Alright, so one thing that I have been absolutely blessed with in my life and career, is finding really amazing mentors! It is incredibly uplifting and inspiring to meet so many people who are so forthcoming with advice and who genuinely care about you and where you are going with your career. If I could give any advice myself (in an attempt to pay it forward) it would be that if you find anybody who is willing to take on that sort of mentor role for you - please take them up on it! And be grateful!
I could go on and on, but that is for another time. This little post is about what one of my mentors did for me recently…we’ll just call him Mr. Miyagi for now :) Mr. Miyagi was one of my first teachers in college, and taught me all the wax on-wax off’s of acting and also, you know, just about being a good human being. I sort of latched on to him after that and he’s since become one of the people I trust most with the goings-on of my career. So when he called last week inviting me to be a guest at a table-read of a new script, I knew this was an opportunity to not pass by!
Not that this was an easy thing for me to accept…I am probably one of the most nervous, neurotic people you’ll ever meet - in gymnastics, my coach called me Taylor Hestitatings. So, you know, my mommy drove me to the read through, and then basically had to kick me out of the car and speed away, just so I would actually go in! I had no idea what to expect, so of course, my imagination had gotten the better of me and by the time I was at the door I had a vision of a huge crowd of important people…likely dressed in their Oscar’s finest, and me being in the way and Mr. Miyagi wouldn’t have time for me and everything would be awkward and horrible and WHY DID MY MOMMY LEAVE ME?!
(Seriously. I know it’s a problem.)
Well, I was wrong. Just so, so wrong. It was held at a quaint Thai restaurant on Main St, and in the end there were about 9 people who were there. Everyone was super friendly and welcoming and you know, they fed us…like really, really delicious Thai food that I totally overindulged in! So, the first part of the night was just a social time - we sat at a big table and ate, and we chatted about the industry a bit, but mostly just talked about how great Trader Joe’s is.
(So…I chickened out and didn’t take any pictures. So I drew one. Also, this is a pre-warning for anyone who starts a DrawSomething game with me. Now you know. Lame??)
Finally it was time to read the script…or in my case, listen to very talented actors (seriously, one them had just won a Leo last weekend!) read the script. To my relief, there were 3 other audience members to sit across from the actors with me. The script - in my opinion - was fantastic! I got so involved in the story, it took everything in my power to not gasp out loud or shout out “No!!! Don’t do it!!”. It was such a great experience to watch how it worked - the actors gave everything in their reading performances, and I guess in a way, it was one of the greatest story times ever.
After we got through the whole script, the director/writer, turned to us all humbly asking for advice and constructive criticism. Luckily I was among some brilliant people and simply had to nod in agreeance with their brilliant and educated feedback. There were such great ideas thrown around and it was wonderful to see everyone collaborating and inspiring each other. Gosh, I’m a lucky girl. I left there just before midnight (totally forgetting about my 4:45am alarm the next morning) full of good food and inspiration.
Thanks Mr. Miyagi for the invite and, once again, an incredible learning experience!