It’s been quite a while since our last post, and we’re sorry for that. It’s not that we don’t love you, we’ve just been spending most of our time developing a brand new play for the Hollywood Fringe Festival. As we’re heading into preview weekend we wanted to bring you another special edition of the blog. Guest Artist Deborah Jensen is making her WPFF debut at the Fringe, and we could not be more excited to have her in the cast.
Hello. My name is Deborah. I like sitting quietly and thinking for long periods of time, napping with my ancient dog, conspiracy theories, drum circles, and friendly conversation. I dislike, the great pacific garbage patch, shopping centers, lawns, and liars.
Many people have asked me why I live in LA. The short answer is: I’m an actor
But it’s difficult to label oneself. Labeling is the step before puting something in a box, and then comes the shelf. Things left on shelves rarely change. Dust gatherers. These things may see the light now and again, to be laughed at, admired, cried over, thrown away–but rarely changed. I think I have a fear that, if I label myself as an actor, I will somehow limit my potential as a human being.
The long answer is: I was compelled to fly south. My move to LA was based on feelings. The plan was always to move to Portland until about 6 months before I found myself down here, and I cannot give a logical reason why I changed my mind, but I’m glad I did. In my time at Southern Oregon University, it was my dream that I would get to work with classmates I admired so much after we were done with school, and this is exactly what I am doing now. I did not think having long lasting professional, and, personal relationships with so many amazing talented people was possible.
In our first year studying theatre at SOU, We were told that only %5 of actors make a living wage doing what they love. It was also somehow drilled into my dome that my goal as an actor is to get paid for acting. Once I arrived in Los Angeles, this lead to personal crisis. How does this work? What am I doing wrong? What’s the right move? I no longer knew what I liked about this artform. All the love I cultivated for the theatre was washed away in tears of frustration. I had taken those lessons from college, etched them in stone, and burried myself under them, and it wasn’t until recently that I dug myself out.
I’ve never been very good at capitalism (except for my cutthroat monopoly playing style). When evaluating the direction my life is headed, and questioning my choices (as I often do) cash-flow is taken out of the equation. Not that I don’t put it back in eventually, I simply want to know what I really wish to do with my life, regardless of what it would mean monetarily.
People spend their whole lives pursuing money, and more money, and more, andmoreandmore. It’s never ending. This can’t be IT. There was life before money right?
Now I’m not saying I don’t think about it at all–obviously there are certain creature comforts that one must take into consideration, children, pets, spouses…My hippy dippy ideals don’t pay the bills, and if we don’t come from money we have to find it, this is the way America is right now. There is more than enough to go around, but it’s hiding in the cracks and crevasses.
Art has nothing to do with money. I know we all want to make a living at our craft, and I’m not saying that this isn’t something to strive for, but let’s get our priorities straight. We are not artists to make money, and if your main goal as an actor/writer/director/painter/photographer/clown/etc is to be showered showered cash and cheap thrills, then please stop–PLEASE STOP. You’re ruining it for everyone. Pooping in the pool.
Practicing art is an end in itself, never a means to it; this is very easy to forget. It happens to everyone. We get buried with all the bureaucracy and mumbo jumbo that comes along with everything, until there is no choice but to dig out and rediscover the truth of why we live.
I care about the messages we are sending the world through theatre and “film”, and if i don’t believe in the integrity of what’s being developed, then I ought not be a part of it. I know I’m and idealist, but there has to be some of us, right?
I now remember what I loved about acting. Telling stories. Telling beautiful, meaningful, heartbreaking, hilarious, human stories. I want to help people understand each other by showing how much alike we all are. I truly believe we can live in a more peaceful world, and this is the best way I know how to help make that happen. And I want to spend my life learning how I can perform to the best of my abilities.
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