It’s funny as this phrase has been recognizable to me from a young age. Growing up I knew what rolling, action and, background meant before I could speak. I never was a ‘child star’ or anything like that, in fact I remember having to beg my parents one time to let me play background as a mouse in Nora Ephron’s This Is My Life. My dad worked in the business as a stills photographer however, and I grew up completed fascinated with simply being on set.
Others often have a glorified idea of what working on a film set is, only to find out later how boring it is. They think it’s beautiful people, doing incredible things, and somehow being part of it all makes you a more sophisticated person. Then they get on set and it’s something completely opposite. The actors are normal, the days are looooooonggggg and it takes 5 hours to set up a shot.
I was never bored on set. There always seemed to be something to do, or something to watch. Being there was maybe one of the most stimulating things I could imagine. To see a whole group of people fulfilling their individual roles and coming together as a sort of unified organism, was fascinating. To this day, having worked on a number of sets both as cast and or crew, I am still intrigued by all of it.
There’s the old joke that gets thrown around… ‘hurry up and wait’. It very much speaks to the nature and dynamic of being a part of set life. There is a constant urgency to the task at hand, then once done you usually wait for the next person to finish their task, or more often everyone’s simply waiting for the director to make a decision or the actor to arrive.
The waiting never seems to bother me all that much. Maybe it’s because the responsibility of completion is not up to me. The deadline, the budget, the schedule is set by some other source. And I have given ultimate trust to those making those decisions. Waiting in life however I struggle with all at the time. Especially these days.
I would say I am a proactive person who always has something on the go. But the outcome of those things on the go always seems to be at the hand of someone else. One of the reasons I stopped pursing acting for awhile was because of this very relationship with schedule. I just couldn’t stomach the waiting. No matter how many auditions I submitted to, got called for or sent to by my agent, and or even booked…I ALWAYS felt like I was waiting for someone else to do their bidding with me. Waiting waiting and more waiting, but the size of the organism was not as tangible as the one on set. It involved people I couldn’t see, that I had no interaction with and that ultimately existed somewhere on down the road.
This pushed me in the direction of music. It seemed in this field I could do ‘everything’ myself. I could write the song, learn the song, perform the song, record the song, tour, publish, and even shoot the video for that song by myself. I could be active, I could book gigs and find opportunities to perform, that in the beginning seemed to be on my own terms. Wow did I ever neglect to realize that the waiting is not something I can simply escape. It is a part of all professions. In fact it is a part of life…life is full of waiting…waiting for action.
Sometimes you have to trust. You have to trust that amongst all your activity something unexpected and wonderful will come your way. Trust that you are in the right place at the right time, making the right decisions. Trust that every path you have followed and every strength you have is ultimately for some higher or greater purpose. Trust that maybe there are things beyond our control that we can’t make happen with force.
For me trust is one of the hardest things to comprehend. I find myself wondering what to trust these days. The closer I come to following my gut the more complicated things seems to become. The more sensitive I am, the more overwhelmed I become by all the thoughts in my head. Am I doing it wrong?
I’m not sure what’s next. It feels like I’m back to making decisions based around waiting and the what if’s of life. I know that where I am right now doesn’t feel quite right, but I’m not sure exactly what to change. Maybe I should stop trying to change it and let it change on it’s own, cause sometimes things won’t shift until they’re ready to.
I am not saying that I should stop everything, and be lazy about life, but maybe I should start waiting for action. Let the opportunities come to me. Let others figure out how I may be of use to them while I quietly work on the things that bring me pleasure. I’m ready to rekindle my passion, my zest for life, my fire. Here I go on the quest for such…join me when you’re ready.
ps- a funny thing happened. As I typed in the title of this blog, I accidentally typed ‘wanting for action’. It gave me pause and decided it was some kind of Freudian slip that I liked quite a bit more!!! All it took was the difference of one letter.
pps- yes that is a photo of me waiting on the set of Canadian idol…but that’s a story for another time;-)