When I moved to LA to pursue acting, I left a lot behind. My family, my best friends, a brief love … I left a stable secure life for something terribly lonely and unpredictable. I wasn’t getting any auditions, I was hating my day job and I missed home. And for awhile I thought to myself, perhaps this is what I deserve.
I’m not perfect. Far from it. And while I’m struggling in LA, I can’t help but think that my struggle is a direct result of my tumultuous past. like I’ve fucked up my chances to life. While this is a very depressing thought to have, I have to be brutally honest with myself. I’ve only got myself to blame right?
I mean I was doing everything right. I left my comfort zone to pursue the dream. Check. Leave the small town for that big city. Check. Get headshots. Yup. Have talent. Take classes. Develop talent. Network. Get agent. Get manager. Get auditions. Yes. Yes. Yes. But after 3 years, I haven’t booked a single thing. I still miss my home. I still hate that I’m living off of a restaurant job than an acting job. I live alone and sometimes at night my studio feels like it’s imploding upon me, very easily squishing me out of existence.
Would that be so bad? If god is so glorious and to be in heaven is the end all be all, can’t I just quit life and go straight there? Why go through all this? Shit’s hard and I think about quitting acting everyday. That’s when I let my inner petulant child come out, my life sucks, no one loves me, I’m a failure waa waa waaaaaaa!
And then reason sets in, because in reality I am an adult. You can’t tell because of my asian youth, but I can assure you I’m way older than 18. And if you still think I’m not an adult, you can go fuck yourself. :p
So anyways, reason sets in and of course I know my life isn’t really that bad. It can be worse. And to be honest, it’s hard for everyone. I used to complain to a coworker of mine, who’s white, male and an actor, how there weren’t any woman roles let alone ethnic specific asian roles. And my friend said, “It’s hard for everyone. at least when you’re in the audition room, the casting director remembers you as that asian girl. If i was in the audition room, the casting director would have a hard time remembering which white guy was me.” Now this friend has actually quit acting and is going back to school to get into sales and marketing (ironically I have a BA in that arena that I’m not using).
And lately with Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. With all the success Robin Williams had over the course of his entire career, who could possibly know the inner demons he was fighting. And Joan Rivers. In an article by NPR, Joan rivers’ attitude about show business was summed up in an appearance on comic Louis C.K.’s FX show, Louie, where she gave him a pep talk after a tough show.
“Think it’s been easy?” she said. “I have gone up, I’ve gone down; I’ve been bankrupt, I’ve been broke. But you do it. And you do it because … because we love it more than anything else.”
And finally, I’ve been following this guy called humblethepoet on Instagram. He’s really zen and smart and cool. My sister introduced me to him. Thanks be’ ;). Anyways, I woke up to a post of his that really resonated with me today — “Sometimes we do everything right and we still lose.” He goes on to say:
Somewhere along the lines someone lied to us and said being a good person entitles good things, but the universe doesn’t care. If you really think about it, concepts of good or bad, win and lose make very little sense in the grand scheme of this universe; if anything, things are just happening. We all have a sense of justice, and it really does suck when things don’t go our way; especially when we do everything right. But the reality is that’s how things work. Doing the ‘right’ things increases our chances of things going our way, but doesn’t promise them. The more we understand this, the better relationship we’ll have with reality. Being a loving a partner doesn’t entitle us to reciprocity (that’s a big word for getting some in return). Playing fair doesn’t mean we’ll win. Cheating is only punished when caught. These are common themes in world, from warfare to the workplace, and everything in between. The moment we divorce the idea that we’re owed anything beyond what we’ve already received in this life, we’ve open the floodgates for broken expectations and heartbreak. Everyday is a gift, and we win some, and learn from the rest. Appreciate life for the simple fact that it exists, and roll with the challenges that come your way.
And that’s it.
See, it’s hard for t-rex too.