Saturday, July 16, 2016

Tough skin with a vulnerable heart

I wrote this article for Actors Embassy a couple years ago about the ups and downs of showbiz, and I'm finding myself referring back to it lately. Thank the Gods I am on an upswing of work lately to which I am beyond grateful, but with a rough fall into spring came the nagging familiar feeling that maybe I should be doing something else with my life. I've spoken with a couple of actor friends in the same boat and we all feel it sometimes. I am an artist first and foremost, but a consistent paycheck is lifeblood. I was back in New York in February pounding the pavement and although I still love it there the stress of the city just depletes my health much faster now. I'm about to do a show in Los Angeles and I'm pretty sure I would never want to move there. Some of my most talented and beautiful friends are leaving LA after years of trying to make it. If they can't well a Ricky Schroder look-a-like like me ehhhh. Besides, I don't think any actor 'makes it' really there's no linear progression like other careers say where 20 years down the line you're Vice President.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert recently spoke about taking passion off the table in our career endeavors, and instead replacing it with--follow your curiosity. I love this. Follow your curiosity. Tony winner Karen Olivo who I admire was quoted in the NY times about leaving the industry "I was operating like an actor in life--which is scary---constantly wanting people to like me and thinking that I had to promote myself--and the truth is in life, you don't need to do that." Actress Laura Bell Bundy said "There's something soul less about hustling and running around and trying to convince people that you're worth something---and you can do that--- as long as your feel like you have some other creative outlet or some other thing that's enriching your soul..."

Such good reminders for us creative folk.

I think it's very important to live your life outside of the biz. Focusing on your relationships, family friends, and whatever else that gives you a modicum of contentment. This business is about so many things that you have little control over. You are offering YOU so it's hard to not take rejection personally sometimes,You can only do what you can do and not everyone will like you. Seldom is the reward for your commitment and sacrifice but then, sometimes it is. You just keep moving forward keeping a tough skin to survive the business, while maintaining your vulnerable heart for the craft.

I'm proud of myself for persevering 20 years now through this uncertain profession, although I'd be lying if I said I don't think about throwing the towel in. I think the question of moving forward will always be here for me, am I living up to my full potential by just doing this? Grateful I have branched off into Directing more as it feels like a natural progression, and I'm good at it. My desire for financial stability may never be answered. I guess it's a career that has chosen me versus me choosing it. To sit at the Hollywood round table getting accolades for your art is not always guaranteed and when it does it's fleeting. Maybe I should be doing something else, but it also may simply be about persevering.

Follow your curiosity bloggers.....but keep that vulnerable heart.

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