James's blog

Words of Encouragement

All it takes are some heartfelt words of encouragement to help someone rise above their inner voices of self-doubt to achieve their potential. I wouldn’t have pursued a deeper study of the art and science of yoga to become a teacher if Frank White hadn’t insisted I meet Ganga White and Tracey Rich, who then introduced me to myself as a teacher. I wouldn’t have written a play if David Kranes, Dave Chambers and Ed Gryska hadn’t read what I wrote about being raised in a trailer in Alaska and told me I should keep writing.

People Who Hate

People who hate can't separate themselves from it. It's an intrinsic part of them, so much so that it defines them. They wouldn't be complete, or who they are, without it. That's why when someone says to them, "I reject hate and you because you do it" they claim you're the one who is intolerant and that you're acting out of your hatred of them. Because they can't see being without it or rejecting it. And hate is cunning. It's just as hard to for us who do not hate to separate the haters from their hatred.

Showing Up to Be Set Free

When we were putting Showing Up together, Riad and I decided we would not appear in the film. It was more important for us to simply be the messengers; the “invisible” characters in the telling of our story, whatever form the narrative took. Several people have asked since it was released why I didn’t tell my audition stories or share how I feel about the process and the answer has always been the same: I told it through the actors I wanted to honor in the film. We also didn’t want to be tasked with the added burden of deciding which and how much of our contributions were worthy of inclusion. It was hard enough to cut 100 hours of interviews of actors down to 80 minutes. Like any other actor who has been at it for awhile I’ve got my “war stories” and moments of inspiration, success and failure, and I’m certainly not shy about relating them. But I felt it was more important to be the listener in the conversation – one of the most important things one must be as an actor, as those who do it well know - and it turned out well for the story but I do have one I’ve always wanted to share.

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