Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh, really? An actor? Well...good for you!

Why It's Great To Be An Actor
Reason Two:  The Reactions

We've all had someone ask us what we do for a living.  Which, actually, is kind of sad.  Do you remember people used to ask where you went to school or what your major was?  Those were the days.  Now, we're old.  We get asked what we do for a living.  It's a conversation starter.  A way to learn more about each other and perhaps find some common ground.  Well, I'm guessing that most people don't get the response that we actors do.  People just don't know how to reply when you say you're an actor.  Here are some examples of my favorites:

Sales lady at the Bridal shop:  Are you a student?
Me:  No, I'm an actor.
Lady: (Loooooooong pause with lots of blinking in confusion) Oh!  Like, wow!  Ok.
Me: (Smiling awkwardly) Yeah...
Lady: (Loooooooooong pause) That's great!  Ok, let me just go get you that other dress...


Drunk friend of a friend at a bar: What do you do?
Me: I'm an actor.
Drunk friend: Oh my god!  Like for real?!
Me: Uh, yeah.
Drunk friend: What TV show are you on?
Me: I'm not.
Drunk friend: You said you were an actor.
Me: Yeah.
Drunk friend: Pshhh.  Poser!


Some chick: What do you do?
Me: Oh, I'm an actor.
Chick: Oh, cool.  What are you going to do if that doesn't work out?
Me: What do you mean?
Chick:  Like, for money.  If that doesn't work out?  What's your plan b?
Me: I guess I'll direct.

I mean I understand.  I'm not making much money being an actor.  I teach and direct children's theatre to suppliment my income but that's kind of what being an actor is all about.  .0001% of us make it BIG BIG time, 2% make a good living, and then the rest of us fight it out on our way to the top.  But if you keep fighting sooner or later you just might end up there.  So that's what I do.  I don't have a plan b.  And I'm kind of insulted that you think I need one.  If I had answered, "I teach preschool" would you ask me if I had a plan b?  No!  
It's a wierd reality I live in.  
I mean, I'm used to it.  I love it.  But sometimes I take a step back and think, "This is weird." 
Anyway, it's fun to be an actor because life is never boring.  And if you'd like to try my life on for a minute then the next time someone asks you what you do for a living, say your an actor.  And let me know how that goes. 


Anonymous said...

At least people know what an actor is. When I tell people I'm a scenic designer they always give me a confused look. Then I have to explain what I do, which leads to more questions. Saying I'm a designer is not enough because then they assume you mean costumes. Can't say artist because they assume visual art like painting. And I definitely don't want to get into the whole MFA thing because who needs to go to school for theatre? Unless you want to teach, which I don't, so again, why the extra degree? People don't question if you're getting a Masters of Business. Why should we have to justify every career move just because the average person is oblivious? Better to avoid the career question all together, in my opinion.

Roux (SSSG) said...

yes, but in the end it really IS good for us, because we get to live with that snide superiority knowing that our lives will be infinitely more interesting than theirs will ever be! So . . . you know . . . that's something . . .