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The Oscar vs. The Lover: Finding the Balance

A coupleenjoyspringsunStjamespark As an actor, how do you master the art of having a relationship and the commitment of winning at a very challenging career?  First of all there is the question: Do you date another actor? 

If the answer is no, which it often is, then the second question can be tricky.  Is your other half one-hundred percent behind your career?  I have seen many people fall in love and have to choose. 

Anawfulawfulmoment Maybe the boyfriend was employed very gainfully and wanted to move for work. In my friend's case he was a very successful Chef.  He got a fantastic job in Arizona and she followed.  My question to her if I would've had the cohones to ask: why didn't she fight to stay Los Angeles?  Really he could be a chef anywhere but I don't know how much career acting she could do in Scottsdale

Probably if I had asked, the answer would have been because financially, he was doing better. I don't know if I could be with somebody, if I was committed to an acting career, who didn't understand that the building of my career is just as important as the advancement of his.  But honestly, how many people really viscerally understand that if they are not in the business. And, look I understand, love is also often a once in a lifetime opportunity.  It is tough especially since most people cannot fathom the possibility of a person actually making it in film and television. 

You really have to dream big, believe in infinite possibilities or you really have to love your partner unconditionally.  If you are not in a relationship, then how do you proceed to find that person?  How do you date and explain that you cannot afford a nice car or you may have to go Dutch.  For a guy, that could mean no second date. Weddingcouple

Sure for most of us, it happens naturally; but I have noticed that dating can be rather tricky especially when these three questions come up (oh and fill in the he/she where it fits):

He: What do you do for a living?/She: I'm an actor. 

A long sigh is followed by a clenched lip, long kind of nod action. 

Second question:  He: What was the last thing I've seen you in? /She: Um, well, I've worked but you may not have seen me, a couple of Co-stars, commercials--

He: Oh which commercial? /She: No, I was a hand in a Best Buy commercial, you won't recognize my hand. 

Onto the third question:

He: How long have you been pursuing acting? / She: Oh about seven years, you know since I was young. 

Then there's a nice long pause, a cordial smile and a nod again and then…

She: So... what's it like being an accountant?                                          

So there you have it.  In addition to having a rather tricky career,  dating can be tough for anyone in the arts.  Personally, I have found three rules to be effective.  Your partner should be supportive.  If he or she is not, then you run the risk of having another negative chatter voice in your head.  Isn't your Mom enough? 

The second rule is that you can't hide who you are.  Look, you are an actor, busted, but an actor, oh well.  You have five dollars in the bank but you are an actor and proud of it.  Well maybe leave out the five dollar part until the second date. 

The third rule is,  and I think most important one, that if you are happy and doing what you love, you usually will attract some pretty great people. 

Which brings me to my final question: Do you love it?  Whether you are dating, acting or begging your Dad for fifty bucks, do you love acting?  Do you sleep, breathe and dream about working on stage or on-screen?  If the answer is yes, all the rest will fall into place.

-- Heather Langone

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