By Allen Levin
Yesterday was like producing a show. It was go go GO for a long time. I got up at 2:30 am because I couldn’t sleep, but let me tell you, there was plenty of work to keep me busy. Thanks to Cassie Allen Shultz and Chelsea McMahon for helping set up and run the FUNdraiser for our theatre hosted by Nude Comedy LA. We hit our goal. I’m so happy and our lease isn’t as red for a moment. I couldn’t have done it without you guys. Yesterday was a powerful day in my life and in my growth. I adored just how much we were able to give and receive in a single day. I remain inspired.
Magic takes many forms. We might associate magic with success. When we are young and impressionable we see the media telling us that big cars and big boats equal happiness. Spending money on ourselves by buying lavish homes and traveling to exotic locations means we’ve “made it.” Drive a Ferrari and paint it obnoxious colors because we can. What a joke! Our training is wrong. Our leadership is wrong. The message is dangerous and leads to unhappiness.
I wish that growing up we’d seen films that expressed that happiness is about giving. It’s letting someone crash on your couch for 3 weeks because it’s their time of need (particularly when this is inconvenient for us. It’s picking someone up at LAX during traffic hours. It is volunteering. It’s building bridges. It’s defending our animals (Meagan-Sky Moxley you are a hero!). It is secretly paying for dinner and the group is stunned later when there is no bill (I’ve pulled this off many times and each time I just love the feeling. I did this for a group of our family in Chicago a couple months ago. It was priceless. It’s particularly fun because a number of my family will try to do this, so you have to hand the credit card to the waitress when you first arrive if you want to win the right to treat everyone).
The giving act is what brings us joy. Giving to those that don’t expect it brings even more joy. Find people that deserve your gifts. Don’t find yourselves giving to people that only take. Give to givers. Give to truly good people. Don’t let people take advantage of you. I just told one of our talented actors (while writing this very article) “Know when to say yes and don’t be afraid to say no.” Both are skills that need to be developed. Both will help you find the magic that is in your own life waiting to swirl around you. I feel the magic in the empty house today. There was SO much laughter here yesterday that it’s still here. Magic.
This morning I saw Drake (the musician) surprise an 11 year old girl that was awaiting a heart transplant. I don’t want Drake’s life. I don’t think we should. It’s society that tells us the reason he is a success is that he has money. I believe he’s only a success if he gives. I want the ability to give to someone in their time of need like Drake just did. That’s truly awesome. I love seeing celebrities spend time with people on a volunteer basis. It’s the look on their faces that gets me every time. She was so excited when he came in. Moments like that create a happy life for someone else. That creates a very happy life loaded with beautiful memories for us. We don’t do it for us, but it comes back around.
Where is the magic? Find ways to give. Take your focus off of yourselves and help someone. Help the right person. The idea of helping the homeless is great, but help them when others can keep you safe. Don’t go up to a random homeless person (some are dangerous) you don’t know and offer them money. This isn’t a good plan. There are far better ways to help that also keep you safe.
Long story short (I could absolutely keep going) the magic is in the act of giving. Let’s create memories of laughter, love, and sharing. Let’s give. Let’s find our way back to a community of people that cares about everyone. What is the main ingredient of magic?