Everyone has a story to tell. That is an undeniable fact. Now whether anyone wants to read or hear that story is another matter entire. The smart money would say yes on that front. Why else do people write and publish biographies about the famous and not so famous? And why are biographies and autobiographies still selling years after they were first published? And new ones hitting the bookshelves of bookstores and libraries, with each passing year?
Long before I entered the acting profession, I knew it was not the easiest of professions to be in. Even as a child I had watch enough television interviews, read enough about the lives and careers of famous actors – even the not so famous actors, to know that if one was to ever enter this most challenging and competitive of careers, that it would be far from plain sailing. And when I eventually entered the profession much later in life, it was by the far from easiest of routes. And it has been tough going ever since.
Now my saying the above is not me displaying an air of self-defeating rhetoric or anything else. I am simply indicating the undeniable fact that since I entered the acting fraternity, it has been anything but plain sailing – far from it. And like everyone else, I have story to tell – many in fact but in this case I am talking about my life thus far as an Actor.
I related some of my story to a lady via Facebook, who happens to be actress. To her credit, she suggested ideas – ideas I had put into practice years ago for the simple fact they were no-brainers but I appreciate someone coming up with a solution – any possible solution that will ease my woes at any given time.
Cutting to the chase, my fellow professional felt I was defeatist in my attitude, which is a far cry from where I am. The fact I spent a near month preparing for a Shakespearean audition had no bearing on this view. I am such a loser that I would spend nearly every day for nearly a month learning and rehearsing a Shakespearean Monologue, as well as researching the role of the person I would be performing? I don’t think so either but this was totally lost on the person in question.
There was clearly something lost in translation. I can’t see why as my fellow professional referred to my ‘essays’ so clearly she read them but she still failed to get what I was trying to convey. Simply put, her story and mine are two very different stories and while I appreciated and understood her story, she totally failed to grasp mine. Calling me a defeatist, only served to alienate her from as well as losing any respect I had for her in the process. Needless to say, I didn’t dignify her last email with a response. I just deleted her from my network and blocked her. She no longer has to read any of my ‘defeatist’ claptrap. So should sleep much better from now on.
It is one thing to have a lifestyle and income where one can afford to not be too bothered whether or not you get cast in any particular job. That is fine. I get that. I wish others and myself, struggling from day to day was so blessed. Sadly we are not. Nor do we have the kind of face that will open doors like my former erstwhile friend. Many of us have work fifty times harder over a longer period of time, in order to be able to just prise the doors open, just to be able to be seen – if at all! That is the reality that many of us have to deal with.
I have never doubted, never wavered in my belief that I can be a truly good and successful actor with a career to match. But sometimes you have to fail more times than you succeed, before you eventually succeed and go up on upward career curve. For some it happens with one or two films. This can be a false economy at best.
For others it is a career in theatre for years. For others like myself, it comes via paying your dues as a Film and TV Extra, working as an unpaid Production Assistant, before making the leap in working on indie film projects, treading the boards in Off-West End Theatre productions as well as doing whatever work comes your way, be it on a computer game product, commercials, corporate role play roles etc. That is the working life of actor. My story of being a working/not working/ jobbing actor. That is my reality. Some share and empathise with the story because it is also their story and I have met many of my fellow professionals, for whom this is also their story, their reality.
In the case of the actress who sees my story as that as a defeatist. It is all too easy to lose sight of where you are coming from because landing on one’s feet means that everyone should be able to do the same. And that is a valid argument, as long you are aware that everyone is not made the same way as you. And that being the case you have to come up with more than platitudes if you are going to show them the way, the route to your suggestions.
For better or worse I have written blog articles. Some good, some not so good, some bloody awful. But I have a story to tell, an opinion to express (for better or worse). I am guilty to running people into the ground but that is usually due they total lack of respect for me as a person or for what I do. I never taken someone’s story onboard and run them into the ground and called them a loser, a defeatist just because their story is so different from mine. Anyone who knows me knows that I always try to help people. Some appreciate that help and advice. Others don’t and that is on them.
Nothing is guaranteed in this life and my fellow professional – that actress will realise sooner or later that pursuing an acting career from a comfort zone is not the smartest move one can make. It is delusional and a career killer but it has worked in the favour of many an actor I have known. Again that is how their story evolved and panned out. But in their favour these actors don’t turnaround and call someone a defeatist just because that person’s career has been one of constant struggle.
I let the facts speak for themselves. Anyone looking at my CV/Resume won’t see someone who is a defeatist but someone who is a hardworking actor, who is not afraid to roll up his sleeves up, work hard and do different things throughout his career. It is that and my history that will prove certain people wrong in the years to come.
That is my story. One of many and one of many on my experience as an Actor. You don’t have to understand it. You don’t have to even like it. Just know and appreciate the above is my reality and what I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.