It got me thinking about timing. Timing in life. When I was a kid I so wanted to be a STAR. Being a successful actor was not enough. I wanted the world to see what I could do. I loved the limelight and would put on shows in my basement, garage, the cottage lawn, you name it. And I was always the STAR. A classic example of my take no prisoners you are going to notice and love me if it kills me attitude was when we did Bye Bye Birdie at the cottage to raise money to keep the local bingo game going. Please feel free to re-read that last sentence ... hilarious is it not?
Anyway, we were doing Bye Bye Birdie and I was of course Kim MacAfee, the Ann Margaret role, and my cousin Pam who is a really talented singer, and clearly too sweet for her own good, was playing Albert Peterson, the Dick Van Dyke role. But here’s the thing. I loved the song Put on a Happy Face, so I explained to Pam, who I love, that I needed to do that song too and of course Pam, being sweet Pam, relented. Every time I think of that story I howl with laughter. The nerve of me, honestly! But you see, I justified it as being for the good of the production. I was, after all, the future STAR.
Cut to: Not a STAR. Wasn’t in the cards clearly. Now some may say it’s because I wasn’t good enough and that may well be true. But I wonder about the timing of it as part of the reason. When I joined the famed Second City in Toronto, I was in a cast of hugely talented people. The cast before us was most of the SCTV people, and I remember thinking at that time, that we had just missed the boat, that timing had not been on our side. And so it has gone for me, my entire career.
Now please do not mistake what I am writing. I am not crying the blues here at all. I am perfectly happy with how things turned out for me. I love my life. Hell, I love life, period. Every second of it. Good and bad. And I also don’t have the sleep patterns to be a STAR! I would go to the Oscars, yes, but would fall asleep on my way to the Governor’s Ball. See? Wasn’t meant to be. On the other hand, when I married my lovely husband, he was a talented but struggling improviser/actor. When I fell in love with him I thought, Great, marrying an improviser! This will pay off in spades!!! But timing was on his side. He came up just at the time that this old form of performing was going to go viral. His timing was great. It was nothing he did. It was just his time. He brought the talent and timing did the rest.
We all want timing to be with us, don’t we? No matter what we do in life we want something we have said or done to be on the cutting edge. We want one of our ideas or business reports or skills to be ahead of the curve. We want to be fresh and new or to kick off a trend or to see our dreams realized. But it doesn’t happen to all of us and it doesn’t always happen to the deserving (insert Snooky, Kardashian, Paris Hilton photos). But sometimes it is meant to be. So is it fate? Or is it timing? Or is it both? Or is timing a part of fate?
When Colin and I were first married, my STAR was on the rise. Many people have asked me about this and how I feel about being married to someone famous or, as my husband calls himself, “a small ‘c’ celebrity”. People have asked me if I am disappointed with the way things turned out. YES, THEY HAVE, you KNOW it’s true!!! “Gee, I thought you were going to be a STAR, what happened?” Ahhhh, the subtlety of people ... anyway, that’s for another blog.
And here is what I have to say about that. I am a STAR. I am the STAR of my own life. I think I was meant to STAR in my own life-story while it was going on. Who would play me in the Deb McGrath Story? I would, of course! And I do. I am the STAR of Deb McGrath’s life. I have a beautiful trailer which is my home and it resides on a gorgeous set which is our yard and my catering is done by the STAR Colin Mochrie. My wardrobe is perfect for me as if I bought it myself! I watch the Oscars on TV and if I fall asleep in the middle of them it doesn’t matter. No one is taking photos of my cellulite and posting them in the national rags. As for timing? It has been on my side every step of the way. Only it took me a while to realize it.
“Interrupting cow wh..
Timing is everything.
Barbara: This is sooo interesting, timing-wise! (How many times have we all noted the serendipity of timing here on the blog?!) We were just, all of us here, talking about this. You know, I know a LOT of people who believe (when we speak of it in hushed tones amongst ourselves (who are only the nearest and dearest and most trusted in our lives)) that we/they are/were “destined for greatness”. Those very words: “for greatness”. From young and old alike I’ve heard the term.
My friend and I used to talk often about feeling we were “meant” to live “extraordinary” lives and not “ordinary” ones. The thing is, those of us who feel it, who believe it, who can “taste it”, are very often already leading extraordinarily great lives ... without even being aware of it. And it takes this kind of standing back and observing, of really listening to the truth in your gut, to truly grasp that.
Timing is everything in terms of the kind of “greatness” we’ve grown up to accept—you know, stardom and fame and everyone knowing your name (that and a shit load of luck) … (or maybe those are the same thing)—but if you are one of those who aspire to greatness, you are probably already living greatness in every moment you cope/invent/conquer/overcome/triumph/support/cheer and love.