Tuesday, June 23, 2009
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Week 3 of 3 of my BET Awards production gig, and I'm surprisingly calm (knock on wood). I had two auditions yesterday, knocked 'em both out like a champ (sometimes you just know), and worked in the production office in-between. I felt like a runner must feel - focused on the finish line, and just doing whatever necessary to get there. Even people who know how crazed I get near show-time are commenting on how relaxed I sound. I wouldn't say I'm relaxed, but I can say that I'm not headed for high blood pressure medication (or any other kind of medication). And, considering my family's predisposition for it, that's a good thing.
For the last year and a half, I've been talking about my quest for a balanced life. It's an ongoing challenge, but I am seeing progress. Sometimes it's two steps forward and one step back, but still, that's progress. I have to remain centered in order to be healthy and happy. My career is important, but I'm a person before I'm a title, so I need to take care of me. My loved ones are important, but I have to secure my own oxygen mask first. When I leave home waaaaay early, only to be waylaid on the 405 freeway, and arrive at my audition (which is always on the side of town opposite that which would be most convenient for me), it is more difficult to remember to keep everything in perspective, but more and more often, I am able to do just turn up my radio and sing. If I've done everything I could do and still can't get there on time, I may as well get there in good spirits.
This is not the same as "not caring". This is about expending my limited resources effectively. I care, all right, but screaming at the driver (idiot that he may be) in front of me doesn't help me to get to my destination any faster. Stressing out because my hair ended a frizzy mess at my audition isn't going to make my audition better. And being unhappy because I don't have money to send out as many postcards as I'd like to send isn't going to put money in my bank account. Sometimes the situation just is what it is. I'll do what I can to be the best that I can, then do what I can to help others around me be the best that they can. That's the ideal. I am a work in progress, as are we all, so sometimes I fall short.
In life in general, and show-business especially, it's very easy to get caught up in the line of thinking that your worth is tied to the amount of "buzz" you are able to create. That's why I think it is important to think of your core as "yourself", and your way of making a living as your "product". If you are living 'on-purpose', the two will be closely tied. if not, there will be a huge gap (probably filled with no small amount of turmoil) between. I have had lots of jobs - some supposedly "important", and some not, and my income range has swung from not even close to enough to make ends meet to "hey, y'all party over here" and back again. At the end of the day, none of that really matters. I have a safe place to lay my head at night, I have food to eat, I'm much more often kind than I am unkind, I care about people, and I have people who care about me. I am crafting the type of life that I would like to have, and I am happy far more often than I am not. That's what's important.
I was on TV Monday night, and it was really cool to watch. I giggled a little while watching, then rewound and giggled again. Despite all of the work that goes into an acting career, whenever I see myself on TV I think "What kind of world is this, where people will let me be on TV?" lol It's surreal. I played a high-powered attorney in "The Closer" last night. Don't they know I'm still just a precocious, skinny little black child from the south side of Chicago? That it still takes effort not to totally lapse into Ebonics unintelligible to anyone but other Ebonically-fluent individuals when I get tired? And I'm on TV threatening Kyra Sedgwick in legalese. Hahaha... It really is true what they say - anything can happen, eh? So funny at times. Cool, though. I'm ready for some bigger roles now. Strategizing now to make that happen. Not just for a bigger paycheck, but to flex my acting muscles as well. I also need to book some commercials. It's been too long...
I have an audition for "Ghost Whisperer" on Wednesday. It's right in the middle of my BET Awards workday, and (of course) it's on the other side of town.
It is what it is.
P.S. - Yes, I do intellectually know I'm not really a skinny little child anymore. No emails please. ;oP