First of all, let me address the biggest question that I am asked. Yes, I will still continue to act. Acting was and remains one of the biggest passions in my life, and I receive more pure joy from it than I do from many other things. My retirement from the profession does not mean that I will never again be seen onstage or in a movie, so please don't call me a hypocrite when I next appear in a short film or the latest installment of "Super Heroes Who Are Super." Acting is fun, and I plan to continue to work on projects that interest me.
That brings us to what the retirement involves, exactly. For the last year as I have moved from performing into producing, the work I have done onstage has become less and less "fun." It's started to feel like work. And I don't mean the "boy, aren't I lucky because I get to do this every day!" sort of work. I'm talking about the "well, damn, here it is Monday morning again and I have to go to that stupid office and do the thing that I don't enjoy just so I have money coming in but I'd much rather be somewhere else" sort of work. Simply put, I lost my joy. Acting is not something that one does for the money, so to continue in a profession that I don't enjoy doesn't seem like a smart idea to me.
And, of course, let's not forget about the money. Acting can sometimes pay enough to "get by," if you are going to take into account all the side jobs, teaching jobs, freelance jobs, temp jobs, and crap jobs that you have to do in order to supplement a Philadelphia-approved rate of $75/week for your performance. For many people, this works out just fine. And I'm not trying to knock the people for whom that life works well. It worked fine for me for many years, but not any more. I had a lot of fun bouncing from one job to another, but I now recognize that I want a stable job, a reliable source of income, and an enjoyable workplace. And that's not always to be found in acting.
Essentially, I'll boil it down to this: I used to work 9-5 at a job I didn't enjoy in order to be able to find my happiness by performing on the side. But now, I want to find a 9-5 job that I enjoy and that makes me happy, and I will fill the time on the side with other hobbies and interest that make me just as happy as my profession. Some of them will, no doubt, include acting. They will also include writing, producing, reading, playing mini golf, bowling, making plastic model kits, owning a cat, collecting comic books, etc. I'm ready for my permanent, full-time career to be my primary one, my stable one, and my financially supportive one. And I know that I am not going to find any of those things as a professional actor.
However, I do enjoy the creative process and the creative arts, but now I want to be a part of the production side of them. I am seeking employment in publishing, either in the publicity, production, or editorial departments of book-publishing companies. It's a hard field to break into, and the challenges fill me with dread some nights when I can't sleep, but it's the sort of thing that I think will make me happy. I've been a freelancer for a long time, and I'm looking for a full-time, salaried position where I have to wear a tie to work.
If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them. You can post them here or you can email me directly, and I will be forthright and honest about my current decision, my reasons, and my intentions.