Since I was four years old, my only real dream has been to be an actress. I had moderate success with the “Romeo Show!” and a few guest star roles here and there. Followed by a prolonged drought filled with no’s, heartbreak, doubt, and financial struggles. The business of acting will smack you back into reality quickly, especially when you haven’t taken the time to learn it which I hadn’t. In my experience early on, I thought the process was simple, you audition, you book. Wash, rinse, repeat. That, however, is not the reality, at least it wasn’t mine. So after some much needed time away to soul search, it was back to the drawing board. This time, however, with a new point of view. I could get an agent and audition and place the hopes of my career in the very fickle hands of someone else, or I could stop waiting and start creating.
Now let me start by saying that I have by no means gotten to where I know I am going so this isn’t a, “I made it and so can you” type of post. This is more of a “we all got a dream, let’s figure out how to achieve it together” type of thing. I realized that in this day and age, there are a lot more platforms and opportunities for me to express myself creatively beyond acting. So it was solely up to me to take advantage of it. In doing so, here are a few things I’ve learned.
“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” It can be a daunting task to pursue your dreams. No matter the industry, it’s hard to know where and how to begin. One of the first things I had to do was to learn to not overthink it and just start. In my case, this blog was a great start. It helped me to have to remain committed to something which I’ve admittedly struggled with but have done a pretty good job of staying consistent. It has also opened up my creative juices. By writing a blog, it got my mind open to new ideas which have helped translate in my scriptwriting. Since starting this blog, I have been way more productive with my writing and was even able to break through blocks that I was previously experiencing. What I’ve come to understand is that energy begets energy. So the more I put creative energy into the universe in any capacity, the more creative opportunities come my way. As the old saying goes, “there’s nothing to it, but it do it.” So get started.
Your first try will be awful. Listen, the first podcast I recorded was…not great. There were definitely some good things that I was able to take away from it and build on, but I was by no means ready for my debut right out of the gate. That’s the thing you don’t have to be. As with anything, practice makes perfect, and the more you do something, the better you’ll get at it. So if you are looking to open a business, start doing your research. If you want to sell products, start making it and working on perfecting it so by the time you are ready to go to the market, you have something viable. If you are a writer, start writing. There are places like script-o-rama, Scribd and the script lab that you can go to to download scripts and use to begin your writing journey. Filmmaker, shoot. No matter what you are after, you are gonna stumble along the way. Show it to a trusted person in your life and be open to critique. Seek out mentors in the space you are looking to work in. Learn as much as you can through internships and online course. Youtube is a beautiful world of information, take advantage. Don’t get discouraged by where you start, it’ll be apart of your testimony. Very few people get it all right on their first try, but as long as you are willing to grow and get better, then you are putting yourself on the path to success.
“You are not always going to be motivated, so you must learn to be disciplined.” One of the hardest things for me is being motivated at times. Not because I don’t want it bad enough but because it can feel overwhelming at times. It’s not an easy task to go after lofty goals and so if you’re anything like me, then you are a master procrastinator capable of finding any excuse to put stuff off. However, it is virtually impossible to achieve any level of success without discipline. You have to create a routine for yourself and stick to it until you see each benchmark along your plan met. You have to decide what you want. Make a plan and work on it. Every. Single. Day. While most of us have 9-5’s to survive, we still have to be mindful in carving out time for our own pursuits. Even if it’s just an hour a day decided to your game plan and to-do list. Stick to it. Set dates and deadlines. Have short and long term goals. Whatever your plan of action, make sure you are commited to it.
Bet on yourself. When all is said and done. You are the only one that’s gonna go hard for you. So you have to step out on faith and believe in what you’re capable of. Don’t worry about how long it might take, who supports you or doesn’t, or any of the other trivial things that can get in the way of you reaching your goals. No one is going to do anything for you, especially not anything you are unwilling to do for yourself. In fact, you’ll almost have to laugh at the amount of people that will be tripping over themselves to help or be apart of whatever you’re doing once you get started. At the end of the day, its all on you. You have to go into it with the 100% believe that you deserve success as much as anyone else and you deserve to be in any room you desire to be in. Build your own table, start your own network. See a need, fill the void. Understand the problem, come up with the solution. Have a dream, do whatever it takes to make it come true. Make noise, and everything else will follow. Today is the beginning of the rest of your life and starting today, you are going to do everything possible to make if the best one ever. One step at the time!