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Just a Job?

October 14, 2014

Is acting just a job?

A couple of years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea that working in theatre was anything less than a lifestyle, pretty much all-consuming, minus a few spare hours here and there for puppy cuddles, survival jobs, and crafting.

And there are some special sacrifices that an acting career asks of us — a flexible schedule, constant hair that matches our very expensive headshots, occasionally working on holidays, nighttime networking events, generally living in one of a couple of expensive cities…the list goes on.

But I recently got back from a killer trip to Peru that really put things in perspective for me.

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Gratuitous Machu Picchu shot because…isn’t every story better with a visual? 🙂

I’m not generally a “giddy” person, but I found myself so thrilled to be abroad for the first time in five years that we raced around the country for ten days soaking up as much as we could while I grinned from ear-to-ear the whole damn time. Seeing new places in new countries makes me so very happy. And that’s something that I had given up in recent years, always spending extra money on my career and afraid to leave the country (because you know that’s when you’re going to get a call for that big audition!).

But forget that.

Life is short, and our acting careers are (hopefully) long. Not only does traveling the world make me a better artist for being a more well-rounded human being, but it makes me a much happier and joyful person. Treating my career as a 24-hour a day/365 day a year lifestyle was keeping me from that.

Perhaps there’s some small acting success to be lost as a consequence of my love affair with exploring the world, but you know what? That’s okay. I spent most of my twenties building a foundation and being dedicated almost completely to my acting career, and while I intend to continue being a dedicated professional through my thirties, forties, fifties, and beyond, I’ve finally reached a stage in my life where I need to treat acting as what it is: just a job, and not my entire life.

Maybe that means finally having the family we’ve been talking about for years.

It definitely means taking another trip very soon — this time to Egypt!

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photo credit: Four Seasons Magazine

And I’m pretty sure it means that I’m going to be an even happier person and a more contented artist moving forward.

Do you treat your acting career as “just” a job?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jewel permalink
    October 14, 2014 11:05 am

    Beautiful article Kate. And one that is a nice reminder to me right now. Thanks!

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