I have been pretty easy on myself in the past week or so, doing a lot of writing, planning and preparing, before deciding to go full speed ahead on these plans and doing all the things that scare me.
I finished the story I started for Nanowrimo, or at least I wrote as much as I could for a story that isn’t entirely done yet. It was my first experience writing non-fiction, probably because it was the first time that my real life was more interesting than the stories I am always coming up with. It was definitely an experience, and I am glad I tried it, because I learnt so much about myself, not just as a writer, but as a person. Having myself be a character in a story, rather than just a version of me (usually without my insecurities) was the ultimate form of self-reflection and acceptance. As a storyteller, I can see exactly where I went wrong and what I could have done differently to get to a different ending, but at the same time, looking back with all the pieces, I get it. Hopefully I can apply these lessons for my next stories; the ones I write and the ones I live.
Since I spent so much time writing (and then Beta reading a friend’s book), a lot of the time after was spent catching up on admin stuff, watching award season nominees (so far, I had really low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised with each one), and signing up for things that scare me.
I was also kind of nervous to be asking people I admire to write reference letters for me, because you are basically fishing for written compliments about yourself, but I went for it. And they said yes. And then I had a long conversation with one of them, who said he would do whatever he could to help me, which turned out to be giving me career advice rather than writing a letter.
This resulted in me heading over to ACTRA yesterday to join as an ACTRA Additional Background Performer (AABP). It was exciting and nerve-wracking, because although I was joining the union, it was not at all in the way that I wanted, and most people tend to look down on Background Performers. I personally love being on set, in any capacity, so what better day job is there than watching other actors work and immersing yourself in the world of moviemaking? Either way, I am now allowed to work on Toronto Indie Productions (TIPs, the Toronto version of an MIP (Member Initiated Project)) and Co-op Productions, and if I work 1600 hours as background on set, I will get my first ACTRA credit. My friend who gave me the advice sort of sold it as me earning it rather than asking for it. So I will just keep hustling my way in. Background days, auditions, creating my own work…all of it.
And finally, though it didn’t scare me so much as was super out of my comfort zone, I had my first pole dancing lesson yesterday. For some reason, I convinced myself that it would be an amazing opportunity to get rid of some shyness, find confidence and own my sexy. It is a little too early to tell for those things, although it is crazy empowering when you land one of the moves, but I can say that the class was so much fun. And this is after waking up this morning to discover muscles I wasn’t really aware I had. But I feel them today.
“Be yourself. Be enough.”
-Milo Ventimiglia’s advice to his younger self