The “Cat Poster”
You can’t live a life on this planet without a few bumps and bruises, without self-doubts, without defeats, without blocked passages, without hurdles…
At the same time people are being raped, robbed and murdered around the globe, ice caps are melting, various animals face extinction, people don’t have clean water to drink, food to eat, and human rights are being trampled on, we have people bitching about being snubbed for award shows, angry fans over their team losing a game, and someone else loading up a shotgun at home ranting about how they didn’t get a twenty-cent an hour raise at a discount retailer this year.
I’m no different.
“Tragedy is when I get a hangnail. Comedy is when someone else falls into an open sewer and dies.”
– Mel Brooks
I live a pretty great life. For over a decade I’m one that can claim to be a “working actor.” As you know I’ve had successes on TV, in commercials, I’ve been paid as a writer, a singer, a photographer, even an editor… In the creative field of which I’ve chosen I’ve been relatively fortunate. However, with that written, I continually find myself at crossroads, questioning if I should continue, if I should play it safe, be content where I am, or if I should continue to roll the dice and try for that all-allusive big brass ring.
I realize, to an actor, working a job they hate, hoping to book their first TV show, first commercial, or first paid acting gig, they may look at my “career” as successful or enviable.
Recently Taylor Negron, a well-known, very talented, character actor passed away. Now, while I have several friends who were good friends and/or worked with him, I personally never had a conversation with him. The few times I saw him at venues or parties, I figured he wouldn’t want to be bothered, and I really had nothing to say other than I’ve known and enjoyed his work for years, from Better Off Dead, Easy Money to some of his off-beat comedy, to MOTH stories posted on YouTube.
From where I stand his theatrical & comedy career dwarf my own, my what a solid IMDB page he has, and again, though I didn’t know Taylor, what I do know about most actor/writer/comedians is that most of us constantly look towards the next step… Wanting the career, clout, and credits that are ahead of ours.
Where is this all going?
- Today I got feedback on a short film script I wrote from a possible executive producer, who at this point is seemingly uninterested. Honestly I couldn’t tell if in his brief notes he was flattering or insulting.
- This past week, my long time collaborator and I had a few bumps as we’re once again trying to figure out if we should take a creative break, jump back in, or figure something else out either collectively or independently.
- Since I’ve been back in Los Angeles I have had two commercial calls where I was basically auditioning with a bunch of large, overly muscly actors, where lines were at a minimum… Basically serving as sight gags.
- Last week I worked a short film, as a favor for a friend of mine, where the Assistant Director’s first words to me, when I arrived on set were… “So, have you ever acted before?” And later, one of the leads turned to me at one point and asked, “So, are you really a security guard?” (As I was dressed as a security guard for my role)
- To top it off my latest TV audition, which I would be more than happy to book, is for an ugly, child beating, meth addict, who murders his wife, and then gets taken down to the ground by the attractive star of the show.
Ah yes… The ego. Located in the nut-sack of my mind.
Today I spent the last few hours wondering who I am, where I have come from, who I want to be, and where can I go to for advice… When I was younger, my parents were around, and while their advice was usually good for them, it was information to either take or rebel against. In High School I had a guidance counselor who gave me some really pathetic guidance, it was such an insult to my potential, it inspired me to “show him how wrong he was.” But, after advisors in college, and when we live lives without bosses, who do we turn to for advice or even “f’ them” inspiration?
Enter the “cat poster.”
Having a quiet second at the gym, silently questioning… “Who do I want to be?” “What do I want people to remember me by?” “What example is my life?” “Who can I turn to?” I caught a glimpse of what I’m going to call a “Lego Movie cat poster equivalent.”
Some times a phrase inspires at just the right time (ignoring the 2nd sentence).
Support. And not just any support… The right support. While it may feel warm and cozy to surround ourselves with people who share our same beliefs and thoughts, to back us up with our misery, fears and doubts… Perhaps, it’s even better to find a few people who will push us through the blocks, over the hurdles… People who either inspire us, or give us reason to show them how wrong they are.
As I’m writing this I’m also literally making chicken soup, with a thought, I called a friend who has taken several creative, uncomfortable risks as of late, and in just a few minutes she was offering names, ideas and suggestions. I need to fuel the fires inside of me. I need to once again prove all those who said “no” wrong.
Man, life huh?
I hope to have your strong continued support as I once again look to challenge myself in this creative field I’ve chosen… To reach the next level. To break from the comfortable. To challenge. To risk.
Stay tuned, big things are coming.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’m sorry for the loss of Taylor and all the sadness that so many felt this past week… And I truly wish I had answers to the bigger problems of the world, the violence, the pollution, the ignorance, the hypocrisies of politics and religion, the greed… Perhaps by changing levels, I will be able to have a greater influence on the way things are seen, after all, that really is the reason I chose to go into this career.
– Quiche Out