I had lunch with an actor friend last week.
I try not have many actor friends because, let's face it, we're flaky people.
And I especially try not to "do lunch" with them because, we'll face it, didn't that first sentence sound douchey?
But Tohoru Masamune has a background like mine - he went to MIT and fell far short of his Asian family's expectations for a legitimate career. (Though he did work on one of the biggest movies of the last five years. Hint - is the top still spinning?)
During our douchey 3-hour lunch, Tohoru gave me some of the best encouragement for artists of all genres.
What we're doing is the hardest thing of all.
It blew my mind. And was so simple I caught on immediately.
I don't discount that - being a grownup is hard. Especially when they see us lunching for three hours like douchebags, looking unnaturally fit for our age.
But on the flipside, they know where their next meal is coming from. Whereas the lunching douchebags may not eat again the rest of the day. (No wonder we sat for 3 hours - had to make the most of our one meal.)
Even staying fit isn't something to be envied - it's a job requirement for the only industry in the world in which, legally, your race, height, and fatness can land or lose a gig. This isn't easy; it's primitive! Just as Neanderthal man didn't eat if he didn't run, we don't get paid if we don't get on that elliptical.
This ability to tolerate an enormous amount of uncertainty, to even thrive on it, hits right down to our roots as people. Cobbling together money to slide the rent check under the door at 5:01 p.m. (told you actors are always late) may not be the same as trekking twenty miles every morning to spear a boar, but the underlying drive is. There's something about the sink or swim mentality that makes you feel ALIVE. It's what keeps the actor going to
So if you've committed yourself to living your passion, you should be commended. If you've finished a novel, if you've queried, if you dared to practice your craft and share it with the world, you're doing the hardest thing of all. You're living.
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P.S. Fellow Kindness Project author Meagan Spooner is having a massive giveaway on her blog for her debut Skylark!