Last Minute Blessing – Times Two

28 09 2014

Despite all the great Oscar buzz surrounding 99 HOMES, and the role I have in that film, about three weeks ago I was about to just quit acting. Not because I don’t love it – it is actually my first love, and always will be. But because I just couldn’t figure out, any longer, how to justify mortgaging (and second mortgaging) my family’s future to support my pursuing a dream.

“What is the point?” I kept asking. Or, as my beloved teacher Eric Hill always asked us about our characters, “Why are you HERE?” Why am I here? Why did I spend my life, (this is literal by now, because at 38, I have been acting and studying acting in some for for around 22 years – more than half my life) studying this, honing this, observing everyone – everything – to understand humanity on the level I desire to understand it – in all it’s facets, it’s nuance – not to mention the college and grad work… why? What is the point?

I had begun a rigorous pursuit of back to basics training, falling into my Suzuki Method of Actor Training work again – pushing myself to be physically disciplined. I hired a coach – couldn’t afford a coach – but I hired one anyway. And yet… nothing changed. The work still wasn’t coming. So, “Why am I here?”

Just after a rather embarrassing screaming fight with God, (we are on those terms – the Almighty and I – I think God appreciates my honesty 🙂 ), and an especially depressing search on Craigslist for a job, it all turned around. And in a big way.

And two things – one leading to the other – popped up together. As if to say, “THIS is why you are here.”

SO, what made the difference? I am convinced of a few things.
1. God’s timing. I know cynical folks make fun of me for this – but I truly believe that we are all in this for the long haul – and in the other life, we have these things planned out – so that we can come to this life, through it, and BACK to the other life with our souls refined. And then we do it again…. And I do not think this belief is in conflict with Christianity.
2. My letting go of two tiny inner voices that were holding me back:
a. “You’re not good enough.” Though tiny, this voice was quite powerful. I had this issue much less when I worked in theatre. I could come in, and own a room, connect with everyone I worked with…. someone once described working with me as being “hit by a hurricane”. Somehow, in the transfer between theatre and film I had lost a bit of that confidence in my ability to deliver – ANYTHING. So, I silenced that voice. And let me be clear, this wasn’t a “SHUT THE FUCK UP TINY CRITIC”, in which I knocked it dead. It was a consistent, moment-to-moment effort to wipe that fucker out.
b. “You will screw up your kids if you leave them to pursue your dream.” This voice? Maybe not so tiny. MAybe kind of huge. Because I have a strong sense of responsibility and loyalty. From the moment they were born, it became clear to me – this is no exaggeration – that I was perfectly capable of ripping someone’s head off with my bare hands if they tried to hurt my child or take them from me. I am not being funny, or ironic, or Mommy-blogger glib. I am dead. Fucking. Serious. So, this portion of myself – I knew I had to adjust. Not that I wouldn’t still commit grisly homicide on anyone who threatened my kids – not that part – but the part that believed that my absence for periods of time would HURT them. This was a similar moment-to-moment effort to squash that persistent worry.

Once I was able to continually live moment-to-moment with the belief that I AM READY for the work that I know I am capable of… the work came. And not a minute too soon… or too late for that matter.

At exactly the time I was ready for it.

And once I began that work, and saw the caliber and character of the people I am working with? It was clear that this was set up for me…. on PURPOSE. The timing… God’s timing… was perfect.


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