Thursday, July 16, 2009

Josephine Baker

Last night or maybe it was this morning (late night) I dreamt I was reading (auditioning) for a feature about Josephine Baker. I was competing for the role against another actor who was ten years younger and less fit then I. It was an odd dream because the process was intense. I really felt good about my chances and in the end I didn't get the role even though I was physically closer to what JB looked like and in better shape then the younger performer. It was so powerfully clear the dream. I felt as if it was a sign telling me to stop even thinking about auditioning stop, retire from acting. I live away in the Seacoast as far from the Hollywood scene as you can be...yet I don't miss L.A. I do miss the opportunity to just run out and do an audition or ten but I don't miss auditioning itself. In fact I feel sort of rusty and less motivated then a couple of decades ago. Oh sure it's good sport to bitch and complain about Hollywood and it's insensitivity's toward us gals but it's also me...I am out of practice as an actor and it's something like anything one must keep up. Like writing or music it's just healthy to keep playing, practicing. Also I was never one of those MUST act or die people. NO, I want to communicate I love showing every aspect of humanity within the confines of a role. Although I don't make a fuss (demand attention) about some of the roles I have tackled. Some (not all) have been complex and hard to do and damn if I short change myself by not making a bigger deal about say playing a nude cave women and making it poignant. I'd like to see you do that,not easy. Still I am guilty I recently had to audition for something I noticed I was eyebrow acting, not good. It comes from lack of practice. So last nights dream was a sign. The question is what kind of sign was it good or bad? I will continue to lose gigs for being old (by Hollywood standards) but maybe it was also a sign to not stop, keep playing. To keep being out there, learning and growing as an artist, maybe. Do we ever need to "retire" from make believe? I think not. I think my job is to be as honest about being away and unavailable and happy about it. To admit I could maybe practice more and to just do it, practice and act. who is stopping me? No one tells us to stop (acting) unless they do and until someone says you are finished thank you...I think I am in for the long haul. I loved Lynn whitfields JB I almost think no else can touch that. Maybe dreams are just that abstract and make believe.
I don't know.


glt said...

I think dreams are the chance for our sub-conscious to jump into the conscious and make a big statement so it doesn't feel trapped anymore.
But I'm not big on overthinking dreams...even when doing gestalt work.
It's the feeling they leave inside that counts.

When I was a young aspiring artist, I found a small photo of a Modigliani(?)painting of Josephine Baker. I carried it around for years, mesmerized by the beauty.
Too bad you didn't get the part and lose yourself in the role!!! haha

Kim said...

Very insightful, thoughtful entry as always.

You have so many gifts. I really hope you're writing a book. You've had an amazing life, just from the snippets you've shared here and on your radio program. Very inspiring.


lurgee said...

Maybe your unconcious is telling you to get behind the camera ... Then you can cast yourself in any damn role you please.

glt said...

Nice one, lurgee!

Lawrence said...

I think you are wise to know two things 1) Being in tune with your spirit and the voice inside you illuminates things you should pay attention to rather than specifically what you dreamed about and 2) Never stop using the gift that the Creator gave you.. Many times your gift benefits others (beyond entertainment) more than you imagine!

Charlotte said...

I know some consider this "infra-dig", but have you considered work as a product spokesperson? The right brand can get you visibility, "juice" and, well, paid! If interested, please call at IMAGES USA at 404-531-6777

glt said...

Rd? If you're broke I can Western Union you a couple hundred.

RVNY said...

Amen Lurgee!

Rae Dawn Chong said...

Thanks for the advice and GLT I am not broke today...yesterday always I have exactly what I NEED.

Branching into to this sharing stuff with YOU it's new and it's fairly satisfying being "writer" although I am certain "real 'writers resent the blogosphere.

I feel inline on schedule.

glt said...

I think you're trailblazing in the's starting to take over print journalism, I hear.