I’m sure everyone has those moments… the ones where you sit back in your chair and question what the hell has happened to your life? You know the one where Person X has gotten to Point B and you haven’t… and you work just as hard and you fight just as much. Yet, you stare ahead at what feels like the unobtainable and you wonder “Why am I not there?” It’s the same in every field, you don’t just have to be an actor to understand it. You can be an accountant wondering why you are still dealing with the low end of the totem pole, while new employee gets accolades, pay increases and a promotion before you. Same story, different players, different phrases – same tune.
I am a barely working actor. There, I said it…. I am barely working. I struggle for every audition I get and when I find there is less work – I MAKE WORK (like The Nic & Kimmie Show). At this point I have more experience producing, doing PA work than being in front of the camera. Don’t get me wrong – I have done my fair share of parts… I get autograph requests from Russia which is a bit odd to me… but I digress.
I am struggling. I live paycheck to paycheck. I have representation that I work damn hard to keep happy. I am willing to drive from NY to PA to MA if I have to for a role. I have shot audition footage and uploaded it, done Skype sessions but sometimes you just aren’t right for the part. All the exuberance in the world won’t land me the role. I keep plugging away, keep pushing forward… but I work more on actors resumes, web design, writing my scripts/books, my own webseries – than I work on other people’s projects… so why do I get myself down?
Because I am not in control of my future. I deal with rejection every day. Too fat, too tall, too thin, wrong eye color, hair color… bad laugh, wrong complexion… I am judged, ridiculed and dismissed all because of the things I have no control over. I can ace the audition thanks to the tools of the trade from my coach Michelle Tomlinson and my raw natural ability – but that is all I control and it freaking sucks. It grates on my nerves, bugs me, pulls me down… and that frustration – I think – is a bit misguided.
I chose this life. I had a job at Riker’s Island. I had a promising career as a Forensic Psychotherapist. I had planned on getting my doctorate. I had a dream I refused to let go of. A desire I cannot go a day without working on in some capacity. I can’t breathe without being able to create. I can have all the love my wife can give me, but without my creative outlets, I am a shell of a person. So truthfully, can I blame or be frustrated at those who control my destiny? No, I can only blame myself. MY choices, MY decisions – have all brought me to this point of no return.
I guess this is where being an adult happens. You have to accept what is in the rear view mirror is done and over with. Then you have to accept that Person X being at Point B where you want to be… they made it there for a reason. You haven’t for a reason. So, when I see people I have shot short films with on television or on the silver screen – I try not to let my green monster show. It’s hard, but I do it. I force myself to think about what I might not have had success come my way earlier on. Would I be happy?
Maybe it’s the adult in me realizing that if I am only ever known as playing Raven in Under the Raven’s Wing – so be it. It was an amazing part, a wonderful opportunity and one any career should be blessed to be defined by. Heck, Russia seems to think I’m pretty cool right?
Hopefully, I will have more opportunities come my way. Hopefully, I can keep making once a year trips to Los Angeles to film shorts or The Mis-Adventures of McT & A episodes with one of my closest, trusted friends. I have no control over anything other than right this moment… and right at this moment, looking in the mirror… I’m pretty proud of the person staring back at me. Just have to focus on the road ahead, don’t get a speeding ticket and make the best of the journey. Envious moments are bound to happen… but there are only speed bumps on my journey.
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