A big part of the industry is being able to create work for oneself. It's survival during lean times. I've been dipping into the production side of things here and there getting to know more about how everything works behind the camera. It's just as exciting and draining in a different way than being in front of the camera.
I coach, I tape auditions, I PA (Production Assist(ant)), I'm even a Junior Agent for the VO (Voice Over) talent for my agency, and now I'll freelance a little on the casting side as an assistant. I'll get to see first-hand what casting directors see. I'm excited for the opportunity.
It's all about taking chances. Not that taking chances is a New Year resolution for me. I think I've proven I'm willing to take chances: Quitting my day job (Do I listen? What's the first thing actors get told? DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB!), buying a home (big, huge, crapping mistake), starting over. The worst that could happen with me dipping into the production pool is that I'm not cut out for it. Like I haven't been there before.
This year, however, I have resolved to return to a more academic studying of acting. That means reading the acting books I've half-read and reading the acting books I haven't even looked into getting, but are in my notes of must-reads from various classes. I hope that I can find just as much instruction and inspiration as I do when I work with other actors. I could use the inspiration.
No one else is charge of my career. It's just me. However, I do have to be prepared that “IT” may never happen for me. It's a scary possibility, but not one I should dismiss. This isn't an industry where if you work a certain amount of time and learn certain things, you can expect to rise “the ladder” to a certain a level. It doesn't work that way. The demands are great on heart, body and soul and the return may be … nothing.
I give without expecting anything back. It's what I tell myself, classmates and students. It's not a safe way to go about life and career, but it's what I have to do. It's what I'm willing to do. Safety isn't an option in acting. Safe = dead. All I can hope is that I don't lose myself or anyone I love in either regret or desperation. It's really scary. I'm scared. I really am, but I can't give into it. What have I given for, and taken from others (namely, my husband) as sacrifices, if I'm just going to give up on myself, and let him down, too?
I have a deadline looming and even though I'll have to make adjustments, necessary ones at that, I'm not quitting. It's what is in my heart. The joy, the high, the elation … I joke that my only two vices are chocolate, exercise, and (OK, three vices) television (damn you cable). But, really, it's this. Little in my life has felt so right. I guess I'm just not as practical as I'd like to think I am or portray myself to be.