Looking back over this year, it has been quite a roller coaster.
Personally, it has been one of the hardest years in a lot of ways. Almost a year ago exactly, my husband and I made the decision for me to come down to LA and give my acting career here a try. I quite my job of two and a half years on December 31, 2012 and haven’t had a steady income since. January 30, 2013, we moved out of our apartment in Seattle and have lived with parents and various roommates for the past 11 months. We’ve spent over four months apart from each other and have struggled with how to make this long-distance, dual-city thing work. Many answers to the questions of our future are still unknown.
Professionally speaking, I didn’t book any major commercials, feature films or any roles on television; I didn’t get cast at any of my goal theatres; many goals are still waiting to be accomplished.
A year ago I had no idea what would come of 2013, but I did make a promise to myself that I would act with courage. Even without reaching any of those major bench marks, I have to say that acting with courage is one thing I DID accomplish this year.
My reflections today have less to do with what goals I achieved and more to do with how I’ve grown. The way I listed the sequence of events above and talked about my lack of accomplishments probably sounds like I feel like a failure. On the contrary, I’m oddly okay with what this year has been. There have been some incredible moments and all the change and uncertainty has brought about an unexpected peace about who, and where, I am at this point in my life. By swapping environments and shaking things up a bit, I’ve been able to see the constants, all the factors that remain the same. Perceptions have been dispelled. Desires heightened. Methods refined. Goals clarified. It isn’t exactly the scientific method, but I’m starting to see the evidence that points to the truth.
What is the truth? When it comes to my career, the truth is that I will always be acting and making art. And to do that, I’ve learned that, no matter what…
I’VE GOT TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!
By that I don’t mean strong-arm something or believe a lie. What I mean is that if it isn’t happening, don’t wait around… make it happen. Duh! I think until this year I believed the only thing I could to as an actor to get work was to audition. WRONG. There is so much more.
Just look at the projects I DID do this year: one play, a play festival, and four short films. Two out of five I auditioned for(cold-turkey); two I had to go out of my way to get connected or make happen, and two were because people I already knew asked me to do it.
33.3% from auditions
33.3% from my own initiative
33.3% from knowing someone
Although those percentages will fluctuate, the ratio is pretty telling. We have to get out there, get to know people, and make things happen.
Over the years I’ve had ideas for projects, but executing them hasn’t always been a priority. Now I’m seeing where I thought auditioning(and marketing) was the focus, that’s only part of the picture. In the last few months I’ve taken some significant steps in executing a plan for my own projects and you know what? I’M LOVING IT! Of course it comes with it’s own set of challenges, but not only is it exciting to see these ideas take shape, it takes some of the pressure off of auditioning. I don’t HAVE to book something when I have other creative things going on. It is so rewarding to take the initiative, start building a team of people with whom I love to work, and make some art. It’s the best!
Just take a hint from these 8 Actresses Who Wrote Complex, Female Roles For Themselves. They are my heroes. Their stories are so inspiring. Wherever I am, whatever this new year brings, I know I will be going out there and making things happen!
What about you? Want to join me!?!