All Alone

 

Please refrain from breaking out your violin to play me a sad melody, because being an actor means that I may be lonely at times, but I like that just fine.

So much of the day-to-day of this business involves people. I know that is not some rare bird of an idea - most of the world we live in, work in and play in involves people. But there is something so intensely different about being an actor and the interaction that occurs with people. For example: the need from time to time for instant connection with a complete stranger in a hotel conference room. No, not that kind of instant connection! But one that might mean you are crying or laughing or loving or cursing at the top of your lungs with someone named Alison who you just met five minutes ago.

In addition to the awkward and out of the ordinary experience of any given audition, there’s the post-audition but pre-working interaction where you find yourself in a room with a few more strangers taking off your clothes. Again, not that kind of room or clothing removal. The wardrobe fitting is part of my world I have come to embrace because the designers and artists in this department can often become my closest confidants and not just because they’ve seen me in my Birthday Suit.

And then, skip to an actual “day at the office” – being on-set working. Here is where the number of people up in your space grows exponentially. Anywhere from a few dozen on a commercial shoot, to a few hundred for a film or television job. And when I say they are “in your space” trust me, that is putting it mildly. I’ve had boyfriends that didn’t get as close to my chest as audio engineers. On-set dressers or backstage quick-change assistants that most certainly got past any "base" Matt in the 7th grade was attempting to run. It’s a lot of people from all departments each doing they’re job, so if it means fixing a microphone so I can be heard, or powdering my nose so I don’t break the camera or pinning a skirt or a shirt or any other wardrobe function or malfunction, it all means never really being alone at work.

So I’m not sure about you, but I know for me, and many of the most balanced friends and co-workers I know, carving out that “Alone Time” is not selfish, it is necessary.