When You're Cheating On An Old Dream With A New One
In case you're just tuning in, I've been on the fence about diving back into my acting dream since moving back to the city. Instead, I've been spending my time flirting with my new dream of being a writer. I suppose I wouldn't call it a new dream; I've always wanted to write and always have written. I also would not say I want to 'be a writer'. I want to write and have projects published, such as my novel, but when I meditate on what I want my life to look like, it is not full time writer. It is a mix of several dreams because I am a millennial and I can't stop, won't settle, want it all. God, I am tired. I have too many things and sometimes feel not enough things. I am at a crossroads once more and not sure where to put my energy, time, and money. Writing and acting are similar but very different. I feel I owe it to acting to give it another shot. It is one of my longest relationships and I still love it very much. But writing is new and attractive and pressing all the right buttons. With writing, I am the one in charge. I don't have to be a certain type to make it work. I don't have to be blonde or shorter or a better dancer or 'maybe if you looked younger'. It does not matter what I look like, where I got my headshots or what piece I chose to do in the room. I don't even have to wear pants to write. It is just my words, my ideas and how I put them together that matters. I am in full control of it all and right now, I am not waiting for anyone to tell me if it is getting a callback.Writing is also free! It is so free, it might as well be air. I have a computer, I have a brain and the internet (which I guess technically I pay for) and pens and paper (which I also paid for). Okay, so I've paid for some things but in terms of every day costs, it is free. Acting is so expensive at times. Headshots, postcards, clothing, classes, union fees. It all adds up. It is a commitment and a half and I still am willing to double down but man, my bank account hates it.Acting asks 'who is your agent' or 'you need new shots' or 'have you taken improv'. Writing doesn't ask for much; only time. Isn't that romantic?Nevertheless, it feels like cheating. Acting is and always will be my first love. It isn't going anywhere. It is my constant, my North Star. Something I jump back into and it feels like a warm blanket. It is how people know me. I am the girl who left for the city to be an actor. It is an odd sort of pressure. Dreams change but when your identity is attached to them, like it is for many creatives, it feels like abandonment more so than change. It may be assumed I 'gave' up but that is not the case here. I stepped back to look at the bigger picture. I stepped back to see what was making me happy and at the time, it wasn't the acting business. It was draining me on many levels (see above bank account) and it had stopped bringing me joy. Writing though. Writing became something I could depend on and was there for me when acting wasn't.Therefore writing became my mistress.Don't get me wrong, both are hard work. Writing is not any easier than acting. Both require time and effort and commitment. I have to schedule writing and make it a habit as one does with auditions and class. It needs attention and care like any relationship. I am right now in a place of questioning if I have time for both? Do I have enough energy to give each relationship what it needs? Do I have enough passion to feed both my dreams?Sure.I say sure because I haven't started back with acting much. I put out feelers to get new headshots with a past photographer and I had my husband explain to me how to book an audition with the new Equity system that started when we had left the city. I am putting the tools in the toolbox and waiting for a sign. I'm always waiting for a sign. It's a silly thing to do but they always come. This time of the year with award shows is usually when the sign comes in the form of a spark for a quieted fire. I watch incredible art and listen to the heartfelt speeches and I am there wanting it again. It never goes away. Like I said, it is my oldest relationship, my oldest friend. We are just on a little break.I want to tell stories. I say this a lot in my blogs. There are many ways to do that. For a while, it was through me on a stage or screen. I have added in telling them on paper, this blog or my writing Instagram account (@secondstarstories). I am a storyteller with many dreams. My new dream is bringing a lot of joy and life. It is reminding me of myself and why I chose this life.You know that lame saying of "If you can do anything else, do that"? I can do lots of things; we all can do lots of things. A creative life is something we want to do. We choose it every day and in many ways, it chooses us. It finds us in the darkest of places and surprises us when we think it has left us for good. I might feel like I am cheating on my first dream but it gets it. It knows we will make a date in the near future to reconnect. For now, writing is taking me for a ride around the block.