Giving up acting

Is it time to let a dream go?

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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

Excerpts from an fb conversation this morning….

I am fascinated … and a little stunned … by a sensing of energy I had had last night. It settled around me as a sort of leaning toward a decision. I might be through with acting. I wonder what would replace that passion? It makes me curious…

Wow, just had an epiphany. it isn’t the passion for acting I’m deciding to be through with, it’s struggle. There is such a collective mindset in that industry, perhaps all creativity-led industries, around it being hard and challenging and about so much of it seemingly being beyond the control of the artist… I think that’s what I’m letting go of now or at least moving in the direction of letting go.

What my soul is saying to me this morning is this: If there is not a path you can illumine with your acting skills that opens in grace and ease, it is better to let it go completely than to continue to follow any path of brambles. If you have to clear the path or push through to stay on it, Neva, maybe it isn’t the best path to take at the moment. Ok, got it. Let it go.

It’s the same message over and over, in various areas of my life. Some areas I have a lot of resistance to hearing the message because it’s an area where I’m attached to and invested in a result. Acting is one of those stubborn areas. Overall, that recurring message is “If it doesn’t flow, let it go.” Period. Whatever “it” is.

Update, 4/29/2016: I was cast off tape weeks ago for a project that films next week. This happened after I declined the call-back for a one-line role, because it would have involved a 10 hour drive on my part. In the past, I would made that drive, showed up absolutely exhausted and probably would have lost the role.

So, I was cast. But. It doesn’t film for weeks. In the past, I would have put my life on hold. I think I’m finally learning … go on with life, have a life outside of acting. Don’t be sitting around waiting for the role. I can’t say I’ve mastered this. Each time I got a revised script I wondered, am I still in it? But I didn’t obsess nearly as much as I may in the past.

In the meantime, a lovely short film that I made last year, about the last few days of a woman named Faith and how actions/perceptions have impact on everyone involved, was accepted into the Nashville Film festival. I got to see it (it’s called Epilogues) on the big screen twice. The first time was a real treat because two of my sisters were able to come and see it with me. Then, the second time Epilogues screened, I got to watch it with one of my oldest and dearest friends.

These are the moments that will matter. It won’t be the anxious sitting and waiting, it won’t be laborious travel times, it will be moments of peace and a calm vibration of excitement that I remember. It will be moments spent with those I love. I’m looking for acting experiences that allow me those kinds of moments.

It’s no longer about what looks good on paper. It’s about what flows and has grace and ease to it. It’s about being seen and respected as an artist. It’s about supporting those who support me. Equal exchange of energy or I will keep my energy, thanks very much.

I recently paid to upgrade to imdbpro. It was a very nice challenge for me as I realized that, even paying every month, I still have very little control over what shows on my profile page. This is an industry that gives the performer to the public in whatever way it chooses. That will change. It has to change. The new way is coming.

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