Me Mentor You? No.

WARNING: This is my truth – today. Doesn’t have to be yours, and might not be mine tomorrow.

A couple weeks ago a young, talented actor asked if I would consider mentoring him. Now, while flattered, I pretty much flat out said no. It would take a few conversations to completely explain it, but while I can look at my career as a success, that each job I’ve booked or book I’ve sold or screenplay I’ve optioned is a success… it’s not at all like I’m the CEO of some billion dollar company, and I have any actual answers. 

All I have are my own experiences, my own stories… As I later explained, I see it that he and I are at the same place in our careers. While I have done dozens of commercials and TV shows, we are both one audition and one call back and one producer’s session and network approval from being a lead in a TV show, or an audition and a call back from being a lead in a career changing film. I think I further blew his mind when I told him that he might actually be closer… 

Unfortunately, some times in show biz your “success” makes people think they know what you do… 

“Oh Tom, he does commercials.” 

“Tom isn’t right for this.”

“Tom is a character actor.”

“Tom, no he’s more a guest star…” 

“Tom, I think he’s writing books now…” 

“Tom, no doesn’t he do dramas?” 

“Tom isn’t serious enough for this sort of role.”

“Tom, no isn’t he busy doing YouTube videos?” 

Unfortunately some times when people box you into something, thinking they know what you do, based on what they’ve seen or heard you do in the past, sometimes you don’t get a chance to go any further. 

“He just does…” “She just does…” “They’re more a…”

I’ve enjoyed getting to know this younger actor and I’ve been open to answer questions he’s had. I’m no role model. I’ve made mistakes. He’ll make mistakes. There is absolutely no magic answer. Not one creative path is the same. Best advice, which I gave to a parent the other day, who was asking me a series of questions on behalf of her 14 year old child wanting to be an actor… Best advice, be born a billionaire. Second, be born into some A listers show biz family. Third chance, hope you have a close personal friend or relative at the top of the business, though I know many people that having that hasn’t helped them in the slightest. 

You can work EVERY SINGLE MINUTE and never achieve a goal, or sit by a pool drinking bloody mary’s and spill a drill on your white shirt which leads to a conversation with some Hollywood big shot who just for shits puts you in her film. There is no ladder of success. Some go from cage fighting, or baseball, or YouTube, or Reality TV, or Broadway, or wherever… to leads in TV shows and films. 

Like there was no spoon in the matrix, there is no ladder to really climb in show biz. You can shoot up. You can slide down. You can forever stay the same. The biz is run by people looking to make money, and who think they’re creative… Where often the most talented and creative people don’t make a hint of money. 

Oh yeah, and it keeps getting harder. The top continue to make more, the bottom and middle continue to be chipped from. 

Sorry if this is bumming you out.

Anyway… one question he asked was whether or not he should live his life, or work his ass off… To which I replied something like, Yes, and I don’t know, and who knows… I doubt when I’m minutes from death I’ll think about most of the acting, writing or singing successes I’ve had. I doubt I will wish I did one more National Commercial, or three more lines on one more TV show. I would imagine I’ll think of relationships I had. Conversations I had. Friends I’ve loved. My family. Parents. Siblings. Nieces. Aunts. Cousins. Uncles. Mountains I’ve climbed. Roads I’ve driven. Canyons I’ve hiked. My trip to Burning Man. My backpack and train through 9 countries in Europe. Glaciers I’ve walked on. Songs I loved. Books that affected me. Pets I’ve cared for… 

What he shared with me a few days ago touched me enough I wanted to share it with you (of course I got his permission to do so).

“Thanks for your conversation, advices, honesty and wisdom! Really enjoyed it and appreciate it! … Today I took a day to write letters to the people that l love cause I realized what you told me! There doesn’t have to be a separation between the work and my life. What matters is our dreams, creativity ,people, relationships. At the end that’s what we portrait as actors: life. So we better start living and acting on our own!”

I do what I do because I love it. I love the creativity of it. I love the freedom of it. I love the expression in it. 

I write this blog because it helps me express, and possibly helps both me in writing it down and others in their journey. I always love when I hear from people that somehow something I did, wrote or performed in impacted them in some way, even if it’s that they laughed when they saw a commercial I was in.

– Quiche Out

Latest Newsletter Oct 2016

Newest newsletter… basically if you read all these posts, you’re caught up. However, here’s the highlight sheet for those that don’t.

READ IT HERE (click link or image):

– Quiche Out

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Yes a Role I was Born to Play

Newest commerical I did a few weeks ago is out… Thank you Todd Carpenter for letting me know when and where you saw it. I’m sure I’ll hear from many about it… snarky comments about how much I can sometimes sweat in real life. But honestly, this is one commercial I wish they release the bloopers on, as the water hose had a mind of its own quite frequently. Ah, part of my job is being a clown.

See cut clip on INSTAGRAM:

See full clip on YOUTUBE:

– Quiche Out

Past Weekend – Hollywood Premiere Party (the show)

That was an adventure! Tech’ week for Hollywood Premiere Party (the show), cue to cue, dress rehearsal, opening with audience, opening for press… EXHAUSTING. Each night portraying super star Chaz Dearbourne. Each night brought its own challenges. Each night brough its own energy. Each night taught me a little more about myself, Chaz, other characters, performance focus, and most importantly interactions with others in life.

The show is really a party, just a party… a chance for people to mingle at a premiere party for a fake film called “Love & Waffles.” Things go wrong. Things go right. Some are planned, some really are issues. HOWEVER, like in life, it just keeps going. Life keeps going. Some guests chose to engage, some ticket holders chose to avoid. Some people play along hard, adopting a character for themselves and some remain too cool for school. Some interact from moment go, while some bury themselves in their phone. Some come in wide-eyed and open, some come in tight-lipped and closed. Some are joyful, some dance, some wear bitterness. 

Now… let me ask you, isn’t that true in life and at any party?

The brilliant thing about it is, it’s simply a choice. It really is. Especially inside this particular venue. This coming from someone who has been referred to as an Eeyore by many friends over the years… but really we can choose our own path at any second. What’s really cool about this show, from my perspective, is that it’s like a carnival of liars. I often don’t know who and when someone is bullshitting me, if they are what they say they are… and inside the venue it doesn’t matter. Some times it’s obvious. Maybe he really does work for PBS. Maybe she does write for Enterainment Tonight. Maybe she  did write songs for Prince. But there’s no way they produced a movie called “Belgium Waffles” spoken in Flemish. Who cares… I’ll run with it. I’ll play your game.

Chaz isn’t Tom and Tom isn’t Chaz. I turn my phone off and leave Tom in the dressing room before each show, and say good-bye to Chaz at the end of the night, leaving him and the improvised lies inside the venue. There is a lot I’m learning from playing hard each night, wearing the shoes of another person, living in a world of a much higher status. Committing to being a cocky bullshitter who plays the game as good as anyone. 

My friend Deirdre, who I have done duet shows with, chose to be cutting an album of popular loved Monogolian songs with Chaz (or something like that). My girlfriend, Feona chose to be Chaz’s catsitter. My friend Rebekah chose to be one of Chaz’s trainers. My actual entertainment lawyer, Ivy chose to be Chaz’s lawyer. My friend Tim chose to be a bitter actor who was in acting school with Chaz, who secretly dissed Chaz behind his back. My friend Randy chose to have done a film with Chaz in the past. My friend Jeanette chose to be the casting director for the fake slate of Chaz films called Steel Spinter. It’s all good. Other friends chose to meet Chaz in person for the first time. So much changes from night to night. Sunday I got fake interviewed last night by a few people wanting to know more about the fake movie. Friday there was a ton of fake flirting and Chaz was sending his helicopter limo over to pick a few of them up the next day. It’s all good, as long as its harmless. 

I took the challenge on because I believed I would learn from the experience. That it would uncomfortable. That it could be terrifying.  And after only a few shows, it has already enlightened some areas where I can make honest improvements in my personal life, professional life, and overall happiness. Everyone is the lead in their own play. At any one time, you are the supporting, extra, or lead character in someone else’s life. Life happens in three hundred and sixty degrees. Nothing is so important to everyone. Nothing can’t be missed. Say hello even more frequently. Find more compliments about more people. Look at ways to improve someone else’s moment. Don’t take so much so personally. 

Really it’s just a festival, life… we constantly choose how or if we want to play. 

– Quiche Out

I’ve posted previously about the show, details, and discounts. If you want on the info train, to be in the know about whatever… please feel free to subscribe for future posts, or scroll back a few for past. 

This Friday 

If you are interested in going THIS Friday. OCT 7th. Let me know and I may be able to get you a code for a deep discount for the invited dress rehearsal/opening which includes hors d’oeuvres dinner and dessert.