Saturday, April 19, 2014

Confessions of a G-List Actress:Heart Breaks and Heart Attacks

I wrote this two weeks ago...but didn't finish...figured now would be a good time.

That terrible mood of depression of whether it's any good or not is what is known as 'The Artist's Reward.-Ernest Hemingway















The shades of an artist's depression are much deeper and cross a greater tonal value than the average bear's.-Cyd Madsen


Going through a bit of depression these days.  I blame the 9-5.  Before the panic ensues; no one is abusing me, I am not going to off myself, and I don't want to go on meds for it.  The last thing I need in life is to lose my intimate connection with my emotions. 

It's just a part of an artist I have become accustomed to.  Every once in a while, especially when I am overwhelmed or feel as though I am going to have to choose between a survival and acting (*hint:The acting always wins*) I just feel trapped.  

I feel as though I shouldn't be here.  I should be acting year round and not have to scrape and struggle and fight.  I should have a nice home to come to with a neighbor who takes care of my animals when I need to go away.  I should be more stable than I am right now.

I know for me, the biggest problem is the stress of having to afford life.  If I could just go to auditions, no matter where they are, I would be in much better shape.  If gasoline and healthcare and life in general weren't so expensive.  Seriously.  In the current market it costs the average person 1600 a month to live where I do.  I make less than that a month.


You want to know what the stress does to me?  I feel it, in my chest.  It's like heart attack.  My chest tightens up and I feel like someone is stabbing me in the heart.  This only happens when I'm not acting and haven't in more than a month.  *And when I say acting I mean actual acting.  Ask the older actors.  Have fun with auditions but they are like the super ultra diet lite of acting.  There is so much stress to be liked sometimes you can't act.*  I can feel when it's about to happen.  Nothing is more frustrating than seeing the pain coming.

I can feel it starting just talking about it.  It starts as a pin prick in the middle of my chest.  Then it spreads and soon it's like someone has drilled a two inch hole in my chest and they are pinching my heart.  If I don't take a deep breath in it hurts for longer so I force myself to take a few calming breaths.  The first breath is quick so I am able to get the air in.  Excruciating.  If that one didn't take it away, I have to take another.  A few weeks ago I actually had to breath into this for over an hour to get rid of the pain.

As a note, it is really hard to breath into the pain.  It will hurt for longer but it won't hurt as badly if I breath shallow.  Have been to a doctor for it.  No holes in my heart or hear murmurs.  It's just the stress of being miserable without the acting.

I have always been that way though.  I have a very physical reaction to everything.  On the one end I can be extremely insanely happy.  On the other end, I can be so miserable I will vomit or not eat for a month.  When I get upset, it effects me physically.  I become physically sick.

All part of being an artist.  I hate to compare myself to anyone great for fear of actually being pretentious, but sometimes I imagine Van Gogh had the same problem.  He was brilliant.  All he wanted was to create.  The need to create was so bad he thought life wasn't worth living.  No that he didn't get to create, but like the actor in constant audition, he never got to showcase his talent.  His brother Theo understood this I think.  He knew how strong the need was.

In some of us that desire is so strong that when we are not in the act of creating art we feel lost and adrift.  It's why I knit and sew and crochet and art with everything that I can find.  Otherwise I go crazy.  My brain is always going.  I am always thinking and feeling everything.

We get addicted to the melancholy.  I know for a fact my best acting is done in the middle of depression.  Things are easier to tap into.  You fight harder to smile and make everything seem okay when it's not really.  My friends who know me the best will say, "You need acting."  Yeah, I think I might.  It's my moment to create and show and be and live for even a few moments.  I need that.

A friend of mine and I were talking about acting and I mentioned something my mother often tells me in the dry times.  "Maybe, when we get to heaven, you can act to your hearts content."  I smile at this and always think, No.  There will be no actors in heaven.  Not saying that all actors are hell bound.  I just think that, like doctors, there won't be a need.

I think there will be art and music and even work.  Acting was our first history lesson.  We remembered stories passed down around a camp fire.  A reminder of where we came from and where we were going.  Acting teaches lessons about human behavior and, in a way, for the audience, is healing.  Doctors are healers and, in a place with no death or sickness, I think there will be rest.  I think there will finally be rest.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Strange Dreams

Last night I dreamt I woke up on a crashed airplane in the middle of the ocean.  The water was so clear blue, and around me people had pulled themselves onto life rafts that had opened up.  I climed into one and started floating quickly away from the wreckage, people trying to climb into my boat and my trying to tell everyone we should stay together and not drift far apart to increase the likelyhood of us being found.
As I drifted we saw an island in the distance.  Well, I say in the distance, but it wasn't far, and we were swept onto this island that seemed to actually be below sea level.  A huge wave would pick you up and throw you onto the shore of this Island.  And I really had no desire to be there for long.
It looked like a deserted resort Island.  There was a hotel with a huge kitchen and food of all kinds.  There were homes and houses for people to live in and while people washed up on shore we found a strange fence surrounding the place to protect it.  It was like an electric fence with six individual electric wires running along it, all with a different type of writing attached to it in weird languages.  We never quite figured out how it worked since there was no generator and the whole place, except for this fence surrounding the Island, had power.
And there was a creepy little Chinese girl who, for some reason, I didn't trust, who was trying to look around on the Island and knew how to turn certain things on and whenever she got something working I would try to throw her into the ocean like she was a demon. I think she was and I was the only one who could see it or something.
And people started to become comfortable on this Island and while I kept trying to figure things out, how we got there and all, people just became relaxed in their new life.  Lazy, since there were really nice homes with everything you could need.
There was this place in the main hotel I kept trying to get into and finally was able to open.  It was a huge closet that locked heavily from the outside.  And when we opened it up it was literally a cement closet with a drain in the middle, but it was immaculately clean.  I looked up and saw a trapdoor.  We went upstairs and found this big metal door.  One woman, who claimed to be a psychic, said she'd go in and cleanse the place.  I said I didn't think that was a good idea but she seemed really convinced and while I kept telling her it was a bad idea she went in anyways and we waited.  When she came back out she was pale and apparently had been possessed.  We were going to take care of that when some aliens came down from the sky and started destroying buildings with blue lights.  They focused the beam on a building too long and the building would vanish along with the people in it.  Destroyed with think.  we're trying to figure out how to deal with all the problems that have hit us when...
I wake up.
Odd dreams.  Think I am stressed.