Tag Archives: Community


I probably told you last year, but I’m a huge fan of Community. And like most fans of this show, I was very excited when news of Dan Harmon’s return to the show broke.

Dan who? Well, for the uninitiated, Dan Harmon is the creator of Community.  After the 3rd season of the show, however, he was fired by the network, apparently (I think) because they felt where he was taking the show would not bring in better ratings for the network. So a 4th season sans Dan Harmon appeared and, well, it was…questionable.

Okay, it sucked.

I mean it had its moments, and some of the ideas started out great, but it pretty much was a bunch of ups and downs on the lamest roller coaster you could ride. I found myself struggling to watch a lot of the last half of the season, only doing so because I’m a habitual completionist. (I have to finish things, whether its watching series, collecting comics, collecting Heroclix –more on that later — etc.) The characters felt like alternate versions of who they were. The relationships and plot lines felt forced, to say the least. And while each episode had the potential to save the sinking ship that was season 4, apparently not having Dan Harmon in the room prevented that potential from being released. Just imagine what he could have done with Muppets (mild season 4 spoiler).  This was becoming a show looking more and more like they would never reach their inside-joke-of-a-goal of six seasons and a movie. In fact, the season was so below the bar set by previous seasons that apparently (I think, again…I should really read up on these facts more thoroughly) the actors refused to do another season unless Dan Harmon was brought back into picture.

And thus, Dan Harmon returned. And after last night’s dual-episode season premiere, it’s clear that his return is good. The characters feel like themselves again. The jokes and quips are back to their natural rhythm that made me fall in love with the show in the first place. And the writing. Oh, the writing. Welcome back to being good. Welcome back to not feeling forced.

I’m not big on being a reviewer or a critic, I just know what I like and I like to celebrate what I like when it makes a big comeback and does so successfully. Community, you are SO back. Dan Harmon, you just Jesus’d the show. No. You Abed’d it. Or something. Whatever. I’m excited.



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Oh, right. Thank you, again!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I sometimes like to write about my day somewhat cryptically, talking about things like moving, or creating things, or staying motivated and positive seemingly for no reason. The truth is, what I write is most of the time because of something that happened during the day that made me think. I don’t always mention that as the reason behind each post because I try not to just make this exclusively a daily online journal, so I’ll usually just jump right into my thoughts about the event without going into the specifics of the actual event that inspired the post.

That being said, with yesterday’s post being exactly that situation, I totally forgot to stick my pattern of monthly gratitude to you, the reader! So here we go!

Thank you again for following along on this journey with me. I truly believe that taking this third attempt at a 365 blog seriously has helped me to also stick to my fitness goals, and because of my dedication to writing here everyday has caught the attention of many people I had never known before, it has kept me motivated and accountable to get to where I am now. It all ties in together: my vision board, the habit of daily writing turning into the habit of daily exercise, the encouragement of friends and strangers enjoying my writing becoming a visible, growing (but still humbly small) community of fellow writers, fitness-minded people, and people also starting their own journeys have made this blog become one of the farthest reaching things I’ve ever done on the internet and has helped me to become the healthiest and most fit I’ve ever been.

So once again, with all my heart and soul, I thank you for stopping by once in a while to see what pops out of this unpredictable mind of mine. I’m humbled and extremely grateful whenever someone comes up to me at work, or when I’m out with friends and family, and says that they’ve read my blog and it has inspired them to make changes in their lives. I never would have thought that my simple goal of writing anything, really, would turn into something worth reading, let alone inspiring or even remotely life-changing. But as I started to give those little messages of push and inspiration at the end of a lot of my posts, I realized that this is now part of what this blog does. This is a reading place meant to keep me motivated by sharing that motivation with you. It just so happens that the result of that might mean you may feel motivated too. And I love that.

It’s hard to believe that, sometime next month, I’ll have reached the halfway-point of my first successful 365. Yes, that’s right, I’m calling it. There’s no going back now. I’m seeing this baby all the way to the sweet, sweet end (and most likely beyond.) So thank you for keeping me motivated, inspired, and accountable. This wouldn’t be what it is, and I wouldn’t be who I am, without your support, no matter how small.

You rock.

Image by ~hailthekid.

– Mickey

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When it rains, it pours. So run into it.

I love the rain. I love the literal rain. It might be because of a couple of favourite school memories that happened in the rain and/or because of the rain that I love it, but I just know that I’ve always enjoyed thunderstorms, lightning, and heavy rain.

I remember one storm in university where the rain was falling so hard, an umbrella became pointless because of that little bit of wind that brought in the raindrops on ever-changing angles. It wasn’t cold outside, in fact, it was the perfect temperature to walk in the rain, umbrella down. And that’s exactly what I did. I folded up my compact umbrella, put my glasses in my pocket, and walked from campus to my apartment smiling and soaked. I would walk by people huddled tight to their umbrellas, and just look up into the storm, arms slightly open, welcoming the rainfall. There’s something about being washed by the clouds that’s so energizing if you run into it and let it happen as opposed to running from it and trying to cover up. (Of course, I was heading home for the day, so I knew I was changing clothes anyway. I probably wouldn’t have been as game if it was the start of the day and I had to sit in wet clothes for class.)

I love the metaphorical rain, too. Specifically the one that can refer too the storm of projects that can, all of a sudden, break onto one’s lap and schedule. That’s kind of been my early professional career, quite honestly, and I am always grateful for the streaks of lucky streaks I’ve been granted by the communities with whom I work. Yes, I know that my own work had a little to do with it, otherwise there’d be no reason to continue to hire me, but I’m always cautious not to just rely on these lucky storms. I see fellow peers struggle and hustle much more than myself, and I know their storm will break soon and it will all pay off, so when I think of the plethora of projects I’ve worked on since moving to Toronto, I always look back in gratitude humility.

My current storm, which has, so far, always come all at once, consists of a small remount of a show I did in late 2011, two dance-theatre composition contracts, a film (for which I thought my role would be sound/music-related but ended up being an audition of sorts for a main character), and an offer to work with someone I look up to and really admire and respect. (Not to mention my own stuff that I’ve been working on since the start of this year.) And just like that literal storm, I’m running into this one, arms down and open, head to the sky. Again, I’m always cognizant of this luck, so every time it strikes, regardless of frequency, I embrace it with gratitude, knowing that the drought is always a possibility just around the bend.

Love the storm. Be the storm, if you have to. It’s easier said than done, I know. But if those little drops start to fall on your head, and you need that rain, leave the umbrella at home. Run into the storm and keep that momentum going. (And if it means you’ll have to sit in class, soaking wet, then just bring a change of clothes with you. You’ll have the biggest smile in the room.)

– Mickey

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Energy in community.

I had the wonderful privilege of being invited to Fu-Gen’s Ching Chong Chinaman opening night last night. (I know the title seems pretty racist, but that’s kind of the point for this show, and they do a really good job of exploring that aspect fairly.) This isn’t a review post, but I will say that you should see this show if you’re in Toronto this month. And aside from the wonderful performances and memorable moments — for the record, I only remember these types of moments from excellent shows and movies — it was the reception afterward that really solidified the experience for me.

If it turns out that my theatre career takes off into something spectacular, I know that I’ll owe a huge part of it to Fu-Gen Theatre Company. Yes, they are a company that helps to foster and develop Asian-Canadian artists and works, but it’s this type of community, which is much more open to theatre and the general public than you may think, that always energizes me to work like a monster in this art form. And it definitely helps that so many of these artists affiliated with this company have been and have become great friends and therefore are kind to think of me when it comes to projects.

But beyond even that, it’s simply the creative and social energies that this company helps to create and maintain that always amazes me. Every event of theirs leaves me exhilarated and reenergized, specifically about acting, but also a little bit of the composer and sound designer part of me. And it really comes down to the people, these wonderful artists and even better friends and human beings, as being the reason that I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. The support, the advice, the camaraderie, not to mention the offers of work and collaboration, all work together to keep my own stars aligned and in check. And even though my relationship with the company is still relatively young, I know that I already owe so much to them for even being thought of for opportunities.

The theatre world is a small community. But the energy it creates has the potential to change lives, both artists’ and audiences’. It has already changed mine forever.

– Mickey

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Being your own friend.

My good friend, Simon, and I were talking at the post-festival celebration way-too-early this morning, and he told me about this idea he had through conversations with others. He talked about how we know that we all have that voice inside our head that can either really motivate us or make us self-conscious and self-doubting. But we also actually say these things to ourselves out loud constantly. We audibly tell ourselves all the time that we can’t get things done today because we’re out of time, we’ll never complete our tasks, we’re totally failing, etc. etc. And we do this quite often, maybe without even giving it a second thought. I know that if I’m not hitting my goals for the day, or even for the moment, I’ll often mumble something to the effect of, “Pick it up, Rodriguez. What’s wrong with you?” We are far more open and accepting of putting ourselves down than with anybody else.

Simon extrapolated this idea of our audible self-criticism and came up with a “what-if” scenario where that voice was an actual being. Imagine that voice being a you that just hates on you. Then, imagine if all of those things that you say to yourself was actually said to somebody else. That would be intolerable in almost every case that it could happen. What if you had a person that just walked beside you all the time telling you what you can’t do and what you won’t get done by your deadlines? I’d imagine you’d want to punch that person in the face after a certain amount of time. So why do we put up with ourselves doing it to ourselves?

When we help out our friends, family, or even strangers, we do it out of kindness. We’re friends for a reason, and we’re respectful for a reason. Simon poses the question, “why can’t we just be friends with ourselves?”. And he’s right. When we see someone we love struggling with a task, we immediately do our best to encourage and uplift them to reach their goal. We push them to better things, bigger results, and into an more positive mindset, overall. We know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that kind of motivation, and that’s what sparks us into reciprocating or even paying it forward. There’s no reason that we shouldn’t be doing that to ourselves. And that’s not to say that we don’t do it from time to time — we’ve all given ourselves that “talk” before a big presentation or speech or sporting event, telling ourselves that we can do it — but if we did it more often than putting ourselves down, the positive energy and outcomes would be tremendous.

We always hear that we should love ourselves more, but we tend to forget that part of loving ourselves more is hating ourselves less. Don’t dwell on mistakes; they’ve already been made. Learn what’s necessary to grow and evolve, and tell yourself that you’ll make it happen next time. And if that fails, congratulate yourself on not giving up. Question why things didn’t work only as a strategic self-conversation as opposed to thinking that there’s something wrong with you.

Be your own best friend. Your other best friends will thank you, especially when you teach them how to be best friends to themselves, too.

Thanks, Simon of Thunderheart Guidance for the idea for this post. I don’t mean to steal your…thunder…but I needed to write this down, if only to remind myself about this in the future.


– Mickey

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Cool. Coolcoolcool.

If I could magically become part of any cast, it would be Community. Obviously. It’s the exact reason that I wanted to become an actor: to play as all the things I wanted to be throughout my childhood. As a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. Then I wanted to be the president of Toys R Us so that I could play with all the toys in the store. Then I wanted to be a palaeontologist. Then I wanted to be world DJ battle champion. Then I realized that if I became an actor, I could be all these things at one time or another. (The DJ wish actually turned me into a DJ, though.)

I actually made that realization while still in the late stages of my childhood. At around that same time, I fell in love with improv via “Whose Line is it Anyway?”, the original British version. And from that point on, my fate was sealed: I would learn and then teach, play in, and coach improv workshops and teams. It was the cause of many, many favourite high school memories and experiences. It also made me know that my post-secondary education would be focused on performance.

And that led to the most influential years in my life at York’s theatre program, the relationships from which would be the most important in my life. I found my passion. I found my networks. I found my collaborators. I found my best friend, my family.

And if I could take all of those friends I loved creating work with and put them in one project, I’d want it to be Community.

That’s October 19th.

Also this is what I’m watching right now (with commentary!)



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