Tag Archives: fear

Tell Yourself a New Story

24 Jun

IMG_1630A couple months ago I had the pleasure of hearing Shelly Gillyard (Senior VP of talent at Nickelodeon) speak about that pesky little guy, fear. Of course fear is something we battle with constantly as actors– fear of not getting the job, fear we are not good enough, fear that success will never happen, and on and on. But perhaps we battle that demon because it’s the only story we’ve been telling ourselves. At some point in our life, we failed at something we really wanted, or our parents told us we’d never make it– something however seemingly small or insignificant was the beginning of that story we have been telling ourselves ever since: fear. Shelly brought up a great point– why not tell ourselves a new story? It’s just a story after all. It’s not the truth. I do not have to take fear on and internalize it only to fight it constantly as I navigate this crazy career. And we all know how powerful language is– we’re actors after all– so why not use that power for good? Why not tell ourselves a new story of success and happiness and worth and positivity?


New Year, Old Ego, Open Heart

7 Jan

New Years 2013Every January lends itself to a fresh start, a new perspective, or a clean slate. Those first couple of weeks I’m typically pretty energized and motivated (as I’m sure many are) to get organized and go after the things I really want. Making lists, goals, stacks, piles and files. This January is no exception. I’m just hoping the enthusiasm doesn’t wane and get forgotten like it usually does, and all of those life changes, bucket lists, and closet purges get forgotten about yet again, gathering dust until the next new year…

One major “cleaning out” I would like to do, or I guess one aspect of my life I’d like to be more aware of, is my EGO. I don’t mean it in the sense of being full of oneself. Rather, the attachment we may have to identity. In taking this new full-time job and then having a two week break in the peaceful, distraction-free, snow-blanketed mountains, I realized something: I got to get rid of my ego. Well, maybe not get rid of it entirely (I have a feeling it will always linger in some form or another) but to at least lessen it, quiet it, learn to let go of it, not let it rule all of my actions and decisions. Am I still being vague? Okay, let me get specific…

My passion is acting. Making stories. Writing them, telling them, painting them, performing them, sharing them. But it isn’t teaching them. Not full-time anyway. However, I feel that at my age, and where my peers are at in their lives, I should be at that point, too– with a “career” job, an annual salary and paychecks that come like clockwork every two weeks, and health benefits, a retirement plan. You know the drill. “Grown up” stuff. But what is that, really? Why do I feel like I should be in that place? Because it’s what I really want, or because of my ego? Sure a steady income is nice, don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely terrified of being financially unstable. But I’m equally, if not more so, terrified of each year going by where I’m NOT doing what I love and taking this back seat to my own life… letting things happen to me (this job literally fell into my lap) instead of making things happen for my life. It’s my life and I only got one of it, so why spend it doing what I don’t want to do? Well, there’s that fear of course.

This year I want to learn to be okay with (and feel good about) taking an unconventional route and how taking an alternate route does not mean failure, laziness, immaturity or the other labels I’m afraid of. It just means something different. If there’s one thing that acting has taught me is that there is no one right way of doing things– not in building a career as an actor and certainly not in this game of Life. I read a great article in GQ the other day about “The Cooler Me.” Basically, this guy who took the more “conventional” path (married, with children, steady job, etc) wanted a glimpse into what his life could’ve been had he gone a different direction, so he became friends with a doppleganger, a guy who with similar age and background is living his life as a musician, unattached, in a house with a million roommates. Reading the article, I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle. But it did make me realize what is important to me right now, to listen to my heart.

My heart is in making stories in every form that entails. My heart yearns for travel, freedom, adventure, friends, acting. This year, I would like to make more room for all of this. I’m in a fortunate position where I don’t have many attachments. So instead of letting my ego rule my actions, I want to let my heart do more of the decision making.

When is Enough, Enough?

22 Jan

When you are pursuing a career for which there is always something to do, when do you know you are doing enough?

For the most part, I would say I am confident, focused, driven and determined when it comes to being an actor. However, once in a while I have a mini meltdown. Hence, last night. In one torrential downpour (kind of like the one we are experiencing this very moment in LA) all of my doubts, fears and frustrations came crashing down on me. It all felt so fruitless. I suddenly felt as though I have accomplished nothing. Had nothing to show for all the blood, sweat and tears I have put into this chosen career. What am I doing? What is the point? It’s so not fair! I should have done this, and this and this by now!

But, in the midst of my pseudo panic attack, I never said I give up. I never said I didn’t want to do this anymore. Those tears were just the growing pains of pursuing acting. It comes with the territory; I am totally okay with that. I am an actor, after all, so let the emotions flow…

Today, a new day, I feel better, clear-headed and maybe even more driven. I will continue to do what I can each day. And for me, that is enough.

Fear: He’s a pesky little guy…

5 Jan

I’m scared.

Just because I’ve decided to pursue acting, does not mean that I’m not afraid of it. Very, very afraid. But I believe most people starting out in their careers, whatever those may be, have fears around it. Going after what you want can be a scary thing. And that’s ok! It’s healthy to have these feelings. In fact, I think it’s an important part of the beginning stages.

These are some of my fears around acting:

  • Will I ever become a successful actor?
  • Will I ever make a living off of acting?
  • Am I attractive enough?
  • Am I good enough?
  • Am I talented at all?
  • Is my dream really a career or is it actually a hobby?
  • Am I wasting my time?
  • Are people judging me, as just another actor in LA who’ll never make it?
  • Can I survive this lifestyle?

Some days are better than others. Sometimes I will feel so confident and know that no matter what I will achieve success. And other times all these fears creep in. But no matter how often I feel afraid, I never doubt my dream.




What are your fears?