A few weeks ago I posted a Reel on IG that included a shot of my schedule that particular week. The goal of the reel was to start a conversation about how we should put important things (whatever that means to you) in our plans instead of waiting around for the auditions or bookings to roll in.
Welp. The internet decided to go in another direction. Something about that reel hit the algorithm and it went a tad outside the actor-sphere I normally speak to. And the comments started rolling in. “Lots of ‘me time’ you have scheduled. Wait till you’re a mom…” “You don’t have that much in your day…” “This is basically just workouts and lunch. So privileged.” This triggered something in people I haven’t seen in a long time. Ignoring the fact that non-mom-shaming is a huge issue and incredibly insensitive on so many levels, most of these Accounts were so mad at me for daring to share that I don’t pack my days wall to wall. Let’s break this down.
Firstly, I would never compare my schedule with someone else’s. I am aware of my inherent privilege. No one’s life looks like anyone else’s. That particular screenshot was a nice quiet week at home, but my life feels full nonetheless, that was the point, to share that actor’s calendars and lives can be full but acting can still be a huge part of it with or without auditions & bookings.
Now I know most of these “people” (cause who knows what they really are!) aren’t actors, will not read this, and don’t understand that when we work, we have to be able to accommodate auditions at a 12-hour notice, it’s 12-14 hour workdays when we book, and we have to be healthy enough to withstand these potential long hours, and mentally healthy enough to handle when we get zero opportunities. But most importantly, they also seem to struggle with the concept that taking care of yourself is indeed part of the j-o-b. .*** Why do I have things like my “morning routine” or “shower and lunch” in my calendar? So when someone goes to my scheduler they can’t put a meeting in at that time. And because these things (working out, meditating, f*cking eating) are day-to-day things that ground me in my work and make it possible for me to stay a working actor. Not to mention when I don’t do these things, I feel tired, my skin looks ragged, and I do not play well on camera. Period
It took me 10 years to work out a day job that grants me this open-ended schedule, remember before the pandemic I was working several jobs, and my mental and physical health was deteriorating (more on that below). But I get that this is confusing to strangers who work 9-5s and the only thing they are measured in is output.
It has been a solid reminder of how hard this job is if you’re not surrounded by others who get how the business works. To my actors in smaller markets who have to explain this over and over again, or to those of you who dread family gatherings where you have to explain why a callback for a role you didn’t get is indeed a big win…I send you so much love. For my actors who don’t have a platform to stand on when others are hating on their non-traditional life, or live in a smaller market where no one gets how wild our day to day is, I felt the need to address all this hate. This job can feel so isolating. Especially when you don’t have big credits to verify that what you do with your time is worth it/validated. And when people judge it from the outside it only makes it worse.
So no, I no longer work from sun up to sundown. And yes, I don’t have kids to worry about, a choice I have made. Does not having an overwhelming schedule 24/7 make me less of a person? Nope. And if you are someone who does not work a traditional “internet acceptable” schedule, I feel you and I’m with you (I don’t recommend the post going online tho…).
***Note: IATSE is voting on a strike right now because our on-set crews are being denied the very basics to live a legit life, let alone sleep 6 hours. Read more about it here to support their efforts.