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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lock n' Key

There are days when I firmly believe I excel in self-sabotage. One of the awful symptoms of bi-polar, even when treated, is you will do battle with a voice in your head telling you what a screw up you are. That's when the work in cognitive therapy comes in handy. You then can rationalize why you are not a screw up. The ego is momentarily salvaged and you can move on until you do battle once again with that same, unforgiving voice.

Am I pursuing too many things at one time? What about that saying to be a jack of all trades but a master of none? Can't you be the master of several things?

I am writing this blog while waiting for the screenwriter and director of an indie film to arrive to pick me up and go off for a shoot. I instinctively know what to do when I see a need on a shoot if I am not already assigned to something that will occupy me constantly on the set. This day will be one where I work where I am needed. I'm quite good at this sort of thing. I am equally good as a teacher and an actor. I believe I am a fairly good writer though the latter is where my lack of confidence comes into play.

I have always known I am a very good actor. The one disappointment in my life is that the acting life was not what I expected. I am one of those people who walked away from that game when I had plenty of New York connections, an agent, interested casting directors and was getting work doing cable commercials, training videos and other bits of work of that nature. I was getting some TV and movie work (usually wound up on the cutting room floor) or the role was not very large. But I quickly realized how deadly dull making TV or movies were from an acting standpoint. You wait endlessly for the next shot to be set up. I appeared on Law and Order a few times and stopped doing anymore because I nearly cried with boredom. There are actors who find plenty to do while waiting for the next shot but I was not one of them. I asked more seasoned TV actors Michael Moriarty and Roscoe Brown if it was always like this or was I just coming on the set during a slow set up period. They both told me that's how it is on most shows they have worked on. Hurry up and wait and wait and wait to do your two minutes of acting and then wait and wait some more for the next set up.

No thanks.

Back to theater if anything. And I pick what I want to do so I am not dependent on it to make a living as an actor. I am now applying for a few jobs as diverse as an Audience Manager and Education Director of some theaters in Philadelphia. These fields leave me free to do acting and writing, including teaching. That probably sounds very scattered to a more linear brain than mine but that's how I need to live my life. The variety keeps me satisfied and the challenge of staying organized and on top of my game requires me to stay sharp and focused on what I love to do . . the many things I love to do.

And I won't let any nay-saying voice tell me otherwise.

1 comment:

John P said...

Okay, I have a good one. I have a friend who lives in San Francisco who has worked as an "extra" on a number of TV and film projects. You wouldn't know him - he's never on camera for more than a few seconds and is paid scale.

Anyway, there was a time when the TV show "Nash Bridges" was filming at San Francisco International Airport, and they needed extras dressed up as pilots. So, my friend dressed up as a pilot and of course, he had to wait, and wait, and wait for the shot involving him.

But, my friend likes to drink and so while he was having to wait, why not wait in the airport lounge, right?

Except, he told me he had more than a few stares from passengers wondering why this "pilot" was enjoying a vodka cranberry at the bar!

My guess is that his bar tab while waiting for his big scene exceeded the union scale he was paid.

But it must have been a good laugh. I think he told me that only one passenger noticed that his uniform was not the right color. I forget, but he was either wearing blue or black and one is the right color, one isn't, and only one passenger noticed that he couldn't be a real pilot not wearing the right color!