Took a second to come up with these three. Mainly, because I still feel like I'm working on my last three... But, I figure both groupings can kind of work in tandem as we charge ahead into 2019. I'm writing this Thursday morning, before I head to the theater for a put-in rehearsal. The new Spider-verse soundtrack is playing, which is just a subtle plug that you should absolutely download it and live out your superhero dreams this week.
Gratitude: "to actively take stock of the daily opportunities and comforts of your life you have started to take for granted." I've read a lot of books on the American pursuit of happiness (see below for my top recs) over the last two years. I specify American because it's a distinctly AMERICAN thing; it's written as one of our born rights: that we deserve to be happy.
Or at least.... to try to be. I'm lucky that I'm a relatively happy person day to day, because I understand that depression, anxiety, hormonal imbalances are not a choice, but often burdens thrust upon unsuspecting minds and hearts. Yet, throughout these books, and in my own experiences with talk therapy, one of the few happiness themes that pops up over and over is the importance of gratitude, of saying "thank you": "thank you, body, for being healthy today", "thank you, job, for allowing me to do what I love", "thank you random man at the bodega for letting me pet your dog, "thank you post-show pizza for reminding me that melted cheese on bread is one of life's truly universal delights." There are so many days where the list of things I have to do, or the list of things I don't have feels all-consuming. I get stuck in a downward tail-spin of what's missing, and forget to look up and realize what's already there. So for 2019, I'm going to try to remember, at least once a day, to look around and say "Thanks".
Cultivation: "to deepen the roots of the seeds 2018 planted." That might sound a little "wooowoo rara kumbaya" and let's be honest, it kind of is. But let me explain. I was lucky to meet some incredible people and do some crazy things last year. Looking back, it all feels like a multi-colored whirlwind...and now the dust has, blessedly, settled. It would be very easy for me and in keeping with my comfort zone to retreat, to just do my show 8 times a week and wait for whatever is next. Yet, how can I be so sure that something will come my way without actively seeking it out? I think a greater chance of success is likely if I buffalo this year up, reach out to the opportunities and people with whom I want to collaborate, and know that, really, the worst someone can say is "no". I've heard "no" a lot in this business. And truly? The more you hear it....the more it loses it's power.
Ownership: "to take responsibility". I'm vague on this one because taking ownership means a couple of things to me. On one side of the coin it means admitting when you've effed up, when you haven't lived up to your potential, when you've let someone down, when you've truly screwed the pooch and need to accept the consequences. But, on the more positive side, it means to stop undermining myself and take ownership of my skills and what I have to offer. Humility is an important trait, and something my parents unknowingly drilled into me. I would so much rather underplay an achievement than be seen as a braggart or a self-important social climber. But this has turned into a cyclical inner monologue of "eh, yeah you're doing okay now but it's not a big deal" or "no one is going to care about you a year from now". FUCK DAT HOOMANZ. If I don't take ownership of where I am, what I have accomplished and what I still have to offer....than WHO IS?!
So that's it. That's the three. I would love to hear yours. And maybe we can all check in six months from now and see how we're doing. Because, it's all a work in progress. Literally I already failed with one of my words this morning when I got an audition for a tv pilot and immediately thought "Oh, they'll get like an actual tv person for this, not me." WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? An "actual tv person". They need an actor. Period. Might as well take ownership of the opportunity and think it could be me...cause ya know what? It could. 2019. It's all possible.