Looking back, looking forward

Looking Back:

Stumbled across some old journal entries,  found one that was written one year ago today.  I posted it publicly in 2012 in an attempt to have others help guide my life.

It is hitting me more and more the closer and closer it gets – I will be leaving Vancouver in a few months. My student Visa will expire, and I will be moving back down to the United States. I will have just finished the run of a show, I will have just completed an internship, and I will have an undergraduate degree from a legit university. On the other hand, much of the networking I have done and many of the connections I have made are not going to transfer between Canada and the US. I feel like the Vancouver theatre scene, while definitely meritorious, is somewhat secular and closed off from the world around it. And while I will have letters of recommendation, it is not a substitute for a word-of-mouth testament to my abilities.

It is with this that I am soliciting advice from those who have been in my situation. This is addressed not only to the creative types, the artists, the actors and designers and fine arts majors, but to anyone who has finished thier undergraduate degrees and returned to a world without a smooth segway into a career: What did you do to get a job in your field? There are jobs bagging groceries, waiting tables, making coffee, all of which I’m happy to do for a paycheck, but that’s not my end goal. In a competitive industry, how do you make yourself stand out? Do you head to conservatory, taking yourself out of the workforce for a few years while you hone your skills? If you take classes, how do you know which ones are worthwhile? There are so many different approaches, and I’m not sure if I know how to sift through them all and pick out which ones work best for me.

I’m doing what I can for now – getting headshots, taking classes, sitting down with actors I respect and getting thier input. Having been in an educational institution of one form or another for the past eighteen years, though, I’m intimidated about going out and trying to actually acheive something rather than just talking about it in an academic manner. This will be the first time I’ve ever tried to put these ideas into practice for anything other than getting cast or passing exams. Do I move to a theatrical hub like New York or Chicago, or maybe a film hub like LA? Or is it better to try and stick it out in a familiar location with people that I know in Seattle so as to polish my skills before taking that leap? The whole world is an oyster, sure, but I have no idea how to use a shucking knife, and would probably slice the hell out of my hand before I pried that sucker open. I’m excited and scared. Change is coming.

Any advice people might have on what has worked for them and what they’ve learned would all be greatly appreciated.

The feedback I got was great, but it didn’t fill the niche I was looking for.  And how could it have?  This was something that I had to figure out on my own.  So, to myself, one year ago:

You figured it out (sort of)!  You moved to NY like you said you would, you’ve managed to get gigs, you make your NY theatrical debut in less than a month.  Your relationship with your family and friends is awesome.  In regards to all those who said “oh, you’re going to hate it, everyone is so mean”, they were all wrong and in fact your life is super cool right now.  Over 100 people subscribed to your Facebook fanpage less than 5 days after going public (because an internet “like” is utterly and completely representative of real life sentiment), and your blog has been viewed over 1500 times in the month since you posted your first entry.  So yeah, good on you homie.

Looking Forward:

Auditions.  Lots of auditions.  General auditions for theatre company seasons, sending headshots out to random film gigs, one of which involves me making out with some girl on top of a car that I just stole and then setting fire to it when we’re done.  Which would be a blast.

Just delivered the Esper check after having some amazing BBQ, it’s official, I’m locked in now.  PUMPED.

I just finished the ADR for “Pretense”, which means I now have not one, not two, but FIVE films in post production.  Some of which were shot over a year ago.  Props to those who deliver, and shame on y’all who don’t.  I should have enough material for a demo reel if and when I get everything back.

I’m almost done with this table (which has taken far too long).  That, in addition to the furniture being delivered a week from today, means I will have a place that I can actually show off.

My folks are coming out here in June, which will be awesome.

Things I still have to figure out:  How to install my window A/C.  Whether or not I should look for an agent. Where there’s a laundry place that costs less than 2.50 wash, 2.50  dry.  How to spend more time exploring this amazing place I live.  Where there’s a cheap decent gym.  Finding an inexpensive good guitar amp.

Not a bad life.