I really hesitate to write posts like this, because I semi-worry about them sounding high-horse. But I have beautifully supportive and wiser folks like Bob Souer and Peter O'Connell and Karen Commins and Schnee who say it's good stuff and keep encouraging me to do it. So blame them.
Sometimes, I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something. Like when the same thing is said to me three different ways from three different, unrelated places.
And I try to listen to the universe:
"When will you know when you've arrived?"Oddly, the question(s) aren't hard, and the answers are fairly lackluster:
"What will you do when you've arrived?"
"How much work are you going to do to 'Get There'?"
I already know.See, the problem for me with every version "How do you get there?" is it presupposes some definable, achievable from "here" to "there". As if artistic journey is some destination-based road trip that'll let me put a pushpin in a wall map showing I visited the world's largest ball of twine (literal or figurative; just stay with me for a minute).
More of what I'm doing.
More than I'm doing.
I'm an actor. I believe I'm part of a lofty creative pursuit that sticks me out there in front of you with nothing more than just this too too sullied flesh to move you to laugh or cry, shout or introspect (yeppers, I just verbized that).
And I think I'm a good actor. Which means I'm not trying to act, per se. Instead, I'm putting myself through intellectual and emotional hell to (in the words of my coach) "get me back in touch with [feelings] we were never meant to have lost touch with in the first place." And it's high cost, believe me.
So I'm not trying to act. I'm trying to be. And I'm trying to be a real, affected human being in a medium that helps you be a real, affected human being by watching me. In the process, I'm hopefully learning more about myself, my loved ones, and humanity. And I'm getting over being emotionally constipated (seriously, arguably many actors are such because it's (again) arguably a version of therapy).
So, I've already arrived. Seriously, I am so blessed to be a part of this lofty vocation already, that just being a professional actor is what it's about. Sure, I'd live to make a life- / family-supporting career out of creative pursuit -- and, God-willing, I will -- but that part of it isn't "arrival" for me. That's gravy.
Which brings us to the second and third questions and answers -- I'm going to keep doing more creatively than whatever I'm doing now.
Understand, I am a wickedly driven human being. But I'm not a "Type A" personality. I think I was. But I think hanging out with and training with realizing I am a creative broke that.
But I'm still driven.
So, whether I'm "here" or "there", I'm going keep working.
Why would I otherwise? I mean, I'm not competing against anyone -- I consider my only competition myself. This is more objective and measurable and honest for me. And I can always try to backstories, accents, emotional preparation, techniques, and so on. And there are so many other creative pursuits I'm pursuing in tandem with acting (comic books, video games, writing, animation) I'm in no danger of exhausting the universe of Adam the Creative in this lifetime.
Oddly, this doesn't at all lead to dissatisfaction with what I'm doing -- just motivation and encouragement.
As part of my recent "Into the Abyss" workshop weekend, I was instructed to a write a "love letter" to myself. One snippet from that letter to me says, "You can never work hard enough, and you're working hard enough."
That's not so much a contradiction as it is a self-acknowledgement that I'm working full-bore on the creative and technical and relationship and other facets of my life. And there's more to do. And the the stuff I'm not getting done already wasn't getting done before I started not doing it. (That's a quotable.)
All this to say I am blessed to be a creative individual, and whatever I don't have or "haven't achieved" doesn't take away from what I do have and have achieved.
Maybe just that last bit should have been the whole of this post.
Great, now I'm high-handed, and rambly. At least I can tag this post for the latter.