Once upon a time, an acting career was just a vague goal. I knew nothing about Los Angeles, the business, and barely anything about acting - I had just done a few plays, knew I loved the theatre, and wanted to be a professional actress. I had no idea how to go about it, so it took awhile to get myself moving in the 'right' direction, but once I committed - once I said "I will do this," I began to move forward.
In 2005, I told my agent that I wanted a Target commercial. I didn't know how one went about getting auditions for certain companies & certainly didn't know that I'd be auditioning for any and everything I *might* be right for. Completely green. I didn't understand my agent's chuckle then, but now I get it. And now I chuckle too.
"ER" is my mother's all-time favorite show, and she told me she wanted to see me on it. I told her "okay" before I had ever even been called in by John Levey. After that, I was called in to audition for "ER" a few times, and booked (what was supposed to be) the very last episode ever. They added two after that, but I was fortunate to get to shoot in the episode where the big names came back, and to work with Eriq LaSalle, Noah Wyle, and Christian Clemenson. (George Clooney was also in the episode, but I didn't have a scene with him.)
This past Thursday evening, I was catching up with a friend I hadn't talked to in awhile. At some point during the conversation, she said "You should get on "Castle," I love that show." I said something like "Yeah, that would be cool. ABC has called me in a lot lately." - The next day, my manager, called to let me know that I had an audition for "Castle." How friggin' cool is that? (Stand by - I'm gonna go wish myself a billion dollars.)
When I look back over my life, the successes have come when I identified something that I wanted and committed myself to making it happen, even if I didn't know how. From being loaded and locked onto my target. The failures have come from being unfocused and not fully-engaged. From saying "Eh - it's not THAT important." From giving myself permission to fail.
It's not easy, but it's simple: If we give ourselves reasons not to succeed, then success becomes an option. I've often wondered about the difference between "reasons" and "excuses" - yesterday, it dawned on me: excuses are just reasons that keep us from doing something. We all have reasons why we shouldn't, can't, and wouldn't be good at things - the successful do it anyway.
Let's all commit to being, having, and doing the very best that we can. And to doing the work it takes to be, have, and do the very best that we can, because it does require work.
Let's start... now.