I awoke at my usual time yesterday, around 6 am. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, only to have broken a dam. The waterworks are starting unusually early this morning, I thought to myself as I stood from the comfy Motel 6 bed. I trudged on however, as there was and is much work to be done, tears or no. I would learn later that afternoon, Robin Williams had ended his life that very same morning, just miles, from where I woke.
I chose to be an actor for many reasons but the most sincere reason is because, I want to make a difference. I want to invoke change because seeing so many homeless and broken, in need of compassion, is unbearable. Seeing so many suffering in silence brings me to my knees. I pushed my own “problems” to the side and got back to my mission today. I talked with Fred for a bit as I was leaving the Walmart parking lot. I only had $5 to spare and a bit of time but I’m glad I stopped. He mentioned how people think it’s funny, being homeless, seeing homeless people. They don’t laugh when it’s the other way around, he said very articulately. I shook his hand and asked him to ignore the ignorance of others. “Keep smiling” I said as I started to pull away, throwing him a giant, very sincere smile that was meant to be contagious and spread rapidly. Earlier this evening as the kids and I were leaving Safeway, we had another opportunity. A couple, man and woman, were trying to get enough money for a hotel room. I fished out the remaining singles from my wallet, not much just $3 and a bit of mine and the kiddos time. I wished them well and we carried on.
As an actor, we are asked to step into another persons world and feel what they feel. Sometimes, we cry desperate sobs of agony over something we knew nothing about just a few days prior. We laugh at things that in real life, would make us cry and we dig into the depths of our souls to uncover every emotion that possibly lives there. For no good reason, other than to entertain, we become masochists. We consciously and subconsciously place ourselves in difficult situations either to create a character we are working on or simply just because. Because most of us actors can’t help it. We see someone or something in pain and we immediately latch on. Tell me about it, let me listen to you, I will really listen and use every fiber of my being to come close to what you feel. This is what we do and for most of us, what we’ve been doing our entire lives. Depression makes great actors. Or, actors make great depression? Robin Williams made me laugh and made me cry. He was so familiar with the human condition and portrayed it so well, we all lined up to watch, time after sweet time.
I didn’t know Robin Williams personally but the joy he brought to my heart and the inspiration he was, makes him family for me. I mean no disrespect with what I’m about to say but my heart tells me to make this point. No life is greater than another. We are all equal and we are in this human fight together. Brothers and sisters standing side by side, hand in hand. We cannot let each other fall any longer. We cannot sit by and say things like, ‘I don’t know what to do’ or ‘there’s nothing I can do, they need help’… Etc. We are the ones to help. We all know someone, whether you realize it or not, numbers don’t lie. According to the New York Times, The World Health Organization recently reported, that “suicide rates have increased 60 percent over the past 50 years, most strikingly in the developing world, and that by 2020 depression will be the second most prevalent medical condition in the world.” http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/opinion/a-great-depression.html?referrer=&_r=0
In one of my recent blogs, “Turning the Lights On,” I mention how it’s the things we can’t see, that we must explore. Turning the lights on | ABeautifulLife https://juliefackrell.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/turning-the-lights-on/
The sincere, gentle touch of someone gently taking your hand, if even for a moment, can change the world.
Please consider a donation to Comic Relief, a beloved charity of Robin Williams, so we can continue this invisible fight. http://comicrelief.org/
Thank you for everything Robin, may you rest in peace.