A Big Life: Encouragement for People in the Arts –
On my seventh birthday I remember running excitedly down the grassy yard alongside the house where we lived on Pacific Terrace. I was to have a big party that afternoon complete with games and party favors and friends my age. I had a new sundress to wear. It was June and my birthday happened to fall on Father’s Day, which for some reason filled the day with special, magical meaning. My birthday and Father’s Day together! How could that be? I felt strangely blessed and honored by powers beyond my comprehension. The summer air sung.
It would be nice if every foray into the unknown was one of excitement. But unfortunately the flip side of excitement is anxiety. In the acting class I’m teaching now, one of the things I am helping my students with is not to look forward while they are in the middle of a scene. If they are thinking ahead in fear that they will stumble on the words, the piece will not come to life in the present moment.
When I look at the above childhood picture of myself taken by my father on that birthday, I feel strangely calm. There is an element of trust I feel for the child I was, even though I am clearly not pinning the tail anywhere near the donkey’s backside. But the trees and the sunlight are creating dappled shadows, I am surrounded by people who love me and I am being honored by the day.
It’s my turn in the game.