I have recently gone through something of a revival in my life. A quarter life crisis during which I questioned my direction and purpose in life, bringing things, both emotionally and professionally, to a grinding halt. After a good kick in the ass, and a deliberate choice, I began an acting career I started three years ago.
It has been a year since graduation, and things have gone pretty well. I am a now full actors union member, I dropped my cellphone in a Super Bowl commercial, I was the face of Gonorreah in Alberta, and had one line on an american TV show nobody will ever see. However, suddenly I was at the end of my luck, looking out over what used to be a world of opportunity in puzzlement at the lack of excitement.
The truth was I had stopped fighting, and the world had reciprocated. I got caught up in the celebration, and forgot the importance and significance of the work that had got me there. That’s the funny thing about the world, you can’t just take, you must give in equal portions in order to get what you want.
I scheduled a year end talk with my agent about the reality of my circumstance. The reality was grim, and the circumstance was a bit of a dilemma. My beginners luck had come to an end, and I found myself at a crossroads. Either, commit to being an actor, or find something else to do.
I sat down with myself and talked out loud like a crazy person, discussing the pros and cons of the choice I was about to make. After a solid argument with my subconscious, I decided that I would spend the next year pursuing this dream with all of my ability. A full commitment in order to give myself the peace of mind to know that, if it all falls through, at least I tried my goddamn best.
I am now pushing open the doors of opportunity that had closed behind my back as I basked in the momentary sunshine of ignorance. I have made a choice to pursue this crazy career path, but making that choice is only a portion of that struggle. Commitment is truly the ability to continue to make that choice every day, with the same ferocity that you did on the first day that it came into your mind.
Since I originally wrote this I have been on the ground running as they say, and there is a very important thing I think needs to be added to this.
Acting has been the most consistent thing in my life for the last 4 years, and even with that time and huge amount of commitment already I still find myself questioning my purpose or place within this world that I am so deeply immersed in. I have been depressed because of a lack of motivation and considered quitting the business many times. What I have learned through this, is that you need to have fun.
More specifically you need to enjoy what you are doing. That seems like something very straight forward, but when your job is what you love it becomes difficult to tell them apart. The love that you had for it in the beginning is there it’s just being covered up by the responsibility of the business aspects that are imposed upon it when you become a professional.
When the game stops being fun, you have to remember that you are in fact playing a game. That there is no end goal, no perfect way to do anything and the only thing you can influence it is the way that you experience it. If you are doing your best, then do not guilt yourself, remember every moment is an opportunity, and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Thanks for listening.