Keyboards=Life?

I haven’t written in a while, and there’s a bunch of reasons why that I don’t particularly want to get into- but I have an observation I feel like jotting down.

Bit by bit, my computer has slowly been losing its keys. I am now missing… Hold on…

5 keys, and two are barely holding on. This makes writing not difficult per se, but harder, certainly. So I have a proposition.

Consider for a moment that every person has a full keyboard to type on. This keyboard is opportunities for life, love and happiness.

Now think of race, gender, sexuality, creed and all the other things that can be used against you, just for being who you are. Add greed, willful ignorance, and sadism, and a dash of “FUCK THIS SJW POLITICAL CORRECTNESS”

Imagine that each of these is a key ripped off the board. Maybe for some it’s not too bad. Like your “b” or “j”. Maybe for others, though, it’s a vowel “A, U, O”… Imagine having to try to type like that for the rest of your life, maybe never even knowing any other way.

If you’re not white, male and straight…? You probably know a little bit of what I’m talking about.

Let’s cut the bullshit a bit at a time.

Must Try Harder

This past week I have worked every day. Weekends included. Performance, study, assessment, auditions, or children’s entertainment.

Yesterday I spent the morning cleaning and trying to relax after a stressful week, and received a phone call.

The phone call nicely told me that my services were no longer required.

An hour later they had picked up my gear.

After the phone call I had a boost juice and felt so sick I stuck my fingers down my throat and vomited it up just to feel better.

Today they did my final invoices, with a three word response to my effort:

“Thanks for that.”

Today I didn’t go out. I felt sick. I felt beaten, I felt like a rudderless ship.

Today I tried making progress and found my engine was stalling.

Today I tried to find a new agent and was told “We’ll get back to you when we can”.

Today I wanted to throw up the few bites of waffle and strawberries I bought as anything in my stomach felt like poison.

Today I watched what work I could have done fly by as I wrote this message to no one in particular.

Today I drank water as I couldn’t keep down anything else.

Can’t keep down.

Can’t keep up.

Can’t.

Can’t I do anything right?

Can’t I just get started making money doing what I actually want to do? Can’t I be accepted as who I am, not something someone wants me to be? Can’t I be doing what I want?

How long can I keep this up for? When do I just stop trying?

Must try harder.

Hard to try.

Harder to stop.

Can’t keep it down. Won’t shut up.

I wish I could.

I really, really do.

All I can do is try.

Must try harder.

 

We All Miss David Bowie

Today is a weird sort of day. I should be doing assessment, but I also want to write- and when that urge comes I roll with it.

The other day I was between auditions and I had an hour to kill. Now, in those situations I never, ever get out of the car unless it was to get food and then eat it in the car. But in this situation, I got into a drive through and then wanted to fuel up in the adjoining gas station. So naturally, the drivethrough doesn’t have a way to get back to the connected gas station but instead funnels me onto the NO U TURN PERMITTED ONE WAY ROAD.

I stopped, I parked, and I looked for the gas station, and to stretch my legs. I didn’t find it. But I did find this.

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These two pictures were massive tributes to our Starman waiting in the sky. I don’t have anything else to really say except that I had a dream about him the other day and he liked my comedy scripts and told me so even though he was very sick.

We miss you, David. xx

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Craving Structure

It’s been about a week since my last entry, and I have a few things to report.

The gig I was hoping to get? I didn’t get it. C’est la vie, I was down to one other person and the other guy was a better fit. Wish I got it, just so I could’ve been considered a full time actor… But one way or another I’ll get there.

Child care study is going well- in fact I’m feeling on top of all my work for the first time in forever, but I know that I can’t let that feeling overtake my work ethic. I’ve also landed myself two freelance jobs, one as a childcare teacher/performer and the other operating photobooths for events.

The honest truth of it all though- is that I’m kind of tired of waiting for performance to just knock on my door. I want to make my own things- I want to prove I have what it takes, and to do that I need money. So as of a few days ago I’ve made a point to try and secure permanent part time work at a child care centre somewhere.

I love my life. I love my new city. Already I feel like work is always waiting around the corner. In fact, I have two auditions for different children related work which is super awesome even if my brain is telling me super hard not to do it (Depression lies, folks).

But I’m tired of not having a schedule, living hand to mouth and most importantly- not knowing where my next payment is going to come from. Maybe I can justify that life again when I have some consistent well paying gigs, but for now, it just isn’t happening.

It’s honestly a little scary to be admitting my desire for “adult work”, this is how it starts, as they say. Will my passion be consumed by a lifestyle informed by the $ I’m earning? I’m fairly confident one way or another that the universe will give me a swift kick in the balls if I even consider it too hard.

This is not a bad thing. I have ideas, for film, plays and stories. But I need equipment and contacts and I can’t do that if I’m constantly keeping my schedule open and have to decide whether I want to eat or pay for gas.

Slight level up none the less? Let’s call it 500 xp. 🙂

Have a good thursday!

 

Tiny Little Cuts

I’m not going to share this anywhere, because I can forsee it not meaning anything to anyone other than myself.

I don’t even have a point beyond this: Rejection sucks. To be an actor is to have yourself be rejected on a regular basis. I do not have a thick skin. I try to not let things get to me, but they do. I question often whether this is the right industry for a person like me to be in. All I can say to that is that my passion far outweighs any scars I have, and this pain I currently feel will get better.

But fuck me dead, does this hurt like the dickens right now.

It’s Important To Not Give A Shit

That title is from George Carlin, who’s a hero of mine. If you don’t know him, start with his piece about stuff and enjoy going down the rabbit hole of his genius.

But it’s that advice that he gave as he neared the end of his life that I find myself think about this evening, as I plan my day tomorrow. Depression has taken a brief reprieve (potentially because I did something as simple as begin the search for the right psychologist), and I’ve been taking advantage of that to the best of my ability- in fact, I had my first big audition here in Melbourne just yesterday.

While I don’t feel comfortable admitting who they are at this moment, I can tell you that it is paid work (which is a huge tick right there as any slogging actor knows), and it’s ongoing all year round. So naturally, after not acting in anything big for over six months for The Brain Room I was pretty nervous, and I said it was probably unlikely the audition would go anywhere.

I entered the space, confident, determined to do my best- but not overly concerned and/or desperate as I know I have been in the past. And here’s the thing- I fucked it up. Not a lot, but… enough. A fudged word, here and there, a need to improvise through to the next bit I know, move along, move along, hope they don’t notice. But I did what any actor does on stage and faked it, kept moving forward. I tried to have fun with it and  ended up only showing my mounting discomfort at staying on the metaphorical bicycle right at the end.

They seemed cheery. Nice people. They told me that I took direction well, and I projected well and that even though I messed up “I didn’t let it show” which is important.

I nodded, I smiled, I said “thank you”, but in my head I was quietly confident that it would proceed no further. I received compliments from the casting directors, but as far as I was concerned it was just them trying to be nice so I wouldn’t throw a chair at them on exit. I’d heard it all before.

Imagine my surprise then, when I learned I had a callback! A real one. For real acting. What a huge step. What a opportunity. What a-

Okay seriously, who’s messing with me?!

I was legitimately shocked. But then I remember that sage advice from my husky voiced hero, George, (fun fact, a lot of my heroes have weird or overly loud voices, go figure), it’s important to not give a shit.

I went in there, confident but not needy, not too intense, just wanting to perform for the sake of performing. Not too long ago I may have cancelled on my audition just to save myself the embarrassment my brain conjured up for me. Now, I seem to be handling writing out my schedule, keeping to it, and even doing work WAY BEFORE A DEADLINE.

Tomorrow I go back in there to improvise and do work with other actors, which I’m so excited about. Amongst that I’m going for an audition for a music show among lots of other creative endeavors.

And I’m okay. I am legitimately okay. I’m not freaking out, despite the fact I am busy and having to balance many things.

I owe it all, I think, to finally taking Uncle George’s advice. I feel deeply passionate about my work, I’m willing to go through hell to get closer to my goals. But I think I’m finally finding a balance, learning to relax, when to let go, to not give a shit. I didn’t get that thing? There’s another thing. No feces given.

I don’t give a shit, for once. And it feels great.

A Mantra To Remember (Anxiety)

Humans typically have a period where they have been shitty people. How they grow into being good humans is as simple and as difficult as admitting this, and trying not to make the same mistakes twice.

I myself worry constantly that I am being judged for some phantom action I’d done in my past- and it’s way past the point of being healthy or productive. So I’m making myself a mantra to repeat.

Repeat after me:

I am not my past.
My past failures are no indication of whether I will fail again.
I will not let shame dictate my future.
The people who matter will stand by me. Those who choose to leave are not my priority.
I will focus on those who see good in me.
I will focus on the good in me.
I will use the good in me to make my world better.

I will not hide from my past- but to drive well I must focus on the road- not the rear view mirror.

I am going to be okay.

If this helps someone, I really am glad. If not, I hope you’re having an awesome Tuesday.

xx

-Jack