Thursday, March 04, 2010

Acting Withdrawal

If you read my blog regularly, you know I am a professional actor (even if you don't read my blog on a regular basis, the blog name probably should have tipped you off). And if you've read my blog in the last few months, you also know I'm currently working in a teaching position at a small college in Utah. Although my job is related to my field (I teach theatre and acting) and although I feel like I am a pretty good teacher (and by the accounts of most of my students and my boss, they would agree with that assessment), teaching is not acting, and while I feel like I am a good teacher, I simply do not have the same passion for it as I do for acting.

I think I am a good actor. I've been working professionally as an actor for the past 15 years and have often made a good living at it. The trouble with acting is that it can be a very unsteady and unstable profession. You can have a really fabulous, lucrative year one year and a completely empty and void year the next. For example, last year was really good. I worked steadily in a lot of good productions and made more money than I had made in a long time. This year...bupkis. I haven't acted professionally in nearly a year, which has been very unusual. This has been the first time in a long, long time that I haven't been able to get an acting job. While the teaching job has been fulfilling in its own way, I miss acting terribly. I love acting so, so much, and when I'm not acting, it makes me a bit edgy. I'm just grateful I'm at least doing something that is somewhat related to my field.

I blame the economy. Like many jobs in this economy, acting jobs seem harder to come by these days. I've auditioned for many things, but it just hasn't been my year. I received news this morning that my latest audition did not pan out. I only have two more job opportunities on the immediate horizon and no way of knowing if either will pan out. This teaching job ends at the end of April (I was asked back for next year, but I'm just not making enough money doing it, so I had decline), and at this point, I have nothing lined up, so I am facing unemployment. While unemployment itself is a somewhat discomfiting thought, what really bothers me most is that I'm not doing what I love. I am going through serious acting withdrawal. I'm hoping I can find something soon and get back into the groove.

I actually had the fleeting thought last night of "Have I lost my touch?" While I realized this was a completely irrational and self-pitying thought (which fortunately has dissipated), it did pass through my mind, no matter how briefly. I just need to get back to acting.

On the plus side, no acting job means I could very likely get back to Vegas and spend some extended time with my partner. This is a terrific thing because I miss Jonah terribly. So maybe this is all a very huge blessing. I just hope when I get back to Vegas, I am able to find a job of some sort so that I can pay my share of our bills.

In any case, I hope I'll be acting again soon.