Friday, March 10, 2006

What now?

I've wanted to act since for as long as I can remember. I used to have aspirations of being a star, like everyone who is an actor has, no matter what they tell you, but they died out at least 10 years ago, probably before that. Now I'd be happy to just be able to call myself an actress without being embarrassed, to be in something professional, that lasts, that is actually good!

I haven't had much luck. This latest minor incident is just typical of my efforts. It's not like I was rejected from a proper part in a real movie, I don't even go for them, I'm not even in the league to be rejected from something like that. This was a fucking student film. And once again, I didn't get a role in it, and once again, there was another add for the very part I went for afterwards. They didn't even reject me because someone else was more right for the part, they rejected me because I couldn't conceivably play the shitty role at all!

I have actually been in a few of these student films, but every time it was as an afterthought, for a minor role, the person they originally wanted couldn't make it, so they called me. And of course I rushed to it, because I don't have anything better to do. It usually worked out ok, but I've never been the first choice, I've never been the one they look at and think I'm really good, or perfect for their role, or anything really. I just don't stand out, I don't impress.

And this is the way it's always going to be, probably. So what do I do? Give up? I can't do that. This is all I want to do, all I ever wanted to do. But I've wasted a lot of my life fucking around, not doing anything, and now it seems like it's too late, even for my modest ambitions.

If I was to ask anyone who knows all about me, and has seen me trying to act, they would probably advise me to forget about it. "You're no good, you're not professional, at your age you should have much more experience, get on with your life doing something else, this isn't going to happen!"

And this is what bothers me, not that one aspiring filmmaker didn't choose me for his film. It's that I don't feel as though I have any business trying to do this. I don't have any positive feedback of any sort, so I have no way of knowing if I'm any good or not. I have very little experience compared to any other actors I know, even those much younger than me. It's really disheartening.

There's nothing to stop me from trying again and again, and no doubt I will be in a few silly little shows, or bad amateur films, but at some time I have to move up from that, or there's no point in doing it at all.


TheCultureGhost said...

I heard this a lot when I was growing up; both my parents were actors. And they made their living that way. Probably one of the most difficult professions to be in...

Let's focus on the positive. Acting is a craft. What are you doing to focus your craft? What plays are you reading? What plays are you attending? What about enrolling in an acting class so you can be around other actors? Being around those in the Business is important for your sanity and your soul. What about forming a reading group with other actors? Great way to read all those texts you keep meaning to read, but can't seem to find the time...

Acting is also a business-treat it as such. You are your own business entity. Do you have enough wardrobe and makeup right now? Is your headshot current? Who should I call or visit to remind them I exist and am looking for work?

Live as though you are an actor (I take it you have the poverty and unemployment going for you right you're halfway there) and believe yourself to be one...things will happen.

I'd hate like hell to see you abandon your dream in order to seek the shelter of a bourgeois port....

TheCultureGhost said...

A little humor since I got a bit serious in the previous comment.

How do you tell an actor at a party?

He/she is the one putting food in their pockets.

Michelle said...

Well it wouldn't work here, in the Czech Republic. First of all everyone, actors or otherwise will shoot straight for the food table, and gorge into as much as they can as quick as they can, so there's nothing left over.

Of course some of them might be putting the food in their pockets, but they might just as well be a teacher, banker, jewellery box designer or anything as an actor.

Don said...

I think I know you well enough to know when you're expressing genuine feelings, or when your having fun, as when you feign self-pity. This time I know you're serious. And it's moved me.

People can be insincere, especially in the blogosphere where it's not uncommon for people to prostitute themselves for their own gain; but I hope you know that's not what I'm about. So I'll keep it brief to spare your embarrassment (and mine) and tell you, I hate not having seen you act so as to offer my opinion. And I hate having to hear you talk of giving up on what used to be your dream. But most of all I hate knowing there's nothing I can say, except to wish you well, regardless of what you finally choose to do. From a blogging perspective, it's a great post dude.

Denny Shane said...

Ok, seriously, let's take a look at the Denny Shane Method For Success...

1. Stop degenerating yourself. If you think and believe you are a low grade actress you will descend to that level.

2. There are very few student films that qualify as good. Don't prostitute yourself and go for them. They think they're hot and they're not!

3. Think positive and go with a positive agency and try out for top notch gigs. You may not get any parts but the important thing is that you'll get to know people.

4. It's not 'what you know', it's 'who you know'.

5. As far as you not standing out... maybe you have the wrong people looking at you.

Chymera said...

Well, this comment I had to think about a little, despite the horrible pressure in my head that I get whenever I try to think.

The tone of this post hit me differently than the others I've read so I didn't want to start in with cliche keep your chin up/fuck them answers. I didn't want to say you're great as an actress, because we both know that's something I couldn't know one way or the other.

But, I wanted to say something.

I acted some in college, but never had the self-esteem or guts to pursue it after I left. In fact I have never really had the strength to pursue any dream very far. So, I am always impressed by people such as you who have the strength to fight so hard for something the want even when sometimes it looks as though they won't get it.

Whatever you decide to do with acting, photography, writing smut, or nic-nac collecting I wish you well. I guess really that's the only thing I am qualified to say.