I have been shooting for three weeks on a very nice project. There was a lot of emotional work, which always requires more focus and concentration from all involved, especially the actors.
On one very full, emotional day, I was working with an actor who was so very calm and centered, and had a beautiful emotional life going on. We connected so easily. We finished the scene and broke for lunch. As we reached our trailers, I turned to him and told him how much I enjoyed working with him, and how present he had been. “Oh,” he responded, “Thank you! My daughter is undergoing major surgery as we speak. They are pretty sure it’s cancer. So, I’m glad I was with you in that scene.” OK, sensitive that I am, tears welled up in my eyes. First, because I know the overwhelming love for a daughter, and secondly, at the dignity and presence he brought to the set as his personal world was in chaos.
I looked at him, and expressed my admiration. I asked him what source of strength he called upon. Without hesitation, he said: The Serenity Prayer.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
“You see,” he went on to explain, “This has guided my life since when I was addicted to abuse, over 14 years ago. It is my guiding rule I live by. I couldn’t control her outcome, but I could control my reaction and choice to show up here today. That’s what’s gotten me through my life.” Two hours later the good news came: no cancer.
Yes. I know that one well. It is the basis of all our work: CHOICE. So, yes, there is a pandemic. We can’t control that. But we CAN control our reactions and choices of what we want to create. I choose to create balance and joy and love and giving. Everywhere I go. You wanna join me?
“It’s not stress that kills us. It’s our reaction to it.”