Why hello my friends. It’s me, your favorite well-meaning walking spelling error of a friend, Sam. And I am back writing a blog post for the brand new OBA site! If you are new here you may be looking at a very polished and well-rounded platform that looks effortless. Perhaps the thought crosses your mind that you could never create something of your own. Maybe it looks unattainable. If you have been here a while, you know OBA used to look very different, like so so very different…
When I started this blog in 2016 I had a lot of feelings about my acting career, how unfair everything was, how hard it was to catch a damn break. And while I still feel that way occasionally, these days what I am really interested in is the evolution of that feeling: of unattainableness.
I can see it so clearly in my early posts and podcasts, the insatiable drive to get to it…whatever it was. Everyone I talked to in the business who was a quarter-step ahead of me (or 15 miles ahead of me) had a secret and I wanted it. What made them book? How did they train? What were the detailed processes utilized to impress the person who changed everything for them? I needed to know. So I talked about that drive and that lack a lot.
At the moment, that unattainable feeling has shifted to a question more than a concept: what is my definition of the success I am pursuing? And some days I also wonder: what if I work so hard and I don’t like the thing I end up with…does that mean that nothing is truly “attainable”?
I know…deep shit guys. But I think it’s important to be really present with this in an acting career.
For starters, what made everything feel unattainable? Probably the lack of money and time I had to work on anything or the basic fact that not a lot of people in my direct circles had achieved their own unattainable goals. These people are often called expanders and the older I get the more I realize how important they are in your life. You need to see people within an arm’s length of you doing things you see as hard. So what was my solution? Starting a podcast and immersing myself in expanders constantly. Does this mean you need a podcast? No (I mean unless you want one in which case you can check out my other side job FFP haha). But it may mean you have to get out of your comfort zone and try hard to see and experience new relationships.
How do I begin to reach towards the things I do want, beyond just being around people who have achieved them? This is where the work comes in. And I wish I had a secret sauce here. But I just started doing things. I worked on the podcast, I wrote blogs, and I tried to learn things to report back on. I went to new classes. I tested and retested new jobs to try and find a better schedule to give me the aforementioned time & money. I posted cringe-worthy IG posts and did IG Live’s to literally two people. I started telling the world who I was and what I wanted. I did it over and over again year after year and added a little tiny bit at a time. It never felt like enough. And a lot of it sucked. And most of it was not a work of art. I made things and started things (some stuck, some didn’t…if anyone remembers The Call Sheet weekly email). But if I would have waited for the perfect idea or the best branding or the most polished self-tape, I would have spent the last 6 years stagnant and stuck instead of (painfully) learning and growing.
My last concern was how will I know when the unattainable becomes attainable? Or more to the point, will I ever be able to strive while also being present in any certain moment? Still working this one out, but in the meantime, I have learned the biggest asset here is reflection.
I get asked a lot about being so public with a career that is taught to be a private struggle, “will you regret sharing this?” or “what if your mind changes on a topic?”. My theory is that we are all (hopefully) constantly growing, changing, and learning. And for me, a lot of that growth has been public. Does that mean I should take down old podcast episodes or remove blogs from a time when I was so desperate for a life raft to save me from the loneliness of this business? Nah. Because only when I am able to look back and see (or read or hear) where I was at, am I able to see where I am now. This platform is like cracking open a journal of time spent as an actor. And yes there are absolutely things I said or wrote that I wouldn’t agree with now. But clearing them from existence detracts from anyone witnessing the struggles of the day-to-day…literally the floor I built to stand on.
So I ask you to peruse to your heart’s content (keeping in mind formatting is really f*cking off as these blogs have been passed through various sites now) knowing I will continue to write on here with as much honesty as I can muster. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
And please enjoy this in the meantime as a solid reflection on six years of work: the original One Broke Actress website.