Fat-ish, funny, and sure… handsome

I have been going through a horrible bit of soul searching lately, wondering if I even want to be an actor, which for my level of achievement is *hilarious*. There would be a little bit of outcry, certainly increased if I made an announcement and had a party. But most people in my situation slip out of being an actor like they remove a jacket on a long spring walk, everyone can see your discomfort and losing the jacket just makes sense.

I have stopped acting on several other occassions, so I don’t even take myself seriously when I talk like this. But in my recording work and my music writing, I actually feel like I’m building something. If I spend six hours writing a song, there is some hope that the song will go out and build something for me. It might get recorded, it might be performed in the context of something larger, it could earn me royalties.

And the recording work is just something that isn’t terribly precious to me. If I record something that I hate, it gets the same attention as something I love, and I do it almost as well. In the last session I did, my mom was producing and she wanted a change to a song. As I was trying to make it happen, she got on the talkback and said, “Do you think that’s a bad idea?” and I bellowed, “I think it’s a *TERRIBLE* idea, but I don’t know anything, let me just do it for you.” I don’t know which of us is right, I haven’t listened to it since I recorded it.

But acting for me has always been something that I take way too seriously. There is a level of fulfillment that is indescribable. What comes to mind are some of the musicals I did as a kid, and some of the straight plays I’ve done in the last ten years. And, to tell the truth, Lady & the Ladle. Extraordinary that this children’s show should end up meaning so much to me, but it’s like a tuning fork in my heart. It could be my Mormon upbringing, but there is something about the work I do that involves teaching and inspiring kids that goes straight to the pit of my heart.

The theater is just too precious. It’s too important, and I don’t have enough control as an actor to say what I want to say. The frustrations I sometimes have are withering to me, body and soul.

I roll my eyes more at myself than you possibly could, believe me. But, I also have to admit that the apparent pretention isn’t pretend at all. My working associates know my dedication, they know I live and die on stuff, and maybe I am a drama queen, maybe I go off and rant and bitch, maybe I am a hell of a lot more frail than I pretend, and maybe if I was tougher all of this wouldn’t matter. I think about my friends sometimes when I’m writing this blog, and I know they roll their eyes at half of it (the half where I say “My friends roll their eyes at me” – written exclusively so they will call me and say, “we take you seriously, Sean…”) but I also know that they probably see me wading through my life with a sense of crippling lack of accomplishment that is quite serious.

Paul Giamati did not get an Oscar Nomination today, and it pushes me ever closer to wanting to walk away. I am nowhere near the actor he is, Jesus Christ “American Splendor” is amazing and “Sideways” is pitch perfect, but he’s got to be thinking that it’s a really tough road for a guy who doesn’t have the genetic gifts of the rest of the nominees. Sure, he’s handsome in a way, and he’s funny and he’s a little fat-ish, but that shouldn’t stop him from getting the credit he deserves.

Not even a nomination.

And I am light years and eons behind him in building any kind of a career. I said I would quit when I was thirty, but I gave myself some space because of the divorce. I just never said how much space. It’s possible that I may be unable to do much else, I have no marketable skills, but even a lower rung ladder job that I hate is better than frustrations with a career in something I love. It’s gotta be.