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- Loving The Process is Going to The Fringe!
Vicariously that is. Because not one, but three, members of our LTP Community have shows going up at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and we couldn't be more excited for them! And these are their amazing stories: Eloise Coopersmith got so tired of all the dark content the world had to offer, that she decided to create her own show, Love Always Wins, The Musical, that acts as an homage to all the fans (herself included) who genuinely appreciate the light and love one can count on when turning on a good ole Hallmark movie. This show's theme centers around a heroine that finally finds the courage to hear and follow her own voice. Eloise wrote, directed, financed, marketed and stars in this one woman musical with a twist (where she's not entirely alone, she interacts with characters who are present via pre-filmed scenes). Eloise also wrote, recorded and performs many of the original songs featured in this musical. To learn more, see a trailer or even grab tickets click here Elise Robertson has turned her passion for environmentalism and all things Rachel Carson into a truly unique one woman show called Imagining Rachel. Coincidentally she and Rachel shared the same childhood stomping grounds and in this piece (that she wrote, produced, directed and stars in) she uses puppets, found objects, and stage wizardry to interweave her own messy coming-of-age with Rachel’s, as they struggle with their identities as artists, mothers, and truth-tellers. To find out more about Elise's show and how to watch it, click here Amie Enriquez has done the impossible. She's turned one of the darkest years of her life (being in an extended stay rehab facility for Anorexia and Bulimia) into an equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking show called Lightweight, that leaves you, not only thoroughly entertained but with a much deeper compassion/understanding for anyone who's struggled with one of these debilitating diseases. Lightweight has already played to sold out audiences at The Second City as well as off-Broadway in NYC, and now will have its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe. If you'd like to check it out further, or help her with her current Seed and Spark fundraising campaign click here The work these ladies have put in to writing, producing, practicing, performing, then fundraising and marketing these passion projects is truly admirable. They represent the perfect example of what it takes to make one's own dreams come true. They are making it happen! And I hope you'll check out their work and then give them a much deserved congrats in the comments section. ***This blog marks the beginning of a new series on the Loving The Process writer's forum entitled Writer's Spotlight where we highlight writers we think are doing great work. If you're a writer (or enjoy storytelling) and want to become a member/contributor, you can sign up by clicking here.
- Disney Exposed Me To Gay People When I Was 12, and I Can't Thank Them Enough
When I was 12, I landed the greatest job I may ever have. I got to be among the first group of kids ever to be a cast member in a new show that was performed live at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The show was called the Sparkling Christmas Spectacular and it would go on to grace Cinderella's Castle stage for at least another 20 Christmases. For a kid, being a part of this show was like winning the lottery. Disney got me out of school, let me sing and dance all day, play dress up, ride the rides for free, play with the characters and then they paid me for it. What? This made no sense. But I was taking it. Pure heaven. It was there, during those rehearsals, getting ready for the big show, that I first became friends with a man named Bubbles. He was hilarious, kind, ridiculously talented and as you can imagine by his self moniker, very very gay. Bubbles was my first exposure to even the concept of what it means to be gay. And with my eyes now wide open, it didn’t take me long to realize that 95% of the male cast members of our show were also gay. I’ll admit it took a hot second for my kid brain to get wrapped around it. And I think it’s fine to admit that there were some initial childish snickers amongst me and my fellow kid cast members at the first realization of what it all meant. But all of that pretty quickly fell away, when we realized that this new tribe of people we were spending the bulk of our time with, were just that... people. And that we couldn’t help but love them. They were too awesome. I will always be grateful to Disney for exposing me to that experience, because it helped me to be the person I wanted to be, when a few years later, I discovered that my Uncle, who lived with us, was gay. I was able to feel compassion/empathy for the pain he went through, feeling like he was caught between two impossible choices: deny himself his own truth and happiness or risk hatred. I had become open enough to see that, for him, it really wasn’t even all about sex like I had thought, it was about love. That experience helped me again repeatedly to be open to and absolutely fall in love with an endless stream of gay people I’ve been privileged to meet through out the years, either through work, or because I was lucky enough to be their neighbors. Through those relationships, I learned even further how those who had done the work, and mustered the courage to be who they are in this world, even in the face of so much oppression, hatred and vitriol (from those who have decided they should get to have a say in other people’s lives), were just extraordinary people. And that many of them would go on to have some of the most long running, loving and healthy relationships I’ve had the pleasure to witness. And yes, many became incredible parents. Being exposed early on to the gay community, has made my life so much richer. I’m truly better for knowing them, and yet, here we are in 2022 and we’re dealing with a fresh wave of influential people using their bully pulpits to spread fear and lies about who gay people are and why they shouldn’t even be talked about. Shouldn’t be seen or heard. Implying that their very existence is somehow too vulgar for them to even be allowed to show up in a Disney film as characters. That somehow, kids knowing about good, loving gay families will do…what exactly? I find myself wanting to make an appeal to all the sane and decent people in the world. And especially to the one’s who, otherwise have loving hearts, but maybe don’t know a lot of gay people and therefore, have no personal experience to rely on, in order to counter the pervasive fear narrative. To those of you who fall into that category I say this: I can get how hard it can be to be exposed to other realities you’re not so sure about. That seem so very foreign to you. Or that you've been told your whole life are wrong, or even go against your personal/religious belief system. But I have to ask in the kindest way possible, what are you so afraid of exactly? That you feel you need to essentially tell gay people that they're not allowed to be seen or heard in your world? Are you afraid gay people are somehow contagious, and that if your kids know about them, they’ll become gay too? I can assure you that's not true because If it were, I’d be super gay by now, instead of someone who has been in a very happy, loving marriage with my husband for the past 28 years. My whole life was spent with gay people as an important part of my chosen family and it didn't make me gay because, well, I’m just not gay. Is it because the few gay people you have been exposed to are too wild, angry, or extreme for your taste? You feel they’re “too in your face”? Well guess what? Some of them are. It’s true. But that’s not because they’re gay. That’s because they’re human. Humans act out in all kinds of ways when faced with the pain of feeling like they don’t belong, or told they’re not allowed to exist. Just look at how certain white men have been behaving recently, to the point of taking up arms, after getting even the tiniest little taste of what pushback feels like from society. Imagine how they’d be behaving at this point, if they’d experienced the hundreds, even thousands, of years of pushback and true oppression that comes from being oppressed by the people who are actually in power positions over you, like women, gays and POC have experienced. Yet it doesn’t mean we, as a society should say white men shouldn’t exist because of the behavior of these certain men who are acting out reprehensibly, because it's not true. No matter how bad of a rap white men have gotten lately, it should never be forgotten that many are responsible for incredible contributions in our society and we need and should love them too. My greatest hope is that anyone still reading this, that falls into the fear category on this issue, will at least consider that you jumping in on the fear and rejection bandwagon and locking yourself into a tribe that allows it to grow and fester, is not without consequence. This campaign to try to stuff gay people (who will never cease to exist) back in the closet, will never work. Ever. All it will do is needlessly keep hurting all the gay people who are quietly living their lives as a true contribution in this world, and continue to poke at and fuel the pain of those whose tendency it is to get loud and act out wildly when they feel threatened (because they are being threatened.) And if you're still here, then allow me to be greedy and hope a little further, that not only will you consider just letting them live their lives, but to consider that if you're not befriending gay people, as part of your extended societal family, that you are missing out on some of the best they have to offer this world, because you're too busy being focused on all you feel is wrong with them. You will always find what you look for. This is just a universal truth. And to Disney, I’m not 12 anymore and am under no illusion that you are perfect as a company. In fact, I’m pretty sure Walt would be pissed about a lot of the ways you have chosen to do business. But it’s also just unmistakeable how many wonderful contributions you have made to our society, repeatedly, for nearly a century running. And being brave enough to risk financial gain, in order to try to help make room for ALL kinds of families to get to thrive and exist and see themselves reflected, well that’s a Walt move if I’ve ever seen one. Good for you. And once again, thanks for that best first job a girl could ever have. And for introducing me to Bubbles. ***This blog marks the beginning of a new series on the Loving The Process writer's forum entitled Healing Stories. If you're a writer (or enjoy storytelling) and want to become a member/contributor, you can sign up by clicking here. We simply ask that if you choose to join us, it's because you too believe in the healing power of storytelling and want to make a positive contribution. There are a multitude of platforms to choose from to serve any other needs. Divisionary and/or intentionally harmful content/comments will be quietly deleted at the owner's discretion.
- If You're Feeling Untethered, Write.
With so many dramatic events and changes happening these days, at a genuinely merciless pace, it's hard for anyone to not feel a bit untethered by it all. But it's especially difficult for those sensitive, creative types whose job it is to remain open to all that life brings, even in the face of great turmoil, in order to express and aid in human understanding/comfort. For the creatives and the empaths of the world, it is crucial to spend some extra time on self care right now. To ground themselves in what is real and true. To take stock of what can and can't be controlled. And to put their own parental controls, so to speak, on the information they will and won't take in, and at what quantity. Because over taxing your nervous system, spiraling into cycles of analysis paralysis, and perpetually lowering your energy (thereby cutting off access to your own inspirational source) helps nobody. If this speaks to you directly, then allow me to suggest that maybe it's time to resist the societal pressures to always "be on", "connected" and informed 24/7, as if that's the way to be "responsible", that that's the way to "make a difference", and instead go within, as much as you can, within reason. It's time to quiet the noise, confer with your own inner counsel (that wisest part of you) and really sort out what's what. Stop doing the dance with what you're against, and start listening to the internal voice that knows what you're for. All anyone can really do to make a difference in this world anyway, is to really show up in the world with whatever gift they're meant to give. The gift that is unique to them. And you can't do that effectively, if you're living in a state of constant chaos, stress and burnout. But we are living in times that likely aren't going to get calm and create that kind of space for you. Nope, these are times where you're called to have to create that for yourself. To create your own "eye in the middle of the storm" quiet place, while the hurricane winds whip dramatically all around you. Do it anyway. The only way I know to do that most effectively is to write. There is something about the act of writing. The act of getting still, pondering and then allowing your pondering to spill out on the page, that gets you focused on what's real and true for you. Something about the daily practice of writing gets you trained at hearing your own voice. And the better you get at hearing your own voice, the better the access to your own highest wisdom gets. The more grounded you start to feel in your world. Writing doesn't change your world (okay - sometimes it does), but it most definitely changes you and how you feel about your ability to handle it. It deepens your knowing. Like they say, if you can name it, you can tame it. You don't have to be a "writer" to get to writing. It doesn't need to be pretty. It doesn't need to make sense to anyone but you. It just needs to be you, your higher self and some daily and consistent conversation on the page. If it helps, gamify it. Decide you're going to commit to 100 days of writing about what you're grateful for (for example) and see where it leads. Do whatever you have to do to clear some space, make the commitment and get to writing. You won't regret it. And please let me know how it goes. Would love to hear from you. Tell me what you're doing in these crazy times to help ground yourself? ***Holly Payberg-Torroija is a writer/writing coach and founder of Loving The Process, a coaching program designed to support writers in getting out of their own way, so they can write the stories they were born to write. Book a free consult by clicking here
- Loving The Process | Write The Story Only You Can Write
Book a Consult Welcome to Loving The Process Are You a Writer Unhappy With Your Process? Over 90% of a writer's time is spent on the process of creating. Yet so many treat their creative life as if it's some sort of mad dash to the finish line, living solely for the high that comes from those peak, but fleeting, experiences of completion and sharing with others. Is this you? Have you ever asked yourself why? What's the cost? If you're not loving the process, it's difficult to claim you're really loving your life, nor doing your best work. So why not settle in and learn to really love it? This way your success is baked in and there's a good chance you'll become brilliant at your craft . -- Holly Payberg-Torroija, Founder of Loving The Process Could You Benefit From Some Support ? Are you someone who knows you’ve been repressing your creativity? Perpetually stuffing it to the bottom of your to-do list? Struggling to allow your unique voice to break through? Allowing your inner critic to berate you with lies about not having enough time, talent or resources? Or are you a professional writer (director or actor) who is feeling spun out and knows you’re in need of a reset to get back to original purpose? Wanting to reconnect with what you're really here to express. We want to help. Join us by becoming a Member and start filling that well today. Loving The Process is an ever expanding community of writers and creatives of all kinds who understand the importance and the power of storytelling to make a difference in our own lives, and ultimately in the lives of others. In a world where the serious pursuit of creative goals is systemically discouraged and treated as unrealistic, we take the stance that, as creatives, time spent expanding our skills of expression is a necessity, not a luxury. We see it as an irreplaceable ingredient in creating a happy, healthy and balanced life. Therefore we will find a way to make proper room for it. Learn More About Our Programs Courses Do you know its time to finally write the story (or stories) only you can tell, but find yourself frozen with fear and insecurities about your ability to effectively get them out? Find out more about our signature writing programs and creativity workshops designed to support you through every phase of the writing process and leave you with a personalized, reliable, repeatable process you can lean into over and over again. Learn more... Coaching Often the most challenging part of writing is learning how to get out of your own way, which is why all our LTP courses come with built in group coaching sessions, as well as the opportunities to work one-on-one with our lead coach, Holly. Drawing from her natural empathic/intuitive abilities, and 30 years of experience tangling with her own creative saboteurs, Holly's become known for her ability to create such a nurturing, safe environment for her students, that they find themselves able to dig deeper and bust through more boundaries/creative saboteurs than they previously thought possible. Book a free consult... Community Writers need the camaraderie of other writers, which is why LTP is committed to creating an inspired and supportive community of writers on both this public network and our private network (which you automatically become a lifetime member of when signing up for one of our courses). Members of the private network have access to daily writing salons, monthly Q & A calls, and discounts on upcoming workshops, special events. Learn more... A Word From Our Founder Holly Payberg-Torroija As a writing and creativity coach, I take the stance that if you are someone with a desire to write, then you are a writer. It’s that simple. The rest is just details we can work through together. I know the stories are already in there, because stories live in all of us, we just have to get to work on peeling away the layers of doubts/fears and limitations that block you from allowing your voice its free and full expression. Then settle into a mindset most conducive to learning to love the process. Becoming a masterful writer, with the power to move people, is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a craft that takes years to develop, and even longer to make a living at (if that’s your ultimate desire). If you can accept that, and settle in for the long haul, developing a sustainable daily practice, you will eventually become great at your craft. It’s just math. Holly created Loving The Process to give writer's the kind of love, guidance and nurturing she wished she would have had on her 30 plus year journey as a writer/producer in Hollywood. Learn more about Holly... Book a Consult Testimonials Harriet Holly has helped me find my voice and the courage to tell my story. Her kindness, compassion, wisdom and humor provides a safe space to explore one’s writing using a proven process that truly works. Leslee The cure for Writer's Block! Holly has this soothing wisdom that nurtures your creativity and unleashes those writing juices over & over again throughout your process. Pam I only dreamed of writing a novel and now I'm actually doing it, thanks to Holly's incredibly skillful guidance. She's provided the tools to match my creativity so I can bring my story to the page. Enrolling Now Our next year long program starts up in September 2022. If you know you have a story to write and think you're ready to take the leap, book a free consult now to learn more. Book a Consult Not ready to commit to our year long program? Book NOW - 7/21 Check out our WORKSHOPS Book now - 8/11
- Holly Payberg Bio | Loving The Process Founder and Writing Coach
Meet Holly Payberg-Torroija This is the part where I’m supposed to give you my snazzy bio and credentials, but the truth is, the only thing you really need to know is: why choose me as your writing coach? So here it goes… Like you (and Maya Angelou), I know "the pain of carrying an untold story" and I’ve spent my entire adult life working to change that. It started over 30 years ago, when an idea for a movie flashed before my eyes, and I thought, it’d be a shame not to get that out. That dream, to not only write, but also make, the film I saw in my initial vision, started a journey that took me all the way to the tops of Hollywood and back. I went through all the phases a writer goes through: from not having the confidence to even call myself a writer, to being a frustrated writer lacking the know how and discipline to complete projects, to completing projects, but being too sensitive to take notes, to becoming a professional, able to collaborate and deliver under any constraints/deadlines, to ultimately producing for myself. I wish I could say that I loved the process, but I did not. Like so many writers, I endlessly beat myself up, suffered chronic imposter’s syndrome due to serial amnesia about my talent, gave myself unrealistic and cruel deadlines, pushed myself to be what I thought others wanted me to be, and never gave myself the satisfaction of ever being enough. As soon as I hit any level of what could be considered "success", I would move the goal post. It was 30 years of self torture mixed with bouts of greatness. And then the pandemic hit… My mad dash towards some imaginary finish line that needed to be hit yesterday, was brought to an immediate and abrupt halt. And in the chaos of this worldwide change, guess where I found myself turning for comfort? Writing, of course. I didn’t just turn to writing to help myself through it. I started teaching others how to help themselves using storytelling too. And that’s when I experienced what I am now calling “The Great Duh of 2020”. It hit me that there really is nothing I love more than writing and helping my fellow writers. Truly, madly and deeply. The reason I wasn’t loving it or the process was because of all the pressures and ridiculous expectations I had piled on top of it. I think somewhere down deep I must have thought the pressure and the drive was the fuel needed to make me a better writer, and that I didn't deserve to call myself a writer unless I was blockbuster famous. But now I see that the whole tortured artist thing I was living was just a bunch of baloney. I didn’t become a better writer because of the torment and ambition, I became a better writer despite it. I could suddenly see that if I had just slowed down and accepted that developing my craft, and my voice as a writer, takes the time it takes, I actually could have gone deeper, gotten better faster and had a lot more fun doing it. So I gave up all the dreams. Simplified my life. Borrowed everything I've learned from the last 30 years to create a process centered roadmap in the form of a writing program. And decided to dedicate my life to using it to give my fellow writers (and myself) the kind of love, support and guidance I wish I would have had. And yes, I’ve been deeply loving the process (and my life) ever since. Long story short, if you’re someone with stories you know you need to write, but are petrified you might die with them still inside you. Or you're a professional currently torturing yourself like I was. And you want a compassionate writing coach who comes from the place of having been there, who knows intimately all the things that might stop you, I’ve got your back. Let’s get on a call. Also, for those that need it, here’s the snazzy credentials… IMDb Click here LinkedIn Click here