The Sticking Point

At the gym today, I overheard TWO completely different conversations about the ‘sticking point’ and moving past it while doing an exercise. Of course, before I left the gym, I was presented with a very particular sticking point that had only somewhat to do with my actual workout.

When I started, there was a particular exercise that I wanted to try out and was hoping I could find the equipment to do it. I’d watched a video of it the night before and it looked like a great exercise. But nowhere could I find this piece of equipment even though I’d seen it yesterday. So my mind started to improvise and I thought, “Well, I could use my towel.” Although, being me, I wouldn’t want to dirty it with my shoes. And as it was, the front desk had run out of towels anyway so I was without one for the time being. I resolved to work that muscle group again at the end, before I left.

When I came to the end of my workout, I noticed a ridiculously gorgeous man doing the very exercise that I was hoping to do, with his towel! And there was an open spot right next to him on the mats. I hemmed and hawed and rather than looking like I was copying him or having an easy and fun conversation about it, I decided to play it cool and just repeat what I’d done before so that I could say that at least I worked that muscle twice for the day. This was my sticking point! A fear of being embarrassed or having too much attention from a gorgeous man while sweaty! Although the likelihood of disaster was minimal, I couldn’t move past the discomfort of my own thoughts about potential judgement. And I blocked my blessing on the other side. Who knows how my workout could have ended! At the very least, I would have been able to try the darn exercise and feel it out while getting in a good strong finish for the day. And being that it was the end, I could just drop the towel in the dirty towel bin. But I stopped short of a blessing that was right in front of me and there for the taking because I didn’t want to risk the discomfort of pushing past the sticking point.

Suddenly, I could see a great number of places, activities, and moments in my life where I have avoided or have had the tendency to avoid moving past the sticking point. I have the choice to allow my life experience to grow and to flourish, or I can hold back and hold tight to limiting ideas out of the fear of being judged. The good thing is knowing that I always have a choice.

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Bio & FAQs

Ina’s credits include the television shows Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, Royal Pains, NCIS: Los Angeles, CW’s Ringer, NBC’s Outlaw, MTV’s Warren the Ape, and the blockbuster feature Heaven is For Real, adapted from the NY Times Bestseller and directed by Randall Wallace (Secretariat, We Were Soldiers).

On stage, she’s worked with renowned contemporaries Richard Montoya, Herb Siguenza, and Ric Salinas of Culture Clash, Performance Artist Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Playwright Marcus Gardley, and Victory Gardens Theatre Artistic Director, Chay Yew. Her favorite roles have been non-traditionally cast with heightened or stylized language – Olivia in an American Southern adaptation of Twelfth Night, and a staged reading of Gardley’s poetic The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry.

On the Russian stage, she’s played in Russian opposite Yuri Chursin (of the Moscow Art Theatre) in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia; and Grigoriy Siyatvinda (of the Satyricon Theatre) in Buechner’s Woyzeck directed by Alexander Nazarov. She served as company member for the State Music and Drama Theatre of Moscow during the origination of James Rado’s Hair in Russian, a show that continues to run at the company’s resident theatre in Gorky Park. Russian television credits include the network series Марш Туретского (Turetskii’s March).

Ina holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder and studied Meisner technique at Playhouse West with Tracy and Mark Pellegrino. Russian Theatre training includes certification from the American Soviet Theatre Initiative in collaboration with the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center at the Moscow Art Theatre School (М.Х.А.Т. имени А.П. Чехова) where she was invited by the Head of Vocals, Marina Vladislavovna Smirnova, to continue study with a concentration in classical/operatic singing.

FAQs

What is your ethnicity?

My mixed ancestry includes a Spanish line reaching back to the Royal Court of Madrid; Tarahumara of Northern Mexico; Jicarilla Apache; and French. I’m a living testament to American History as it happened in the Southwest…with dimples.

Why Russia?

I’d heard about and fell in love with the Moscow Art Theatre (M.X.A.T.) at a National Theatre Conservatory Summer Intensive program in Denver. It sounded like a theatre ‘Mecca,’ given it’s role in American Theatre History, so it was fate when the Literary Director of the M.X.A.T, Anatoly ‘Tolya’ Smeliansky (The Russian Theatre After Stalin, After My Life in Art, Is Comrade Bulgakov Dead?) visited my University a couple years later. I scheduled a meeting with him the next day and left for Moscow the next semester.

Ultimately, I found myself straddling the globe with regular commutes between LA and Moscow. I saw so much great theatre and had the good fortune of being able to work with and meet renowned Russian artists. I found my way to the center of contemporary Russian Theatre as a student, and cut my teeth there as a professional. It was a magical time. Russians have a great appreciation and respect for live theatre and offered profoundly amazing experiences in that regard.

Are you a spy?

I briefly worked for Counterintelligence at the American Embassy in Moscow but no, not a spy – но, да конечно говорю на Русском языке. Люблю язык, культуру, и учитываю Россий моим вторым домом.

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