Acting is HARD. Like, back breaking, emotionally weary, all encompassingly HARD. Making a living off of it? Even harder.
So…Why do I do it?
I have a son.
“Well, yes!” I can hear you saying. “Shouldn’t you be trying to do whatever you can to provide him with the best that the world has to offer?” You might say. “Acting doesn’t pay enough for you to do that. You should do something else.”.
I can’t do that.
I am an actor. That is what I am. I can try to be something else. Hell, I HAVE tried to be something else. It didn’t end well. Denying the part of myself that is an actor is the same as attempting to be someone who I am not. That never goes well for anyone.
There was a period during my pregnancy when I was convinced: that was it. My life as an artist was over. I hadn’t “made it” before having a baby, and it was time to set aside my dreams, drive, and my passion in order to find something mundane (to me) but stable in order to help provide for my family. I spent days trying to convince myself that it was what was best for my son. After all, it’s not about just my hippie and me anymore. It was about what was best for our son.
We thought we had already fallen in love with him every time he kicked his little feet, or got the hiccups. Every weekend when I came home a little larger than the one previous, the hippie was so thrilled to see proof that our tiny was thriving. We really thought we were prepared to meet that little person, and then he was here. Nothing, not hearing his heartbeat, feeling his kicks, watching him grow inside me, NOTHING prepared us for how desperately in love we fell with that little pink person.
And THAT’S why I do it. I love my son. More than I have loved anything.
This is who I am. It’s unconventional. It’s damned inconvenient around the holidays (I sing for church services), and it certainly doesn’t pay very well. But it’s who I am. I can’t hide from that, and trying to be someone else while raising a child to be unafraid of who they are? YOU try it sometime.
In the words of my hippie: “How can we teach him to be who he is, if we stop being who we are?”.
So, now you know.