This past weekend I worked an event for my fiance, who is an event planner. It was a fascinating experience watching the attendees of this event who ranged from blue collar to stockbroker to old money with trophy wife. I saw an assortment of fake breasts like I have never seen and outfits that left me stunned for both good and bad reasons (note to readers. If you are wearing a shiny purple dress with a low back, DO NOT under any circumstances wear a white cotton high rise thong.)
Running a portion of the event was a local actor whom I have never liked. I have always thought of him as a pretentious git-egotistical, vain, self important blah blah blah. Even speaks with a fake English accent (oy!). He has always been one of those people I avoid at local theatre networking events for fear that I may snap and stab him in the eye. (stab stab stab) I have never been good at these events. Generally, I feel comfortable around other "actors" due to illusions of grandeur and ignorance of the real world. My friends that are actors all have outside interests and capabilities, making them well rounded individuals-a trait that I feel is essential to BE an actor! But I digress...
When I arrived at the event, I saw him holding court in the corner. He was wearing sunglasses INDOORS, and apparently had been doing so all day. He had blonde hair, which was a new affectation, and he was waving his arms like a deranged duck.
He wandered over and informed us all that he was off to put on his monkey suit...then he flounced away.
I was NOT looking forward to this.
Upon his return, I got a closer look at him. His blonde hair was, in fact, fake. FAKE! THE MAN HAD A WEAVE! I was overjoyed with glee. He was also obviously wearing make up. I relished in his obvious attempts to appear younger and more successful. He looked like the idiot I ALWAYS knew he was! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
As the evening went on, I started to feel guilty for enjoying his distress. His tux looked like it had come from the costume shop of a local theatre...buttons were missing from the vest and the pants didn't quite match the tails. There were makeup stains on his collar and his cuffs and overall, he was just trying too hard. He was the epitome of the fallen actor.
Unfortunately, many in my chosen profession (although I love my job, my CHOSEN profession is not chasing money and running a small non profit) end up this way. I spent years defending myself, saying I wasn't selling out because I had a stable job/income/career outside of acting. I enjoyed a regular pay cheque, and REALLY have never enjoyed the struggle that generally comes with trying to make a living as an actor. Years later, I am now watching as these people that I defended myself to are falling apart because they have not been successful and they have nothing else they can do. It makes me sad. And, oddly, inspired.
So today, I am picking up the phone and I am booking two auditions for myself. I haven't auditioned in over a year, and I am missing it. Missing the theatre. Missing acting. Sure, its not like I don't have ENOUGH to do this year (wedding...job...world peace...blah blah blah), but I think its time to hit the boards again. And make sure I don't become like our friend in the tux-with a bad weave desperately trying to convince everyone around me that I am someone I am not.
I am actor/non-profit goddess/writer/goofball. Hear me roar.
Edited to add...Sources have informed me that the actor in question above may have SHAVED HIS HEAD FOR A ROLE! Which means...I HAVE NO MORE SYMPATHY! TOTAL GIT! git git git. pretentious git...wore a WIG because he was TOO VAIN TO BE BALD! stab. git. stab.