Somewhat Major and Lengthy Life Update

I realize I was very late in updating yesterday’s NaNo word count, but as I got a little distracted by homework I had a good reason.  I’m still being distracted by homework, to be honest.  At present, I’m taking a break in-between things on my to-do list during this all-nighter, which I’m trying to use to catch up on some stuff on which I’ve gotten a bit too behind.  Continue reading

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I’ve Lost My Drive

So anyone I’ve talked to about my studies or my future will tell you that I’m very passionate.  I know for a fact that I’m determined, a hard worker, and someone who just doesn’t give up.  Lately, however, I just haven’t been able to care about anything on my to-do list.  

I’ve been questioning my path since this year began… I don’t know what to do.  I feel as though I’m in a kind of limbo… and what’s worse is that I honestly don’t care.  

The Countdown Resumes

When I first decided to quit my job, and go back to school to finish my college education, I began a countdown. It was in days, and I believe it started somewhere around day 71, though I could be wrong. This was a journaling countdown, written in every detail, and included things like what I was looking forward to, what I was worried about, and how I could barely stand to work my job from one day to the next for those remaining 70 days and counting. Now I am resuming that countdown.

I took a fulltime temporary position in my accounting office over the summer, thinking that I quite liked the job as well as my coworkers so that would probably be better than having to hunt down a second job, and I’m sure I was right on that point. However, working in this place fulltime has done nothing so much as remind me why I quit work to return to school in the first place. I cannot do this for much longer.

So I’m resuming my countdown: including today I have 15 days left until my vacation home, after which I return to fulltime classes, and my final semester at this school before transferring to one of the four year universities I have in mind. It might sound melodramatic, but I cannot take much more of this. The politics, the bitchiness, the laziness and resulting delegations of other people’s work…this is exactly why I left office work in the beginning. I’m done. This is not what I’m going to do with my life. I will make a living doing what I love; whatever it takes, I will.

15 days and counting!

Remaining Tasks

Well, for better or worse, the semester is over.  I am pretty sure I did not pass one of my classes (due to my scene-partner quitting on me at a point in the semester that I could no longer replace her, essentially screwing me over), but I’m hoping I’m fine with the other three.  I’m hoping.  I really struggled this semester.

Now, I have a few things left to do.  First, I might possibly have to attend Jury Duty tomorrow, though I’ll be honest I hope I won’t.  At first, I was really excited about it, right?  I’ve never done it before, and it would be nice to see how the process works.  The problems?  I’m a student, short on cash, at the very end of my semester before my extra hours at work kick in, without a car, and the summons are in a city that will take me about 3 hours to get to via public transportation and cost me over $50.  They do not list any options for me, and the lady I spoke to about these issues over the phone essentially told me that it’s my problem.  Now, one, I cannot afford this.  If I go, I won’t have money for food until the end of the month.  That’s only a week away, sure, but you try not eating for a week and tell me how you fair.  And, two, I have now been placed on what is called ‘telephone standby,’ which means that I might not have to go, but if I do end up being summoned I may have to arrive in under two hours.  So now, if I’m summoned, I will likely have to call a taxi, which will cost me even more.  Should be interesting as I don’t have any more money in my account, at the moment.  I’m really hoping I’m not called, at this point.

Next, I have less than a week now to pack up my entire room, sell what I can, donate what I cannot, and move it all out of this place before June 1st.  All this while working a now full-time schedule at my job, and training for a new position in my accounting office, for which most people have to attend school for two to four years.  My mind is so bogged down with plans, details, worries, and hopes that I’m really just trying to cross my fingers that everything works out better than I can even imagine because I’ve had enough of set-backs and struggles this month.  I need a break, and I think I’ve earned one… right?  It can only get better from here.

So… the adventure begins?  Sure.

If you’ve made it this far, I apologize for the personal things I’ve been posting lately.  The writing and acting posts will resume after these irregularly occurring events.  As always, thank you for reading, and have a lovely day.  ^-^

To Act or Not To Act

This has been my recent consideration: do I continue to pursue acting the way that I had planned, or do I get a more reasonable degree and just act in my spare time.  I have to consider this quite logically, even though the reasoning might not be all that logical.

Pros:

  • I love acting.
  • Acting makes me happy when I have good partners.
  • I have never felt more fulfilled in my life, except when working toward figure skating goals.
  • Theatre holds people who understand me, who I understand, and with whom I mesh quite well.

Cons:

  • Some of the worst people in my life have come from acting.
  • Some of the worst betrayals I’ve experienced have been as a result of these above individuals.
  • It’s a lot of work (not that I entirely mind that, just that you don’t get paid for most of said work).
  • It’s a lot of time.
  • I’m not likely to make a lot of money doing it, barring extreme circumstances.

The reason I’m making these lists:

I’m currently still debating between two focuses for my major in college: Theatre Arts and Creative Writing.  I love both, I’m not sure I can decide between them.  However, I recently considered the possibility of getting a minor in Accounting.  Would it be completely impossible to double-major, as well as minor?  Also, if I go to school for Creative Writing with a minor in Accounting, would I still be able to attend a master’s program in acting across the pond, or would that be out of the question if my major and minor were no longer theatre-related?

These are all things I’m currently considering…and I don’t currently have any answers, yet.  Finals are accosting me, and I have less than two weeks to pack up an entire room, donate what I no longer need and what won’t fit in my new place, and move.  My body has about had it, I’m mentally exhausted and have been for months.  I need some time and space to think, and don’t know when I’ll get it.

Apologies to anyone who has read this expecting some kind of semblance of sanity, or a reasonable conclusion, I can currently offer you neither.  However, I am hoping that someone may be able to offer me one or other of the above listed endings that I may at least consider them.

Thank you for reading, and have a lovely day.

On Acting: Thoughts on the Past Two Years

Now, I have to admit that I always looked down on acting before I took my first class with my current acting coach/facilitator, because I thought that it was just a bunch of pretty people who wanted attention memorizing lines and getting on stage to recite them.  Unfortunately, that’s still what a LOT of people think acting really is, and, yes, this does include far too many people who like to and manage to get parts in actual productions.

A dilettante is a person who claims an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.  I have found recently that the majority of those in plays and on films are dilettantes who don’t even understand what the phrase ‘hard work’ means, let alone that acting is not an attention seeking endeavor.  It is not about the actor, it is about the characters and the story and the action on stage/ in the film.  The actor is remarkably unimportant.

Not only that, but it is very HARD WORK to be an actor.  You must study, you must practice, you must focus, you must meditate, you must train every single muscle in your body, you must be consciously aware of everything that you do in life, you must perfect your recall, you must research, you must understand psychology / sociology / philosophy / interpersonal communication / etc., and, perhaps most importantly, you must be present in EVERY moment of your life at all times, moment to moment.

I have literally only been studying acting for almost two years, and I’m already catching up to people who have been studying for a decade or more.  I have been working hard, and I believe that has made all of the difference.  Now, I honestly don’t think much of my own abilities because I know that I have a long, long way to go and a LOT more work to do.  Like figure skating, an actor can ALWAYS make improvements, learning to perfect their craft.  Plus, there are still things in life that I have yet to experience, and they will better enable me to portray a particular character better, as a result.

The past semester, however, I received primarily compliments from my facilitator and from people who have been studying acting for quite a while.  I keep hoping they will take the crap out of everything that I’m doing on that stage, but the compliments from people who don’t like stroking anyone have made me realize one very important thing: I have grown a significant amount in the past two years.

The only real downside to all of this is that I have not had much time for anything else.  I have spent the semester in character for two entirely different plays (and two entirely different genders), while at the same time creating a ‘third’ new character for a new scene every two weeks.

Everyone in this profession says that this occupation is a lonely one (and I have heard the same about the writing profession), and now I understand why.  Not only do you spend most of your time studying, bettering yourself, and, overall, working to improve your craft, but you also learn to really see people.  The problem with learning to really see people is that, well… you get to know too much, in a sense.

All this being said, there is still a large aspect of acting that MUST be undertaken on one’s own, and so there have been weeks where I have just shut myself in my room so that I could get down to business doing character work and other forms of studying to get myself into whatever character I happen to be working on at the moment.  I’ve been so immersed in this new art, in fact, that I have forgotten how I move, having changed my walk and my mannerisms for so many different characters in the past four months.

My vocal abilities have grown and so have my physical abilities.  I played an elderly man in Arsenic and Old Lace during a three week run, and after every show I would strip off the costume and the make-up and ‘put myself back on’ only to greet people who had no idea I had even been on the stage.  My closest friends and several people who see me in class every week had to ask me which character I had been playing.  Now, if that’s not a compliment to any serious actor-in-training, I honestly don’t know what is.  I have been unrecognizable this semester in so many different portrayals, and have been able to use some horrible situations in my past in a constructive way for the first time in my life.

Also, notably, for the first time in my life, no one is holding me back in any way, shape, or form.  I have somehow actually managed to accidentally create a support structure for myself, drawing to me those who I most need in my life at any given point in time.  I’m not sure how I do this, but it is most certain that I do.  Apparently, many people born under my sun and moon signs and on the day of the month of the year I was born on have similar attributes, and I have been learning quite a bit about those as well.  Learning to see both the bad and the good about myself, and accepting these things as who I am for maybe the first time in my life without allowing anyone to coddle me or tell me I can’t do this… it’s a major step for me.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly to me, is the sheer knowledge that before starting this training I did not really know how to play.  I have said this often to people in my life, and I’ll probably say it yet again: I raised both of my brothers beginning at age eight.  My parents were divorced, Mother was never around and wouldn’t let Dad anywhere near us (to hurt him, not because he was in any way harmful to us), and both of them were behaving like children rather than raising the three kids they actually had.  So I did it.

My mother, being the crazy religious nut she has always been, would not let us believe in anything that required the remotest amount of imagination: Santa, fantasy, fairy tales, horror, dinosaurs, etc.  Anything that wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the New King James version of the Bible could not possibly exist.  As a result of this and several other notable events that I don’t like talking about, my childhood was rather stunted, and I grew up far, far too fast.  I’m fine with this now, but I had to learn to surpass it.

It’s an incredible feeling, despite the horrible nerves and sickening anxiety that leads up to a performance, to be able to get onto that stage and actually be another character; someone else.  To go out and play, giving life to someone that a writer imagined years, decades, or centuries before I was even born, is beyond breathtaking, particularly when you consider that no one has imagined this character the way that I have.  Now, that is not to say that the character has not been portrayed similarly or even the same way that I’m portraying him or her, but, considering the fact that no one sees the world exactly the same way I do (in that we all have our own perspective, experiences, and things that lead us to where we are now), no one has ever seen this character’s point of view exactly the way I have.  That’s… amazing, when you really stop to think about it; heady, even.

Anyway, this has been quite a long and rambly affair, but it is under a ‘read more’ tag for a reason.  If you’ve made it this far, thank you.  Honestly, I know that my words are far less important to most people, and the largest majority of individuals that anyone meets at any given time don’t honestly care all that much about what those around them have to say on any given subject.  So, anyone who cares what I have to say (particularly when I seem to have QUITE A LOT to say sometimes) has a unique place in my life, and I thank you for putting yourselves into it.  Truly, a few of you here on Tumblr have been truer friends to me than anyone I have known in real life.  I guess that’s one wonderful thing about the internet: we put ourselves out there completely without masks or pretenses.  The only other place I have felt so trusted and able to trust is the stage, and I had to find that the hard way.

I hope you all have the loveliest lives possible, full of experiences and stories to tell.  ^-^