Trust that you're good enough, trust that you're doing the right things, trust that you'll meet the right people and find the right path when it is time.
Ready for some unabashed honesty? 'Cause here it is.
I have a hard time unconditionally trusting myself, particularly so during this past week. When I don't trust myself, it comes from a place of fear. A fear of not accomplishing enough, of not living up to other's expectations of me, of not making enough money.
Several loving and enlightening conversations with friends over the past week have led me to realize that just the act of following my dreams makes a difference. There are innumerable people out there in the world who never even proceed to the first step-- having the courage to try.
I do not need to be on Broadway to have "made it" or to be an artist of worth. While it is my goal to be on Broadway, I am no less of an artist (or person) because I am not there right now.
I am putting my heart and soul into this. I try, and I stumble, and I often fail-- but I am not a failure. I am growing. And I am succeeding. And above all, I am surviving.
This is hard to remember when you stumble across someone's Facebook and see that they're booking tons of lead roles that you would kill for. They seem to be happy and shiny and fulfilling their dreams faster than you are.
1.) This is not a race.
2.) Facebook is a carefully crafted image that we present online. It's a marketing and PR tool. You can't know the back story. You only see the polished version that people choose to present.
Down under my layers of self-indulgent actor-y fears is a little voice that whispers-- you are an artist.
And so I continue to put myself out there. Go to the auditions, even if it means sacrificing work or taking a road trip. Take the voice lessons. Take the coachings. Take the dance classes. And within every one of those, there are always a few moments of unbounded joy that re-ignites my fire and resonates with that beautiful feeling of being fully alive that I feel when I am on a stage. I feel complete because my actions are in line with my deepest sense of purpose.
All the pain that surrounds a lack of external validation (i.e. being able to tell people that you are in a show, not knowing what your next project will be, having people compliment your talent, feeling needed, seeing your face blown up on a Broadway poster) comes from defining myself against my career.
I am more than "what my next show is."
I am a human: I am a daughter, a sister, a soon-to-be wife, a woman, a lover, a friend, a New Yorker, an artist, a story-teller, a dreamer, a book-worm, a business person, a smart and intellectual person with value and feelings and hopes and dreams. Above all, I am brave enough to look convention in the eye and say, "this is how I choose to live my life because this is what brings me happiness."
And I have to trust that as long as I keep preparing myself, and living, and growing-- the right opportunities and circumstances will fall into place.
And I trust that it will be worth it.