The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Friday, September 07, 2007

HPP and a long-distance call

For the first time in fifteen years, I listened to my very favorite hypnotic tapes (well, MP3 actually) this morning. It’s one in a series by Dr. Lloyd Glauberman, using a sophisticated technique called “Hypno-peripheral processing), an exceptionally clever and complex way to create a subliminal program. What Glauberman does is create two “therapeutic metaphors” (stories containing embedded suggestions that will resonate with the subconscious of the listener) and play one in each ear, simultaneously. There are specific phrases in one story that actually “cross over” to emphasize or reinforce what’s being said in the other ear. Because you can’t consciously listen to both simultaneously, you drop into a deep and receptive trance quite nicely, thank you. The HPP program is called “The Pursuit of Excellence” and it’s worth seeking out. To my knowledge, only three people have ever made tapes using this process: Glauberman, a bodybuilding guru named Frank Zane (with Steve Reeves, the most beautiful athletes in the history of the sport. Astounding symmetry! Then again, he was a math teacher) and…me.

Yep. Years back, when I was conducting the Lifewriting workshops, I created a version of an HPP tape using my then-wife Toni (she has a great voice!) as the narrator of the second story. I created two scripts, printed them in parallel columns so that I could time them approximately, and adjusted the “embedded commands” so that they crossed over from one story to another. Then we practiced for a day or so, getting the timing right, and recorded a dummy version on my TEAC Tascam Mini-Mixer. Once we had that, we just went into a professional studio, put on headphones and listened to the reference track, and repeated what we heard, concentrating on vocal modulations. Sent a copy of it to Glauberman, and he told me I should hear from his lawyers…no, not really. He thought it was really good work, and that I should produce them for sale. I never did…
##
We had our meeting with the movie company yesterday (teleconference from Toronto) and it went great. We’re now in rewrite, to deliver in 6 weeks. Yowsa! And I told Tananarive that if my back is to the wall, she can be certain that I won’t screw the deal up with my racial politics. We’re playing for position, and I have to keep my eyes on the ultimate prize. The safety and security of my family is more important than ANYTHING. Writing comes second. Martial arts third. That’s the order of priorities in my life, and everything else comes in a distant fourth. So if I have to choose between a Harvard education for my son (I’d love to see him as…oh, an FBI agent, or maybe a Congressman…) and my ego, there’s no choice. Some wheels grind more slowly than others. The important thing is this: I don’t have to be a genius to have a career in this town. I have to be professional. That means that I have to learn to speak in pure visual metaphor, negotiate the ego traps of this whacko town, and provide the highest quality work I can on-schedule and without meltdown. That would put me in the top 1% of writers. I believe Steve Perry said that his goal was to “be a faster writer than anyone better than me, and a better writer than anyone faster than me.” I love that. Replace “faster” with, oh, I don’t know…saner? Nicer? More professional? Something like that. And you’d have a big chunk of my strategy.
##
To Mike—be careful with the KB. It is a VERY serious tool. Work into it slowly, no more than three times a week. On alternate days, CAREFULLY stretch, or better still, begin to develop a yoga practice. KB and yoga together could create a killer program for performance, appearance, and longevity. Let the first six weeks be your break-in period. Go lightly, have fun, just take a time period (15-30 minutes, maybe) and experiment with different fast and slow lifts. ALWAYS do less than you think you can do. Take one day a week off COMPLETELY, to check in with your body. Warm up your joints before practice: the Five Tibetans, Sun Salutations, or Coach Sonnon’s Warrior Wellness program would be very cool indeed. Also, look into Sonnon’s Be Breathed and FlowFit. Both of them will teach you things about your body that can’t be put into words.

I LOVE Kbs, even though I’m not using them at the moment. I’m on a roll with the Clubbell Bruiser Century challenge. Today, I’m doing 12 sets of 9, starting one set every two minutes. It’s gonna be killer. Then later, I’ll do my martial arts workout (today is a “heavy” day, using Scotts “4x7 protocol. Tomorrow is a recovery day, and I always take Sundays off). Monday, it’s back to the BKF Kenpo class, hopefully having made the necessary adjustments in the last two weeks to do my workout AND theirs in the same day without overtraining. Being careful there—my pulse is low in the morning, my joints feel fine, and my overall energy is good. All indicators that I’m not pushing too hard.
##
I will probably go see “Shoot ‘em Up” today. Supposed to be great, brainless entertainment, a tribute to the phenomenal John Woo’s “Hard Boiled.” I also want to see “3:10 to Yuma” and the retro-slasher movie “Hatchet.” “Hatchet” will probably wait for DVD, but “Yuma” might go down on Sunday afternoon. Maybe. Going Salsa dancing with my cousin Oliveen later that night…life is just a cornucopia of delicious opportunities right now. I really have to pinch myself sometimes.

No idea what will happen next month, but right now, I’m feeling great.

Oh! Oh! Last thing: Bought Jason a new bed. Not a crib. No side-rails. It looks like a blue sports car. He’ll be able to take himself to the potty. Sniff! My little man is growing up.

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