I’ve been doing a fair bit of thinking about this whole acting business, inspired in part by an old interview article from when I was still in Windsor (with a fairly horrible photo of me, I don’t look a thing like I do now! Maybe I’ll scan it for fun and your amusement) where I said: “I don’t want to be famous because I have breasts and a size 2 waist and can recite Shakespeare.”
Here’s my deal – I fucking need to create. That’s what it comes down to. I need to be immersed in that creative process, and to have worthwhile projects. I do my best work when:
a) I connect with the work, and
b) when it’s someone else’s project that I can help to push forward into success.
I don’t know exactly what/why it is yet, but I am absolute crap at promoting myself, but when it comes down to promoting group projects or someone else’s work I’ve had some sort of hand in, I’m fucking eloquent and shiny and awesome. Like with stuff Craig’s done – I saw emotions and honesty in the work that I connected to, and I started rooting for him. That’s a big part of the reason why I’m so immersed in ASSF – there was a lot worth connecting to and a lot worth dragging into the public eye. But, let’s cover things in order.
a) What I connect best to.
The “darker” emotions and characters. Madness. Loss. Grief. Sorrow. Uphill battles. Beautiful sadnesses. Quirky aesthetics. Danger. Forbidden loves.
Sure, fuck, I can play comedy. I can play the girl next door. But, unlike people who have had it “easy”, I can connect far better with these sorts of characters, the troubled and broken and terrifying ones. I keep telling people to challenge me with roles, because I want to see who can mould me, who can break me, and who’s too cowardly to do anything more than skim the surface. Because when you bring your brand new key, I’ve got a brand new pair of rollerskates… and then we’ll both be flying.
Right now… instead of getting the 1/10 (or more) characters I used to when I would audition for parts I felt connected to, I’ve been getting 1/20, or 1/30, or generally fewer… and I think that’s because I’m pushing myself to audition for more roles that “just anyone” could end up playing. I think people can tell I’m not 100% into what I’m doing, for whatever reason that may be, and that’s negatively impacting my “performances”. Nerves have been creeping back in, I’ve been slipping back into my head… and it’s unpleasant backsliding all around. I think I’m also feeling “out of practice” when it comes to internalizing and understanding directions; the audition material I’ve been using are pieces I’ve done 100 times now, and I’m fucking phoning it in at times without meaning to. Yeah, I need some new monologues, and to kick my own ass back in a more positive direction, where I can better take direction. :P
& if anyone else wants in on the kicking my ass into shape, the line starts here. I’d welcome it.
b) Creating with others.
Ideally, for me, I would be working on a ton of projects constantly, with people I call friends. And, despite being busy, I really do like making new friends.
More accurately, I like working on projects with people that I consider “family”, to whatever degree they actually are, despite how long we’ve known each other. When I’m in a production or on set or whatever, I fucking give it my all and will pitch in wherever I can. Yeah, I need and bleed to be on stage or on camera, because that’s when I feel most alive and that’s how I feel I bring the most life to whatever story’s being told. (And yeah, I do want the occasional “wow you fucking nailed that scene” from people on set, and to somehow stir the general audience when they see the finished work). But outside of the acting I will build props and costumes, write scripts, make costumes, design the set, schedule the 100 people involved in the production… whatever someone needs, I’ll step in as much as I can. And when I’m involved in whatever project, I want to see other people just as happy or even happier than I am. Yeah, sometimes I’m going to have my selfish/jealous/insecure/irrational/whatever moments, of wondering why that person gets the lead role instead of me, or why that person lucked out in the looks department and is way the hell prettier/skinnier than I am, and sometimes I’ll just be tired and bitchy and say things in the wrong tone – but fuck, I’m only human, and going to not be perfect. At the end of the day, though, I want the absolute best for everyone; I’m honest and blunt enough that unless I tell you to your face “I think you’re an asshole and don’t ever want to see you”, assume that I love the stuffing out of you. Tangentally, I remember awhile ago when someone I know mentioned that they thought they’d never be able to do a mainstage show in the theatre they wanted to… and since then, I’d been quietly rooting for them. They were wrong, happily… and it’s sometimes a hell of a lot easier to wait patiently or see in than it is to see out when you’re frustrated and not getting roles and all of that nonsense.
Anyway. I’m still working on pinpointing why I’m much more lazy when it’s something for me vs something that other people are depending on me for… but I am lazy and often self-sabotaging whenever it’s something for me alone. Working on fixing that one too… but yeah. I think a big part of why I like to be involved and creating with people (especially people I already know and care about) is because it’s a good way to share time and love with them. (Yeah, that sounds cheesy as hell, but I’m leaving that sentence in.) It’s a way to support each other and, you know, “with our powers combined…” That sort of thing. Achieving something together that we wouldn’t be able to do on our own; art isn’t created in a vaccuum.
That said, with the audition process, and the in and out within 5 minutes… generally, I don’t give a flying fuck about what strangers think of me. I sometimes even take my friends and lovers for granted. I’m not going to lie, acceptance and validation and being chosen are fucking nice… but I don’t need any of that shit from strangers at the end of the day. I need it from myself, and I need to keep creating regardless of if or who my audience is, or if it’s getting me more IMDB credits or if the money’s good, or any of that. (Money would be nice too, don’t get me wrong. I want to travel and for that I need some sort of way of paying for flights and food and camera equipment so I can photograph everything I see…)
But yeah, this is where my head and heart are at right now. Who wants to do some fucking art with me? We’ll make it up as we go along and dance around naked at 4 am and it will be fucking awesome. <3