Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saying "Smell You Later" to my mid twenties

In the these last few weeks where I have been wrapping up my mid twenties, I have

1. Worked. I mean, as an artist. In my field. Kinda sorta.

I mean, I did some voice over work and I have been, once again, teaching theatre to kids age 6 to 17. Specifically, I taught the younger kids dance and I have been teaching movement, voice/diction and Shakespeare to the older ones. Surprisingly, the class I have had the least trouble with so far is Shakespeare. I know, color me shocked. Perhaps it was because it was scheduled before dance and I hadn't yet begun to use my outdoor voice for an hour straight, leaving me with a sore throat and a sour disposition.

Dance was a nightmare. Now, disregarding the fact that I am no dancer by any stretch of the imagination (outside of picking up basic jazz/musical theater moves and being an enthusiastic wedding floor dancer) I figured I could piece together a solid minute and a half of step touches and jazz squares for a group of elementary school kids. How wrong I was.

First of all, every child is the world is apparently suffering from ADHD, not just the poor souls who are actually literally suffering from it and struggling to keep up with the rest of the class. I had to threaten these kids within an inch of their lives to keep them on task for more than 20 seconds at a time. I can't tell you how many times I said

"If you don't all start your Elbow Macaroni Dance at the same time, you'll be behind for the Grapevine. Now get with the program or you're out of the dance! Starting. With. Zombie. Hands... 5,6,7,8...."

It wasn't until I cut half the dance and told them they had no one to blame but themselves, that they finally shut up and gave me some semblance of attention. Of course, by that point I had already made the youngest one cry and turned the oldest kid into He-man Woman-Hater who looked like he wanted to rip off my limbs and shove them down the organ pipes while he played Baby Elephant Walk.

Miraculously though, we made it through alive and by the time they performed their dance for their parents on Friday, they were at least able to trip over each other and look totally lost on beat and in their assigned line. They ultimately had a good time, the parents adored it, everyone was happy. Plus, the one move they got right was directly from the music video of the song we used, Birdhouse In Your Soul (the one that looks like robot arms into a waist bend)- so I was satisfied.

This week, I only had to contend with the older kids, which was far less of a headache, and actually quite enjoyable at times, outside of dealing with some "teenage moments".

I think the problem is, I am an actress. I am a teacher strictly based on my need for money. There are times when I adore working with students and sometimes nothing can be more rewarding than watching someone have a breakthrough after hours, days, weeks of work.

But truly, I just want to act. Which would explain why in addition to doing radio spots and teaching this past month, I have also been going to every regional/professional theatre audition I can drag my poor, mostly unemployed self out to.

This is when I ask myself:  Why can't I have other dreams? It is a curse.

Let me rephrase slightly. It is a curse when you come from a background that cannot financially support you while you pursue acting full time, therefore leading you off into working in fields that are totally unrelated to your line of study/interest just so you can stay afloat and ultimately causing you to lose some of your peak audition years to various soul sucking desk jobs and when you finally cut loose and throw yourself back into the "cattle call" game, you are rusty, older, broke and always on the verge of taking yet another job you hate just so you'll have food and shelter for you and your diabetic cat and also so you can get a break from constantly feeling like a boil on the butt of humanity, because no one understands that while it is certainly hard to get a "regular" job and takes persistence, pursuing a career in acting takes a special kind of masochistic maniac because it is damn near imfuckingpossible to land gigs with a theatre you've never worked with before because it all who you know and  how much experience you have, which at this point is not much because you had no choice but to work aforementioned desk jobs because you didn't have the support from real parents or sugar parents that you needed to travel around from audition to audition, and it all has very little to do with your actual talent, and as a result you just look like a lazy, untalented piss-ant turkey. 

Plus you find yourself going off on bitter and tacky ramble-filled, run on sentence tangents - and no
one wants to put up with that kind of drama.

Hey, wasn't I making a list?

2. I also tried to boil some eggs, but promptly forgot that I had started to do so - which resulted in some cool sounding explosions in my kitchen and a foul after stench of burnt yokes.

I turn 28 on Sunday and after some reflection, I am sure that I am wiser and stronger- but none of that really matters. There is no way to be totally prepared for life - just being flexible is hard enough. Last year I had a "big girl" job, full time, benefits, yadda yadda yadda- and I was totally unhappy.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like a I'm a ball of sunshine with rainbows coming out of my butt right now and I am sure I am disappointing people left and right- but at least I am working on not disappointing myself. And I totally was disappointed with who I had become last year.

Therefore, I proclaim 28 to be the year I kick disappointment straight in the nuts. My first present to myself is to add to the never ending list of personal mantras.

Skinny. Successful. Smart.

Grow. Go. Girl. 


In the nuts, Disappointment!

I am a believer in the birthday mantra/resolution. You add a new one each year, and retire which ever one (ones) you feel have served their purpose.

So. What was your birthday mantra this year?


Charcoal Renderings said...

Lady, I am so on board with "In the nuts, Disappointment!" That's kind of been one version of my mantra lately as well. As a fellow actor, who is currently writing to you from that soul-sucking desk job, I hear you loud and clear and offer my support.

One of my personal motivational phrases as of late has been, "It will happen. You've got the heart. So eventually, it WILL happen."

Simple, but it helps. Get it, girl.

Jessica said...

Thank you! My dearest friend in Wisconsin used to say something fairly similar to me, so I like it! And I am sending a lifetime of "Break legs!" back to you.

Little Missy Me said...

Hmmm, birthday mantra? I guess mine is that I write a list of things I want to achieve before the next birthday, so that I feel like I've achieved something in my life. It's kinda like a bucket list, but it has a foreseeable deadline (haha, deadline, bucket list... sorry bad joke).
Good on you for trying to achieve your dreams. You will get there one day. And I agree with you about the kids claiming ADHD... I honestly think some kids just need to be told off more often.

Jessica said...

I try not to get too frustrated with kids who have absolutely no attention span- I'm afraid it is conditional, what with all the whizzes and bangs and flashes of modern technology.