—-This is a letter from present me to past me.—-
You’re a good actor. I think you know that. At least some days you feel that you are.
You feel it when you get a callback after a great audition. You feel it when you’re on set. But most of all, you feel it when you’re in rehearsal with your company. These people, this work; they are your home.
And that’s part of why you’re hurting so much right now. How could you walk away from your home?
But it’s not that simple. It’s easy to romanticize your career. Your company and the work do with them is a small part of your career; a small, non-paying part of your career. The work that makes you a true professional–someone who earns a living from their craft–is not where your heart is.
You hate commercial auditions and never feel “commercially” enough. Voiceover is hit and miss in terms of your enjoyment of it. Television is fun to do, but you don’t feel connected to it. It doesn’t mean anything to you, outside of something to accomplish. I’m spelling it all out for you here because it has taken you so long to admit to yourself what you know is true: you don’t want to be an actor anymore. Not a professional one, anyway. Laura, you dread getting calls from your agent! Do you remember when you would given anything just to have an agent?
You’ve changed. And that’s ok. But you need to mourn the career you worked so hard for and gave so much to. You have to do this so that you can move forward.
Because, Laura, so many good things are waiting for you. But you have to come meet them.
I don’t want to give it all away, but here’s a little glimpse to give you hope:
You’ll find a new career that you love. Deeply love. You will still miss acting; it will always have a special place in your heart. But in your new career you’ll feel useful, valuable, and free to be you. People will thank you for your work, and you will make a difference in their lives.
You’ll leave Los Angeles. You’ll move someplace small and quiet and live in a house; no more tiny LA apartments. You’ll have space to breathe and think and you’ll never have to pay for parking again!
You’ll start a family. I know having a child feels impossible in LA. There’s barely room to put a stroller in your place now, let alone another human being and all their stuff. But you will welcome a happy, healthy child and adore being a mom.
Laura, this is your future.
It’s yours if you let go of who you were and to make room for who you are now.
Have faith. Listen to that quiet voice inside, even if you don’t like what it has to say at first. It’s always right. Just follow the directions that it gives you; you’ll find home.