From the red carpet events, to the photoshoots, and pool-side soirées, an actress’s life can be exquisitely glamourous. The stories of “over-night successes” and finding the “diamond in the rough” romanticize the thespian’s life story and uplifts us all to dream the impossible dream. As an actor, the idea that we must lift everyone’s spirits is somber when we ourselves need to be lifted out of our own malaise.
Today I spoke with my father. Here is a man who never stopped working a day in his life. The apple falls right from the tree and straight into the office, in this case. He excitedly proclaimed that he is slowly working on his new book about electrocardiology research. I feel happy for him and tell him about eBooks if he was interested in publishing his previous work which exists in blog form, Diamonds from Finland (poems from Finland’s poet laureate, Eino Leino, translated by my father). He says happily that he prefers hard copies for such a thing. I agree.
It’s time to visit family as I only see my father once a year, and my mother a handful of times as she is the only one who is able to travel. My father had quadruple bypass surgery back in 2010. The surgery made his life immeasurably better. He is turning 82 in December, and as my dear mother softly reminds me with the occasional morbid e-mail that he is getting on in the years. I miss them dearly, thousands of miles away. I have never lived this far away from them, but I have been on my own since I was 17. I miss them now more than I ever did.
I finally got a survival job going on today. This will buy me [some] time to focus on selling my show, Queen Gorya. In the meantime, I will focus more on writing and completing my existing projects for my film company. Like my father, there is always another project brewing. I have a sneaking suspicion this will be the case until my death bed. “And another thing…check the drawer by my bedside table. There you will find a script…”
Phone calls to family are bittersweet. I am happy to hear from them but sad because I miss them terribly. Sometimes I am cross because the actor’s life is taxing and so often discouraging. I relent to bring them down with my lack of real news, but I can’t not talk to them just because I’m sad. As a good friend once said, “No one understands show business, but the people in show business.” Bits and pieces falling together to form the elusive and ever changing puzzle that is my destiny. I will control what I can, and keep others believing in the dream. I honestly can’t wait until the day that I hear some incredible news, if only to share it with my father and mother on a video call. I never want to make them cry, but in the case of exuberant happiness, I will gladly oblige.
-Satu Runa (“I am still trying to get used to your name”- PMR)
photo by Michael Moriatis