Every year around the holidays there’s a slew of acting and film industry blogs that talk about how to deal with family and friends at the next holiday party or family gathering. How to deal with a co-worker that isn’t impressed with your ‘so called acting career’ (their words). What to say to your parents when you haven’t met their expectation of what they define as success. I know plenty of people who don’t see you as a success story until you’re on a prime TV show like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ or ‘The Walking Dead’ as a co-star, recurring or even main character. You’re a nobody until you’re sharing the big screen in a hit movie with Leonardo di Caprio or Meryl Streep. . . Ok, ok, I’m totally exaggerating, but you get my meaning!
There was a time I actually tried to impress my ‘non-believer’ friends and family. After a few years though, I realized that whatever I achieved still wouldn’t be good enough to qualify as ‘success’; and finally, thankfully (for my own sanity) I realized that it doesn’t matter what they think. It simply doesn’t matter. What matters is what YOU believe and what YOU consider success. Who cares if your cousin doesn’t think it’s a big deal that you finally landed that agent or that you became SAG-eligible. Who cares that your fellow actor friend (yes, even peers do it) thinks low of that staged reading gig that you landed. It is a big deal to YOU and you should remind yourself that you ARE making progress in your career. And it is a career because you devote your time, money and passion for years and years. No, it’s not just a hobby. Overnight success? Hah! There is no such thing. It’s a media-born myth! Your achievements every year, no matter how ‘small’, are called milestones on your way to what some people only see as the end goal of the journey: YOUR definition of success.
Now, all of this soul searching stuff led me to a more fun path of thinking:
Imagine how you would deal with friends and family at your next holiday party, after you’ve actually ‘hit it BIG’?
Why not? What would happen then? Think about it… What is it like to be Ian Somerhalder, or Emma Stone, or Tilda Swinton at home with the family around the fireplace…Oh, to be a fly on the wall! Would it be fun? Awkward? Embarrassing? How would your family or friends act? Would they be truly happy for you? Would they be secretly envious? Would they care to hear your stories? Would you care to tell them? Would you suddenly have a lot more friends? New relatives coming out of the woodworks?
Imagine what kind of new attitudes you’d suddenly encounter. Oh, come on, haven’t you fantasized about it? Just do it! Live it! And this goes for all of you creatives out there, not just actors: writers, musicians, singer, poets and artists and on and on the list goes! I call it ‘visualizing’. And I’m having a ball with it today :)
Dream on, dream BIG!
See ya on the red carpet!