A Lesson From Rita Moreno

I recently returned from a conference related to the film and television industries. My #1 takeaway was this: Do not wait. Live now. Waiting, would then become a way to procrastinate, to put things off for another time that may never come.

So instead, do what you can now. It is the most important lesson to learn.

I send this very message out to my readers all the time when I blog about chasing ones dreams. I have come to realize that by sending this message out into the Universe, the same message will circle back to me as a reminder. How very poetic.

This lesson was playing itself out when Ms. Rita Moreno passed by me two times, and I did not say a word. I had everything and nothing to say to her.
She was at the conference for her new memoir, which is a story about her journey of self-discovery, both as a woman and an actor.


She is quite the inspiration to me as an actor, and I feel connected to her as a Puerto Rican woman. I've watched her my entire life, and now I'm walking (sometimes running and jumping) on a path in which she blazed a trail.
Her interview with NPR was really quite moving. In it she says that people at home were watching "that night the Oscars were on ... when [her] name was announced...there was screaming and yelling and hugging and jumping up and down and people yelling out the windows, 'She did it! She did it!' in Spanish and in English." She goes on to say that her friend reminded her that they were really saying "We did it. We did it." God how that moves me. I get all choked up thinking about it.
To know that ones accomplishments are not only personal milestones but can impact hundreds even thousands of people... I need to take a deep breath just writing this. She just did what she loved, she kept going, she kept moving no matter what, and by doing that, she helped inspire others on her journey.  That's the lesson right? Live in the now. Do what you love now. You'll see how you will move mountains later.
She is a powerhouse of a woman, and although these words and feelings were in my heart, I did not feel the need to bombard her with them. Despite this, I wanted to acknowledge her (and for her to acknowledge my total admiration).
So by the third time she passed by me, I smiled and said hello - a gesture she returned. Hello was enough for me, because it felt like "until we meet again." Which for some reason, I am sure we will.
The lesson at that conference, even as Ms. Moreno crossed my path, was to live in the now, and to do what we can now.  And that I did, and will continue to do every day.

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