I've been pondering this question lately... I sorta have to, it's in the title of my workshop... Create Your CAREER. Someone asked me the 'how is it going' question the other day. He wasn't talking about my girlfriend and I, or how I was feeling at the moment, no, he meant 'IT'... the ole' six letter word that most actors avoid talking about when they go home for the holidays. He wanted to know how it was going lately. "Did I see a difference in the auditions or 'offers' since The Bannen Way." I said I had, that the auditions went from nothing to a lot and ninety percent of them for the leads in pilots and quite a few offers on a few smaller projects. He was pleased but pointed out, that even though I did one of the more higher profile projects on the web, with studio backing etc, that it's "...still a struggle for you huh?" I left feeling a little down, like if Zeke (my right hand man in Bannen) cock punched me after I had a great day. Luckily (or unluckily) I had a good forty-five minute drive back on the 10 Freeway to go over my 'CAREER' in my head... and over... and over....
This is what I came up with: my career is just where it is. It's a lot better than it was three and a half years ago when the highlight in my life was fighting for space to rehearse at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Yet not entirely where I want it to be. I have a feeling that there will always be some divine dissatisfaction to keep me moving forward. Then I was reminded of this, from my mentor Milton Katselas' book DREAMS INTO ACTION:
Chapter: THE FLIGHT OF THE HAWK
"Hear are a couple of beauties from the 1904 Webster's:
CAREER: Originally the course on which a race is run. A road, a racing course. In falconry, the flight of a hawk, about 120 yards.
Now, we also know a career is the occupation you choose and your life's work, but there are these other definitions, which can open up a deeper understanding of the word and hence a greater involvement in that whole sphere of life. Career is a life's work, a profession, an occupation, but also...
CAREER: To cause to rush freely and swiftly. Charge, flight, achievement, passage. A career was originally the ground for a race, especially for knights charged in tournament or battle. The way or route over which one passes.
Here's another angle:
CAREER OF A HORSE: A short gallop or run at full or great speed. Via, a road for cars.
When a ship is decked out in all her canvas, every sail swelled, and careering gaily over the curling waves, how gallant, how lofty she appears.
Isn't that wonderful? Now, how many of our journey are life a decked-out ship, careering over the curling swells? And how many are like a rock plummeting to the bottom of the deep, dark sea? Glub, Glub, Glub. That's the rock sinking to the bottom. There's no "careering over the waves" when the journey becomes such a serious and significant matter. Life becomes tight, heavy knotted, inflexible--a rock with no flight possible."
So the great thing about life is, after studying with Milton for more than ten years before he passed in October of 2008, this passage from the book hits me, five minutes from home. Hits me like my bladder does when it senses the close proximity to my bathroom - and I'm reminded - my CAREER is more than a billboard on Sunset (or Sony Lot) or a cool job with my favorite director, it's those things but it's also my ATTITUDE towards the work I am doing and the work I have ahead of me.
I am so grateful to so many people in my life and a higher power I rarely understand and acknowledge, but it's in these moments, when shit is about to get real interesting... really fast... that I better be enjoying this journey and letting go of mine and everybody's expectations and have a little fun.
I'm curious how you get yourself out of bed, shake it off and move into the light...