Thursday, July 30, 2009

Let's Meet Our Contestants!

If this was a meeting of Under-Achiever's Anonymous, this is how I would introduce myself:
"Hi, I'm St. Sparrow . I'm 28 years old. I've been pursuing acting in Hollywood for 6 years. In that time I've gone on 67 commercial auditions and never shot a single one. I've done 3 plays and 2 independent feature length films. I've taken headshots with 7 photographers, spent unknown amounts of money, wasted incalculable gallons of gas and been scammed at least 2 times. I am (and here I would pause to gather myself) an under-achiever." In a way, this blog is a meeting of Under-Achiever's Anonymous. And Non-Achiever's Anonymous. And Does Not Live Up to Full Potential Anonymous. This is for all of the great thinkers, bright bulbs, erstwhile inventors, and dazzling talented creative people out there who are still working behind the counter of Starbuck's. Or folding t-shirts at Urban Outfitters. Or buying their more successful employer a latte at Starbuck's and a t-shirt from Urban... This is for all of those people with extraordinary minds doing menial work and wondering "what the f*#$ happened to me?!"

My turn. I graduated from college 8 years ago (and by graduate I mean my family and friends came to watch me walk across the stage at a graduation ceremony to receive an empty cardboard envelope due to my lack of completing two classes.) I write BFA on my resumes because, really, who cares? I am an actor and there is not a lot of training or education needed to call yourself that. I was dropped by my agent this past year due to the recession. For those of you who don't know having a client costs an agency $0, but due to "the failing economy" they couldn't afford me. I have worked as a waiter and a bartender for the last 7 years having numerous people tell me, "you've got a great look," or "I know something is going to happen for you." Nothing has happened. I call myself a writer as well. I have started writing three screen plays, six episodes of a TV show, one stage play, a musical and a novel. I have finished none of them. Maybe that's why I am writing this blog. Maybe I am trying to fulfill some sense of accomplishment. Maybe I just want to know that there are others out there who want to rise above but struggle just to stand. Life is hard. I make it a lot harder for myself.

Hi, it's me again. I also thought you should know, we just had a kid (Aha! The plot thickens!) A 10 month -old beacon of light with red curls and bright blue eyes. This unexpected event is not a failure. In fact, so far, little bright eyes has been the rare, unqualified and exuberant success that I've been looking for elsewhere my entire life.

Her arrival into our lives has been such a success in fact, that it's a reminder of why we keep going at all. She's the reason to go on a 68th audition. Or to start a new writing project. Or to stay in a city that constantly holds up the brass ring while emphasizing how far away we still are from grasping it.
So,ultimately, although this is a blog about failures of all kinds - small, large, important and not, funny and so serious they hurt...this is also a blog about how to succeed anyway. In spite of and because of all the disappointments that litter the road behind us. Welcome.