Thursday, September 12, 2013
Counting My Blessings Big and Small
I love learning new things as a working actor. This time around, I had the opportunity to work with the show's composer at his studio in Santa Monica. Like everyone else involved in the production of "Hart of Dixie" from casting to the assistant directors I interacted with, he was very kind and supportive. It is a small role but to me any opportunity I get to act professionally is a victory and a blessing!
In this economic environment, it is a real challenge to get a job as an actor. More established actors are continuing to go up for roles they ordinarily wouldn't in order to make sure they earn enough work hours to qualify for health benefits. Thus, those of us less established thespians need to be on our game and bring a little something extra to every audition in order to have a chance. I'm learning the less pressure I put on myself and the more I put in the work needed then allow myself to have fun regardless of the result, the better things turn out.
The interesting aspect of this entire experience was actually the response I received from friends and fellow actors.
I share news with friends in the moment of excitement. This time around, I had this real awareness of folks asking questions with an undercurrent of evaluating and dare I say judgement. Generally speaking, actors are competitive. Even when happy for their fellow actors, some can't help wondering if they missed out on a role they feel they should have gone up for. They ask questions so they can decide if it is too small for them to be concerned about or not. Many do not even know they are doing it but, too often their lack of subtlety is hard to miss. I have reached the point as an actor where I can be happy for my friends and happy for myself. Competing with friends outside the audition room simply is a mind game I am done with. I am even ready to let go of the anxiety of worrying what others feel about the "relative value" they place on any role I land. My focus is on living in the joy of the experience and letting go of the unnecessary drama of ego as much as I can.
There have been a lot of emotional/mental ups and downs of this year: worrying about making ends meet; questioning myself and managing expectations of myself and others. Being on set, doing what I love reminded me that no matter what the future has in store, I intend to count every blessing big and small and experience the moment for the joy it contains.