Sunday, May 17, 2009

Funky Me


In my last post, I told you all that I would be taking a bit of a break. I had planned to take a two-week hiatus from blogging, but it has been a little bit longer because I just didn't feel like it. I've been in a funk lately. Let me explain.

I'm generally an optimistic person. Not blindly, annoyingly cheerful or anything like that (i.e. "That's not rain, it's LIQUID SUNSHINE!"), but in the face of obstacles, I have the ability to see possibilities. We all have our unique gifts and I am well aware that that is one of my most valuable gifts.

But sometimes, y'all... just sometimes...

Sometimes I look at all of these friggin' "possibilities" and I just see work, work, and more work. And questions begging to be answered. And it makes me tired before I even begin. Times like now. And sometimes I ask "What's it all for?" I can't just stand still, though. It's not enough.

I'm an artist, and acting is my professional medium. I've made a living at it for over 3 years now, but I question what that really means? I've said it before, and I'll say it again: "In 'show business' there is MUCH more 'business' than 'show.'" Although I feel like I've won the lottery every time I book something, I still feel unfulfilled. No, this doesn't mean that I'm going to quit acting or anything like that- I just need it to be one component of a greater good. I need to grow and expand, and know that I'm contributing something useful. What's my goal? To book a lot of TV shows, work a lot, do great work, and make lots of money? For what? To buy more shoes? Visit Paris again? Why am I doing this? What else could I be doing?

Add to that line of thinking the fact that I have done more work so far this year than I have ever done, and yet I am having a tough time financially right now. It's a real bummer. When I shoot a show, I get paid once for the shoot and for it to air on TV one time. The amount is a lot for one day of work (more than I ever made in corporate America), but when you consider the fact that our business isn't one where you work everyday or even every month, it definitely isn't enough to make ends meet. So when my episodes air on TV one time then go straight to the internet (where I get paid nothing), it doesn't help my bottom line. Yes, I'm still stapling headshots to resumes, and mailing postcards. Yes my agents and my manager are still working hard on behalf of me and the rest of their clients (they don't get paid unless their clients are working), but the glitches in the economy are far-reaching.

So I have some time to ruminate. "What now?" There are many things that I could be doing, but I don't just need more "stuff to do" (trust me on this). I need to be able to pay my bills, and I also need to do something fulfilling. Perhaps something charitable for a cause that is near and dear to my heart (of which there are many). A commercial and/or a regular spot on a TV show would go a long way toward alleviating the financial pressures, but that's not all I need.

So, that's where I am. It's good to be back, and to share with you all again. This is just one part of an ongoing journey, and so far... I'm still standing. Hang in there with me...

XXOO

4 comments:

Stacey Jackson said...

Miss Nicole, I have missed you at Back Stage and have been worried about you...so...glad to see you writing again, even if it is about difficult questions. I think as an intelligent, sensitive, hyper-productive (perfectionist?), you will always have some of these questions in your life, as do I. You can't beat yourself up about them and let them drain your energy. You just need to focus one by one and allow the answers to find their way to you as you breathe with the universe. The fact that you are asking yourself these questions indicates that you are already functioning at a level above most. It's not easy being an artist...living with all these feelings, dreams and aspirations. Sending you hugs and support!

Nicole J. Butler said...

Stacey!

Thank you for being concerned - I'm okay, I really just unplugged for a while. I appreciate your advice and will take it to heart. I know you understand what I'm talking (blogging) about.

This too shall pass, right?

I'll come on over to "Unscripted" this week to check up on ya! ;o)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nicole,


First of all, thank you or writing this blog. I'm moving to LA at the end of June to pursue an acting career, and you have given me some very good ideas.

As for some of the larger picture questions you are posing, such as "what is it all for"? "do I really need to more money so that I can visit Paris again"? (which is, incidently, where I live now....) I'd like to say that, from my own experience, a job- even humanitarian, is NOT going to give you the level of fufillment you are looking for. I have done it too... I lived in both Lebanon and Egypt working in non-profits to find some "fufillment" in my life.

What i have learned- is that prayer, connecting to your inner self through meditation or prayer is the only way to achieve this illusive happiness and meaningin life.

Best wishes,
Victoria

Nicole J. Butler said...

Hi Victoria!

Thanks for coming such a long way to write on my blog!

(yes, that was a joke)

But really, thank you. I'm glad you found something useful here, and I appreciate your perspective on my current state. Basically, it sounds like finding existential peace is less about "doing" and much more about "being".

I keep coming back to that. I must really need to cement it into my brain so that I don't keep forgetting and keep having to have the same life lessons over and over again.

Welcome to L.A., and make it happen, Lady!!