Big changes are happening in my life and I’ve decided to document them for the person that reads this. Meaning myself. I will do a brief synopsis. I am well aware that that sounds ridiculous if this is just for me, but one day I plan to have dementia and I may enjoy reading about that spunky little girl “who went out and did it.”
I am an actress. I have lived here in Los Angeles for 13 years and about a year ago I had a revelation on the 405 (a freeway that makes everyone in Southern California sigh with resignation.) I was on my way to a commercial audition for fish sticks and I realized that I had been here 12 years. I had just turned 38. I did some complicated math and worked out that if I stayed ANOTHER 12 years I would be 50. Suddenly, driving 20 miles to a fish sticks audition (or Viagra or Osteoporosis medicine, should I stay) seemed really unsatisfying. So I decided then and there that I would move to Austin, Texas. (Little history: I went to college at UT Austin and it remains four of the happiest, most creative, challenging years of my life. I have ALWAYS had in my mind that I would move back “someday.” Last September, right before my traffic-ridden revelation, I went to my 20-year high school reunion. It wasn’t in Austin but Arlington, but I got back in touch with friends from high school and more than that, I was struck by how LIVABLE (read: cheap) Texas is. And that quality appealed to me for the first time ever. Two of my brothers live in Austin. And my parents are about 2 1/2 hours away in Houston, which is too far for them to drop by unannounced, but still close enough for a day trip. It all made sense.)
It’s my usual habit to be impetuous, but this time I decided to exercise restraint. I said I would give myself another year in Los Angeles to make sure that my decision was sound. In that year, I would give it my all. And I have, I think. I continue to produce and act in live theatre, I teach improvisation at iO West, I am in a terrific acting class and I audition regularly and book occasionally. And yet, I arrive here in August secure in my decision. Ultimately, I’m just READY to go. The things about being an actor that used to make my adrenaline soar- you know, headshots, showcases, last-minute auditions, crushing and nonsensical rejections, near-constant dieting followed by unnecessary plastic surgery- now just exhaust me. As a middle class actor, it’s just gotten really tough to make a living. I actually MADE a living for about 7 years. I did commercials and TV and one movie. But now, things are different for someone like me. I don’t want to take one-line on a terrible show because I’ve done ten-lines on terrible shows five years ago, but it’s what is available for someone who is not a NAME. And commercials don’t run for several cycles on Class A network anymore. They go to cable (where the residual is a flat fee for 13 weeks for unlimited play on ALL cable stations. And it’s not an amount you can live on. Or worse, they go to the internet. NO residuals.) Hmmm, maybe I’m a lower-middle class actor. Anyway. I really and truly have LOVED living here so I hate to sound bitter. These are just facts. Ask anyone. Well, not anyone. But you can ask my parents. Or my agent. Or my tax return.

And I have a biological clock, people. I’m totally willing to cop to that. I don’t know if I will have kids, so if I don’t, I want to be near my nephews and niece. I want to get married. And I think I have a better chance of that in a place where people do things like that. Everyone moves to Los Angeles to work. There’s no other reason to move here. And I can’t fault anyone for that because that’s certainly why I moved here. So why would I expect a relationship to be anyone else’s priority? It hasn’t been mine until recently. And I want to see my parents more regularly. Not only because I miss them, but because they have a big house where I can store stuff.

So I’m going to write about these changes. They are bigguns. (That means “Big Ones” in southern-speak, y’all!)

Off to audition for the role of “Cat-Cuddling 38-yr old, Tina Fey-Type.” I’m a shoo-in!

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