That really sounds like a confession. Don't get me wrong. I loved being an actor. At least there were things I loved about it. I had a bit of an epiphany last year that was so incredibly freeing. I thought I'd share it.
Ever since I was little I thought I wanted to be an actor. I acted in every school play. I loved it. I pursued it through college at Northern Arizona University where I was on the speech team. I moved to Los Angeles after graduation to continue chasing the dream. In acting class I learned so much about story and characters and imagination work. But there was something missing. At the time I don't think I would have ever admitted it. I wouldn't have known to admit it, because I didn't know what the void I felt was telling me. There was a frustration, a dissatisfaction, with acting that I couldn't put my finger on. There were moments I loved it, but it felt out of grasp a lot of the time. The satisfaction was fleeting. I'd finish a scene in class and it would felt great, but soon I felt like I was back a square one. Not knowing anything. I always felt like I was starting over. One day my amazing teacher, Stuart Rogers, assigned me a personal monologue. A monologue I had to write and perform. This felt amazing. And one of the only successes that didn't seem fleeting. I'll never forget Stuart asked me after I'd performed it, "Did you know you were a writer?" I didn't. But it would be a long time before I really took that to heart.
I struggled for years trying to make acting fit. It started to feel like a chore. I wrote on the side for fun and slowly it started to take over. Suddenly what was fuzzy and out of reach with acting was clear and firmly held in hand with writing. I thought I loved acting because I got to be inside the story as the character and I thought writers were outside the story looking in. For me I realized that is not the case. As a writer, I get to be every bit of the story. That is so intoxicating.What I did love about acting was storytelling. I loved connecting a story to an audience. I just had the wrong outlet. I am a writer through and through. Even after a year of not acting, I was still holding onto that title of actress. Afraid if I let go that meant I was giving up on my dream. Finally last year I had the epiphany. I wasn't giving up my dream. I was discovering what my true dream was. I can't tell you how great that feels.
I can honestly say I get excited every time I write. Sometimes it takes a bit of self-bribing to get my butt in the chair, but I LOVE it. I've been working on Abel, my novel, for longer then I'd like to admit, but I still get just as excited as I did when I saw a bandaid at the bottom of the pool and thought, "What if…." (Yes the origin story of Abel is a strange one.) I am eternally grateful for Stuart Rogers and all my acting comrades. Without them I would not be where I am with my writing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Dreams change and that's okay! Follow them. They can lead you to some amazing places.
On a different note, flower pants. Good? Not good? Whatever I love em.
Write on everybody! Follow your dreams whether they include flower pants or not.
Labels: Acting, acting class, children's books, pursuing dreams, Stuart Rogers, writing