I am an actress.
I designed this little website myself and then saw that it had a blog post section. So here I am blogging. If you've thumbed through any of this website, you already have an idea of what I do. Hopefully, these blog posts will be a way for me to share who I am.
Today a friend sent me a link to the Ira Glass video. Don't know what that is? Well, I'll say that it's one of the greatest things that an artist could listen to. I'll include a link somewhere when I figure out how to do that. In the meantime, I'll summarize and share my own story. Ira Jeffrey Glass is an American public radio personality and the host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life. (I stole that from Wikipedia) And there's a video of him telling people who are artists - writers, actors, etc. that the name of the game is to just keep doing it. He starts by saying that in the beginning, you'll put out stuff that's crap. But your taste, he says, is impeccable. You have great taste. So you might know that the things you put out are crap, but you keep at it. You keep going and you persist. And one day, the things you put out aren't crap.
I love this video because it's the same thing that I tell actor friends and some of my career coaching clients. When I started, I did some really shitty acting. Really shitty. I'll say, even now I still do some shitty acting. Hopefully it's less than before. No, it is. But here's the thing. I love acting. I'm obsessed with it. I live, eat, breathe acting. I always knew it was what I wanted to do when I was a kid. I just didn't think it was possible because I never saw people that looked like me doing it. Then when I got older, I started to see faces like Lea Salonga and thought, ok maybe I can do musicals. And then that's where it all started for me.
Going back to what the video talks about. He mentions doing a body of work. And that had always been my goal. Just keep working. And by God's grace (seriously by God's grace cause I have been really bad in some productions) I have kept working. And working. And now, it's all I do. I work solely as an actor in tv, commercials, voiceovers, cartoons, plays, musicals, hosting, and industrials.
Here's the catch - I'm not just being humble when I say that I was bad. There's a look on people's faces when you're in their play/musical/whatever that lets you know that they're not particularly pleased with what you did. It's a sad little face and I hate seeing it. I'm as much of a people pleaser as the next person and I really hate disappointing someone who is paying me to do work. But it happens. For whatever reason, it happens. I vow to try and work as hard as I can to do the kind of work that brings life and something awesome to the job and sometimes I fail. And so I have to pick myself up, try to figure out what went wrong and be better next time. And that's the key point. Pick yourself up and do better next time.
I want to be the next Meryl Streep. I want to be the actress that people think of because she can tackle any role and be amazing at it. But I'm not that. Not today. So I just keep working for it.
Here's the other thing that I tell people who are willing to listen. I plan on being the last person standing. What does that mean? Year after year that I stay in this business, more and more people drop out, fall away or lose interest in the acting business grind. And that's no shame to them - we all make our choices. I choose to stay. I have this sneaking suspicion that if I'm the last one standing - then maybe I'll get to have my pick of roles! At the very least, I'll get to be working when I'm 80. Which I am totally down for. Ira mentions this in his video when he says "you have to fight your way through that"
I hate making promises I can't keep. So hopefully I'll write again next week. But if inspiration takes hold, it might be earlier than that.
Have the best week you possibly can! Live with joy. Give out compliments freely. Smile.