He got an Oscar nod for Revolutionary Road, starred in everything from big budget blockbusters like Man of Steel, to indie films like Take Shelter, and still finds time to get back to his theatrical roots onstage in NYC. Michael Shannon has been one of my favorite actors since I saw him in 2006’s adaptation of Tracy Letts’ play Bug. Like most actors, I have a list. My fellow actors will know it well. It’s a mental list comprised of people we dream of working with. We want to act with talented people. We want to spar with them, connect with them, act our hearts out with them. Well, he’s one of those actors. He’s on my list. Boy he’s one of those actors that just makes me go, “I want to study more. I want to get even better. I want to get to be as good as him/her.” His subtly in Revolutionary Road was so good, that there were moments where I forgot he was playing a character. He has a range that is hard to match nowadays and is someone who knows when to get back on the boards (the stage) and stretch his acting muscles to keep them sharp.
Everyone has someone who they want to work with. I love working with interesting actors who make me want to strive to be better. As a character actress, I love watching other character actors. I love wanting to push myself to not necessarily be like the actor I admire, but emulate the kind of intricate characteristics that make up the people they play. Michael Shannon’s performances are complex and it’s those complexities that make him a fantastic actor. Michael Shannon, if you ever read this, I want to work with you. Seriously. We need to make this happen.
I’ve always had a lot professional goals. Sometimes, it just takes the courage to go after what you want no matter how frightened you are. This year, I really want to make changes for the better, especially after all of the things that negatively impacted my life last year. This year, I am trying to stay as positive, happy, and healthy as possible in order to turn my career around. I want get things rolling by doing what I love and making a living at it on a more consistent basis. This business can be extremely difficult. Despite what people see on television with awards shows and red carpets, parties and the high life, it’s still a business. People have to make a living, and more often than not, it’s the people who aren’t household names that I look up to most in the acting business. There IS a way to make a living solely by being an entertainer. I’ve seen it with a number of my friends. I decided to write this post because I truly want to make my dreams a reality and achieve my goals.
For a long time, I had fed into my self-doubt. There is no one to blame for that but myself. Oftentimes, I would blame the industry for putting such unspoken restrictions on my type as an actor. I have caught myself making excuses, and I really need to stop doing that. While, it’s somewhat unrealistic to stay positive all the time, I do want to turn that negative feeling that has been lingering for the past year into something joyous. I want bring my career to the next level. I could be worrying about my weight, the fact that I don’t have a “traditional” look, or the fact that I have been doing all of the footwork myself for the past six and a half years without the help of an agent. OR, I could totally revel in the fact that I’m NOT starving myself to fit some unrealistic Hollywood ideal, while still becoming more aware of my overall health. I could be proud of my look just as I am because my parents are really attractive people, so naturally, they made me look as unique as possible which is awesome. Lastly, I could be exceedingly grateful for how far I’ve come on my own without the help of an agent. And, I am proud of that. I think I’ve done a pretty good job. But I want more. I want to do what I love. I want to do voice-overs, I want to do television (I mean, hello, I would love to be on Blacklist), I want to do more film. I want to work.
At the same time, I’ve come to the realization that I not only want, but need to have someone in my corner. It’s been great doing it on my own, but I truly believe that I need the guidance of a manager and agent at this point. I’ve met agents and managers in the past who have told my look was unique and they would love to work with me, but they aren’t looking for my type right now, or they already have it. Representation can be a lot like dating. You’re either ready for dating and marriage, or you’re just not someone’s type. This year, I hope I’m someone’s type.