I was supposed to go to an EPA today, but I didn’t. I know that’s okay. But it’s really just one small blip at the end of a long list of things that are hard today.
I’m not acting.
I could go through all the hard stuff– in October, I won’t have booked anything in a year, I can’t get seen for things that CDs I know are casting, I hate EPAs and I’m too poor for classes– but the reality is much simpler. I’m deep in a hole and it doesn’t feel like I can get out. This isn’t depression or anything. This is just the lowest part of a low in a career that’s all about those highs but mostly involves lows.
There are many reasons why I think I developed an eating disorder, but one main trigger for the restriction portion of it (which really kicked off the three years of awfulness) was fear and a lack of control.
I was an apprentice at a theatre festival, and in the first week, I got really, really sick. I had a tick-borne virus that basically knocked me out for about four days. In retrospect, I really should have gone to the hospital, but of course, I didn’t– I pushed through. But I felt as though I was coming in a week too late. Everyone had friends, everyone had settled into a routine, everyone had shown who they were, and I was still at square one.
So I worked. I worked and worked and by the end I was proud of myself, but I was also ten pounds thinner and at the beginning of a road that was going to be devastating.
This career forces you to let go of what you can’t control. I understand that.
But there are some things that are in your control, and so what happens is I run through all the things I COULD be doing to help get the next gig by am NOT doing, and immediately feel worthless and lazy and horrible. I feel scared and unmoored and invisible.
And so, my greatest fear grasps me around the neck and refuses to let go, whispering: If you walked away, would anyone even notice?