A few days ago, I had a day off, and the night before I proclaimed "tomorrow for breakfast I am going to have oatmeal, an egg and a half of a grapefruit." I don't know why I felt the need to make such a statement, but I went to bed very excited about my upcoming first meal. it was everything I hoped it could be. Easy to make, so very healthy to eat, and I didn't find myself feeling hungry until much later in the afternoon. My usual breakfast consists of greek yogurt with granola and honey, but I think this one may need to make an appearance more often.
Speaking of champions, I have been devouring the Winter Olympics with the same fervor as I did with this breakfast-I am a huge Olympics fan. Be it Summer or Winter I love seeing athletes at the top of their game, their eyes filled with dreams of standing atop a podium with the coveted Gold hanging from their necks. When the Olympics are on there is always entertainment just a remote control click away. You have all the drama, the excitement, the anticipation, the despair, and the joy you would find in a movie of the week but it's live and unscripted. I can't get enough of it.
Perhaps my favorite moment in any Olympic event is the moment before. The brief period of time before the athlete takes off down a hill, or around a rink, or onto a beam or into a pool. The look in the athletes eyes, the mental prep going on inside their head. I always try to imagine what that moment must feel like, knowing that in seconds they will be chasing after a lifelong dream, but not knowing if it will be realized. How do they even handle themselves in that moment? How do they cultivate that competitive edge that keeps them in control? It's fascinating to me. It's theatrical.
Athletes and Actors have oft been thought of as totally different specimens. You have those who are sporty and strong, and those who are expressive and sensitive. However as I have been watching these games, it has occurred to me that Actors and Athletes may not be so different after all. Both of us must possess a competitive spirit, which keeps you going even when you don't perform to your personal best. Oftentimes our "fate" is determined in a matter of seconds, be it 16 bars of a song or .16ths of a second at the finish line. We train, we get judged, we size up our competition, and many people think we are crazy for putting ourselves in such a position in the first place. No I doubt there has been an audition which has landed an actor in traction, but the emotional wounds of some auditions can seem just as painful (albeit way less dangerous thank god).
However, one thing I always envied about being an athlete is you usually know your outcome right away. If you have the fastest time, or you attain the highest score, then you know where you stand. As an actor you get to be a contestant in the waiting game, which is not a fun game in which to compete. Getting cast in a show rarely comes down to "who is the most talented" but rather "who is the right height?" "who's has a certain 'energy'?" "who looks good with whom?" Still at the heart of it, the prizes aren't always awarded to the "best" but rather who was the best on that day.
To me, it seems crazy to ski down an icy slope at over 90mph, but to many it would seem insane to sit on the floor of a crowded studio, at 7am, as you wait in line to sing for one person sitting behind a table.
Yes, I do believe that Actors and Athletes may have more in common than we think. Perhaps we should have shared a lunch table more often back in the days of "jocks" and "theatre geeks." We could learn a thing or two from one another.