Me Ridiculously Happy For No Reason.
This title is not really accurate as there are reasons why most of these songs make me happy. However in order to qualify for this list a song has to have the ability to come on and, no matter my mood, make me smile a little bit, for whatever reason. It has to be a song that would never skip for any reason. I use this mix when I need cheering up, or when I need to get pumped or motivated, or when I’m being really fickle and can’t find songs I’m in the mood for. These songs are always those songs.
While filming Shankman’s this summer there were one or two scenes that took me to a dark, fucked up place, really emotionally jarring for my psyche. After shooting these scenes I just didn’t feel right, didn’t feel like me. People would try to talk to me and… I just couldn’t. I used this mix then, and after a few songs I was back, I was okay. I was me.
So that is what I played tonight. It righted my head. It let my brain calm down and allowed me to put everything that happened in rehearsal into perspective with the rest of the work I’ve done. I was no longer panicking. I was no longer fuzzy. I was me.
I think we all have things like that. Things that can affect us for the better and make us seem whole again. It is important that we carry those things around with us. I’m just lucky that mine fits nicely inside my cellphone.
Here is just a little sample of some of the songs that are on this list that helped me out tonight.
- Clap Song by The Stationary Set – My friend’s band but also my favorite band producing music right now.
- Take Your Mama by The Scissor Sisters
- Canon by Zox – a band introduced to me through a friend in college who knows the guys. A rock and roll version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major with violin and electric guitar
- Foreplay/Long Time by Boston
- Beating Heart Baby by Head Automatica