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Play Before You Work

I heard Dr. Gordon Neufeld talk about the importance of play in childhood development. He said the difference between work and play is simple:

Work is about enjoying the end result.
Play is about enjoying the activity itself.

When an artist plays with an idea, he looks at it from every angle, not to get it done, but from sheer enjoyment. He explores all of its possibilities like a child playing in a sandbox. And through play, the artist develops her idea into something masterful.

When an artist merely works on an idea, she stifles the creative process in a rush to the finish line.

The artists responsibility is to take play very seriously.

I have played with an idea in my mind for the last 5 years. It is a short film –sweet, touching, funny– awkward boy meets beautiful girl… I have watched this movie in my mind’s eye about a hundred times. And now I feel ready to work!

You have to eat a mango when it’s ripe. A day too early and the meat is tough. A day too late and its all mushy. It’s like that with ideas too. If you try to make it happen too fast, it doesn’t have a chance to ripen. If you play with an idea for too long, it goes rotten.

Do you have an idea kicking around in your head? My advice to you is play, play play… and then work, work work!

Click here to learn more about the film!

The World’s Most Embarrassing Injury

The game was tied at 4. It was best 3 of 5 and I was down 2 games to love. Do you say “love” in table tennis? Anyway, we traded top spin serves and backhand smashes like Federer vs. Nadal. We battled like titans.

I served a speeding bullet over the net and my opponent scrambled to lob a clumsy shot to my forehand… I side-stepped, smiled, cocked my arm back like a loaded weapon, and swung that Wii Remote with all of my might. And that’s when it happened…

Wiinjury – An injury sustained while playing Nintendo Wii.

I screamed out in pain and collapsed to the floor like a foldaway stroller. My opponent dropped his remote and rushed to my side.

“Are you OK?” He said.

“My shoulder!” I cried in agony.

“What happened?!” He asked.

“I swung too hard…” I moaned.

It felt like my shoulder had been dislocated. I had visions in my head of Jean Claude Van Damme Eric Roberts dislocating his shoulder and telling his trainer to “pop it” back into place. He looks at his trainer with fire in his eyes and screams, “POP IT TOMMY! POP IT!” I looked at my friend… nay, my opponent, and screamed, “POP IT TOMMY! POP IT!”

My friends name is Dave. He looked confused. “If you can move it, its not dislocated,” he explained. He asked me if I wanted to ice it. That’s when I realized… I just hurt myself playing Nintendo Wii. This is the most embarrassing injury of all time.

Today, I couldn’t go to the gym because of the wiinjury. I have a couple of workout buddies. Guys that drink egg whites out of water bottles.  I am going to have to explain to them why I can’t make it to the gym…

My opponent, nay, my friend, suggested I go to physio. That would involve me explaining to the physiotherapist what happened. I think I’ll just Google “physio at home” and do some stuff myself.

For part two in my story of shame click here.

To Slap

I am in the middle of watching the movie Sideways. Paul Giamatti is amazing. I just realized something. Everything I need to be a great actor is in the eyes of my scene partner. Its all there. Watching, listening, believing what they say, not believing what they say…

Two weeks ago I had an audition for a new television series. The casting breakdown stated that the Producers and Director would be present. Yikes. That always unsettles me.  But I made up my mind that I was walking into that room thinking about one person. Not the producer. Not the director. Not the casting director. The one person I need to focus on… is the reader. That seemingly insignificant person reading the lines. I need to MESS WITH THEM! I need to move them. To listen to them. To challenge them. That is my goal. So I walked into the room and instead of being intimidated by the panel behind the desk, I was totally focused on the most important person in the room, the reader. My goal in an audition is to disturb, startle, disrupt, break, woo, slap, sting, stab, offend, love, and win the heart of the reader.

It was a great audition. I didn’t get the part. Rejection is part of the journey.

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