The Cinnabon Monster reflects back on 2013

I dug through my past FB posts (this was a chore because I post on FB like a whore) and found this, my 2013 New Year’s resolutions:

Acting 2013 New Year Goals:
1. Book a Guest Star spot on a primetime TV show
2. Book a supporting role in a studio level feature film
3. Create that goddamn Cinnabon spec commercial
4. Continue my hard work like always, kick ass in acting class, and whatnot

Life 2013 New Year Goals:
1. Continue being excellent to myself and to others

Now that 2013 is now ending, I can definitely say I failed my trivial new year’s resolutions to an astounding degree. I didn’t book a primetime guest star spot or a supporting role in a studio level feature film OR even create that goddamn Cinnabon spec commercial. I did, however, know without a doubt in my mind that I worked hard, I kicked ass in acting class, and I’ve been excellent to myself and to others. So what HAVE I accomplished in 2013, or more importantly, what have I learned?

For starters, this year was incredibly rough for the first 8 months, as I was unable to book a single paid SAG-AFTRA gig from my agents or manager. May and June was probably the roughest because I reached piss broke status and had to handle my wounded ego trip that yes, just because I booked 6 TV shows last year (co-stars, mind you), it doesn’t mean ANYTHING in terms of reaching to the next level. It also meant that I had to find a daytime job again and after applying myself to 40+ restaurants, I found myself working in a Hollywood tourist Mexican restaurant where most of the staff found me incompetent and a ill fit. Oh, and I got into a car accident where the individual was attempting to sue me for grievous injury. Throughout all of this, I would look in absolute miserable envy as my peers would book one national commercial/TV show after another. With all this, one would think I’ve had a case of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day(s). During that time, I certainly believed so as I would have many restless nights and wonder how in the hell I would make it through.

Success is an elusive asswipe.
Success is an elusive asshole.

Now that the year is ending, I can honestly look back and say that I absolutely needed this dire rough patch in my life, and in some bizarre way, it was absolutely essential for me to experience this. I had to fully understand that things will never get easy, no matter where I am in my life, and especially in this career, I will experience massive setbacks always and forever. I’ve seen that visual chart of how one’s success is truly mapped out (with the squiggly lines and the backward tracking) but now I that truly experienced it, there was one thing that I had glossed over in really doing and that is to be GRATEFUL.

  • I booked 6 primetime TV shows last year? And 3 commercials? HOLY SHIT, AWESOME.
  • I effectively left my old agencies and got signed with a theatrical AND commercial agent at a much higher level that DOESN’T see me as invisible? THAT’S CRAZY.
  • Despite me not booking a paid SAG-AFTRA gig, I got callbacks and avails for TV shows and made people laugh. APPRECIATE THAT SHIT, SON.
  • I worked on 10 short film projects throughout the first 8 months of 2013. SHIT WON’T GET ME DOWN.
  • I was able to get a daytime job and although it was rough the first month, I enjoyed being a server and enjoy the people around me? SAY IT AIN’T SO.
  • I gained greater confidence as an actor and as a human being because of my amazing acting class and the 20+ hours a week I put into it? HUSTLE THAT SHIT.
  • I have amazing friends & family in LA and all over the world who love me and keep it real for me? THE BEST FUCKING STUFF EVER.

I was too caught up on what I wasn’t able to achieve that I lost sight of what I HAVE accomplished. I lost sight in the very core elements of myself that I am a diligent, hardworking motherfucker who is stubborn as shit and won’t back down easily. I have to admit that the primary thing for me had nothing to do with acting. After experiencing those hard times, I told myself that I needed an effective method to dealing with dark days and that whenever they come, these things would get me out of my mopey head and into doing something good. So I created the list of things for me to do whenever I feel like shit:

  1. Randomly hug a friend. I’ve given more than I can imagine this year and I have noticed it’s great for my friends as well as for myself.
  2. Impromptu dance/karaoke session. Whether in my car, my own room, house dance party, or wherever, it’s good to just shake it/sing it all out.
  3. Massive acting administration. Pound out postcards and emails to industry folks and congratulate them on their newest projects. Even if I have nothing to say for myself.
  4. Just have a good long cry. Crying is awesome and as a man, it doesn’t make me any less manly for doing so.
  5. The Gratitude Experiment. If all else fails, this. I did this once for this year and the feeling is like no other. I strongly recommend this to EVERYONE.

I have no excuse anymore to mope in my own misery, to put down myself, to tell myself that I haven’t accomplished anything, or whatever. This acting career, it’s just only ONE aspect of my life and while I spend a lot of time on it, I must remind myself that there is so much more to life than my job. When this all clicked by the beginning of August, it may have just been coincidence or it may have been fate, but everything just turned around from there.

I booked my first film lead for an indie feature that shot in Texas and I was flown out there to shoot for 20 days. I booked 2 national commercials and one Asian market commercial in nearly 3 months. I worked with a good director friend of mine and played a character completely outside my comfort zone as a serial killer rapist in an abandoned creepy hospital (the best footage I’ve ever seen of myself, ironically). I shot 3 more short films, one of them my own creation that I will have pleasure in shooting additional scenes in the new year. And finally, shooting a lead in a webseries that will begin in January 2014 so I’ll be busy shooting once again when I get back from Seoul.

All this? Words can’t express how fortunate I was to experience all that and as such, I made it a mission to thank as MANY as people as I can with these projects. On the three commercial jobs, I went out to write a thank you letter to all the ad agency and client folks as well as the director. I wrote a thank you email to as many crew people as I could so that by the end of the day, I have effectively thank over 25+ people for each commercial job I did. One actress on my last commercial shoot asked why I even did that and if I expected anything out of it…to her, I responded that it’s not about expecting anything back but to be extremely grateful that I’m working on something I love to do. I get to act. And to get paid to act? That’s amazing. So why not thank the people who were responsible for getting you cast as well as the crew who’s working a LOT harder than you are to make you look and sound good.

So what’s my new year resolutions for 2014?

  1. Continue to be my very best, work hard, and breathe. When the opportunity comes, I give it everything I got. This applies to acting but just life in general as well.
  2. To be always grateful and to give my thanks to everyone I get to work with, whether it be a student film, indie, commercial, TV show, etc.
  3. To be always giving, generous, and help whenever I can in all aspects, big or small.
  4. To create that goddamn Cinnabon spec commercial. Or in this case, 4.
  5. To prepare myself for my 30 minute solo violin recital by August 2014.
  6. Continue being excellent to myself and to others

The difference between last year’s and this year’s is that all my resolutions this time are things that I can have full control over. That my acting goals and life goals are one and the same. I am not going to put out there anymore that I want a specific sized part because I think that’s just silly. Work is work, no matter where I get it, and in time I know I will get to wherever I need to go. The Cinnabon spec commercial resolution is back because it needs to be done as I have grown closer ties with the Cinnabon company and the CEO, Kat Cole. As for the solo violin recital? It’s going to be a massive kick in the ass but I’m happy to have a great violin teacher who will guide me and I know that once I accomplish this, I can fulfill a milestone in my journey with the instrument that has caused me so much regret and unfulfilled painful memories.

This was a bit of a long one, so thanks for tuning in. I’ll see you guys again next Sunday 🙂

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2 thoughts on “The Cinnabon Monster reflects back on 2013

  1. You are pretty amazing. Your attitude of gratitude and positivity are infectious. Wishing that 2014 will be the best year yet for you!

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