So… I guess I’m a writer now?


Hayley DerryberryThis blog is about the unexpected places we find ourselves while on this crazy path to industry success. I’ve been acting since I was 6 years old and around the age of 11, I decided that I would grow up to be a movie star. This has always been a simple fact in my life, not something up for debate. But instead of continuously asking myself, “Are we there yet?” I’m actually finding contentment in the here and now. I’m also finding that I’m so much more than just an actress.

When I first started acting professionally, I took pride in telling people that I was “an actress” and nothing more. I thought it would water it down to be an actress slash… but I found myself constantly getting thrust into other roles: PA, makeup artist, special effects, producer, editor, casting assistant. I appreciated the experience and perspective that those jobs gave me, but I still didn’t want to be known as any one of them in addition to my main goal. Now, however, I’m very glad to tell people that I am an Actress/Writer.

Last summer I started writing my first screenplay, eight months ago I started blogging for Ms. In The Biz, and as of three weeks ago I’m now a full time professional blogger and vlogger for the Alpine Village. I’ve always had great respect for anyone who could string their thoughts together cohesively, and while I enjoyed writing in school, I never thought it would be something I’d find myself doing seriously. I never really had the discipline, but I suppose with age comes wisdom and a longer attention span. Oh how my life has changed now that I’m a writer! I’ve always been one to space-out, but now when I do, I can be seen talking to myself like a crazy person as I try to work out the flow of certain words. I wear headphones when I’m around people. That’s normal I guess, only when I do it there’s no music playing, it’s just to drown out other people talking so I can concentrate. And now when I open my laptop, it’s usually to start a new word document and not to check facebook. I never thought this would be my life.

I’ve got to say, I’m pretty happy with where I am right now, but this blog isn’t just about me. It’s about “us”. Becoming successful in this industry can take decades. As I wrote in one of my previous blogs, Today Matters. Basically, I was saying don’t be so focused on the road ahead of you that you don’t notice the beautiful scenery along the way. And now, I’m adding to that by saying don’t be afraid to take some of the focus off of your (insert industry aspiration here) career and discover new areas of interest that may fulfill your life in a way that you never saw coming. Actors, how many casting notices do you see looking for people who are experts in a field other than acting? Especially with the advances in technology that we have at our fingertips today, pursuing acting doesn’t take nearly as much energy as it did 20 years ago. Take some of that spare time and become a pastry chef or a masseur or a rocket scientist! The next time you see one of those casting notices, you might be the perfect fit.

We are artists. We want to create and entertain, and there are so many more ways to do that than just one. I love going to my day job. I get to create content for a website for a little German village in Torrance California with, shops, a restaurant, a market, and the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the western United States. Now, I’m not saying that’s everybody’s cup of tea; I’m just saying go out and find yours. Find something that excites you and find a way to create art with it.

Don’t wait for someone to give you permission! I never would have gotten hired to blog for a company if I hadn’t already been doing it on my own for free. The way things work now, every person in America has access to unlimited knowledge and resources to learn and make nearly anything they can imagine. You could literally shoot an entire feature film on your cell phone and whether it’s good or not, you could get it out to an audience via the internet. Do you know how insane that is?! 20 years ago, you would have to sell your car and take out a second mortgage on your parents’ house just to pay for the 35mm film to shoot your indie movie. So there’s no excuse. Create!

I’ll step down from my soapbox now. I would just like to take another couple of words to say thank you to Helenna Santos and Ms In The Biz for helping me discover a new passion in my life. And to everyone reading, I sincerely hope that you never stop looking for more passion in yours.