Thanksgiving and the Thankful Scream Queen

 

I found myself in the oddest of situations last night. (No, I was not dressed in a bunny suit of any kind). I was in a kitchen. There were people I didn't know talking, and smiling and drinking homemade apple cider one either side of me. A child giggling somewhere else. Dogs barking, presumably at the giggling child. Somewhere around I had a few family members. But really it seemed like a scene from a movie - the overlapping dialog made it impossible to understand the exact topics being discussed, but the tones made the general emotions clear. And what was equally clear - was this - this was NEVER my world. And never would be.

 

There's something so blissfully normal about it all. A normalcy I thought I was craving, but in the thick of it, just felt out of place. Since it seemed so much like a film, I dove in and treated it as such. I didn't know my lines, but that's cool, I'm a master at improv (if I do say so myself!). It's all about relationships. So I'll try to form those too. I thought I was doing well. I hardly noticed when the subject got changed, until we sat down to Thanksgiving dinner (harvest comes early in Canada) and I suggested we go around the table and say for what we are thankful. Nope. Not happening. Shot down. And I shut down after that. This really wasn't my world, and I didn't belong in it and it was silly for me to try. Now, I don't get me wrong. I was as quick as a whip with the one liners, and I had everyone laughing before going back to the real conversation. But eventually I found myself in the next room with the 3 year old dog, the 3 year old kid, discussing the merits of various cartoons. Kids and animals - THEY get me.

 

So, since I didn't get to share at Thanksgiving Dinner for what I am thankful, I'll take that out on you, dear reader. Both of you.

 

I am thankful for having more than I need.

It wasn't so long ago I bet everything I had on a guy and a film. And lost it all. I still have the film (Legend of the Red Reaper). And through a ton of hard work, I life in a beautiful condo in Hollywood, I have some of the most talented, wonderful, beautiful (inside and out) friends in the world, and the respect of my peers. And the cutest little red sports car a girl could want.

 

I am thankful for a flexible job that rips me open and sews me back up, but rarely before noon.

As an actress, I am required to dig deep into the cess pool of the darkest corners of my heart and mind, and swim in it for your amusement. There is nothing in the world more cathartic for me. Every bad day, every one who pissed me off - I've killed them, maimed them, or at least chased them (in my mind) on screen. Everything that scares me - I get to play it all out in a movie for you. And then the director says "Cut" and everything is ok again. Who wouldn't be thankful for that?

 

I am thankful for my wrestling career.

All of it - even the girls who beat me up like Christie Ricci and Onyx. Sure it hurts (I know you guys think it's all fake - but I'm hear to tell you - you can't FAKE a body slam, or a suplex- those are very very very real). I'm thankful for the girls I can take in the ring every time. I'm thankful for the guys I can take in the ring EVERY time. And most of all, thankful for my manager and my friend Mark, who's believed in me so much he made me sign an exclusivity contract.

 

If acting is cathartic emotionally, wrestling takes it one step further. Yes, it hurts, and I get banged up and dropped on the ground (or sometimes on plywood - like the Hawaii matches). But there's a huge physical release from just climbing in that ring, and win or lose - going for it 100%.

 

And lastly, I am most thankful for my ability to see the beauty in almost everyone.

I have so many friends with special needs of all kinds - emotional, physical, and even intellectual. And they are kind, caring, giving - and occasionally not so much. But I take the good with the inconvenient, and am thankful for their friendship and support they give to me, in the ways that they can. My character of Melanie in Song of the Shattered was a tribute to those friends. Melanie is very special needs, on many levels. But she's sweet, she's kind, and she loves everyone- and she's lovable. By far, in fact, the most lovable character I've ever played. I was fortunate enough to be able to create her (rather than having someone create her for me, and then fleshing her out), and thus could be a more complete tribute to my special needs friends.

 

So, wherever you are, whatever your circumstance, today, or whenever your thanksgiving is: please remember, there's always something to be thankful for, and today is the day for that. You can go back to being miserable tomorrow.

 

Love from Canada

Tara