Lydia's Journey BEYOND Hollywood

Follow an actress's journey beyond Hollywood. The life after a successful 10 year career...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Know When to Fold 'Em

"You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run" - Kenny Rogers

Burnt Out -
Meaning #1: exhausted as a result of long-time stress
Meaning #2: inoperative as a result of heat or friction
Meaning #3: destroyed or badly damaged by fire

Ok, before I begin, I have to remind everyone that Yes, I am still a positive person. I'm usually the one person who believes everything will turn out fine when most are hiding under their sheets in bed. I've always been optimistic - that's not what this is about.

When I was a little girl, and I envisioned what my wildest dreams would be - I pictured myself in that little TV box being funny, being dramatic, just being ON THERE. I was excited about the unknown. Hollywood seemed like another country - another world - someplace I never thought I would visit much less get the opportunity to live and work there! I had no idea what a career in the industry meant - I just knew that every play that I did energized me and made me feel unlike anything I've ever felt. I had the greatest joy while on stage and I figured a professional career would keep that fire burning.
Well, it's been almost 10 years since I've started this career in LA. I acknowledge that I am extremely lucky with the work and success I have acquired in my short time here. (Yes, 10 years is considered short. I know people who have been here twice as long with half my experiences.) And for the longest time, I've always felt frustrated - like something was missing. I wasn't completely happy.
I figured it was because I wasn't working as often as I wanted. I told myself, once I start doing movies, and once I start making a living as an actress - I'll be happier.
What I've realized is, as an artist, Hollywood isn't the ideal place. Sure, it's a place where you have the possibility to make a living. Yes it's a place where people have been "discovered". Yes, it's a place where THOUSANDS come with the same dream hoping for a break. But this career can feel very stifling as an artist. And I use the word artist to separate from the business side of an actor. From my business side - it wasn't too bad. I got paid a lot of money for a short time on set. It wasn't great business considering it didn't happen everyday. It was sporadic. But I tried to convince myself that those jobs, those bookings, were worth the down time.
But as an artist - I want to create. I want to feel challenged. I want to tell stories. And I have to say, sometimes the roles I was offered lacked the meat I craved.

But I have come to the realization that I may be done.
Done with this whole thing.

I've always told myself that my biggest goal is to be happy. And acting had always made me happy. And I would stop when I stopped having fun. When I wasn't happy anymore.
Don't get me wrong - I still love acting. I am an actor down to my bones until the day I die. But do I have to be here, in the rat race of this industry? - no.
I think there are many things that are hard about this career. One day you could be up - making tons of money - and the next day, completely broke - borrowing money from your parents just to pay the rent. You could either have a day job which you hate, hoping for the day when you're back on set - or sitting in your apartment waiting for your next audition, since your last one was two months ago.
Then, when you do work, the work isn't challenging. In fact, it's downright sterotypical.

Yes, I may just be burnt out. I may just need a break.

But I have said this before, and my trip out the country didn't change things.
6 weeks back home didn't change things.
I felt slightly better, but then I was back in the rat race, miserable again.

And for the longest time, I've said I wanted to contribute something more to the world than just IMDB credits. I want to live my LIFE - not just my career. And I have to say, the 10 years living in Los Angeles, my life has been my career.

I'm ready for the next step.
I'm ready for a change.
I'm ready to be happy.

And I'm optimistic about that. :)


Blogger mendlbarr said...

Lydia, you write beautifully :) May you find the perfect balance to make your heart sing!
Just wanted to share a facebook comment from yesterday... a friend posted "Cash poor, experience rich." Another wrote... "Having great wealth is usually a sign of bad priorities. I'm sure there are exceptions." Made me think...

11:03 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

When you feel that strongly about something it's probably time to make a change. As you point out, Hollywood isn't the only place - and maybe not the best place - to use your talents. If you have no definite plans then do some research on what you'd like to do, do some planning, then act on those plans. Best of luck, and please don't stop blogging! :)

12:11 PM  
Blogger Lydia Blanco said...

Thanks Tim - Yes, I do have a job opportunity in San Antonio Texas, so that's good. I won't be wandering aimlessly...
And I'll keep blogging - I will just have to call it something else. :)

12:16 PM  
Blogger elaine zuniga said...

It takes a lot to put all this "out there". Some may see it as admitting defeat. But in the few years that I have gotten to know you and see your work - this is NOT Lydia accepting defeat...its more like realizing that your BEST performance and your biggest break, is in another place. I'm really excited for you because I think the things that your heart has really desired as "Lydia the woman" and not "Lydia the actress" are soon to be revealed. Congratulations on this next step, whenever and wherever it may be!

2:09 PM  
Anonymous imelda said...

happiness is always within you. when you are feeling bad, remember that feeling will pass. but also when you are in a great mood, remember to enjoy it and be present because that too will pass.

remember you are right where you need to be at that moment and that everything is just enough.

you don't find yourself but make yourself and the right next opportunity will show itself to you when you are open to it.

hang in there.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will be fine. You are awesome!

12:11 AM  
Blogger Shenita Moore said...

Wow Lydia! You sound so much like I did last summer. After 12 years in Los Angeles "pursuing the dream," I was ready for something a little different for me and my family.

It's been 13 months since I left. I still go back when I need to for work and stuff, but now, I feel like I can make the "other dreams" in my life a reality. :)...

Best of luck to you!

- Shenita.

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog. I've just moved to Hollywood and have been blogging about my experience everyday. I see that you have moved on. I think I'll look around your blog and see what I can glean.

Good luck!


6:03 PM  

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