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11:11 am - Monday, Dec. 25, 2006
The Secret Of My (Eventual) Success

The Secret Of My (Eventual) Success

Sat 12/23/06 (4:59 p.m.)

Chatted with Kevin K. at length today. That was nice.

One of the things I said to him is something I’ve said before in here–A big reason I think I’ll succeed as an actor (Aside from talent or a “look” or what-have-you) is that it’s the only thing I can think of that I want without any ambivalence or equivocation.

Cause it’s hard to go full-tilt for what you want if you’re not sure you’re going to want whatever-it-is once you get it.

I think, for example, of companionship; I’m lonely, to be sure, and I crave love and sex and having a “life partner” and all that, but I also have tremendously painful memories of how badly my two serious adult relationships ended. And unlike acting, I don’t have any sense that “I’m good at this...”. On the contrary, I have a sneaking suspicion that life has just not equipped me to sustain a healthy, happy relationship (It’s not a great feeling to think “I left those people worse than when I found them...”).

And if that applies to an adult relationship, it applies a hundredfold when I think of children.

I love kids. I don’t write about it much, because it feels awkward, as a single middle-aged man, talking about how much I’d like to have children to love and be affectionate with and care about (I feel like I have to stick in a disclaimer that I’m not, in fact, a pedophile). I see parents with children, and sometimes I ache–there’s no other way to put it–with a longing to have what they have.

But I know it’s not all love and laughs and cuddling; it’s also tantrums and tears and time-outs. It’s putting your life and desires second to the needs of that other life (Or lives). It’s having to let go and let them screw up and let them find their own way in the world and be their own person. I imagine the highs are pretty high, but there’s worry, frustration, anger, sadness, and I’d guess frequent anxiety and fear of failure–“Am I doing the right thing? Are these people going to be healthy, happy adults, am I giving them a good foundation for their lives, or am I screwing them up?”.

And I can’t help but think that, whatever biological, paternal “stirrings” I feel, however much I may “ache”, I’m just too “damaged”, too selfish and screwed up, to ever be a good parent (Maybe too screwed up to even be an adequate parent). My mother gave me up, her parents gave her up, and maybe it’s for the best if the madness stops here.

With acting, there’s not a feeling that “If I screw this up, other people’s lives are effected...” (I guess you could make an argument that, tengentially, people’s lives could be effected by my doing a bad job in a tv show or movie. But in that arena, I have confidence that I won’t do a bad job, and even if I did, it wouldn’t be the same thing as screwing up in a relationship, or in raising a child).

I’m not afraidof getting what I want with acting (About the only “down side” I can think of is a lifetime of anxiety, riding out the peaks and valleys of even a successful acting career). I don’t doubt that I have “something to offer”, that in this environment, I can leave people and situations better than when I found them.

I’m not sure I’m ever going to “belong” in a world of lovers, of spouses, of parents and children, as much as I may want it. I don't want to hurt myself, but even more importantly, I don't want to hurt others.

But I have no such doubt about being an actor. Which is why, ultimately, I’m going to succeed.


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