Entry 354 told you where I have been for the last couple of days… at a casting session for project I’m producing and shooting this month. Even introduced you to Blanca, casting director turned friend, a very cool lady with a special magnetism about her, evidenced in the way she sees good in all people. I can understand why she does what she does.
Every thing about Blanca’s studio sings of this vibe of acceptance, and after spending time with her and her staff, I very much feel that I have been associating with a group of most hopeful individuals.
The day ends, and as I prepare to leave, I am welcomed into a casual conversation taking place in Blanca’s office. Comfortably seated are the lovely and smiling, Monica (Blanca’s associate) and a stranger I do not know.
Without hesitation they pull me into their conversation, and in joining them, it is apparent business is not the top topic of chatter… that is behind us at day’s end.
I’m like the isolated guy in girl talkland, a place where I am most comfortable, being raised with two sisters, selling women’s shoes in my formative years, and being the beauty portraitist that I am. Truthfully, I’m happier here that at a sporting event or racing in sports cars.
I am quickly brought up to speed. Turns out that the one unknown person, Maria, is here by some spontaneous law of attraction.
It’s like this… Maria just moved here from Spain… Knows Monica from many years passed, has stopped in to casually re-acquaint herself with Monica… and turns out that she and Blanca have too many past interactions to be ignored.
It’s like Maria and Blanca have been in the shadows of each other’s footsteps for well over twenty-five years, neither having any clue of each other’s existence. It’s more than a forced searching for commonalities; we’re talking in the same room stuff, missing each other by literal seconds for two decades… in places and situations all over the world. They now all the same people, have worked in the same dance companies (they are both very talented dancers) and all the while were only inches from each other.
Even the very addition of me to the mix screams of a bazaar peace that says “we are all here for a purpose.” We could talk all night, I know it, and probably would have, if we did not all have scheduled evenings.
To not invite Maria to 365 would be a disservice to us all, and in our conversation is revealed a glimpse of the chi that fills Blanca office this night.
Maria is by no other words a “Chicana Gypsy,” literally, her husband is a Spanish Gypsy and her profession and art for are iconic to her title, Chicana Gypsy she is.
If you had the stage, the microphone was on, and the world was listening, what would you say? We begin our interview.
“About myself personally… or about what I’ve learned,” Maria questions.
“Whatever feels right… organic,” I direct, not wanting to influence her thoughts.
She thinks… breathes… and then says, “’I would just say ‘Thank You!’
I’m grateful for what I do… that would be the word I’d lean to… now in this stage of my life… Thank You.’”
I give a little more direction, “What would you tell the world stage, to help other people in their lives?”
With the grace of a dancer Maria looks beyond herself in addressing her world audience, “To find within themselves something that ignites inspiration.
I do think inspiration could be an overused word, but the actual acting on it is rarely addressed. Inspiration is a key to happiness… But, I think it is dangerous if we look just for happiness. I think contentment is the secret to life satisfaction, and is the truest base for inspiration. Does that make sense?”
“Absolutely…” I unite in reviewing Maria’s word from my perspective, “’I feel what you are saying is that we should not go through life looking for happiness, but we should go through it with our eyes open for inspiration. And that, maybe, inspiration is the key to contentment. Then, if we are content, we can move forward with excitement in finding ultimate happiness.
So happiness is not going out there and saying, ‘I’m going to find something that makes me happy… or, to laugh all the time.’
Happiness is not always laughter. Happiness is peace and freedom through contentment. And, if we are content, we can find honest inspiration.’”
I know, “…Dude… deep thoughts…”
Maria responds… “Exactly, it’s all about how we look at life. Happiness then can actually be sadness… if that makes any sense.”
She elaborates, “In life when you find yourself in the moments of reflection; or in the moments when sadness comes visiting; or where there is depression, if we can just call it that; or just the down moments in life we all have that are just a part of living.
And if we can learn to look at these times as something else to learn from, then they can help us to trigger something. That awareness that comes through all the experiences of life, and in whatever they are, they can then become enriching.
Even though it sounds like a negative thing, I have found that embracing the bad times as well as the good, does make me more grateful in general when I reflect on those moments.”
“What about the world ahead of us?” I change direction a bit.
“Just to come from the old cliché… just to come from a place of love.” Maria presents a hopeful light.
“It’s about seeking and giving harmonious love. I am very hopeful that people have more good in them than bad. I’ve always come from that place.”
She gives us an example, “I live in a place…” Maria refers to where she is now living, Spain, “’…I’ve learned culturally and socially it’s literally a place that says, ‘Piensa mal y acertarás’ which means ‘Think wrong and be right.’ I’d like to think that I was born in a place that says, ‘Your innocent until proven guilty.’
‘Think positively until you are proven wrong…’ that’s a good person,’” Maria reframes.
Continuing, “’I guess my point is, if we come from a place of love, and are aware that everybody is the same, and that we all are one. That is what can make a harmonious future.
And you know what…? I don’t think it is science, or discovering anything mysterious, or anything like that. It’s a proven fact that when energies are pulled together on a same plane, miracles can happen.
We are living in a time where it is very scary. There is a lot of chaos; emotionally, psychologically and ecologically.
But then there are a lot of people that want to be more conscious and more giving. We need to hook up to that, and make that the majority rather than the minority.
In the South of Spain… in my community… meaning the Flaminco community, there is a lot of darkness that surrounds it. In order for you to survive, you do have to create a bit of a shell where you say, ‘No… that is not going to penetrate me. I’m not going to allow that to penetrate.’ Because if you give into it, then you become it.
I’m trying to do the opposite… It’s like, ‘No…! you guys riff off of my energy… I’m doing Flaminco and I don’t have to give into the negativity.’
Yes, I can be as competitive as the biggest competitors… I will, and I’ll meet you out on the street any day, and any time, to compete with my art. But from the best sense of it.
If we live our lives like that, It doesn’t mean we have to go through life with rose-colored glasses. There is reality and things we have to deal with.
I also believe, ‘Si usted cree enDios (If you believe in God)’ or whatever the religion is, or none.’”
“Take care of yourself first…” Maria talks of relationships with a higher power and the importance of not focusing on the things of the world, “…then that spirit will, hopefully transmit to you, and through you, to others.”
This is why I have been magnetized into our time together this day, Maria is a giver of light.
Sure, she is passionate about her craft and speaks of the importance of inspired art. And yes, Maria is a powerful and captivating performer working in a very competitive, and at times brutal artistic culture. But, in doing so she stands strong to a greater purpose. To re-quote her, “Its about seeking and giving harmonious love. I am very hopeful that people have more good in them than bad. I’ve always come from that place.”
Maria backs her words with actions. For after twenty-plus years living in Spain she says, “I’ve finished that cycle, I know it in my heart, that is why I am here.”
“I call it returning to my base,” she explains.
“I knew it was time for a change… and now everything is starting to bubble again!”
Maria has been on stages all over the world: Hollywood Bowl, The Lincoln Center, The Ford Amphitheater, Bellas Artis, Basel, Eicharus and an endless list of equally substantial venues.
Here is a link to her EPK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXh6fiM4Uu8
If you want to support her in purchasing her latest single, Tequila – Here is a link.