What did accomplishing Tough Mudder teach me about acting?
Lesson 1) Train Lots, Train Long, Train Hard!
I thought I had trained enough. I thought I was ready. But Tough Mudder kicked my butt. Sure I didn’t skip any obstacles, sure I made it the entire 12(ish)miles up and down the mountain but I could have done better and I should have done better. The harder I train, the easier the course and I should have trained harder. Now that I’ve got one Mudder under my belt I plan on spending the next 14 months training even more intensely to do even BETTER next year.
As an actor it is easy for me to forget the importance of taking classes. If I’m not on set 40+ hours a week working on my craft how am I supposed to do better than the people who are?
If I get an audition with less than 48 hours notice and am already feeling ‘rusty’ how do you think it’s going to effect my performance in the room?
Lesson 2) The Anticipation is often Worse than the Obstacle
Take a look at this photo.
Imagine running along over ice and snow and not being able to see through the trees but hearing screaming, shouting and people freaking out. As you turn a corner you see a frozen lake and a snowy drop-off into it.
It was at this point I thought that we were waiting to ‘walk the plank’ (jumping from 15 ft +) into the ice water. I went pure white and turned to my teammates saying I wasn’t sure if I could do it. They told me I could go around.
I decided not to.
As the people cleared in front of us we were able to move forward and saw that in actuality it was a snowy slide into the water, which had had the top layer of ice chiseled away earlier that morning. I felt somewhat better but someone in front was holding the line which meant I had to sit there anticipating the icy cold depths.
That was probably the worst part of this obstacle. That and how it felt to have all my muscles tense and freeze to the point of needing two random mudders to pull me from the water.
But I warmed up quickly enough and I’m definitely comfortable right now, so how terrible was it really? Not so bad.
So, not to self: when sitting in the waiting room for an audition, remember this experience. Jump in. Do your job. Get out.
More lessons to come!