The holidays pack a lot of emotions for everyone, but especially actors. Thanksgiving is usually the kick-off to confronting your year and jobs (or lack there of). Something about seeing relatives makes you look at yourself from an outside perspective. Kinda like when you meet someone new and they follow you on Instagram, and you look over your page as from their eyes…I know you do it. Even if we aren’t meeting in person this year (please god make smart choices guys, I want to go back to work and maybe get married) there is still an element of self review that starts to kick in right about now.
Maybe it’s financial, wondering how to buy holiday gifts for people without going broke by New Years. Or it’s physical, you start comparing your body at different highs and lows…not to mention it’s a pretty decent time for food and drinks so you tend to overindulge and/or over analyze your choices. And it’s absolutely mental, we all tend to use time markers as place holders to run our numbers, and for actors that usually means auditions/bookings.
But what if just for this year, we let all of that slide. What if we were just THANKFUL for surviving a pandemic + an economic crisis + a social and political upheaval?? What if we were just happy to be where we are even if that isn’t where we pictured we would be? I strongly invite you to count the following instead.
Everyone suffered financially this year. Unless you’re Jeff Bezos (and if you are I have some questions about why the Prime videos interface is so shitty) then chances are you didn’t make a killing this year. What if we were just ok with skipping gifts this year? I am writing all my reps really genuine thank you cards, because they know exactly how much money I made with them this year. Get really real with yourself about what you can and cannot do, especially for family and friends. Do not spend a shit load of money because you’re supposed to. If your friends and family are truly supportive (and I know you’re not all so lucky as to have support) instead write them a true letter of thanks and appreciation for what they have done to support you as an artist and a human. That would personally mean way more to me…especially this year.
Don’t come at me with a holiday fitness challenge. I have been very busy surviving. I have also been very busy sharing my home gym with three dogs, one fiancé, and a lot of other shit in the room. I don’t have time to concern myself with diets and weight loss because I have been busy building walls of protection around my heart and soul while finding my own way to feel comfortable in my own skin. And I will absolutely enjoy all that the holidays offer in terms of food and drink because this may be one of the most memorable years of my life and I simply refuse to not find the joy in the moments.
If you didn’t get dropped by your reps this year, you win. If you did get dropped by your reps but it made you realize the were just holding you back to begin with, you win. If you booked a single job, and I don’t care if it was non union, or a “dumb short film” or a commercial you were cut out of, or any of these excuses we use to make ourselves small and our jobs unimportant, you win. If you had a massive realization during the Black Lives Matter uprising that the “push for diversity” in casting and scripts has nothing to do with taking jobs away from you but everything to do with shedding light on underrepresented voices/stories…we all win.
After this hailstorm of a year we have to redefine our victories more than ever. So instead of doing the usual pick-apart of yourself that starts right before the turkey and ends right about when the ball drops…let’s just skip it this year and be fucking thankful.