Have you heard that expression...move through the ball?
I've heard it but never understood it in the context of sports. I was not a team sports player in high school or in college, for that matter - too small. Too tired. Didn't want to get hit in the face. Too busy, doing a show. Student government. Working. Chasing boys.
But I understand it in the context of life. If you use "move through the ball" as a metaphor for dealing with life's obstacles it's kind of cool. If you can move through them they don't really exist - ok they do - but they are permeable - so move through them. Jello. Water. I like that. They are not insurmountable. You just have to think of them in the right way. The air bender way. Wax on. Wax off. Move through them. I like not having to move around them. Avoidance is cowardly. Unless it's a large dog. Then, it's smart.
Rocky Balboa's landlord had a big dog. It didn't know how big it was and I think that made it cranky. He hated me. Not the dog. Rocky Balboa. But that's an earlier post. Back to ball playing...
Every time a ball player (and let's take a baseball analogy - because I loooooooove baseball players) steps up to the plate he has put himself in that position. He wants to be there. He may not like the circumstances surrounding his chance at bat - but honestly, he didn't have to get on the team bus. He could have taken computer sciences. But he chose to be there, and every decision he has made has led him up to the plate at that moment. He can avoid the ball - but that is not going to keep him in LA or Tampa or NY or San Francisco. No, he has to confront the ball and eventually hit it - hard and clean. The best way to do that is to picture moving through it. Keeping your swing, your arc fluid. Think about coming all the way around. Strong. Graceful.
But before he thinks about moving through the ball he thinks about what it is he'll swing at and what he will let pass by him. Not only which pitch. But the one pitch. One obstacle at a time. He can't really have a list about which pitches he likes and how he is going to handle it when the time comes. He couldn't read it. He's got the bat in his hand. A wad of gum in his mouth. Tight pants.
He has to make a snap decision when presented with what's coming over the plate. Because he's practiced he can kind of tell when the ball leaves the pitcher's hands whether or not to take a crack at it. Whether it will serve his goal of taking a victory lap around the bases as the ball goes over the fence.
He either takes a swing or not. He either connects or not. And if he does - and moves through the ball - it will likely go as he hoped or planned. Or maybe not. Here's the thing, though. A forward motion has been started and a new set of circumstances lines up and he is impelled to act upon them.
Let's use my life as the "life's obstacles" example. Because this is my blog and I said so. And yes, I'm wagging my finger.
Late last year, by my choice, by my life's set of decisions and choices - I was where I was - and as it turns out exactly where I needed to be - and presented with a set of obstacles. Didn't matter who was pitching. I was at bat. For a moment (ok, 4 months) I focused on the fences, forgetting everything I knew about how to handle life's curve, knuckle and sliders.
Yes. Soon I'll run out of baseball terms. Bear with me.
You see, like Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle (I have a few left, but just a few...) in competition to break Babe Ruth's record - I forgot about the game and focused instead on hitting it out of the park. Now, my God has that wicked sense of humor, remember? Wicked. And while I was up at home spinning like a demented top - it dawned on me. No matter how hard I swung, as long as I focused on the fences and not on moving through the ball coming over the plate - I was hitting air. I was an air bender in the wrong way.
(Just so you know, that made me laugh... Want to know what else makes me laugh? I remember I HAD to take tennis in high school. As a PE. I had to be on the PE team. I dressed for tennis every day and walked out to the courts and stood on the courts with my racquet in front of my face saying to anyone who would listen, "I'm going to be famous one day, and I can't be hit in the face. Sorry." True. hee hee heeeeeeeeeeeee...)
It's isn't about hitting a home run. The home run comes from the perfect swing. It is about connecting and moving through life one pitch at a time. One obstacle at a time. I had forgotten. I was watching TV one afternoon thinking Steve Buscemi was so dang cute and it hit me like a lightning bolt. I'm at bat.
I needed a list. See, I am not really at bat, with a wad of gum in my mouth or wearing tights pants. (Well, the tight pants - I am actually in tight pants.) But my hands were free and I could break down my obstacles into single pitches. Still have the goal of the fences in mind - but move through each pitch fluidly and with grace - connecting and swinging all the way around.
I switched my goal from the fences of immediately moving lock, stock and barrel to NYC - to finding joy - knowing full well that moving back east would give me that happiness. I broke it down into what needed to happen to make sure I was on the way to happiness. And guess what happened. I was connecting with pitches and each one went right over the center field fence. And then I was impelled to act upon this new set of circumstances.
I am officially out of MLB quips. You're welcome.
In less than one month I have dug in at the plate and homered the following:
1. I did a short film - called "Last At Bat" (I just realized that is a baseball term...hahaha!) - it is racy and hysterical. Look for it on Funny or Die soon.
2. I finished a professional musical theater workshop and from it put together 8 audition songs. 4 monologues. (That photo is of me and Bambi after my performance. I am sooooo relieved!!!!!)
3. Shot new photos.
4. Got a new VO agent with offices in LA and NY - and signed with them in both cities.
5. Got a new legit (theater - musical theater) agent in Los Angeles. And hello! - I was actually singled out of the workshop show.
6. Got a new legit agent in NY. They said it was impossible!!!!
7. Got parts in two LA-based musicals that begin rehearsals next week.
8. Contacted a Manhattan realtor - just for look sees when I go back there next week...Turns out she is a huge cartoon fan...
That's quite a season. These are HUGE accomplishments. And all for the love of the game!
To play my best game I must always remember that nothing is bigger than a single pitch, remember to focus my eyes on the prize and remember to swing through the ball with grace, fluidity and determination.
But in tackling my life's obstacles - and no, I am not on to football references - I learned that I really am a team player.
I play for me.
You know you love me - Candi