Playing with Three Strings
I went to Yom Kippur services with a friend last weekend, and was so inspired by the Rabbi's sermon that I want to share it with you. To my surprise, the first service was dedicated to honoring artists. Why artists, you may ask? Because we poets, actors, musicians, dancers, writers, singers, painters are constantly striving to bring humanity to the world. We open our hearts more than most, struggle more than most in our daily lives, and yet we somehow keep trudging forward.
The Rabbi challenged everyone to bring more creativity into their lives, and then he told this amazing story. I'm probably going to botch it. I've forgotten the names (the story, I'm told, is true), but hopefully you'll get the idea. Here it goes:
A famous and quite accomplished violinist agreed to join [insert name] orchestra for a concert at Lincoln Center. The violinist was blind and in a wheelchair. He was getting on in age, but he was at the top of his field. As the violinist and the orchestra raised their instruments for the first note of the piece, the audience watched in horror as the violinist's fourth string popped off his instrument and disappeared on the floor. Instead of requesting more time, demanding another violin, or worse, bumbling around to find the lost string, the violinist took a moment, nodded toward the conductor and began the piece. The audience watched in amazement as he regrouped, recomposed, and literally created an entirely new solo using only three strings. When the piece concluded, he was drenched in sweat The audience jumped to their feet, and applauded this seemingly impossible task.
This story still gives me shivers.
Wellllll, I didn't get a booking from the "avail" for the national commercial . It's the second big job I've "lost" this month. It's not earth shattering, but it's disappointing. I'm waiting on footage from the film and commercial projects I wrapped a month or more ago, and I'm auditioning a lot. But...what to do in the interim? I have creative energy flowing through me, and I need an outlet. Back to class? Casting Director workshops? I need to think on it.
I'm trying to figure out how to make music on my three strings, and on bad days, two strings. The fourth string that would make everything "perfect" -- an impeccable acting resume, a trust fund, a famous relative to give me a leg up, stunning good looks, an agent at William Morris -- seems to be missing from my violin. In fact, it's probably missing from most "violins." But every day is a new composition. We make it up as we go, doing our best with what we're dealt. You know, Robert Frost. The Road Less Traveled. It's almost never easy, but it's a creative life. And though it's sometime heartbreaking, I wouldn't want it any other way.
(Photo by Maarten DeBoer)