Last week I was the lead guest star on 2 Broke Girls, CBS’ hit comedy.
It was a rollercoaster of an experience.
And, had I not had the tools of Committed Impulse, I can safely say the whole thing would have been a disaster.
Here’s what happened…
Day 1: the Table Read. After arriving at the Warner Brothers Studio Lot in Burbank, California I was whisked up to a cramped room.
The room was set up with the actors seated on an inner circle.
We were surrounded by thirty of the studio execs, exec producers, the director, and some people that had very loud laughs.
Here’s the weird thing…
Anytime a line was read that had even the slightest inkling of humor, the studio peeps roared with laughter. They bellowed. They screamed with joy.
Uhhh… was I missing something? Sure, many of the lines were funny, yes, but not every single line was a laugh riot.
This was disorienting to say the least. ( And something you can expect when you work on a sit-com.).
The next day we began rehearsals on the set. Super fun. The cast and director were as sweet and playful as can be.
But then the announcement came that “The Studio” was coming to watch our next rehearsal in an hour. What??
My mind took off: “Is what I’m doing funny enough? What if they want to replace me…?
I was still exploring what I was doing – should I amp up and set my performance?”
Wait a minute, I remembered, all this stuff I created. Particularly… “I’m back.”
I caught my mind before it spun further out of control, I took a breath, I saw what was really in front of me, I felt the sensations in my body and I came back.
What a relief.
After a week of rehearsal with countless script rewrites it was show night in front of four cameras and a live studio audience.
There I was backstage, behind the coffee shop set, listening to the humm and cackle of the audience as the previous scene finished shooting.
Oh, yes, I had a lot of butterflies. But I just felt them and looked at what was backstage.
And I welcomed everything, especially the unknown.
In Committed Impulse class I sometimes have someone do a stream of consciousness, which is an exercise where you reveal what you are experiencing in the present moment as the spring board into the text. I often request people say…
I feel ________, and that is great.
Often participants say “I feel nervous, and that is great.” But we can tell by their inflection that they don’t think it is great at all.
But when I let my nervousness backstage “be great”, I no longer had to fight anything off.
I didn’t need to change anything.
I just had to ride it – not hide it.
The nerves subsided, by the way, my cue line came and out I flew.
I left the show that night knowing my scenes could not have gone better.
The executive producer, and dear friend, Michael Patrick King, gave me a big hug and thanked me profusely for being on his show.
Had I not “come back”, and partied with all the sensations, I know I could not have done my best work.
What about you? Any ‘I’m Back’ stories? Any time you surrendered to your body truth and discovered that you did your best work?
I wanna know…
Have a gorgeous day!