Monday, February 12th, 2018
“Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.” – Rita Schiano
I came across this quote recently while prepping for my Atlanta workshops and it really stuck with me. In this business, it can sometimes be challenging to talk about your joys. Let’s be honest, there are many frustrations that come along with a career in the arts. It only takes a little while pursuing your dreams, for them to rear their ugly heads and make themselves known.
But! The key, as this quote so deftly states, is to reframe your story. Take charge of your own narrative and FOCUS ON THE JOY! Because, and I mean this will deep respect for the trials and tribulations of being an actor, NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS! Sure, your dear friends, family, and teachers will listen and try their best to guide you, but if you make a habit out of talking about you problems, those problems will begin to define you. Like a dark cloud over your head that follows you around. You (and others) will begin to think of yourself AS your problems. Problems are there to be surmounted and make you a stronger person. But I beg you to not to dwell in them. This will only lead to a cycle of negativity.
Or! Perhaps you are someone who detracts from your own successes. I have a great young actor who just booked a role on a TV show. At first, instead of celebrating and leaning into the happiness surrounding such a booking, he focused on the size of the role, that it was only “one scene”, and made it a negative instead of what it was – a HUGE POSITIVE! Eventually though, he realized what a gift the role was as it pushed him out of his comfort zone as an actor. Now, when asked, he joyfully speaks about what a great experience it was and how grateful he is.
So, I implore you to let joy define you. Fill yourself with the happiness you get from your art, nature, friends, family, pets, a great meal, a good book etc. If you lead with joy, paths open up. Things begin to loosen and opportunities tend to reveal themselves. A road that was closed, opens. A person shows up to help you at just the right time. I’ve worked with artists long enough to guarantee you that this is true.
So, my friends, this is what I wish for you all: A life you can talk about: one of boundless joy!