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  • Writer's pictureMatt Pipes

Why not Take that First step?

I find it so fun to watch other's grow. I've never used to be that way, sometimes I still even fall into jealousy, thinking I wish that was me right now! Ugh, but honestly, I was just recently settling into doing some of my character study work for my performance next week, and I started watching an old friend doing a Twitch Stream. It's once in a blue moon when I'll hop over and check it out, and I always like to check in every once in awhile for almost like a status report, how's the following base, most of what I look at is quality of life, or the quality of the stream and honestly it really is great. Their succeeding in what their doing, but they've also BEEN doing this streaming gig for quite some time, which is no easy feat. It's not ever the product itself that pushes my buttons, it's the work that was put in day in and day out, over time, and the failures along the way. I know nothing of the specifics of my friends story, but the proof is in the pudding, day in and day out they'll stream, changes will be made, new ideas and concepts will surface in terms of engaging the community, and the community shows up!

While I was watching/working, I was really finding a resurfacing message that has been appearing ALOT these past couple of months or maybe years honestly. It's to step out and put the work out and to make the failures, and to be consistent with continuation, and to continue improving from those failures. This has held so much truth for me recently, and it's also something I see from incredibly "successful" people. in this case, "successful" being people who decided to chase something, and something positively substantial has come from that, whether it was what they were initially chasing or not. There's also all sorts of people that will say their success is based off of luck, but think about it like this, an incredibly dated yet pertinent saying, "you miss all the shots you don't take." Ugh, it's so simple, and yet so elegant. Everyone's probably heard it too, yet so many people are still waiting for luck to hold their hand. They're waiting on someone to knock on their door with that gigantic check, when instead, they could be the one's knocking on doors. Sure, probably without the giant check, mind you. So the people I've been seeing have been the ones that decided that there's no point not doing something you enjoy doing, there's no point waiting around for something to happen, let's try something and let's see what happens. It's heavily experimental and scary, but at the end of the day I'm certain it's rewarding.

I'm in that phase too. I'm beginning this YouTube series that has proven itself to be a weighty task. Lot's of time needs to be spent writing up these blogs, creating Insta posts, and then the work being put into these YouTube videos. The YouTube videos are my main focus, and are the most important part of my training, because, quite genuinely, it's just something I'm really interested in learning, and something I'm really focused on improving. The work that I put into my YouTube is for sure the toughest, it's the one I care deeply about. It's performance, and learning to perform in front of people, and raising the standard of the performances that I send out, and the failures, OOOOOOH MY GOD the failures, how valuable they've been. But I would NEVER learn any of the things that I need to continue learning, or may have learned wrong, if I did not start this journey. If I did not take these actual steps I would be lying on the couch watching a movie, and hoping that Brad Pitt would just rub off me, and the phone would ring letting me know how booked and blessed I am. It just doesn't work like that. You have to actually do the work, and you have to start where you are!

Starting where you are is such a hard thing to do. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist, has stated that getting into a state of flow, or focus, is not going to be an easy thing to do. There is going to be a level of agitation before we can drop into these concentrated states. There isn't going to be a dopamine response for starting. I'm so sorry. However! There will be a dopamine response that kicks in when you've reached a milestone, or when you feel that you're on the right path. Not only that but when you get into those states of flow, getting really focused into the task at hand, not thinking about anything else but work, that will also send out a signal to your brain that is saying, "this is good, this is something that should be sought out". It just doesn't always feel good. You have to step in, and for the first couple minutes, you have to start writing a couple of words down, you have to start singing a few phrases, choreographing two different continuous movements. It's starting small that's going to get you started. Then grow from there, let things take form and take shape as you begin to snuggle up in this cozy form of flow. Then send things out, get feedback, SHARE! Share the work, don't be scared.

Honestly I used to have this idea that I need to keep all of my work private or I needed to hide away in the shadows not revealing my true self. I also always felt that I didn't have anything to share at all, there wasn't anything that I had to give. It's been tough to step out of that but something that really helped me was "It's not that you have something to say, it's that you find out what you have to say."(Austin Kleon) This is again congruent to the step out and fail and fix mindset, as well. It's all an initial search, and I'm positive there's going to be so many points in which it's going to get hard to START, but it's once you're started that it get's going.

Not only that, but we live in a technologically advanced world, with so many different options to learn new things, and so much connectivity, so many robots, and it's intimidating. Our world continues to advance further and further, and I do believe and suggest that you should loosely be following that wave. New systems are being created for note taking and memory because at this point there is just too much information out there for the human brain to carry it all. Sharing stuff also creates something quite tangible, a measure is created; how many views and how was it seen, who responded to what? The film industry and many others have been doing that for quite some time, so why not you. Now to think holistically, these number of course, need to be looked at incredibly loosely. Especially me, I'm not at all looking at the analytics, I'm just posting a bunch, and the fact is, no one really cares. Especially in the beginning. I don't care either, which is the most important part. I'm always searching for how to give someone something that will be useful, what's important is I'm practicing, evaluating the actual work, and just trying. Whether people watch or not is not up to me but instead up to those watching.

Maybe I'm just interested in watching other's work because now I finally feel as if I'm doing my own proper work. I feel whole in myself, in the capacity of me, and the steps that I, Matt Piper, have been taking are proof that I'm holding myself accountable, I'm holding myself in a higher respect, and I'm not betraying myself by thinking I cannot do something, because if you do look at someone and get jealous of what they have, you should be asking, Why not me? Why can't I do that too? Then one of two things will come up: you'll realize the steps that you need to take, or you realize that you don't actually want it. If the prior occurs, then you need to act on it, and GO! if the latter, then let it go, you probably saw a form of what you wanted initially, but the actual thing that their doing probably doesn't suit you.

When I was watching my friend stream, I was honestly getting quite a few ideas too. I was thinking that maybe sometime soon I could even start a stream, and what would that look like, how would I build it, what would I do? All these thoughts started popping up into my head, in which, maybe I could make my script study live, and doing "study with me" sort of things. Who's to say, but it inspired me, both in possibly continuing my twitch live stream, and also to continue taking the steps forward in this journey of mine. Whatever steps forward I take it will be building off what I've done, a furthering into the process. I'll be continuing the work, so I look forward to next week. Much love!

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