Updated: Feb 27, 2019
*Journal entry from June 11, 2006
*note: If you told a younger me that I would EVER share pieces of my journal with strangers, I would not have believed you. I've since come to believe that sharing our truth might not just entertain, but possibly help each other feel less alone in our life adventures. I especially dedicate this post to my fellow career creatives who meet with these struggles and survive. Keep on keepin' on.
An actor’s life...the ups and downs of it - not recommended if you can help it - but, encouraged if you can’t keep away. Who am I to squelch a dream?
I’m walking down another red carpet, smiling for the paparazzi who don’t remember my name. They will. One day. I tell myself, over and over again. I tell myself things like this a lot. Things like - your time is coming, be patient, stay on the path, keep on keepin’ on, it’ll be worth it, you have something to share, you will make it, you’ve come this far don’t stop now. Sometimes I ignore myself other times I agree whole heartily and nod my head up and down ferociously, of course I will make it, I have no choice - It’s what is meant to be for me! And yet...I am far from my twenty something years, in your twenties living hand to mouth is almost expected and it didn't seem to bother me much. But now, here I am with $27.34 cents in the bank. I live in my boyfriend's home and I drive a car he ‘bought’ for me - but, it's not not in my name, therefore...in reality, I own very little that is of material value. No safety net, no sense that my future is taking care of. I have no immediate acting prospects. I pay to act in class, I act for free on occasion and yet everyone I know seems to think that I am successful. In a way, I am. I have love in my life, incredible parents, amazing friends and an awesome dog. Still...where is this great success I’ve been gearing up for since I was three years old? Of course, at three, I didn’t have much of a need for a pay check, but now, now...I would like to be, no, I need to be, financially set. Independent, not reliant on the kindness of loved ones. I’m grown but I don’t really feel grown. Yesterday, an eight year old girl asked me if I was a teenager. Yes, I said, sometimes, I am. And other times, I’m ancient, with an overwhelming ability to empathize and take care of others, filled to the brim with wisdom from many lives passed. I’m that, I’m the other, I’m all things just like everyone else but nothing like anyone else. We’re all going through something, not necessarily the same something, but something. Ain’t that the way it goes?
Today...today I am wondering what else I could do with my life. Move somewhere near a lake, just me and my dog. I could write a novel. But someone would need to buy that novel. I need money. What will I do for money?
My three least favorite words. I. Don’t. Know. I know, you know...we know all there is too know, maybe not right now, off the cuff but we must know. I. Don’t. Know. It’s simple laziness. I. Don’t. Know. As my eema, would say, ‘If you don’t know, who does?”
I get mad. Mad at myself for not being further along in a career I’ve struggled with for 26 years. Yes, that long. I’m counting from when I took my first class, got my first agent. Long time, yes? Yes. Longer than most of the casting agents I meet at these workshops, longer than some directors I’ve worked with, producers I’ve met...too long to be patient with such questions asked by eager actors to casting director we are paying to see, ‘do you enjoy receiving postcards?’ Who gives a crap? I don’t care if they enjoy it - I’m sending them! It is not for their pleasure - it’s so I feel like I’m actually doing something to promote myself. Is it such a horrible experience to receive a postcard in the mail? Of course they throw them away, I don’t very well expect them to frame them and put them on their piano. Oh...Lordy, sometimes people ask questions just to be heard. I understand this. I've probably done this.
I take a breath.
I need to visit my garden.
My organic, vegetable garden is exploding with a plethora of tomatoes, peppers, salad greens, basil, even the cilantro seems happy today. I immediately begin to harvest my backyard crop. I think to myself, a bag of tomatoes for my folks, melisa loves these little sungolds, I can make soup, salsa, caprese. I fill up my basket of fresh veggies, My dog, Lucy, leaps around happily by my side. A very productive day in the garden. Which got me thinking...last week when I went outside to water - there was not one ripe anything. Green leaves galore, but nothing ready for picking. It was empty, bare, no activity whatsoever. But, this fact didn’t sadden me. It was simply a fact. I knew the harvest was right around the corner. This is how a garden works. There’s nothing, then the beginnings of something and then a whole lotta something. As long as you give it care and keep showing up for it - it produces. Garden’s ebb and flow. Being a gardener, I understand that. I don’t judge it. It just is. Busy times, not so busy times. The bounty is just around the corner.
So, why can’t I be as patient with myself as I am with my garden?
I never, ever get mad at my garden.