Life has become mundane.
I had an epiphany last week. I was thinking about the times in my life I was happiest—not moments, but weeks. Months. Years. And they’re really easy for me to identify. The three months I spent in Quebec as part of a student exchange in eleventh grade. The three years I spent in England. The weeks I travelled to Quebec or Paris on my own. And a question arose: Can I find the same kind of constant contentment in Calgary?
When I finished university three years ago (geez, has it already been that long?) I wrote here that Calgary was like a black hole into which I was afraid I’d get sucked. The longer I stayed, the harder it would be to ever leave. Well, it feels like that’s what’s happened.
Things are actually going really well for me. I’ve made enough friends here in Calgary that I don’t feel so alone as I did when I first got back from England. There’s always someone to hang out with, always a gathering to look forward to. My short film, Phone Call, has been completed and is being submitted to festivals, and I’m already planning my next project. I was recently filming a feature film through which I met Andrew Phung, a local celebrity who plays Kimchee on the CBC show, Kim’s Convenience.
In the next week, I have several things to look forward to. Five friends want to have coffee or lunch or something, two for the purpose of going over collaborating on possible new film projects for the fall which is exciting. My mom got us tickets for Cirque du Soleil and a friend of mine wrote a musical and I’m going to the reading of it. I’m volunteering for a day at the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers and I’m enjoying work and everything’s good.
But I still feel like my life is going stale. And it’s not a lack of friends, because I have many and they’re awesome. And it’s not a lack of things to do or places to go, because I keep myself busy enough. It might be a little bit of the fact that I’m low on money, but that’s not new. I think, at the end of the day, I’m just an independent type of person, and I can’t ever explore my full potential for as long as I’m still living with my parents.
So I’ve got a new goal. I’ve been saving, and hopefully I’ll be out sooner rather than later, although as mentioned, I’m low on money. It’s not enough to just have money, either. I need to know that I won’t run out at some point, months down the line. I need some form of a semi-regular, slightly dependable income. But also, practically any kind of regular or full-time job would require that I quit acting.
I have two options here. While I build a nest egg for the hopefully near-future, I’ll look for a full-time job. And while I look for a full-time job, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, acting and working part-time while keeping up my personal projects. And if I get a full-time job, I’ll be done with the acting and move on with my life, hopefully moving out within a few months of getting a full-time job. I’ve given the acting thing a good run. In the two and a half years I’ve been pursuing it, I’ve been in two feature films, a handful of web series, and a ton of short films. I’ve made great friends and had great experiences, and it’s been all-around really great.
I’ve even had two union credits to my name now, and if I get a third, it’d be in my best interest to join the union. The only problem with that is that Calgary doesn’t have a ton of acting gigs for union actors. So if I became a union actor, it’d be a good idea to move to another city, either Vancouver or Toronto. If I get a third union credit before I get a full-time job offer, I think I’ll go that direction instead.
So that’s where my brain’s at now. A quest for constant contentment. A race of two paths to determine my life. A waiting game that could take months for change to happen. I may not yet know which path I’ll take, but at least I’m going forward, and that’s something.
Oh, and my novel? I haven’t touched it since June. So, yeah. Not gonna be a successful author anytime soon.