My Mom and Dad have been avid golfers for as long as I can remember. My Dad started playing when he was young but my Mom didn’t pick it up until she married him. She also started skiing when they got married. But I digress. We were fortunate enough to live in a small town with several pretty good golf courses close by so they were usually able to play somewhere. Even if for a hole or two or to shag balls. My Dad really enjoyed the game and the release it provided him from his stressful career. For my Mom, I think it was a wonderful opportunity for her to find a moment of peace and quiet amongst the chaos of raising 5 children. It’s blissfully hard to answer a million questions and referee the multitude of battles when you are on the back nine!
I always thought it was great that they shared this common interest. They took golf trips together, went to golf school together and played together several times a week. My Mom, being the great competitor she is, really worked at her game. She has a great eye for analyzing a swing and for putting what she learned into practice. It got to the point she could play better than my Dad, who was no slouch himself. In fact she plays better than almost the entire male membership at their club. There’s quite a bit of grudging admiration in the men’s locker room for my Mom’s skills. All of us kids grew up playing, with varying degrees of success. I like being outdoors but the time it took to play a full round was time I wanted to use elsewhere. So while I am proficient, I haven’t excelled to the level my parents have. But I always loved playing with them. It was really fun and the laughs we had were priceless. Best of all, I always played better than when I was playing in an outing or a league. Both my parents would give me tips, and my Mom especially was great at fixing my errant swing. I played up to their game and was the better for it.
I thought about that last night when I attended a table read for the latest project I’ve been cast in, a short film. One of the actors there had really prepared for the read, our first meeting as a cast. He’d really thought about all the characters and had read the script multiple times. He’d mapped out past histories and relationship nuances I hadn’t begun to think about. His work got me thinking about decisions I’d made about my character but hadn’t formalized. Made me commit to certain aspects of my role and who I was in the story. Made me work out where I was going in this story. In short, improved my game during our brief meeting.
It had been a while since I’ve been in a collaborative effort like this. Voiceover can be a solitary business with no one to bounce ideas off of. I was excited leaving the meeting and reminded that I should always try to work with those better than me. Push myself. Raise my game. How else am I going to get that hole in one?