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This Is How I Became A Loser/failure.

Before I go into my story, let us get one thing out of the way... I'm on the wrong side of forty.   Yes, at this age I thought I'd have it all figured out or at least be content with the life I made for myself.  Truly, I always thought some type of entity would wave a magic wand over my head and I would magically get whatever I hoped or wished.  Well, I've finally realized late last year that's not going to happen.  Since I was a youngster my ultimate dream was to be in the entertainment field.  Since I could not sing or dance, I thought I was cute enough to be an actress/model.  I was envious of the kids on "Sesame Street".  I wanted to be there, too.  I was naive enough to think making a living out of acting was relatively easy, I thought, "Hey.  An awful lot of people say I'm cute, attractive and I receive a lot of attention from the boys in school and lot of scowls from the girls, so I must be pretty enough."  I researched, read books and trade newspapers. Tried out for my high school drama class, only to be given small roles if any at all.   As soon as I graduated, I took classes, went on some go no-where auditions and got a lot of rejection.  After enduring negative comments from family, I decided to take my mother's advice and learn to type and work with computers.  That was the start of my miserable “career” as an administrative assistant for various industries.  I just took jobs for the money and tried to get an acting career going in the evenings and weekends.  Well, not many legit, paying acting jobs audition actors at those mentioned times.  When I did do a play or showcase I usually received good reviews from audience members, peers and producers, but not the real power people who could make things happen. 
 
Once a producer/agent told me that although I was cute, I wasn’t beautiful and since I wasn’t a triple threat (singer, dancer and actress) I was in for a hard time.  He was right, for I was always broke trying to keep up with headshots, classes and living expenses.  At the time I lived with my grandmother, but when she died I was 26 years old the rent was not my responsibility, so on a friend’s recommendation I was hired as a receptionist for a TV sitcom.  I hated it.  The long hours, but I liked being around the action of a TV studio, the employed actors and the perks.  Oh, but how I longed to be in front of the camera.  Since that was no longer a possibility, I tried my hand at script writing.  I sucked at that as well.  So now I go from television production job to production job with months of unemployment between gigs only to now be bankrupt and only being hired for gigs at the last possible moment, like when I have less then $100 in the bank.  I like having a paycheck, but I long to be an actress, I know that realistically my age is not an hindrance, and don’t say it isn’t for every Kim Cattrall there are scores of over 40 actresses with a lot more experience then I have not getting work.  I haven’t been consistent and I don’t know anyone who could hire me.  If I were to try and start now it would probably take ten years before I could make a living then I would only be able to audition for old lady roles.  Now, I haven’t any money in the bank, I can’t afford anything.  I live in the same apartment I grew up in and now I’m worried I will not have any money to retire in thirty years.  I’m searching for the next production assistant job, but now I’m competing with twentysomething year olds.  Also, most of the people who started in the business with me are now either producers or writers working in Hollywood.  Unfortunately, most of the relationships I chose nurture are not in any position to hire me.  I’m sick of spending all my time behind a desk watching other people so what I’d love to do.  The only thing giving me hope is my writing.  I write screenplay, shorts and am trying to be more productive in filmmaking, but again, that doesn’t make money unless you are only of the lucky few.  Between gigs I’ve done some other things to make a living, but I’m not interested in doing that any longer.  As for my love life that is another story.  I’m single, never married, no children. I have a boyfriend, but lately he’s been complaining about my “career” and why it’s not steady for me, but seems to be for some of my colleagues?  I’m in a tight bind now and don’t know how I’m going to pay my rent.  I cannot ask my boyfriend because he has his own bills to pay and I am too proud to ask him anyway.  Now I just stay home isolated, I don’t answer the phone, I refuse invitation because I don’t have the money.  Twenty years ago, if anyone told me I would be living like this in my forties I would have be insulted.  Thanks for letting me vent.



RubyDeltoro RubyDeltoro 41-45, F 6 Responses May 25, 2010

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I'm 62 and still pursuing the writer's dream, but I don't rely on this dream to support myself.

Why don't you do try your hand at something like make - up or some such thing? That way, at least you will have a steady income, and you will be close to the action too.

Sounds like a winner to me. Wait till you hear my story and you'll agree. But I can't tell my story because I'm such a loser that I can't even tell my story intelligibly without crying.

Thank you for the advice. Mommyfied, I'll admit when I was younger I wanted to work as an actress because it looked fun and exciting. I like the idea of being other characters and doing something different with every role. What I never wanted to do was work at an office job, sitting on my butt all day, answering phone and getting fat. And you know what? That's what I've been doing for over 15 years. To Peaceofmine, the good news is I've started auditioning again and just did so with an improv group. I don't expect to get paid, nor become famous. Just to do something other than a desk job. Also, I'm treating myself to a month of personal training sessions and nutritional guidance at my neighborhood gym. I've been working out on average five days a week on my own for 8 months and people still comment that I'm gaining weight. My boyfriend mentioned that he hasn't seen any results/changes in my body. Last year this would have gotten my so depressed I would have stopped going to the gym and eaten everything in sight. Now I just do one of two things when someone mentions my weight gain... I just laugh it off or I say "I've noticed the same with you. But I thought I wouldn't be rude and say anything." I recently said that to a nosy neighbor of mine and she started making excuses for her being chucky. Ha. I'm moving on!

As I read what you have to say, I cannot help but wonder WHY you want to become an actress. I understand that you have wanted to be one your whole life, but why? To be famous, for the money, because you enjoy the process of acting itself? I think that everyone should have a dream, but maybe if you break down your own motivations for it, it may help you through it. I think some of the best screenplays are true stories, so maybe make a story about you. (And the best actors have a wider range, so use it!) Anyway, just trying to help.

I wanted to be an actress myself. I did one commercial and tons of auditions. After my first commercial I never worked again. I just found rejection smacking me in the face. I decided to postpone acting and get a job. I had several jobs since then. Now, just like many, I was laid off. I took it personal. I wondered where I would be if I kept on acting and push through. I did not have the money to keep going on with it. I was a struggling actress with lint in my pocket. I ask myself where has my life gone and how did I not see this coming. Maybe one day you will look back on your struggles and see how far you made it. Through great struggles comes great rewards. At least, that is what I heard. I am still waiting to see the rewards. I have resilence but I am running low on patience. Good luck with everything. I pray everything works out. Bless you.