A Hollywood Holiday Moment...
The holidays could pass me by like a Honda Civic on the freeway and I wouldn't even notice.
I had hoped to be in London right now. Guess everything happens for a reason. Trust.
A college girlfriend of mine recently reminded me of this quote we were given post-graduation, (in so many words),
"Leave New York before you get too hard; Leave Los Angeles before you get too soft."
Whenever things get slow, on either coast, I want to move faster.
I walked out of an audition yesterday, with no jacket, onto the studio lot and had what I consider a Hollywood Holiday moment.
On my way back to my car, I heard another actress, walking behind me, rehearsing the lines over and over again to herself.
Boy, haven't we all been there before.
"Oh, I don't know. I wish I had the lines down better. I guess it was okay," she replied.
"Are you rehearsing them over and over again to yourself now?" I knew.
"Yeah, I just..." she stopped.
"...you just have to let that go." I said.
I could see that she was on the edge of tumbling down, like Alice, into an imaginary quagmire of her own thoughts over something she no longer had control over.
"I know! I wish I could, but sometimes, I can't help it," she admitted.
And then I remembered some advice I got from a fellow actor years ago and repeated it,
"You know that void you think is there after you finish one of these auditions...? When you want something that bad...that desperately, when you need something that intensely, the only thing (after an audition) that is going to satisfy or equate the depth of that void in order to match it and satisfy it, is if the casting people said, right then and there, "You got it kid!"
"And you know what?" I continued, "They're never going to say that, certainly not in a process like this. So let it go!"
And then I got a little kick-ass on her, "This is just a job. It's not your life, it's not your heart, it's not your family, or your health, or even the best work you could create on your own, and it is certainly not all of your power. So let it go."
Then I remember the two most powerful words my first acting teacher ever taught me, "F--k it!" Yes.
"I think you're my new favorite person right now," she said. I laughed.
Easy to understand, hard to do, I know. But watch this interview as one of the greatest American actresses talks about what she would have done if she had not gotten the role in Sophie's Choice.
Grieve your real life, not a fictional one. And I'm saying all of this to myself, just as I'm sharing it with you.
The greatest gift we can give to anyone, no matter what occasion or holiday, is self-empowerment.
How's that for a stocking stuffer? Happy Holidays Everyone! 2012 is on its way!!
(photos and video courtesy of Blake Gardner, punchstock.com and Streep Channel on YouTube)
Yours Truly -- Ann Hu