My Film Career: Blood, Sweat, and (So Many) Tears
“I just don’t think you have the drive.”
Those words were said to me over a decade ago, after I finally found the courage to tell the one person I loved and trusted more than anyone my crazy dreams of pursuing acting and singing as a career. I remember just silently sitting in the passenger’s seat of his truck, crushed.
I still think about those words every so often. When I landed my first professional audition. When I signed with a talent agency. Every time I’m hired as a PA. Sometimes I wish he could see just how far I have made it.
My divorce from him was the hardest thing I have ever experienced. I felt so hopeless and depressed and it honestly felt like my life was over. Like I’d had my one shot at a happy life and now it was gone. For a long time, I couldn’t see how life could possibly ever be good again.
I actually saw him the other day. I haven’t seen him in years. That brief glimpse of him just a year or so ago would have made me dissolve into a weeping mess. But this time I was surprised by the two thoughts I had about it: I hoped for his happiness with his new family, and I also realized how I probably would not have achieved any of my own dreams were I still with him.
Today I saw my name on the list of end credits for a film I worked on, and I just cried. I thought of the long, hard, frustrating road I took to get there. The frustration of putting off my dreams for almost a decade, the hopelessness of my divorce, the struggle to make ends meet and pay off the car and credit card I got stuck with after said divorce, the maddening irritation of having big dreams in a town that does not support those dreams. The long days and nights volunteering on film sets, the endless amounts of driving and gas money and toll money, the (literal) sweat, the nights I bawled the entire drive home because I was just so exhausted and felt so lonely being away from everyone I love so much. But seeing my name like that…I have never felt so proud of myself. I had a ton of help along the way, for sure. But man, do I feel accomplished.
Perhaps I have some drive after all.