Resist the Temptation to Compare Yourself
Apples to Oranges
Early in my career I found myself caught up in comparing myself to other actors. On more than one occasion the only light that filled my bedroom was the glow of my laptop as I carefully studied the number of professional credits my peers had booked.
I wanted to know who was working and how established they were by the time they were my age.
I even managed to convince myself a few times that acting was worth hanging up because I’d failed to reach the same level of success as many of TV and film’s young working storytellers.
In the end I discovered it was a colossal waste of my time.
Your journey is a reflection of YOUR unique life.
Run your OWN race.
Watch out for Rubberneckers
There’s a great quote that personifies the pervasive comparison culture we often see in the entertainment industry found in Ethan Hawke’s novel, The Hottest State:
- “…when you’re a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you’re older, somehow they act offended if you even try.”
Seeking relevance and accolades for our artistic contributions is a no-win game. It’s fleeting at best.
In order to be sustained, the work must be personally fulfilling regardless of what scale you share it with the world.
If your work is important to YOU then it has value.
Success is in the Doing
Morgan Freeman was once asked what he would have done if acted hadn’t worked out for him.
“Have no idea. I would act. Somewhere. Maybe I’d be driving a cab. Maybe I’m working somebody’s yard. Whatever I’m doing I’m going to belong to somebody’s little theater group. I will act. Cause I’ll die if I don’t. Writers write. Painters paint. Actors act.”
If you are impassioned, dedicated, and compelled to honor the artist inside of you by creating the level of recognition should be subsidiary.
TRUE success in any endeavor is masterfully doing that which you love to do.