I rode a bike 20 miles today but not for exercise or to pass the time. I had somewhere I wanted to go. Actually, I had one place to go twice. What I am willing to endure or experience has become the way I test my commitment to acting.
The first 5 miles got me to my agent’s office to tape an audition. The second five miles got me home. Did I mention the temperature in Houston stayed close to 90° today?
A few hours after getting home—and telling myself I would do no more bike riding today—I got an email from my agency about a check from an industrial video being available. So back out I went for another 10 miles round-trip. I managed to avoid getting hit by erratic Houston drivers and even felt cooler in the afternoon thanks to wearing shorts instead of sweat pants.
Covering 20 miles on bike in one day is a rare feat for me, but it’s not rare to push myself physically to get where I need to be. I have walked several miles to get to auditions, even walking in freezing temperatures at times. Usually that happens when I’m virtually broke but even when I have money for the bus or a cab I have walked, especially in Dallas. The walk from downtown to the industrial area along Irving Blvd. is one I have done many times.
Beyond covering miles on foot, I have sacrificed sleep many times to take an overnight bus to an out-of-town audition. The bus ride followed walking two miles from my place in Montrose to downtown Houston. I really need some new sneakers. Seriously. Booking one Academy Sports & Outdoors commercial would pay for several pairs.
So when people ask me how I do it or want to know how to get more auditions or gigs, my immediate answer really should be a question:
“What are you willing to face and what are you willing to give up?”
Okay, that’s really two questions back to back, but you get the point. This is not a job to me. It’s a calling. Because I see it as a calling, I tell myself that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to succeed daily. Sometimes that means walking 8 miles from UT to Austin Studios and back for an audition. Sometimes that means taping an audition at midnight. I don’t look for anything to be convenient. I just do what’s within my reach at any particular moment.
This isn’t a life of recognition and red carpets. It’s hustle and hard work. That’s my reality check. No matter what kind of success I achieve or what obstacle I overcome, I know I will do it all over again tomorrow. Because I want to. Because I love to. Because I have somewhere I want to go.