Back in 2011, before all of this started, I was forty pounds overweight, and four months shy of my 40th birthday. I wrote a blog called Forty In Four By Forty wherein I detailed my quest to lose that weight by then, and I did ok too. I was still trying to make a mark on the world, create something for which I’d be remembered, get famous!
I was living in a mouldy basement suite that I rented with my then partner and our small daughter. We were broke mostly and I would take walks in the rain and wonder what else I could do with my life because acting was not paying the bills. But by the summer of 2012, I was 35 pounds lighter. I was in New York. And I was Horsefamous.
For the uninitiated: I play 20+ Characters on the hit animated show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, most notably a monosyllabic apple farmer named Big McIntosh. The show has a fandom called Bronies, mostly adult men, who have been hosting meetups, gatherings and large conventions to celebrate the show. I’ve been lucky enough to have attended more than 20 of these conventions on three continents. I’m greeted like a celebrity, and in the vernacular of the fandom that makes me a famous horse, notable among horse fans, aka “Horsefamous.” I find the term endearing. It’s been a heady and exciting ride, often difficult to navigate but mostly deliciously fun.
But as with everything, the bloom wears off and the business of getting on with one’s actual life resumes. I no longer live in a mouldy basement (hooray!), nor with that partner (…yaaay…), nor my beautiful daughter 100% of the time (Boo!). I’ve also regained all that weight and I’ve just turned 44 (…collapses…). I haven’t had a steady income since recordings stopped on season 4 of Littlest Pet Shop in the summertime so I can barely afford food. I say this not to elicit sympathy, but just to elucidate the realities behind the fiction of celebrity- being an actor is hard, inconsistent, unreliable and just as often destitute as it is lucrative. So here I am: Broke, hungry and taking walks in the rain and wondering what else I could do with my life to make ends meet. Sounds familiar.
Now it’s not all dire. I have work lined up for January. And things trickle in. And things change in a heartbeat, too. I could get a call on Monday telling me that I have work enough to pay for Christmas. Or not. Who knows? But one cannot plan a life waiting on a phone that may or may not ring. And I’ve spent the last few months in hope and idleness, waiting on just that. Meanwhile the bills -and the debts- pile up, and the weight piles on.
So: What to do?
Well, in part inspired by my new love’s recent effort to draw every day, and in part by my own history in writing as a form of personal growth and motivation, I’ve decided that starting today, November first, I will write daily (like I used to do!). This will take the following form: Sunday I will update this blog with my weekly progress towards fitness, creation, and solvency through tales of misadventure and distraction. Monday through Saturday I will generate scripts for original films and TV shows (like I used to do), with an eye to actually producing things instead of letting them sit in a drawer (if anyone wants a screenplay to produce I’ve got about six dusty ones I can show you). And throughout I’ll be eating better and doing more and reporting back on my progress.
This week’s goals:
1. Write a blog (check)
2. Log meals (I’ll explain that next time)
3. Write daily (self explanatory)
4. Be active daily (instead of be-in-a-chair-playing-candy-crush-on-my-phone-because-I-feel-like-holding-it-might-make-it-ring-daily)
Ok, that’s it. Thanks for reading. And thank you for coming with me on this adventure. Your eyes on my words inspire me. Till next week, then. To action!