I used to have a massive crush on Jon Bon Jovi.
That hair. The swagger. How his lips lingered on the microphone when he sang…
He was the ultimate heartthrob and he made me want to be a singer. Because then I had a chance of touring with him.
Why not dream big, right?
But what I really wanted to be was Little Orphan Annie and I thought I had a good shot. I had the hair color and I loved the songs.
So I auditioned when the musical came to town.
Aaand, I bombed it.
Ok, so no singing career, obv. But, the acting….?
Maybe that’s when acting took its inexplicable hold on me.
Acting both thrilled and terrified me. Kinda like why I still love haunted houses and ghost stories. And why I *used* to love Light as a Feather and the Ouija board (I want nothing to do with those two games now. That sh!t* is scary).
But it’s always been acting...
Which explains why a recent email I got sent me into a tailspin. My “friend” talked about people who love being the center of attention. She then went on to write, "...they often become actors or singers.”
Seriously? My blood started to boil. Because she’s not the only one who thinks this way about actors.
And it P(SSES* me off.
I hate it when people say that actors loooooove the spotlight or when someone says to me, “You must love the camera.”
It’s not true.
Sure, maybe you wanted your parent's attention when you were little so you put on plays with your stuffed animals. But that kind of parental attention-seeking acting is not sustainable now.
Acting is too hard. Somewhere along the way, you fell in love with the process.
You’re here because this is the only career you can imagine for yourself.
I didn’t become an actor because I crave the spotlight.
I became an actor because I freaking love acting.
I love how my whole body buzzes for hours after an intense class.
I love exploring the human condition in a non-threatening way.
I love testing out things unfamiliar to me, how far I can go, or the tension in holding back.
I love investigating how it feels to be a psychopath, a lawyer with intense neuroses, a meek and mousy mom or a drug-addled author.
I love IT ALL.
I know the same is true for you.
I’m pretty sure you didn’t become an actor because you wanna be a STAR. Ta-da!
Sure that may be what ignited your fire in the beginning, but those people flame out fast (star puns intended.)
You wouldn’t keep doing this year and year, grueling bartending shift after restaurant double-shift, because it’s a fun hobby.
Of course, you want to be successful.
We’d all love to make enough money from acting to support ourselves and our families. But that’s not a reality for most of us.
And lo and behold. We do it anyway!
Let this post serve as our battle cry.
I get you. I am you. We’re in this together.
With or without Bon Jovi (and certainly without my misguided “friend,") we’re willing to go down in a Blaze of Glory. Because we stayed true to ourselves and did it anyway.
*trying to throw off the spam police.