WRITTEN BY THEATRE EAST COMPANY MEMBER MARIANA VILY
"Talent is the ability to accomplish what you started." ~ Pyotr Fomenko
I came into this quote by chance, and liked it immediately. It may seem lackluster compared to many of the other definitions of talent out there, at least at first sight. But the words would stay with me, for two reasons: for one, I'm a perfectionist, meaning I sometimes ask too much of myself. So I was grateful to be relieved of the pressure to do something great, and instead just have to finish what I set out to do.
Which, as we all know, can be no small feat. And this is, perhaps, the main reason the words stood out for me. This year, though very satisfying artistically, did prove a big challenge to me in terms of things outside acting that I absolutely had to deal with. These things (getting an artist visa first, finding a new home later) were, of course, stressful and very time consuming. There were moments when I felt like they were taking over my life. And while quitting didn't occur to me as a possibility, I could see how easily I could allow those things to divert me from what I wanted to be doing. How I could simply stop just by not having the time, or worse, the frame of mind.
In due time, my difficulties took care of themselves, as they always do. But what allowed me to stay on track had more to do with finding inspiration than with eliminating obstacles. It had more to do with accepting my friends' encouragement, with sitting through a lot of screenings and talks with great artists at the New York Film Festival, and with then following through by coming up with a plan, running it by my mentor, getting back into class and finding new artistic projects and collaborators. Which is where I am now.
Being done with the bureaucratic and logistical stuff is allowing me to enjoy all the aspects of acting much more. But I also better appreciate the value of perseverance. It takes a lot to finish anything, including the talent the quote refers to.