The Roller Coaster
Hey BVS Community!
I get it, the whole “roller coaster” metaphor has been used everywhere from daily conversation to movies to every episode of “The Bachelor”. What is so fantastic about this visualization is that it really does apply to everyone, both in the span of an entire lifetime and within any extended experience. We have all buckled ourselves in on a plethora of rides, many of which we all strive to remain riding for as long as we can.
You’re Likely Already on Board
As an actor, it is easy at points to feel like you are not even on the ride yet- that you are simply waiting in line for your career to take off. You may have done the training (maybe even taken Steve’s voiceover classes), worked hard to ultimately do what you want to do, and still feel like you have not accomplished what you “should have” by this point. Here’s the thing, you are not waiting in “line” anymore. The line was you growing up- figuring out what makes you happy. If you have already figured that out, it is up to you to shift that perspective and realize that you may just be steadily riding an uphill climb right now.
Enjoy Every Part
Enjoy all of those rushes downhill, your seemingly “small” accomplishments. Find times to enjoy taking a breath when it feels like you are just going forward without a climb up or a rush down. It is always those uphill stretches where you are working and training and auditioning and grinding toward your goal that feel the longest but they will always lead to little exciting twists and turns (and by the way, as Steve often says, “The audition IS the job”. Auditions are little opportunities to be creative, demonstrate what you can do, perform, and then forget about it). You may even find yourself going through a full loop to a different path than you were expecting and that’s okay too! It’s all the same ride.
No “One Path”
Okay, so I realize this was a long-winded metaphor but you get the point. The entire process IS the ride. We have the power to enjoy every bit of it. If you are doing what you love, it doesn’t matter if this particular job will be a “career-changer” or a “stepping stone”. People are always looking for some sort of direct, straight shot to their idea of what success is when in reality there is no one path and all of these little opportunities to do what you love (yes, including “just auditioning”) ARE success.
I am absolutely guilty of this as well. I often find myself thinking or talking about my acting as this thing that I’m working toward and not currently doing- that one day I’ll get some big film role and that will all change when realistically I am always working on some sort of project with my theatre company and auditioning as much as I can fit in to my schedule. I am doing the work.
This sort of mentality isn’t entirely our fault either. How many times have folks asked you upon hearing that you are an actor what they “might know you from” or “What are you working on now”? This can be incredibly frustrating and damaging to your sense of identity, leading you to introduce yourself to people with your “day job” title rather than calling yourself an “actor”. Here’s the little trick for that- if you’ve had some training, if you’ve ever performed in any capacity, if you’re even currently auditioning, you ARE an actor. Only you can claim that for yourself. Only you hold the power to tell the universe what your identity is because only you know what is going on inside of you and what drives you.
Appreciate the entire rollercoaster that you are riding. This is your unique path- YOUR ride. You don’t have to prove that you are anything to anyone.