Honesty Check

4:40am and I can’t sleep.  Thought it might be time for an honesty check.

I’ve been in California for about 2.5 months now, working on The Farm.  The reality is seeping in, however, that I have two weekends left, and then I’m heading back to New York.  If I’m to be completely honest, that idea fills me with both eager anticipation and dread.

I quit my day job in June in order to come and do this play.  There is still no question in my mind that that was the right decision for me.  This play has been a transformative experience for me in many ways.  It’s afforded me opportunities to learn, grow, and really stretch myself in new ways.  It’s also been an important proving ground for me with regards to 50in50.  One of the theories operating behind the impulse to do 50in50 is the idea that it would make me a better actor… and I think it has.  That’s entirely subjective, I know, but I believe it’s true.  I think I’m far more willing to take risks because of this project, and I think I have a better, visceral understanding of what good/bad acting is from watching all of the footage of myself every week while editing and seeing so clearly what works and what doesn’t.  I can’t tell you how encouraging this is.

All that said, my stomach still turns to knots sometimes when I think of the unknowns I’ll be returning to.  Specifically, I’m wondering how I’m going to pay rent.  Humbling to admit that, but damned if it ain’t the truth.  I’m generally pretty confident in my abilities to scrape together a living, but it’s still scary to be heading back there with nothing solid on the table (especially in this economy, when so many of my friends are leaving to find work elsewhere).  Also, significantly, it’s hard for me to do just anything any be happy.  I mean, my last temp job was almost certainly the best day-job I’ve ever had in my life, and it still caused me to have a small panic-attack (which was the impetus to get on the phone, find this theatre gig, and get me the hell out of there).  So, I know that I don’t want to go back to that… but I’m unsure what options I’m going to find when I get there (don’t say “strip”… everyone says “strip”… and they’re only half kidding… and I’m not going to… seriously.  So don’t.).  Worst is that this trip has just confirmed for me how much happier I am when I’m just making my living through acting and writing.  Or maybe that’s the best thing.  Mmm, it’s both, really, but my point is that it’s always harder to go back to doing something you don’t love.

I tell you this: if I could figure out a way to make a living with 50in50, I would be pretty effing ecstatic.  I love doing this project.  Love it.  I just don’t want it to be a case of having to choose again between my health and keeping it going.

So, that’s what’s on my mind these days, and I suppose that’s why I’m not sleeping tonight despite having had a wonderful, full day.  I’ve got one eye looking toward re-entry, but for now, I think the thing to do is to try to soak up as much of this moment as I can.  Spend time with family and friends, go surfing, be as good as I can be in this play, and eat as many California burritos as humanly possible.  The burritos here are other-worldly.

More soon,

Brent  9.1.09  5.07am

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~ by 50in50 on September 1, 2009.

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