ever since i was a little kid - i have had a great need for stillness. i never knew that's what it was, but it definitely made itself known. i have always been extremely empathetic; most counselors, therapists, and my parents and friends even say to a fault - and that takes a big toll. it's exhausting and dangerous. as i've grown up- i have learned to somewhat protect myself, but i haven't learned how to ALWAYS protect myself, and most of the time before i even know it's happening - i'm drained. it makes me susceptible to narcissists, sociopaths, and energy drainers. it's surrounded me with stalkers and addicts and people who are lost and sad and need encouragement. that's the other challenging part of my personality - i'm an enneagram 7: "the enthusiast, the cheerleader, the entertainer". all 3 of those things are quite exhausting to a highly sensitive person, even though it's my natural state to be those things. as an extroverted introvert and empath - merging all these personality traits has led me straight into a crisis of mind and body this year.
several months ago, i fell into a deep anxiety-driven depression and haven't been able to pull myself out. right now - i'm on a doctor prescribed wellness-retreat. i am only 3 days in.. in the mountains, in the cool, in nature, in the quiet... and already feel more at ease and more at peace than i have in the last 2 and a half years. my mind is starting to relax. the tightness in my chest is starting to let go. i'm starting to sleep and don't feel like sobbing or screaming every time something slightly irritates me.
dealing with my empathetic nature has been a very double-edged sword. on one hand - i believe it makes me a great human, a good friend, a good listener, a good teacher, a good daughter, and a good wife. it helps me be non-judgemental, kind, encouraging to those in pain and to people in general. HOWEVER - when i don't take care of myself (and like i said, for most of my life i have had no clue how to take care of this part of me) - it makes me a nightmare to be around. i can't listen, can't concentrate, am angry for reasons i can't understand or explain, start crying at the drop of a hat, am constantly filled with intense anxiety, can't be near people i'm not completely comfortable around, and can't get more than an hour of fitful sleep at night.
and so - i need stillness. i'm needing it more and more and more. i'm finally learning how to ask for it, and how to be ok with giving it to, and creating it for myself. it has always been a very hard thing for me to say it's okay to be me. but i can do it for everyone else- so now it's time to learn how to do it for myself. being a highly sensitive person is TOUGH, but the stillness it requires- i love. i'm thankful for these challenges, i'm thankful for the uniqueness of me. it makes me grateful to be alive... and grateful to be me.
1. music: "the light within" by The Westerlies
2. "AnaCptainslogue" by Noir et Blanc Vie
all footage shot and edited by shelly bort
when i was 7 - my parents gave me my very first camera. i have had one attached to me every single day since. taking pictures was always my favorite thing to do as a kid, and as soon as i turned 12 - i began begging to use our huge, 80's RCA video camera as much as possible. however, i didn't have videotape editing capabilities as a kid, so even though i preferred taking video - i had no way to turn it into what i envisioned.
in high school, i began making slideshows with all the pictures i took, and in my late 20's - technology (that i could afford) had finally caught up, and i was able to film and edit video like I had always dreamed of doing. it's been one of the main loves of my life, and i am so, SO thankful to have had that privilege. it makes me grateful to be alive... and grateful to be me.
video credits: music: "eternal garden" by dan henig
bz wedding footage: http://sbfilmsca.com/
all other footage: shellybort.com
from 2007 - 2012 i made over 250 videos on my old youtube channel sbort, and posted over 100 original songs from my musicals here, on this channel. and then - i decided to step away from youtube. i have uploaded the occasional "musical preview" of a new show, or a "favorite vocal moments" or "music video" from a new album i'm releasing, but over the last 8 years, i haven't had time to dedicate to just making videos for fun! quarantine has changed all that, and i am making a promise to myself (and to my mental health) to upload every week from here (october 8, 2020), until who knows when! feel free to keep me accountable :D
i will be releasing videos weekly, sometimes 2 times a week, in something i'm calling "gratitude stories". each video will focus on something that makes me happy to be me, and grateful to be alive. i invite you to leave comments about what makes you happy to be you, and what makes you grateful to be alive! i also invite you to join me in making videos again! there used to be a whole group of us musical-theatre-nerds back in the day (2008... 2009... 2010) who hung out on youtube and collaborated and flew around the world to see each other... where did we all go? we all grew up and grew away from making videos for fun.
if it makes you truly happy to make videos - i invite you to join me in my pledge to get back to the stuff that brings us joy. let's build each other up and celebrate who we are right now - and who we are becoming because of these difficult times. we can do this - together. our lives are waiting❤️
video credits: music: "kick in" by shelly bort
stock footage: videvo.net
personal videos & photographs: by shelly bort
I am bringing back my "Portraits by a girl who can't draw" :D
to be honest - times are weird and difficult. i lost all my jobs back in march because of the quarantine. not being able to do gigs, teach lessons, or travel has decimated my bank account, and i know a lot of you are in the same boat. so this post isn't for those of you who are also struggling.
this post is for those of you who are doing great and would like to help out independent artists, such as myself.
i cannot draw. i have NEVER been a gifted painter, drawer, colorer, etc. BUT! i have always LOVED TO DRAW AND PAINT. makes zero sense. and about a decade ago, i got it into my head that i should share my "terrible and embarrassing but also possibly quite endearing" creations with the world :D
so, i put them up for sale on my website, thinking maybe 1 or 2 people might snag one. i literally sold every single thing i'd ever drawn in about 2 weeks. and the demand got so high, that i started doing commissions! it was so fun and i will always cherish that creative and fun time i had with you all :) (shout out to those of you who bought stuff back then! THANKS AGAIN! <3 )
i am bringing that back!! :)
i will not be doing commissions because i'm a LITTLE more self-aware now, but i'm still going to post new pieces for sale on my website over the next few weeks and see how they do.
attached to this post are some screen grabs from the old "for sale" page on my website... all of these have sold and are no longer available, but new ones in the same style are coming soon. i hope you enjoy them and find something you love and connect with! :D
before i go i just want to reiterate - I KNOW I CAN'T DRAW. i'm terrible. i know nothing and can achieve zero progress in this area, LOL! i just have fun and have a heart for unusual characters and the underdog, and i know that to some of you- that's all you care about in your art :)
you can see and buy new pieces weekly on my new sbzartcrafts instagram :)
we could ALLLLL use a good laugh and some encouragement right now, amirite?
here are some videos i watch when i need a smile or a laugh :D
âi hope they bring you some joy, too :D
âi love you. i hope you're safe, and healthy, and happy. xoxo
DEREK & HAYLEY
derek hough deserves his own category because he is reeeeeally getting me through the quarantine... his poor fiance hayley :D they are the greatest together! <3
i will start you with my favorite video of derek and hayley's... she is just so done with him, it kills me. for reference - here is the original video he is spoofing, which is just hysterical on it's own. i sometimes can't breathe after watching these 2 back to back...
during the quarantine, they've turned their humongous, gorgeous home into dance central, and I AM SO JEALOUS. if i could be quarantined with anyone other than B - i'd want to be with them.... even though i bring nothing to the table except food... for 2 people who probably never eat.
âWHY IS HE SO SEXY?! did you know he sings?! derek hough also sings.
âpick up your jaw. it's real. just bury me alive. i can't take it
A GOOD LAUGH
i tried for about 2 straight years to learn how to make latte art.
every single attempt went about as well as this. i'm so glad i'm not alone.
okay, this one is DARK, but it made me CRYYYYY the first few times i watched it.
this is also how i discovered the song "The Blessing" which has gone on to be a huge hit, and incidentally this is my favorite part of the song, which somehow makes it even funnier.
still my favorite bit that has EVER been on Ellen :D :D i love him SO MUCH UGH <3
it doesn't matter how many times i watch this - every time he bellows "DENNIS QUAID IS HEAHHHH" i LOSE IT.
this disney worker deserves a kindness medal! what a doll!! <3 <3
<3 ANIMALS <3
it's not MUCH of an exaggeration to state that my husband and i watch this around 1,000 times a day.
now, before you scream "I HATE SNAILS! EWWWWWW!!!!!" i must tell you - i love snails.
and this warms my heart, and i watch it at least 5 times every single day.
â.... so i don't even wanna hear it. bye.
âi love when renee forgets her lyrics.
and i love more when she sings about eating.
i never watched Tiger King, but this kinda made me want to...
âhe's a doll he's a doll he's a doll he's a doll he's a doll he's a doll he's a doll
OTHER AWESOME STUFF :D
scroll through this next makeup one - and watch the 1st and 3rd videos, so good!!
yo, this literally makes my stomach growl.
heaven is a place on earth....
The band name has happened!
I finally came up with the winning idea: 2 bands in 1.
Sugar Beat = more appropriate for wedding reception cocktail hours, and more dressy events.
The Throw Down = a kick-butt reception/rock group that will blow the pants off everyone in the room.
our band page is up now and you can check it out here!
we've been practicing so hard, and have our first day in the studio this Sunday -
recording a promo video :D
we are SO EXCITED and can't wait to share it all with you!
book us for your next event! ;D
we'll be ready before you know it!
but for now - here's some rehearsal video... xoxo
is it still called a "girl band" now that i'm in my late 60's?
who cares. i am FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY living my dream of starting a professional all-female rock/pop band.
this is something i have wanted to do since i was a kid...
i did it for awhile in the major Shelly Bort Presents years, but it was short lived... and i am hoping that this works, and sticks around for at least a decade :D
ââhere are some pics and videos from our first rehearsal! :D
WE ARE LOOKING FOR A BAND NAME.
nothing gross or female-private-part centered. GROW UP!
this is a real, professional endeavor... and just because we have female parts doesn't mean we are going to name our band after those parts (thanks facebook).
our #1 contender right now is "Sugar Beat" which i love, but makes us sound all young and poppy. don't get me wrong - most of the ladies involved will be in their 20's and very cute and we ARE doing pop songs, but we also want to be taken seriously and i'm not sure "sugar beat" conveys something professional and capable... it is DARN cute, though... i love it.
so, let us know if you have an idea for a fantastic Female Band name!!
again, nothing inappropriate please. those comments will be deleted.
something professional, and fun, and awesome, and kick butt :D
winner of the band name gets a song of their choice performed and dedicated to them on our instagram during our next rehearsal on february 16, 2020! xoxoxo
it's been years since i wrote a blog. YEARS. maybe 3? at least?
since before i met my husband... yes - HUSBAND.
can you believe it? we can talk more about that later ;D
it's been a heckuva few years. mostly good, some bad, a little terrible....
some absolutely glorious :D
i stopped writing a blog because i felt myself changing and i didn't really have anything else to say as the person i was. now, as a new person - i can think of a few things :D
so that's why i left, and that's why i'm back.
and that's why i'm excited to share new things with you :)
see you soon💘