“My agent had told me that he was going to make me the Janet Gaynor of England—I was going to play all the sweet roles. Whereupon, at the tender age of thirteen, I set upon the path of playing nothing but hookers.” -- Ida Lupino
Before Patty Jenkins, Ava Duvernay, Greta Gerwig, Dee Rees, or any of the other incredible female directors that we've become familiar with, there was Ida Lupino. Ida Lupino was an actress turned producer/director. At the time she was the only woman working within the 1950s Hollywood studio system. She founded an independent production company, co-wrote and co-produced several of her own social-message films, and was the first woman to direct a film noir, The Hitch-Hiker, in 1953. Plus, she was the only woman to direct an episode of The Twilight Zone. So yeah, I'd say she was a pretty big badass.
Originally when I started to write this piece, I wanted to focus on badass women in film, but it quickly took a turn. As of late I've been feeling particularly discouraged, so while I celebrate these women doing remarkable things (in the film world and outside of the film world), I can't help but feel that I'm not doing enough. For some reason, my perfectionist impatient self, decided that all she wanted to do was enter an industry where perfection does not exist and patience is a necessity. I'm the gal who likes to measure her progress; in school I had grades to go by, when I danced I understood how to calculate my progress, so on and so forth. As an actor I feel like I'm free falling, sometimes there are brief moments of respite that come in the form of projects-- something that in the last year has been scarce. Funny enough, for every person who suggests that it's time to look elsewhere, well, that only makes me want to do it more. Even if wanting to do it more just means bashing my head against the wall for another few years.
I'm the kind of spiritual person who's always on the look out for signs from the universe, always hoping to get a little whisper saying "you're on the right path." Among my bigger flaws is how easily I can stop myself in my tracks. How easily I second guess myself. I've been pouring my insecurities into the pages of what has become my safe haven. When I did The Artist's Way I wrote my pages with zero joy, it was a tedious task that I dreaded. I never felt like I had anything to say, but lately my brain has been flooded with stray thoughts and ideas. Now to channel this energy and angst into writing a story, maybe into finishing the beat sheet for that feature film of mine. Yes I am stubborn, but that also means that I'm determined and resilient. Maybe things won't have the grandiose finale that I want, but I'm going to fight tooth and nail to be working in a world that brings me joy.
As I was writing this I got an e-mail notifying me that I have an audition tomorrow. I'm going to go ahead and take that as a sign.