Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pounding on a wall

Welcome to 2011! Following on the heels of 2010, the best year of my life, I can only wonder and pray about what's next. 2009 was the year that I got my health together. 2010 was the year that my personal life came together and I married my love. That leads us to 2011. My professional life is my focus for this year.

I always wanted to perform. From the time I was old enough to speak, I performed. First as a dancer, then as an actor, finally as a singer. Along the way, I started to direct and choreograph. I got my degree in Acting from one of the best Universities in the United States. I interned at one of the best major theatre companies in LA. I performed professionally out of college, then came home to direct some more and to find an agent. I auditioned - I got really good feedback - got called back, put on hold, time and time again. Always so close, but never booking. The agent went cuckoo, I moved on. Found another agent. Still no bookings, and now even less calls for auditions. I got tired of the rejection, of the enormous financial and emotional cost of new headshots, acting classes, driving to auditions, and never having it pay out.

I put acting on the back burner. Focused on teaching, something that I was good at. And found myself in the bottom of a well, staring up, not finding a way out. I've discovered that just being good at something doesn't mean you love it. As Cassie in A CHORUS LINE put it, "I'm tired of teaching others to do what I should be doing myself!"

Caroling at Christmas again this year re-confirmed it. I am a performer. That's what brings me the most joy right now. That little flicker of obstinate hope inside of me has never been put out - I am still the dreamer that I always was.


As I wrack my brain for possibilities of things I would like to do, reasonable things, I always come back to performing. Sad thing - I am so frustrated and jaded with the industry that it makes me want to vomit. Then, I wonder, would I be happy if I didn't perform again? The answer is definitely no. Do I need to perform for my living to be happy?

That answer is debatable.

But I do know that I would like to ENJOY my work. To not dread waking up in the morning and going to work every single time. To avoid working 60 or 80 hours a week just to support an LA lifestyle. To ENJOY my life, enjoy my husband, and do something that makes a difference. To have the freedom to explore the world, to try new things, to see new places and not do it on a "two weeks of vacation per year" timetable.

There is something wrong with the American work ethic. We work 40, 60, 80 hours a week with two to three weeks of vacation per year, barely making ends meet until we're 65 or so. Then we retire, maybe do a few of the things we've always wanted to do (provided we're still physically capable enough) and then we die.

I'm sorry, but we were not designed to live like this. Who says that we have to work so much to pay for THINGS? Who says we have to throw away our dreams and find something reasonable to do?! Who says we have to spend our lives waiting for the weekend and our few measley weeks of vacation?


Which brings me back to 2011. I don't want to do what I've been doing for the last ten years anymore. Just getting by. Doing a job I'm good at but that I hate. Living a life of pipe dreams.

I want to live vividly and lovingly. To explore all that this life has to offer with as few hindrances from the demands of society as I can manage. To enjoy my husband, family and friends.

To pick up and move to Europe for a year if that's what we want to do. Or to move to the backwoods somewhere.

To look back and not say "What if?"

Then I come back to Earth and am afraid. Afraid to live the life I dream of (although the specifics are unclear) and unsure how to ever make that a reality anyhow.

Pray for me. Changes are coming. I just have to sort through the possibilities, and pray for a glimmer of something.

And in the meantime? I'm happy at home. Waiting for the mostly non existent sub calls. Hanging out with the dog. Cleaning our house. Baking gluten free goodies. Living at a slower pace for the first time in my adult life. Feeling like I'm not missing out on life for the very first time.

1 comment:

  1. well spoken Erin. I know exactly where you are coming from I feel the same way at least once a week, but i always look at the leaps and bounds i have made and am thankful for any progress, and then i try and think of every opportunity to further my goals and dreams. I know you can live the dream, i've always been in awe of your talent, and can't wait to see what you bring in 2011