The Courageous Ones

I’m basking at “one of my cafés” after a good audition. I won’t say too much about the project, but it felt soooooo good just to do my best.

cheers!

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

But I am reminded of an audition only last week that I didn’t feel so good about. It was a crowded and rushed atmosphere and I let that tempo shift my own.

Isn’t that how it happens sometimes?

But then I think of today. Not over-preparing, but preparing in a way that works for me, that allows me to be my most organic and free.

It’s such a gamble. Every time. So many variables.

But I was lucky today.

Parking was easy, casting was kind, the building/office was evocative and solid, the material was fresh.

And the muse had taken her vitamins. Or something.

It’s funny how one risk, any risk, pays far greater dividends than any amount of coddling the safe zone.

And it often hurts, yes? The whole business (and I don’t just mean the business of show).

So I am pretty sure it is these small victories that must be well-savored. No matter their eventual outcome.

So, cheers!

Here’s to the courageous ones.

May our paths nourish us during those flashes of right action, and especially when we feel broken and forget how damn brave we are.

And how lucky.

Simpatica Simpatica: The Stirrings of my Latina Soul

BHFF

As a child, I loved speaking Spanish with my South American mother. It was our own magical unguarded language in the suburbs of New York City.

I never exactly considered myself “Latina” though, since I had so many other cultural influences and imperatives.

But when I recently learned of a film festival celebrating independent Latina voices just 12 minutes away from where I live, I knew I had to go.

So Sunday I showed up to an inspiring panel on creating webisodes, of all things. I related to the storied backgrounds of many of the women presenting, and I laughed heartily at their jokes and references (maybe too loud). But I didn’t talk to anybody when it was done. I don’t know if I was self-conscious about my still damp hair, or was secretly afraid I wasn’t Latina “enough” (whatever that means), or if I was just feeling tired at the end of a long week. I didn’t try to force anything, though, and I left soon after the session with maybe the faintest hint of melancholy.

A few hours later, I was at a local Starbucks grading papers for a class I teach at the community college. To my right, a raven-haired young woman sat down at the table beside me and placed before her at least three eye-catching volumes of Chicano dramatic literature.

My heart skipped a beat.

I had to say something.

What followed was a lively and soulful conversation about the festival (in which her friend had a film), teaching (she was writing an exam), living in Los Angeles, and the energetic vortex at that particular Starbucks which somehow enabled us to get good work done.

I drove home that evening with a swell in my corazon. The Latina connection I had envisioned happening that day occurred in a completely surprising way–always a sign to me that my feet are where they are meant to be: Mi camino es seguro.

I don’t know where this identity piece is headed, but I trust that it has its own trajectory and spirit, blue/green eyes and all. And if I listen closely, I can hear the Spanish lullaby my mother would sing to me when I was little, and I can feel the tender sway of her thickly-accented love.