The Life I Missed.
Recently I had the pleasure of watching Big Little Lies, the HBO Miniseries. Lots of famous men and women were in the show, and, while enjoyable, left me with a great sense of emptiness and longing while I watched it.
Nearly all my life, I wanted to be an actor. Actress. Whatever the proper term is. Not too many people know that. There were so many things I wanted to do in one lifetime, that I thought, the only way I’ll ever be a scientist, and an astronaut, a professional gambler, a soldier, a doctor, and everything else, was to act. Sadly, I never had the defining beauty that the Hollywood starlets have. I didn’t captivate a room with my mere presence like the Nicole Kidmans, the Shailene Woodley’s, the Zoe Kravitz’, the Reese Witherspoons, or any of the beautiful Hollywood people of the world.
When I was younger I was told I was good looking, looked good in the community in my way, I guess. Not in the conventional Audrey Hepburn way. More in the spikey crazy hair, tattooed, muscly, pierced way. Now I’m just 43 and the average middle aged woman way, with a limp. No chance of ever hitting my acting stride now. I spoke to a Hollywood producer once, during production of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. I was accepted to school to be a student of the Director of Photography for that movie and several other movies there. Yes, the one with Angelina Jolie. I would have had to give up my life in Canada and hope for the best. My fear? The producer told me at that time that at my age, 27 at the time, that it really was too late to start a career in Hollywood as an actor. Too old. Not enough pretty years left before I was relegated to shit parts, and that’s if I ever got a part in anything at all.
I was in a movie once. The Good Life with Bill Paxton, Chris Klein, and Zooey Deschanel. Got to meet them all and hang out for days. It was my one taste of movie enjoyment. Sadly, all my parts were cut from the movie. All I was left with was the meagre paycheque for being in it. Not even an acting credit. I did get to spend the entire acting experience with a beautiful young woman and we had a great time being paid to be other people!
In training to be in the criminal justice system we did role plays. They were my favourite-secretly. Some I was told that they couldn’t tell I wasn’t the actual person I was playing. I quite enjoyed being other people.
I always felt that I missed out, not getting into acting. That I screwed up my life path and, being from Northern Canada, assumed that fleeing to Hollywood was only going to lead to homelessness and working illegally at some terrible place with all the other wannabe actors. I watch the young actors coming up now, and I wish that I had been that smart. Or brave. Or lucky. Or beautiful. Whatever it was that got them where they are. I feel like I was left behind. And being old, ill, in pain, and average means that I will never have that opportunity. I will never get to feel zero gravity in a space movie. Or have a love scene in a romance movie. Or do wild stunts in some amazing action movie-I always wanted to do my own stunts. Clearly, being athletic my whole life, I’d want to do that. Now I would have to do wheelchair stunts, or even better, be in the US, get the medical treatment I need, and do the stunts running full speed!!
The worst feeling in the world is missing out on your calling. At first, I thought being a veterinarian was my calling. But my hands, they shake. Always have. Surgery was never an option for me, and a veterinarian that can’t do surgery is really not a vet. As I aged, I wanted to be in the military. But, I was too stupid to join, and by the time they offered me a job, my knee was too damaged to get into what I want. I spent years working in jobs that meant nothing to me. No interest in them. I get bored too easily. I mastered them and then wanted a new job. Same with athletics. It was natural to me, and easy. It is not a great combination for someone with a restless mind and an athletic body. Maybe now that I’m too old to be an actor, at least I could do stunts!!
Or, just maybe, one day, they’ll need an old tattooed lesbian with a good sense of humor and a pronounce limp to be in a movie!! Sweet!!! Oh to dream…..