Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays despite the fact I don’t eat turkey, meat-filled stuffing, or gravy with a meat base. Hey, yams are good too! Veggie stuffing as well! This year, Thanksgiving will be strange. If you’ve been reading this blog, my father passed away just 11 days ago, and I feel like this holiday is happening too quickly and without welcome. I remember last year, my father had just come home from the hospital for Thanksgiving. We were all thrilled to have him after months of fighting in ICU and rehab. A few days later, he sang me (sort of) happy birthday.
This year will be different, but I am thankful. I think in general, in life, it is important to take a moment and reflect on everything that you have and have had. Don’t think about your life with judgments or negativity, but just acknowledgment. This is definitely one practice I have carried with me from all those semesters taking tai chi at the Lee Strasberg Institute - thanks Ron! I had an awesome father, and the fact that he’s gone doesn’t change the fact that he was absolutely kick-ass. My memories will never be erased and the person I am today is because of him. I am thankful.
Now because this blog should really be about filmmaking and acting and making things happen for yourself, I think this thankful attitude should be carried into one’s artistic career. I’ve gotten caught up in the trap of thinking of other people’s careers and wishing for things I don’t have, upset I didn’t get a part, or hoping for certain auditions, but this is a wasteful way of thinking. Be thankful for what you have. Everyone’s career is different. If I landed a huge film role right out of school, I wouldn’t have had the drive to want to make my own film and really take charge.
Your career can only start to take shape when you sit back, relax and focus on what you have, what you are thankful for and why.
So maybe tomorrow in between helpings of Grandma’s pie, sit back and look around you at the people at your table. You wouldn’t be acting and filmmaking and creating art if it weren’t for those people and your upbringing. Mom may call too often at times, Dad may harass you to “get certain things done,” but remember that those people not only physically made you, they shaped you like a little piece of clay into the person you are now.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving memories at home with family?