Finding Meaning in Advocacy – Stages & Cages
My two greatest passions in life are acting and animal activism. I’ve always viewed my acting life as not only a complex and creative way of fulfilling my natural tendencies to perform, but as a method of pointing to my animal work. After reading “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Holocaust survivor Vikor Frankl, I could no longer do anything without finding a deeper purpose to it.
When I starred in my first series Get Smart in the mid-90s, a reboot of the original that included Don Adams, Barbara Feldon and Andy Dick, I started getting requests to attend charity events as a “celebrity”. Having grown up in a home that taught me to “give back” / “get involved with your community” it was second nature to me to say “yes”. But after a while I began to feel like I was simply showing up and not really making any difference.
I sat down to find MY platform.
Looking back, it should have been obvious. I had loved animals and nature my whole life, but it took me watching an animal getting skinned alive in an undercover fur video for me to find out what was happening to them. I couldn’t un-see what I saw. I couldn’t un-learn what I had learned.
I decided in that moment to change my life forever and dedicate it to helping animals everywhere.
As we say in the movie industry, “Cut to…” (meaning jump ahead in time), It’s more than 10-years later and here we are with The Pet Matchmaker. AND my acting work is taking another twist and turn with the new FX series Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll that premieres on FX starting July 16th at 10pm. AND if that wasn’t enough, I’ve also been submitted for an Emmy nomination.
These are all incredible happenings and I couldn’t be happier, or more grateful. However, part of me feels conflicted that – relatively speaking – I could even think of focusing on a such a “frivolous” thing as the Emmys when something like the Yulin Dog Meat “Festival” just occurred. (LEARN MORE ABOUT IT HERE: NoToDogMeat.com) Sometimes I grappled with the joys and adventures of “celebrity” when there is so much suffering in the world.
That is why it is vital I remember the pact I made with myself and focus on all the good I can do, especially if I have access to a larger audience. I made a quick video about it and what I also realized in the process… YOU.
I absolutely can’t do any of it without you.
Thank you for all your support whether it be for my acting work, or for my animal work, or for both. YOU are the one who is making the difference, and I’m incredibly grateful to share the journey with you.