MARCH 25th '03*Two years ago today I started a leave of absence from my survival job. I worked as a waiter & valet at The Standard Hotel on Sunset Blvd. My shift of choice---the graveyard 11pm-7am. UGH!! Boy do I have memories; and not all of them are fond.
It was a leap of faith. I didn't have much money saved, but I felt that in order to move to the next level I had to do it. I also had to ask myself if it would be more difficult to stay in the job or leave with the possibility of having to return. I chose to bounce and give it my best shot.
I had spoken to a fellow actor in New York about my decision and he said "just do it it'll work out, before you know it it'll be 6 months ago when you left." He used to work at The Public Theatre in NYC and when his position ended he just never looked for another day job. He is doing quite well in his acting career these days.
The last year has been unbelievable in more ways than one. Losing my mother late last year to cancer continues to be a monumental challenge in my life. The other extreme is that my career plan is working exactly as scripted. Sometimes even I can't believe how things are materializing. As a result, I was able to travel back and forth to the East coast to spend a lot of time with my mother before she passed and the rest of my family.
Just over a year ago my cash flow was really tight & I was planting the seeds to start doing commercial background work. I needed to supplement my income. Of course no one called to book me. It's funny, because now I'm starting get calls for commercial background work. Go figure.
Towards the end of last pilot season things kicked into a much higher gear. Exactly a year ago I booked a very, very small role in Tori Spelling's pilot for The WB. It wasn't picked up. My agent "really" didn't want me to do it, but I told her I "really" needed the payday. It was the first of 3 small pilot bookings that year. Today, exactly a year later, I booked a small role in a pilot of "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" and my agent and I decided to turn it down. It felt really good to do that. Hopefully if it the pilot gets picked I can get back in to read for it.
I am finding that my agents are becoming more important in my career. They never turn anything down without running it by me first. I'm an actor; I just wanna be on-set. This job today, I might have taken if I didn't have my agents input. I know I shouldn't have. It's kinda like a 6 yr old eating candy until s/he literally gets sick to his or her stomach, s/he needs vegetables too.
These days when I drive by The Standard Hotel I don't even always noticed it as it becomes more of a distant memory for me. That doesn't mean I won't be punching a clock somewhere in the future, but not without a fight.
So that's it! Two years down and hopefully many more to go.
On another note, if there is any doubt, drop-offs really can work. On Friday I dropped off photos for myself and a couple of dear friends @ "CSI Miami" and one of them went straight to producers this afternoon. Usually when I do those drops it guarantees that "I" won't be called in, but hey, it all works out in the end.