By Allen Levin
Yesterday’s fading the gap was a bright spot in a tough day! The stock market crashed shortly after my victory and dropped over 800 points! The 3rd worst single day in it’s history. On paper I lost $6000. The great news was that the $7.05 I earned, pulling off a technique I’d been working on, gave me hope! Perfect day to gain hope and thank you to that $7.05!
OK — onward to today’s blog!
It seems I may have to rehome the kitten that arrived out of nowhere and stole our hearts. Jimmy Tato is doing some litterbox avoidance when he happens to be on the other side of our property. We have to face that he may be vastly better off in a smaller apartment where he can be aware of his litterbox. My wife and I love him very much but don’t want litter boxes all over our house. We entertain a lot. It’s a deal breaker. We never expected him. We didn’t want another pet. We were surprised and happy to love another.
As an actor, the love I feel for Jimmy Tato (and the new addiction) equals the pain I feel at the thought of no longer having him, living here as a family member. After I write this article I’ll take him to the vet to see if he is old enough and ready to be neutered (Sadly, one ball hasn’t descended which makes this really difficult. Please have gone down. Go down, ball!!). If so, this could help with his craziness and maybe he’d stop making our lives disgusting in the half of the house where he has no box. The advice we’ve been given is to lock him in a room with a litter box for a month. I know how much he calls to be let out (he has a high pitched and adorable call) when we lock him in part of the house let alone a single room. That won’t work. I’ll be looking (and most open) to other creative solutions as I’d like to keep him. At the same time I’ll be open to the right loving home. I’m surrendering to whatever is best for him.
As actors we must study pain. We must study pleasure. We must study all points in between and make sense of why we feel the sensations we experience. We need to be able to bring up these feelings on demand, so if we are studying our lives, this becomes much easier to do. I think actors are much better equipped to deal with pain. We utilize the pain. We learn from the pain. So, even in the depth of the pain, it’s not as bad. We see our silver lining. Let go. Allow your feelings. Learn from them.
My heart hurts this moment. I’ve been through a lot the past few weeks. First with Loopie’s issues and now Jimmy Tato. I know that pain (I didn’t purposely bring upon myself) is valuable. I still need all my acting preserves at a moment’s notice. My students can challenge me to an improv and I’m judged by all in the room with no prior planning. This is also great for me. This forces me to remain what I teach. I need to be in touch with my feelings. I need to be able to communicate the truth without the desire of a response from my audience. I need to let go of whatever teaching game plan I have and get on stage and live up to the work.
I have found that acting and life are both a process of releasing. We must surrender. We must let go. This helps me in nearly every aspect of my life. I don’t need to be in control of anything (certainly not the scene I’m acting in). I simply need to trust in myself. If something goes wrong, I can work it out. I can adapt to any situation. If I have to give up Jimmy Tato, I may get another kitten. I may just spoil my other cats, dog, and horse. I may write another blog. I might even create a filmed project. There is plenty I can do with whatever emotion I’m experiencing. Thank goodness for art!
Letting go is a process that can take years if not decades to fully embrace. When you go into an audition, can you let go of the desire for validation? Can you release the need to book the role or get a callback? Can you surrender and just allow a great experience? The sooner you can truly do this, the more jobs you’ll find that you book. Once you book a job, can you let go of anything your ego wants to attach? Can you continue to move forward as an artist without becoming “above” your friends and classmates? Can you keep your focus and resist the desire to lash out at anyone (Keeping score is just something I’ve heard about. I never do it, myself. Really! I wouldn’t!! These are the jokes.) in particular. No need to yell “I told you so!” Surrender.
What if something is stolen from you? What about your car? Can you let go? Can you surrender to that? Can you still smile at people and move forward with your career? Absolutely. Everything is a lesson. We get to choose our reactions. You can have the best booking of your career an hour after your car was stolen. Let go. If life felt you didn’t need that car perhaps you were being protected from something bad that would have happened. Life is always the best writer. Everything happens for a reason. Let go. Release. Surrender. Feel. Learn.
If I have to give up Jimmy Tato, I’ll hug him. I’ll pass him to another. I’ll cry. I’ll learn. I’ll find space in my heart to love the animals I still have. I’ll find space for future furry members of my family. If it works out and a magical solution to this problem presents itself, I’ll hug him. I’ll cry. I’ll learn. I’ll find space in my heart to love the animals I have. I’ll find space for future furry members of my family. I’m letting go. I don’t need this to go any way. I have no need to control this or any situation in my life. Let’s let go.
Magic happens when we let go. Onward and UP.