“Support from The AFC gave me back my dignity.”
– Roc Lafortune
In our industry, work comes and goes, and success does not always mean that you are set for life and able to provide for your family. I came to The AFC at a time when I experienced a slowdown in work, which lasted much longer than the usual lull in work, and my wife had to stay at home to care for our daughter who is autistic.
Our line of work always pushes us to be the best – when you walk into an audition, you have to think that you are special, that you’re the guy for the job. But we don’t often think about what happens when we don’t get the job, because we know the next audition is right around the corner. But when the next gig doesn’t come along, we start questioning ourselves and feel like we are failing. We are not really prepared to deal with such situations.
All of a sudden your income is cut in half or more, and with mortgage payments, expensive full-time care for your child, basic living expenses, it felt to me like everything was spiralling out of control.
Asking for help is quite a step – you have to really be able to put away your ego and push away the thoughts of being viewed as a failure by your peers. Of course, first you look around, you try banks, other possible avenues of support. Hearing no again and again and facing rejection everywhere was tough, and soon we were out of options. I remember thinking that I was going to lose my house, my wife, my family. When you are in a hole, your thoughts can get dark rather quickly.
When I came to The AFC, I encountered people who were kind and who treated me with no judgment whatsoever. They were listening to me, and they were hearing what I was saying. They worked fast, they took the time to explain how the system worked and where to go for long-term help, they helped me fill out the papers from A to Z. I felt like someone took me by the hand and walked me out of the abyss.
Receiving support from The AFC helped me emotionally – it gave me back my dignity. I felt I was a part of the family, that I was taken care of, that it was OK to ask for help.
I definitely plan on supporting The AFC as soon as I am able to. They do important work in supporting artists and the arts. In times of war or crisis, our industry booms. Why? Because our society cannot survive without the arts and entertainment. Join me in the campaign in support of The AFC!