Bertha's List: January Edition
Let's see, where did we last leave off? Oh yeah, I chopped off all my hair!
And with the haircut came a whole new persona: the one who stood out at auditions amidst a sea of long manes, the one who gave street directions instead of taking them, the one who met up with friends "super last minute" on a Friday night. But then a familiar restlessness came back (is it just me or am I always whining about something? I apologize for those of you still reading). It hit me one particular Sunday night while searching through my old agenda. I came across a January 4, 2011 entry- "Miami Int'l Airport @ 6am- Give Mami the car keys". Instinctively my mind reeled back to that last week in Miami and I was overcome with homesickness. Although it does get easier with time, no matter what they tell you, the feeling never fully goes away. That little entry reminded me of how naive I was then and how that same naiveté has been the hardest thing to hold on to in this industry. After so many No's or No-answer-at-all's (which was even worse!) cynicism slowly seeped in. Before I knew it what was once love and hope morphed into frustration and bitterness.
I mean here I was a year into it and what did I really have to show for it? I’d been doing a lot of busy work, mailing this and networking that, which hadn’t brought me any major results. I felt like a hamster spinning its wheel. I worried if maybe I was wasting my time and in flooded the doubts. After a few hours of self-indulgent wallowing (and here's where the pity party ends, I promise) I thought, well maybe the energy is right but it's the focus that needs adjusting. Maybe I'd been so concentrated on the ‘business’ part of it that I'd lost touch with the thing that mattered most- the craft! So stripping it down to basics I made the conscious decision to focus only on that which made me happy, acting. Feeling a bit better I picked up the book I was currently reading, “The Tao of Pooh”, and came across a fitting quote- “When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.” I literally saw the bulb light up: life didn't need to be a struggle, it could be fun. New York could be EASY and fun! I could remain that naive Child who doesn't know any better, who sees with her heart, who understands no limitations, who is curious about everything and whose only concern is playing with friends. I want to play! Or like the great Pacino said "Just work". I believe he meant that when you focus on the work alone everything else falls into place. And if you follow the Tao, it will.