The first time I was in Los Angeles was not for an acting job unless I compare myself to Leo and his personal investment in his role for the Revenant. Because running a marathon for someone like myself would definitely make the comparison. While I have always been a fit and healthy person, I most certainly had never been a runner. But then… Oprah did it. How many things have how many thousands of people attempted and/or accomplished because of those three words? But, this is not about Oprah, though I’m sure I’ve got a blog entry or ten about her I could write.
This blog entry is about two other people, no less influential, just slightly less in the public eye.
First up, a young teen, who was one of a dozen or more girls I had been working with as a youth counselor volunteer. She was a resident of a state-run home for troubled kids. It’s worth mentioning that the only reason I never became a resident of just such a home was because of a handful of people who took their time, talents and energy to mentor me and help steer my path a little straighter. This sweet girl knew all about my marathon training and the week before leaving for L.A. she gave me a card she had made. Inside the card, I found the funniest and most sincere words: “Good Luck Miss. Tiffany, I hope you win!”
The other person, a fellow actor who I was working in stage plays with and had met while studying on-camera technique together. She had just completed her first marathon the year before. She also gave me a card of encouragement before my first trip to LA-LA Land. Inside her card were the most practical words: “I know you can do this Tiff, and so do you. When you think you can’t remind yourself it is just one foot in front of the other and repeat.”
I’ve been in my share of classes and workshops and lectures. I’ve studied with seasoned pros and not-so-seasoned joes. As a storyteller, every day is a study of the human experience in its always evolving state of being. Now, as I reflect on this picture of myself, twenty years have passed and so much has come and gone with each year. But the advice from those two women, each so different from the other, is something that I carry with me every day. Be so bold to take up the call of the adventure – believing I can win – and when it is a struggle and I’m convinced I won’t last another moment, remind myself to take it one thing, one step, at a time. And then repeat.