Why Am I Here?


It’s the big question I ask myself everyday. Before I move any further, let me start by saying that until almost 2 years ago…I had NO intention of being an actress. This was a field that seemed very foreign to me. I never thought of it as a real career path even though I enjoy performing. Even the way in which I got here is nothing short of crazy. 

It started with me getting laid off of my job.

I worked a desk gig for a brief time. The job was cool because I was working with one of my best friends (who is still one of my best friends today), however it was incredibly stressful. I used to break out in hives. I gained close to 100 lbs. My hair would fall out and I was exhausted all of the time. When I got laid off, it was a scary moment. We are all one paycheck away from poverty and I was no exception. Shortly after I started collecting unemployment but the requirement for me to collect my weekly check was to attend a weekly class on how to find work again. I was was already actively seeking employment and was very successful in the past but still, I had to take this class. 🙄

One of the classes was exploring other career options and they handed us a booklet filled with other jobs viewed by the Department of Unemployment as viable options. Acting was one of them. That was my first introduction to this field but it wasn’t until a short time later when unemployment was running out, my new survival job still wasn’t catching me up on my bills, homelessness was imminent,  that I went back to something I did prior. Promotional Modeling.

It wasn’t easy to start with. The last job I had worked was well over a decade ago and none of my photos were recent. I ended up going back to the agency I started with to get photos and to get work. That is when I was encouraged to add acting to my resume and be able to pick up more work. Since that time 2 years ago along with a series of incredibly adversarial events (I did end up homeless for a brief time) and some small victories (I have a survival income coming in) I managed to carve out a tiny career for myself. I know over time my craft and my resume will get better as long as I keep plugging away at it. I still ask myself why am I here and I have the answer too, because nothing else fit me.

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Antici…pation 


        (Photo Courtesy of IMDB.com)

I think the hardest thing about the whole casting process is the anticipation of the call back. And while today I was unsuccessful, there have been other times that I was and waiting on bated breath for the details. What makes me so excited? I think it is just doing something new really. Whenever I get booked for a project, (usually background work) the set is just full of electricity. Everyone is working diligently to make the shoot go well. I get to meet the crew, talk with other background actors and just enjoying my time there. It makes me giddy. I know I will work on future projects as long as I keep plugging away at it. I would just really like to go back to work now.

Hair

No not the musical. I want to share my hair adventures with you. 

Originally this was supposed to be a play review post about ‘A Raisin In the Sun’ by Lorraine Hansberry. But I got a little distracted by a passage in the play said between Beneatha and her love interest Joseph Asagai, who gives her a gift of beautiful robes from his native Nigeria. 

Asagai: (Coming to her at the mirror) I shall have to teach you how to drape it properly. (He flings the material about her for the moment and stands back to look at her) Ah–Oh-pay-gay-day, oh-ghah-mu-shay. (A Yoruba exclamation for admiration) You wear it well…very well…mutilated hair and all.

Beneatha proceeds to be shocked at this statement, (as was I,) to hear this man make a comment about her hair which she processes and straightens to make very acceptable during that time period in the Southside of Chicago. This statement could be delivered a couple of different ways on stage depending on the actor, however, the delivery and how I perceived it was in this way…”She is destroying her hair to be accepted in society, what a shame.” Some people may take what he said as a judgement against her. I think Asagai made a judgement against the world.

All of this got me thinking about all of the times I mutilated my hair. I’ve rocked my hair natural, relaxed, highlighted, bleached and dyed. Frizz was my enemy and breakage was the bane of my existence. I used to be made fun of for my big frizzy hair and now it is fashion. (Ain’t that some shit?) Lately, going natural and growing my hair out long has been beneficial in my acting career so far. It’s the reason why I need a new headshot and why I take hair vitamins and use coconut oil. It’s the reason why I have felt better now, than I ever have before. No longer do I feel judged by society to keep my hair controlled and mutilate it. Chemical processes are just awful to keep it healthy. 

All too often I think we dump shame on others and ourselves. Mainly to divide us, breed hate and distrust. No one truly feels good about themselves so let’s go bash someone else! (Yeah that’s logical) If a person is just overall a good person, then let’s bash them over things they have little control over…hair, skin tone, income, age, gender, etc. It’s a very ugly process. 

Right now, my hair is going through a liberation and no longer a mutilation. Still I look back fondly over the years and enjoy all of the styles and colors my hair took to look acceptable. A few of these gems I will share with you to see the evolution of my crowning glory. Thank you.





                (I still miss my Mohawk)




               (My hair in its current state)

*A Raisin In The Sun  by Lorraine Hansberry. Copyright 1958-1988 by Robert Nemiroff. First Vintage Book Edition, December 1994, Vintage Books a division of Random House, Inc, New York.

If It’s Meant To Be It Will Be…


In this second post; instead of talking about what I’m getting into currently, I want to discuss the wanting of hopes and dreams. I will be the first to admit my guilt of hoping, wishing and praying for a specific outcome. Willing things into existence and forcing a certain outcome, all to no avail. We all push for something we really want that might not be meant for us. Do I have roles that I want to play? Absolutely! Are there certain things that I want in my personal life? Absolutely! Do I want more money? Um, YEAH! This is where things get ugly. Where I start to curse the Universe for not giving me exactly what I want even if it does not serve me. Now before we get any further, let me note that this is not a shaming post. Many times we and I hear ‘positive’ people tend to put us down for really wanting it. “You shouldn’t want that, you have to be open and walk in faith.” Well that helps nothing and in essence is another layer of guilt. Nor is this a ranting post about those people. Their intentions are pure; and because they are people too, like us they were raised to embrace and spew guilt. It’s a vicious cycle. 

So where does that leave us? I think even if you take the wrong step, it’s a step. It’s perfectly ok to want something even if it’s not meant for you because it shows drive. Even when you don’t get it and have to lick your wounds, it meant you fought for something. It may still come to you…just in an imperfect way and that’s cool too! Hell, I never wanted to be an actress or a blogger in the first place but here I am. (Side Note: I did want to be a model, but just for fun.) My goals are much different now from even 3 years ago. Today I’m about a week out from finishing my FIRST Shakespeare play. An author I had zero interest in the past and now I’m totally hooked on. I write about my experiences all over social media and had to condense down to a blog for all to read. I previously only had Facebook, now, you can find me everywhere! Many of my previous goals and how I lived my life had blown up to smithereens right in front of me. Frankly I’m still beside myself on most things but that will be for a different post. Today is just for this post and I still have those questions: will I land those dream roles? Who knows. Will I get those things I really want in my personal life? Who knows. Will I finally make more money? Maybe? What is meant to be, will be. Until then, I will keep trying even if I fail.