I’m so lost.
I have a gig coming up and it’s a good one. One I did last year and one I had a lot of fun doing. One might say, it was a snowstorm of fun. A gift of fun. Something that I had been trying to do for a long time, and I finally got to do it. I did a job, had a lot of fun and got paid for it. So I have that to look forward to.
The only thing is, I don’t have anything for after that gig. I auditioned for something. Something cool. Something that was intriguing and exciting. I got really far in the audition process and thought, for sure, I was going to get the role. Even had other people telling me I was going to book it. I would’ve put money on it.
But it’s been two weeks since I sent in my Callback videos and nothing. Not a peep. I mean, I knew I was still in the running about a week ago. But today, nothing. No news, this time, is not great news.
So I’m lost. Equity has no auditions coming up. Nothing is in the works. There are no projects happening. I’m lost.
Which is why I’m writing this. Because even though I’m about to start another gig that takes me to Christmas Eve, and I don’t have anything after that, I am writing to do something. Because if I want to be something and do something, I have to do something to become something. That’s a lot of something. But hopefully my meaning comes across.
If my dreams are going to come true, I need to do an activity that will make them happen. So today, on a day when I feel lost and a little rejected, when I feel tired and nostalgic about jobs past, when I feel nervous about what’s to come, I write it out. Because that’s doing something.
Second Two Show Day of American Mariachi at South Coast Repertory.
Sitting on the corner of Bristol and Sunflower, EarPods in my ears while a playlist of Classical Piano Essentials becomes the soundtrack to the morning traffic. Cup of Sunday coffee within reach. Cool breeze from the ocean flowing.
Two shows to come and nothing but gratitude and exhaustion running through my heart and body. Feeling the joy of making music with an orchestra of master performers. Feeling grateful for each stitch of fabric in the costumes I wear. Feeling exhausted from the heavy seconds and minutes and hours that rolled by with rehearsals in the dark of the theatre.
Now, another week will go by and two more shows will be done. Two more opportunities to tell this story to a community that doesn’t even know it needs the catharsis of its message. Two more chances to tell a truth. Two more chances to play.
I am so grateful for this show, this moment, this music, these two show days.
What is it that I need today?
What am I looking for in this moment, these moments?
My eyes were opened this morning and the first thought in my head was, ‘I did it! I survived another night. Thank you!’
I didn’t die in my sleep. I wasn’t captured and threatened. I didn’t even go to sleep with an empty stomach. I went to sleep as a rich man and woke as one too.
So this morning, I woke with Gratitude. Like I try to wake every morning.
But then what? What comes after the gratitude and the realization that, ‘I’m awake. Now let’s do stuff.’?
Then it came to me. There are things I want to accomplish in my life. I’m not guaranteed more moments than anyone else. I’m not given any less than anyone, today. We all start with a clean slate. The same 24 hour period. So what is it I want to do?
Sure, I can chill on Netflix and play the latest video game for hours like nobody’s business. I can look outside and think, ‘It’s cold, cloudy, wet and I’mma just hang out in my comfies indoors.’ (Thanks a lot San Diego June Gloom). I can pull up Doordash or Grubhub and order something yummy and request it be dropped off at my door so I don’t even have to talk to the delivery driver.
I can go to the gym, feel grateful I can move my body, and proud I can lift something heavy and put it back down again. I can listen to a podcast and feel grateful I can hear, learn and apply the wisdom I’m being taught. I can meditate and feel grateful I can breathe. I can open my computer and feel grateful I can see the screen with my eyes and type these words with hands and fingers that work. I can chew. I can play music. I can write. I can go outside and feel the cool air.
I can. I can. I can do so much, because I can.
Thank you for this day.
It’s really, really, frickin’ hard being an Actor.
That’s something most people won’t tell you. Teachers, Coaches, Managers, Agents, Your Mom.
They won’t say it, because… Well, they have their reasons. Some are based on finances. They want to get paid. Some based on love. They are your biggest fans and believe in you. But they’re not really going to tell you if you suck. They’ll just tell you that you’re great and no one is better than their sweet-darling. Some are more devious, because they want to see you fail as they did. These people deserve to have a personal “Fade to Black”, like permanent.
It’s difficult because you have to want to live in a state of some kind of fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of judgement. Fear of financial failure. Fear of Fear itself.
But there has to be a bigger reason you want to do this than personal. Something bigger than Fear. It can’t be about you. Because if it’s only about what you want, you won’t last past the Title Card in your own story.
When you find out what your “Why” is, you’ll be unstoppable. Because, like all the great stories from all those great movies, or t.v. shows you grew up watching that made you want to do this, you’ll find your own personal Hero’s Journey. Your own story. Your own fight.
And when the End Credits roll, your story will live on. Because others will want to make it their story too.
It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? When you book a gig. It’s like a great weight is lifted off your shoulders. Like you can breathe again. Like everything, all the sacrifices, the long hours in countless classes, the money spent, the frustration and tears, was all worth it.
Because now, you’re an employed Actor. It feels good. It feels right.
We don’t always get to feel that feeling. We usually feel the exact opposite. So when it does come around, it’s a thing to be celebrated.
Be happy about it. Treat yourself. Take yourself out to get a special dinner, or a walk on by the beach. Announce it on all your Social Media channels, (but make sure not to name the project unless you have permission).
Take your moment, breathe in deep and rejoice. You earned your spot.