Practice, practice, practice


I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.

American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction writer Ray Bradbury was born on this day in 1920. (died June 5, 2012).

I realize that we all read that quote this morning before work, or perhaps at work on our ten-minute-how-do-you-pee-make-coffee-and-grab-a-danish coffee break, or perhaps leisurely at lunch.

Regardless, on a Monday morning it’s easy enough to grumble about where we are. Because we’re likely working hard, and it very well could be at something we don’t love.

Those who find the perfect career, the perfect job, the perfect life, are both rare and blessed. Rather most of us are working sort of in a field where we want to be, but maybe not exactly.

Then there are those of us in the arts, which for me include both writing and acting. We’re not quite at the place of paying the mortgage through our craft. So we have the survival job. Some, particularly the young, manage to survive waiting tables or substitute teaching or any number of things they can piece together.

Those of us who are older and more chains we have forged in life have our nine-to-fives. And some of us even have our weekend jobs.

This is not a lesson in economics. We all do what we have to do to get by.

I have friends who are making a living acting. I have friends who make a living as writers.

I’m not there. Not yet anyway.

In reality, I may never be.

But, like Mr. Bradbury (one of my favorite authors since way back in high school) says, if you love something work at it.

I love writing. I love acting and all things theatre (we’ll soon see if I love directing…more to come).

So I piece my life together in a way that allows me to do these things.

Would I love a life where I got up and wrote all day and rehearsed or performed all evening? Sure.

The point here is that I’m not going to get there if I don’t practice the craft.

That would be why this isn’t being written in Spanish or why I’m not accompanying this with a nice piano concerto.

I use this blog to practice my writing. Sometimes you get to read the good stuff.

After my self-imposed theatrical break (that sounds more dramatic than it is…see what I did there?), I’m back on the audition circuit, remembering as Michael Shurtleff said in Audition, you can’t quit after one bad audition.

And next month I’ll be directing for the first time in a very long time.

Writing may not be your thing. Theatre may not be your thing.

But everybody’s got a thing.

Get. Your. Mind. Out. Of. The. Gutter.

Whatever it is that you love the point is you (and I) need to practice.

You don’t think those Olympic swimmers learned to tear up bathrooms and lie about it all at once do you?

Sorry. Too soon?

I digress.

Maybe your ten-minute break is up. Maybe you have to get back to the grindstone.

Find some time to practice what you love.

Who knows? With enough practice we may all get to do the things we love full time.


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