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2020 has been very unpredictable. I know that that sounds like quite the understatement but it's also a way of saying that for me 2020 wasn't as abnormal as any other year. In fact, in 2020 I stopped working a day job, worked in high-profile commercials for GEICO and Wayfair, and worked my very first TV show as a co-star. Now, this post isn't about summing up 2020 or even my career. It's about my takeaways from that co-star experience I had only a few weeks ago this same month up in Santa Fe.

The biggest takeaway for me was that working in TV is something I enjoy. The actual job is in the preparation (much like in a self-tape or any type of audition experience). When you show up to the audition and now I realize to a working Hollywood production set it's less about everyone getting on the same page and more about plugging what you've brought to set into the situation. The plugging in that I'm referring to is also a very literal term; it's a plug and play type of situation. BUT if what you're plugging in is a machine that does what is being required when it is being required then this is the miracle. ...And I like that. I am now at a point in my craft and at a point in my career where I know what a commercial, TV show, film needs. I also know who I am and what I can do. THAT IS THE HARD PART. Now I can finally relax into the career and offer what I do to people who are looking for it and solve our mutual problem. The problem for them being "Who can play this that I can hire?" And my problem being "Who is looking for me and for what I do that is in my world of contacts?" I am now a professional. Just like any other professional in any other business. And the business side of being an actor has finally resolved itself. Getting those jobs is still a hunt and as random as always. But now that my co-star has revealed those certain truths to me about the Industry I know that when I secure an audition or am targeting a show/CD I can confidently say "I know who I am. I know what I do. I know what you need. Here's the final product that solves your problem on this particular project. Let's do business!" The rest is up to my contact and up to chance. So, I know for sure that I'm going to continue as always to work diligently to find and capitalize on opportunities. Now I will execute in the audition room and on set knowing in my core what I do and that what I do is being positioned within an eye for solving a production problem in a very methodical way.

I'll talk more specifically about my co-star experience later. But for now this professional insight is something I wanted to confirm to myself as having made as it is a set of truths I will continue to cherish throughout my career.

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This was a revelation I had in August 2019. This revelation has now been practically approached with the technical crutch of pneumonic memory techniques to capture text in object form and - just as importantly - to recall those objects after applying a trigger to cues. The larger revelation however is that in auditioning for countless commercials I was not preparing myself fully. And conversely when auditioning for costars I was putting too much pressure on "The Career of It All" that I wouldn't perform to my own standards. So, how can I find a happy medium between not caring TOO MUCH and not caring AT ALL? Well, the secret for me is - like a riddle - hidden in its question. The Happy Medium can be found for me by finding my happiness. Chasing joy. I want to make interesting choices and to express myself and contribute as a creative robust storyteller so I have to find ways of doing that with the script I am given. I have to first take a script and find my way of getting excited. How do I find the joy in ____ script? If I can't, I really should turn down even the offer to audition. Until I can afford to do that, however, I am tasked to find and to chase the joy in every script I can find. IT'S NOT ABOUT DOING WHAT IS "REQUIRED" NO MATTER WHAT THE ACTING COACHES, ACTING CLASSES, OR BOOKS ON ACTING SAY. It is about building something from the ground up. Being there FOR REAL. It's not about tricks. Tricks will fail you. They fail me ALL. THE. TIME. Because tricks are only the icing on the cake. They only make the eye focus on one thing at one point in time for one reason. But if there is no substance and I am failing in my duties IN do I rectify this? By showing up, by being true to myself, and - when they don't want me YES this can be taken more harshly as a personal slight or failing or rejection - BUT ACTUALLY what is happening is that you are playing the odds. FINALLY. You are in the mix as you, Jamie. You are being considered as the person as the performer as the bright light that you are. Just shine. And what fuel allows you to shine? The fuel of sheer joy. So find it and chase it!

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Today's revelation has to do with personality. I think people are like plants. We expand to fill the area we have and are always trying to grow. Unlike plants in a pot, or bed, or seeds pushing up through stony ground, we do have categories of Need. I always like to think of people living and working together in those small tribes of old. These were communities that hunted, gathered, or eventually settled. Regardless, these tribes had roles that certain men, women, and children followed or were forced upon such as they matured into their parent's profession or place in the community. In 2019 America, we no longer have many roles to play within our community or indeed even within our family. But the need is still there in our DNA. So, to fulfill that historic Need we build ourselves up to others and to ourselves. We can't help it. In fact we largely need to do it. That's how we distort ourselves and become the personalities that the larger world sees though it is ultimately judged as productive or "normal" through the individual viewer's lens. If our family, community, society that is hyper local to us is not providing for us on a historic level for our Needs or in fact if those supports are actively doing something to remove or supplant those Needs...then our personalities in our youth are greatly and permanently distorted or - in our adulthood - we feel a sense of being unbalanced. Whether or not there is any conspiracy out there to unbalance us the reasoning behind the unbalancing is almost pointless to resolve. What those who feel unbalanced seek is to balance. To right ourselves. There are many salves for this sense of unease and ways to satisfy our historic Needs. But I think that it makes most sense to find an organic community of hand-picked people to surround yourself with and with whom you can reciprocate support. It almost ties in with the idea of every individual finding a passive income stream or creating a product or company for themselves. The Gig Economy as it is so often called is something that might now resonate for our emotional and spiritual selves as well. We are in the Information Age and our great challenge now is to sort data and to deliver it as efficiently as possible to the people who require such knowledge. This Age then requires us to create for ourselves every support from the ground up. Some of those historic supports can still exist from birth if you are born into a loving nuclear family with financial stability in a safe middle-class suburb. But that world of modern American stability exists less and less. We are being asked increasingly to build everything and to find or manifest that niche product/service that our global community requires. This is true for the global community but also for our hyper local one. And the most hyper local community or me. Or you. Build that support for yourself and for your friends so that everyone's historic Needs are met. Otherwise find those salves that can help you and your friends feel less unbalanced. But realize that a salve only works temporarily and decreases in effectiveness over time.

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