I’m driving home, after another student missed an appointment with acting classes, coached by yours truly. I am contemplating either playing the role of insulted artist, or sympathetic father. Nothing is more crushing than the knowledge no one is achieving their New Year’s goals. I truly feel I’m doing my students a favor in being lenient with their time, especially on the weekends. Then again, commitments start with a little pain. There’s nothing like lighting a fire under you more than rejection. Or in their case, failure. I am disheartened. I’m disappointed. I’m sad.
I’m tired of being sad. I guess I am here to teach passion. I really don’t think that’s possible. In this day and age, there are so many points of reference, so many daily messages to the ego, so many suggestions to disconnect the brain, so few appeals to the heart. I am outgunned. Welcome to the New World.
It’s been a good six months since I’ve been laid off. I have learned a lot. I have finally enjoyed my home life to get my fill, but I don’t want to leave this state of mind quite yet. I love what I made of my home. The air is clear. My thoughts are sober. I am alone in the middle of a job search. I am back to betting on my self. I am 20 again.
No, I’m confidently in my 50s.
Across the street, kids are playing at the elementary school, and they are unaware of all the decisions they have to make in life. What a great position to be in, as a human. Even my little doggy (Wallace the Yorkie/Scottie) enjoys the time we have together. Recently, though, I think he’s starting to get sick of me. It’s time to get up. It’s time to shed another skin, turn another page, write a new chapter.
I jumped into this break with a freewheeling spirit, and an innocent belief that everything would turn out OK. I was wrong. I have to keep working for the happiness I feel. I have to be the Big Generator at my work, at my craft, in my home, in my life. Big Generator can never stop.
A former boss passed away lately, and I noticed his mighty legacy was diminished by the ones who inherited his fortune; dropped into a red pool of circling shark fins. Frittered away with endless garage sales and impersonal transactions. I really didn’t like the guy, but nature is cruel to those without a Godly disposition. I truly hate the fact he died on the same day as my father, one year after. I will always be forced to remember the sun always goes down. There is one constellation of truth though, piercing pinholes in my sleepy, velvet-coddled mind, while I try to make sense of my given circumstance: never leave your work in the hands of someone else.
My side business lost a big client, and rightfully so. The fight to get them back was not worth the cost. That’s what we told ourselves, at least. I had to force myself to walk away for a while, like a dad leaving the jail where his son is drying out. It’s the best for both of us, so we can find our own footing, without my help. Nowadays, I am left with job interviews, audition copy, and my own thoughts. I have a few acting students I coach (when they want to show up), and I have accepted a substitute teaching role in the area. What perfect timing, as another school shooter was killed in a private school, days ago. In this world, no dream is safe. It’s a dirty solitude.
Just as true, as anything else, fortune turns on a dime. This morning, I was cast in a small, independent film. One of the lead roles. The excitement welling inside me is either adrenaline or another oncoming heart attack, laying in wait. Earlier in my life, I would’ve jumped for joy. As a hardened soldier, I am cautious.
Keep breathing. Keep paddling. The land in sight is either an illusion or a cruel button on a punchline. I’ve hit bottom before, but this feels different. I have planted way too many seeds to fail. I’ve done all the work, and I’ve done it the right way. I am at peace. These are the days I will teach from, I will share to those who care.
I won’t have it any other way, and it looks like I am forced to walk through another forest, even though I don’t know where I’m going. It’s the uphill climb. It’s the part where my lungs burst, and my breath tastes like blood. This is where I get strong. This is sacred ground.