I Am More Than This


Warning: We are all actors.

Acting in theatre is like growing a
yoga practice. You do it with wonderful people. Some of it is
challenging, most of it is fun. There are a lot of laughs.
All the while, a character and a life story grow. Try it. You’d
love it.

If you come from theatre, acting for
film is crazy.

My agent, who calls me Christian (this
is not encouraging), sent me to a film audition this week. He prefaced
the event by telling me how unlikely it was that I’d get the role
of Lawyer in the movie. Bizillions of other actors auditioning for a
one-paragraph part, he said.

Here’s how it goes. I take half a day
to do hair, makeup, and what I hope are lawyerlike jeans and a jacket.
By noon I don’t recognize myself. I memorize the lines and do my
best to feel like a lawyer.

I arrive at the hotel where the screen
tests are being done. I see 10 other women, all 15 years
younger and beautiful, all dressed in navy suits and stilettos, all
of whom make me feel older than my grandmother (who’s been dead for 25 years) and
profoundly un-lawyerly.

I do a two-minute screen test on camera
during which no one in the room makes eye contact, and I go home,
laughing nervously, saying, that’s the end of the big film career.

Here’s the thing: I’ll bet we all
have days when we’re doing things that are beyond comfortable. New
things, difficult things, potentially humiliating or embarrassing
things. We take risks, all of us, following persistent, tickly
instincts that say, “Try this. Come on, just try.”

I’m a huge fan of risk, of trying new
things. It keeps me alive and I want to be ALIVE while I’m alive,
if you know what I mean.

What I need, in order to take risks, is
something to go home to that pats me on the back. Something that
says, “Good for you, good for you.” Something that assures me that I am
more than the risks I take, more than my successes and failures.

That something at home is yoga. As soon
as I walk in the door, I change clothes, and in full fake lawyer
makeup and hair, begin a good, thorough practice that brings me
home to the real me.

So. I’m grateful for yoga for
creating a comfort place from which I can leap a little higher and a
little more often. (This time, miraculously, I got the part. I’ll
let you know how it goes.)

Has yoga changed your approach to
confidence, risk-taking, and comfort?

Thanks to you for the conversation,


Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, and speaker (About All
Things Wonderful) in North Bay, Ontario.  Join her on the
and on

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