No project ever gets off the ground, no career ever gets started in Hollywood or anywhere else in the world without the element of faith. Did you ever watch the Oscars? How many acceptance speeches include the words “Thank you for believing in me.”? How many Academy Award winners talk about the years of stumbling in the dark while keeping the faith?
As my friend Steve puts it, if acting were easy everybody would be doing it. What’s the hardest part? I would say slogging through the vagueness, rejection, and self-doubt with no one believing in you until someone does.
It can be like doubling down on a bad bet, over and over. Not only are you betting your life savings, but now you’re betting the house, your inheritance, and most of all, the limited time you have on this planet. And you KEEP doubling down with no assurance or even a reasonable hope that at some point there will be a return on your investment. At least in Vegas the odds are 46% in your favor, in show business, who knows.
Sure, there are those lucky few who start off with supportive family, friends, or even agents and managers. But that support, no matter how lovingly packaged, is always conditional and you know you have to deliver.
Here’s the silver lining in all this. Yes, you can one day be an old fool who’s wasted her life in the pursuit of a vision that no one ever got behind and nothing has ever panned out. My question is, what would have panned out? Something you don’t care about? Or, and this can happen too – things do pan out: you get the job, the career, the paparazzi, and whatever else fuels your success fantasy. And then you see how empty that is. What do both scenarios have in common and what guarantees you success either way? YOU SPEND YOUR LIFE DOING THE WORK THAT YOU LOVE. And if that’s not winning, then why do this? Security and the external appearance of success are much easier to come by in the real world. And so are love and approval.