My New Strategy

nytheatre mike's current headshot

nytheatre mike's current headshot

So, with the economic situation being what it is these days, a few people have finally started speaking out and letting the world know what’s on their minds.

Zack Calhoon anticipates rough times ahead here and here.

John Clancy gets rightfully uppity here and a little more contemplative here.

At lunch last week, my newlywed buddy Dan told me he thought the feeling out on the street lately was starting to be a little more Taxi Driver than usual.

My own reaction to the impending collapse of the entire U.S. financial system has been somewhat more whimsical. Losing my most recent temp job has led me to try a new career strategy.

I’ve decided to try being a full-time working actor. Just like I always wanted to be when I grew up.

I figure I’ve got nothing to lose at this point. The economy’s in the toilet, everyone I know is losing their job, companies are laying off people in droves, so I’m guessing “survival jobs” have all but dried up for the time being.

Plus, I think I’ve reached my saturation point as far as day job office work goes. Which is just as well, since my temp agencies have been good for pretty much nothing all year.

Being an actor sounds pretty good after all, doesn’t it?

And for those of you who think the SAG membership is going to authorize a strike vote, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen. The last thing the membership wants to do is go on strike in the current economic climate, no matter how much they’d like to.

Does my new strategy sound capricious? Careless? Ill-advised? Downright stupid?

It may seem that way to some. But, to me it’s the most logical move in the world. The way my last temp job ended made me realize I wasn’t cut out for that way of life anymore. And holding down a day job while waiting for my ship to come in – i.e. landing full-time paid acting work – has, so far, gotten me nowhere.

So, guess what? I’m going for it without the “survival job” safety net. Why? Because I’ve realized, at least for myself, that I can’t expect to fulfill my career goals as an actor unless I dedicate myself to them fully.

My new strategy also creates a sense of urgency. I have to find some acting work soon, before my paltry savings runs out, or else…well, I really will be living the typical struggling artiste lifestyle. So, I have to get off my ass and make shit happen. Fast.

Luckily, the universe has started to respond in small ways. A day’s work on a TV show here. An audition or two there. I’m submitting the ol’ picture and resume for two to five gigs a day, almost every day. Been doin’ that for the past week and a half. So something’s gotta hit at some point. It’s only a matter of time.

Of course, I’m under no illusions that this is all going to happen overnight. I figure I’ll do some odd jobs to keep me going as needed, whatever those turn out to be. But a return to office life anytime soon is unlikely. I’m tired of putting on the monkey suit and enduring the rush hour commute.

This also doesn’t mean that I’ll be turning my back on the indie theater community that has so lovingly taken me under their wing. In fact, I’ve got a new indie show starting rehearsals in a couple of weeks. But, I’m also going to try branching out into other areas: regional theater, Off-Broadway, independent film…Hell, maybe even a nice big fat Broadway show. I just want to pay my rent doing artistic shit that I like to do. That’s all.

So, with that said, I’ll keep you posted on what develops. More to come soon.


3 Responses to My New Strategy

  1. Zack Calhoon says:

    Sounds like a plan. I’m going to be joining you soon enough. Hang in there, Man. It sounds like your acting work has been really steady. Maybe you’ll give F. Murray Abraham a run for his money.

  2. Thank you, Zack – I hope 2009 continues my “onwards and upwards” trend. And Hell, if I could get a job with F. Murray Abraham, that’d be good enough for me!
    : )

  3. Stephanie says:

    That’s awesome. I have always thought – if and when I get let go, I’ll make my money doing something artistic. Keep us posted on how this goes. 🙂

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