• Bouncing back? 01/09/2017  5:42pm

    I always feel a little self-pitying when I write these, but I also feel like for the most part, people on this site do genuinely want to help each other when push comes to shove, so here I go:

    31 year old EMC here. Two years ago this summer, I was involved in a play that was, to put it simply damaging, Professionally, artistically and emotionally. After that, while I didn't want to quit acting, I found myself auditioning less and less. Inadvertendly last year became the first year I didn't book any shows since I moved to New York. Including plays that wouldn't have paid me anything.

    Lately, I've found myself hardly even thinking about auditioning, but I do find myself really unhappy when I'm at my jobs, as they are sort of reminders that I'm not doing what I want to be. I am trying to create my own work (Meryl Streep's speech last night was a great help on that front) and speaking to others, it did seem to be an unusually slow fall audition wise in general. But while I'm not looking for advice, necessarily, (I'm saving up for classes as well), has anyone else found themselves in a remotely similar situation? And we're you able to bounce back? And did it lead to better things artistically and professionally?

    ThisCloseToQuitting

    Hey 'ThisCloseToQuitting,'

    OMG, I am so glad I found your post, because I can definitely relate to what you wrote.

    I have had more than one contract I've had to bounce back from and, while it is not always easy, please be encouraged that it is totally possible. I think that, after you experience a difficult situation like the one you described, it is helpful to step away from it, ask yourself what you've learned, and let it go. In my experience, I have learned that I am worth too much to let other people treat me in any way that is less than professional. Now that it has happened to you once, you never have to go through it again. You know exactly what markers to look for to avoid putting yourself in a toxic situation. If you find yourself being treated poorly, you have every right to disengage. You are worth too much.

    In the meantime, it may be well worth learning to heal yourself with your art. Maybe try finding roles or material (or writing it, which it sounds like you may be doing) that speak to the experience that you've gone through or, alternatively, find/write material that helps you find and express the joy that your life has been missing.

    Once you start creating again, find your tribe and hold them close. Try to work with people who bring out the best in you and vice versa. You're in your 30's now, and as they say in the movie 'Cool Runnings,' you are a "bad-ass mutha who won't take no crap off of nobody."

    Brabra 01/10/2017  3:53pm

    Shit. Of course I just reread your post and you said you didn't want advice. Hahaha, dammit.

    Any way, to more fully answer your question: yes, I did bounce back ( and my situation seems pretty similar to yours, like I still occasionally have PTSD from it, I think), yes it is possible, yes things have been better artistically and professionally. You can do it, too!

    Brabra 01/10/2017  3:58pm

    Thank you Barbara, and please know, your advice was extremely helpful.

    ThisCloseToQuitting 01/10/2017  4:02pm

    Somewhat similar, I guess - got out of an emotionally abusive relationship.

    I bounced back. It took time and proper mourning/emotional rehab. I'm not sure where to go with this without trying to dole out advice, but I find that being in a good place, being prepared, being the best you that you can be and opening up your heart again leads to better things.

    Career-wise, I can't say right now if things are better. Emotionally and mentally, I'm sky-high, happy, and have a full heart that's ready to give, give, give. I've done a couple of good projects, but nothing that's advanced me very far. I'm getting coaching. I have the support of an incredible person in my life - one that I never thought I would find so quickly. I've stopped looking for what I *think* I should be doing, and do what makes me happy. Found the people that make me smile and am trying to build a better community so that when I don't book those jobs, I don't feel like I'm necessarily losing out.

    I guess in a nutshell, I'm saying that is that the first step towards bouncing back is working on what satisfies you as an artist, and not worrying about the profession. Take the pressure of yourself to book projects. Work on you. The rest *should* fall into place with time.

    Good luck!

    Justgottasay 01/10/2017  4:34pm

    I totally have gone through this. Worked theater jobs that sucked and then came back to find day jobs that sucked more. The whole thing made me think "why am I sacrificing so much and hating my life here to get these terrible theater jobs which aren't even making me happy?" What I finally did about a year and a half ago was find a survival job that I really enjoy. So I'm actually happy with my NYC life. What happened as a result was that auditions then seemed so much less important and the result was that I started having better auditions, getting more callbacks and booking work and what I am booking isn't sucky anymore. And even when there are occasional issues, it's ok, because I don't dread coming back to NYC. So maybe if you find a day job you like you might decide that you don't want to audition anymore or your passion might be reignited. Either way, you win! Best to you!

    sngrgirl1 01/11/2017  9:41pm