No mumsy roles for this whipper snapper
Today I had an audition.
In my twenties, all I ever wanted was auditions. I lived for that phone call from my agent. A time and place to show up and, in my allotted ten or so minutes, attempt to convince a casting director to take a chance on me.
These days, a phone call from my agent can often feel inconvenient. Juggling three kids around auditions is not easy. But part of me still enjoys keeping the acting window open.
The sun was streaming through my car windows as I drove to the other side of town today. I was feeling happy. I had Harlow with me and a bag of snacks to keep her occupied at the audition. I was thinking about how I really need to update my resume and get some new headshots done. I was pondering whether to spend $125 to list myself on Showcast or not. They were easy thoughts, just floating on by without causing me any concern or anxiety. Because acting as a career is no longer the ultimate goal. It feels like nice work if you can get it and sometimes I get it. I could do more to promote myself (hence the floating thoughts) but if not, things could just continue to tick over nicely enough that every now and then, I'll land a gig and won't that be fun and a nice little pay day.
Relaxed. That's how I feel about acting.
That's how I felt.
So sun shining, me happy. And then the audition happened.
I don't know whether it was because the role called for me to be dressed down and without much make-up but already, that meant I wasn't feeling my best. But when the casting director invited me to come and watch my first take on camera, that's when the self-loathing really kicked in.
The scene was meant to be frenetic but being too frenetic meant I wasn't letting the camera see enough of my face which is really the whole point. So the casting director was doing me a huge favor in showing me what I had done in the first take so that I could tweak it for the second. Awesome.
Except that I couldn't get past the tired, frumpy housewife I saw on the screen. I looked exhausted. I suppose I had nailed the look I was going for but I hadn't expected to embody it so completely. It bothered me that I so completely fit the bill.
All this time, I have been thinking my agent has got it wrong sending me for these mid-thirties mumsy parts. I walked out of that room feeling like I didn't know myself at all.
The sun continued streaming through my windows on the drive home but I felt immune to it. Now it was too bright and made my tired eyes sting. I wanted to lie down, take a nap. I wanted to call my agent and say "take me off your books." Because I felt completely done with acting.
Not only had I not done a great job in the audition, I looked awful, too.
Motherhood has rearranged me in so many ways. I have embraced so many of those changes, thrilled with the personal growth, the expansion of so many facets in my life and relationships. Becoming a mother has made me a better person.
But holy fuck, it has taken a toll on my physical self.
I am getting older. I accept that (or maybe I don't). But I never wanted to resign myself to motherhood in the sense that it no longer mattered what I look like. I avoid trackie dacks like the plague. I wear at least some make-up every single day. I don't totter into school pick-ups wearing stilettos but I give a shit what I look like.
So it was a slap in the face to realise I look like shit.
In my day to day life, the way I look is fine. I feel good about myself in general. But the acting world is something else again and do I really need that level of scrutiny in my life anymore? Do I even want to be an actor anymore?
I can't tell you what a crisis of self this has been. All my life, it's all I ever wanted to do. Since having children, my focus has shifted and career-wise, writing is my priority. But quitting acting completely? Feels like a seismic shift. Like shutting down a defining part of me.
I sense I am at a crossroads. And it's an unsettling feeling.
I have realised in the past fews years that even if I dont do the things I dreamed of its ok. I Have reached a point in my life where I dont feel I have to be somebody to be accepted, being a mother is all im capable of being at the moment and im ok with that. I can’t lie it has taken so many painful moments but im finally happy to be just me. Sorry if this dosnt make sense lol! Xxx
And by the way you look a hot mumma with or without make up on ♥
I love that you got there, Rachael. The hardest thing for me to accept is that being a mum is a full time job for me right now. I could probably, you know, give myself a break! But no, instead I push myself and always come up short.
“I’m finally happy to be just me” – amen to that, honey. xxx
Thank you. <3
Oh sister. I’m right there with you. I so desperately clung onto the idea that I was still an actor. That I was? That I am. I think. I don’t know. I don’t do it anymore, due to motherhood duties, so does that make me one at all? Or a used to be? It’s confusing. I have found motherhood to zap my confidence as an actor. I don’t know why. I miss being creative in that way but I don’t miss all the other bullshite that is associated with it. Especially the whole looks thing. I hate the scrutiny, including the self scrutiny. That’s the worst. I reckon’ you shouldn’t give up. Keep your agent and go and do it when you can. Some days will be crapola but other days you will feel uplifted keeping a finger in what will always be apart of your identity and at least you have an agent! Mine dumped me when I was 36 weeks pregnant (when I’m sure they thought they wouldn’t get me a pregnancy brief at that late stage so I was ‘worthless’ to them). I am searching for a new identity as career Vicki. I’m not sure if the actor is still in there and apart of it going forward. I find it so strange at this point in my life that I am still asking the question, what do I want to be when I grow up??
Try not to be to hard on yourself you will get there when your ready big hugs xxx
I think you are gorgeous!!! kisses!!!
You look beautiful and certainly not older or frumpy – you still look like a young woman in her twenties – maybe you will get the role!
Firstly, I think you are gorgeous, but I know that’s not really the issue. I can certainly relate to the awareness of getting older, but when you’re in an industry that focuses on youth and beauty, those natural insecurities about ageing become highlighted, in capital letters, with a bright neon sign. Crossroads can suck, but you usually feel better when you’ve worked through the questions and get to the revelations on the other side. Love to you through the journey xx
You are so brave putting it all out the Angie. I love how you so courageously share your vulnerabilities with the world. To me you look so so youthful. Maybe we see the worst parts of ourselves – the parts no-one else sees. I am habitually down on myself, but I don’t know how good that is for me, or my family. I’m excited to see where this cross road takes you. Also, loved your Coles ad. You look so cute. X