A couple of years ago I was curious. Curious why I wasn't booking much work. Curious why it seemed my career was stuck on 'huh?'. Curious why I was slowly losing my mojo for acting. I contacted the incomparable Risa Bramon Garcia of BGB Studios for some guidance on moving forward. Risa is a casting director, but, she's also a theater and film director, and an acting coach. She is a magnificent champion for actors and pushes and prods them to create their own work.
Risa is partners with Steve Braun at BGB Studios. It's a unique place that nourishes and inspires actors to hone their craft, and discover their power by taking ownership of their creative destiny. They are big believers in actors living large and out loud, and creating their own work: writing it, directing it, and filming it (or, getting it in a theatre - or a bar, art gallery, parking lot - or wherever!). Their basic manifesto is always be working on something so, that when the job opportunity comes, you are already in 'artistic shape' - and, you always have your own work to go back to no matter what happens.
During my time there my love for acting and actors has been revived, and I've gotten to see a lot of my writing work performed by wonderful actors. I've been able to film pieces I've written for others in class and I've also had the pleasure of coaching a few classes.
I guess the icing on the cake would be for me to tell you: "AND, I've started booking a ton of work and have jobs lined up for months!!" However....
People walk many different paths towards attaining (or re-attaining in my case) success, or, steady work, in this industry. I guess mine is learning the gift of patience - and keeping artistically fit in the process.
I'm still figuring out how it all works out; I've been 'pinned' for more projects than I can count. At times I find myself losing faith. However, it takes just one class, one scene, one moment of experiencing mine, or, another actors courage - and I regain that faith.
Mostly, I try to relax into the uncertainty and the mystery of this actors life. Like Rumi says in The Tavern, "I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way".
I love the act of creating and that's what really matters.
Here's a link to some of the projects we did last year in class. I'm in a couple of them, YOU'RE LATE and ALARM, and directed one, INDIA. INDIA has some sound issues, but hopefully you'll get the gist of it.
Photo courtesy of Jackson Davis