Sometimes I wake up not knowing what or who I will have to be today. Instantly considering if it’s all worth it or not. I am so exhausted. Brushing my teeth I greet my partner with a dry good morning, as I cry inside. He smiles and moves on to rolling over to continue his rest. “Left leg in now the other” I say to myself in a sort of surly tone. My stomach is up too early to crave food, my mind attempts to collect itself while my eyes burn. As the night battles with the day I walk out the door wondering if today will be the last of this. Can I go on moving through the world not knowing when this scene will end? Without choice I leave walking at a slow but steady pace. This seems like a constant replay of something I’ve seen and done but I must be positive. The drive is very calming because it’s early so I let Prince do his job at attempting to relieve my anxiety as I am about to go on in minutes.
Here I am because I am, arriving to a place that I only want to see me driving away from. The call time is too early, the people are fake friendly and the purpose is a pay check that I have to fight for daily. Is it enough for me to walk through the door questioning why I am here or should I just go? I walk in as I am greeted with “Good morning, how are you?” I respond in a way that is polite enough to not be rude but dry enough to sense the suffering. No hair, no make up just action as I turn on the computer, the phone rings. I answer only to be called to duty, again and again. This is what they call work but I call it acting. I don’t want to be here and I am at the point of being ready to give up the little bit of everything I own. Freedom seem so far away, 2pm that is. I can breathe again as Toni Braxton would say now lets do it again. There’s another location where I am needed. This would be the next scene despite looking different from the last, it’s all the same. I cringe wanting to give up, I want to sit in a library and read books about things that I care about. I wish I could just take a train ride with ear buds in listening to only what I care about. There’s more to do and I can’t fathom why.
Phone rings while in production but it has to be answered. It’s my granny calling to tell me that her check hasn’t come and she has needs. This ails me because I want to be there for her, make her proud and ease the pain but I can’t. I whisper “let me know what I can do” nothing because I have nothing. The little bit I cling too while not wanting to appear ungrateful I thank God. My family needs me to be strong so I show nothing but strength but I a weak. Sometimes I wish I were not a man, I wish to be a boy probably 8 or 9 years old. This way I can have someone to care for me, think for me and show me the way. Snaps back to reality Phone rings again, it’s my love, checking in as he tells me the plights and pleasures of his day thus far. I develop tears in my eyes because I am up against a wall that I cannot climb. I want to tell him that I almost gave up again today. He has to see me as the man he met, I can’t show him that I am beyond weak. Vulnerability can be a gift and a curse so I tuck that shit. Look nigga, you’re black, young and gay so shut up and be grateful that you’re still here. They’re killing niggas like chicken for popeyes’ so let it go, man up and move on. Those thoughts of the current state of the black man causes me to straighten up. Okay I’m back to listening to my love as he stops and asks “you good?” Yes babe I reply only to tell him that production is still on and I have to go. Knowing that it was a lie and that I couldn’t hold my cry in anymore so I made that up to go have it alone. Finally at the end of the scene I am saddened to see the day has passed. It’s all over I made it through but did I?
Everyday is a struggle to do things that make you uncomfortable. Most of the time we have no choice as to what or how it will go but we push forward anyway. Adopting a power higher than yourself can help with this as most humans fall short. They fall short when it comes to needing your strength replenished, when it comes to securing our insecurities. Masks are worn when the true face is too much for you to handle. Acting is what we are doing, we don’t even realize it because we did not attend the acting studio. We never took headshots or received an Academy Award nomination because they don’t recognize us. Let’s recognize ourselves and figure out how to get through the rough scenes without stunt doubles.
I know I’m an actor and I know that I will always be.