As we head towards the Christmas season and complete year 2013, I wanted to give thanks to what has been my most successful year yet, and think about how things came to be, and how grateful I am for everything. I think after being invited to Thanksgiving dinner at my friends house here in London, and being told of a tradition of saying thanks, but not really knowing what to say, I'll lay all my thoughts out here. Get ready for some cheese.
The picture in this post is from a film called Surviving Christmas released in 2004 which stars the late James Gandolfini and Ben Affleck, and has a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Around this time, my friend Tim and I had just moved from Tokyo and decided to both head to Los Angeles, and didn't have a clue what the future would hold.
Thanks James for providing hours of entertainment I thoroughly enjoyed.
Thanks Ben for directing some of the best films I've seen - Superman, I will have to see.
Actors come in all shapes, sizes, and characteristics, but I believe we all love to play. As we did when we were six years old, and nothing was more important than getting to play either the doctor or the patient. Or in my case, Ryu instead of Ken from Street Fighter - I've even got the scar to prove it there.
Thanks to my parents for allowing me to play, and keeping me in good health along the way.
When I think back to the 9 years that have past since arriving in LA, I am eternally grateful that I have been able to survive as an actor, and yet also astounded at how little control I had over which projects I ended up doing.
Thanks to SAG-AFTRA for having negotiated what are probably the best scale rates in the world.
I absolutely see why and utterly respect all the players who go out of their way to create their own content - in a job with so much out of your hands, it's one step towards having your voice heard, if you have something to say. One of the things you CAN do; the feeling I got after getting a project off the ground and in the can is amazing - though I spent more of my time aiming to work in other people's projects, classes, guitar, skateboarding, and (at one point) the gym. Everyone has their own path.
Thanks to everyone who's believed in me and allowed me to be part of their projects.
This year has been amazing for me - I'm the title character of an upcoming cartoon series, had a major role in Everly, an upcoming film starring Salma Hayek and directed by Joe Lynch, a supporting role in November Man, an upcoming film starring Pierce Brosnan and directed by Roger Donaldson, gotten to work in Prague, Belgrade, and Vilnius, finally visited Rome, and have otherwise worked more non-stop than ever. It would be a cherry on top if the film Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit had released Christmas Day this year, but alas, it has been pushed to January 17th, 2014. I'm not complaining.
I've spent quite a bit of time wondering why this has come to be - have I improved? Was it just pure luck? Did I do something differently from the past 8 years? Am I more of a niche market here in London? In the end, I realized just as I did early on when I spent so much time wondering why I didn't get a project - I just have to let it go, and take the time to appreciate that it has happened. So that's what I aim to do, hard as it is.
Thanks to 2013, and however it happened the way it did.
Now back to the unpredictable job I love - arrived back from Vilnius last night, helped a fellow actor edit his showreel, have work Monday & Tuesday on the cartoon, with a possible audition straight after work Tuesday, if times work out. (They want me earlier, but I'm working) I've also missed out on more work out in Oxford for Macmillan, as work dates in Lithuania prevented me from going. Am pretty sure the pencil I had for what would have been my first voice commercial is not happening, as they asked to pencil last Thursday, then haven't said anything since. I guess I will wait and see, what else can I do? The eternal shuffle. Gotta love it.
Thanks to my flatmate for buying me GTA-V in the meantime. =)