The Art of Coloring

Recently I was able to do one of my favorite things in the world.  I got to spend some time with my nieces and nephews.  It’s always a blast and the energy just blows away any bad juju you have going on in your world.  I would never say dinner was a relaxing experience-more like a food triage system of trying to get nutrients into ever moving mouths and keeping butts in the seats.  But it is enormously entertaining.

After dinner one  nephew, who has recently discovered he likes coloring, brought out a huge Star Wars cartoon coloring book, you know the kind that is about 18 inches by 30 inches.  We had our choice between a box of markers, thankfully washable, and a bucket of crayons.  He and I started coloring together, mostly him, but soon his sister had to get in on the action and the attention (I have no idea where she gets that from) and I was nosed out of the picture, literally.  It was kind of hard to get my southpaw in to do any work with 2 kids sitting on my lap and the third one trying to climb up and join them.  There was much jostling for real estate between the two.  Eventually it settled down, the toddler moved off to another flight of fancy and I was able to get in a few strokes of color.  We were staying in the lines but the cool thing was we were also drawing new lines within the bigger spaces.  Colors weren’t locked into specific parts but instead were all over the board.  The big gloved hand had about 20 different colors and patterns on it.  He was promptly christened Rainbow Plo Koon.  It was beautiful in its own uniqueness.

Kids have such an amazing way of seeing things.  They don’t see the rules, the way we’ve always done something, the way it should be done or the logical progression of a picture.  They just put the color down without a thought and are quite happy with the result.  They enjoy the process of coloring and really don’t care about the outcome at all.  Auditioning and performance should be this way and it’s something I strive for every time I step in front of the camera or the mic.  Letting go of all the thoughts and the head drama seems like it would be an easy thing to accomplish but this isn’t always the case.  Next time I’ll thing of Mr. Rainbow, enjoy the process and not worry about the end result.

Fearlessness

Safely ensconced back in my abode after all the glitz and glam of my trip to LA gives me a great opportunity to reflect on all the fun I had and the wonderful people I met.  This trip was packed with some pretty cool events, an Emmy post party, a Santa Monica restaurant opening and a visit to a studio.  Plus lots of chances to get together with friends.  But through the entire weekend, I realized I’d packed some even more precious than the 8 pairs of shoes I’d brought.  What?  I was there for 3 1/2 days.  What do you expect?  Even more important that these fabulous accessories, I’d brought along my fearlessness.  My audacity.  And I pulled it out and put it on more frequently than my lipstick.  Because of this I didn’t hesitate to walk up to an unknown Emmy winner, ask to hold his statue (they really are heavy-probably 8-10 pounds), hear about his sound work on the show House and then have him offer to take a picture of me holding his award.  Which will most likely be my Christmas card this year!  I talked to and congratulated several other winners, among those were Cherry Jones, an actress who I’d admired for quite a while, to the point of writing her a fan masher letter when I saw her in Doubt.  And here I was congratulating her on her win.  I met the President of a major network and kidded him about some things he said.  I busted someone on her Chicago accent, something I am so aware of as I try to neutralize my own, and it was the lovely actress and animation voice Megan Cavanaugh and we proceed to have a great conversation on trying to get the “chicago” out of our speech.  Then there was the guy on the set of Chuck who so patiently answered all of my numerous questions about sets and shooting and props.  If you’ve ever been with me, you know I ask a lot of questions!  All of these things would never have happened had I let myself get all self conscious and fear being judged.  For some reason, whenever I go somewhere else, I pack my fearlessness and audacity along with me.

The tricky part is to not put them away with the luggage when I get home.  Keep these two traits with me at ALL times, not just when I have nothing to lose in a strange place and amongst strangers.  Charge forward fearlessly even when I know I may see these people again and they may laugh at me behind their smiles.  Forget being judged.  As Virgil said Fortune favors the bold and since I plan on having a lot of success in my future, I’d be better served with fearlessness as my guide.

I can’t believe I brought another Latin saying into this writing, my Dad is just hooting right now.  It’s still a dead language.