One of my favorite scenes from the motion picture “Field of Dreams” is when “rookie” player “Archie Moonlight Graham” faces awesome pitcher Eddie Cicotte …. after two pitches tight and inside… rookie Graham hears from team mate the great “Shoeless Joe” who says “The first two were high and tight, so where do you think the next one's gonna be? Archie Graham says; “Well, either low and away, or in my ear.” Shoeless Joe; “He's not gonna wanna load the bases, so look low and away.” “Right”… replies Graham. Shoeless Joe; “But watch out for in your ear!”
It's hard to know what our next pitch or project will be. So, what steps can we take to help see what's coming?
In a recent Tavis Smiley interview with Academy Award Winning actor Sean Penn. Sean was asked about his limitations on the roles he accepted. His response (paraphrasing) was to push yourself beyond your own boundaries but that one must be aware of limitations…to rely on the strength of your talent(s)….but don’t be afraid to test yourself outside your comfort zone or limitations.
Catch a clip from the Sean Penn interview using the link located on page right.
I think far to often we spread ourselves thin, muddy the water, blur the image when we try to take on a role or project which we know down deep inside going in... is well outside our strength(s) as a performer. Yes, we should take time to explore, push and test our limitations. It is through testing we break out of our zone and may find a new dimension to add to our talent repertoire. But we must be honest with our basic skill set as a performer. In doing so, success may come a little more comfortably, confidently and more frequently.
It is essential to master those skills and talents found most comfortable within ourselves.
“People who write about spring training not being necessary, have never tried to throw a baseball.” ~ Sandy Koufax
You can tell I’m a baseball nut so I thank you for indulging me.
Practicing ones craft is essential to success. I don’t believe we ever “arrive” at the top of our game. It’s the routine of practicing… over and over…. those fundamentals of our craft that will prepare you for that next excellent performance.
Develop a routine if you don’t have one. Make time to work on your craft every day. Listen and learn from those performers you admire and respect. Master the fundamentals of your skills as a performer and as those skills become second nature, then push yourself and enjoy exploring what’s outside your limitations.
Inside Studio A.....I'm James Herron
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