When It's Time To Break the Rules and Become Real
One of the reasons I stepped back from acting was I kept being told what to do and how to do it. At the time, it made sense and although it was frustrating, I believed in rules and the process. I followed the instructions and did everything I was told.
And nothing changed.
So I broke a rule today.
During this time, I was spending all my money on classes for actors at a particular studio. Most of them focused on branding and marketing as an actor as well as finding an agent and all that. A lot of the information I was given at the time is most likely outdated at this point. It was before social media truly blew up and influencers were a job description. I remember one rule that always bothered me and I wonder still to this day if it is being taught as such. The instructor said that if you have a blog or podcast or any other project besides acting, it needs its own space. You should never combine your other work with your acting. Acting needs its own website that you pay for that has all the bells and whistles and that’s it. She drilled it into our hungry little heads that no one was interested in anything else we were besides an actor.
I call bullshit.
I am more than certain casting directors and agents never went to the website I built as an actor. I had it on my business cards and resume. I had a few tell me they take a look. I knew several watched my reel. But for the most part, my actor website gathered dust and I paid for it year after year. My blog, however, took off. I kept it on here and did not link it on the actor site and low and behold, look how it has thrived. It has become a huge part of me; a window into who I am.
And that’s why I call bullshit.
If an agent or manager or CD is interested in me, why not give them all the pieces that make me me? Why not give them the option to click on what they want or if they have a few minutes, explore who Rachel Riendeau is? Maybe there will be something in there that sends a spark and they call me not only on my reel or headshot but because they enjoyed reading my writing and want to talk to me more. They could also bypass all of that and just take a look at my resume and move on with their day. It shouldn’t be some sort of faux pas to gather all your treasures together and show them off in a neat little package.
The main character of my novel is fed up with people telling her what to do. It has stifled her and limited her experience in the world. I took from my own life of being told exactly how to do my career. This headshot, that class, this agent, that monologue. I lost my passion for it because I was following all the rules instead of my reason for doing it in the first place. I limited myself by letting everyone else make my choices for me.
This is the last blog that will be solely on wordpress.com. This blog and my acting website are now merged at http://www.rachelriendeau.com. If you follow me on here, I’d love for you to join me there. Blogs will still be weekly and there’s so much more I am adding to that site that I could not do here. I plan to post here for the next few weeks but eventually, it will only be my website and this blog will no longer be updated.
I broke a rule and I couldn’t feel more Real*. I would find that strange but it truly isn’t. I trusted my gut and took the next steps and it feels more Real than it ever did. I took the risk. I made something that is fully me and I did on my own without anyone telling me I had to. I did the work, showed up and I love the result.
Next steps are scary but necessary. This feels good. I am glad I broke the rules.
*If you are wondering why I capitalized Real: it is from The Velveteen Rabbit which I quote often. Becoming Real is about love and being loved. The rabbit becomes real as his fur falls off and he is shabby. But it doesn’t matter because he is loved and anyone that loves him sees him as beautiful, not falling apart. I am becoming Real after years of being one of the toys with sharp edges and fragile components that needs to be put on a high shelf for safe keeping because I broke so easily. I am back in the dirt, fur matted, ears torn, eye missing. I’m Real.