Meditation: Calm, Daily Trip: The Fonzie Effect Length: 9 minutes Where: Home Office/Guest Room, Los Angeles How It Felt: So cool
I actually planned on continuing the “How to Meditate” series yesterday, but when I opened the Calm app and saw the Daily Trip for that day, I got so excited I knew I had to do it!
“The Fonzie Effect.” Seriously? I’m obsessed with Henry Winkler, as I am obsessed with all amazingly talented people who also happen to be GOOD, kind people. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting this man a couple of times, and he is an absolute doll, in addition to playing one of my favorite characters of all time.
I grew up watching a lot of film and television, and one of my favorite lineups was Nick at Night. I’ve always loved old shows and movies, having parents who taught me a deep appreciation for the kind of storytelling and talent that lasts. If something is still being watched decades later, there is usually a reason why.
Happy Days was one of those shows that I couldn’t watch enough. I still remember the promos: “A show made in the 70s about the 50s is coming to the 90s!” I loved The Fonz the most. He was cute, obviously, and literally the coolest, but he was kind and fair. He watched out for the little guy, and he wasn’t a bully. Sure, I had a crush on him, but, more than that, I wanted to be like him.
Decades later, I was boarding a plane to Detroit to prepare for my wedding. There were a few days left to finish planning and organizing everything before the big event (and I LOVE planning big events! A three day celebration of love and family with hundreds of guests, including renting out a museum, carousel rides, multiple meals, and flowers to die for!) I was totally buzzing and excited. Then, the day got even better!
I saw Henry Winkler boarding the plane (of course I wasn’t upgraded to first class this time- darn it!) and sort of freaked out. But, you know, in a cool way. Channeling my inner Fonzie.
I took it as a sign and tweeted the following, expecting a few friends to comment “oh that’s cool!” And not much more.
But he responded with the kindest message! And he kept responding! I think about his little blessing often, because this is a man who knows how to have a long, happy marriage. I think it was a good sign for sure!
A few years later he was speaking at a SAG-AFTRA event I attended (that’s the actor’s union), and I took the opportunity to introduce myself in person and say thank you. I told him how much his response meant, and we spoke about his words that night a bit. He is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever come across. Contrary to what you hear about actors or LA, most of the ones who rise to the top are truly good, kind, grateful people. No one wants to work with assholes. But still, he stood out,
This man is grateful to the maximum level for every single bit of his life, his family, his career, for every opportunity. He inspires me to be even more that way. I never, ever want to take one thing for granted! I know how lucky I am to do what I love, to live in my favorite city, to be married to that amazing man, to have the support I have, the opportunities I’ve been given- on and on.
So, I chose that meditation. It was about equanimity (yes!), about letting things slide off your back because you’re cool AF inside. It was exactly what I’ve always wanted to be better at- being more like The Fonz.
I just got the first big audition today that I’ve had in a long time, and I’m finally ready! I can’t wait to get back to working with people I admire, people who push me to be better, to work harder. To show up with all I’ve got. To be responsible for the energy I bring to the room.
I am so fucking lucky, I can’t even handle it sometimes. And, frankly, I’m a nerd. I get super excited. I’ll never be as cool as Arthur Fonzarelli. It’s just not in my nature- I geek out too hard.
But I can work to be a bit smoother inside. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna try out my new skills and see if I can punch a jukebox just right.