7 Weeks and Counting…
It’s been over seven weeks since work has been shut down. It’s six weeks today since I’ve come back to BC to be closer to my mom while everything is going on with Covid.
I moved to Toronto in August after thinking about it for almost seven years. I’m an actor as well as a filmmaker and I’d been living in Vancouver since 2014. I was born and raised in Coquitlam and I’m of Hungarian decent; most of my family lives in Hungary. I also consider Budapest my home since that’s where the fam is. Oh yeah, I speak fluently too!
After completing my diploma of Acting for Stage and Screen at Capilano University in 2011, I studied with different acting teachers all over Van. I would audition for indie projects and occasionally (like very occasionally) get a professional audition from my agent. The thing with being a white, cis-female in her 20’s is that there’s A LOT of you.
I was a part of a sustainable indie theatre company for a while and we would collaborate, put on our own shows and have fundraisers. I remember one of my voice and movement teachers talking about “creating your own work” a lot in Uni. For whatever reason, I took that to mean create theatre and didn’t think about making my own films until 2016 during reading The Artist’s Way.
I think I got a lot of permission that I was seeking from that book. For so many years, I’d hear people say “create your own work”, “YouTube is at your disposal” and “just film it on your phone!” but I wouldn’t. It was there, they were completely right and I wouldn’t. And a lot of that had to do with me feeling like “what right do I have to share my story? Who cares?” Now, this mentality SUCKS and I believe is a combo of mental health beliefs (PS I have OCD and anxiety — HEYYYY), self-trust and self-confidence. I had gone through life believing that I needed to pay-my-dues and then I could be the artist I wanted to be. Or, I’d pay-my-dues and then someone would recognize this and be like “let’s give Trace a chance!”
Cut to, 5 years later. Hating that I’m serving/supervising a restaurant on South Granville to make money, having some great indie film experience, 2 feature films that never got finished, a handful of credits on some TLC shows and just feeling STUMPED. I mean I’m keeping busy, doing everything a working actor should be, staying in class to stay sharp but I’m still not where I want to be and I don’t know what to do about it. Enter The Artist’s Way. This exercise book is the reason that I was able to recognize, get out of my own way and finally get the courage to share a piece of my experience with OCD. Which, was pretty huge since I kept having OCD from my friends for a very long time (hello, mental health stigma). And after being inspired by a couple of my actor friends who were also making their own films and screening at festivals, I thought, “I can do that!” And I did! And more than once, too!
The thing with creating your own work is the fulfillment that comes from it. It’s starting from a tiny, itty-bitty seed and then watering it, giving it food, wanting to crush it, crying because it won’t grow, having a nap and looking at it again, singing to it, squeezing in some time when you get it, hugging it too tightly, ripping off a couple leaves, giving it much needed sunlight and space and then finally seeing what it’s become. And that’s all just the writing part of it!
I’m writing this blog post because since this has all happened, my time and agenda have opened up but my inspiration has become a raisin. No, a dried blueberry, that’s smaller. I’m taking it a little hard as creativity is an integral part of who I am. I made the move to TO to shake things up in my career, to focus on my artistry and to grow overall as a person. And while I’m happy to be near my mom in case anything happens and just to be together during this time, I’m feeling lost. Some days are good, some days are bad and some days I’m drinking and smoking a lot of weed.
I’m really good at being mean to myself (which I am working on with a counselor) so that’s also made life harder as I love a guilt-trip about how I’m not doing anything / accomplishing anything / FUCKING WRITING. But, to hold myself accountable, because basically all my responsibilities have vanished, I’m going to write everyday for an hour. And I’m hoping with starting this blog, that THIS will keep me accountable to do that. And don’t you dare think for a minute I haven’t thought about, “who’s going to read this? Why would someone care?” because I have many, many times. But I’m doing it anyway in hopes that it resonates with one person out there on the interweb. If not that, perhaps it’s my training in becoming the next self-proclaimed Carrie Bradshaw. And if not that, then just for the act of writing, for me.
PS. My co-star app just told me to “trust my gut” as I was re-thinking posting this. So I guess I’ll publish it now.