A Reel Problem

This past weekend my friend Gia and I brought to life a brief little scene we had written to update our reels with the kind of work we want to submit for. It took a few months of brainstorming and then finally a quick writing session, and then several weeks of sorting out costumes, props, and crew. In the end we ended up with more than we even hoped for. An amazing director who kept it all organized, and no last minute no-shows! It was quite stressful at some points, but we pulled it all together! In a few weeks we will be able to add it to our reels (and share it online!).

However, I have been shredding myself to bits ever since Saturday morning over my performance. It’s been a while since I’ve filmed anything, and even though I took a few months of acting classes again this year, maybe that’s just not enough. I would read the script and rehearse the script and be 95% happy with the emotions and expression, but when Saturday morning came… it was buried so deep I could barely touch it.

It didn’t help that we had to shoot out our 3 year old co-star (yeah, whose idea was it anyway to involve a kid?! lol) first, which meant basically shooting backwards almost line by line an emotional 1 minute scene. Gia aced it, but I was just lost. You would think that alone would make me cry. But no.

I felt pretty frustrated and got down on myself once the day was over, angry that I couldn’t deliver and be satisfied with my performance. However after expressing my concerns to our director, he assured me that he was more than happy with both of our performances.

It’s hard to let go of, though. I feel like I didn’t do my best. There have been other scenes in other productions where I’ve felt I could have improved my performance, but they were usually small scenes within a larger story, so it made me feel better when I had perhaps three out of four scenes that I was pleased with for the project. But this was one scene. And I’m really hoping I change my mind when I see the final product edited together. We put a lot of time, money and effort into it.

But something like that just makes me doubt myself, as well. No, I’m not quite a working actor. And no, I don’t have a lot of experience that would make me a great actor. But I’m not a bad actor. That was even confirmed with the Best Actress nomination a few years back. I know I don’t suck. But I need to be better. Even if I only ever do short films, or non-paying roles… if I do it for the joy of acting, I still need to be as good as I can be, for all of the other people involved in these productions.

I have so many things on my mind and on my plate… my book, my online work, and all of the self-improvement and skill sets I’m developing, but I need to make more room for the acting. Last year I took several months of English lessons (Received Pronunciation), which I should continue to work on. General diction would be something to work on. More quickly accessing emotion. More quickly getting into the moment. This is in addition to the networking I have to work harder at. Much to do…. because I’m not getting any younger, and I have to do all I can to build what I can for the future. Yes, only about 5% of working actors make their living from it, so I would be extraordinarily lucky to stumble into that top percentage, I am fully aware of that… But if I’m able to support myself with my other work, and be able to at least get cast in some good indie projects… it would be wonderful.

Anyway, I just felt the need to express that. I’m beating myself up less today, but it’s really motivated me to do what I can to prevent this from ever happening again! I want to always feel and know that I have done my absolute best. I suppose when it’s all edited, I’ll post it here for you to judge….

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