Yesterday, a few hours after posting that update, the NYC world changed for me in a drastic, life-altering way. The tectonic plates beneath me shifted so that I might forever lose my footing or completely stand my ground. It did not help my potential panic that I was about to shoot a complex scene I’d written without much (in my mind) in the way of preparation. (In fact, part of my crew arrived before I’d even showered, but I digress.)
The long and extremely short of it is this: the money I was receiving from my post 9-11 GI Bill ran out… about three months sooner than I’d planned for. The Universe and Fate judiciously conspired again to have prepared me for this with a small nest egg, but the blow nonetheless was well-received to the paunch most ready to relieve me of my breath. I think that the Universe (my producer, director, and biggest fan) wanted to take my show in a more dramatic direction, but it really would have been nice if he’d have let me know more gently.
I called my Mom at work, as this was the kind of earth-shattering news that required immediate solacing, but she ended by telling me to refrain from calling her except in the case of emergencies (Funny how different people perceive emergencies, isn’t it?), and then promised to call me later that day to make sure I was properly sorted. (She didn’t, by the way.)
In case you, my gentle reader, have not gotten the full gravity of the situation yet – I’m pretty much a few months from being irrevocably homeless… in New York City. It’s a good thing I’ve been so generous to the homeless heretofore, as I may very well join their ranks soon. I shall remember to dress warmly.
Honestly, a few months can burn away in almost no time at all, so my focus is readily on both writing a plethora of quality pieces (to net a manager/agent), and on finishing what I can of a demo reel (to net an acting manager/agent). This, of course, all while I’m looking for stable employment (as continuing to have a room over my head is a primary concern… well, that and food).
All these troubles danced on my head yesterday morning, and yet I still managed to deal with an entire production shoot in space that was too limited with a fat, ugly actor (Me! HA!), and an actress who admitted (once there, of course) that my lines were too difficult for her to enunciate, and that she hadn’t memorized them. “It’s okay,” I thought. “Neither have I!” But then again, I wrote the lines, and am a quick study anyway. I may be destined to direct, but I’d have to put a lot more effort into finding suitable places in which to shoot. And I should probably do actual auditions.
Still… now remains the question of what to do with my life. I’ve long said that I was only going to NYFA for the money. Now that the money’s gone, I find that I was absolutely right. I’ve never thought they were teaching me anything particularly worthwhile (with a few rare exceptions), and I certainly won’t be listing them on any resumes, so sticking around to get their “piece of paper” won’t exactly be worth my time. I’m on-board for the editing of my short, and that’s it. After that, I’m gone. I’ve got far more important things to do to make my life work than sitting around listening to some has-been show me TV shows and tell me how to write a TV script (which I could entirely learn just by looking at a TV script), or do silly acting exercises with a class full of apathetic writers who (save for one) wouldn’t know decent acting if it bit ’em in the ass, or comment on old movies and posture myself using obtuse “industry” terms like “world of worlds” or “expansion and contraction” or (shudder) “moral stain”.
In case you can’t tell, I’m actually a little sick of it.
So, here’s to the vicissitudes of life – true freedom is a sometimes harsh and scary mistress, but at least it’s a hell of a ride.