Tag Archives: career

When It’s Dangerous to Dream

12 Nov

It’s been a while since my last post, and for good reason. First time grad student, first time full time teacher, directing a professional theater festival, directing a high school production, completing my fundraising trailer, and trying to survive. So, posting went to the wayside. Needless to say, so did acting. And that disturbed me. A lot. It’s been an interesting couple of months adjusting to all of this. I spent most of September trying not to have a nervous breakdown. And then most of October stressing out about how I’m never going to act again. Now, in November, I have come to realize the potential dangers of my Dream.

As those closest to me (and maybe readers of this blog) have heard me say a million times, I’ve wanted to act since I was 9 years old. I hold on to this moment pretty dearly. In many ways it defines me. It’s the one thing I can say I know for sure. But what if all my life I focus on this one thing and ignore all the rest? What if this one thing never gives me the financial means to live a comfortable life? What if this one thing limits me so that I am constantly striving after an ever-changing goal (what does it mean to find success in acting?) and thereby never reaching it? Well, I’d be constantly disappointed. And unhappy.

This awareness has been slowly growing these past few weeks, it’s not an easy one to realize. Do I really want to be unhappy and dissatisfied all the time? Of course not. So I must shift my focus. As my boyfriend helped me realize (as he has so patiently listened to countless long, emotional rants over these past two months) I have to see what I do have and what I am accomplishing, which, when I really think about it, is a lot! And if acting is something I must, no matter what, have in my life, then I’ll make a way to have it in my life– even if it’s not the traditional make yourself a slave to hourly submissions, CD workshops, showcases, scene study classes, postcard mailings, thousands upon thousands of dollars down the drain. Not that there’s anything wrong with that either. I might be going back to that grind soon, too. But there’s more to an artist’s life than classes and casting.

If I keep going after the dream, I’m setting myself up to be only in the future and never in the present. And since when did that philosophy ever make someone happy? So though dreams are wonderful to have, and I know I talk about them a lot– to give you that spark, the passion, the drive— they can be dangerous if they become stale. If the dream is just an excuse to never realize all that you’re accomplishing in the now. Like, on my way to getting my Masters (once a dream, now a reality); directing an incredible LGBTQ festival (once a conversation, turned into a job); completing the first draft of a play (once an idea, now a full story); finishing the fundraising trailer for my feature length screenplay (once two friends complaining about the difficulties of acting, now on our way to making work for ourselves); teaching and (hopefully) inspiring kids to go after their dreams.

So, maybe it’s time to update the dream… I think, perhaps, I am already living that dream.

Day Job(s)

30 Jan

A huge part of becoming a working actor is, of course, being a working-something-else in order to survive until we can make money doing what we love. Many opt for the waiting/catering gig, which has flexibility and good money- two very necessary things as an actor. I’ve attempted hosting, but never serving because, well, I just don’t think I’m cut out for restaurants after being around them for so long (my mom, aunt and grandparents all owned restaurants). Instead, I pay the bills by working not one, but THREE day jobs, and I’m slowly adding another to the list, but one that could potentially grow into something perfect.

1. Website Editor/Manager

I oversee about 40-50 (virtual) teen interns on a parenting website and manage the website.

2. Personal/Administrative Assistant

I do the company payroll, weekly schedule, event contracts, and other miscellaneous tasks for a professional international dance company.

3. High School Theater Director

I teach after school theater, direct plays, sub acting classes, and oversee the performance poetry ensemble.

4. Rolly & Matilda ETSY Shop! 

And last but not least, my latest Day Job, is my boyfriend and my vintage clothing Etsy store! We just started it, but are really enjoying the process. It’s great because, it allows us to be creative (in choosing the items, styling the outfits, taking the photos, etc), use similar marketing skills we learn to utilize for our acting careers (creating a brand, spreading the word via social media, consistent promotion, etc) and allows flexibility (we can make our own schedules).

In a perfect world,Rolly & Matilda could be my only day job so that my mind doesn’t explode with all it has going on (juggling 3 jobs, rehearsals, auditions, family, friends… life! Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to have all these things. It just get’s a little jumbled in my head!) But only one way to find out is to go for it (just like acting!), so there it is. It feels good to have new projects, especially ones that excite me and that I’ve been thinking and talking about for so long. Making more dreams come true….

When is Enough, Enough?

22 Jan

When you are pursuing a career for which there is always something to do, when do you know you are doing enough?

For the most part, I would say I am confident, focused, driven and determined when it comes to being an actor. However, once in a while I have a mini meltdown. Hence, last night. In one torrential downpour (kind of like the one we are experiencing this very moment in LA) all of my doubts, fears and frustrations came crashing down on me. It all felt so fruitless. I suddenly felt as though I have accomplished nothing. Had nothing to show for all the blood, sweat and tears I have put into this chosen career. What am I doing? What is the point? It’s so not fair! I should have done this, and this and this by now!

But, in the midst of my pseudo panic attack, I never said I give up. I never said I didn’t want to do this anymore. Those tears were just the growing pains of pursuing acting. It comes with the territory; I am totally okay with that. I am an actor, after all, so let the emotions flow…

Today, a new day, I feel better, clear-headed and maybe even more driven. I will continue to do what I can each day. And for me, that is enough.

Decision Making: Moving to LA

21 Jan

Moving to LA for acting is nothing you can be prepared for. No one is ever really “Ready” to make the move. You just either DO or you DONT. There will always be plenty of excuses to keep you from making the next step, no matter how legitimate they may seem– Don’t want to leave the steady job, have a serious boyfriend/girlfriend, not enough professional acting experience, going back to school, etc. Trust me, I’ve heard them all because I’ve said them all too.

When I decided to go to Berkeley for undergrad, my intention was always to hop on a plane back to LA the moment I got that diploma in my hand. I told myself I was there strictly for my degree and then I was to go straight to LA to give this acting a fair shot once and for all. But when that day finally came, I was immersed in my life in the Bay Area. I had friends I didn’t want to leave, a serious relationship and even an awesome theater company. I said to myself, let’s see how this goes, I will move back in the fall. The summer came and went and I had made no plans. Fall came and went and I said maybe in the new year. But then I got a part-time job. Wanted to see what a 9-5 life was like. After all, all of my other friends had normal office jobs. I wanted to feel a part of that club too. Join in on company office parties, meet up for after-work happy-hours, feel like a 20-something professional living in an awesome city. But then again, that’s exactly what I did NOT want. Confused? Ha, me too…

I always had one foot in because I didn’t want to commit to that life even though I wanted to feel on the same page as my peers. My heart wasn’t in it, it was longing to pursue acting even if I didn’t realize it clearly at the time. When you’re that scared your judgement can get clouded. And striving for an acting career is a scary thing.

Anyway, TWO years went by before I realized that if I didn’t just set a date and make the move, I was never going to do it. Time isn’t going to wait for you. And what was I waiting for anyway?

Most importantly you have the desire, and really, that’s all you need to have to make the move.

Of course there are issues like, where to live and getting a day job, but if the desire is there the solutions will follow…