On October 28th I will be 28 years old. My golden birthday - ohhh the plans I had for myself when this age was still a decade or two in my future. A steady flow of acting work, a boyfriend I shared a New York City apartment with, multiple pet dogs and cats, laser eye surgery...BIG dreams here, guys!
Keeping up with blogging has been tough. At any given time I'm balancing two - four survival jobs, rehearsals, shoots, babysitting, laundry/cleaning, auditions, and the occasional social gathering. At this very moment, aside from writing this, I am looking through auditions to submit to and I'm already discovering for many of them I'm too old, but for many of them I'm also not old enough, too white, or lacking in commercial/modeling experience.
I don't want to say pursuing this career is too hard - if I've learned anything about myself in 28 years it's that I can't fall in love with something that doesn't challenge me. But I will say this career is hard for all the reasons I didn't exactly predict. For me, it's not the constant rejection, or the sheer exhaustion of penciling in your acting jobs between a 12-hour shift and four hours of sleep, or even the fear of not knowing where or when your next job is going to happen. It's hard because of the feeling of consistently letting someone down - throwing promises and as much loyalty I can to jobs and people I know I'll have to give up or disappoint at any given moment to keep acting as my priority. It's knowing that even if I book a gig it will probably only allow me to financially break even with the non-acting work I'm giving up to make it happen. It's holding true to what I believe in a business that turns every fraction of your being into a sale, and then being left to question whether or not I'm only making it worse for myself in the long run. It's that feeling of craving a role, a production, to the point of feeling like an addict, just to be left with no means to an outlet to channel your creative intuition.
Something else I've learned in these almost 28 years, however, is that life happens. When I let myself be a flawed human with no expectations for myself...I realize at the core of everything I'm happy. I may not be able to afford laser eye surgery, but I can afford an adorable pair of glasses from Warby Parker and a year supply of contacts. I may not have a one bedroom apartment with my long-term boyfriend, but I do have the best deal I know of on a huge three-bedroom apartment with two phenomenal roommates. I also have a boyfriend, a new relationship, and he has proven to me that I will never need to compromise on my self-worth. That's huge. I may not have tons of animals, but I do have the smartest cat who loves me with every fiber of her fur, the friendliest pet fish, and I'll be treating myself to a pet rat for my birthday. I may not be paying the bills with acting, but I do pay my bills and I do act. I love my survival jobs, I have my health, and my friends now are the kindest, most honest-hearted people I've met. I didn't know people this pure could survive untainted in this city.
The biggest thing I've learned in these 28 years - don't be afraid to redefine your definition of success. I was so young when I dreamed about my future; In ten years, I'll be saying the exact same thing.