My trick to stop nightmaressteemCreated with Sketch.

in life •  last year

This is the most fun I ever had sleeping. Music video for "Feel" by Lin McEwan

I was an 8 year old insomniac...

I couldn't sleep. My dad had recently built a bedroom in the basement for me and I would lie awake all night long watching the shadows moving on my ceiling not being able to fall asleep. I tried counting sheep, I tried just closing my eyes, I tried everything. Nothing worked.

All of these restless nights got my little mind working. I figured if I was going to spend so much time awake I should put it to good creative purpose. I started daydreaming:

Many of these worlds have been lost to time. Some have not and they became plots of my movies. I've had daydreams that have stretched for months on end.

That first night became morning before I knew it. The day dream blended into my sleep.

brandon lin video.jpg
I'm getting some makeup done for Lin's music video. I'm about to sleep for 5 hours of shooting

How I did it that first night

  1. I created my character "Hi, my name is Brandon I'm just a kid."
  2. I created a world around myself. I realized that it could be anything.
  3. I populated the world with people I knew at first. This group became wider and pushed into everyone from Superman to Luke Skywalker.

No more Nightmares.

At the time I started practicing this method of getting to sleep I had had recurring nightmares. They I remember the visuals to this day but can't really explain or illustrate them with words.

Since I started practicing the method I can count on one hand the number of nightmares I've had.

Over the years I've asked myself why this could be the case. Surely nightmares must be something that just arises. A person can't control them right?

an outtake from our publicity photos for the musical Next Big Thing

Thought Feedback Loops

When a person turns in for the night their experiences from the day are still playing through their minds. The fight you got into in the morning. The person you are still angry with. The boy/girlfriend who is stressing you out. The loneliness you feel from living at a distance from your family. These worries and stressors play over and over in your mind uncontrollably.

Your family is unhappy with you. Your seething anger at your business partner. The no win situation you don't ever think you'll recover from.

another publicity photo from Next Big Thing. 80s instruments... lots of feedback

All of these things are like when a guitarist plays a note and then thrusts his instrument at the speaker. The squeal plays back onto itself over and over and over again.

On nights like these it is a true struggle to tame your thoughts, but day dreaming can tame the most restless and unyielding of these feedback loops.

a set still from Landscaper's Daughter. My first time play acting on film.

I'm an Adult and this is Stupid...

I have nothing to day dream about. I don't want to imagine I am Superman/woman flying over a city. Imagining I am a Superhero is stupid and immature. This is all immature. I have more important thing, adult things, going on in my life.

Yea, you're probably right, but you did read this far which means you are intrigued with the idea of controlling your insomnia without pills. You find novel the idea that you can control your nightmares.

I can't convince someone Bound and Tied to adulthood. Press photo from the musical Twist

I can't convince you to do something which allows me to flex my creative muscles every night. It has taught me how to write dialogue without ever putting pen to paper. It has allowed me to run scenarios in my mind so that when an emergency situation happens I am prepared to act.

Allow yourself to run emergency scenarios.

You're at dinner with a group of friends. What is the conversation like? Where are you eating? What did your friends order? How did the server react. What is going on within your friends lives. The steaks arrive and before anyone can act someone is choking. You deftly save the day by performing the Heimlich Maneuver.

This may get your heart racing a bit, but it draws your mind even deeper into the scenario. A scenario that could happen to anyone at any time.

What happens after this moment? Do you go out to a movie? Do you get a text message from an old lover and decide to rendezvous?

Before you are aware of it you will have tamed your feedback loop and you will slip into your dream.

at a Penthouse party. I credit daydreaming with the focus that gets me here

What are you day dreaming about Brandon?

My current day dream series relates to the movement of consciousness from one body to the next and achieving this either through a neural connection or a more spiritual

"Oops the universe fucked up and you actually got born again with memories of your previous life"

Unless otherwise noted all photos used are the work of Brandon Ruckdashel or official publicity material released by the projects I have been in.

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I am so glad that you posted this, and what a stunning post it is indeed. Congrats!
Definately going to try this.

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