Remember that “life is like a balloon contest” quote from Forrest Gump? Yes? Shame on you, because that’s not how the quote went. But while riding my bike back from my new temp job, I thought of the truth in that sentence. Not because I spend my days searching for metaphors to sound artificially clever with, but because I spend my days drowning my spirit in financial administration at a company where they recently held a balloon contest.
Every couple of days a tiny, usually torn piece of paper that was once tied to a balloon comes back all the way from Germany or Belgium or France, stating where the balloon was found. Hundreds of kids let loose a balloon a couple of weeks ago, and only a couple of balloons made it far, only a couple of the balloon notes find their way back to the Netherlands. And then it just occurred to me how my life currently is like that…
Obviously, this is not the brightest period of my life. After the TV show I was on finished, I had not found a job or house in Amsterdam yet so I had to go back to living with my parents, after four years of living on my own. I had to go live in the small town I went to high school in, where none of my friends live anymore. I had to go live far from my boyfriend. I had to settle for an income almost a quarter lower than on my last job. So what does one do then?
Here’s what I did: I let loose hundreds of balloons, some big, some small, and just hoped some of them would go far, and that I would hear back from some of them. I applied for tons of jobs in tons of work fields, some in Amsterdam, some in London… I did open auditions, researched more LA talent agents, started writing a screenplay, contacted illustration agencies to be considered for representation, started systematically collecting evidence for the O1 visa request, aka US work visa for actors…
It’s cost a lot of energy, with very little coming back so far. But it made me learn an important lesson (yet another one, I know, original blonde what can I say): you really just never know how the things you do will unfold, sometimes you just gotta take a chance. Do something even if you can’t imagine it doing much good short-term, or long-term. Of course everyone pursuing an acting career takes a chance, a huge one, but I mean it on a different level.
In an acting career you can at least imagine the good things that can come from it. I mean please, I’ve had so many vivid daydreams of receiving an Oscar or meeting Al Pacino, it’s embarrassing. But starting this blog for example, was something I didn’t want to do initially unless I had a full on business plan. But then I just did it. Writing for hours, spamming people to death with it on Twitter, no idea if it would ever get me anywhere or anything.
And it got me so much. Kindred spirits all over the world -some of whom I might meet in real life soon- a voting army that got me on a TV show, nice comments from people that I look up to…
So I’m just gonna keep blowing up balloons, sending them out into the world, hoping one someday means something. My LA balloon is still the biggest and strongest and brightest, but California is a long way from here, so just for the sake of staying useful I’m sending out others too. And who knows, they might still get me where I want to be, just in smaller steps.
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