All fall down



“The best advice I can give you about falling is to never land.”

American comedian, actor, and screenwriter, Chevy Chase was born on this day in 1943.

I once had a director ask me if I could fall on stage.

I replied “once,” and asked her which performance she’d like me to do it in.

Among the things that made Chevy Chase famous were the pratfalls he took impersonating President Gerald Ford in the early years of Saturday Night Live and during the 1976 elections.  Chase wasn’t fond of Ford, but later they became friendly.

Thanks for the Carter years, Chevy.

I digress.

Everybody stumbles.  Everybody falls.

And, everybody lands.

Maybe the better way to say it is that, when you land, you don’t stay there.

Unless you land in Never Land, which is another story.

Again, I digress.

Life is hard.  No one is perfect.  There are setbacks and failures.

What defines us is how we deal with them.

Do we learn from the setbacks?  From the failures?

Or do we let them paralyze us into inaction, and worse in to giving up our dreams?

You can’t avoid falling.  You can’t avoid landing.

But you can avoid sitting there on your, possibly bruised, behind.

Failure, or falling down, is part of the learning process.

When a child is learning to walk, there are lots of falls and tumbles.

When science is on the verge of a new discovery, the “failed” attempts give the clues to what’s not right about the substance.

No piano virtuoso ever played a concerto without going through many, many, wrong notes to get there.

As an actor, my lines are never perfect the second time.  Sometimes not even the last time.

As a writer, my drafts aren’t failures.  I didn’t fall down.  I did something.  No, I’m doing something, and that’s part of the process.

Sure, nobody wants to fall down and get hurt.

And what’s that superstition about dreaming you’re falling and dying if you hit the ground?

I wonder who told them that.

We all fall.  We all land.

It’s what we do when we’re down there that matters.

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