I don’t generally like complaining on the internet, but sometimes it is a really helpful part of the process to just get it out. Acting and music are the reasons I am in this universe. The things I have the most passions for and that make me feel the most fulfilled and alive. The “business” part of “show business” however is brutal, exhausting, and demoralizing. I’ve mentioned before how not many days go by that part of my doesn’t want to just quit, but also I know I can’t. I’d never be happy.
My acting career has been in what feels like the most stagnant slump ever for the last couple of years. Now of course, much of this could be simple skewed perception and many of my peers have expressed similar feelings that the business in general has been much slower and tougher. I realized last week that I felt like I have just kind of “given up.” Not given up acting, as I don’t think that could ever happen, but I realized I had only been doing things that just happened to come to me. When my agent sends me an audition, I do it and do my best. When someone comes to me with a role or a chance to audition I take it. Outside of that, however, I’m not doing anything for myself. I’m not hustling, chasing, looking. I’m not working on putting demo reels together or scouring casting sites for roles I can submit myself for. I’m just tired and demoralized and feel like nothing is really going to change unless some equivalent of a lottery ticket win just somehow finds me and drops in my lap. I feel stuck and frustrated.
While “fame” has never sounded like something I didn’t want, it has also never been the goal. All I’ve ever really wanted is to the things I love and do them well, and hopefully pay the bills while doing those things. And truthfully, from a certain perspective, I am doing that. I definitely try to never lose sight of that fact and that I’m living a life that would make younger me scream “Holy shit! You are living THE LIFE!” I definitely try to be happy in every present moment and not constantly adjust my sights so that reaching one goal is no longer satisfactory and I just push it further to something else I don’t have, but I don’t think that’s what this is. I’ve always had a vision for what I wanted to do and the life I wanted to live, and this isn’t it. It’s a good life, and on the path I want to be on, but I want more (a seemingly perpetual human condition).
I think the frustration stems from feeling like I just don’t have access to the opportunities I want and feel equipped for. There’s so much luck and things beyond our control and that’s always going to be the case. It’s almost as if I’m so close to it but still kept away from it, which in a ways is more frustrating than something seeming so far away as to the path to it being incomprehensible.
This is not necessarily anything new and I feel like it’s a common phase that all my artist friends go through. That doesn’t make it any less frustrating though. To those of you still hustling and busting your asses trying to make things happen, I salute you. I wish I could at least say “Well I’m doing everything I can on my end so I have no fault in any career dissatisfaction” but that would absolutely be a lie.
I shall try to heed my own words from the past and “Keep my head down and do good work.”