11:05 pm, Jun 11, 2004 the - The world is going to end tomorrow.. what do I do today?

Try to have as normal a day as humanly possible. I would like to think that, as I live my life, I am always prepared... to some extent.. to face the fact that every day may be the last day we ever have.

So.. to me.. the question should be.. 'What do I do EVERY day?' because if I haven't been good to the folks I should be good to day in and day out, what good does it do  me to try to frantically run around the day before it all ends.. and make it work.

It either has to work every day... or it doesn't work at all.

current mood: sleepy

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8:14 am, Apr 29, 2004 the - Democracy or Monarchy?

Cross posted to theatrical_muse

I would suppose that anyone who knows me or knows anything much about me would know up front how I’d answer this question. I’m a self-proclaimed political junkie. I have an avid interest and passion for politics, and most particularly in the politics of our own nation. Of course, I believe that a democracy is always preferable to a monarchy.

Making one person a supreme judge over all people is not only unfair, it’s unworkable. It places a terrible burden on that ‘one’ person to be fair and honest and kind in a situation which they are thrust into without regard for whether or not they have a predilection toward politics as a way of thought, or an preference for politics as a life’s work. They’re just born into it… like it or not. Their mind-set may not make them a suitable judge of what is right and wrong, or often even what is appropriate in a given situation. They may not possess the kind of moral fiber that makes them able to turn away from the constant inducements offered them by proponents of a given situation, and may, instead, engage in a ‘justice goes to he who is the highest bidder’ form of government.

In a democracy, the people select their government, hopefully, on the basis of who is the person most highly qualified for the job. Who is the most well trained and well intentioned for the position. And this pre-supposes that ‘the people’ avail themselves of the right to choose by voting. Also, a democracy is, to some extent, self regulating. I don’t say there’s no corruption in a democratic form of government. I do say that if the corruption is blatant enough for long enough, it is often discovered and the perpetrator can be removed.

I’ve often wondered about my fascination with politics. It has occurred to me recently that I’m often captivated by persons who are in a position of power. How they got that power. How they use it. And I often ponder within myself how I would use that power if it were mine.

I’ve felt powerless in my life. So the idea of having power is a compelling one for me. I’d like to think I’d wield power in a manner that brought honor to whatever situation I was advocating. I try to use the power I’ve been given as an actor in a very popular movie in a manner that brings honor to myself and to my family. I try not to let the popularity of ‘Lord of the Rings’ and my place within it’s cast go to my head. I try to be kind and generous and unaffected. I’m not always successful. But within my own little world… my own little story, in which I play the role of monarch, or hero, I try to be the kind of hero that Sam would feel had proven his quality.

Democracy. For an actor, the public casts it’s votes at the box office. I may lose the power I’ve been given, just as a politician in a democracy may be voted out of office if he doesn’t do the job right. And maybe that’s why a democracy is, after all, the best form of government. Because the power that’s been given has to be constantly reaffirmed by those whom one serves.

current mood: contemplative

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7:54 am, Apr 08, 2004 the - How do you handle confrontations?

Cross posted to theatrical_muse...

I try to avoid them. Confrontations create a visceral reaction within me, and I normally cringe away from them. And anytime I’m faced with one that I can’t avoid, there’s a noise that starts playing in the background. And I know it’s in my mind. And the noise is a screaming woman. Screaming my name. Telling me that I’m bad. Telling me that I’m wrong. Telling me that I’m defective. Screaming about suicide. Telling me they can’t take it anymore.

Then I hear Mack. Only… it’s not Mack the way he is now. It’s Mack when he was 6 or 7. And he’s saying: “Sean, make her stop. Make her stop, Sean. I’m scared! I’m scared of her!”

Then I hear me. Me say: “Mom! Stop! You’re hurting me! You’re scaring Mackie! Stop! Stop! Stop!”

And then… I give them whatever they want. The person confronting me. Because when the confrontation goes away, the voices playing in my head go away too.

I suppose someday I’ll have to really take them on. Those voices in my head. I can’t let them go on forever dictating to me this way. But… not yet. I’m not ready yet to really take them on. I have minor skirmishes with them all the time. And, occasionally, I beat them. But not always.

My best tactic for beating them has always been trying to please people so there won’t BE a confrontation. I don't give them a reason to speak. But… it’s getting harder and harder to do. As my star has risen, so have the demands on my life. I can’t please everyone anymore. Its too hard. There are too many of them now. That tactic doesn’t work as often anymore.

And… it scares me.

Confrontation. It’s not something I like to think about.

Muse: Sean Astin
Fandom: RPF

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7:30 am, Apr 06, 2004 the - To my soulmate....

... samwisegardener.

Happy Birthday, Sam. I love you.

Have you ever felt like you knew someone
A long, long time ago?
Another place, another time, a friendship of the souls?
Two people who share a bond for reasons neither know,
A feeling that they were friends, a long, long time ago?

Did they stumble onto each other by pure circumstance,
Or was it fate and destiny that played a certain hand?
Two souls intertwined, they are worlds apart,
But the soul, it knows no difference, in matters of the heart.

Somehow they are drawn together,
Fate has brought them back,
Each living worlds apart, they journey separate paths.
When this life is over, and a new life begins,
Their souls will find each other, two souls that we call friends.

- Lia Fail -

current mood: thoughtful

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8:24 am, Mar 31, 2004 the - Last night...

... I went to one of the most amazing events in my life. In ways.. this surpassed even my 'Lord of the Rings' experiences. My mother presented me with the Creative Coalition's 2004 Capitol hill Spotlight Awards ceremony in Washington, DC last night.

After all the chaos and crisis of my childhood and the long years spent repairing our relationship... this night was a triumph for both of us. I am so proud of her. And so filled with happiness that she seems to also be proud of me.

Me and my mom....Collapse )

current mood: grateful

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6:54 am, Mar 30, 2004 the - If you could change one moment in your life, what would it be?

Cross posted in theatrical_muse...

It's very odd, because when I think about it, the moments in my past that affected me the most were moments that I couldn't change even if I wanted to. They weren't my moments. They were other people's moments.

The moments in my childhood when my mom's illness captured her soul and caused her to do things that were so devastatingly hurtful to Mack and I. The moments when I couldn't protect him from the wrath and malice that her disease created within her and the feelings of inadequacy and failure that those moments created in my soul. The moment when I realized that crying only made her more angry and immediately forgot how to cry.

The moment when I discovered that the dad and the brother who I adore weren't really my dad and my brother after all... at least not my biological dad and brother. Not that this discovery changed our relationship or my feelings for them. It didn't. Not in the slightest. But that moment of discovery is one I'd just as soon not had to experience. I've acted pretty nonchalant about that revelation because I didn't want anyone in my family to know how terribly it hurt me. How could I change that moment? It wasn't mine to change.

So many of the most impactful moments of my life have been moments I could only react to and in which I played no active role. I find this both distressing and revealing. Maybe it's a clue to why I'm such a control freak.

Moments I’d change that are within my power to change... hmmm. Well, I’d lease the house we bought just before Lord of the Rings shooting began instead of leaving it empty, or empty except for my Siberian Husky. I’d avoid the money problems that I created for myself by not doing the sensible thing.

Other than that, I stand by the decisions I’ve made as an adult. Some of them may have been mistakes, but in changing these choices, I’d also be denying myself the chance to learn the lessons that are part of that whole process. My beloved Elijah taught me this. It’s one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned in my life. That.. pleasant or unpleasant... every moment has it’s place in our growth.

Muse: Sean Astin
Fandom: RPF

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9:46 am, Mar 23, 2004 the - What is the most important decision you've made in your life and why?

Cross posted in theatrical_muse

It HAS to be my decision to ask chris to marry me.

It was only five minutes after I'd met her when I popped the question. I was insane to ask and she was equally insane to accept. But when I looked at her I saw the qualities I'd been searching for all my life. And more.. I saw the beginnings of the life I'd invisioned for myself since I was a kid. I saw the safety. I saw the security that marriage would bring.

I'd been looking for a refuge all my life. A place where I could barricade myself and feel free from the danger I percieved in the world outside my personal bounderies. Marriage was a first step toward that security I craved. I'd been plotting it for years. I had a plan. And Chris fit perfectly into that inner image.

I sometimes wonder if I even saw her as a person back then. Of course, she IS lovely. But I think what attracted me most was how willing she was to build that secure refuge with me. She's older than me, and that attracted me too. I somehow thought this fact made her more stable than me. She seemed so convinced that we were right for each other. Reminded me of my mother.. that ability to be so sure she was right. It happened that fast because her level of confidence that we were meant to be convinced me to believe it too. I'm very easily convinced by strong women.

Our marriage gave me my two beautiful daughters. And this is really why it was the most important decision in my life. I have the chance, now, to be the parent I always wished that I had. Oh, I did have the perfect parent in my dad, John Astin. (Not to be confused with Michael Tell, my biological father) But my home, when I was a kid was never stable. Always periods of craziness with my mother's illness. Periods of constant travel. Living in the back of a van. Peeing in MacDonald's cups.

I wanted to give my kids something better. Something solid. Something stable. I wanted them to grow up not ever having to be afriad. Like I was afraid. Like.. I'm still afraid at times. Asking Chris to marry me helped me achieve this goal. Somehow, in my mind and heart, I'm healed of inner hurt by giving my daughters the protection that wasn't given to me. Somehow that little boy inside me finds his peace.. in theirs.

Muse: Sean Astin
Fandom: RPS

current mood: contemplative

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12:27 pm, Mar 08, 2004 the - Which of your senses would be the most difficult to lose?

Cross posted to theatrical_muse.

Sight.. hard to think of losing it. Couldn’t see my daughters faces, and this would be a terrible loss. Couldn’t recognize my friends and family. Couldn’t see Elijah’s blue eyes. Wouldn’t know about things like motion or distance or color.

I remember standing outside, watching the New Zealand sunrise slowly ascend over the mountains, setting them on glorious fire. I remember watching the moonlight caress the foothills when the sun went away. I remember misty fog over the rivers and the sight of the ocean. I couldn’t give up my sight.

Hearing… losing the sound of my girl’s voices. Losing music… the laughter of my children and my friends. Even the sound of my car’s engine roaring to life. Never to hear the sound of applause? Yes. I admit it. I love that sound. God, I’d miss hearing!

Touch.. my sense of touch. No. Won’t give that up. I’m such a tactile person. I have to touch. I have to hug. I have to know you through how you ‘feel’ to me. Let’s me know how close we can be. How intimate our relationship can become. The most meaningful moments of my life are those I’ve experienced while touching another human being. Holding my children for the first time. Making love to someone I adore. Even hugging fans. Each interaction matters. Each is important. I have to touch. It’s part of how I communicate.

Smell… but, don’t smell and taste go hand in hand? You’re gonna think I’m weird, but I’d hate to lose my sense of smell because it’s a way to sense when danger is near. When food is bad. When gas is leaking. But losing the taste of food would be hard too… though maybe not such a bad idea in my case.

Makes me think of Elijah. Holding him in my arms. Doing that most sacred scene up on Mt Ruapehu. Hearing his voice, rasping and faint, saying he couldn’t remember the taste of food or the feeling of water. That’s how Sam tried to invoke memories of the Shire for his Frodo. The smell of the flowers. The taste of strawberries. I felt that. That scene. I felt every emotion. Felt the wrenching sense of loss that good, gentle Frodo couldn't remember these things because of the evil he carried.. and how horribly WRONG that was.

I’m a very sensual creature, so the idea of giving up even one of my senses is almost frightening to me. They're such an important part of us. But, OK. I’ve decided. I’d give up taste. I’d do it for Sam. I’d do it for Frodo. I’d do it to honor their sacrifice. And... I'd do it to honor Elijah's performance in that scene. He deserves it.

current mood: pensive

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7:56 am, Mar 05, 2004 the - I keep....

... leaping to my feet, as though I have someplace to go and am afraid I'll be late.

Truth is.. I have no place to go at the moment. I'm meeting with Stanley Lee later on this month. Still talking about whether or not I get to chair 'Fantastic Four' with Orlando as my Human Torch. It would sure be a huge step forward for me.

If I could prove myself to the people in charge of the money by chairing a really BIG picture like Fantastic Four I'd be a lot closer to getting the funding I want for Isaac's Storm

But you know what? Sometimes I'm just tired of the whole thing. The money chase. The constant meetings. The endless hassle. Constantly having to prove myself. Constantly driven to succeed and not really satisfied with myself even when I do. Sometimes... what I want more than anything else on Earth is to play 40 hours of Playstation with Elijah, or take my girls to Disneyland and forget all about my career.

But... I won't.

current mood: creative

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7:51 am, Mar 03, 2004 the - Who would you have dinner with if you could choose?

(Also posted in theatrical_muse)
This question drove me nuts! I pondered it for days.

First, I thought of someone from the past. Someone political. Abraham Lincoln. Patton. Even JFK. It would be wonderful to share my thoughts with them, and hear theirs first hand. God! I would LOVE to hear Patton talk to me in his own voice about all his exploits. Though, I’m sure I’d still be hearing George C. Scott.

Then… thought maybe it should be one of the great movie directors from the past. John Ford! Hitchcock! Cecil B. DeMille! I could learn so much! I’d have a million questions! How did John Ford manage to convey so much gritty realism? How did Hitchcock manage to involve the audience the way he did in 'Rear Window'? And in ‘Rope’, how on Earth did he meet the technical challenge of shooting with just one set and limited camera movement and yet produce such a compelling movie? And DeMille? How the hell did he get the funding?

But after pondering for a long time I decided that who I’d really love to have dinner with is Dom, Billy, and most of all Elijah. People from the past are interesting. But they can also disappoint by not living up to my expectations. Dom, Billy, and Elijah are people I love in the here and now. We have no expectations of each other. We simply love each other without condition. And that’s the best kind of folks to talk to over dinner. People from the past are interesting. But people who love you are much, much better.

Muse: Sean Astin
Fandom: RPF

current mood: contemplative

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8:11 am, Mar 02, 2004 the - What is your favorite daydream, and why?

(Also posted in theatrical_muse)

I daydream about being in a meeting with the head of a MAJOR studio. Someone with lots of money and influence. And in this daydream they're telling me they'd be HAPPY to fund 'Isaac's Storm', and they're giving me TONS of money to work with.

Why? Because getting this movie funded is overwhelmingly important to me right now. It would establish me as a director/producer who is capable of handling the really BIG pictures. It would give me my shot at being right up there with the likes of Spielberg and Hitchcock.

I'm starting to think that being a Hobbit.. at least in terms of my physicality.. may mean I'll never be able to be a 'leading man' like say.. Johnny Depp who I am insanely jealous of love. But when you're behind the cameras, no one can see how tall you are.

Maybe THAT should have been on my tombstone.

current mood: contemplative

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8:11 am, Mar 02, 2004 the - What do you want on your tombstone?

(Also posted in theatrical_muse)

I thought a long time about this one. Too long really, because my intellect took over and I started giving speeches that would never FIT on a tombstone.

So... from the heart then. All boiled down.. no matter what happens in my life.. from the beginning to the end... let it read:

He did his best. He harmed no one. He loved well.

current mood: thoughtful

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8:11 am, Mar 02, 2004 the - Oscars...

.. I could still cry every time I think about it. Such a magnificent experience. And such a magnificent way to end it all.

And.. that's the part that makes me tear up. Is it over? Will I lose the friends who are now MORE than friends to me? Will we forget the many New Zealand sunrises? Will our paths cross less often now? Will we work together again?

Elijah? Dom? Billeh? You guys still gonna be around?

current mood: pensive

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10:26 am, Feb 29, 2004 the - Hello...

I'm here. And.. I'm glad.

current mood: peaceful

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