He calls me, but then he doesn’t call me. One day I’m his best girl and there is no one else in the world for him and I’m top of the world, and I’m on a roll and I think this is it, we are finally in this together and we’re gaining momentum and everything is going just fine but then one day that’s it, the calls stop coming, he just falls off the face of the earth, no explanation. Is it something I did? Something I didn’t do? He’s just suddenly into somebody else and I don’t exist anymore.
Your friends would say: this relationship makes you cry. You deserve better. Someone who thinks you’re awesome all the time, who appreciates you, who is steady and balanced and consistent—someone who loves you as much as you love him.
Because you do love him – and in this little metaphor game— let’s pretend “he” is “The Business.” (You can replace “he” with “she” if that fits your story better.) And for actors, sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into a toxic relationship with the Business – letting the ups and downs of your career define you. When you’ve got auditions and bookings you feel confident and great about yourself! And when you don’t, you feel like you’re worthless and hopeless and you’re sure you'll never work again. (C’mon, we’ve all been there.) So of course if you had a bad boyfriend, people would advise you to break it off, that you’re better off without him. But, when it comes to your actual relationship with the business, people tell you “Don’t give up! Don’t stop! He’ll love you one day if you work hard enough!”
So yeah, there are moments when that just seems… hard to reconcile, right?
In a way, being an actor is just like dating. You go on a date looking for chemistry; and essentially, at an audition, the director is also looking for chemistry. You can go on twenty auditions and do the same monologue and have nineteen people think “she’s not for me,” but then one person really gets you and casts you and maybe then casts you in a bunch of projects after that. They’re fans of you. You’re looking for those people you click with. And really, it’s okay that you don’t click with everyone, just like you don’t click with everyone you go on a date with.
There is no getting around rejection as an actor, and you have to invent your own ways of dealing with it and letting it all go. Sometimes these silly metaphors help take the pressure off. They remind me not to take it all so personally. I love Bonnie Gillespies’ piece where she compares casting to shopping for cereal.
Sometimes it helps to step back, to think: am I giving this relationship too much power? Sometimes it helps to accept The Business as it is, that guy who’s kind of a Hot Mess, who’s impossible to pin down, and sometimes you hang out and you have fun, but you don’t rely on him to define you. Sometimes you’re just what he needs, but you don’t need him to make you whole, you're already whole.
About Uma Incrocci:
Uma is an actress who has worked in every area of the business from commercials to TV to web series to audiobooks. She has spent many years in New York, where she worked extensively in regional and New York theater. She also co-produced and co-wrote the pilot Living in Captivity (official selection, NY Television Festival and LA’s Independent Television Festival), and co-wrote the book and songs of the rock musical Mother Eve’s Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood (FringeNYC; and Winner, New Jersey Playwrights Contest), which is currently in the fundraising stages for an off-Broadway run. Now working out of LA, Uma Incrocci’s TV credits include appearances on “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Jane The Virgin,” Hulu’s new show “The Path,” “Bored to Death,” “Louie,” “Pan Am,” “Lipstick Jungle,” and “Chappelle’s Show.” She’s also been in a wide variety of indie films as well the Jason Bateman comedy, “The Longest Week.”
Uma is a Stage 32 Instructor and if you enjoyed this blog, click here to check out the Stage 32 Next Level Webinars she has hosted.
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