It is not the easiest thing in the world to remain positive in a world full of rejection, to remain clear-headed in a town full of chaos but tonight I have made the decision to reclaim my power in an industry consumed by powerlessness.
It is very easy to feel like you have no control over your career in the entertainment industry. But, you know what, you don’t have to be. I was struck with a moment of clarity while driving to pick up some puppy food and frozen yogurt tonight.
For a while now, I have been feeling a little bit guilty that I am not famous yet. Now, you are not going to believe this next sentence but I will share it anyway. I never entered this business because I wanted to be famous. That would be ridiculous. I entered it because I wanted to be best friends with Samantha Micelli on Who’s the Boss.
Seriously, I spent a lot of my time as a child watching television and film and I always knew that I wanted to do what the people on Full House and The Facts of Life and even Little House on the Prairie did. I wish I could tell you that I had a specific moment where I was bitten by the acting bug, I wish I could tell you that I saw some spectacularly moving performance on Broadway that convinced me I wanted to be an actress. But, my parents weren’t really the Broadway play-Art Gallery-Museum type people. But, we did watch A LOT of television and film.
Back to my guilt.
I always kind of promised my parents, my grandmother and even my father-in-law outlandish things like, a house on the beach or a cottage in Ireland or most recently a house in Tahoe. It is because of my present lack of means to fulfil my promises that I have been a bit down on myself. But today, I remembered why I got into this business to begin with. It was never for money, for fame or any other thing of that nature. It was because I loved good acting. I am never so moved as I am when I see a great piece of acting. When a simple shift in Joaquin Phoenix’s eyes can make your heart stop, when the vibrato of Cate Blanchette’s voice humbles a room, when Robert DeNiro can break your heart without saying a word.
If acting is your first true love, then you don’t need anyone’s permission to do just this. I realized tonight that you don’t have to be famous in order to be successful at your craft. In fact, it is this very notion that sometimes hinders that very success.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not knocking fame in any way shape or form. After all, it is fame that will one day fulfill my lavish promises of Irish cottages and Lake Houses!! No, you will never catch me being one of those celebrities that whines about how many autographs they have to sign or how they can’t get a moment of privacy. I have had many moments of privacy..so I’m good. I’m just saying there are ways to feed that little acting bug inside your soul that don’t have a thing to do with anyone on the other end saying Yes or No.
This would be my bit of advice for you:
Create. Create your own work. Get a group together full of people who want to do what you want to do and do it. Even if it is in your living room. Gotta start somewhere. Look into local theatre companies or improv troupes and get involved. Get into a great acting class. Create a Writer’s Group! If acting is what you love to do-then do it!
There is great power in doing what you love!
New goal: Organize a writers/actor’s group!