Thursday, December 27, 2012

Getting Real About Fame and Jealousy- An Actor's True Feelings

Last night I went with a great friend to see Les Miserables.  First, let me just say the film is awesome- truly beautiful and epic and the themes are clearly displayed.  Anne Hathaway was especially exceptional.  I enjoyed her in The Devil Wears Prada but after seeing her in Les Mis I am truly a believer in her talent.  For me her's was the best female performance in the film.

As I genuinely speak the above comments and am inspired by her, I can't help but be a little jealous as well. Believe me, I know that there is no point of being jealous and I am a firm believer that each of have a different path ordained by God.  And I don't feel that my jealously is deep seeded all out envy.  I truly believe in being happy where you are in life and wherever you are in the course of whatever dreams you may be pursuing.  I actually think I am pretty mature when it comes to things like that.  And I do feel happy about how far I've come in my career.  But I can't deny the fact that I wish it were me up there on screen, and me walking the red carpet.  I would lying if I said I don't feel that twinge of the green eyed monster rearing its ugly head when I think of all the great films Anne as acted in.  Especially when I think of what mastering THIS role in THIS film will do for her career.  I mean, she is a front runner now to take home all the big acting awards for her portrayal of Fantine.  She is living THE dream.  She is living her dream.  She is living my dream and the dream of thousands of actresses who are struggling.

I single out Anne because we are in the same age range. She is seen as a talented actress who is a good girl and classy and loves fashion, all the things I want to be seen as one day.  I often say that I do not wish to be famous, that I just want to act enough to pay the bills.  But deep down, I know that statement is not exactly true.  And this blog is all about honesty.  The fact is I DO want the fame.  I don't want to just pay the bills.  I want to one day be recognized in my field.   Don't get me wrong, the craft of acting itself is what drives me. You should never pursue this career for the fame.  I love acting.  It is a beautiful art and it satisfies me like no other job, career, or any of my other talents ever will.  If I never make it to star level I will always continue to act in whatever I can regardless.  But that being said, I do want to be known as and highly regarded as an actress.

And I think fame brings that automatically. Yes, I get that fame isn't all it's cracked up to be.  And yes, you (and myself) may add that every other actor in my position says the same thing.  And furthermore, what makes me think I am different than any other actor trying to make it.  Like, why would I make it, when out of the nearly 100,000 actors out there only 1% are known (I've read this statistic several times, but please feel free to let me know if its not exactly correct).  Every actor believes he or she is a star.  Every actor seems to believe that they have more of what it takes than the competition.  So what makes me different, I don't know.  Maybe I'm not different.

Is it crazy for me to say that I really feel that one day I will be a known actress?  I go back and forth with this. I mean, when I was 13 I thought for sure I would be living the Hollywood life by the time I was in my early twenties.  That clearly didn't happen and I'm more than okay with that.  Sometimes I feel so close, like I am a star, and other times I get so overwhelmed by how far away I actually am.  But deep down, I still feel it.  That I am meant to live that life.

I don't know when it will happen or how old I will be.  Because of that, I actually have this crazy fear that by the time I do reach a level where I am known all the amazing epic roles of today will be gone.  Roles like Fantine, or any role that Keira Knightley plays (don't worry, I realize we are not the same type, it's just a good example).  I know this fear is just that- a fear.  It's not based on reality.  In fact, as I write it out, I realize how silly the thought actually is. The truth is that there will always be amazing roles to be filled and Oscar worthy movies to be made.  After all, there is an award shows every year and every year new films have to be nominated.  But whether or not I will get to portray any of those roles is the question.  I can say I know for sure I will as many times as I want to, but I, just like everyone else, will have to wait and see.

I guess the fact is that I am right where I'm meant to be.  And allowing myself to indulge my natural human feeling of jealousy won't change that.  I have learned that it helps to confess those feelings and give them to God.  And my friend reminded me of how far I've come and of the fact that many actors who are my age and famous grew up in the biz and had family who were performers.  I didn't have those advantages.

Like I said, I will keep going.  I will continue to put my best into every character I play by focusing more on the work rather than the results.  I have to trust that, all though I can't see it, God already has my path laid out.  I will continue to trust Him to guide me in this career for as long as this is what I'm meant to do and be.  I have to let go and know that the great roles that are meant to be mine will be mine no matter what.  Just like Anne was meant to play Fantine in this version of Les Miserables.  I, or no one else, could have done what she did with that part.

Wow.  It feels so good to get all that of my chest.  It also feels a little scary to allow myself to be so vulnerable.  But vulnerability is what makes acting and art so special.

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  1. I get jealous too. Mostly because show biz is not fair. Hard work and tenacity sometimes doesnt result in a big payoff. I call it the snookie factor. So much talent is ignored while snookie walks the red carpet. The best you can do is follow the simple rules. Be on time. Know your lines. Dont be a problem. You will get s reputation of being easy to work with which leads to more roles. Still no guarantee of fame but you are following your lifes path and when you look back you will realize it was worth it.
    There is my two cents
    Good luck

    1. Steve,

      Your two cents is worth a lot. And I agree with what you said about the "Snooki factor." Unfortunately, that is the time we live in and it makes those of us who truly want to share something special work have to work 10x harder. But you are right, it is worth it. Thanks so much for your honesty and advice!!:)