Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year. New Kick in the Ass.

I probably should've done this last year. Leave it to me to have a delayed idea. Lord, help me -- story of my life. So here I am -- a 34-year-old, "self-employed" actor/housewife/flailing (failing?) entrepeneur, college graduate, possibly having a quarter-to-midlife crisis.

Where to begin? I moved to Austin in 1997 after falling in love with the city (OK, the UT campus. Hook 'Em 'Horns!) during a state high school competition in 1994 and 1995. I was an orchestra geek. Emphasis on the geek. I've only realized in the last few years that all college campuses must seem cool to high schoolers. So much academia, independence and sex in the air. It was the only school I applied to and I got in. Not bad for a timid El Paso girl.

Fast forward a decade after a promising career in online journalism (Not really. Turns out I don't have the stomach for it and I value my soul and not becoming numb to the horrors of humanity and whatnot), a move to and from Las Vegas and Los Angeles (Not acting related. Regarding here-to-fore-mentioned journalism career), jumping into the film and theater scene in Austin (which is plentiful and fun, but often lacking quality), and a-mostly-on-again-but-sometimes-off-again-relationship-turned-solid-marriage and I'm in my home office contemplating my next move.

I happily left the journalism industry in 2008 to more fully pursue acting, since I was booking quite a bit of commercial work and was excited at the prospect of what more devoted time would bring. I got a part-time receptionist gig through a friend who was totally cool with me taking time off, if and when needed, to audition  and work any booked jobs. Pretty sweet, I know.  It's all anyone in my position could ask for.

But, of course, it couldn't last. The company wasn't able to make payroll and I finally resigned when the county constables came by to seize equipment (including my office computer) to settle an unpaid debt. I wasn't being paid and I couldn't do the simplest of my assigned tasks. Thanks for your support! I gotta go!

That was back in April 2010. My husband said I should take my time finding new steady work and I should concentrate on my acting. So, I've taken my time, but the concentration has been sporadic at best. Something I'm trying to change as a deadline I wasn't previously aware of looms. I've been selfishly thinking that my time not steadily contributing financially to my partner in marriage and our shared bank account was limitless. Stupid, I know. I'm easily lulled into a false sense of security. Good news for our politicians! Anyway, the unfairness of making my husband the sole breadwinner is taking it's toll and I have until April this year "to make something happen with acting."

After which, we'll decide what "needs to be done". It doesn't give me much hope. I've never really been the most self-motivated person. The fact that I quit a steady career for something as fleeting as acting is more a testament to my insanity rather than my tenacity I've concluded. I must be a glutton for punishment if I've chosen a life where I'll be rejected more times than the smelly kid in the Kindergarten class. Though the punishment I received working in news should've told me that. Again, slow on the uptake.

So, I've taken up the day-job search in earnest and feeling further discouraged by lack of enthusiasm and possible un-hirability for the most menial of tasks. Truly a big ol' slice of humble pie for me. I'm still in there chasing the dream, however. I've set myself up as a private coach (one client so far!), and teamed up with a fellow actor from my agency to tape auditions (so far mostly folks from my agency, who get a discount, but I'm at the mixers drumming up business), and trying the Every Girl Friday for actors thing (again, one client so far!).

I'm going to work at picking up the momentum I lost after experiencing my first co-star role on a major network show. It was a high and the low following has been really low. I've booked a couple of commercial jobs since, but being able to turn that into more work has eluded me. The idea probably won't come to me until six months from now...... Lord, help me.

BTW, if anyone knows where to locate shows that have been re-dubbed/re-looped since their original airings, please let me know. I'd like to have the footage for my marketing purposes and not get sued by Neil Diamond in the process. Thanks.


  1. Read this post:

    Lawsuit averted.