Its 12:36 am. I’m laying in bed, face lit up by my computer screen. I started editing some footage for my film reel and have emailed about ten companies today. I did a show tonight. Tomorrow is a day off. Then we have a full weekend of performances. I have two video auditions to film, I got offered a show that I need to decide if I will accept or not and research to start for my next show. Luckily enough, I am currently booked until the beginning of November and every day I frantically look for auditions and email companies. All the while, this is what’s going on in my head, every second of every day:
“I need jobs. I’m getting jobs. I am working. I need more jobs. Auditioning is the job. This is what I want. This is my dream. This is what I worked my whole life for. I cannot fail. I need to succeed. I have to be successful. I have to support myself by achieving my dreams. I need to be a working actor. I am a working actor. I need to focus on the show I am currently doing. I need to keep learning. I need to take more classes. I need to go to more auditions. I need EMC points. I need more experience. I need to perform well in this show, right now. I need more on my resume. I need to take a break. I need to succeed. I need to do what I love. I need more jobs. I need, I need, I need…”
And though none of this is bad, it is not what I want to be in my head all day long. There are so many “needs” and so many “I’s” and not an ounce of evident joy or peace.
Before I go on, let me make this clear: I am SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL for the opportunities I have been given and where I am in my life. God has been incredibly gracious to me and blessed me in ways I will never deserve. With both jobs and people. I also know, that I am supposed to work in the arts. Theater, film, writing, music…whatever it is, I know I have a passion there and want to tell stories in these ways to encourage and bless people. I personally believe God has brought me here and I know I am meant to do this. And I know others will agree with me when I say, this is a hard business. VERY hard, for many reasons. A few areas that have been difficult for me is finding joy in the constant stress of job hunting, finding consistency in a career that is so random and up in the air, and reminding myself, daily, that it is not about me, but a gift I give to others.
In my head, all I say is “I.” I need a job. I need to be better. I need to succeed. That is hard for me. I agree that it is my life and I need to be the best I can be, but I am also a daughter, sister, friend, cast mate, girlfriend…I share life with so many people. Again, it is not all about me. It is not about what I can get, but what I can give. I think that is the hardest part of this career for me and what I have found I struggle with. How to succeed and enjoy my career without being or feeling selfish.
This business can sometimes appear hostile and selfish, because everyone is trying to book the job and get the role. But it doesn’t have to be and most of the time its not. From the little experience I have, I have been shown that it is more so a community. A community of artists all trying to share our passion and our truth with every audience we are blessed to perform for.
The cast of Freaky Friday that I am currently a part of, contains some of the most talented people I have ever met. But, more importantly, this cast is full of some of the kindest, wisest and most generous people, I believe, I will ever know. There are relationships I have made that I know will last forever. (#Grenallie) But also, mentors and role models that I will always look up to. Along with memories I will always laugh and smile at. Like everything in life, these wonderful humans have helped me grow, open my eyes and made my life a little more beautiful.
I suppose, I’m not sure why I am writing all this down. Part of it is probably because I am a verbal and visual processor. So, simply writing it and seeing it helps me process my thoughts and figure out how to deal with them. Part of it may be a confession of some sorts. Or maybe, someone needed to read this. I have no idea why, but I guess I don’t need to know. I don’t need to know all the answers to my questions. What I do know is this; I am thankful for the good in my life and there is plenty of it. And, hopefully, it will continue to outweigh the bad. Sometimes all you can do is smile and hope.
A few minutes ago, I took a second to stop typing and just be still. It’s raining outside. I could hear every raindrop hit my window and I just breathed. I closed my eyes and breathed, as I listened to the rain. A few years ago I wrote a song that was about rain. One lyric simply said, “just stop and listen to the rain.” I did. And it was two things I had been craving.
It was constant and calm.
In this crazy life, regardless of your career path, nothing is more peaceful than simply being still. Life may never be easy, but there is always the chance to close your eyes, be at peace and just listen to the rain. I will never lose that.
Auditioning and this business may never get easier, but in the end, it is rewarding. I get to do what I love every day and as long as I stay positive and remember why I do it, it will be okay. Yes, its stressful and very time consuming, but I will keep striving to do my best and seek joy in all I do. I love what I do. And sometimes I just need to remind myself of my purpose and that I need to show love in everything I do. So for now, I will do my best to give to those around me, I will try to serve and encourage everyone I meet, I will love unconditionally, breath deeply, live in each moment, grow and learn from every experience and find beauty in all things.
I am not perfect and not always the happiest, but I am blessed. And I will try every day to seek joy and give encouragement and love to everyone I meet. These are new goals, I guess. Seek joy. Give love. And find the beauty in everything. This seems like a good place to start.
Thank you for taking the time to read my scattered thoughts.
Find some time to listen to the rain, today.
Till next time,