So I was talking to my friend about how me A is tired of me B, etc. etc., and I posed the question: “how do I get space from myself?” to her. She said a couple of things: #1 that I sounded schizo and #2 that she just didn’t have time to think of these things. She was busy with work and her bf, that the thought never really came up. With point #1, she put me on the defense and I explained myself through Ethan Hawke’s character in before sunset. In the movie, he says:
I know what you mean about wishing somebody else wasn’t there. It’s just, usually, it’s myself that I wish I could get away from. Seriously, think about this. I have never been anywhere that I haven’t been. I’ve never had a kiss when I wasn’t one of the kissers. You know, I’ve never gone to the movies when I wasn’t there in the audience. I’ve never been out bowling if I wasn’t there making some stupid joke.
I think that’s why so many people hate themselves. Seriously. It’s just they are sick to death of being around themselves. Let’s say that you and I were together all the time. You’d start to hate a lot of my mannerisms. The way, the way every time that we would have people over I’d be insecure, and I’d get a little too drunk. Or the way I tell the same stupid, pseudo-intellectual story again and again. You see I’ve heard all those stories so of course I’m sick of myself.
But being with you it’s made me feel like I was somebody else. I mean the only other way to lose yourself like that is, you know, dancing or alcohol or drugs, or stuff like that.
With point #2, I acknowledged that she was right, and really her point reiterated the last part of the monologue. Her distraction is work and her bf. I have neither, thus I was feeling this way. So, I’ve decided to find my own distractions. Work and bf will come when they come, but in the mean time, I’ve made up my mind to make working out a routine, to read everyday, and to do things that will hone my craft: writing this blog, looking for monologues, looking for auditions, watching inside the actor’s studio, studying great actors in their most dramatic or comedic roles, etc. I have many long-term goals, but without the daily tasks and commitment towards those goals, I’ll never achieve superstardom.
So I was looking over past emails, and found an email to myself 3 years ago. I haven’t changed. Here’s the email:
1. To be proud of wanting to be an actor (to stop being in denial of my ambition)
2. To work on my craft through a dramatic and comedic monologue
3. To work on a cover letter, resume, and head shots
1. I have been admitting my ambition to people without regret or shame (read journal).
2. I have been looking for some monologues through the Arts Library, but still haven’t found one that I like enough yet.
3. I have done a rough draft of a cover letter and resume. I have also found a photographer and will be taking pictures at the end of May.
Coming to the end of my college career, I realize that I am at the same spot I was 4 years ago. I still don’t know what I want to do with life. Actually, I do know, I always knew. I just never wanted to admit it. However, the realization that my ambition of being an actor still haunts my mind tells me that I can’t deny it any longer. There’s still a part of me that thinks it’s a pipe dream, so unrealistic and childish. Part of me wants to grow out of it. That part of me took over for a long time, spurring me to find other ambitions, other venues to make a career for myself. Instead of taking drama or trying out for the school plays in high school, I did water polo and swimming, sports that didn’t require tryouts and looked good for college. Maybe I didn’t have the self-esteem to tryout for anything because I was always afraid of rejection, of failure. I did everything but acting in high school, clubs, honor courses, and sports. I did well at whatever I did, but I never felt a passion for any of it. My only motivation was to get into a good college. I wanted to get into UCLA. Why? In my mind, LA was where I could pursue my acting dream while hiding behind the good name it had. I didn’t have to tell people what I wanted to do with my life … yet, so I told everyone that I didn’t know and that UCLA would help me. Too bad it didn’t. I was a mass communication’s major because it was the most eclectic major there, picking and choosing, trying out different classes, trying to find something (other than acting) that would strike my fancy. It only did the opposite because the jobs in that field (public relations, publicist, manager, etc.) catered to actors and entertainers. I didn’t want to plan the scene, I wanted to be the scene!! I WANT TO BE AN ACTOR DAMNIT! Without any motivation to go further academically and without the passion for anything else, I can finally admit to myself that I want to be an actor. Now to admit it to everyone else and to let them know that I’m serious about it.
One of my best friends made me realize that because I never took acting seriously, he doesn’t take me serious about being an actor. I was stressing over my dismal financial situation when my friend was trying to comfort me. He said, “it’s easy to find a job,” in which I replied, “but I don’t want any of those jobs, you know what I want to do.” He then said, “but Thi, you have to grow up and take responsibility. You’re not special, so just get a serious job, be responsible, pay off your debts and then do the acting thing when are serious about it.” What he said not only hurt but offended me. It lowered my self-esteem (you’re not special) and it poses a question in my head, “why can’t acting be the thing that pays my debts? Why can’t acting be the serious job?” This ultimately led me to realize that he didn’t think I was serious about acting, but this wasn’t his fault. It was mine, all those years of brushing it aside; it was hard to admit that I wanted to be serious about it. I just shut my mouth and said he was right.
Today I was trying too hard. I threw away all the things I had learned in the past. It was just a cold read, but because I was so nervous, I kept letting other people perform ahead of me. And then when I realized I was one of the last to go on, I thought to myself, because I had waited this long, I should memorize the script. Because I rushed myself to do so, I was not confident when it was my turn and I fell apart. This experience made me realize that I have to be calm, keep going, never break character, and apply what I have learned (glancing at the script, you don’t have to memorize, stay still if it’s a close-up, no hand motions). I had learned all this with my other acting class, and it had all gone out the window when I made myself memorize something I didn’t have to. My focus was off and I studied the wrong things. However, with this out of the way, I can only improve right?
To be fair, I have made more progress than 3 years ago. I do have my headshots and I am on my way to get a set of new ones with a different photographer (jazzing it up, the past photographer was great, just want to explore different styles). I have some copy of student projects for my reel. I have photos from past productions and prints to build my website before I go to la. I’m planning to go to la. I’m telling more people that I want to be an actor and I’m not as ashamed of it as I once was 4 years ago. I’ve gotten an agent. I’m not scared anymore. I’m just antsy! I need to get this shit started!