Feliz 2011

I know.  I’m (shockingly) optimistic about the new year.  I’ve been thinking very strategically about how I can progress professionally and it has helped me visualize the possibilities.  Nope, I haven’t gone off the rails nor am I envisioning an Oscar anytime soon BUT just picturing a future without a survival job gives me a happy.  🙂  I highly doubt this will be the year that will actually happen, but I know this year is another step in that direction.

I finally put together that damn cover letter I’ve been harping about for awhile but haven’t gotten around to until recently.  Fortunately, this timing feels right.  I needed to work on all those projects to build a network of people I could ask for recommendations.  Yeah. It’s pretty ridiculous. Unlike the corporate world, they want you to state industry professionals who’ll vouch for your work in the cover letter.  In most fields, they usually ask for references after the first interview or so…not in the cover letter.  [Apparently, having some references in first sentence of your cover letter gives it a slightly better chance of not getting tossed in the trash.]  Luckily, everyone I’ve worked with are very enthusiastic about acting as my reference.  When I initially tried to drum up a list of people I could potentially ask, the list was quite short. Then I realized, I had at least six people I could ask and if even two of them agreed it’d improve (however, slightly) the chances of my letter being read.  It’s funny how little weight I give to my own work.  It wasn’t until I read the encouraging, and excited responses from them that reminded me that, right, I can act and that I have a body of work to reference.  Must get out of my own way.

To All Those Who’ve Been Victims of Mixed Signals!
I had coffee with my theatre company friends  tonight.  It was disheartening to hear one of them say that my cover letter was too long but required more personalization; well crafted but still a shot in the dark.  And while I know without a doubt in my mind that these submission letters are a shot in the dark (which is why I waited so long to do it — in addition to not having much to say), I was hopeful that it’d lead to some, heck any, opportunities.  Even being places in the ‘maybe’ pile, would be awesome or a step in the right direction.  And that, my friends, is not me lowering my standards or putting myself down.  That’s just the harsh reality. LA is where the best (and most) actors come to compete. And, the competition is FIERCE. Hearing them say in the same breath that they could definitely see me on a major sitcom or TV drama yet I pretty much had a 10% chance that I’d get an agent through this mailing was hard to digest.  Mixed signals much? I left feeling excited to know that I’d gotten great advice but somewhat downtrodden by the futility of my hard efforts.  But I suppose…I have to believe that it is better to take a shot in the dark and possibly gain something/anything vs. never take this shot and most definitely gain nothing.
Another reason I’m so hopeful about more progress? I know footage from some previous projects are ‘just around the river bend’.  The footage provides me another opportunity to contact casting directors and agents should this first submission prove unfruitful.  I also feel like a lot of the relationships I’ve built last year will be fortified if not bear some damn good fruit.  I’m annoyingly practical regarding my career. 😀  I know a lot of people wish I wasn’t!  I’ve met up with college friends, who just learned about my career switch, or actors on set and they already say things like “how are we going to expand your career,” “gotta take care of the money maker (referring to my face — ha!)”,  or “I can’t wait to see you on Access Hollywood”.  But moi?  I’m okay building a strong foundation as an actor. Taking it slow. Getting training, networking, doing good work, and exploring. I’m not really looking for the magic wand or ways to skip steps.  Sure if the opportunity arose where I could advance quickly, I’m not going to ignore it.  I’m just not going to sit around, whine, &/or wait for it.  Haha, talk to me in six months. I may bemoan the slowness of my career advancement then. 😛
As I tiredly made the suggested changes to my cover letter tonight, I had to encourage & remind myself: I’ve never viewed myself as a ‘sure thing’. I’ve always been the underdog. But guess what? The underdog is so much more fun to root for.  And as the underdog, I have so much more experience staring at the huge mountain I need to summit. And as the underdog, my victories are so much more glorious and appreciated when they are won.  My practicality sometimes leads me to run the probabilities in my head, or jump to consequences (no matter how far down the line they are).  Protective yet somewhat damaging.  If I choose to always (or even often) let the probabilities outweigh the possibilities…I wouldn’t be where I am today or who I am.  My college counselor told me that Penn was a ‘reach’ for me (aka a shot in the dark). 😛  And retrospectively, it’s easy to wonder how I managed to make it a reality…or attribute it to others…or write it off as a ‘miracle’…and it took/takes some time for me to unpack the various aspects of my journey to that destination…but you know what? There were a lot small steps.
So even though I feel like I’ve scaled a huge part of the mountain, I know I’ve just finished the approach…I’m somehow just beginning my summit (of my career…or hell, maybe of life).  There are days I can’t even see the top of this mammoth I decided to tackle. I’m going to feel my way up this one. 
Updates on the casting front:
  • Filming a sizzle reel for a comedy pilot to be distributed to major networks — next week
  • Got a call from the casting agency that I auditioned for in November re: a major drugstore chain. The client LOVED me, but the agency needed a more compelling story about why I want a makeover. (They’re creating web promos about real women getting made over by make up artists.)  When they called I couldn’t really think of any major, upcoming event. I’ve been told I should get better about lying. But that’s never been a part of who I am so why start now?

Updates on the life front:

  • Still waiting for the doctor to give me the approval to go back to work because my ankle is still semi-swollen and bruised. I can’t wait to run again! But as my doctor said, “You have to walk first before you can worry about running.” Wise and fitting for various aspects of life, no?


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