As 2011 winds down I find myself reflecting on how incredibly blessed I am in this life! I get to go to a job every day that I absolutely LOVE, and this year was by far the busiest for this studio as it continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
Actors are fantastic people and getting to work with so much talent on a daily basis in coaching sessions, classes and on the set continually reminds me that not only am I a teacher, but a student as well. I learn from actors all the time. There's a great saying I heard once that "the truly educated never graduate" and life continues to demonstrate that this is so incredibly true. In this fast-paced culture of work and achievement it's easy to get caught up in the subconscious belief that "someday I'll get where I want to be and I will have learned all that I need to learn and then I can call myself a success!" Sound familiar? The funny thing about "arriving" is that once you arrive, there always seems to be a new destination that pops up. So what is truly the ultimate destination? Is it the Oscar? Ask anyone who's won one and you might be surprised by their answer. The human condition is one of pursuit in which we never stop dreaming, believing, creating or pursuing. Two Oscars on a mantle, as shiny as they may be, are still only points along the path. Because after the win life continues with its ups and downs and challenges. That audition you had last week? It's also a point along the path, as is that encounter you had in traffic on the 405. (You know which one I'm talking about!) So where does this path we're traveling on ultimately lead? Consider this. Perhaps the pathway or road that we're all traveling on, individually, doesn't look like a straight arrow shooting towards an ultimate destination. But perhaps the path looks more like an oval that's continuously winding and reshaping itself. The legacy you leave behind isn't some goal you reach at the end, but rather the legacy is defined by the contents that exist within the boundaries of the oval. In other words, the destination is now.
This isn't to diminish pursuit, however, for it's a beautiful and essential component of the human condition that keeps us moving forward, innovating, growing as a culture and of course developing great new toys such as the iPhone. Neither is it to diminish the value and importance of a possessing a relentless work ethic. Because if you're going to have the eye of the tiger and compete you need to have a relentless work ethic. But what I'm talking about is the tendency, especially in this industry, of getting too caught up in the pursuit that we find ourselves in a constant state of hunger never allowing ourselves to feel satiated with what we have accomplished thus far in the journey. It is critical to the health of the artist to take a moment to pause and feel some degree of pleasure with where you are NOW, acknowledging what you have accomplished up to this point. Because where you are now is an incredibly important location or point on the path to where you are traveling. Even if, let's say, the point where you are feels a bit stagnant at the moment. Often that very stagnation and the discomfort that goes along with it becomes the very motivating factor that prompts you into action. So what if it took a little stagnation to kick you into gear, it's all part of the process. The important thing is to not STAY stagnant but to eventually get back to moving forward. And lest we forget that within each point along the path there are growing pains and valuable lessons to be learned.
The Holidays are a prime opportunity to slow down and reflect on where you are NOW. They're also the perfect time to take advantage of exploring different ways of nurturing the artist within. Creativity is like a child. Children like FUN. They like PLAY. They don't like being told what to do. There's a reason children look forward to recess at school. Because it's when they get to play. Recess is an essential part of the child's curricular health and well-being. They need playtime like they need food. And so does the artist. Make sure this holiday season, as the industry quiets down for a brief winter's nap, that you take it upon yourself to play and nurture the artist within. Watch some good movies new and classic, read a good book, take an art class, do some journaling, bundle up and take a crisp walk along the beach, make a new friend or do something completely unselfish for someone in need, reach out to that neighbor you don't know and surprise them with an unexpected gift, travel to someplace you've never explored, take an afternoon nap in the sunny spot of the room, go to a museum, learn a new recipe, and of course, take the time to cherish the ones that you love. Soak up the opportunity to slow down because 2012 is right around the corner and so is a new pilot season and you're gonna need the energy!
Have a beautiful and blessed holiday and a rockin' new year!
© 2012. Christinna Chauncey. All Rights Reserved.