I’d like to start off by saying happy new year, and welcome back to all new content on Ms. In The Biz. A lot has happened during this hiatus. Personally, professionally, and globally.
As I write this, I am only a few short days away from turning 44. I was born on the 4th and 4 happens to be my favorite number. Spiritually speaking, multiple 4s are said to mean that all is well, and your angels are confirming that you’re on the right path for your life’s work. In numerology, a person with a life path of 4, is said to be someone who is putting all the pieces together.
And that my friends, is how I feel right now. At 44, I feel like I’m just starting to put all the pieces together and figure out what truly makes me happy. I’ll admit it, today started off with a few hours of tears, alone in my bedroom with my kitty, Meows.
I’ve been spending a lot of time on my own. I recently completed my first 200-hour yoga teacher training, and at the same time, I went through an intense 3 months of taping for the docuseries, Radical Dating. Both programs required a lot of inner work; the docuseries (focused on singles over age 40), dug up a lot of crap and I’m thankful that I was going thru the yoga training at the exact same time as it helped me process and heal the stuff that had come up, after the cameras stopped rolling. That’s the funny thing with anything that’s “reality show” based: we were working on real intimate topics, with real professionals, but once the shot is accomplished it’s “great, thanks we got what we needed. Moving on to the next person.” And you’re left feeling a bit like a raw nerve. Yoga teacher training helped me thru that. (Spoiler alert: I’m still single. I haven’t had a date since the show finished taping! How’s that for some sort of wacky, reverse law of attraction!)
And then, at the end of last year, I booked a national on-camera commercial for Walmart, it’s crazy what a jolt of success like that does for your mindset and morale. For the first time in a while, I felt like my family once again, thought “oh, maybe she can pull this acting thing off”, and to be honest, I was thinking the same thing. It’s been years, since I’ve booked a mainstream (non-indie) acting job. And for the first time in their young lives, my nieces and nephews could point to a tv screen and say there’s “Aunt Leah”. That was a huge moment for me.
See, cause as you get older, you realize it’s not really about the job, or the booking, or the money, or the classes, or the panels, or the headshots…. it’s about the people in your life. Now I’m not saying you should live your life to make others happy or proud of you, but for me, I know I’m motivated by external praise more so than internal praise. It’s important to know what motivates you, and neither way is better than the other, long as you’re operating in a positive mindset. This commercial booking allowed me to regain some confidence I had lost in myself, and my abilities to book acting gigs in this town, it also allowed me some breathing room at the top of the year, where I didn’t have to work so many side hustles and I could put some energy back into my career.
And, so I did. Specifically, voiceover. My first big success in the land of union acting gigs was a series of 9 episodes and over 30 characters on the hit cartoon, Robot Chicken. I loved every moment of it, yet over the last few years, producing indie films, managing crowdfunding campaigns, and just plain ole trying to survive in the super high-rent city of Angels, seems to have taken me away from one of the things I love most. Voiceover acting. So with commercial residuals coming in, I began to feel like a human being again, and I jumped back into the deep-end of the voiceover world. I reconnected with my mentors and my union, I created a new site for my voiceover work, got into the best work-out groups in town, and secured myself four stellar regional voiceover agents. All within the first 3 months of this year. I’m auditioning again, thanks to my regional voiceover agents, and I’m about ready to re-do my voiceover demos and seek out meetings with Los Angeles reps. It feels great. I’ve had one avail so far on a national radio spot, and a dozen or so other union auditions that I know I rocked. And yet again, I’m thinking about my nieces and nephews, and how amazing it would be to book a show on Disney or Nick Jr. that my nieces and nephews could watch.
I guess I have family on the brain, as I approach my 44th year, and my 19th year in Los Angeles. My parents are getting older, I miss them and technically speaking about half my life is over. I’m single, with no kids of my own. Lately, I find myself thinking, what is it really all for? What has the almost 2 decades alone in Hollywood been about, if not to share the good, better and best wins with those you love and who love you back. It’s true what they say, about being so focused on the finish line, or that next tier, that some of the most important things in life can pass by. I mean really, let’s say I book a series regular role on some hot TV show tomorrow, or a lead character in a blockbuster animated film. And then what? New marketing, new opportunities, new reps, new tier, more money…. sure, all of that is awesome, but …..
Clearly, I have some more pondering to do around this topic.
How about you? What have you been up to? What new things are you focusing on in your life? Have you ever wondered what’s it all for? If you’ve come up with some great answers to that elusive question, tweet me! I’d love to hear all about them.