My tenure is coming up and really, what a tenure is, its an academic term college professors use to signify their 10 year teaching mark in the academic arena. When college professors come to their respective 10 year mark, the university they're stationed with will usually ask them to write another dissertation to re-establish their progress and commitment to their area of emphasis.
So for me, my tenure is equivalent to completing my first role in a feature film called, "All The Others Were Practice" .
It took me 10 years to learn stand up comedy and progress to being a great entertainer. After I got to my first hour of performing stand up comedy, I wasn't satisfied, so I kept writing and performing and when I got to my 2nd hour, I still wasn't satisfied. By no means do I claim to know everything about stand up comedy because I'm always learning something, but in the back of my head I knew there was something missing that made me feel legitimate to my craft, our industry doesn't exactly give out pieces of paper to assess the growth in our field.
It wasn't until I was done filming that I realized stand up comedy has been preparing me how to act the whole time.
This awakening came thru the notes of the director, on some shoot days he would say, "this has been the problem we keep running into, you keep coming across cold, we need a connection between you and your scene partner" .
And then the little light bulbs in my head began to go off because his feedback matched a lot of the constructive criticism I received over the years from my comedy peers. After he said that I put into a gear and knew exactly what he was talking about but that shouldn't suggest I was always on point because there were many days where I really struggled to get into the feeling of the scenes.
On those days I want to say my Indianess became a hindrance. And by that I mean, everyone that I know in the Native community has this zen like quality about them, a feeling of peace and bliss around their aura's, to outsiders they think its just our stone cold Indian face, expressionless, quiet, silent, and catatonic. So on a lot of days it was hard for me to break away from my quiet happiness.
I can honestly say being apart of this movie was very gratifying and it fulfilled a big part of my life, and now, I can finally say with a full heart that, I'm an artist.