Thursday, March 1, 2012

What Baby Goats Can Teach Actors

It is the things we are most passionate about that make us want to bang our head against a wall.

I have lived on a farm all my life and, believe you me, it's the kind of work that makes you question why you are even doing it in the first place. It's hard. There's a lot of disappointment, like when some rodents get to your root vegetable crops or an opossum gets in the chicken lot and cleans house or when you bury the horse you've had since you were eight. And most jobs are chronic. No matter how many times you shovel, the horses still poop.

But we keep farming, out of the belief that it's crucial to who we are or the world around us. Or out of pure stubbornness. Or because we get those moments we live for, like after a hard afternoon of shoveling, my sweet horse Loretta rests her chin on my shoulder. Or when you open the barn door and are met with this...

Nothing is more perfect or wonderful to me as a farm girl than a healthy newborn baby goat. Within an hour of their birth, they can stand and feed themselves. Within days, they are jumping from objects twice their height. They have fantastically cute little noses. Honestly, they make me make tiny, high pitched noises. They make it worth all the fence repairs and tackling their mothers and aunties when they prey upon the garden.

Baby goats are the moments as an actor when you are reminded of why you do what you do. When you move an audience member in ways even they never expected. When you nail that performance. When you score that role. When your mentors tell you that they're proud of you. Those are baby goats. Treasure them. Soon they will grow up and start tearing down fences and eating arugula of their own.

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