May 8- Act

Meditation: Balance, Sleep
Length: 10 minutes
Where: In Bed, Los Angeles
How It Felt: Okay

I felt so accomplished yesterday! I finally sat down and updated all my resumes, physical and online, across the board. I say “I” but really it was Steve, with my (sometimes bossy and impatient) direction. I hate computer work. I love computers and what they do for us, but I hate hate hate formatting and spreadsheeting and editing and everything else you can do in Office Suite or iMovie. Tedious things.

I get so frustrated when I think I’m telling the computer what to do and it doesn’t listen. Technology in general tends to mush up my brain. So, I put off my resume updates. I was about to do them early last year, but then I got super busy working, so who needed it, right? I trusted inertia to carry me along, and I ignored them.

Then, hey! A pandemic! Nobody is working now, so who cares?

But now… now I’m heading back to work. And, more than that, I can’t wait to work. I’m dying to work. Every cell in my body is screaming out that I need to act, please!

So, thanks to Steve’s expertise and extreme patience, we slowly and methodically updated, reformatted, and cross checked my resumes. The film resume, commercial, theatre, master. Those are the ones I need to print or email or save as PDFs to upload on my website, on casting sites. Then, those casting sites. LA Casting, Actor’s Access, Backstage, iActor. Each one, individually- all the sites your agents or AFI uses to cast you, or where you find auditions for yourself. Each role, each film, each director typed into the little boxes, over and over, until you want to scream. Deleting old parts, tracking down the call sheets for the new ones to remember how to spell the director’s last name….

It’s really, really fun.

I know being an actor or artist in general means you work freelance and have to run a business, but didn’t I choose a creative life so I didn’t have to do this stuff all day? Sigh.

I get to have the career of my dreams and I manage to complain about a few hours of office work. Amazing! Oh, boy…

I’m lucky. I know. I shouldn’t complain. And even luckier that I have a sweet husband who is a genius at this stuff and supportive as hell.

And even luckier that it’s done, and I don’t have to do that again really ever as long as I keep everything updated as I go using the system I now have in place!

I do love a good system….

Then, yesterday evening, we made a delicious shrimp dinner and watched One Night in Miami which was just… a master class in acting. I love when plays are developed for film. The acting is almost always about as good as it gets. Something so powerful about the heightened tone, I think, and the dialogue, as long as they don’t change it too much.

As I sat in my inspired daze as the credits rolled, I reminded myself how happy I was to have those resumes done! I have a bunch of steps left- getting a new reel together and separating out clips from my latest films, new updated headshots, full redo on my website, a new voiceover demo- but at least the first step is done! And I’m getting auditions even with my old materials, and job offers from people I’ve worked with before. It’s still moving, and I’m not in a holding pattern.

I need to get my materials to a higher level, though, the one I’m ready for. You start out brand new, doing plays and whatnot. Then, maybe student films. Then local stuff- dealership commercials that pay a few hundred bucks, industrials, maybe some indie movies. After that, you move on to projects with a real budget, even though you aren’t getting much of it. Non-union stuff. Maybe some background work if you’re still trying to get into the union or just figure out how a set works.

The whole time you’re in class, taking workshops, reading plays, books about auditioning. You’re tracking the casting directors you meet, who books you, who might. One magical day, you get your SAG card! Or your Equity card, if professional theatre is for you. Or, miracles- both! You start to book real stuff, things people actually see, projects you can refer to when you get the dreaded question:

“So, what have I seen you in?”

You’re making actual money, you have confidence in what you do, and you get to finally cash some residual checks, if you’re lucky. One commercial might pay your expenses for a year, if it’s the right one. Maybe you get to go to some film festivals, maybe even get nominated for a small award.

Here’s where I am now: I’m ready for the big stuff. I mean the meaty, sink-your-teeth-into them roles that make actors drool. Drama, comedy, everything in between, I’m not picky. I love it all. I want to spend the rest of my life onstage, on set, reading scripts and marking them up, researching and getting lost in a character.

Watching the film last night, I just kept thinking- Yes. I am ready.

I’ll happily take the little jobs, too, and the weird online sketches, and the free improv shows, and the commercials that pay a little or a lot. I’ll take the one line role in the TV show that sends me 88 cents in residuals a year for the next decade. I’m thrilled to do voiceover, even though no one will see my face. I’m happy to do the plays and musicals that pay next to nothing.

I just want to work, and I’m grateful for every single gig that comes my way. I’m never happier than when I’m working!

But I’ve been training and working and gathering experience and confidence for a long time, and I am so, so ready for the next level. I booked my last audition before the pandemic in ten minutes. I read for the role, Steve and I drove a mile or so away to grab dinner, and I already had the email with the offer in my phone. They were still auditioning.

I felt so proud of my hard work that day, I thought my heart might explode.

The last day of filming that movie, we all realized something was happening. We’d spend the entire shoot elbow bumping our hellos and laughing at how silly it seemed, wondering if masks were “a bit of an overreaction,” eating and laughing in close quarters together, no idea what was in store.

That weekend, I got the first message that a play we were supposed to attend was going to “postpone the performances a little while.”

We all know what happened after that.

Now, it’s coming to an end. Got my shots, and ready for my next one.

Last night, I was jazzed from One Night in Miami. I read about the film and the characters and the actors and the play it was based on for almost two hours. I was buzzing and thought sleep might be impossible. So, I tried the Balance app’s sleep meditation.

Did it put me to sleep? Not even close. I could barely keep my eyes closed, I was so excited. A sleep gummy later, I finally drifted off, dreaming of big things ahead, of getting lost in the work, shoulder to shoulder with artists I admire.

Meditation to try to be less excited is maybe not the best plan. But I tried it. I stuck with my daily exercise. I continue to prove to myself I can be consistent and dedicated.

Time to transfer those habits to a larger arena! I’m comin’ for you, life!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com