Tuesday, February 26, 2013

the joy of surfing

I don't know about you, but I've been surfing a lot lately.

Not, like, surfing-in-the-water-surfing, though. HAHAHAHHA No. Nope. We'll work on that, uh, later. When I have a sense of balance, hand/eye coordination, and can swim. Three things I've heard help one's ability to surf quite a bit.

No, I've been surfing my career.

Someone once explained that having an acting career is a lot like surfing. You train every day, you work hard to make sure you have the ability to ride a wave successfully, should a wave actually come in, and you spend a majority of your day waiting. Waiting for that wave. Gauging how far you can go on it, how far the momentum will carry you. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. 

It's tough to disagree with that metaphor. I know some of my more proactive Go Out and Grab Life by the Balls blogger friends are gonna reply, "You have to go out and create waves, not wait for them," but I think there's a time and place for both attitudes. And a lot of us feel like we're waiting. We do the daily work, we train ourselves to be as skilled as we can in whatever our artistic craft is, and then...we wait. We play the waiting game, waiting for the right opportunity to come along. It takes patience, and an utter love for our art that's so big, that we can get by on one wave a week or month. Did you see that, we crow, after catching the first wave in six weeks. It made all the waiting worth it.

But it's tough, to wait, day in and day out. Wondering when the next wave is gonna come, if the payoff is gonna be big enough, if the high we get off of catching that wave is gonna outweigh the six weeks of waiting with very little else to show for it. There's a reason why there's about thirty professional surfers who make huge money with endorsements from surfing, while the other few thousand professional surfers probably can't afford their rent another month if it's all they do.

As an actor, I understand this perfectly. I understand the waiting, and the patience, and not being able to skip a single day of knowing my craft inside and out, just in case that right opportunity comes along when I'm on my B Game instead of my A Game. And that's okay. Because right now, the love still outweighs all of it. Will it next year? In ten years? I don't know. But today, it does.

The hardest part is describing to others what you're doing with your life. If you spend six hours in the water, waiting for some good waves, and didn't really get many that day, how would you describe your day to someone? Would you tell them you did nothing? That you're lazy, because you're waiting, because we live in a culture that doesn't see waiting or patience as very important qualities? A culture that actually looks at waiting as a weakness. 

So when I logged in today to tell all of you beautiful people - that I miss quite a bit - what I've been up to for the past month, after struggling to define it on my own head  - I came up with: surfing.

I've been surfing. I've been training every day, actively waiting for those waves to come in, and I've been patiently loving every minute that I sit in the still water between each wave, and the love that's keeping me afloat is the same love that gives me enough courage to go out into the waves, which is the same love that gives me the courage to wait every day and know that it's worth it. 

So I've been surfing. What have you guys been up to? I'd love to hear about it :)

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