In a couple of days we will begin to shoot “ACTING INVESTIGATIONS”! – side note: I began writing this blog about 2 weeks ago haha – but now this time REALLY we are going to start shooting next week…I hope. Producing is hard.
I realise most people don’t really give a crap as I’m not a celebrity nor am I gyrating in my underwear on the internet, which seems quite popular at the moment – so really I am writing this blog to myself and the off chance that one of my friends will read it. “Hello Anzjuli, well done! Hi friend, thanks for taking an interest in my life!”.
I am excited, despite the fact that I’m not dripping in gold and pulling wads of money from my derrière – which also seems quite popular on music videos these days – though looks less comfortable then just you know, not pulling foreign objects from your derrière – I DIGRESS.
I am excited because I am doing something I love.
I am making something I wrote, a story I want to tell.
I am not compromising on my values, or underestimating myself – I am just giving it a crack! ie – a go in other words, for those non Aussie’s out there.
Today I sat down after a really fantastic audition – which I don’t feel I have that often – and wrote out how I was feeling. I had gone into this audition not really giving a damn, which is weird for actors because we always tend to care too much. At home I had decided to just have fun with it as I hadn’t exactly wanted the part super badly. So I played around with the character, the way I took it on, I was just gonna do it MY WAY to hell with the rest! And this had seemed to work, really really well. The director was really pleased. How very odd. I felt so happy afterwards and powerful. It reminded me of how therapeutic acting is and how embracing different characters – this one being WAY more confident then I and making them live and come alive through myself can make me feel empowered and confident! I was also really pleased because I had nailed an audition. I had done it my way and my way had been appreciated and praised – and freaking awesome. I had put a part of ME in the character and it had been appreciated, not something I have felt that often in my life. This experience also made me think about what kind of work I want to do and where I would like my career to go in the next FIVE years. Yes one of those scary ‘adult’ type plans I love writing out when I’m feeling ‘positive’.
You see in the world of Film and Television – as in most sectors of the creative arts – there is a very BROAD base of work you can CHOOSE to take part in. I highlight choose because often I’ve felt that I just need to do EVERYTHING in order to get ‘recognised/noticed’ and then I will be able to pick and choose the work I want to be in. But that’s kind of crap. Just honestly, no. The only reason to be in lots of random stuff is to meet people who you might want to collaborate with, or to learn how film sets work (so being a part of the crew – I’ve found this quite valuable)
But as an actor from the very beginning I believe you need to choose the type of work you want to take part in – not just do any ol thang!
What are you passionate about?
What do you want to be seen in?
What kind of story do you want to tell?
This will also pair you up with people who are interested in making the type of work you are interested in making, instead of people who are interested in say B grade slasher films with cocaine-washed-out-celebrities to pull a certain audience and half-sci-fi-soft-core-porn-wana-be-hbo-badly-written-films. It will also guarantee you have a passion for the work, cause we all know artists have a damn hard time making good work when their not passionate about it.
Where do ‘I’ (You) fit into all of this?
A lot of actors only see Hollywood, HBO, prime time TV etc and think – “That’s where I want to be! That is what ‘success’ means in this field!” Firstly – its disappointing that they only see America and their mass media as actual ‘acting’ or ‘film’. Secondly making it in Hollywood doesn’t actually guarantee you’re going to make something amazing or have a good life. You could be typecast as the best friends girlfriend in all the movies you play, or you might find that the large array of cookie-cutter-films (as I have dubbed a lot of films from the US – same storyline, just different actors and a way to big budget) as unfulfilling. Cause quite frankly, a lot of it is just thin air ‘Pooof’.
Meanwhile there’s so many other options out there! Options that will bring you a different kind of success and hopefully with it personal and career fulfillment. Insightful, poignant and life changing documentaries, indie films, webisodes, short films, funny sketch youtube shows and countless other smaller TV series and productions from all across the globe.
So how do you figure out where you want to be?
You need to follow your values! What do you hold dear? If its fame, then sure go get your kit off and do whatever in the hope that you might one day get famous…which will eventuate in….filling that gaping empty hole inside of you? Doubtful.
Do you want to be a part of something wonderful? Telling stories that reach hearts and change minds and might even create catalysts for re-birth in other people’s lives? Well then follow that. Not the media’s bs versions of ‘success’. Success. Its such a funny word. Its like the word ‘love’. It has many different interpretations and can mean different things to different people. What does success mean to you? Figure that out and you’re on your way to it! I had someone ask me what my day would look like once I had reached my version of success and I was surprised that it was actually quite simple and that made it seem much more attainable.
Success to me isn’t about being famous the world over – although because I am human and love praise, gosh, everyone knowing my name and being all like “whooo she’s amazing Oooh my goooosh!” would be kinda cool. But then again, it would also be really weird and intrusive and so many people love Taylor Swift and I think she’s stupid so popularity isn’t really a measure of success for me. I want to be popular with the right people. A select group of fans or people who love what I do and are good, kind, generous, encouraging, thoughtful people who want to make work that makes a difference, not just dollars.
Its strange to think that we often get set in this – I’m going to call it MEDIA FRENZY BLINDNESS as people and as artists. I get caught in it daily. You think what you do is less important because you’re not getting paid or you don’t have millions of fans swooning over you! (or really anyone swooning in your direction). It wears down on you over time. You question if what you’re doing really has any merit when you get no pay, little work, little gratitude or thanks.
You grow up only really seeing what Hollywood pumps out and you think that that’s success, that there ain’t anything else. You think (well I have) that you just have to do crappy roles in films you’re not passionate about, until you get noticed and land some BIG role which will escalate your career into stardom in Hollywood and eternal acting joy and bliss. BLARGH. No. Enough of that bs. I honestly don’t even watch that many Hollywood films anymore! And why should I measure my success, worth and merit as a person and as an artist based on society’s standards? And why should I for a time, compromise on my values – such as being in films with themes/content I might not agree with – just to maybe ‘make it’ in some industry where you’re not even guaranteed long term success or happiness? That makes no sense to my brain and I reckon my brain is pretty good at judging things!
So today as I sat in this cafe I realised what I am REALLY passionate about in this broad, floating world of crazyness. And one thing stood out to me.
Women and comedy.
YES LADIES YOU! And not in a lesbian way, more in a –
“I am a female film-maker, writer, actor. I am sick of Hollywood/media/film/etc representing women in a certain often stereotypical, highly sexualized way – everyone’s sexual – but why do women constantly have to be eye candy whilst playing second fiddle to the main character who is 99% of the time a man? WHY!?
Honestly I’m sick to death of it and I’m going to choose to step away from that and MAKE MY OWN DAMN WORK! Where I will represent women the way I see them, I will represent myself, my sister, my mother, my friends, the girl on the street, the women I see, read about and come in contact with through my travels in all their perfect imperfections! I’m going to make work that shows empowered women, confident women who have grace and beauty – not just physical beauty – but character beauty! Women who kick-ass and aren’t afraid to go for what they want! Women who don’t have to flash their breasts in a HBO show to hopefully ‘get somewhere’ in their career or just because ‘that’s how the industry is now’. Cue spewing. Women who stick to their moral values – stick to their guns – don’t back down and demand respect. Women who help other women and men to be better human beings. Women who are more obsessed about the value of their character then the colour of their hair. Women who make their own way in the world and don’t need to be ‘helped’ ie – shown the way by men. I am going to carve my own damn path and take what’s already mine for the taking!”
So there that’s what I was thinking today.
Apart from writing shows, plays, random blogs and performing I also want to help in different ways. I have plans to make many documentaries, to travel overseas and witness the struggles and triumphs of other women and then to show those stories to the world. I also want to teach women the skills I have learnt in acting and film-making so they can tell THEIR OWN stories and claim back their confidence and power in this world!
I cant wait to be able to use acting/theatre/film-making/dancing/art/singing skills I have to help other women!
And so in conclusion to my perfectly imperfect blog:
– I am excited about Acting Investigations because I am telling a story I am passionate about
– I am pumped because it has a female lead and a strong female antagonist!
– Doing an audition my way and putting the spice of me in the character worked and was loved and appreciated – giving me even more confidence for AI!
– I’ve been able to reassess my values and what I see as success which gives me a target to aim for and means I’m not floating around aimlessly!
So yes. There you have it. I hope this has helped some of you to think about where you’re going and what you want to do with the talents you’ve got. I say stick to your guns, stick to who you are and dance with what you’ve been given!