Now that the strike is over I'm asked all the time how I feel. "Good to be back at work?" "You're working again, right?" "Thank God you're get back to work."
If I'm being honest, nothing changed. Sure, the contract is a good one with lots of gains for actors. But, my work hasn't changed. I still spend my time looking for work.
I suppose actors who have scripts sent to them are relieved to be back in the saddle, but most of us are horseless. I told a friend of mine, who dove in at 62 years old, an actors job isn't acting, it's finding work.
That's not a negative statement. Getting work is our job. We can't act without getting the chance to act. As long as acting has been a profession it's suffered 95% unemployment. That's part of the gig. So, getting the job is a huge deal. Getting the audition is a huge deal. Getting the callback is a huge deal. It's all a huge deal that, at the end, may result in, you guessed it, a job.
If one looks at IMDB one might get the impression people with fifteen or twenty credits are doing okay. We're not. Most jobs pay little to next to nothing, if you can get them in the first place. So, we all train, work and scrap to get in front of network auditors or feature producers. Because those gigs actually do pay real money.
I've heard it's the hope that gets you. I've also heard hope springs eternal. The short answer is yes. The long answer is, both. I've always felt the former was pessimistic, the latter delightful. One can't be hopeless and pursue such a slippery career. Hope has to carry you through the barren patches that invariably out numer the cultivated patches. But, sometimes, a person needs to sit on the couch and damn their circmstances. Because we're all human and most of us have fallen prey to hopeing to the point of expecting -- an offer, a callback, a role. It's pretty damn depressing when that happens.
If an actor is true to him or herself, that disappointment shuffles off to the back of the mind so as to focus on the next thing. Otherwise we might as well toss it in and do something else.
As for work, yes. I'm glad to be back at it. And now there are more opportunities to throw my hat in the ring. That's something.
If you're out there watching t.v. (network, streaming, etc), thank you. If you're going to the movie theaters, thank you. If you're listening to audio shows, thank you. You are the reason we get to do something we love, even if it's a crap shoot.
It's December 15, 2023 and the industry is slowing for the holidays. I hope to have good news regarding scripts, auditions, callbacks, offers and jobs in the very near future. Because I have hope.