"I'm on a ride and I want to get off, but they won't slow down the round-a-bout." ~Simon Le Bon You may have thought that my (literally) hitting the pavement in the first week would have helped me to slow down a little, but it turns out that this is not the case. I have merely learned how to still walk super fast but avoid the uneven pavement. My body finally decided that if I wouldn't slow down on the outside then it would slow me down from within. . .
After a very full week of rehearsals, classes, readings, script analysis, meetings, eating Sahar's food like it was to be my last meal, art show openings and trips to the hospital to care for a very close friend from home's meningitis stricken husband (who is thankfully making a full recovery) . . . my body decided it was time for a cleanse.
I never get the flu, and I never throw up. I did both, violently, for 24 hours. Strangely, having to stay put gave me a chance to rest my body and my mind. Unfortunately, I missed my performance with my UCB class, and one of my Strasberg classes.
Once I stood still I realized why I have been pushing so much - it has not been a choice made out of love. but of fear. The truth is I am worrying. I am worrying that I won't come home with a big enough story - that this trip to New York is not the final battle in the three act structure of my life, but is really only the opening scenes of the opening act. I do expect things to happen fast, but there is a rhythm to life that I must admit exists - this is a journey - not a destination, and I need to slow down.
I always try to make the right moves. I am afraid of failure and care way too much what everyone thinks. These ego driven pieces of me get in my way as an actor, as a lover, as a parent and as a friend. The people I have met here are like me; they are busy making things happen. They are writing books, directing shorts, commercials and tv shows - they are writing music and creating scores for musicals, starring in television shows and films - it is really inspiring. I feel like I can't keep up. There is so much I want to do, and my time here is ticking away. I don't know why I have this dread about things in my life not happening fast enough!! Something's gotta give.
I met a wonderful guy who has been encouraging me to perform some non-karaoke hip hop. I laughed and told him I am an old white lady. He said that Hip Hop has always been about changing the expectations of people who would otherwise be written off. Maybe he is right? What's the title of this blog again? It's Never Too Late to Be Who You Might Have Been . . . But, what if I never get there? What if I keep taking these big risks and end up never getting anywhere? What if this is as good as it gets?
This is the thinking that has always lead me to panic in the past - and makes me jump around from thing to thing for fear that the one I am focusing on will not work. Performing is the only thing I have ever wanted to do. I won't give up on this. I love acting. I love singing. I love writing. I love performing. This sense of urgency is about fame and fortune, not about a love for this 'work.' What I need is faith in place of fear.
It takes time to get good. I have learned that through improv - which is really hard - until it starts to get easy. I have noticed that my improv skills have improved a lot and that my acting skills have improved by a factor of 10. I don't know if it's the people in my class at Strasberg, or the teachers we have, or a combination of the two, but I have found a rhythm there that has me playing grounded, present characters with very little interference from my brain. All of our teachers have been telling us we are a very strong class. I feel good about that.
I don't know what the point of this post is, but I guess that is the point. This is the beginning of act two. I don't know what the obstacles will be and I don't know how this thing will turn out. What I do know is that I see some improvement here, and that, if I keep going boldly in the direction of my dreams that I am bound to end up having at least one or two adventures along the way . . .
'Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.' Steve Jobs