Big Country Blues Trailer

Big Country Blues Trailer
Sarah e Jacobs recognized as OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES at LA Webfest! And nominated for BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA at ITVFest! Click to watch the trailer!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Was v. Am (Like Roe v Wade...but totally different)

“So, when did you quit dancing?”

The question slammed into me like a wrecking ball. I took a weird, prolonged moment, as I tried to contain my shock so as not to freak out my date sitting opposite me.

“Wow. I guess I hadn't thought about it, but I did quit dancing.”

Clearly, it got me thinking. So much of my identity growing up was enshrouded in the fact that I was a dancer. I came home from Prom early because I was a dancer; I missed parties because I was a dancer; I had two groups of friends because one group were dancers. It just was who I was.

It didn't ever become apparent to me that somewhere along the way it became past tense.

I forgot about it until a few days later as I was standing at a post-holiday party for the promotional company I used to work with. A group of us girls, bonded together by long hours in the freezing cold doing incredibly humbling work to support our artistic endeavors, stood huddled in a corner chatting. Each of us an actor/dancer/singer, we've been with each other through marriages, breakups, family crises, health issues, and crazy New York encounters. We were collectively riveted by one of our friends telling us about her new found passion for Career Management and Producing - She fell into it from a random opportunity. We stood there and watched as her eyes lit up and her hands flew describing what she's been doing. Her energy was palpable.

Like so many of us, she got tired of the hustle and has been struggling with what's next (Lord knows, I had quite the breakdown myself, if you recall). I can't tell you how many performers I see afraid to give up the life. The title. The identity. But the fact is, that sometimes it just doesn't fit anymore. And, while I obviously am an actor, I'm pretty sure this can apply to normal people, as well (I think I've always straddled the threshold of Actor/normal person fairly well. Some get so caught up “being an artist” that they lose their connection to the rest of the world. ...FYI-don't date those people. It never turns out well...).

As an actor though, it's easy to wrap up self worth in what production you're doing, how many roles you book, callbacks you get. Every person you meet asks, “Have you been in anything I know?” Ugh! don't hear me going around saying, “Have you done any spreadsheets I'm familiar with?” (I do get that it's not QUITE the same thing, but you see my point.) Furthermore, if someone says, “I used to be an accountant,” everyone thinks they quit to do something else. No big deal. If someone says, “I used to be an actor,” ...well, everyone assumes they failed.

Anyway, as we stood there watching my friend go on about her new love, my friend J, who was standing next to me said, “This is good for us.” I turned to her, “What?” “It's really good to remind us that we're not one dimensional people. We can do a lot of things.”

And she's right. This past Sunday a few of my other girlfriends and I (all normal people) had our annual get together where we outline resolutions and goals for the new year. Mine vary from launching my wellness business, to starting to write a book, to getting a solid legit acting agent. I'm all over the freakin' map! (also on the list are phasing out my hand-written 1998-style schedule book, figuring out Gmail, and letting go of my commitment phobia...but those are extras). However, I'm not worried that I won't do it all. And wherever I land, I guess, is exactly where I'm supposed to be. I was reminded of this fact as I auditioned for a certain feminine cream commercial last week and had to hide under a desk like I was “embarrassed by my uncomfortable situation.” (shoot me) ...this is not my life forever, I thought. Nope.

So like my friend finding Producing, I found nutrition. I'm lucky. Not because it's a solid backup plan, but because I LOVE it. It's something else. I can do something else, and I could be happy doing it. For now, I know I can't stop acting or writing because I love it too much. But who knows about the future? And that's okay. We'll be okay.

...Because, (even though I reluctantly use the term “artist”, as those die-hards have tainted it for us moderates) truth be told, my “identity” will always be just that, an artist. Not because it's the title on my tax return, or because I've “been in anything you've seen”. But because I will always think that expression and honesty are the coolest things ever. And I will always be fascinated by human emotion and connection.
So I guess somewhere between college and right now, I did quit dance. I'm not a dancer anymore. I am so much more than that.

(but for the record I can still do both splits, back handsprings, and these hips don't lie...if I do say so myself. :)

I was a baby!


Post a Comment