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.