<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Aaron ... he's a writer, and goth nerd. For reals, he's got some crazzyyyyy ass stories from some of the peeps he's met online, and is now here to share those crazy ass stories with you all. I only have one more thing left to say ... HIT IT AARON!!! </editorsnote>
Did I ever tell you I'm an actor? No, I don't think I have stated that yet. And honestly, it's something I don't advertise much anymore. It's easy information to find, sure. All you have to do is Google my name and I'm sure you'll find some interesting stuff. But over the past few years, I seemed to have grown tired of being an "actor" in this city.
Let me backtrack a bit here.
When I was 18 years old, I acted on a pretty popular television show called VR Troopers. It was delivered in the same ridiculousness as The Power Rangers and for roughly two years of my life, I was a full time working actor. Not bad for someone who just graduated from high school. I had a love and passion for acting, always had. I grew up in L.A. and had done plays since the first grade. And there I was, 18 years old and I had "made it".
Well, not really. I didn't understand all the politics and such behind it and working on a Non Union show was a weird introduction to being a working actor as the hours were long and the pay was shit. But still, from there, I moved on to some bit parts and for a good ten years or so, I made a partial living from acting in commercials. But then, my life changed a few years ago. Once again, this is related to the 7 year long hell ride which was my last relationship. From there, I had decided I needed to make some drastic changes in my life. I went into therapy. I changed my diet. I started exercising. And on top of all that, I acquired myself a decent paying day job. Before this point, I had never really had a decent paying steady and reliable day job as acting was my number 1 priority. So with that priority, one finds themselves working night job, odd jobs, part time jobs, whatever it takes to keep the days open for that next audition.
Something changed. I'm not sure if it was the synchronicity of it all. Hitting my 30s, owning up to the mistakes from my 20s (and ultimately the debt that accrued from those years), and succumbing to the frustration of not moving forward as quickly as I had liked. See, in my early 20s, it was my goal to be a successul and possibly famous actor by 30. My best friend and I would always joke that I never wanted to end up like Dennis Woodruff and either make it by 30 or give up.
Well I didn't "make it" by then and thusly, I had started hating the business. When I got my day job, I had decided it'd be best to put acting aside to supply more of a supplemental income and not be my main goal and focus as it once was.
I still went on regular commercial auditions but it seemed I couldn't get past the callbacks...and I am great at getting callbacks. Thankfully, my job is flexible to these auditions when I get them but my patience slowly stopped being so...available. More and more, I began thinking that it was a good run. I've worked on a few television shows, 21 commercials, a movie or two...there are many people in this city who'd probably want to be in my shoes, right? I even got to be in my friend's horror short which has seen some film festival exposure this year....not too shabby.
It was back in January when I called my commercial agent and told them I needed a break. I had gotten to a point where I couldn't be around actors. They made me want to rage pee all over. Just spew flaming hot piss in a made violent rage like a...I don't know what.
The cliches are true and I was fed up. It got so bad that I'd go into auditions angry because I was going to an audition. Then there was that thought that kept repeating in my head. If I hated actors and I pursued acting, how was I feeling about myself? I almost quit right there but agreed to take a little break and think things through.
Then I had foot surgery and was stuck with nothing but my thoughts for almost a month to keep me company as I was unable to do much else but sit on the couch and try to distract myself with TV, books, and video games. And slowly, strangely enough, I began to miss it. The commercial world is a different beast than auditioning for TV or Film and sometimes can really beat a person's spirit down but damn, I missed it!
Roughly around this time, I received an email inviting me to appear at the 3rd Annual Power Morphicon as a celebrity guest. I went two years ago for the first time and you can read about that here. That experience was eye opening and humbling. I'm going back. I still find the whole thing a little weird but I'm going back. Sometimes you need to reflect on the past to move forward and that, above all else, is what this convention seems to do for me.
Then there's this other bit of synchronicity...
A few weeks ago, I was added to a Facebook group made up of the cast and crew of VR Troopers. Most of these people, I have not since in roughly 18 years. There's a gathering planned. A reunion of sorts. I feel like this will be the closest thing I'll have to a high school reunion (since I'll probably never be invited to any). That was a rough time in my life. I've changed so much and blocked so much out from those days that the thought of seeing everyone makes me nervous, yet I'm looking forward to it.
Last night, I received an email from a friend I haven't seen since 1992. He wrote a script. He has financing and names attached. He wants me to read for the lead. Seriously. I have not seen him since Jr. High School. And a lead? In a movie?! Well shit... I'm not necessarily one of those people that believe the universe pushes you in a certain direction. But then again, I'm not necessarily one of those people who don't believe such things.
Here I am, 7 years since I booked my last professional gig. I've all but given up on my dream, choosing instead to pursue a steady job that provides financial stability and the still strange comfort that brings. I've dealt with certain realities that life doesn't always turn out how you dream after booking a TV show right out of high school. I've had rejection and failure spoon fed to me by the bucket load. And now, these things have started happening. I don't quite know what to make of it all.
Little bits of excitement seem to be surfacing and I'm now remembering why I became an actor all those years ago. I'm older. I'm wiser. And I'm pensive about what choices and decisions I should make going forward. This is still new to me, as up until fairly recently, I had racked up a history of making some very manic (and some very stupid) decisions.
I'm not sure what will happen going forward. But what's funny is, I'm not worried.
And that kinda worries me.