You may be rolling your eyes and thinking it’s a little too early to be thinking about the next five years when I haven’t even finished my 25 by 25, but with only 7/8 items left and concrete plans to finish most of them within the next month, I took to planning my next challenges. Really, it’s more of a plan of all of the exciting things I plan to do within the next 5 years :)
1. Publish a Book
I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I have wanted to be an actress, and there are some members of my family who think I should give up acting for writing. I don’t plan on doing that any time soon, but it would definitely be an amazing personal accomplishment to publish a book.
2. Be able to Communicate in Another Language
I am aiming for Italian at the moment, and the point isn’t to be fluent, but I would like to be able to get around in a city that speaks that language. So, I might have to visit Italy to put this one to the test :)
3. Knit a Baby’s Blanket
I learnt how to knit with the goal of being able to knit a baby blanket when people I care about have kids. I have a character in a story I will hopefully some day publish who does this, and I may be biased, but I think it is an awesome thing to do.
4. Be a Bridesmaid
I was honored to be my Aunt’s maid of honor a few years ago, something I will cherish forever, but I would love to be a bridesmaid and get to do all that it entails. I want to go dress shopping, have an assigned bridesmaid dress I can love or complain about, have the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party…the whole nine yards. Plus, it means I have a friend who values me and wants me to be a part of their special day :)
5. Be an Aunt
I don’t want this to put the pressure on my brother to procreate, I just would love to have a kid I am close to, who calls me Auntie Amanda. This baby is possibly already born and just hasn’t started talking yet.
6. Visit New Orleans
Ever since I decided to take a road trip to New Orleans, this town has not left my mind. It pops up in shows, I write about it in books…I would really love to experience the culture, the food, the beauty of New Orleans with my own two eyes!
7. Be a Working Actress
This means that I will be living comfortable off of my acting income, not just burning through my savings. It means no survival jobs, no worrying about unexpected dinners or outings. And best of all, it means that I will be spending lots of time on set :)
8. Move into a Place of My Own
I specifically didn’t say move out, because it isn’t about leaving my home, it is about spreading my wings and finding my way in a place that I can truly call my own. And, I have a bunch of frames and things that I don’t know where to hang up in my bedroom.
9. Become a Full ACTRA member
For those of you who aren’t actors, in order to become a full ACTRA member, you need 3 credits, which are basically speaking parts in union productions. There are other ways of getting credits, such as education and background work, but 3 is still the magic number. I have already booked the role that will give me my first credit, so this means getting two more.
10. Do an Aid/Relief Trip
I used to watch those World Vision commercials when I was a kid, and I would beg my mom to adopt one of the kids. This never worked out, but the urge to help never went away. I loved the idea of sponsoring a child, until I saw Beyond Borders, the Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen movie. This was when I thought I would become a doctor and do Doctors Without Borders (like Clive’s character), but since I have long given up on the medical degree, I would still love to go to the places that need help and bring supplies and volunteer my time instead of justing giving money (like Angelina’s character). They have amazing organizations where you can volunteer to help kids, or animals or entire villages, so I just have to pick which one I want to do and go!
11. Give Blood
I wanted to donate blood as soon as I turned 18, but I had always been out of the country within that frame of time where they don’t want your blood. Since Hawaii doesn’t count as a foreign country, my blood in currently donatable, and I would like to do so. Even if it slightly terrifies me after organizing a blood drive where people passed out.
12. Master a British Accent
I often use my British Accent when I am driving alone in my car, and I find it helps a lot when I am trying to write proper English in my stories, but I would like to acquire an official dialect that I can use in public, put on my CV and film with. By that point, I will also know if it is a Central London or East End of London accent. Or, you know, be more accurate than simply British, which encompasses a whole lot of accents.
13. Go to TIFF with something I have a part in
Pretty self-explanatory. Toronto International Film Festival, and with a movie or a short that I actually had a speaking part in.
14. Have a speaking part on a network TV show
I would like to be able to say I was in something that the person I am talking to either watches, or has at least heard of, and can easily find. One day, I hope the network is ABC, because you apparently get Disney passes when you work for them. That just became your life’s ambition, right?
15. Have a speaking part in a theatrical release movie
These past two are milestones, because I will still jump at the chance of being in an independent film, a straight to TV movie and so on, but one day, I would like to have a movie that comes out in theatres, with a release date, and worry about the box office and all those things.
16. Buy myself the Chanel 2.55 bag
I once walked into a Chanel store in Vegas and found the beautiful, quilted bag I wanted (and understood that an Investment Bag had nothing to do with what it looks like, but how much it costs). The woman there acted like I was actually going to buy something, which was incredibly exciting for the 21 year old me. I still have her card and one day, when I make a lot on a movie or something, I will go back to her and buy that bag.
17. Read 250 books
This either overly ambitious, or not at all impressive, I can’t tell, but I am looking forward to lots of cuddling up with a good book and hot tea.
18. Sleep under the stars
Ideally, this means that there is nothing but a blanket between me and the cosmos, but depending on where it happens, I might need a mosquitoe net or something. But wouldn’t it be lovely to fall asleep to a beautiful view of the stars?
19. Spend a week with no phone, no television, no internet
This seemed really hard to do when Anthony Meindl suggested it in his book, and I was going to cut it down to 48 hours, but then I decided I could use an escape from the world. Imagine all the things we could do if we cut out the time we spend on our devices?
20. Learn how to drive manual
A friend once gave an oral presentation on how to do this, and it seemed plausible, but I still have no idea what a clutch is and don’t understand gears. So, I would like to learn how to do this, so next time I am asked to drive a manual car, I will be able to.
21. Devote my time to a cause
I don’t need to be an ambassador or devote all of my time to it, but I would like to choose a charity/cause and get involved, either through fundraisers and events or some other means, but it won’t just be a question of money. It will be a real commitment.
22. Go to a Red Carpet Premiere for a movie I am in
The screening last weekend was really excited, but I am dreaming of the red carpet premiere (it can be black or blue, but there needs to be a carpet). I don’t need to be the star of it, but I want to walk the carpet, pose for pictures with the cast, and maybe answer a few questions along the way.
23. Host a Dinner Party
Every year, my grandparents host dinner parties. Two big ones around Christmas, and a few every single week the rest of the year. My meals won’t be as elaborate, I will probably do the serving, and the liquor won’t be top notch, but I want to send invitations for a group of my friends to come over to my place for evening, where I have place settings and a theme and…it will be awesome.
24. Do Press/ Interviews
I will hopefully do so many press junkets and tours and interviews that I will hate myself for wishing for this, but even as chaotic and boring as it has been described to me, I would still love to do some press and promote something that I was proud to be a part of.
25. Go to a Foreign Film Festival with something I was in
A few friends of mine have been to Cannes to show their awesome shorts, and after reading about their experiences, and backstage articles with Film Fest networking advice, I would really love to get to live that. By foreign, I don’t necessarily means Cannes, Berlin or Venice, although those would be amazing. It could be Tribecca, Sundance, Austin, SXSW…All of them are on my wish list :)
26. Film on location in a different country
I have mentionned before that I would love for this location to be Hawai’i, because who wouldn’t? But I find the whole experience to be exciting. I read an article about the cast of How To Get Away With Murder, and how they bonded through exploring the new city they would be filming it. It kind of seems like summer camp, only you work really long hours during the week. I won’t count Los Angeles, because I will hopefully be living there in the future, but I will be moving without my friends and family back home, so it will be nice to interact with the other cast members when they won’t have their pre-established friends and family either.
27. Get nominated/ invited to Awards show for Acting
I have added invited, because I would like to build a strong body of work that I am proud of, and truly deserve the nomination. Which isn’t to say that won’t happen in the next 5 years, but the recognition isn’t a priority. Being able to be at an awards ceremony with incredible actors that I admire, not because I managed to buy a ticket, but because someone thought I belonged there, that is the goal here.
28. Visit 5 new Places
See how I put this in here, to make sure my future includes travelling? I didn’t put the same restriction about a country I have never been to, but I don’t mean a new restaurant or local attraction. However, I will count a new state/province/island.
29. Conquer 5 Fears
I was once told to make a list of all my fears and cross them off one by one. I tried to put this as a new year resolution, but I ended up just counting things that brought me out of my comfort zone. This time, I have a list of legitimate fears, such as being in a play…
30. Acquire 5 Skills
I don’t want to cheat, so these will be in addition to the 3 I have to do this year (2 left). I also won’t count driving stick or the british accent, since that would be 2 birds with one stone, and the point of these is to experience new things and grow. I have a whole list of skills I would like to work on, including martial arts, dancing, dialects, languages and maybe one day even being able to sing!
“I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.”
-Hayley Atwell, as Agent Carter