Bearing witness

Have you ever seen those interviews where the actor or actress, in answer to the question “What do you think about your performances?” and they reply, “Oh I never watch myself.  I can’t stand to see myself on screen”.  I can’t understand this.  Why would they expect someone to watch them if they couldn’t watch themselves?  It just doesn’t make sense.  Of course being the vain creature that I am, I love watching myself on screen.  I do pick apart every single flaw in the minutest detail but I get a big grin on my face when I see my mug up there.

Performing in workshops has never been an issue for me either.  For some reason, in my noggin, everyone who is there is on the same level as I am.  We are all there to work and learn.  No one is there to judge and no one person is better than the next.  We are at varying points in our career with the ensuing levels of success but this is irrelevant to me.  The fact that I paid the same as everyone else means my needs, goals and expectations are as important as everyone else’s.  This always makes me shake my head a bit as I’ve been in the room with some pretty successful talent that would make it easy to downplay myself.

What I can relate to is the pressure I feel when I am performing in front of someone I know and who’s opinion I care about.  Since I haven’t been on stage in a while, I’d forgotten about this feeling but it came to light the other day and surprised me quite a bit.  I was working with a friend on a joint voiceover project and all of the sudden I was in my head thinking all kinds of screwy thoughts.  I didn’t want him to listen to me.  Now how silly is that?  I think it was because I was voicing and I’m not the most confident about my abilities in this field.  But I need to get over it.  As the author Jessamyn West said, “It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes.  It takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.”

Tour De Force

Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the premiere of the epic Civil War saga, Gone With the Wind.  Turner Classic Movies played the film in it’s entirety with no interruptions.  I happened to catch it just as Atlanta was falling to those Yankees.  So I missed some of my favorites scenes with the prettiest dresses at the beginning of the movie.  After all, what girl didn’t imagine herself at the barbeque in that beautiful green dress that her mammy deemed so inappropriate because it showed her shoulders before evening.  On top of that, she was surrounded by all the handsomest beaux in the county.  Truly a dream!

I promptly sat down and watched the remainder of the movie.  I still turned my eyes at the most difficult to watch scenes of war and suffering and this time turned the sound down.  But this time around, I was struck by how amazing the film was.  I don’t know if you know any of the history of this movie and all the difficulty that happened in trying to get it made.  The short end of the story is they went through multiple directors, many rewrites, budget issues, casting challenges.  You name it, they experienced it.  They even started filming before the role of Scarlett O’Hara was even cast.  But through it all, what remained was one of the most exciting, visually engaging and well produced films of history.  I’d forgotten how much I loved this movie.

I’d also forgotten the incredible writing that the film contained.  My favorite line comes at the end of the movie.  No not the one Clark Gable is remembered for, the classic “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”, but instead the one that Scarlett says after he leaves.  In her grief and sadness as she is trying to figure out her next step, she makes the statement that is my favorite-“Tomorrow is another day”.  I love this.  Tomorrow is another day, it is a new beginning, a new start, an opportunity to do the right thing and take the next chance.  That is the promise made to us.  We will have another go at it.  If we are lucky it will happen with beautiful clothes and fabulous lighting but if that isn’t the case, grab at it anyway with both hands and make the best of it.