That is the question. A few months ago, I was interviewed for the Canadian Actor's Equity Association quarterly newsletter on artists and social media (and if I ever manage to get an online copy, I'll be sure to post it here). I talked for almost an hour with the journalist about Twitter, Facebook, my blog and how it's helped promote myself to a larger audience. He then asked me if I would ever post any "bad news" online. Without hesitation, I said yes and directed him to one particular example, which was my experience at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival two years ago. He seemed surprised that I would be so forthcoming so publicly. I'm quoted in the article saying that I want people to know what it's like being an actor; the good and the bad.
The reason I'm mentioning this now? I'm going through one of those "bad" times again and I've been debating whether or not I should say something about it here. Of course, as I've taken all this time for a preamble, you've probably guessed that I will. And you'd be right.
For a while now I had been wondering why I wasn't getting many film auditions, except for the ones that I got for myself. Long story short, a few days ago, I was told by more than one person who is well placed in the business that I am a very good stage actor but that I'm not ready for film. And that since theatre has been so good to me lately, maybe I should rethink things...
This sounds kind of silly to me today, but I was absolutely devastated when I heard this piece of news. I tried not to cry but my entire body felt like it betrayed me. I didn't just cry, I wailed in big heaving sobs that just would not stop until I was perfectly dehydrated. I fell asleep and had delusions where I was like one of those bad American Idol contestants who is just OHMYGAWDSOBAD and how could they possibly not know they are this bad!?! At the time, it felt like my dreams had been crushed. Like my career, nay my life, was over.
But then bit by bit I picked myself up. I got a chance to chat with the director of a student film I shot last spring who, of course, thought all this was bullshit. I went to the gym. I had ice cream with peanut butter and chocolate in it. And I thought about that time in Winnipeg.
Because you know what happened after the crushfest that was Winnipeg? Bit by bit I picked myself up. I talked to supportive friends. I probably went to the gym and ate ice cream. And eventually, I went back to the drawing board and created this little thing called Roller Derby Saved My Soul. Maybe you've heard of it?
So here I am, going back to the beginning. My ego has been shot down for now and I am ready to work again. Because this is my dream and there is no right way to get there, only my way.
This is what it's like to be an actor.