Sunday, December 26, 2010

Just a Simple Day At Church

I held the door for the older people as they walked in, my brother introduced me to the pastor, I walked around and looked at the pictures and signs around the hallways, and sat in the pew with my niece and patiently waited for the message of the day to blanket me. There were about 40 people in the old church the day after Christmas and the mood was very relaxed. The children that were there played with one or two toys that Santa had left them the day earlier and their parents sat with the most extreme focus to keep their heads up after the conclusion of the holidays had come to a close. What a nice, serene atmosphere to sit with my brother and just take in what was offered to the congregation. I hadn't been to church in awhile and it seems whenever I do go, something ridiculous happens to make me that challenges me to rethink my practice of my faith. With a day that seemed so uneventful, today turned out to be no different.
The pastor spoke very informally to the congregation and she informed them that she would be traveling to Virginia for her nephews wedding. She then said this: "He's 31, and we've been saying to him for awhile that 'it's about time!' I mean, come on, he's in his 30's. why has he waited so long?" My brother, sister in law, and I made our typical Nettle eye contact and resisted laughing and already were calculating dozens of jokes that their 34 year old brother sat here in sin cause he's in his mid thirties with no marriage future. I let the embarrassment subside and had all the imaginary conversations with the pastor in my head. Was she making a point? Was I living in sin cause I'm single? Did she think it is unheard of to go into your 30's and not be married in the arms of God? If I was to mention to her of my status, would she be embarrassed or roll her eyes at me?
Well, my answer came at her next announcement about 10 minutes later when she was taking verbal prayers from people to keep in mind. People raised their hands and brought up the struggling family members, troops, and disease that had appeared recently. Then there were some joyful prayers about new babies, reunions, and recovery from surgeries. Then the pastor was reminded that one of the ladies in the choir just received news that her son got engaged at Christmas. The announcement went like this, no lie: "She is so happy because her son announced his engagement to a wonderful girl that he's been dating. Luckily, he hasn't turned 30 yet." What?!??!? The asshole in me leaned over to my brother and asked him to stand up and ask for everyone to pray for his brother because he's 34 and is single. I was worried the pastor would clutch her heart and scream "The horror! Let's call for an exorcism!". I wanted to tell her that Jesus died at 32 because he realized he couldn't get married and it seemed like the only logical decision.
Keep us ridiculous sinners in your prayers, folks.

Friday, December 24, 2010


My head has been spinning all night. A good friend of mine is in the hospital and has had countless tests done. They don't know what it is yet. I want to write a million things but I surrender to the universe. It's Christmas. Again, I repeat: Find out those things that are important to you and hold on to them, nurture them, love them, experience them, look at them, speak to them, trust them, treat them better than you would yourself, thank them, bond with them, cherish them, and grow with them. I mean this for people, things, and parts of your being. It's been a tough Christmas season and as I wrote in my last blog, a tough year. I think I'm just going through a tough bout of getting older. I forgot to write a letter to Santa this year, so I guess it's not too late.

Dear Santa,
All I want for Christmas this year is for all those close to me (and those who aren't) to not stop smiling for the whole next year. However you're able to do that, I would really appreciate it. I think the world would appreciate it. Give the gifts of jobs, babies, health, trusting relationships, healthy relationships, family bonding, financial security, homecoming soldiers, safety, and knowledge to all those who wish for it and maybe need it. You're Santa. I know you can do it. You were able to get me all of the WWF wrestlers, GI Joe's, and Transformers when I was growing up and my stocking was always filled with candy. What's a little world peace and happiness to throw in a bag or two? Tell your wife hi for me. I bet she's still smoking hot in your eyes and I hope she gives your chestnuts a little snuggle when you get done tonight. Give those elves a break. Their union leaders have been draining you and it's not their fault. I hope you enjoy all of your cookies at each house. I noticed you were putting on a few at the mall, so when January comes, most gyms have membership discounts and I'd love to work with you on thinking of a whole body regiment.
I am very envious of you that you are able to make so many children happy all in one day. It's something I hope to accomplish one day without having to live in such a frozen tundra and cleaning up reindeer poop. But you're pretty powerful, I bet you have someone to do that for you. It's 1:11 am and you're probably making your way to the east coast now. A lot of kids are trying to stay awake to meet you, but you're a sly one. You always know how to show up the moment they fall asleep. But as I said earlier on in the letter. If you could keep the adults on your list in mind as you stop by each home, I think we'd really appreciate it. It's fun to open presents one day a year, but much more beneficial if you can supply some people with the gift that keeps on giving. Like the jelly of the month club, but different.
Oh, and since I'll be in Ohio this year, you don't have to stop at my apartment in Florida. Buuuuut, if you want to stop by the guys who live above me and give them softer feet, slippers, and a padded rug, I don't think anyone would look down on you.
Thank you for making each year magical and bringing such joy to people. I'll see you next year, hopefully a few pounds thinner.

Jason Nettle

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


As the holidays have come, will soon be gone and the time for reflection will envelope all of us, I know that every experience makes me stronger. I have learned from my mistakes, I will not continue to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results, I have grown to challenge myself and let go of any security that has held me back for all these years, and I have mourned for most of the year and death has come to affect me and my family sporadically through the year. With that said, and with all due respect: Go fuck yourself 2010.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dec 20th

New Blog.

I will be keeping up with both of these, more with the other, as explained in the first entry, but this will be packed with entertainment too.
Add to this my thesis paper, my voice journals, my movement journals and I'm going to be the greatest writer ever in 3 years.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Semester Reflection

It's Dec 13th, the evening has draped itself on me, the Florida winter has taken a turn and sent a message to the citizens and bit them with a 40 degree day, I just finished filming a movie today, the apartment is waiting for the new semester to start, the other grads are with their families across the country, I'm listening to Paul McCartney's live concert on Sirius, my bags are packed, the fridge is empty, and all through my head repeats a phrase over and over again. "What the fuck just happened these past 4 months".
To quote my favorite movie line... "Well, that happened". I walked on this campus on Aug 19th with a broken heart, anxiety, strength, confidence, confusion, pessimism, optimism, regret, power, experience, a clear head, a broken head, and my peripheral vision waiting to take on anything. And after becoming a pedophile, a duke of Ilyria, a cheating husband, a cuckold, a husband at wits end, a retarded brother, an uptight brother, a prejudiced worker, a neurotic scientist, a king, a kabuki fighter, and a raping soldier, I realize I'm 25% done with my training here at UCF.
I learned how to breathe. I learned to stand up straight and not sit in my lower back. I learned that an entire character can be found in the vowels and consonants of their lines. I found out that I know way too much about theater. I learned I don't know jack shit about theater. I learned how to write again. I learned how to go to school again. I learned how to use the internet. I learned how to talk to 20 yr olds. I learned how to make a new batch of friends. I learned that people can't drive in any city. I learned that everything in life can be found in your breath, which is why we die when the last one fades out. I learned that my family is the rock of my life. I learned that life is fragile. I learned that even though I'm 34, I care about pleasing others. I learned I don't give a fuck what other people think of me. I learned that I can't do basic procedures on a computer. I learned that most kids here can start WW3 with their laptops. I learned the difference between Word and Text Edit. I Learned How To Drive.
We do an end of semester review and what was told to me came as no surprise but it is the thing that keeps me just behind the brilliance line. I'm a wonderful thinker. I can analyze. I can figure out how to get out of a problem. That doesn't help me on stage, though. I am able to always keep an arm's distance from drama and really feeling something. It's something I learned after 9/11, the deaths of family members, being a New Yorker, a bartender, cancer scares, near fatal accidents, being an optimist, depression, anxiety attacks, bad breakups, and did I mention being a New Yorker? Because of these events in my short life (and I don't even think I've been through as much as others), I've learned how to survive. I'm happy just to wake up some days, have air in my lungs, a smile on my face, enough money to make it through the day, the capacity to love, trying a career that doesn't make sense but can make the world better, air in my tires, food in my stomach, and friends to laugh with. It's sad that that's not enough to make art. True art comes from an internal struggle to need to share. A passion for communicating. It's not safe. It's scary. It's a view of the world that others haven't thought of. It's not always fun. It's tearing out your soul and heart and putting it on a table for others to praise or smash.
Do you only want praise? Yes? I feel sorry for you. Do you have a need to be the best you can be and create even if that means never having a dime, a lover, stability, a schedule, or an identity? Yes? You're almost there.
Deconstruction. That's what I'm getting at. I have spent the last 4 months deconstructing everything I've done in the past, made into a habit, believed in, practiced, and taught. In order to construct we need to deconstruct. What is getting in my way of being the best I can be? What gets in my way of showing true emotion? What makes me get defensive? Sarcastic? Angry, happy, or sad? Tighten up? Move certain limbs? Tense certain areas? Purse my lips? resist certain emotions? Not correctly channel what I want to communicate? It's a lot. I've been in my head for a long time and letting go scares the shit out of me. I think I'm a pretty good actor now, but if I'm able to let go, becoming an empty vessel to communicate art, let go of my critical side which judges me and puts myself down, I could surpass everything I ever thought I could be.
I need to learn how to love again. It's a foreign concept to me. It doesn't make sense. I have trouble believing it exists in my circle. Just as the perfect woman can be a muse for an artist, my void of love has been my muse for this section of my life and writing. "This too shall pass". I know. I'm getting there. But I've learned a lot about myself and life through this struggle and am going to use every thought, emotion, and tear to make myself a better person, actor, and future spouse.
Some of my favorite mental images of my first semester:
Coming together the first time as an MFA class, holding hands, and making a circle and making the realization of ....... "oh my god".
Wearing shorts on Thanksgiving.
Raping Trevin in Blasted!
Chic Fil A opening up
Everyone doing homework poolside
The 8 of us piling in my car in the morning
Opening night of How I Learned to Drive

Here was a free thinking rambling of my first semester. I can't imagine where I will be in 3 more semesters. I head home tomorrow. I'll sit on the couch with my niece and watch cartoons. I'll hug my mom and dad for an extended amount of time. I will make each day count. I'm just trying to change the world, one day at a time.