The Book Thief Hiding in Plain Sight.

November 26, 2023

The Book Thief Hiding in Plain Sight.

May 29, 2023

A few weeks ago, I made my usual trek to work. I got in the car and tried to catch up on texts and emails pausing to remind myself of my goal for the week. What I had re-defined success would be for me twenty-four hours later. I took breaths, found integrity, thanked my driver, and hurried across the stars that line the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Somehow, I was already normalizing passing by the giant marquis inviting others into this project, through the lobby of the iconic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, past the Marilyn Monroe mirror, down the steps Shirley Temple learned to tap dance on and into the theater.

In an Aaron Sorkin walk-and-talk-like style, I made my way through the space, answered questions, delegated tasks, and did everything I could to make sure that our show, La Cage, would have a successful opening night.

A blur of lights, sound checks, last-minute fires to put out, and pep talks…I find myself sitting in the theater giving the stage manager the go. It's happening. I debated leaving the space, not sure if I was more afraid of the strangers, my closest friends, the critics or not. I recognized the Upper Limit Problem I was trying to create and I decided to sit down, ground myself, and trust.

The music started and I was flooded with emotion and transported back to a different chair, a wheelchair, I had to use five years earlier when relearning to walk. And then again to my chair in Circle at MEA months earlier in March. Full body chills as I realized everything that had transpired to lead to this moment had been whispered in Baja and encouraged by my time there.

As Shelley Paxton and Christine Sperber taught me, I had redefined success. A little more on that. I decided that for the show's opening, success for me was not going to be how well it was received or the sound of applause. Success would be if at the end of the week, I could look my compadres in the eyes and tell them I priortized reamining calm, used conscious communication and treated everyone with kindness regardless how high tensions got. If I could say yes that's what success would FEEL like for me. I also got that secondary tingle that some refer to as a BAJA-AHA, when I realized I had in fact completely rewritten my success script. Making what seemed like impossible shifts personally and professionally to arrive at this very moment. 

When I was at MEA, three different people, including my mentor Chip Conley, suggested I read “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks. I took that as a divine sign and will also make the biggest admission of guilt - I ended up stealing it from the MEA library. (Sorry Chip, I hope this blog makes it worth it). I referenced his concept of Upper Limit Problems earlier - our tendency to keep ourselves just short of fully experiencing our full potential. I had been living in my Zone of Excellence as Hendricks would put it, and sitting in that chair, connected to those other chairs that have supported me in my life, I felt for a moment what it was like to undeniably be in one’s Zone of Genius. I also have to acknowledge the Los Angeles-based MEA community who showed up in every way imaginable during this process to champion me and my project. Thank you MEA, my compadres, and the magic of Baja for inviting me to whisper what I was ready for into the ocean and let it come back to me. 

At the opening night after-party, I was introduced as Addison, Co-Producer and Associate Director. Not the grief guy, not the boy who lived, not the grief author and speaker. My introduction did not invite anyone to tell me about death or their latest unbearable loss. I was free, hiding in plain sight and ever-present. It was a wild invitation to leave the safety of the caterpillar chrysalis and fly for the night. Knowing full well this cycle of transition will go on and on. Thank you MEA, and I will bring the book back as soon as I can. 

-Addison

Addison Brasil is an MEA Alum who shows up in the world as a Producer, Writer, and currently the Associate Director of La Cage! Live at the Hollywood Roosevelt. Author of First Year of Grief Club and host of Grief Club: The Podcast - www.addisonbrasil.com 

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

wo-sfe-24-008

A Mastery Week with the World’s Leading Evolutionary Astrologer, Steven Forrest

May 20, 2024
 to 
May 25, 2024
Santa Fe, USA
wo-sfe-24-009

Learn to Love Your Inner Critic with IFS and Dick Schwartz

May 27, 2024
 to 
June 1, 2024
Santa Fe, USA
wo-baja-24-015

Telling Our Stories, Celebrating Our Spirits, Visioning Our Future with Diane Johnson, Wanda Whitaker, Linda Grubbs, Paula Pretlow

June 10, 2024
 to 
June 15, 2024
Baja, Mexico

A Mastery Week with the World’s Leading Evolutionary Astrologer, Steven Forrest

May 20, 2024
 to 
May 25, 2024
Santa Fe, USA

Learn to Love Your Inner Critic with IFS and Dick Schwartz

May 27, 2024
 to 
June 1, 2024
Santa Fe, USA

Cultivating Purpose with Jeff Hamaoui

May 27, 2024
 to 
Jun 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico
May 27, 2024
 to 
Jun 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Cultivating Purpose with Jeff Hamaoui

May 27, 2024
 to 
June 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico
May 27, 2024
 to 
Jun 1, 2024
Baja, Mexico