I’m in Delaware visiting my husband while he’s here rehearsing for a play. Remember that plus-one life I mentioned in my first post? It’s my turn to do the traveling and I’m more than okay with it.
It’s very sleepy here in the great First State. So, as I sit in this quiet little apartment while my husband rehearses for eight hours a day, I’ve been watching a ton of movies.
One in particular that I really liked was ‘The Favourite.’ It stars leading ladies Emma Stone and Rachel Weiss fighting for the affection of Queen Anne, played by Olivia Coleman.
The film is witty, hilarious and and over the top and without risking a spoiled alert, my biggest takeaway was that it’s the quest of winning the Queen’s favour that is really enticing for these women — not actually obtaining it.
This reminded me of my career in Hollywood. Or, anyone who’s had a goal in life for that matter. Yes, realizing your dreams is thrilling and it’s important to have goals in the first place. But once you achieve your goals, isn’t there always another?
When I first moved to Los Angeles I had my sights set on one job: To be a host on E!. I spent my teen years obsessed with People magazine and was addicted to shows on E! like Wild On, and watched E! News like it was the real news.
Well, just under two years into my true Hollywood story, that dream came true. I was elated. I couldn’t believe it. It had actually happened! The first two years were great. I had an amazing, supportive team — mainly women — around me. I felt creatively fulfilled and excited to go to work.
Then, a lot of things changed. First of all, my father became gravely ill. He was diagnosed with ALS and given very little time to live. Luckily, my (incredible) boss allowed me to take family leave and be with him for a month.
When I returned, I wasn’t in the same headspace. Celebrity gossip didn’t seem so important. Plus, at this point I’d been in the same position for nearly three years. I also had a new boss who, let’s just say, wasn’t the most encouraging or supportive person.
Yes, I was a host at E!, but I was doing a show called E! News Now, which was made for the (growing) online audience. I really wanted to be promoted to E! News. After several meetings and negotiations, that didn’t seem to be the direction I was headed. So we parted ways.
I then had an exciting new world of opportunities open up for me. I immediately got my gig at Jersey Shore After Hours on MTV, which would have been off the table had I still been at E! since they are competing networks.
I also became a freelance reporter with TV Guide and was immediately sent to Brazil for the ‘Fast Five’ junket — exactly the kind of work I was craving: Travel and field interviews.
With my schedule freed, I began to really pursue acting and had a lot of early success there, too. I booked a few guest spots on sitcoms, like 2 Broke Girl$ and Hot in Cleveland, and found a new love of that medium.
Sometimes your biggest dreams turn out to be ones you could’ve never even dreamed up. They are just amazing things that come when your heart is open and you’re in the flow!
I amped up my involvement with Top Story Weekly, a sketch comedy show that once had a home at the now defunct IO West Comedy Club. I made a tape for SNL, which, coincidentally features my impression of one of my ‘favourites,’ Emma Stone. Scroll to the 3:07 mark to see that part.
I didn’t get called in or flown to New York to meet Lorne Michaels. But it sure was fun to make and I did get good feedback! I may end up submitting again. For now, it’s just fun to keep playing and trying new things. You know, the journey of exploration and creativity.
I was really sad to leave E!. After all, it was my dream job! But it’s true that when one door closes another one opens.
Though I’m still hosting, I am now fully enjoying the journey of pursuing a series-regular or lead role on a comedy. That is my new dream.
The pursuit is exhilarating because just one audition can change everything. I am trying new things in acting class and getting to stretch myself as an artist. I’m excited for the day when my sitcom comes.
But when it does, what will be my next goal? I’ve always hated getting too far ahead of myself. Whatever’s next will come, and without me pushing any specific agenda.
And if ‘The Favourite’ has taught me anything, it’s that — despite how the saying goes — the best is already here.