I always get super contemplative after watching an awards show. Because of this, I don’t often tune in. Last night was an exception. For whatever reason, I wanted to watch television queens and kings done fancy clothes and implement their wit and humor into their acceptance speech.
As per usual, I kept thinking to myself, “Man, I want to be there. I want that to be me.”
In a field such as theatre, one might measure success based on the awards they win. There isn’t an ending point in theatre or the performing arts as there is in becoming a teacher or a surgeon. You don’t wake up one morning and say, “Okay! I’m finally a resident! I made it!” You don’t wake up and say, “Today’s the first day of class! My classroom is set up! Here I am at my goal!”
You wake up and say, “Man, I need new headshots” or “I really hope I book that audition” or “Should I be living in New York or something?”
There’s no end. Some say you know you’ve made it once you’re holding that Oscar, Emmy or Tony, but even after earning that, you still have to work as hard or even harder to stay relevant.
To stay wanted.
This whole business is about being wanted and staying wanted.
I’m at a strange place in my life. I’m 24-years-old, have a great job, a new car, I live in a lovely house with one of my best friends (this reminded me that I still need to call the hot water heater guy), I’m rehearsing for a show, I’ve discovered spinning classes and have a new found love for cannoli. Life is good. But this isn’t the end. I’d say this is merely the beginning.
The batting lesson to the future home run.
There is no end for me. There’s a long road with pit stops and road blocks and red lights and yield signs and that’s the most exciting thing in the world, but also the most daunting.
I don’t see myself living in New Orleans forever. As a matter of fact, I can’t see myself living in New Orleans forever.
You know what I think would be cool? Living in New York. Living there as a student, living there as a teacher, living there as a damned barista in one of the 8,000 Starbucks they have. Just living there. Being an actor there… or being an “actor” there, I should say. Trying to get work. Trying to pay bills. Trying to travel down the path of my life and not getting a flat tire when I hit a pothole.
The most important part of it all is that I tried.
Because everyone who has made it (unless we start talking nepotism) started by trying.
When I say “made it,” I don’t mean become famous. I mean sustaining on their talent. Sustaining financially, emotionally, and physically. Feeding your soul, your stomach, and being able to pay your rent. Making it.
So why can’t that be me?
How will I know if it can be without even trying?
For now, I am 24-years-old, living in New Orleans as a teacher by day and an actor by night, but this isn’t my end. This is merely the beginning.
There’s a long road ahead of me. A road that never ends. And there are stops along the way, and there are places to merge, and there are road blocks. And I have to keep going.
And I will.
Because I know what I want, and I know what I don’t, and I have a brand new car to help me conquer my path.
And while I may get a flat tire or two or three, I could still rest easy knowing that I at least had the courage to try.