Felicitations for April: GratitudePosted by: Felicity Huffman on April 10th, 2013
I have been working at a new job, a pilot for FOX called BOOMERANG, which has wonderful actors and is brilliantly written by Davey Holmes (Shameless, Awake, Pushing Daisy’s). Anthony Lapaglia, who I have been a fan of since “LANTANA’, plays my husband. Michael Stahl David and Patrick Heusinger play my sons, and Olivia Crocicchia plays my daughter. Craig Brewer, of Hustle and Flow fame, is directing. And to top it all off, it’s being produced by John Wells, who has the track record of Secretariat. I have been loving working on this pilot, but I realize my objective is, “Trying not to be bad” – that is a dreadful objective. It is failure and fear based, it squeezes out any opportunity for joy and creativity, and it almost guarantees failure. It reminds me of another dreadful goal I had; at my wedding I wanted, “everyone to have a good time.” Unfortunately I forgot that “everyone” included me. So, I went crazy, cried, yelled at people I love, and had nightmares about the port-a-potty. But, I did get really skinny from all the stress.
So every day I go into work, I warm up my instrument (my voice and body – actors’ tools) I analyze what I am doing in the scene, step into the sound stage, hit my mark and… try not to suck. This, of course, assumes that I suck to begin with, which may or may not be true. But, I am pretty sure that the way to stop sucking is NOT by giving myself the command to “stop sucking.”
So, this is what I do: I go down to the bottom. I “grasp the nettle,” as my Mother used to say. “Okay, I am a terrible actress, I look funny, the way I move my lips is bizarre, my limitations and short comings are inescapable …and my legs look like overstuffed sausages.” Then, knowing all that, I take the next step, “so, now what do I want to do?”
First, I feel as if I have opened up a lot of time and space by not fighting my fears anymore. Then, I look around and think, “Well, I want to have a nice time. I want people around me to feel appreciated, I want to laugh. I want to work hard. I want to not give up. Ultimately, I want everyone to be blessed. Can I do all that while letting go of the notion that I am terrible?” Yes, I think I can.
I also have a sneaky suspicion the answer to all my self-involved obsessions (aside from getting my head out of my ass, shutting up, and doing my job) is gratitude. The acknowledgment of the good in my life and more importantly the acceptance of that good.
But action expresses gratitude more than speech. So, I ask myself, “What action can I take?” This could be expressing gratitude, being kind, seeing and speaking about all the good stuff around me.
When I take the time to acknowledge the good around me, however small to human comprehension, I’m accepting that good into my life and even magnifying it.
Today is my last day on the pilot; I am going into work in an hour.
I am going to warm up my “instrument.” I am going to enjoy myself. I am going to laugh. I am going to work hard. I am going to thank the lovely talented people around me for their wonderful work. Instead of hiding out in the corner trying to figure out why I am so bad and what I can do to fix it!
But as I leave my computer, I am going to thank you. Thank you for reading this, thank you for being a part of WTF and may your April be full of blessings and gratitude.
*Editor’s Note: Felicitations is a monthly letter from Felicity Huffman that premieres in our Newsletter before being published on the site. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter for other exclusives, updates, and giveaways from WhatTheFlicka.com.