BE AN ARTIST
Jealousy can be a constant thorn in the actor’s side. At any given moment it may seem like everyone is doing better and getting further along than you are. Actors usually have actor-friends and it’s a delicate balance to be happy for the opportunities and rewards that go to your friends if you haven’t yet or are not currently experiencing the same good fortune. It’s a competitive industry and the Ego wants to be stroked, flattered and inflated at every turn.
Jealousy can be a cop-out. It encourages the actor to dwell in a state of self-pity and excuse-making… to tell oneself that everyone else is getting the breaks you’re not getting because they’re better, prettier, luckier, smarter, richer or even more self-centered than you are. The lesson I’ve slowly learned over the past several years is that, if I’m feeling jealous, it means that I’m not living up to my true potential. It doesn’t help me to rage against my obstacles or compare my path to yours. Instead, I have to own my life. I have to figure out why I’m walking this particular path, whether or not it’s truly the right route for me and, if so, how to embrace my unique set of challenges as a great adventure.
The other day I was feeling particularly out of sorts about my career and suddenly I just halted the train of thought for good with this idea: Stop calling yourself an actor who either does or doesn’t get auditions, who either is or isn’t working, who either has or doesn’t have an agent. You are an artist and you are capable of creating a work of art at any given moment, no matter where you are, no matter what your circumstances. In fact, over the years, this blog has served exactly that purpose for me.
Sometimes we think that craving someone else’s life or opportunities is about that one particular job or lucky break or set of positive experiences. But I suspect that, at the core, it’s really a stirring of desire for the act of creation. Every one of us is a creator no matter what our “job” or career or lifestyle. We each possess enormous capabilities for creative expression and self-awareness. We each have something to say, something to offer, and a personal stamp on life that is solely our own. If we don’t create in some capacity – whatever that looks like – we wither inside ourselves and our lives stagnate on the outside.
Don’t just settle for being an actor (or a chef or a teacher or an engineer or a homemaker or a parent or a lover). Be an Artist. Create.