Saturday, August 09, 2014

Confessions of a beginning Utah actress

We have officially lived in Utah for a little over two weeks. I still feel all kinds of unsettled, mostly because there are a few more permanent job things we won't know about until September or so. There's no set routine around here. But I'm starting to work my way into the entertainment industry, just like we came here to do. I've had two auditions, two callbacks, and I've submitted myself to two agencies, and submitted myself to work as an extra in four additional projects. (Which sounds way more impressive written out than it feels.) I'm waiting to hear back about three projects, and I've begun rehearsals for Damn Yankees. And here are my thoughts on this world so far:

1. I'm in love, IN LOVE, with acting. With rehearsing. With theatre. With "Damn Yankees" at the Hale. I've only been to three rehearsals so far, but over the course of the few hours I'm there, I feel myself slowly filling up with this bubbling joy. It's exactly like when you first have a crush on someone, and you have this CONNECTION with them, and every single thing about it is amazing, and when you're not with them, you can't stop talking about them. I feel like that, only my ardor is directed towards the world of theatre in general, and this production. I spend a few hours after I come home from rehearsal just trying to bite my tongue, to keep from gleefully babbling about every little detail of the night. But I've got all that bubbling joy left over, so Jacob just has to sit and listen while I tell him about a funny moment or a great acting choice someone made or some production concept. I love theatre. I love this opportunity. I forget sometimes how much I love this world.

2. People are generally very friendly at auditions and callbacks. I feel like I've made so many friends, even though I don't remember all of their names or have any of their contact information. I've grown a little more comfortable making small talk, and I've felt like I've made some genuine human connections with fellow auditioners. That's felt good. In an industry that has a reputation for being a little cutthroat, it's been beautiful to find so much kindness.

3. Fellow actors occasionally ask me things like, "Who are you with?" and the first few times it happened, it took me a second to realize that they were talking about agencies. And the question makes me feel very grown up and professional. Even though the answer is, " one, right now."

4. I find myself sometimes keeping kind of aloof about all these auditions/submissions. I think I've been using that as subconscious coping mechanism to deal with the constant possibility (and occasional reality) of rejection. Like, I'll kind of think, "This audition is no big deal. Just a job. Just a chance to do what I love, and if they don't want me, that's fine." Which is all very Zen of me, but I think lurking deep down is a part of me that's like, "HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP THIS IS A NATIONAL COMMERCIAL AND HOLY CRAP THAT LADY WAS IN THAT ONE MOVIE AND HOLY CRAP ALL THESE PEOPLE HAVE AGENTS AND HOLY CRAP THIS IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW WHAT WHAT WHAT?!?!?" But I think you have a certain degree of agency when it comes to which part of yourself you give power to. I want to acknowledge the bit of me that's freaking out, but I want to give power to the Zen part of me. I don't think actors could survive very long without a bit of Zen perspective. And while I think feeling fear is inescapable, I don't want to let it rule me.

5. "Pretty" doesn't matter as much as I thought it did. It does matter for certain jobs and certain roles. But for the most part, it's just one "look" of many that are sought after for different projects. Which makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I belong here, and like what I have to contribute is valued. I do think I am beautiful, but I'm not Zooey Deschanel/Scarlett Johansson/Audrey Hepburn, and I never will be. Which is totally okay, because I'm Carol Burnett/Lucille Ball and they got work too. (I hope this doesn't sound snobby...I am far from the talent of Carol Burnett/Lucille Ball. But I'm just trying to say that I understand my niche, and my look, and that the Zooey Deschanel/Scarlett Johansson/Audrey Hepburn look isn't the only valuable one out there.)

So that's life right now. Between a few odd jobs (dishwashing, substitute teaching, making burgers, selling plasma, etc.), we've got enough to pay the bills. And enough time to keep living the dream. :)


Anonymous said...

So inspiring to read your blog! Keep following your dreams!

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