My father used to say, “Be brave enough to think bigger.” Parked my car and, while crossing the quiet side street in the heart of downtown Austin, I found myself stopped, standing in the middle of the 4-way intersection. Just for a moment. To let the warm Texas breeze flow over me, to take in the waning daylight as it spread itself throughout the cozy neighborhood and onto the buzzing interstate one street over and to listen to the wind chimes sing on a tiny Victorian front porch in the yard nearby. Then I climbed the three concrete steps to enter the small 1920’s house known as Brock-Allen Casting, to begin my new commitment to me.

Nice to know, as a new member of A Working Group, I’m now part of a class full of other auditioning and working on-camera professionals. It’s a relief really. Been hard to find that in Austin. Each classmate talked briefly about their auditioning/on-camera experiences this past year. They’re pleasant, humble and kind. Glad to hear there’s business out there. My year’s been busy, but, unlike last year, not so much in auditions. Yet the downtime to refocus, redirect and to move forward has been invaluable. Not to mention, it’s hard to change old habits of pitching my touring stage show with its decades of regional and statewide credibility and respect. But, as the man said, “It’s time.”

Nothing new, I’ve always had to create my own place, my own acting jobs, my own careers. Write it, make it, build it, do it, market it. Do it again. But for all that I am, and, frankly I really like myself, lol, I know I need many more layers of learning. The only way you can build, the only way you can truly learn is in layers. And, with Brock-Allen’s A Working Group, I feel solidly I’m in the right place.

So, now that I’ve stopped trying to keep one foot in Nashville with family and the other foot in Austin, I’m staying here in Austin and I’m hanging in. Going to make this happen. Thank you, Sally Allen and Toni Brock! Now it’s time for me to bust ass to get busy, to get a new acting reel and get real….Stanislavski-wise, bay-bee!  –By Martha Hannah