Month: March 2017

Rogue Waves and Wipe Outs

Women make waves.

In troubled political and career times I think of Mary Ann Hawkins. A pioneer in American surfing, Hawkins caught the world’s attention after a feature in Time Magazine lead to her work as a Hollywood stunt double for Lana Turner. She broke a world record for holding her breath for 2 minutes and 15 seconds.

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Mary Ann Hawkins, from the Encyclopedia of Surfing (by Matt Warshaw)

She toppled wave after wave and opened a swimming school, having taught over 10,000 people to swim. She quit surfing in 1983, shortly after her son drowned while working.

Life is unpredictable and strangely coincidental. It can be beyond cruel, but it can also be rewarding. All you can do is give your best to the world, and not worry about if the world will give back to you. You are here for a purpose.

The everyday strife that an actor experiences is not unlike surfers. Athletes either win the game, or they don’t. They sink, or they swim. But they keep playing, they keep chasing wave after wave- despite knowing the life-threatening risks. We ride the feeling of hope and wrangle that euphoria while it lasts like the drug that it is, knowing that we will crash eventually. But my recovery rate is phenomenal, and that only came after years and years of rejection beatings and flaky promises.

I want to spare new actors from pain. I want them to learn from my mistakes. But my mistakes have made me bullet proof, and I wouldn’t trade this life for any other life in the world. Strength is earned, not given.

Get out there and own it, like Mary Ann Hawkins did. Manipulate it. Ride it… then crash, knowing that another wave will surely form, but this time you are ready and waiting to catch it.

-Satu