Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dazed and confused

I've been feeling lost, as of late. Actually, I think I've been feeling lost for a while.

I was thinking the other night, how a few short years ago, I took this workshop, and during the workshop I created this neat little solo piece that was a little weird, a little creepy, but very me. (On another note, I realize that I seem to write a lot about people's interaction with inanimate objects, and them imbuing them with human personality traits-- is that called anthropomorphizing?) Anyway, I later took that piece and performed it at a solo festival in another city. Like, a city in which I didn't live, just traveled down there by myself and had a bunch of strangers show up to see my work. Then later that same year, I wrote a show that was produced at the Fringe. Another kind of weird, kind of creepy, kind of very me show. And the sad thing is that I have no idea now how I had the courage to do either of those things. I mean, it gives me heart palpitations just to imagine it.

Somewhere along the way, I seem to have gotten very caught up in worrying what other people will think, that I'm somehow going to fail. Or getting very jealous of what other people are doing, and how they're so much more successful than me, and feeling inferior. And again, feeling that I have failed, am failing, will fail. And I want to quit.

I don't know if wanting to quit is really wanting to quit in a real sense, I can't really imagine any kind of plan B. And at the same time, I feel like I haven't tried hard enough to quit yet. Like quitting would be failing, but trying is not, whether it gets me any further or not.

So I'm feeling a little trapped at the moment. Not sure how to get out from under the thumb of insecurity, not really sure how "fake it till you make it" is actually going to help in this instance. I'm trying to have a burst of productivity-- submitting plays, networking about acting opportunities, looking into producing my own little webisodes. Trying to find indie film auditions. Stuff like that.

I'm trying to make a list of "you can't quit until..." things. Things that I absolutely feel I have to try before I can quit in good conscience. Because I have a feeling I don't really want to quit. I have a feeling that I might just be feeling defeated right now, and quitting altogether would be doing myself a disservice. So please don't comment with the "if you're having any doubts, you should just quit the biz, because it's only going to get harder" bullshit. Everyone has doubts. The biz by its very nature attracts people who are vulnerable, insecure, sometimes a little hyperdramatic about their lives. The nature of the beast, as it were.

Here's what I have so far. Don't laugh. Actually, laugh if you want, because I'm going to do it anyway.
1) Write and produce a solo show.
2) Put together and perform a cabaret.
3) Make a short film.
4) Write a screenplay.
5) Get some webisodes out there.

Any suggestions? I'll try to add to the list as I come up with more.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

another of those posts where i say i'm going to try harder

I know, I know. I leave the blog dangling for weeks/months/years at a time and then I return all full of resolve to do stuff and try at life and be a success and overcome my fears, and then... nothing.
But this time... I really mean it?
Let me repunctuate that: I really mean it.

The precipitating event: well, not so much one event as a series of events, a general wave of malaise and anxiety that has overtaken my life the last couple of weeks. Going for job interviews and being roundly rejected. Watching my bank account hemmorhage money with nothing coming in. Freaking out because I'm rapidly going broke. Agreeing to take a 3-day temp job that is an hour and a half on the bus each way because I need the cash.

And then: the audition. Now, there was an audition for an indie film yesterday, an audition that a couple of friends of mine had asked if I was going to. Now, I already have something in my calendar for the shoot dates, and I don't know about going to auditions just "for the experience". I mean, if they offer you the job, they expect you to take it. Because why else would you be there? So I was hemming and hawwing over the whole thing, and my friends had both decided not to do it, and then on the spur of the moment one of them went because she would have regretted it otherwise.

The question in my mind being: did I really skip it because I have something else to do (something I could cancel for the opportunity at resume credit), or because I was afraid to do it? The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards the second option. And I always do that. Don't do things (the stupidest things, btw) because I'm too afraid to do them.

I was reading another blog the other day that put forth the theory that fear of failure isn't really fear of failure at all, just fear of criticism. And boy howdy, do I have a whopping big fear of criticism. And probably a fear of success, since it will lead to people saying "what's next?" and me saying "ummmm" and people saying "FAIL" and then blamm-o! CRITICISM.

I mean, WTF? I'm an adult woman. I should really have a better handle on my life by this point.

Said blog post also suggested that reframing how one looks at fear is helpful-- as in, all people feel fear. People who are courageous aren't people who don't have fears, they just faced them down. Feel the fear and do it anyway, and all that good stuff from inspirational posters.

Anyway, the point is I'm tired of talking myself out of doing things, of not experiencing things because I'm afraid of being criticized or failing or sucking at things. I need to try harder. I don't have any choice but to actually try harder. Because this is getting old pretty fast.


On another note, I actually dragged myself out of bed to go for a run today, even though it's hot and I look stupid while running. And I have been dragging myself outside to run thrice weekly for the past four weeks. So that's something!

Do you put yourself out there? Take risks? Are you afraid like me? How do you deal?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Setting Goals vs. Achieving Goals

Yes, I'm starting to realize there is a difference. I am one of those people who *loves* to set goals and make lists, yet has a problem following through. So what's a girl to do? Besides set more goals, that is. :)

Still plugging away at WW, trying to keep on program, do some running, all that good stuff. Determined to lose some pounds this summer. I'm going to move on to the next week of the couch to 5k program this week, which is a little terrifying-- all that running! Who knows, either I'll eventually get to 5k and love it and do it forever, or I'll be "This is so over!" and never do it again. But I should probably focus on achieving week 3 first.

I've been experimenting writing for Suite 101, because a friend of mine is actually making money from it, and I'm pleased to say that one of my articles is actually on the first page of Google when you search "tea length wedding dress". And there is ad revenue coming in, even with only a few articles up. I'm hoping to get enough for a payout for the end of this month, and then keep adding content. I'd like to eventually be able to make my student loan payments from web writing revenue, but that's a distant dream for the moment.

I took a film workshop a couple of weeks ago, which was eye opening and challenging and interesting-- very different from stage acting. It did make me think differently about how other people perceive me and how I should and could be marketing myself. And since I now have an agent, I'm hoping to get some auditions, at least.

I was reading a blog post about setting goals for your career, over a 12 month period, and to break them down into smaller and smaller sub-goals, until you finally have sub-goals that you can achieve in a day. So even if you only do one of them per day, you're still advancing your career, step by step. Here's a few I've been thinking of:

1. Lose that last 25 pounds. Maybe even 30.
2. Book a film job.
3. Get a production for Laws of Thermodynamics.
4. Write and produce that solo show.
5. ?

Guess I'd better get back to work on that 5th thing. Instinct says it should be something to do with music, because I have a feeling that letting go and being self-accepting in that department could really help everything else out. And conveniently, I have a singing lesson tomorrow, first one since I left for the tour. Wish me luck!

I also need luck in finding a job, because they are getting pretty scarce in these parts. Even temp jobs. Eek!