One Person’s Naomi, is Another Person’s Omi.

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. You’ve heard it a million times. I just had an experience that reminded me of this. You see, I really enjoy watching No Filter with Naomi, mostly because I enjoy and learn from the love with witch Naomi meets each guest. She seems to know them all so intimately and it touches my soul. I continue to learn how to be a good friend and I will learn from anyone, I have no prejudice.

Seeing examples of friendship from the privacy of my own bed, unseen, allows me to safely reflect on how I am with others and how I would like that to change and I am grateful for the example Naomi provides.

Ms. Naomi Campbell recently shared a compilation video of some of her dearest friends wishing her a happy birthday and it warmed my heart. It is so easy, at times, to think, “me, me, what about me?” that sometimes we forget that we can easily do something lovely for someone else who may be feeling similarly.

Now, I feel I have a much clearer vision for how I would like to interact with the world from this moment on and it came from this video:

And interestingly enough, upon completing this video, I made a decision to be more present for and celebratory of my friends and then it was I who was met with the kindest words from a dear friend of mine. Thank you universe.

Remember if you don’t like something about your life, change.

Embody Love. You too can warm someone’s heart today. Who will it be?

today

Heaven on earth

today i called an uber and when i approached the uber to get inside, the driver locked the door, rolled down the window and asked my name

this was an opportunity not to make assumptions as why this was happening, to not take it personally and to not make up a story about the driver, but to meet him with love.

can i keep this up?

today a woman was selling bags on the street and out of habit, I said, “no thank you” but, I thought about it and realized I was about to get groceries and it would probably really help the woman if I bought something from her. so, i went back and asked her how much. she said 150, i gave her 200 and asked for change, she then said it cost 250. i told her, she can keep the bag, but she continued to hustle me for more. I told her keep the bag and the money but she kept arguing. finally, she realized and said thank you and took the bag back.

this was an opportunity for me to remember that if you keep your mind stuck in a negative reality, you won’t be able to see when someone is actually helping you. it reminded me to have compassion, because you don’t know people’s state of mind. and it reminded me that i don’t have to mirror the behavior of others.

can i always be this present and aware?

today i let my thoughts lead me to a feeling of lonliness

this was an opportunity to remember that the space between the notes in the music are what make the music, otherwise it would just be jumbled sound. And right now, I may be experiencing a space in being surrounded by people that love me, but that is what makes the moments of love so beautiful. i remembered to be grateful for all i have and i am never really alone, because i am always in good company when i am with myself.

can i stay this grateful and focused on what is woking?

today i did my best

more

Pop music means more to me than what one might see on the surface. It is a 3-5 minute expression of feelings that are often judged as superficial or trivial, and yet are feelings and experiences, none the less. The limited melodic format of pop music, combined with its repetition makes it intoxicating. And when the recording artist fully emerges themselves in the moment, it gives life to inner experiences that society would like to judge you for.

The producer, Danja, is a shooting star. He layers pop music in an almost operatic manner. His vocals are layered throughout the song, pulling you up, haunting you, leading you into a mysterious and intriguing place. The untrained ear may not even notice, but their effect is ever present. And the music itself…. talk about layered. I could strip the song and listen to each piece on its own and be mesmerized. Combine that with Britney Spears, who, regardless of the perception that has been given to you (because i doubt you have formed one on your own), gives herself over to the song completely. She is the song. You believe she is the moment. And one thing that makes a Britney pop song a Britney pop song, are the adlibs she adds throughout the entire song. Have you ever noticed that? She is one of the only artists whose background vocals and adlibs sometimes are what give the song its cherished tone. Anyway…. I can go on forever.

When my dear friend, Vivvyanne ForeverMORE asked me to produce a video for her birthday, I was more than happy to and because I respect her so much, I chose to use one of the greatest pop songs of all time; Gimme More. A song that I never bore of, a song that instantly changes my mood, my personality, my person.

In my early twenties, I was a silent actor for Opera Philadelphia and I so cherished being part of these large productions. Singers being flown in from all over the world, performing in the Academy of Music. It was a dream come true. And being there allowed me the opportunity to see what it would be like to have a concert, opera, show, whatever… of that scale.

One of my favorite things to do when working with popular songs is make new mixes to them, so I took Danja’s isolated background vocals, Britney’s isolated vocals, portions of the album version instrumental, and a concert version of the song from one of Britney’s tours and mixed all of that (even adding a completely different song for the intro, a song that had a similar mysterious and ominous tone) and made this operatic mix. I love the chants of “More!” that enhance the song. As she sings, “feels like the crowd is saying…”

And I put myself, Heaven on Earth, on the stage of the Academy of Music. Just before making this, I rewatched the film, The Red Shoes, and it took my back to my opera days. The Maestro leads the opera, they are behind the steering wheel. Silent and ever present. They are… The Maestro. And watching The Red Shoes I was reminded of this and how necessary they are and yet how much the general public, perhaps does not think of or respect them anymore. So, I thought, The Maestro should be a character in this video. What fun.

The song for me, also represents a resurrection of Cleopatra. Don’t ask me why, it’s just what came to me. If she was forced into suicide and the world, still till this day, can’t remove her name from their lips, why wouldn’t the powers that be grant her a return? They want more!

And why not through Britney Spears?

This video was also dedicated to Britney Spears because it was the performance of this song at The VMAs that began a change in perception of her. People were unkind to her, someone who literally dedicated her entire life to entertaining the world. And like spoiled, ungrateful children, people said what they said. Britney deserves more respect. More. More. More Honor. More. More. And so, I decided to get on the stage of The Academy of Music and thank her for her contribution to Pop Music. To Honor her energy. To give her…

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Heaven on earth
heaven on earth – more

i gotta let it go

i have been reading Robert Greene’s book, Mastery.

i reached the chapter on social intelligence and it talks about having a naïve way of thinking that projects identities, ideal identities onto those in our lives, which of course leads to devastating disappointment when these people reveal themselves with time. And you think, “but how?” because you never took the time to see them for who they really were, you just imagined they were this dream person that you always hoped for. This can apply to any person in your life.

i realize that from the age of 6 to 17 I prayed to have my mother and my sisters back. Every. Day. i imagined how much better my life would be, getting out of my abusive household, where i was punished literally every day for literally everything about myself, getting away from school where i was teased constantly for being smart and being myself. i naively made up stories about how great my mother, sisters, and stepfather were. it was almost like a fairytale that i literally sat at my window everyday, crying, hoping they would come and get me.

this was my naivety

i was unaware of how much this story would hurt me in the future, because since then i have been confronted with the reality of who these people actually are. and it literally wasn’t until i read this chapter of this book, just the other day, that i realized what i had done to myself. the book literally spells it out and how damaging this is.

my mother is not the person i imagined her to be, she is whoever she is. as are my sisters. as is her husband. and they never dreamed of having me in their lives the way i dreamed of having them in mine. and now i really understand. they literally only care as much as they care.

when i was 17, i found out that no one even knew my mother had a son. why? because she never mentioned me to literally anyone in her life.

which explains why she asked me how old i was.

i always imagined that my sisters would be so proud of me and the talents i developed all alone for 11 years. but, that is not true at all. my sister’s friend would actually come to me and tell me how my sister speaks negatively about me, saying, “i’m so surprised you are so cool, because all your sister does is complain about you. she said you were spoiled and selfish, but you’re nothing like that.” my other sister’s friend would say, “your sister got mad at me for coming to support your show, because she said it made her look bad because she didn’t want to come.”

and all these things hurt me, but still i didn’t accept that i was naively painting a picture in my head that my sisters and mother were not living up to. because they literally were not the people i imagined all those years. they were whoever they were.

i thought my stepfather would be some lovely man, who would actually like me. but, no. he didn’t. he told me, “i didn’t need to get to know you, because you are temporary.” when i was a teenager trying to adjust from living in an abusive household to living in the nest of compassionless resentment that i moved to, he told me about my past, “just get over it.” he was the first person to call me a failure and every time we were alone he would drop the smile that was stretched across his face and say something that was revealing who he was and how he really felt about me. since i was 8, he never hugged me, he would literally put his hand out to shake mine and yet somehow i still didn’t accept that is who he is and this is how he feels about me. i thought he would be like my male teachers, one of which said, he thought of me like a son. Another of which cried when he gave me an award as student of the year. but, my stepfather did not see me that way, because that is who he is. and that is okay. he deserves to be accepted and appreciated for whoever he is. he owes me nothing. no one does.

it wasn’t them that was hurting me all these years. it was me. not accepting them for who they truly are. they never lost any sleep over me and even to this day, if they never saw me again, i don’t think they would care. they built their lives without me in it. why am i having trouble understanding this?

it’s my perception that has done the damage. not them.

and they literally never knew how much of a pedestal i had put them on. they never knew just how fondly i would talk about them to every person that i ever knew in my life.

i always imagined my sister being sweet and loving and bragging about me, but im pretty sure she has always resented me for being who i am. and everyone in my life always comes to me to tell me something she has said about me behind my back, from my mother, to her friends, to literally anyone with a pulse. i just kept it to myself, never confronted her and all these years i would defend her to the death, even to these parents. defending her honor. crying to my mother that she can’t kick her out in the middle of the night, because its wrong. walking miles everyday to go visit her because i was afraid she would be lonely and sad. and somehow i expected it to be returned. but, its not, because that is not who they are. when i was in the hospital at the age of 14 afraid that i was going to die, they didn’t even call. they never did and they have never even mentioned it. and i laid in that hospital bed, looking at the phone hoping it would be them calling, but, it wasn’t and they literally never lost sleep over it. they don’t even know what a traumatic moment it was in my life. and. they. don’t. care. i always thought my other sister would be so excited to spend time with me, but she has friends that are built into her life and they are her priority. my mother’s husband is her priority.

perhaps, i am exactly as he said, temporary. he was doing me a favor. and i could not see it. this man who i also defended. who i called the police for to make sure he would be okay, when he was attacked. and then argued with the police when they tried to blame him and kick him out of his own house for something that was not his fault. and later i found out, part of the cause of the altercation was because he wasn’t accepting of me being gay. like how fucking dumb am i? i cried because i thought something might happen to him, but he literally did not care and when it came time for him to defend my honor when later the police wrongly accused me of something, he literally did nothing and it broke my heart. but, why? he owes me nothing. absolutely nothing.

and it’s not like they haven’t helped me in other ways. he bought me a laptop. they bought me a car. they got me into college. i should just shut the fuck up and be grateful.

i never could understand why every teacher, professor, coach, colleague loved me and celebrated me so much more than them. but it’s clear. it’s because that is who they are and we have been living in different realities all these yearrrrrrrrrrrs.

now, i understand. and i get it. i really should move on. and just accept it. my mother will never be who i thought she was. she will never scream from the rooftops about how proud she is of me. she will never make me the number one priority in her life. she will never devote her life to me. she will never be like the mothers of my friends or the mothers i would see on tv, that i would literally cry at the sight of. and it isn’t fair for me to expect her to be. i should just move on and accept that i will be there for myself.

leave them alone.

its like the movie, “he’s just not that into you”

they are just not that into me.

accept it.

your father

your mother

your stepfather

your stepmother

your sisters

your brothers

will never be the people you dreamed they would be. they just are who they are. they are focused on their lives and not you. and all these years you have naively believed they felt the exact same way about you, as you do them.

its the same with my aunts and uncles. all those years, i thought so fondly of them. i cherished all the memories i had of them from the time i was 3 and i just imagined they thought of me as much as i did them. but, they didn’t. they literally don’t care and they almost never think of me. and that is okay. it really is.

its fine

as long as i don’t expect them to be anything but who they are

just like my mother’s husband said, “get over it, sean”

i have to let that dream go. it has taken me this long to understand

it’s like in the movie angel’s egg, when she discovers that the egg she has been caring for all this time is empty. she had built so many stories around this egg and what was inside, but it wasn’t real. there was nothing in there and when they boy broke her egg, he did her a favor. he showed her the false reality she had been living in. i did this to myself. now i am free.

no one has been thinking about you all these years. they moved the fuck on and they think of you as they gay whoever, who thinks he knows everything and doesn’t do what he is supposed to do and literally no one cares what you went through because they all have their own lives and problems.

there is no person in the WORLD looking out for you in that way.

no one.

accept it and move on.

sean, let it go.

today

today the car I called arrived on the other side of the street

my ego wanted to say, “hey! the address is across the street”

then I remembered, life is not about you. what is happening for this person? at least you have the car.

can i remember not to think of myself as so important in the future?

today a man was playing the trumpet in the park

i wondered about his life and how beautifully he played and all the time it took him to learn

so, i sat there and listened to every note he played, so grateful to be able to hear a piece of his life.

can I remember to always be so grateful and present?

today my friend interrupted me when I was speaking, and seemingly changed the subject

i thought, “this has nothing to do with what I am talking about, but whatever

then i realized that i am not the center of the universe and maybe he needs to speak and i need to hear what he is saying. be grateful you even have a friend in this world.

can i remember to listen as much as i speak and that every person i meet is my teacher?

today i was focusing on a particular part of culture that I like to avoid, that doesn’t resonate with me

i said, “i have to avoid people who think this way, because i don’t want to be like them”

then i remembered that another perspective is that i am grateful to have this awareness and that i would like to instead focusing on that gratitude and how i can contribute to the world and help others, instead of avoid them.

can i remember to get the fuck off my high horse and that, essentailly, I am no one?

today i remembered that i don’t know what my parents went through and that they treated me the way they did because they were hurt and they were doing their best

i thought, “i have no idea the pain they have and i am at least grateful that they provided me with a life that was privileged enough that i could focus on improving my state of mind and connect to my higher self

i remembered that i am standing on the shoulders of people who struggled and i was able to learn from their struggle, and the lessons i learned are their gift to me

can i remember that everyone is doing their best and to meet them with love and gratitude?

today i remembered to be grateful

yesterday

yesterday, I text my mother and said,

“I think if I were more of a conformist, you would celebrate me more”

how do you think she responded?

yesterday, I text my sister and…

she did not respond

how do you think i reacted?

yesterday, a boy text me,

hello” and I reciprocated and then he said nothing more

how do you think i felt about that?

yesterday, a photographer said,

“covid covid, covid, covid” and I said, “I’m not interested in talking about this.”

how do you think he thinks about me now?

yesterday, I had food delivered and,

I tipped over 100%

how do you think they spent the money?

yesterday, a boy asked me to hang out,

I said, “sure”, and then at 6pm, he just asked how my week was.

how do you think that came to be?

yesterday, I matched with someone on tinder and after 10 minutes they said,

would you like me to be your bottom? – I said, I don’t know – he then unmatched me

how do you think he thinks about that?

yesterday,

I did my best

how do you think that helped me?

THOUGHT HE HAD YOU (FUCKED UP)

THOUGHT HE HAD YOU FUCKED UP HEAVEN ON EARTH
THOUGHT HE HAD YOU FUCKED UP HEAVEN ON EARTH

WATCH THE PREMIERE ON YOUTUBE: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2020

CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE AND SET A REMINDER FOR THE PREMIER.

Heaven on Earth is a creative project by actor and performer, S. Cummings.When Quarantine began, it became clear that the choices and frame of mind chosen in these months, would influence a great deal of the future. It is for this reason that S. chose to do all the things he had previously wanted to do, including producing and recording music and filming music videos… all on his own.”THOUGHT HE HAD YOU (FUCKED UP)”  reminds us in moments where we feel that someone or some situation is our enemy, that we are the true gatekeepers of our perceptions and reactions, and that it is our responsibility and our responsibility alone to manage them. What power we hold!

CAPTURES FROM THE VIDEO

THOGHT HE HAD YOU FUCKED UP HEAVEN ON EARTH