As actors, every once in a while, we all reach the dry spells where it feels like the acting gods are against us. And as the overdramatic bunch that we are, we tend to look at these moments and cry out “This is such an awful year! Why me? Why are my less talented friends booking left and right? When will it be my turn??” There’s nothing necessarily wrong with feeling like this, even the best of us can’t help but feel concerned. And this year of 2015 certainly felt like that and so I began to post multiple inspirational examples of actor perseverance and just say to myself over and over again “I’m having such a tough year.” Around August though, with the help of a very talented and very wise acting friend named Landall Goolsby, I changed my perspective to be that of something else, something that transcended my momentary concerns. To explain what that is fully, I invite you all to take some time as I tell you this story I overheard from a customer at the Goorin hat shop I work at. Be patient, you’ll get a lot out of this. Trust me 🙂
When an individual is faced with extreme hardships, most people go “I’m so sorry to hear that”, “I hope it gets better soon.” But from a Buddhist perspective, they tell that person “Congratulations!”
They say this not to be rude farts but because they acknowledge that simply because you’re alive, you have the ability to make a change in your life with every small actions you take and the people around you who want to help you when you least expect it. That you will somehow get through and that when you do, you will become a better person because of it. The Buddhist says “Congratulations” because they know you can overcome it and that they are excited to see what kind of person you will become when you get through to the other side.
So anytime I want to say “I’m having SUCH a hard year”, I change that and say “This is actually a good year because I’m being tested. How do I learn from this? What can I do with my own actions?”
In my particular case as an actor, over the past 3 months, i reached out to over 50 people I’ve worked with in the past 5 years with the genuine goal to see how they were doing & if they are happy, not if they have jobs for me. I started creating my own materials and got super amped up for it. I started putting up even more challenging scenes for my acting class. I made time to SPEND more time with my loved ones.
With all these actions, I noticed a change in myself, a sense of confidence and ownership and because of that, I was at peace with what I had and what I didn’t have. And with all the people I reached out to, these same people, they would all culminate in the many offers I’ve been getting to be in this webseries, this short film, this play reading, and so on. And just like that, for the month of September and October, I am stocked with so many projects to do. Several of them were indeed bookings (with today shooting the biggest commercial I ever booked in my life) but they were not made possible if it weren’t for the actions I took to get here and the shift in energy it gave me as a human being. And even if I DIDN’T get them, I would have still been good.
So I hope this helps you. I hope it makes you realize that there is so much more to life than “it’s been a dry year and I haven’t booked jack@*%^”. We’re in a exciting new age where possibilities are made just because we created them. And even if it doesn’t get millions of views, there is power in creating content that we take credit as director/producer/writer and not just an actor. That power is undeniable and it can lead you to paths that you least expect it. So take it. Absolutely take it.