In the fall of 2015 I went thru a great loss, my kitty-cat companion and best friend of 16 years passed away in my arms, rather unexpectedly after a treatment that was meant to improve his life. I grieved for many months, and by the end of 2015, I felt empty, but an emptiness with peace and determination.
A determination that I needed to fight harder, work harder, and put even more effort into my career. Truth be told, the past few years, I’ve focused so much on my side business (crowdfunding), that I was accepting of the acting career that consisted of a job here and there from friends and relationships, but was far away from the hustle of daily auditions and big career opportunities.
So, I made a choice. That old adage.. one more time… let’s give it a shot, one more time.
My materials were out-dated. I hadn’t edited my demo reel or taken new headshots in about 3 years. There was lots to do. And, as I did this, I realized that in these 3 years, I had physically and internally gone thru a lot of changes. I had aged out of the young 30-something gal who maybe could be late 20’s and was definitely the mid-to-late 30’s, definitely the mom/teacher/psychiatrist etc. I also had gone from a little bit overweight, to definitely plus-size. As I made these realizations, I wasn’t sad, or discouraged, instead I got excited. I was excited to revamp my entire marketing materials, and did so with a vengeance.
Headshots, Postcards, Demo Reels, Website… all revamped. I also dived into new acting classes, new Voice Over workshops, networking events, and agent showcases. And guess what? The feedback has been incredible.
I mean literally incredible. An example… I went to a networking brunch where we were given 60 seconds to stand up and introduce yourself to a top agent, top manager, and producer. Although I felt and looked great, realistically I looked around and saw 10 out of the 12 actors present to be much younger than me, and I was okay with that. However, at the end of the brunch the top agent and top manager approached ME, (after they broke away from the other actors), to tell ME how cool they thought I was, and that in their opinion my own show was right around the corner and to keep in touch.
Now, that may sound corny, but trust me, top agents and top managers, have no reason to approach anyone and tell them that, unless they were truly moved by my *elevator pitch* and my energy. They’re not selling anything, they’re not fishing for clients, simply wanted to give me positive feedback. And it’s happening on a regular basis this year.
There’s something about standing in your own power, and embracing who you are… all the bad stuff, all the good stuff, the scars, the memories of times past, and yet, still keeping a positive and professional mindset and attitude. As my good friend and mentor Sean Astin recently said, “You are standing in your own skin.” And by that he means, you are grounded, you are focused, you are embracing you, not looking outside of you, or trying to be something other than what and who you are.
In the past few months I have shot two supporting roles in Independent films, auditioned for more projects in the first 3 months of 2016 than the past 3 years combined, and really, truly feel like I am back on-track and ready for the next phase of my acting career.
I am embracing my age, and that includes the wrinkles that are starting to show, and the grey hair that is popping up more and more, as well as the curves my body has accumulated. But it’s not just physical appearance.. I am embracing my journey. I am not ashamed that I have been at this for a long-time and still haven’t “made it yet”, instead I keep hearing the words, “you are obviously a seasoned actor.” Translation – You are professional. You take good direction. You know how to produce good work. You would be an asset to our project and pleasant to have on set.
And that feels good.