The Boy from Virginia Looks Ahead

When the New Year rolled in, I had all these new-fangled ideas about keeping positive and writing to my heart’s content, all while juggling theatre and maybe a second job at Lush (or some other part-timey place). I would also have celebrated having been in London for a full year and every decision I would make would have purpose. I would be 2011’s poster child for positive thinking!

            Instead, I’m sitting in my room with apprehension (nerves) about tomorrow’s audition, the fact that I have now been unemployed for almost two weeks, and the fact that next month’s rent may consist of whatever’s left in my bank account plus my security deposit. When did I allow things to get like this? How was I living so lavishly only 2 weeks ago, and now I’m as useless as the dust bunnies camping out under my boiling radiator?

            Can I blame lack of proper financial planning? Yes! (but then again, my money was only going towards the rent, the bills, and food…and if you know me, I gotta eat) But as far as my career is concerned, could I accurately plan for moments like this? Not really.

            The actor’s life is never certain. Like a teenager’s addiction to trends, one day you’re in, the next you’re out. I am a part of a very fickle business. To borrow a phrase from Lady Gaga ( I know. I know. She’s usually un-quotable), I am unfortunately caught in a Bad Romance with my art. What’s odd is that I,  unfortunately, like it.

This is what I signed up for when I said “I want to be in this business.” I wanted thrills (I get them when I perform), I wanted drama  (I get that when I look at both of my bank accounts), and I wanted the feeling that someone was being affected by what I did (i.e applause). Am I stupid with stay with a lover (i.e. Theatre) who’s only interested in me when they feel they can exploit me? Well…not stupid, but content. This is the life I chose. And I know, like anything, you have to make things work.

            When I was finishing up my Panto two weeks ago, I had clear plans for everything I was going to do. For one, I was going to take this industry by the hair and say “Look, bitch, I am in charge now! Pay attention!” (Of course, the only thing I’ve managed to yank is myself out of bed at 2:30 in the afternoon). On a serious note, however, I was going to make phone calls, write letters to casting agents and directors, meet with other artists to discuss creating new work. Before the new year began, I had every intention to start writing a new play. I’ve have 3 strong play ideas brewing inside my head for a long time now and I was going to take a week off and find a place where I could just let my words flow (not Starbucks). If it killed me, I was going to make art my life.

            What I have successfully done, however, is simply had the ideas. And I’ve stored them away, while I’ve rested. Ah, yes. There’s that foreign word: Resting. Something I’ve not taken the time to do in a very long time. It’s seldom that I have actually had the time off to just sit and do absolutely nothing for an extended amount of time. I’ve never even taken a vacation. Not one for leisure at least. Sleeping in has to have been the greatest luxury I’ve allowed for myself in ages. And on top of that, when I wasn’t sleeping, I was reading, or watching something inspirational to give me more  ideas! My “stay-cation” is actually the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. My mind is clearer. I’ve stopped fearing my future and instead, have put it into perspective and I’ve said to myself  “when I am ready to kick-start my life/career back into gear, I will.” At this moment, I am ready to do so.

            This audition I’m attending tomorrow is for a small film. I am very enthusiastic about it because at the moment, film is not big on my resume and I am aiming to change that fact in 2011. My nerves come from a place of want. I am hungry for this role and so I’m hoping that I bring my A-game. I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure I am working my hardest, and my best.

After spending a year here in London and having so many beautiful opportunities come my way, I’m not going to allow myself to slack off, not when there is a world to be changed. Lots of artists have the goal of being famous, or being seen, or just (fill in the blank as you so choose). I, on the other hand, am a different type of artist. I need to change the world, but instead of just going at it willy nilly, I’m going to find my niche and work outwards.

            I have an audience, people who I cater to unknowingly; a faithful audience who follow me even when I’m not sure they are. I encourage those people to continue to promote me and support me because if they keep believeing in me, then I will succeed. Most people don’t change lives just on talent alone…they build an audience.

            To anyone reading this…will you applaud for me when things work out?

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3 comments on “The Boy from Virginia Looks Ahead

  1. Jenny says:

    Woo Tommy!
    Now see this is what I’ve been meaning to do with my year so far… sit down, write a blog, sort my life out 🙂 You’ve inspired me to finally get round to it!
    Wishing you all the best with the film audition tomorrow.
    Jenn x

  2. Debbie ford says:

    Yes I will you have such wonderful talent.

  3. Beth Yirga says:

    I have always applauded you my love…even when things haven’t worked out. I have been a loyal reader since the fb notes era:)

    I am so happy for your great opportunities and growth in a foreign land so far, far away.

    support and hugs are here whenever you need them.

    xoxo,
    beth

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