Coming Out of Retirement
by Amelia Kanan
Over the past couple of years, I’ve suppressed a little part of me. Most creative types wouldn’t tell you they have only one medium in which with they prefer to work. There are musicians who are incredible painters. Sculptors who have a passion for archetural design. And advertising execs who have aspirations of being writers. Any right brain dominant thinker would tell you, that he/she has many artistic interests.
Although my daily obligations have me flip flopping between all sorts of creative expression, I’ve been suppressing one of my mediums. Performance art.
To be honest, I didn’t realize I was suppressing it. I thought I had moved on. After living in one of the worlds’ epicenters of performance, I had become sickened by it. Annoyed. Angry. I came to the belief that to live the life of a working actress is to exist, submerged in a world of pretend. Surrounded by people who love you for a version of yourself, not the true you. I hadn’t even become a working actress and yet there I was, already living in a world of idealism rather than realism, getting high off the fumes of others’ adoration. How weak of a person was I where I felt comfortable in this world of fraudulence? I had always known that I liked making people laugh but I hadn’t realized how desperate I had been for attention for so long. Once I realized that truth, I wanted to crawl under a rock. Apologize to my friends for being such a narcissist. I didn’t want to make any new friends or have a relationship out of the fear of using them to feel good about myself.
When I left that culture, I smiled as I said goodbye to the attention, narcissism, ego driven motives and co-dependancy. I was done living in a day to day life of escape. Finally, after all that yoga, the buddha within me had surfaced and I began to crave stillness, authenticity and to be present in real life as it was unfolding, for good or bad.
As I immersed myself in obligations and responsibilities that were saturated in honesty, I found myself enjoying it and still am. My life has been quiet, uneventful, not at all dramatic but full of creativity and a sense of daily escape that brings growth and productivity. I enjoyed the seriousness. The depth. The reality within art like journalism or fine art.
Well, a few weeks ago, I was forced to come out of my retirement from film. And when I say forced, I was just asked more than once. My old writing partner/director is a filmmaker and being the loyal-to-the-end kind of guy that he is, he is constantly encouraging me to participate. And I, have began to decline since “my change”. This time, although it took three times for him to ask, I said yes. Actually, it was more like “Ugh. Well, what day? What time? And how long will it take?”. The answers were bearable, so I said “Fine”. Sometimes, I can’t help my inner goddess.I mean, how many of you can say your face graced a screen at the Chinese Theatre? (Just bear with me, I promise I’m almost done).
It had been two years since I had done any sort of acting and there I was, back in front of not only the crew and camera but a live audience as well (we filmed in a full theatre). Sure, I had maybe one butterfly cruising through my guts but, I was off book in 20 minutes, comfortable in my skin, confident in my objective and thrilled to fire it out. God, it felt good. It wasn’t about the attention, praise or any other ego-seeking reaction. It doesn’t have to do with filling a void, it doesn’t mean I feel unloved when I’m not performing. It’s just a part of me and one of the things I genuinely enjoy creating. I shouldn’t feel bad or embarrassed about that. I’m not embarrassed of my writing or photography…why is this any different?
Ok, long story to the point: I’m ready world. I’m finally ready to tell a good, entertaining, life altering story. With my words, my lips and my face. It’s been marinating for years and I’m ready to fire it on the grille and serve it on a pretty plate for everyone to eat up.
Amelia. Spring 2014. Coming to a stage near you.