Sunday, September 30, 2012

Acting Isn't Everything...A Revelation by Tiffany Browne-Tavarez

I find it very hard sometimes to separate my life from the acting and enjoy what I have aside from my pursuit of a career in show biz. Believe me, I know that there are things in life far more important than one's career, one's art, and certainly one's money. My faith, my marriage, and my family mean more to me than anything. I would rather NOT have an acting career than to compromise any of those things.

But I realized that lately I get so caught up with pursuing acting that I don't take moments to embrace the things I have outside of that. I realized that I've been letting life kinda pass me by.
I realized that when I don't have any current acting jobs/ auditions I allow myself to be in a bad mood. I eat, breath, live, think acting- which can be a good thing at times if one seriously wants to be an actor- but LIFE IS MORE THAN ACTING!!!

This is my new mantra. I am tired of feeling down when I don't book a job or get called in to audition. I am tired of allowing this career to dictate my moods and my interactions with people. I am going to enjoy every moment I have with my amazing husband. I am going to make the most of every free day I have and use it to pray, run, call my family, and enjoy just relaxing. I am going to pay more attention to those around me. Don't get me wrong, I will still do something everyday to further my acting career and continue to work hard. But when things are going slow for me, I am still going to ENJOY my life.

I had this revelation this past week while trying to plan my upcoming vacation. I have nine whole days off from work and I'm not going anywhere this time. Instead of thinking about all the fun things I could do in the city or how nice it would be to relax, all I could think about was that I have nine free days to go on as many auditions as possible and hopefully book at least one job. I am very driven right now because I want to go from a full-time position at Macy's to a part-time position very soon. I've even been submitting for professional background work. After all, I have a whole week in which I can go to any castings/ gigs and not have to worry about switching my schedule with coworkers, or calling out, or stressing over timing my lunch break just right so that I can make an audition and be back to work at a decent time.

Of course, my vacation started Saturday and I haven't heard anything from my recent submissions. It hit me hard that although I am fully available this week that does not mean for sure that I will get called in for anything. My first reaction was to sulk. Then I was hit again- with the realization that if I allowed myself to feel that way it would be a darn shame and a waste of a week away from my day job.

So now I have two overall goals for my vacation week. The first is to work on furthering my career, go on auditions, and book at least one acting job. The second is to make the most of every single day that I don't get any auditions or book any acting jobs.

So far, so good. I had a wonderful date with my hubby Saturday night, and Sunday I spent the day with him and my sister-in-law and loved every minute of it without even thinking about acting. (Well, except for a couple moments when we all talked briefly about it, but you know what I mean.) And as I write this, I feel so happy and at peace. And my acting career is still moving forward. I will still make it.

Yes, I will have to keep reminding myself constantly that being a successful actress is not the be-all, end-all. But it's gonna be a good week. And with all this time on my hands, be prepared for more frequent blogs about what I do end up accomplishing each day;)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

True Crime and Great Food-I Love Acting!!

Today I am blogging from the set of an episode of "True Crime with Aphrodite Jones." The show airs on Discovery ID which is owned by NBC. If you've never seen or heard of it, it is one of those documentary shows which explores actual crimes that have been committed. Of course, the real people involved with the crime are interviewed but also there are reenactments of what happened. That's where I come in. I am playing "Detective Allison" in an episode that will be aired as the finale of the season coming up. I am having an awesome time. I've always wanted to be on one of these shows. I have a few good scenes which are all improvised, the shoot is three days long and did I mention I'm getting PAID. I also need to mention that on the first day I had car service to and from my apartment to the set in Connecticut!!! I felt like such a star:). (For the next shoot days the car will be taking a couple of us actors to and from the set from Manhattan which is still pretty awesome.) So, not only am I getting payed, I won't have to pay for any transport. And for lunch we have been ordering whatever we want from some of the best local restaurants. AND the director and crew have been wonderful! Ahhhh. This is the life. I love acting!!!!

**Thank you Lord for so much this opportunity. I feel so blessed. And sorry to Macy's and my manager for calling out today and being really, really late tomorrow:)**

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gimme a Break

I'm tired. Well, my brain is tired. I've decided that since I've been working very hard on the acting lately I should take a few days off from looking for auditions and give my brain a rest. I need a few days where I am not obsessively checking casting sites every hour or checking my email on my phone every five minutes. To take a few days off from these habits is easier said than done. I am always afraid that I will miss out on that ONE role. The one that could give me my big break, or at least look good on my reel, or at least give me another IMDB credit. But I am forcing myself to not look because my brain is fried and lately when I've been submitting I barely have the mental energy to focus on writing the cover letter. I need a few days to let go a bit, because as I wrote in an earlier post, I really get upset if a day goes by in which I don't get an audition. And lately I've had feelings of jealousy (deeper than the usual brief passing moments) towards other actors/actresses who are about where I am in my career right now and that's not good. There is no point in being jealous of anyone for any reason. These things needs to change. But it's very hard to let go. I feel like I don't know how to anymore, but sometimes letting go is also necessary in order to get to the next level. And let me tell you, it is taking everything I have to not look for castings right now, but for some reason I know deep down that it's okay to take a few days and that I need to do this in order to re-energize myself and put things in perspective. I need to understand that even if I don't submit my headshot for a few days, when I start again there WILL be notices and roles to submit for. They won't go away. And it's not like I am taking a break from acting. I have an audition Saturday for a short film with a beautiful screenplay. So for the next couple evenings I will be preparing for that. I may also be filming a sketch comedy web series that same day. On Monday, I start a five week commercial acting class. And today I am blogging. (I like blogging. It relieves stress and helps me to stay focused on my goals at the same time.) So that's it today. Short and to the point. No frantically searching for auditions until at least Saturday. Possibly even Sunday. And if anyone sees me as less of a dedicated actress, well, that's okay. We all have our own way to handle things. But you know what? It's all gonna be okay:)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Acting Blues Lifted....A follow up to last week's post

I realized yesterday while at work that I am truly grateful for those moments when I feel down.  I am truly grateful for the days when I go into work and feel depressed to be there.  Because in those moments a great determination arises within me.  I HAVE to be an actress.  I HAVE to make my living by acting.  To have anything less will just not satisfy.  I have a good "day" job (in quotes because I work retail and work till 9:45 two nights a week).  I work at a makeup counter and get to do makeovers and sell and make commission and I'm good at it.  But it doesn't compare to acting. Acting is my true passion.  And I believe that if you have a dream and God is leading you in that direction then you follow.  I also believe that you do what makes you happy and gives you peace no matter how impossible it seems.  Inner peace far exceeds those moments of frustration and feelings of wanting to give up.  Inner peace even exceeds moments of happiness.  So I really believe that one day I will make my living through acting only.  Not saying I'll be famous folks, just saying I won't have to work retail anymore.

Last week, I wrote that I hadn't been getting called to any auditions lately and that I wanted to get back into acting classes.  Well here is what went down this past week:

Monday night- I took that free class I mentioned taught by acting coach John Pallotta and it was awesome!! Can you believe I almost didn't end up going?!!  Luckily, my wonderful husband encouraged me to go and I'm glad I listened.  I can't even believe this class was free.  In two and a half hours, Mr. Pallotta covered monologues, film auditions, and commercials.  I learned so much.  His coaching style is honest and real.  At the same time, there is an ease about the way he pushes you to make something better.  I am definitely considering paying for the full course in the future, but while taking this class I realized that right now I want to take commercial classes specifically.

I already signed up for a commercial intensive on Tuesday the 4th with Jagger Kaye (CnC Studios). He is another great teacher and is also a successful actor.  Like  John Pallotta,  Jagger has that very honest, tough love teaching style.  I took this class last summer and thought I should take it again.  I can't wait.

Tuesday- I was supposed to film a promo, which was to be paid, and it never happened.  I don't know why.  I didn't hear anything else about it.  I was so bummed, but it happens.  It could have been for any reason.  Maybe they found another actress that they liked more:(

Wednesday- director Jim Terriaca called to give me my next shoot date for indie feature "Apex Rising. Yay!!! Cant wait!! Check it out-Apex Rising Examiner Article

Thursday- I did some background work for a film.  I really hate doing  background.  (I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, or even that I'm too good for it, it just depresses me.) But for this job I got paid 75$ in cash at the end of a six hour shoot.  I was very grateful for that.  It was my day off anyway.

Which brings me to Friday and back to how depressed I was feeling as I clocked in at work yesterday.  Normally, I push through and get right to work.  Normally I choose to be happy while  I'm there and do my best.  After all, I'm grateful for this job.  But some days, like yesterday, it is such a challenge.  Some days it seems like I won't be able to get through the day.  And I feel like crying because I have to pretend with the managers that I actually care about things that I don't actually care about.  Of course  part of me does care because I hate to let anyone down and right now I need this job.  And  I like to do well and make my goals.

But if I always felt completely happy and satisfied with my day job, would I constantly be trying to take my acting career to the next level?  That's why I said earlier that I am actually grateful for these moments of "desperation."  I become fiercely determined.  Yesterday, within the first hour of being at work, I decided for sure that I would take a five week commercial class, by casting director Angela Mickey, that I had been debating over the last couple days.  I decided that even if I have to use what little money I have in my savings or pay for this class with my credit card, I will.  It starts Sept 10, which is short notice, so I'm waiting to hear back about any open spots.  If there are none, I will look for another commercial acting class as reputable as this one.

Maybe if I had gone into work yesterday feeling happy to be there I would still be debating whether or not to invest in this class.

In fact, I have made a commitment to attend at least one class, industry event, or showcase each week.

I didn't get called in for any auditions this week either.  But instead of panicking, I'm using this time to elevate myself as an actor.  This commitment will  inevitably lead to more opportunities. Hopefully.  It has to.

So let's see what happens;)

John Pallotta Acting Coach
Jagger Kaye CnC Studios Classes
Angela Mickey's Booking the Commercial Class via NYCastings