Growing up, I was a huge video game addict. I would obsessively explore each level and world until I uncovered all hidden coins, discovered secret passageways and attained the highest score. To be honest, if my husband and I should ever again be blessed with the time and energy for a date night, our perfect evening would consist of a bottle of cabernet and a Mario Kart tournament. Why share this guilty pleasure?
Jumping with gusto, back into the business of show, I feel a wave of anxiety wash over me as I engage in phone conversations with fellow performers. My heart races in an old, but reminiscent pattern as I listen to tales of directors firing talented people on reckless whims, casting offices making assumptions based on flavors of the month, and hot- headed choreographers evoking tears in hard-working dancers, in a backwards attempt to heal personal wounds from the 70’s inflicted by coke-head, tyrannical predecessors. I end the call and begin to plan my escape to Pennsylvania to join an Amish community, banned from all internet and television, cut off from any information on the entertainment industry!
But, I have come to realize that although I was never able to keep from flying headfirst into the whirlwind of gossip and arbitrary events, spinning frantically away from solid ground, I have a second chance. Whether or not I decide to continue on with this career for the rest of my lifetime, I feel that a level replay is in order. My score could be higher.
I’m not speaking in terms of resume components. I feel I’ve done well in that regard. But, the level to which I engaged in the bullshit, in no other terms, needs to shift. I could have handled some of the uglier aspects of our competitive field in another manner, and quite frankly, played less of a part in feeding them. I would like to approach all of it from a different emotional space.
I know that many struggle with the ability to leave their work at the office, but I believe that in this particular business, with very little status quo, it’s more of a challenge. My goal, aside from being artistically fulfilled, and able to support my family, is to step into that whirlwind with just enough of myself to perpetuate work, but to stay anchored every day, to the treasures underneath my roof. They are real. The other stuff is just a part of a game.