“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” — Joseph Campbell
“Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.” — Alan Watts
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
It was a first date, like any first date, filled with get-to-know-each-other questions. We sat at the bar. Conversation din and jukebox music from the 80s and 90s filled the air. He sipped a wheat beer and I gulped my I.P.A. It’d been a long time since I’d been on a date. I wasn’t sure I was ready. “When did you move to L.A.?” he asked.
“Over 12 years ago. 1999. I came here to act in film and television.” I looked into his sky-blue eyes, bright with interest. His lips looked soft with sympathy and promise. Yet, it was hard to talk about this, even as I knew I needed to. “Acting is on hold. Perhaps permanently. I’m not sure. I’m writing now. A short story and a novella. It may become a novel.”
“A novel. That’s cool.”
I smiled. “Thanks. I’m excited. It’s also really hard. I thought acting was hard. Writing may be the hardest thing I’ve done.”
“Huh. Well then why did you stop acting?” he asked.
I sighed and stared into my beer. A sharpness tore in my chest. This question was at the heart of a two-year collapse into isolation where I could barely do more than work as a waitress. My life needed direction and I wasn’t sure what to do. I had despaired of my dreams. With three prior careers, excluding day-jobs, I had thought acting would be the last and best career, and I would do it ‘til I died. I didn’t expect a fifth career. My spirit still ached to think I had let acting go.
I took a deep breath and said, “Because I could see that there were precious few stories being filmed for middle-aged women to act in. Because acting in commercials—how most working actors pay their rent—has never been my goal. I came to L.A. to tell stories—actors tell stories with their body and their voice. I’m tired of begging to be part of the storytelling process—that is what the audition is—you are asking for permission to act, to perform your craft, to be part of the storytelling process. I still love acting. But I love stories more. Writers don’t have to ask for permission to write stories. Of course, getting others to read the story— that’s where the begging is.” I laughed at my own joke and so did he, perhaps politely.
P.S. I present my first ebook, a sexy and spiritual short story.
You are brilliant.
Aw. Thank you. It means a lot coming from you.
You’re a constant inspiration
Wow. A high compliment from a remarkable talent. I am honored. Thank you, Jeffrey.
I love your about section! Between the awesome quotes you have at the top and then your well written reason for wanting to be a writer are inspiring!
Thank you very much. I hope you enjoy my stories too.
As to writing, I’m currently reflecting on the work of Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write: “No writing is a waste of time – no creative work where the feelings, the imagination, the intelligence must work. With every sentence you write, you have learned something. It has done you good.” That goes for all of us! 🙂
I can’t wait to read more of your stuff!
I like that. No writing is a waste of time.
Most interesting about page I have read all year.
Thank you. Namaste.
What does that mean?
It’s a salutation. 🙂
A greeting and thank you. From one spirit to another. It’s meant to be nice, of course. 🙂
My spirit is often more like a wounded beast… I’m not sure I would recommend talking to it.
But it is actually meant to be a greeting from a spirit to a spirit… as in, not the whole person to the whole person– but specifically your spirit says hello to my spirit…?
Oh, and… Nice is often good. Thanks for nice. Cheers.
You are an amazing writer from what I can tell on your posts on your blog. Your writing is engaging, smooth, and fun to read! I hope you find your calling, whether it be acting or writing. Good luck in everything!!
Wow, thank you. Good luck to you too. Hope you keep reading! 🙂
Cheers for not losing your soul/choosing the enduring over that which won’t meaningfully last.
Thank you, jrlookingbill! 🙂
As trite as it may sound, I feel your story. I think quite a few of us have been where you are. I hope your novel is published and that you one day find an avenue back into the craft that you love. Peace out! 😀
Really appreciate your good wishes and comments!
Not a problem!:-)
I was positive that my own About Me/Bio page was nearly perfect. Not it just seems inadequate… 😉
That’s a very nice sentiment, though I disagree with it’s conclusion. Thank you, Norman! 🙂
you are so talented! your blog is such a treat to read! 🙂
Thank you, Teju! 🙂
I’m glad I found your blog — I love your explanation of why you write! In an interesting juxtaposition, I think being a musician and being a composer are in the same realm as being an actor and being a writer — auditioning and “asking for permission” can be so stifling to the spirit, after a while. Being able to unleash your emotions and thoughts without asking permission is liberating.
Really appreciate all your comments, Jason. I do think music, acting, and writing share much–all work to enhance storytelling. Best of luck to you in following your musical dreams. 🙂
Grateful that I stumbled upon your blog. Never stop writing.
Really appreciate your encouragement.
Please keep writing. It means a lot to a lot of folks out there who like me need something to inspire them.
Hey! Thanks for following! Cheers mate!!! 😀
Merry Christmas! I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award, just follow this link – http://mikesfilmtalk.com/2012/12/22/the-vesatile-blogger-and-blog-of-the-year-2012-merry-christmas-to-me/
Thank you, Mike!! I fully intend to accept your honor and pass the honors along. Just need to get through some holiday busy-ness and reflect on the post a bit. Will checkout your other faves. Also, how exactly do you post the The Versatile Blogger Award?
Hope your enjoying the Winter Solstice festiveness!!! 🙂
If we could just get snow instead of rain, I’d be enjoying the Solstice a lot more! 😀 Right, the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award is on the following post – http://mikesfilmtalk.com/2012/07/02/another-versatile-blogger-nomination/ I hope you holiday busy-ness doesn’t result in your being to busy to enjoy the holidays! Happy New Year!! 😀
Enjoyed coming across your post today! 🙂 It seemed like something I needed to read.
That makes me glad!