Can I Call Myself an “Actor” Now?

My very first paid acting gig was Seth MacFarlane’s movie TED, and I remember getting the check in the mail feeling like I could finally call myself an actor. That was July 2011, and it wasn’t until about a month ago that I received my first pay check from acting in New York.

Projects I’ve been a part of thus far in New York:
1. A web comedy series called “Hipster Vice”
2. A Television project for a class at NYU
3. A short film about a serial killer called “Wish You Were”
4. A Feature film starring Michael Clark Duncan called The Challenger
5. A promotional video for Touch Tunes Jute Box
6. A pilot for ABC’s “Americana”
7. An episode of CBS’s “Person of Interest”

Does it matter that I get rewarded monetarily? I wish I could say no, as long as I’m doing what I love.
Sometimes I always have to stop and wonder if I really do love this game we play of trying so hard to impress people only for a measly $100/ a day (before taxes).

I do feel special, though. I do still get excited when I submit online for extra work, get that phone call with my 6am call time, check in and get my hair and wardrobe done.

But then I sit around for 10 hours wishing I hadn’t forgotten my book and phone charger, waiting hopefully while the PAs come in and choose people at random to go stand around for 10 minutes in a scene.

No acting required, just show up on time, follow directions and  look good (and if you don’t, hair and make up will fix you).

Some days I miss the stage and theater. I crave live action and reaction, feeling close to a character, highlighting a script. I can barely remember monologues anymore, I very rarely go on actual in-person auditions, I haven’t even printed a headshot or resume in ages. (Not necessary when all of my submissions are by email or an online headshot/resume site).

I’m not trying to complain in this post at all though, I hope that’s not the way I’m coming across. Just attempting to paint a real picture of what my life has been like. To be completely honest I’m oh so very grateful and excited and proud of myself for not giving up and moving back home. (NH I miss you).

One thing I’m still trying to figure out is the new merger between SAG/AFTRA and how exactly to get those pesky little waivers. Oh, and in order to join the union I’ll also need to pay $3,000  [$1,440 ?] which is much more than I’ve been making.

Life is spontaneous and crazy as an actor in NYC. I never know when or if I’ll have “work” or if I’ll get paid. I keep adding to my resume and networking, meeting as many people as I can and trying to get as much advice to help me along the way.

Thanks for reading if you actually got this far in my rambling! 😉

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