Can We Please Talk About Depression?

depression-sign

Part of what makes The Crazy Actor- me- so “crazy” is that I’ve been dealing with depression my entire life.

When I was 21, I was officially diagnosed with MDD- Major Depressive Disorder, or simply, depression. It was an incredibly freeing moment for me, to put a label on these dark, terrible periods I had been experiencing since I could remember. I was already fairly certain I had it, as it runs in my family, and I had all the symptoms, but still. There is something about the world acknowledging it isn’t just YOU, it’s an actual disorder, that is quite a relief.

As a teenager, my depressed moods were tied up with fluctuating hormones and an incredibly chaotic home life. I was dealing with issues with my mother, I had 5 younger siblings to worry about, an alcoholic father, and was trying to somehow live a (relatively) normal teenage life. I threw myself into achieving- getting straight As, working multiple jobs, and always involved in a million things at school. I also distracted myself with dramatic relationships- I was totally “boy crazy.”

Since I didn’t stop to take care of myself at ALL, my depressed periods would become very dark. More than once I thought of suicide. I planned it out and wrote long goodbye letters. I felt that my pain would never end, and I really, desperately wanted it to. I felt alone, abandoned, miserable, misunderstood, stuck on the outside of things. I felt like a failure, like a fraud, like a burden. I felt terrified and lost. Completely without hope. Continue reading

Advertisements

Survival Jobs Series: What Makes a “Survival Job” Great?

Most artists living in LA- ok, anywhere- know the value of a great “survival job.” A survival job is really just a “job,”but we artists have to call it something else to differentiate it from what we believe our “real” job is and protect our fragile egos. Otherwise we get all kinds of deflated.

Survival jobs must have the following characteristics:

  1. They pay you enough money to not be homeless or starve.
  2. They don’t completely drain your soul or require total sacrifice of your integrity.
  3. They are somewhat flexible, in case auditions or career-related gigs pop up.

The BEST survival jobs…

  1. are EXTREMELY flexible, and have cool, understanding bosses, or..
  2. have YOU as the boss. You are in charge or work for yourself.
  3. pay a high rate for a short amount of time.
  4. allow you to hobnob with cool people who could help you in your actual career.
  5. require NO sacrifice of integrity, and even possibly feed your soul in a cool way.
i-will-survive

As long as I can pay my bills, I know I’ll stay alive…

Obviously, many people start side businesses or work freelance in their field on the side, but I don’t really count those as “survival jobs” for the purpose of this series, since they are career and passion related. To qualify as a survival job, it must be something done to simply…survive. Something I would basically never do had I been given a trust fund when I turned 18.

God, my parents really dropped the ball on that one….

In my 13 (yikes) years of existence as an adult actor- (wait. Not “adult actor” like porn. Not “adult films”! Like, grown up person living on my own who has to pay her bills but also have a career…) (that’s clear right? I have never done porn.) (Not even as a “survival job”) (Ok…just making sure…) (NO porn.) – in those 13 years, I have had MANY survival jobs as you might imagine. In this blog series, I will explore the cool, crazy, and particularly awful of these jobs, one by one. This way, you can feel my pain, cheer my successes, and any fellow artists trying to navigate the world of survival jobs can take in my experienced advice.

I warn you….it won’t always be pretty. I’ve been dressed as Snow White on a city bus. I’ve gone through clown training. I’ve tried desperately to make a square bubble in front of 30 impatient kids and 30 irritated adults to no avail (and no tip). I’ve been fired (many times), quit in dramatic protests, and sometimes just…ghosted. I’ve spilled whole trays of drinks on some very nice people. I’ve been stiffed, promoted, rejected, lost, and triumphant.

g1hkzjy2285yg

Me getting fired has never been less dramatic than this.

Most importantly, I’ve (almost) never been homeless.

I’ll be sure to categorize all of these posts under “Survival Jobs,” so keep an eye out! Have any crazy survival job experiences you would love to share in a guest post? Feel free to contact me and tell me about it! Inquiring readers need to know! Or comment below with successes and horror stories!

Ah, to be an artist. It’s so glamorous I could just spit.

 

 

The First Post is the Hardest Post

Hello, friends!

I have been stuck on this post for a while, I have to admit.

Something like six months ago, I bought the domain. Maybe three months ago, I designed the pages. It took me another two months to write an “About” page.

Probably 600 times in that period I thought, “I wish my blog was up! I really want to write about X!”

So, no more perfectionism. No more reading eight articles and filling out multiple worksheets to “find my audience.” No more procrastination until it’s “just right!”

I have so much I want to say, and talk about, and discuss with you!

journey-of-a-thousand-miles

Like, you just gotta get going, guys.

Besides, I’m learning to accept that I’m not “perfect”, and I’m never going to be “perfect”, so why should my blog be?

Maybe imperfection really IS perfection.

I’ve started blogs before. One about happiness. One about my journey through eating disorder recovery. But they didn’t inspire me to keep writing, because, frankly, I’m dying to write about so much more! There is much, much more to me than “Happy Girl” or “Girl Recovering from an Eating Disorder.”

I am also “Totally Crazy Girl”, “Girl Who LOVES Her Home of Los Angeles”, “Girl with Depression and Anxiety, Learning to Cope”, “Girl Who Lives in a Different State from Her Amazing Husband”, “Girl Who Loves to Read and Talk About Books”, “Girl Obsessed with Her Cat”…..you get the idea.

I want to reach out to people struggling with the same things I am. I want to share some of the wisdom I’ve learned from decades of being an actor. I want to help people, to give people an inside look at life out here, and at life IN my crazy brain!

And, like Harry Burns taught us- When you know how you want to spend the rest your life, “you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

rdamfbzgd8zhq

This is the part where I start sobbing like a baby.

So, this isn’t a perfect post. It isn’t brilliant or witty or genius or cutting edge. It isn’t going to end racism or save lives.

But, damn it, it’s kicking off a blog I think is going to be pretty darn cool. Plus, now I can stop using Facebook for the essays that pour out of my brain, much to the relief of my Facebook friends, I’m sure.

So, hello, Blog Friends! I’m pumped to meet you all, and exchange ideas! Here we go! Let’s all be crazy together- it’s so much more fun than being crazy alone. ❤