We had a ridiculously good time at Film Courage’s night of readings and monologues as a “Tribute to the Sunset Strip.” I was the only one who actually performed a monologue (I wrote in homage to Dio and Lemmy). Everyone else read from a favorite book about rock n roll, or read a passage from a personal diary. Nice to connect with fellow metalheads and music lovers who all also happen to be actors.
I got a chance to workshop a character that I’m working on that may or may not be part of a TV series I’m developing. More on this later as it becomes declassified! See video of my performance here (it was REALLY fun!):
It’s been tough to keep your head up these days with all of the shocking news day after day. The only way to survive it is to push through it and stay busy. Stay WOKE, but stay busy. As an artist, I wrestle day to day with how I can help without being trite and obvious with my work. A documentary, a narrative feature, a powerful dramatic short, or a comedy bringing light and humor to the dire situation we may be in. In these circumstances I always come back to music.
I feel like I have multiple “true callings.” If I ever feel lost, I move into another medium, and my blood starts pumping again. In high school, the first college I requested a pamphlet from was Berkeley College of Music. It wasn’t a firm “no” from the parents, but it didn’t seem possible, so I played it safe and went to UNCW for Communication Studies. Great experience, but I always wonder where I would be today if I had followed through with my lifelong passion. After several A&R people handed me business cards early on, I’m confident that I would have made it as a singer, but I changed direction in the middle of the pursuit towards acting. Acting has been an uphill battle since the beginning. Not actually acting itself (it’s a thrill), but being successful at it has been the biggest struggle of my life. It’s gotten to a place where the chase is too draining in every aspect, so I find myself somewhat reluctantly surging towards another path, which also feels quite right. I may not get what I want in the end, but all I really want is to perform on a regular basis and not die of starvation doing it (anymore). So the path remains clear: I’m focusing on directing for the rest of the journey. It’s very odd, but I know in my heart that I have a better chance directing than acting, as it’s far more hands on and proactive. I will work as hard as I can, stock away survival money, and play music to appease my heart and soul. If acting wants me back in (as it always finds a way to pull you back in), I will follow. But not at the expense of my creative spirit, and fridge.
Certain events this year involving acting opportunities have driven me farther away from a desire to aggressively seek out acting work at this level. I’m happy to create my own, but I’m stepping away from the “chase” to feed the artist in me, and the stomach. It’s a big decision to make, and as soon as I made the decision to step away from chasing acting work (not acting itself, mind you- I will never say no to a solid part), of course, I got the call to come back to set for a short stint. It was semi-fulfilling, but in the end, far too much trouble for the small payoff it truly was. I’m happy to pay my bills as an actor for the first time in a few years, but it’s certainly not enough.
[The monologue I did for Film Courage for FREE was ultimately 1000x more satisfying, so I have to keep that in mind and keep doing that kind of stuff].
I shall go forth seeking out more fulfilling work, and in turn, my other callings shout loud and clear. Every time I see a film. Every time I hear a great song. I’m there.
Satu Runa, photo by Joao Carlos