“Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.” Victor Hugo
steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Anyone who achieves a milestone will always tell you it didn’t happen overnight. And while there may be those few people where it actually does, for most of us average Joe’s, it doesn’t.
There can be so many pitfalls along the path that you just want to give up. And sometimes we do. We move on, go down other paths and put our focus elsewhere.
We can take weeks off, years even and that thing that lingers in the depths of your soul like a nagging mosquito in your ear or the mean little shit in school who taunts everyone, resurfaces, demanding your attention.
So you revisit it. Give it another look. Come at it from another angle. Maybe even pull in some resources cause you finally realize you can’t do it on your own. Often times just talking to someone can liberate you and give you a whole new perspective.
This is something I do with acting. While most people would say I fail if I don’t book a job, I say I won. It’s like being in high school waiting at home for your phone to ring from someone you have a crush on and it does. A callback- it’s literally a second date. I’m usually imaging myself married at that point which is really me on set schmooozing with the crew. This bubble lasts for about 3-5 days, and then it bursts.
This is the “holding” they put you on while trying to decide if your hair is too blonde, you’re too tall, too short, too old, too young, the director loved you, the client isn’t too sure, you remind the producer of someone he doesn’t like but you remind the assistant director of someone they loved.
And because they can’t decide between all of them, they go with someone they know.. or a man. The worst part is, they don’t even bother to tell you they did. The shoot day comes and goes and you assume this. So I’m back to being rejected Gretchen from years of conditioning and somehow I have to persevere and move past it. When to be honest, all I want to do is cry. Scream even! I get so damn mad at the lack of regard for a person’s time and feelings in this business that I say, “fuck it!” and quit.
I retreat. I shut down. Go into Hermit mode. I look for other jobs and get depressed cause there isn’t anything else that makes my heart sing. So I reflect. Look at my career(or lack of one) and honestly can’t think of what to do about this conundrum.
It’s exhausting! I travel on a train to get to the city, travel on more trains to get to auditions, memorize lines when needed, bring energy, bring sadness, bring comedy, bring whatever the hell they ask me to and always dress the part. And for what?
Honestly, it feeds my soul. It makes me feel alive. Makes me happy. Despite all of the garbage, I like it. I enjoy talking to other actors. I really get off on playing a part. I like the excitement, the camaraderie. No actually, I don’t like it, I love it! And because I love it…
When things are’t working, I work harder at making them work. I take a class and put myself in front of other actors all feeling the same way. Misery loves company, actors love people as fucked up as they are. Only another actor could ever understand this path of insanity.
Like a hamster on a wheel to nowhere, we all hope that the wheel eventually stops and winds up at the door of a television show or movie set. And not for background work!
This week I was uninspired. I hit a wall. I went through the draining process of not being released from a job I was on hold for and wanted to quit. I had signed up for a class a month prior and didn’t want to go. It was too hot, I just didn’t care and what was I gonna learn anyway. But I went, mostly cause I had already paid and sometimes in life all that is required of us is to show up.
So I did. No expectations whatsoever. I told myself If I could walk away with one little pearl, I would be happy. After four hours, I walked away with a bracelet full of them!
It’s as if the Universe opened it’s doors and said, “Finally! You’re asking for help. There is no need to do this alone!”
When I left the class I had two auditions in my email for the following day. I received two call backs and today I’m seeing Cody Beke for a role on Broad City. It’s not like I haven’t been cultivating this dream of mine for quite some time, but a lot of it has to do with taking bold steps too. I turned down one audition I didn’t feel I was excited about and was rewarded with a better one.
I know that giving your time and energy to something you really want is the only way to get it. And persevering even in the face of unsurmountable odds, is the path that takes you there. We have to be willing to know when to make big waves (like tsunamis), little ones and when to walk the shore and just observe. Letting life flow and take us where we are being called to go can often be the hardest thing for us to do, but often times a necessity in obtaining our goals.
So while it might often seem like you are heading nowhere, just keep the faith ask for help and be ready to receive. Persevere even in those moments that seem to be leading you further and further from your goals and trust in your power to manifest what you want. And know when the time is right, you will be rewarded.