MYTH BREAKER: You Do Not Need to Do Everything
The weekend after Hurricane Sandy my friend wrote a post on Facebook that he was upset he couldn't help out. He was single-handedly keeping our company together (a downtown gym that had become a haven for those without power) and he was also about to open a production of The King and I in a week. There was no time to do anything outside of work and rehearsal, like volunteering on a far-off island.
On his Facebook post I replied, "We do what we can when we can." He didn't have time in the next two weeks to physically be on Staten Island where our colleague's neighborhood needed help. But that didn't mean he couldn't donate clothes or send money or spread the word about volunteer sites for others available to work. It also didn't mean that he was a horrible person who never did anything for anyone else or that he needed to beat himself up about it. Sabotaging your self worth over not being able to do everything every time is useless.
Then I suddenly realized: When it comes to my acting career, I should heed my own advice. I'm always beating myself up with the regular - Why haven't you gotten new headshots yet? When are you taking that class at UCB? How come a new agent hasn't signed you?Unless you're born into showbiz or made of money, this acting thing is tough and hard and expensive. You can't use your hotelier dad as an entree to your an acting career, you might not be able to get into the Yale MFA program, or have the connections to do lunch with the right casting director, or get Judd Apatow to sign off on your hit HBO show by 22. You might. But telling yourself you have to do all those things right now will probably just make you crazy. So take your time. Do what you can when you can and know it will all add up eventually.
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