WARNING: The opinions expressed below are DEFINITELY those of The CoLab Theatre Company! Learn more at www.colabtheatre.org!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The American Dream

The 3 bedroom house. The white picket-fence. A stable income, 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat, a car, a television. Maybe a vacation every year. That's what everyone dreams of right? That's what it means to be successful? To be happy?

How about a studio apartment, a guinea-pig, an endless slew of rehearsals and auditions, dinner at 11pm, 2 "survival" jobs, a charlie card, free ABC streaming on a pirated wireless connection, and maybe a summerstock gig that pays, if you're lucky? Any takers?

Most people would consider this second scenario stupid or hellish or both. The life of an actor is so often seen as a sadistic and demented dream of someone with no realistic goals who is paying their dues and will eventually burn out or give up. Hell, sometimes I think that. What kind of life is it to be continually broke, insanely busy, and continually unsure of what comes next?

For me it is surely a life of uncertainty, it's hard to justify to people, and it can be disheartening that my choices and goals are deemed unrealistic. Or worse, of no consequential value in the world. Lately I've been at a loss. With almost 6 months of unsuccessful auditions and a growing disconnectedness to acting I have been wondering why I do this. I mean, I like my "survival" job, it keeps me busy and affords me some sense of a more normal life. If I was doing something that made me want to gouge my eyes out I'd really be up the creek. So why bother with the constant up and down of theatre?

And then I remember it's because my actor life is full of passion and humor. It's a place to exercise my dedication, independence, and love. And I can't think of any one who doesn't want those things in their life.

So that's my American Dream. To do something I care about and speaks to a part of me that doesn't connect to anything else. I want that life to be stable, to be financially sound, to not be looked at like some sort of crazy person when I tell people what I do. I want the life I lead to be valued and appreciated. And there is certainly a long way to go in that respect. But I can keep working toward it. Take the good with the bad. And pursue my life, liberty, and happiness that doesn't include a white-picket fence.

1 comment:

  1. Something from nothing is the dream, no? Nowhere but up!! (But a few quesadillas and beers along the way kinda help.)