The other evening, due to a mixup on scheduling, the class I usually take was cancelled which allowed me to attend a meeting at the Chicago Film Actors Meetup group. I haven’t been to one in a really long time so I was quite happy with the situation. The forum for these meetings is usually chocabloc full of fantastic information for the Chicago actor and this evening was no exception. They were interviewing owners and instructors from various acting schools around Chicago on their curriculum and philosophies. One of the great things about this group-aside from the fast that it’s run by a very accomplished actress and organizer Grace McPhillips-is it’s adaptability and relevancy. The forums aren’t set in stone so if something comes up that resonates with the group, that path can be followed. On the other hand, she’s great at reining in rabbit hole discussions that lead to nowhere. The question was asked by an audience member what is was that made an actors successful, was it training, networking, luck, voodoo offerings to the gods at midnight in a cold dark swamp? Actors especially, are always looking for that secret key that will unlock everything for us. The answer came back that those in this person’s mind who were successful, where those that were relentless.
That hit me like a 2X4 between the eyes. I’d had a not so great couple of days that were filled with frustration and no signs of progress. I wasn’t going to give up by any stretch of the imagination, but it gets pretty tough to keep moving forward when nothing seems to be going right. Especially when you are going at it alone. But moving forward is exactly what I need to do and the message came through loud and clear. Relentless is exactly what I’m going to be.
Remember that school yard game where you linked arms with your mates and marched lockstep around the playground chanting “we don’t stop, get out of our way!”? The nuns didn’t like us to play that game. But that’s going to be me with my career. Sorry Sister.