I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of fame. One of the reasons I moved to New York as opposed to LA last year was that I’ve always felt that theatre was a better training ground for craft than film. Multiple teachers whom I respected recommended I go to NY, that there was more emphasis on art than acclaim, on creation rather than reception. So I came here.
I’ve been asked more than once why I’m pursuing acting as a career choice. I was told multiple times that if I can do anything else besides act, that’s what I should do. For every talented actor sitting on the fence about whether or not he’s making the appropriate career choice, there are ten hard working actors who know what they want and are willing to go to any lengths to get it. It is not enough to be good; one must be hungry, and be driven from that hunger into action. The act of creation cannot be a means to an end, but must itself be the end. If I focus on the art, the rest has a chance to fall into place.
I was thinking of signing up for an audition service a few months back, and I received a phone call – it came off as scammy, they were asking me to pay to create a profile, and when I balked at that, the voice on the end of the phone said:
“Don’t you want to be famous?”
That bothered me on a variety of levels. 1) It presupposes that the reason for pursuing a career in the performing arts is solely to become famous. It implies that fame is something to be strived for, without elaborating on the hassles that occur from constantly being in the public eye. 2) It takes a special breed of vermin to prey on the hopes of those seeking to express themselves through art. It preys on the naivety of kids who are brave enough to have dreams. To exploit hope and wonder by dangling this false carrot is a most disgusting act. This exploitation has the power to kill those sacred dreams, and too often an actor becomes disenfranchised with the business and the bullshit and moves on to other ventures. It is more than a dream deferred – it is a dream suffocated by the callous nature of the uncaring.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s the rare actor who, even in passing, hasn’t dreamt of delivering an awards speech. Everyone hopes to be recognized as successful in their particular field – in an art as subjective as acting, it’s nice to know that what you do resonates. While my delightfully nebulous reasons for acting are my own (creative freedom, personal fulfillment, the realization of ideas etc), I imagine it would be pretty fantastic to thank my family in a speech while holding a statue. But this picture is not, and cannot, be my sole motivator. If this picture is ever realized, it will be as a byproduct of the creative process, the pursuit of artistic freedom and fulfillment. That and plenty of luck.
Other things that have been going on: Went home to Seattle for two weeks. Got a preliminary press junket + actor and writer submission forms for the project with Scheme. I’ve been officially signed on as a producer, which is huge. Shot something for a demo with Robert Agis, a buddy of mine from Miss Longview. Scheduled to rehearse on the 17th and shoot on the 20th a scene to generate funding for a friends project. Got a callback for the lead in a feature for either the 15th or the 16th, should hear back today or tomorrow re: the exact dates. Saw Just Jim Dale at Roundabout, that was a blast. Signed on as a lead in a B horror short filming the first weekend in September. Things are going well. I’m hoping I get the lead in the feature I’ve got the callback for, I think that that’ll ensure I’ve got enough work to keep me busy for the summer instead of a series of stop and go gigs where I’m either swamped or bored.
That’s it for now.