Preamble: This is a personal internal dialogue and while many may find it useful, I am aware of the individual specificity of it. Any guidance or dialogue is appreciated from this community’s perspective.
I began acting a decade ago. It was a natural medium of self expression and instant link to community and tribe in service of something greater than the individual than I had ever felt before. I took a year off after high school to work professionally on stage. I studied at one of the top conservatories in the US for four years and then began working immediately out of school with representation on both coasts. I worked consistently over the last four years, originating new roles, working off-broadway, in independent film, and around the country. However, as I went quickly into nature to balance out my hyper urban existence and dove deeper into my experience and education of my place as a human in the natural world, rewilding emerged… and now I feel split in two.
On the one hand: I would love to amass as much knowledge of ancestral skills and bushcraft as possible to one day live off grid in a group of individuals that share my passion and practice for reconnecting with the earth, ourselves, and the community of life and thereby move some vital healing work forward. Yet… my people and my community of story tellers are urbanites in New York City.
On the other: six months out of my last gig and damn, do I miss my craft as an artist. And, on a real level, the scrambling between four day jobs provides me with little income and, in a few months, none of the insurance that I have through the Actor’s Union. Not to mention a massive drain on time and energy for individual creative pursuits or rewilding measures. It’s ironic to me that the most stable thing in my adult life has been my acting career. However, my values are at radical odds… the amount of waste in the entertainment industry, the stories that are very often out of line with my beliefs and support so much of what’s wrong with the world, the requirement to be in an urban setting and drop whatever you’re doing on a dime to go audition for the latest NBC, ABC, whatever the hell, pilot episode.
I have moments where I love New York City. The richness of cultural diversity, my friends and loved ones, the bizarre notion that this is… home by familiarity. I have moments where I hate how loudly civilization and consumerism screams in my ears. In those instances, I beat it for the woods upstate and camp for a few days to detox and recharge. I now work as a wilderness guide on the weekends, giving me access to aspects of community that resonate closer with me.
Nothing will be ever be perfect and the pursuit of such is the seed of inaction. However, I don’t have artist or rewilding friends that I can really speak to this about.
I have a gift. I have many years of study and success with that gift. I also, bottom line, need to live and eat as much as the next person. And I want to reach people as widely as possible with that gift while representing myself and values with as much authenticity as possible. I’m sure we can all relate to the tension created by having wild dreams inside of civilized structure.
Any insights or relatable experiences are welcome. Grateful to continue reading and learning here and elsewhere as I walk this path.