I’ve been a writer/actor for a decade without any real success and I recently discovered why. I was going for it, but not really committed. I was playing it safe and not challenging myself. I knew what I needed to do but didn’t do it because it was either too scary or hard.
I made all the excuses, “I don’t have the money” (that one was my favourite), “I’m not what they’re looking for”, “I’m not good enough”, “it’s out of my control” the list goes on. Real commitment doesn’t have excuses or reasons. Commitment is very black and white and I was covered in grey. Commitment is this: JUST DO IT. It is that black and white and it is that simple. Whatever problems come up, just deal with it and DO IT.
With acting, I took only one class a year because it was expensive. Guess what, food is also expensive but I always found creative ways to find food. If it’s something you have to do, you will always find a way to make it work. The actors I’m competing with are always working on their craft and surprise surprise – they’re booking.
Writing, I told myself I would write every day and I didn’t. I couldn’t “find inspiration”, or felt bummed starring at a blank screen, or felt it wouldn’t be good enough. First off, your job as a writer is to write. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be great, you don’t need to be inspired. Writing gives you inspiration, not the other way around and if it sucks who cares! Not everything you write will be genius but some will.
After a decade of excuses, something happened that forced me to recommit to my career. My boyfriend and I created a project so big that it almost seemed laughable if we accomplished it. The project is a television series. Yep. A couple of nobodies are going to create a television series. We had no money, no resources, no connections to get it done and yet when you have all the pressure of people counting on you to deliver, it pushes you further than you ever thought was possible. The amount of work, time, energy, emotion, money we put in made me realize before this project, I was never committed to being successful. Now I know better. I now know the insane amount of focus and drive you need to actually push ahead.
It becomes almost an obsession and you begin to create tunnel vision. It becomes consuming, almost an addiction. You become so focused on moving your project forward, you magically start creating a path that opens up and allows you to walk to your destination. Of course you may run into lions and tigers on your journey but you will defeat them because well, you have to. There is no other option.
I cannot tell you (seriously, I can’t tell you) the amount of tests my boyfriend and I went through to get ahead. Please DO NOT think for a second your commitment won’t be tested. I’m not even a success story YET but at least I’m on the path to it and there were a strong amount of obstacles that have been placed in front of me, to tempt me to quit and turn around.
From this journey, I realized the reason I never really committed in the past. I didn’t believe in myself and I didn’t think I was strong enough. I didn’t see success happening for me. I wanted it, but not enough to push for it because I didn’t believe and I was scared. Everyday is more shocking and exciting. Belief is everything because without it, you won’t trust that no matter what, you’ll be okay. Whenever there is a breakdown comes a breakthrough. I am so grateful for all the awful breakdowns because now I know something amazing is about to happen on the other side when I stand up and dust myself off. I had no clue what I was capable of until I was thrown in the deep end and found myself swimming to the edge of the pool alive and well. I didn’t even know my full potential and I was so shocked to see what I was pulling off. It allowed me to think bigger because I have so much more confidence in my abilities. I now believe in myself because I’ve proven it already and this is only the beginning.
If you aren’t getting results, it means you are not committed. We all know what we have to do… if you can’t do the little things, jump into something huge that if you quit, you are bringing down a whole group with you. It will force you to keep moving forward. Commit all the way and surprise yourself.