Friday, February 1, 2013

There Comes A Moment When You Just Get Tired

I'm fourty-one (41) years old. Now, in the grand scheme of things, I know that's really not that old. It's not like I'm gonna drop dead tomorrow. I can still function without adult diapers, and I can get around on my own power.

But, there is that other thing.

Every actor starts out wanting to be a "star." Just fucking admit it, OK? We all start out there, thinking "I'm gonna go to Hollywood, and my name will be in lights." Some people never get out of it. Those are the people who wind up getting way, way too involved in Community Theatre award presentations. If you've spent any time in those environments, you know what I'm talking about. If you're trying to figure out what gown to wear to the Spartanburg Community Playhouse Awards, you have a problem.

Sooner or later, if you make it out of the "I do it for fun, and the envy of those who couldn't get cast" realm, you start thinking in terms of "making a living." Which, don't get me wrong, is FAR healthier. How can I take this (lets be honest) meager set of skills they gave me a degree for, use it to put a roof over my head, and food on my table. Again, very healthy, but I also see friends on this track doing work in productions that are  painfully and obviously sub-par, just to get a check.

Which is fine...but I did that for a while. It was fun, I surfed a lot, how could it not be? It also didn't really feel like I was "artistically satisfied." I was satisfied in a hell of a lot of other ways, so, as Alfred E. Newman would say, "what, me worry?"

Deep down, as I have said before, I do this for myself. Not in the "hey, look at me!" Community Theatre model, but in the "what can I give of myself to this?" model. It's not that I haven't done shows for the fun of the show or the people doing it, or for the notoriety of working with certain people, or organizations. I have. That's part of the game. I've also always tried to put something of myself into those jobs, and sometimes that's a struggle.

I want to do good work. I'd like to make a living doing it, but that seems more and more like a pipe dream. It's the great Catch-22 of working in this kind of environment. I work a full-time job, so I can do theatre without feeling like I have to make enough to live on. It allows me to do shows for companies who can't pay a living wadge...but it also makes it easy to feel like I don't need a living wadge from acting.

I don't regret that, really. I guess. I like to work, and I generally get something for it. 

I honestly, have been pecking at this blog entry for days now. I don't even know if I'm still on track toward a point. What the hell, right? It's my goddamn blog, right?

I guess right now I'm thinking about the future. Where is this all going? What am I trying to accomplish in my life? Do I want to succeed and more forward at my "job?" Or is that a distraction from my "career?" Am I sabotaging myself by not pushing and pushing to move up the ladder? Should I be working for my TV/commercial/film work?

It's all feeling a bit overwhelming, right now.

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