I started writing a post on here today about all things acting and business. I like to think of myself as a pretty business savvy actor and I’m proud of the fact that a lot of my actor friends and acquaintances come to me when they have questions about “the industry”. A friend of mine posted something on Facebook today that inspired me to share what I’ve learned on a larger platform.
You guys are going to have to wait a few days for that post. BECAUSE…
As I was writing this straight forward, matter-of-fact, black and white post, my mind started to wander and I started to reflect and ask myself some really big questions, questions I’ve been asking myself for a while, and today, I finally gave myself some answers. (I spend most of every day talking to myself, in my head, in case you haven’t figured that out yet).
I was thinking back on my career thus far and remembering what I did, and who I met, and the lucky breaks I got to get me where I am today, right now. I was doing the classic-“well if this hadn’t happened, then this wouldn’t have happened, and I wouldn’t be doing this”-type-reflecting until I got to my present moment.
As I previously mentioned, I’ve been working this year, like, really working. I got home from a three week film shoot in Arizona and three days later, got a call that I booked an episode of a TV show that I’m shooting next week. WHAT?! This never happens to me… Which made me wonder… Why is it happening now?
I tried to come up with a logical explanation, like, the 10,000 hours explanation. I thought “maybe I finally hit my 10,000 hours of preparation and now it’s all paying off” (if you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwells’ ‘Outliers’ then you should read it to understand this reference and also, because it’s great). I tried to think of some scientific or mathematical, or sheesh, any kind of tangible reason that would make all of this make sense.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t find that and I’m never going to find that.
So, what changed? How did I go from a year of not booking a single job, to a year of booking at least one job a month?
I stopped seeking out validation. (Oh, here she goes with that hippie-dippy shit again).
I’ve spent a lot of time seeking validation from others, my parents, my siblings, my friends, my boyfriends, teachers, casting directors, producers, etc. And not just seeking validation, but needing it, the way I need air. I’ve always looked for something more to add to my life. I’ve always needed someone to re-assure me that I’m okay. Frankly, I’ve been pretty freaking needy.
My year of sobriety taught me to stop seeking that validation from the people in my life. My sobriety taught me that I was enough. I feel like, when it comes to relationships, I’ve been a lot better about sticking up for myself. And more importantly, trusting myself; trusting the good thoughts I have about myself and allowing myself to feel unapologetically wonderful about who I am.
My career had a little catching up to do on this whole “positive vibes” thing.
I realized today that I’m booking now because I’ve stopped seeking validation during my auditions, and classes, and meetings. Some people call it “letting go” or they say that they “stopped caring”, but we’re all talking about the same thing.
I no longer allow my career ups and downs to dictate how I feel in my own skin. I recognize that a job can add joy to my life, but it can’t take joy away. I will welcome work with open arms and recognize that what doesn’t happen was never meant to be because something else will be.
From here on out, the only validation I seek will be for LA’s overpriced valet parking.
5 thoughts on “Presently: Un-Validated”
Lovely! Needed this today. Been working through this very thing myself. Thanks for the inspiration
Wonderful hippie dippy shit…..you are a star and don’t forget it. You’ve done your prep and now it’s paying off, maybe too late for your initial desires, but in due time. Validation starts in your heart…believe it. Your simply wonderful and big things are still in the future, more big things in addition to what you have already done. Love you…..
Loved this, Mel. You are enough and always have been. Love you dear niece…
Now to read those books you have mentioned…:)
Someone once said, “The need to prove who you are vanishes when you know who you are.” One of my greatest blessings in life is getting to watch you grow to be who you are meant to be, and, yes, this past year allowed you to look long and hard at who the person is inside of you. I must admit, I really LOVE that person. She is still humble, yet fearless; kind and not pretentious, wise but not boastful, and, how you show humility to others invites them “in.” As I have told you before, and, now that you truly recognize who you are, your journey has many blessings, and one of the greatest is “internal validation.” You know you are talented, loving, considerate, kind and compassionate. No one can take that away from you, ever. You know that there IS a plan….So trust that, and, trust enough to just let it happen. You engage in life every day and, when you see someone in trouble, you stop to see if you can help. That is validation…the kind that will carry you through every situation you encounter in this amazing experience we call LIFE. Keep doing “that!” I love you….to the stars and back! Mom
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So. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing💞