I don't know if it's the holidays or what, but this month in particular has me meeting up with old friends whom I haven't seen in years. Three in particular are actresses whom I loved working with, and it's a delight to share past adventures and learn from each other.
While I've stayed in NY, working on new plays and musicals Off and Off-Off Broadway, one friend has done the same thing and just closed a great play. Another friend went to grad school and was doing delicious work there. Another has been playing stellar roles in musicals throughout the country.
While we've all been very lucky, surviving the hurricane, one friend mentioned something about how "the blessing is in the break," and she equated it to the story Jesus breaking bread, miraculously building loaf upon loaf to feed the masses.
This made me think of all the ways artists view "the break." We're all looking for our "big break," and that seems to come about through discipline, persistence, patience, positivity, passion, and connecting with others.
My friend who went to grad school mentioned breaking bad habits as part of her acting process, and it makes me think of "tempered steel," how metal must be heated in order to be shaped.
This also makes me think of the film, "The Life of Pi," which I saw last night (I'm now reading the book). I love the main character's view of religion since as a child he was initiaed in Hinduism, "met" Christ as a boy in a Christian church, and later discovered Allah. He viewed spirituality as different rooms in the same house. Not to get all preachy, but I love that sentiment, and the story of "The Life of Pi" sees a young man whose spirit is constantly tested when he's lost at sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
Just when you think he's broken, something appears to lift him up. It's like the book The Alchemist, another fabulous spiritual adventure story.
So where does this put me and "breaks"? I feel like I'm excavating, digging for buried treasure within myself. There are classes I want to take to strengthen my acting and singing. My writing side is also calling to me, and there are projects I'm working on with friends. I can see the need to break bad habits, or to release old ways of thinking. It is time to change, to let go, stretch and grow, be persistent but flexible.
I am open to the ride.