WARNING: The following is longer than 140 characters.
Over the past few months, I’ve been telling people that I’m in the process of taking a step back from acting. I haven’t really been that specific as to my reasonings why, because I honestly wasn’t sure of what they were myself — I just knew that I was no longer drawn to acting the same way that I once was.
I’m taking a few moments to share my thoughts on the matter because I have received such incredible support from many of you over the past decade, that I feel I owe you all some insight as to where I’m currently at with my acting career…
When I started acting, I did it because I was compelled to do it – I had to do it. I read books, I studied performances, developed theories, and entirely immersed myself in the art. In the years that followed, I honed my skills, strengthened my relationships, and put my all into the profession.
So, what changed? When – and from where – did this apathy suddenly creep in? At some point, I began acting for the paycheque, rather than the passion; and for the past few months, I’ve been doing a good amount of soul searching, asking myself why…
Long answer short: I accomplished my goal.
Long answer long: The soul searching has allowed me to reverse-engineer my acting career and look back on why I got into acting in the first place. It sounds simple enough, but hey, I never really did that.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I got into acting for the same reason that I wanted to become a professional wrestler (my original plan leaving high school): because I had no idea who the hell I was, and until I did, I wanted to be someone else.
I honestly never really cared about fame or fortune – which I think most people think is a weird thing to not care about when you’re an actor, but hey – I was always more interested in character exploration, finding myself within that, and over the past decade of working within the art, I feel like I’ve slowly done just that, I’ve found myself (which is quite possibly the hokiest sentence I’ve ever written).
Acting is a tough career, any career in the arts is, and I admire any person who has that fire within themselves, whatever it is, to fight on and hone their craft, but I personally have reached a point where I am no longer compelled to sacrifice for my art. I like my art, I think it’s fun and exciting and interests me deeply, but it makes no sense for me to push on when I’ve already received what I bargained for.
I’ll probably look back at this one day and roll my eyes at the potentially (almost definitely) self-indulgent / self-important nature of this note, but you, my friends and family, are all the shareholders in “Glen Matthews Incorporated”, you’re responsible for my success, you’re the people that I answer to, and I owe you this, my personal insight.
And to be very clear, please know that this is not me quitting acting (calm down, everyone, please, CALM DOWN) – I’m simply taking a step back, so that I can focus on other things, like setting new goals and continuing to grow. I love acting, I truly do, but there are many other things I think I will love as well.
Thank you for your past and future support everyone. Let’s grab a drink sometime. Cool?