I've come to realize that pursuing acting is, for me, as much about burning away inessentials from my character as it is about working as an actor. I've failed more than I've succeeded. I've struggled with envy of friends' successes even as I've also been happy for them. I've struggled to make sense of my experiences in audition rooms where the work has gone well but didn't lead to employment. I've been mystified by professional betrayals as well as grateful for lasting collaborations. And, through everything, I've yearned to 'succeed', as much as I've wanted to do good work.
But, by now, not 'succeeding'--in the way I thought was necessary not only to my happiness, but to being ME--has, in my increasing age, revealed that it's just not that important: 'success', in the way I've framed it, was mere gilding, weird metaphysical bling with which to adorn my social persona, a persona that's also frequently strained by my attempts to APPEAR 'successful' in hope of one day deserving actually becoming successful. Yearning for 'success' has distracted me from many joys (as well as from the actual work) and blurred my focus both in my own eyes and in the eyes of others. People see us yearn for what we think we don't already have and know to be careful around that.
Pursuing acting as a career has been my walking meditation, my therapy, my test of assumptions, by challenge to self and authority, my exorcism of demons, my comeuppance, my ritual humiliation, my rediscovery of verities, my barking up the wrong tree, my restoration, my fight with opinion, my way to model ethics, my symposium, my taking power from the characters I've played, my "no" to self hate, my "yes" to community, my "fuck you" to quiescence, my stance, my stubbornness, by desperation for approval, my restlessness, my means to change, my bargain with a devil, my voice, my teacher, my complex-ification, my polyphony, my road to something much other than I expected, my impossible and curious and unreasonable means to burning away everything that means nothing.
We all have our way. Somehow, this is part of mine.