Kevin Spacey Changed My Life In-Person Without Even Knowing It

“…And however true this may be, what I needed most was within myself… The belief that my talents and abilities are enough… And I now know they are. God, it’s so apparent. I now realize that everyone Acts differently just as everyone plays basketball differently. They have the same rules, but no one player plays the same. My acting performances will be based upon my strengths and my weaknesses, just as my writing flows and takes its own course much differently than another’s. I have my own writing rhythm and I continually look forward to discovering new chords.”

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What I love about my writing is I don’t spend much time contemplating it. Maybe that is why I immensely enjoy it so much. I don’t think about all the rules or what needs to be said or done to make it appealing, relatable, and magnificent. In fact, I just assume that it will clearly be this and more.

Yet, as I look back on my schooling, there was a time in my life where I didn’t know how to write. I didn’t know how to form sentences, combine words and phrases to make it relatable to others. Even before this there was a whole other level where I had to learn the meaning behind each word, what it represented, and so on. In fact, coming to this point of being so free in my writing came from a mastery of its concepts.

What if I could be this free in my chosen career as an actor?

Just a few days ago I was talking to myself, “If only I could have a meeting with one of the greats and learn their secrets. Then I could truly act.” I thought what an opportunity it would be to hear someone speak; what moved them in a performance. What did they focus on? What were the most important elements in a scene? What’s the first thing they do when looking at a script?

This past Friday night, something extraordinary happened that has finally shifted my perspective forever upon my own viewpoint of my acting. I work at a bar in Hollywood on the weekends and do inside security. It’s a very low-key bar, chill, and a really great crowd. There is rarely any type of disturbance I have to do much with. It was a typical Friday night, the usual crowd… or so I thought.

One of the bartenders had mentioned that Kevin Spacey was sitting over in the corner with another guy just a few minutes ago. He is one of my brother’s all-time favorite actors. Unfortunately he had left before I had arrived. But the story continues, thankfully. Not 30 minutes later, he plus three more come back in and set at the table that is directly beside where I stand (I have a self-proclaimed bouncer spot I stay in). It turns out he was literally inches away from where I was standing.

The proximity wasn’t what excited me [as he was a couple feet away from me. In fact, as he was speaking (I had my back to him standing where I stand leaned against part of the bar overlooking most of the crowd, and he was sitting) he accidentally hit my butt as he was talking with his hands. I didn’t know what hit me and assumed he nudged me because he needed to get out, and I literally stood in the way. He didn’t acknowledge the fact, being immersed in conversation, so I turned back around. So if nothing else comes of this story at least I can say, “Kevin Spacey touched my ass.” Haha, that is only a joke, my friends, but a good one! That would be the last thing I (or even he) needs spread around. However back to topic…]. What actually excited me (besides the butt touching) was the conversation that was transpiring. He was talking to a young couple and another young gentleman. You’d think on a Friday night in Hollywood, the last thing he would want to talk about is acting. But Kevin Spacey sat there at that table for two hours telling these three (and secretly, myself) about the most important elements in the craft of acting.

So many things had to happen to make this story unfold. One, he had to pick the bar that I was at. Two, he had to come back to the bar I was out. Three, where he originally sat, I would have never had the opportunity to eavesdrop on his conversation. Four, he sat literally right next to me.

Unfortunately because the bar was so loud, even though I stood by him for a good majority of the time, I could only make out about 5% of what he was saying. So what did I do? Every word or phrase I caught I wrote down. He shared many insightful things, and it changed my life.

I don’t think I can explain all that this experience did and on the many levels it changed me. I can assure you that it had a profound effect. It made me realize that I am not as far away as I thought from the things I need to possess to be known as one of the greats. In fact, it let me see I am ahead. It let me see that my continued work will put me in arms reach of that Oscar. The biggest thing that changed my life is when he discussed how in an audition we get ourselves all worked up. And then he said, “Don’t we judge ourselves more than they do… Expose yourself!! I don’t care if you judge yourself! I don’t care!”

I have heard this before, but I must say, the way Kevin said it was a liberating statement, as if he had to go through this same exact thing to become the Kevin Spacey he now is. He had to expose himself and put past all judgment. I guess coming from Kevin Spacey it finally set in.

I have been my biggest critic. I have been my biggest roadblock. I have been the one who has stopped myself from exposing myself fearlessly. And I readily admitted this in my last blog. Yet, I must say, I now see the secret that Kevin was sharing… I received a flash of inspiration that put me in a whole new perspective. I realized, finally, I was the one who was going to make it happen. I have continually looked outside of myself for my big acting revelations: “I need to train with this coach, I need to take this class, I need to get a manager first, I need to do this to prepare, and I need to have a conversation with one of the greats before I become great.” I continued chasing outside of myself. For so long I have convinced myself that vigorous coaching was needed on my part to make it in this business. And however true this may be, what I needed most was within myself… The belief that my talents and abilities are enough… And I now know they are. God, it’s so apparent. I now realize that everyone Acts differently just as everyone plays basketball differently. They have the same rules, but no one player plays the same. My acting performances will be based upon my strengths and my weaknesses, just as my writing flows and takes its own course much differently than another’s. I have my own rhythm and I continually look forward to discovering new chords.

When I say changes happen continuously in my life, I mean these transformative life-changing moments can occur within days at a time. Yet, the only way I can stay in these new truths is to feed them, and to embody the freedom that Kevin so graciously and fearfully talked about. His own liberation of himself. When he let go of the big critic inside, that was the moment he became Kevin Spacey. And within a short time, it manifested into flawless performances of greatness.

No critic can be as intimidating as the one within, for me personally anyway. If I can overcome myself and my criticism, nothing in this material world will stand as tall as that giant. And as I have become aware of the giant within, I have also become more aware of the light within. My Divinity, my aim, and my greatness. And I have to nourish this spirit; I can’t let this world bring me down, shrink my light, make me afraid. I have to step up and be David versus Goliath, and realize that when you know your calling, you go after it without doubt, without being afraid, because you know your outcome. And no one else may see your vision and this is where the story of Kevin Spacey becomes two-fold.

Not only has it allowed me to realize that I am okay, that as I step away from the inner critic, I know no other voice can stop me. I now know I am not a sucky actor; I am a talented individual that is full of passion, light, energy, and charisma that will continue shaking things in Hollywood, growing and becoming more of a light every single day.

The second part of this story is just as liberating. I cannot describe how impossible I felt a meeting with one of the greats would be. And it materialized in a form that was bigger than the conversation. Before the event actually happened, I felt the conversation would be the pivotal life-altering event. No… It was a bigger reflection of how things can cooperate in this universe; how intricately connected we are; how things come together through desire; how wishes become fulfilled in a world of continuous magic.

The word I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y is becoming nonexistent to me. I am through with limited viewpoints and limited ideas. Call me crazy, call me innocent, call me naïve, call me impractical; the truth of it is I am only just beginning to catch the unity of our planet; the connection to a power. We make our lives. We create them. They are not drawn for us; they are drawn by our imagination, by our beliefs, by our assumptions, by our concept of who we are, and by the truths that our in your heart. I realize that it has been me that has been stepping in the way. And how liberating it is to know that you never have to do anything outside of yourself to change your world and your life. How liberating it is to know you need no one else but your consciousness to create the joyful dream you envision. Realize your power. It always has been there, and as I continue changing the concept of myself, and embrace an all-possibilities mentality, it will continue changing my life.

It is serendipitous that this happened this weekend as some things behind the scenes are churning to a new possibility that just may end with a fairytale ending. When you can do the inner work and eliminate the doubt within, it transforms your whole world. I hope the shifts in my own life help with shifts in your own. As I have said before, we are all in this thing we call life, together; we might as well help one another through it. I must say, most of everything Kevin said, I had heard before and he simply expressed them in new ways. However, I felt in my heart he showed up and handed me this spoken advice: “Cody, you’re already it! You are already great! So start ACTING like it!”

Cody Deal

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