Thursday, August 26, 2010


I think a light bulb just went off in my head. I'm watching this year's Emmy Roundtable (Newsweek does this every year and it's pretty cool to see the Emmy nominees sit around a table and talk to each other about film, roles, and acting), and Bryan Kranston of Malcolm in the Middle and Breaking Bad is making all kinds of sense to me.

He's sitting next to Chris Colfer of Glee, and it is clear that Bryan feels a need to reach out to the younger actor with advice. And it's not from a sense of "listen here, sonny", but rather - hey, this is the hard lesson I learned, and I hope you learn it faster than I did. More than that, it's pretty awesome advice. About an hour into the discussion, he starts talking about the audition process, and there is so much of that which makes sense with the dating process. This is what resonated with me in that section of the interview:

"Our job is to create a compelling character that serves the text and ... to give them something, we don't audition to get something. ... If they respond to it, great. If they don't, that's ok, too. If you feel that you're there to get that job, it could only hurt you. You have to detach yourself from some idea of an outcome. It's someone else's decision - they'll either like your voice, hair, etc., or they won't. To bother yourself with thinking about those things... meh.

...The end product for an actor's audition has to be that moment in the room...If you leave the room and say, "I did what I wanted to do, I felt great about that" - that has to be the victory. It cannot be, "It's a victory only if they call me because they want to hire me", because if they don't, it's another little chink, and another little chink (in the armor). They become embittered. We all know actors who are pissed off... because they focus on the wrong thing. The other is the x factor - and that is luck, which you can't control."

(italics mine)

*ding* *ding* *ding*

Who hasn't felt that chinking away of the armor when yet another date goes poorly? Or, when yet another person for whom you've developed feelings doesn't feel the same? Lights go on everywhere for me when he says this. For a while I've been fighting this acrid bitterness that arises in my heart when I am disappointed in love. Going back to my previous post, I *know* that one should not become bitter, but that is what I feel when time after time my heart is hurt.

Approaching dating as trying to get something - with the end result in mind, as it where - for me has only ever set up a lose-lose situation in which anger and bitterness so easily take over. But making my goal to give something - an accurate representation of who I am and what I have to offer - then letting it go... just sounds so much more reasonable, and feels so liberating to contemplate. I've talked before about having a receptive (rather than desperate) quality, and I think this is what that looks like. Eureka.

I can see how this would help me to retain that emotional control and positivity, as would trusting them to know what their needs are, and whether or not I have what they need. And it allows me to leave (some of) the angst at the door. I'm going to fuck this up, and forget the 'pow' of this light bulb moment, but I'm hoping that recording this here will give me something to go back to, to read and re-remember, and hopefully that will stick at the cellular level if I am just patient with myself.

I've been wanting to despair, but his words give me hope. Gonna give it one (or how ever many it takes) more try.

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