There are few moments in life that actually leave me speechless. I know, you're all thinking that I seem like the quiet type... maybe words aren't my thing... (HA!) Let's just say that my family once ganged up on me and put duck-tape over my mouth because I couldn't keep it shut myself. I also never won at that stupid "I'll give you a quarter if you can be quiet for ten minutes" game. I still maintain it wasn't that I was incapable of staying quiet, it was more that a quarter simply wasn't a big enough incentive. Throw a nine year old fifty dollars, it may have been a different story.
But this week, I did find myself at a loss for words two times.
The first was as I was leaving a holiday party and causally chatting with another guest while we were waiting for the valet. She was pretty blasted. This girl was certainly not short on holiday cheer or eggnog. My car arrived, I leaned in for a quick goodbye hug and said, "It was great seeing you again, happy holidays." But just then, Miss Three-Sheets-to-the-Wind looked at her girlfriend (yep, girlfriend girlfriend) and said,"Honey, you're great, but this girl may have you beat."
I didn't know her well enough to know if that was her sense of humor talking or just her champagne-drowned lack of inhibitions. The poor girlfriend had to be annoyed already and slightly mortified at having to babysit her swaying other half at the end of the night. But I was a bit stunned. I quickly made some joke that it was no contest, the girlfriend would beat me every time... then basically ran to my car and rushed off. Naturally, I found out earlier that evening that the girlfriend was a talent agent. Hope that one doesn't come back to haunt me down the road...
But for my second speechless moment this week, I was by myself. Today, a letter arrived with my SAG card. My SAG card. Oh my god, I have a SAG card. I'm a card-carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Holy shit, it feels really good to say that.
I keep taking it out of my wallet and looking at it. Maybe I'm double checking that it's still there and it's still real. Making sure that it's actually my name printed on the front. It's been a bit of a road to get here; the reality of it hasn't quite set in yet.
And I know this card doesn't guarantee success or money or fame. But it does mean that no casting director will rule me out merely because I am more paperwork. It means that when I tell people I'm an actress and they ask if I'm union, I no longer have to sigh and say, "Not yet." I don't have to pretend like I don't see the look of judgment on their face, like I'm not a real actor or have no talent if I'm non-union. Having this card with my name stamped on the front means that when this name becomes a household phrase, it will be because I took it there. No other actor will have a career with this name.
Here's to the next phase of my career, perfectly coinciding with the new year. Here's to jumping in the deep end of the big pond, going to the show, joining the big-boys and making a name for myself.
To much of Hollywood, I'm still pretty invisible. Here's to making them open their eyes.