Where I’m At

Maegan Gwaltney

If you came here for the smiling head shots and resume, welcome! Check out my training, experience and writing, in both Chicago and Los Angeles. Feel free to contact me if you are working on a project you think I’d be right for. I welcome every chance to learn, stretch, grow and play, as an actress, writer, and human being.

If you came here to peek behind the curtain, to see beyond the business card, follow me, over the pictures and through the words. You’ll get a glimpse of the girl trying to make it all work.

I wish I had a more clear cut theme to feed you. You know, something simple like, Girl Going For Dream! Chick With Conviction. Actress with Attitude. I used to. I’m sure I still do somewhere, I’m just not sure where I put it in all that’s happened.

Let me explain:

A few years ago, I started a blog, The Hollywood Push. It was early January 2011, and I decided, like the black and white thinking Gemini I am, that I would give L.A. 1 more year. I would push as hard as I could for that year and at the end see if it was worth staying. Funny girl, catchy premise, simple enough right?

Jake

It would’ve been but, as usual, Life, that tricky bitch, had other plans.

On January 26, 2011, my handsome, funny, wild, impulsive 22-year-old nephew Jake committed suicide. Obviously, this changed everything in my world.

But, I stayed in L.A. and kept writing. What started as a quirky underdog’s adventure in L.A., The Hollywood Push, became a mixture of my sarcastic, I Will Survive humor, and all the reflective questions that loss leaves behind in our heads.

Luke

Now, I am trying to edit and self publish it as a book, a task proving harder than I thought to do alone. I’m not even sure how good it is anymore. But, I am sure that it matters, for me and for Jake and for everyone trying to stay afloat in a world without someone they’ve lost.

But, wait! There’s more! (You better sit down for this.)

In August, I got a call that seemed so unreal I literally thought I was dreaming. My youngest nephew, Luke, Jake’s little brother, had committed suicide.

I know this is a pretty heavy way to start an introduction. But, I say it here because it is now a huge part of who I am, and where I am at.

When we lost Jake, I questioned everything. What was I sacrificing to be so far away from home pursuing my dream? How many Christmas’ and birthdays had I missed and for what? But, something in me told me I was in the right place. Making a name for myself and Jake.

When we lost Luke, that all changed. For the first time in my life, I regretting coming to Los Angeles. To the point of literally wishing for a time machine. Even my one saving grace, writing, couldn’t lead the way home this time.

It seemed pointless to even put my thoughts into writing, after all, hadn’t I said all the same things with Jake? Only this time, there was no silver lining, no lessons learned. All those things we’d clung to with the loss of Jake, where had they led us? Right back where we started it seemed. Further behind even.

But, if I gave up now, what was it all for? Five years, the last years of their lives, wasted for me to crawl back home, empty-handed. It had to mean something, become something. So, though I could barely manage survival mode, I stayed in L.A., hoping for a miracle.

So far, no bright, shiny miracles have appeared. But, little ones have. Tiny cracks of light in the dark.

A talented co-worker in the land of Vitamins and Colon Blow decided to start a web series. Because he thinks I am also talented and funny, he asked me to be a part of it, as an (wait for it….) Actress Slash Writer. I’m now working with talented, dedicated, like minded artists.

I love what we are creating and feel like it might become something successful, because it deals with family, both the insane, unbelievable humor and the unchangeable regret. It is based on the concept that no matter where we end up, we all come from somewhere.

I’m starting to write again, though I’m not sure what I have to say, and it changes greatly from day to day. So, the thought of starting this sporadic blog terrified me. How can I commit to creating something when I don’t know what it is I am going to create?

I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl. I’m a nail-it-down-so-you know-what-to-expect-and-what’s-expected-of-you kind of girl. But, if I wait until I figure things out, I may never get there/write again.

Instead, I’m going to use this as a place to figure things out while I show what I’ve already done. My own ever changing, beautiful, uncertain little corner of the world.

Stop by once in awhile if you want to see how it’s going.

Maegan Gwaltny
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