And I wish it were because I’m NOT the only butch actor in LA. But really it’s because I think I might be done with acting. Kaput. Finito.
The pilot I was in aired last week – the first episode of Jennifer Falls on TVLand. Here in LA it was difficult to watch it because it coincided with the first game of the Stanley Cup, and since the Kings are actually a respectable sports establishment here in the desert, C and I drove all over creation trying to find a bar that was empty enough that we could change the channel and watch a feel-good family comedy.
I’ll get to the point – mid-way through my Paleo burger, I realized they rewrote my scene, cutting me out entirely. It’s nothing personal – they actually made it a better scene, and cut the TERRIBLE LESBIAN JOKES that were embarrassing (seriously – Birkenstock jokes??? what year is this???). But the rewrite made my character obsolete, so… No me. It took me a few moments to realize they had re-shot without me and that the lead was actually standing where I had previously been paid to sit. C thinks they’re setting it up for me to appear later, but I’m not so sure.
It’s not the cutting out that is disappointing. All but a tiny little part of me knows that it wasn’t about my performance.
It’s the fact that I’ve been doing this for 20 years. 20 years of acting classes, new wardrobes, obsessing over weight, trying to figure out if I was too gay or not gay enough… 20 years with no paychecks to show for it. 20 years with only a smattering accumulation of professional credits.
Any other career that didn’t pay you for 20 years (or paid you not even the equivalent of one month’s expenses added up over that time…) – well, that wouldn’t be a career. It wouldn’t even be a hobby, really. No one would do that.
And it’s not about the pay. I don’t love it anymore. I actually don’t know if I ever did – I was just always told I was “good” at it, so I kept going.
Other kids parents encouraged them to be financiers and lawyers. My folks wanted nothing more than for me to be the performer neither of them could be. So I kept doing it.
But when it comes right down to it… It’s not for me.
And that leaves the question: then what is?