Being stuck at home sick this week has given me a lot of time to ponder. I have been thinking about this topic all week. I’ve been thinking not what my life was about 10 years ago, or 5 years ago, but 4 years ago… This odd number. Four years ago…late August 2009. It was a whirlwind. My busiest time of the year. I was working for Hawaiian Tropic producing and hosting events since around 2001 and every year this was crazy time. It was crazy time because this is when most of the state and regional finals would happen in order to send the winners to the US finals next month in September…. a couple weeks really. It was very stressful. Some contracts still weren’t signed yet with the locations. I was always having to replace girls that cancelled. For one of by biggest finals at Harrah’s in San Diego I probably booked over 100 girls to finally end up with the 50 the contract required. For the previous two years 2007, 2008 and now 2009 I was most likely gone the entire month traveling from one event to the next. Airline tickets, rental cars, making sure all the girls had and got their room confirmation numbers…. printing out all the releases the girls needed to sign, making sure prize money was in hand, making sure the locations gave the girls meal tickets before they got there (most could just never grasp (at least the first year) giving me all of them ahead of time so I could hand them out to the girls upon arrival… it was always down to the wire… some girls already having arrived and someone in my room from the hotel frantically signing meal vouchers). I was an airline ticket and car rental booking machine. I could have ten sites up at once booking 4 different events. Co-ordinating all the shows; stage, sound lights, choreography…. then I added posters, and giving the girls their own custom swim suit from a company I started……I could never keep everyone happy….Oh how I tried…. there was always one person upset about something…..her suit, her picture, how she placed, the location unhappy with the turnout or girls doing something….. I was running… running all the time…. to fix things, put out fires, stop fires before they started, calling …. e-mailing…texting girls… where are you? The last final would be days before the US finals in Hawaii. We would go straight there. The kids always made it to Hawaii, but a lot of the time they would come to all the events.. not in 2008 or 2009… I was gone for over a month. It was just too much. They met me in Hawaii. Life was all that it could be. I was successful. I only worked constantly and missed out on a little chunk of my kids lives. Even when I was home the TV was their babysitter A LOT. Was I happy? Yes? Did I love all the action?… yes…especially my OCD…. I was on fire. Was this my dream life?…… no…… I always wanted to be back in LA pursuing my dreams of being an actress. Yes, I was still on stage hosting the events. So much live show stage experience gave me so so …maybe too much confidence:)…. I would never trade that time. But now four years later….. The model search cancelled. Things are at a snails pace compared to 2009. As I rented a car yesterday it was so WEIRD. I felt like I had never done it before. I used to rent 2 every week end to cart around the girls. Up until before summer for the past 3 years I had carried on with the go..go..go must succeed attitude but now with my own self. Not with a company, or with the girls, but with my own dream. I knew to submit to anything and everything on LACasting and Actorsaccess; student films, low budget, infomercials, what ever. Build the resume. Get IMDB credits. Get footage for my reel. Obtain and agent and a manager… good ones. Take classes…. learn…. don’t get cocky. I went through the programs at IOwest Improv and 2nd City. The best training and one of the best decisions and thinks I had every found… FOR MYSELF. I feel like I have a solid foundation on which to build on.
However….. the costs….. starting over is HARD; financially, emotionally. Your self..your self esteem gets doubted and challenged on a daily basis. Not just by going on audition after audition and not getting the part. Ive been on hundreds. That never bothered me. But when you have kids and you need to eat and pay the mortgage and car and electric…and its not easy as just hitting a button on bill pay like in 2009 when things were rolling…. then you doubt….Is this the right thing? No it wasnt my choice to end my career with Hawaiian Tropic, it was Energizers…. They cancelled the model search….”Didn’t like the image” I fought so hard so change and did BTW…. they didnt care. However, I made the choice to move the family to California to pursue my dream. I have worked hard, but still have a long way to go. Should I have kept us up on the mountain? We were safe there. We could have lived well for sometime….. but then what? Do I want my daughter to see me not try? Not reach for my goals? Not that there is anything wrong with it, but what would my career options have been in a small town? Minimum wage. I know lots of my friends there that struggle just to find a job. I don’t want my daughter to graduate high school and work at Albertsons. (again, not that there is anything wrong with that). I want her to have big dreams… huge…..She is old enough that she has seen the strain these past few years have been “starting over”….. she remembers the thousand dollar Costco sprees and the trips all over the world. I question every day if this career choice was the best for her. I could get a “regular job”… where I don’t know. I’ve applied for part time jobs at night as I have to be free during the day, but then I fear I would never see the kids. Is it ok that they sacrifice for my dream? I do know that my daughter now knows and understands that value of things/ money. She used to get anything and everything she asked for. Now, if I say she can have $20 to go shopping she asked sincerely and worriedly, “Are you sure mom? I know we dont have a lot of money.” I want to cry. I tell her we are fine. We are very fortunate. We have a lovely home in LA in the perfect place, we have great public schools. We have food. We will be just fine. When I say it to her I know it to be true. We will be just fine. Things have changed…. not for the better or the worse… just changed. I am happy. I am spending gobs more time with the kids than I ever had and homework (I cant believe I’m saying this) hasnt been so bad this year. I know its only been two weeks. I think it is in part because I am not running… I am standing still or at a snails pace. Im not running from one audition to the next to a class to a show. Upon my managers wishes…. and the fact I have to be around for the kids to/ from school, summer break full duty ect. I have been forced to slow down…sometimes by forces out of my control like food poisoning or all tires on every mode of transportation being flat…. I have the credits, the agent, the manager….. Its nice to breath…. patiently wait for the right things to come along while enjoying what I have…. My two wonderful kids that are growing up. This beautiful house that I need to clean…. my garden, my dogs, my family, my friends….. Time to take in all that I have accomplished and stop running…. if only for a little bit…….. enjoy and appreciate what I already have. Yes, I will still strive for more work, more opportunities. I can never stop and expect things to fall in my lap…… but just breath…. if only for a little while more.