Chill Pills and Rabbit Holes
In an attempt to both meet more like-minded people in the city, and convalesce my spirit, I’m putting myself into as many mixers and weekend seminars as possible. These range from industry meet’n’greets, to acting intensives with instructors who propose to be all about reigniting/further blazing your driving fire.
It should be said: I love my agent. Lindsay, with the Bella Agency is my hero.
I think in an actor’s early, inexperienced days, they think having an agent at all is some form of success; then they feel like which particular agency they’re with is a testament to their own success - like being Ash’s Pokemon will fare better for you than belonging to Brock.
The thought is: If you’re with the biggest and best agency, you’ll soon be big as well - simply not the case - more likely, you’ll be collected, ignored, and spaghetti thrown at a wall with dozens of their other clients, waiting to see who sticks to a gig.
In reality, every agent sees the exact same breakdowns - this means that all agents are effectively equal (outside of the occasional backroom deal), and the real caliber of your possible success relies on:
1. How often they submit you
2. Who they submit you along with on their roster
3. Whether the casting director bothers clicking on your headshot thumbnail, letting you in the room.
There are folks who try to switch up their representation when they’re not happy with their career. I’m of the opinion that would be a semi-step backward. Sure, the new agent will send you out a lot, but it’s only to qualify your decision before things settle to their norm again.
My agent champions me - I’m her only guy of my type, and she puts me out for considered opportunities I can actually get. If I’m not getting in the rooms, it’s regrettably because the roles don’t exist for me yet, and the combination of (in my opinion) being too familiar a face; I’m not exciting or stopping them as they scroll past my headshot - I haven’t updated them in years. And my upcoming shoot is with someone considered to be in the top three best of the country. Who you hire is a statement as well. The headshots aren’t just pictures, my friend.
Both my agent, and her mentor (who owns the company) have taken a calm, tender approach toward me this year. They were happy to have me back in the country; they sympathize with what I went through, and they paid enough attention to see that my fire was extinguishing - so they pointed me in the right direction to reignite it. I didn’t think I could be any more a fan of the agency until they made extra efforts to nurture me as a human being.
Next month is my new headshot shoot, and this month I’m going to two social industry gatherings. As Paul Rudd remarked in I Love You, Man : “I gotta get some fuckin’ friends.”
In addition to the monthly Raindance industry meet, and the two day intensive I’m doing at the TT Studio, I’d like to start going to Bad Dog (or some equivalent) to participate in improv classes. My only hesitation is that they often feel like beginner classes where you spend most of the time catering to the “Never done anything creative Bay Street” sort, who are only doing the class because of a Groupon. I want to go to a place that holds improv games for experienced people who just want to immediately jump in and play with people at equal experience/talent.
As a matter of principle, I want to go to the One Brave Night event, and support people accepting and growing with mental health.
Most of my talents aren’t hidden (I in fact try to blog about them), so I feel like I’ll just keep myself to the audience. This has been a great year for self improvement. I wish I could attribute it all to CAMH and numerous group meetings, but at the end of the day: Pills, man.
The funny thing about medicating for mental health is you have to choose between one of two major side effects:
1. Wanna have sex? NOPE (your libido will be a thing of the past)
2. Like being thin? KABOOSH! (You gon’ get fat - and if you’re in ketosis? These pills elevate your blood sugar, knock you out of ketosis, and store your fat)
The libido is often effected by antidepressants, and the weight issues will come with antipsychotics. I’m on treatment with the latter (which feels cool, in a weird, and uncool way; being a “psycho”), and they are a Godsend.
I knew the pills were working; I trusted they were doing a good job since most of my unsolicited, positive feedback came from people on the outside of me; and I knew for sure just how much they were working for me when I had to switch brands and be off meds for 2 days.
Holy majoly - it’s like a light switch being flicked that sends you into the Stranger Things upside down - or a snap of fingers that magically soaks your body in water as a cold wind blows past. My states of being are night and day, and I didn’t know just how long I was living a perpetual, manic night until it went away and came back again.
I’m on a brand that won’t magically throw 12 pounds on me in a week (seriously happened). You wouldn’t have known I gained by looking at me, but I was vain enough to keep track of my abs, which in the span of 4 days, went from defined, to looking swollen like a malnourished Nigerian Child’s belly…
I’ve since corrected the meds to a weight neutral variety, and brought my body back to the path it was on before.
It’s all about paths and motivation. Whether it’s exercise, mental health, professional relationships. I feel like I have more direction right now.
Having more direction when you felt like you had none, is as satisfying as being past the halfway mark or seeing your finish. Success can be measured by your present moment just as much as your aspired future.