In 1990, a movie called, “Avalon” came out. It’s the story of a Polish-Jewish family that comes to America at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Early on in the film, one of the brothers in the family gets a job breaking in new shoes for his employer.
So, the man’s boss gets a new pair of boots or dress shoes or whatever, and the brother’s job is to walk around in those shoes until they are broken in and comfortable. The boss doesn’t have to go through any of the pain or discomfort. No blisters or corns for the boss, just the comfortable feel of the broken in leather.
That’s what I need, I thought to myself. I need a guy to break in these new boots for me!
But then I thought about it again.
I know what a really nicely broken in pair of boots can feel like, the way they conform to your feet as if they were made specifically for your two dogs. The thing about that is, no one else has your feet. So, if someone else is breaking in your shoes, they break them in to their own feet, not yours.
I have a few things in my life that I’d liken to a nice pair of broken in boots, and with every one of those relationships or acquired skills I hold dear, I can say, without hesitation, that there was a significant “breaking in” period that I had to go through myself; nobody else could put in the time for me. That’s what makes those special things so special–I put in the time.
People often speculate about what success means in this business of being an actor. Is it how much money you make, or is it how often you work, or is it what size roles you get, or is it some other kind of measuring stick?
For me, I just want to work as an actor and pay my bills doing it. It’s not an easy road, and God knows my feet have got more than a few blisters from breaking in this career. It will be worth it, though. I’ve just got to put in the time. I’ve got to do the mileage. Nobody else can do it for me.
But, Jesus, my feet hurt right now!