Being a theatre actor results in nothing.
Now, that's not to say there is no worth, no value, in choosing this fraught path. I mean, quite simply, being a stage actor results in no thing. If you're going to get right down to it, the reward for years of hard work, years of checking off certain boxes--pricey conservatory training, unctuous agent, brutal auditions, effortlessly perfect-looking headshots--, years of seeing plays and reading plays and doing plays, is a fleeting one.
In school, if you complete your geometry homework and put enough time into studying, you will get back a piece of paper with an A on it. At your marketing job, hard work is directly related to tangible gain--if not a new home on the Cape, at least your name etched prettily under a new title like Director of something or Senior something or--best of all--President. The more you go to Crossfit, the less-sausagey you will look in those new LuluLemon yoga pants.
Not in this field, friends. The fact of the matter is that, in this field, decades of work and uncomfortable audition shoes leave you with only a stack of misshapen programs, a couple (hopefully not too destructive) reviews from local papers, and a handful of haphazardly scrawled, congratulatory notes--but no product, no physical proof that you've done anything of worth.
Even if you're so lucky as to walk away with a shaky tape of your ephemeral triumph (inevitably shot by your grandmother or boyfriend from the mezzanine on a camcorder, tracking you eagerly across the stage whether or not you're the key player in the scene), there is an unarguable loss in the transference. Upon first view, that precious VHS or DVD or Google Drive link reveals itself to be no more than an artifact, a vague, flat limbeck of your (god-willing) lauded moment.
So as I sit here at this computer, into which I feel I have been staring for millennia, as I sit here feeling that the to-do list unfurling before me is unconquerable, as I sit here rapt with anxiety and fear of insufficiency, I must take comfort in this small truth:
There are tangible fruits of this labor.
Producing a web series is far from easy. It takes a great deal of personal and creative sacrifice. It is frustrating, daunting, draining, expensive. It requires resolve and bullheadedness and more than a few sleepless nights. It might necessitate an anti-anxiety med or two.
BUT when all is said and exported, in one short week, I will be able to step back and say,
I did that.
I willed that into being.
I surrounded myself with the most meticulous, exceptional, skilled people and
we made this thing.
Sit down, clear the next 90 minutes of your life, and
click that link.
I did that."