Week Seven- Those Darn Forks

This week, I look back on two huge in person auditions in Irving at the Los Colinas studios. Both were weird and fun commercial auditions. The first one had me pretending to be atop an 18 wheeler with a chain saw. I was quite confused, picturing in my head the famous Volvo commercial with  Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two moving 18 wheelers…but it wasn’t quite that weird. Instead, they handed me a four foot 2X4 to wield as a chainsaw and act like a crazy lawyer (half of which, being crazy, is natural for me). The second audition was just as quirky but another example of how commercials can be waaaaaay over the top these days. The final line was, “That’s a great deal!”. He asked me to give it several different ways. The last choice I decided to yell the line like I was a father screaming at his wife to get in the storm shelter as the tornado was about to kill everyone. THAT’S A GREAT DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!! I was doing that full well knowing that is was completely over the top…they loved it. In fact, the clients in the room applauded, which is always fun. But it was also a little weird since it was the epitome of overacting. But, that’s what they wanted, so who am I to complain. If I book either of these, you can be the judge of just how over the top they are!

As much as the joy of the in person auditions can be, it has been pretty rough these days for the Brooks clan. In the course of trying to close my deceased mom’s estate and my wife, Cheryl’s deceased grandfather’s estate, we decided to move out to Cheryl’s mom’s property five miles outside of the small town of Canton (population 4312). This was done since we had experienced a few financial setbacks. We have been here since May and while I love the country life, I am not as fond of an hour and a half round trip to go see Black Panther when it comes out. Another reason, we went to Canton was to save money for our continued hope to have a child. The more we save, the more we have for IVF, which has already cost tens of thousands of dollars.

So as thrilled as I am at seeing the world wrestling to get back to normal after the over the top Covid shutdowns, I’m having hard times in my heart. There is little work in this area aside from working at the Sonic or the Dairy Palace. And my knees are not at all agreeable to the long shift anymore. My wife and I had a long talk last night because her heart is very downcast. She’s 46 and very sad we don’t have a child yet. She thinks she is too old and will never have a child and if we did, she would really like to have a grand child before she gets extremely old. Closing up Cheryl’s grandfather’s estate has not been fun either. Her grandfather owned a few hundred properties in south Dallas many years ago. He was not a fan of paying property taxes, so when he died, the amounts of back taxes and liens and interest added up over the years to hundreds of thousands of dollars. When we discovered that the rest of the family had been sweeping this information under the rug for years in hopes that it would go away, we took on the task of resolving it, since Dallas would have come for the money eventually. The law form in charge of property issues in Dallas is named Linebarger, Goggin, Blair and Sampson and anyone who has done research on them, knows they are like Texas mafia. They have their hands in everything and they contribute to all politicians so they can maintain the power they have. We have seen this first hand with the estate in that when we are trying to close out one property to pay off the city, Linebarger will add a new lawsuit to make it impossible.

There are many examples of the illegality we have experienced from them over the past five years, but needless to say, it has taken a toll on me and Cheryl. We have probably aged ten years since 2017 and it hurts. The hardest part is seeing the hope drain from my wife’s eyes which of course bleeds over to mine.

So at the age of 53, I am staring down an ominous fork in the road in my life. Do I start a new career to get us out of this hole we are in. Do I shelve the 30 year acting career where I’ve accomplished so much but still not attained a sustainable financial status? Do I step into the unknown again? And what the heck can I even do at this stage that would take care of my family?

Forks in the road annoy me. I used to love them because they always were full of adventure, like the one in Frost’s The Road Not Taken. This fork is dark and might be a dead end when all is said and done. But as much as I dread it, I have to choose.

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