Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Riggle Me this, What is a Breaking Point.

Ok, so it has occurred to me that I haven't written on here in quite awhile. But something happened today that has forced me to reconsider writing here again. Today, my belief of myself and my talents was tested and I ran. I chose the path of fear and resistance and turned away from myself and let all of the doubt and cowardice win. I also rolled all of my fear, humiliation, frustration, and doubt into a weapon of spite and threw it in the face of a man that I know deep in my soul not only believes in me, but fights for me daily to be a better and more truthful human, man, and actor. That man caught my weapon gracefully, turned it into a bomb and threw it back to me where it obviously went off. I reverted back into this young horrible child I was in my teenage years. That infantile person I thought I once killed came back with a vengeance and was out for blood. He shocked not only me, but also the man who only encourages me to be better. This amazing man that I went up against is not only better than me, but wiser than me, and ultimately, one of few men who make me truly understand the value of being a man. He is simply known to those around me as my acting coach, but what he teaches me extends well beyond the realm of acting. He teaches me the sanctity of truth, the beauty in listening, and the joy in sharing ourselves with other people. He constantly reminds me of other peoples humility, honor, downfalls, and hardships. He encourages me to see the unparalleled beauty in human nature of all extremes. And most important, at least in my narcissistic mind, he reminds me that I am unique and that in and of itself is extraordinary. So today in my class, I have been stuck. I have been pushing on a breaking point and it is beyond frustrating. That's how this all began. By being disappointed in myself as an actor. I was struggling to do that thing we call acting. Which is essentially tapping into our emotions. (it's more complex than that, but I'm simplifying). I was stuck, at my wits end, and instead of allowing it all to come out, I held it in, I bottled it up so hard that there was no telling where the eruption would happen. It could have happened later in the day, to some unsuspecting person on the subway who just happened to cut me off as I was walking. Or to some poor cashier who asked me some asinine question regarding a loyalty card. Who knows? Well then it happened. It happened and was directed full on at my teacher who deserves more from me than a childish tantrum. He deserves first my respect because it is his studio, but secondly my trust in his teachings because that's what I'm there for. I'm there for his guidance, his expertise and if I'm not going to accept it, then what the hell am I doing there? Luckily for me, I am being taught by an ever forgiving and caring man who understands that this process is difficult and can be upsetting at times and there are fights in general between him and students. Usually with him asking, "You've been doing the same thing for twenty something years and are getting no results. How's that working out for you?" And I've seen him go to battle with several students, but for some reason this one seemed worse, and not because I was the on the receiving end of it. Because I knew that how I spoke to him was uncalled for, unjust and downright mean. It was uncalled for and I am forever disappointed in myself for not having been the man I know myself to be in that moment. If I could go back, I would take a breath and continue with true curiosity of wanting to get better at my craft and then continue on with class and I would learn. Even though I know that I learned a great deal from my moment of weakness. Trust is not an easy thing for me. For whatever reason, I was not born with this innate sense of trust for people I should have. It's ok. It's something that I've had to learn how to do. I have to choose trust on a regular basis. I have to choose to trust in myself, my family, and my friends. I live in constant fear that my trust will be broken as it has many times before. But this last year of my life, I've learned that there is trust in my life that no matter what, will never be broken. And so now I'm choosing to trust this man in my life. This beautiful soul that honors me everyday with the best that he can give me and my fellow actors. I choose to know and accept that he will guide me and teach me through my failures and that even if I fall, I won't die. that's a little dramatic for sure, but nothing will happen if I fail. I will only move forward from it. As he's told us a thousand times, I've been doing the same thing and getting nowhere, why not do something else. Take a risk. So my risk is trusting him. The worst thing that could happen is that I will end up right here where I started. The best thing that could happen is I could actually get somewhere with my life. And since i brought up trust, I have to mention that later in the day, I was on a break from work and I called my mom to just vent about my rough day. My father picked up her phone instead and encouraged me to talk to him instead. He listened to me ramble and just when I thought I was boring him he said to me, "Steve, I would like to meet this man. You've clearly met your match and I think that's awesome." He went on to ask me how I can make things better. I said, "I have to show up and do what I know how to do." He replied, "Well then suck it up and do it. You chose this and you know how to do it. It's tough, but this guy sounds like he knows how to push your buttons. You need more of that in your life." It really hit me that my dad got it. There was a point in my life that I was an absolute asshole to my parents. And today's "moment" as I will call it chalks right up there with my teenage behavior. To that my dad and I both think that I'm lucky my teacher didn't punch me square in the face. I deserved that. What I didn't deserve, but received was forgiveness from my teacher. And I know that is something that impressed my father. As my dad was saying his goodbyes to me, I could tell in his voice that I have his unwavering support, as I've always had, and I just felt so lucky that this is the man who raised me. Another thing today making me feel unworthy. But as he said, "Well, I'm glad we talked today, call me anytime," the tears began to well up in my eyes, and fell down my cheek when he followed up with, "I love you son." It killed me. To just not only hear the words through a phone, but feel them. I choked up and squeaked out an "I love you too," back to him. So Riggle me this, I'm a lucky son of a bitch today. And I need to turn this knowledge into action. And I could not be more grateful for two men in my life that I know will have my back and challenge me in many ways, Matthew Corozine and my father. I'm lucky that I have role models of what I want to emulate for not just my professional life, but my life as a man in this world.