Shifting Satisfaction

Boone Plattby Boone Platt

They say to “write what you know”, so this is about me. I’m an actor, and I like when things are about me. Besides, probably best to self-promote in the off chance someone in casting gets a look at this.

When I made my decision to move to Los Angeles, it was made in spite of my full confidence that I would be made to be miserable for it. My motives were simple: first, to surround myself with people that inspired me. Second, to escape the smothering chokehold of creative complacency I’d found myself in; and finally to become a world-renowned legend of stage and screen. Two out of three ain’t bad.

When I say that I came to L.A. expecting misery, I mean that I’d mentally prepared myself for the oft lamented “artist’s torment”. In fact, I’d even come to find the prospect somewhat alluring. I’d play the misunderstood lead in a melancholy story of a great and noble struggle. I’d disguise my irresponsibility as passion and journey the arduous path of the artist fraught with misery and self-pity. But that’s not how it works. I don’t mean the misery part, that’s definitely how it works- I found misery in bulk- it’s the “path” part that ruined the romantic vision I’d created for myself. There is no path. There is no gauntlet to run, no dramatic test of will or symbols of faith. There is only a wide-open expanse of paths waiting to be created- and actors. Hundreds of thousands of actors searching for their path in slow, outward-moving circles. I don’t mean to paint a picture of hopelessness. The trouble with not having a path is not lack of possibilities, it is an overwhelming multitude of them. When you pair that multitude of choices with the acute pressure of validating your career by somehow differentiating yourself from the masses, you derive the purest form of panic that scientists have, as of yet, discovered. And so I’ve spent close to three years in a panic. I’ve met with great opportunities, kind and beautiful people, and constant inspiration, all while terrified about what it means, and what my next step is. I’ve grown a lot in my time here, but my “path” is completely indiscernible. It’s been a frantic mess of senseless decision making. I’m still wandering a grand expanse of opportunity with no real sense of direction.

It’s taken some time for me to feel satisfied with my lack of direction (granted, nowhere near as much time as it’s taken my mother to feel satisfied with my lack of direction), but I’ve come to truly appreciate it. I have incredible artists around me that keep me inspired (what’s up ICT?). Also, thanks to the terrifying reality of Los Angeles waiting to eat you alive if you hesitate to create for even a second, my complacency has been cured almost entirely. The combination of the two (inspiration and drive) has served me well artistically. In the past year alone I’ve performed acrobatics in Hong Kong, was a dancing assistant for a touring magic show, stunt-doubled the CEO of Coldwell-Banker in an astronaut suit, played one of the leads in a queer adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest and started my own business editing reels and taping auditions. All thanks to my clear lack of direction.

I still find plenty of time to be miserable, I still mask my irresponsibility in abstract artistic goals, and I’m still neither a legend of stage nor film; but I’m happy to be standing where I am, with wide-open expanse in every direction.