My Imagined Life

Recently I received a wonderful gift from a friend in celebration of my birthday.  I’d become closer to her recently and she surprised me with a beautiful silver bracelet.  On it is inscribed “Live the Life You’ve Imagined”.  The funny thing is I am living what I thought the life might be but I never gave myself the chance to imagine that I would be the one living this life.  I know that sounds confusing but stay with me on this.  I realized that with all the planning and edumacating and work I’d been doing, I never allowed myself the opportunity to think about what this life would look like, feel like and live like.  And because I didn’t do that imagining, I didn’t recognize that I was actually in the midst of living this life.  My days are filled with on camera auditions, rehearsals, film shoots, voiceover auditions, casting sessions, commercial shoots, recording sessions, to name a few.  And my day doesn’t end at 5pm like it used to when I was in corporate.  My time is very fluid so the evening can be a jammed packed as the day is.  I realized this recently when one day I had an early morning on camera audition, then was back home to do some Voiceover work and was able to slip a quick nap in, then I changed and prepped for the next on camera audition, returned home to do some research work I’d been hired to do and I ended my day directing a voicetalent on an e-learning session he was doing.  It wasn’t until someone pointed out to me what I’d done that day that I realized it was a day that most people in my new business would be thrilled to have.  Thank goodness I was forced to step back and take a longer look at how I was living my life.  Otherwise I would have continued in my days not taking note of how I was spending those days.

Taking a bit of time out of my day to imagine how I want to live the next few days is time well spent.  Without it, I won’t know I’m living the life I want and then what I want my life to look like at the next step.

Castles in the air

I’m a great one for the “what ifs”.  This is a very dangerous thing for an actor to do.  It starts off innocuously enough, “ooo, this is a good part for me, I’ll submit for it”.  Or “wow a SAG commercial, cool!”  Then you audition and it goes great, you make everyone laugh with your performance and leave everything in the room and with sounds of kudos and thanks still ringing in your ears as you leave the casting room, you are sure you nailed the audition and got the part.  Which of course will lead to a national ad that will pay you residuals for at least the next 6 months meaning you don’t have to worry about where the mortgage is going to come from.  And that national ad is going to lead to opportunities and invitations to acting mecca, Los Angeles, where you will be picked up at the airport in a chauffeured black SUV and taken through the main gates of a studio where you once again nail the audition and land a plum role in a series slated to run at least 5 years meaning syndication is a lock and your money worries are cast aside for at least 10 years.  Oh and it’s directed by an Academy Award winning director who just happens to have the perfect role for you in his next soon-to-be-nominated film.  And all of this came from a simple mailing of a headshot to a casting person in Minneapolis.

Focusing on the possibilities is a very important thing to do.  It’s the Little League player seeing himself hit the winning Grand Slam in the 9th inning of the 7th game of the World Series.  It’s the 5th grade Science enthusiast seeing herself viewing the earth from an orbiting Space Shuttle.  It’s the middle aged runner/walker seeing herself completing a 10K 5K without having to walk all that much.  Ok so maybe I’m talking about myself here.  But putting oneself in the realm of possibilities creates the dreams that drive the actions.  Allowing those dreams take over the reality can be a not-so-good thing.  Staying focused on the next achievable goal gets you closer to achieving that dream without building a castle in the air that has no foundation to support it.  And that type of castle is bound to collapse.