The last time I performed a character with relish and enjoyment was an unpaid gig going on a year ago. Prior to that….., well, I must sit and think. Despite amazing praise for my work from people both in and out of the industry, I have not been able to find fulfilling work, settling instead for commercials and non-performance opportunities. An acting trainer told me once that he found it surprising that I wasn’t continually employed, that I have the talent to make this my calling.
Well, life-experience proves different. I was told that it was clear my agent wasn’t working for me and didn’t have my best interests at heart. I have since changed agents but the results are not much different. I have been to more castings in the last year, true, but the roles offered remain minor or uninspiring, most of them being character roles in adverts.
I would wonder if the problem is me. Clearly I have the talent but lack a certain trait that prevents my finding sufficient expression. When the opportunity arose to create my own role, I jumped at it with relish. The project was exciting enough but failed because of the one thing that unendingly keeps me pursuing my passion: lack of funding.
Earlier this year, I lost yet another role (in a UK series nog al!) to funding issues.
And today, I have turned down a role that truly does excite me, a role that I would love to play, that I could truly get my teeth into, because not four days ago, I committed to a non-performance project, that conflicts time-wise, in order to keep my coffers from drying.
The decision pains me greatly. I have spent the last hour shedding tears on it. But I cannot afford to jeopardise the paying project. Not that the acting gig doesn’t pay; it just doesn’t currently cover my expenses.
I feel like the gods have kicked me in the balls by forcing my hand. Anger, sadness, confusion, all these emotions churn in me. Perhaps I wasn’t cut out for the performance lifestyle. The performing in itself excites me. The role as the one I’ve just turned down gives rise to my passion, causing joy to froth at the lips.
But the lifestyle of unsecured projects, the uncertainties and strain involved in doing the things needed to create and find those meaty roles, that part is something I struggle with. Writing and producing my own work seemed the solution but I haven’t yet found the right team to make that pan out with success. And an agent can only do so much if the actual roles don’t exist. I am uncertain of my steps. My faith wavers. Not in my talent but in my ability to adequately express it.
Will other opportunities present themselves? Yes, no doubt, they will. But they won’t be this one. This one has passed. This one is missed.