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The Real Key To Success

Last month I was asked to be the guest of honor and guest speaker at a charity event, back in my hometown of Northbrook, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago. (Basically where all the John Hughes movies were filmed.)

They wanted me to talk about how I went from performing in the musicals, plays, variety shows + choirs at Glenbrook South High School to becoming an established actress in Hollywood.

The more I thought about my journey from performing back high school to now having over 75 tv + film credits, I realized that the running theme along the way, was that I simply…kept going.

I kept going in the face of obstacles.
I kept going in the face of uncertainty.
I kept doing the things that scared me the most.

Ultimately, my success has come from mastering the fine art of dealing with failure, rejection + disappointment.

That is the real key to success.

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There isn’t one successful person on the planet who hasn’t failed, been rejected or felt disappointment.  It’s whether you allow it to (more…)

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How To Handle Disappointment (For Real)

Ever find yourself feeling elated, excited + enthusiastic about life and then the next week find yourself feeling disappointed, sad or just crying in a heap?

This was me for the first 2 weeks of May…riding high and then feeling really low.

The highs are easy, right?

But, when the low point came, I found myself saying things like “You know that feeling bad isn’t helping. You have a great life. Snap out of it. What’s your problem?” 

Then, I finally allowed myself to just not feel good, to lay on the couch with my dog and simply sob for all kinds of reasons and for no reason at all (while telling him he has it all figured out – after all, “dog” is “god” backwards + that’s gotta mean something!)

I allowed myself to embrace the situation as it was, to feel whatever it was I was feeling without telling myself I should feel better or that I should be doing something else (something other than sobbing with my dog while my sweet husband offered his support.)

And ya know what? I highly recommend it.

What I came to discover is that the way “out” of those disappointing, frustrating + sad moments is to go fully through them.

The best way to handle it all is to allow yourself to come unhinged + give yourself permission to not have to “get it together” on demand.

So here’s what I now know.

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They key for me was to stop (more…)

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5 Steps To Building Your Confidence

In an industry that often shines the spotlight on the external + the material, it is easy to let your ego lead the way, keeping you feeling small, feeling like you’re an outsider + that you are somehow not enough.

Comparing yourself to others or even to “where you should be by now,” will quickly chip away at your confidence.

Maybe you look around and see those who are achieving success and think they have something you don’t have.  Add a few scrolls through Facebook or Twitter when you are in a negative funk, and it could leave you feeling pretty hopeless + depressed.

Well, guess what?

At the age of 23, Oprah was fired from her job as a TV reporter.  She was actually told she was “unfit for television.”

So how did she keep going, keep believing in herself + find the confidence she now exudes?  I was so inspired to recently learn this….

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Do You Believe In Magic? (even when you don’t see evidence of it)

Have you ever had moments where you really wondered if it was all going to work out for you (I had this feeling after every bad date I ever went on), but then, it somehow turned out better than you planned? (Now that I’m happily married…I can officially say, yes.)

When this happens in your acting career, is it because you did one more mailing or one more workshop?  Or is it because you finally told yourself, it would all just work out…and somehow, someway, it just did?

Here’s a story that might help you believe in magic (even when you don’t see evidence of it.) (more…)

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10 Famous Actors Who Didn’t Get The Part + The Actor’s Mantra For Success

Your world is a mirror reflecting back to you your own inner state.  When you are in a state of turmoil + struggle, then you will see a tumultuous world full of struggle.  When you are in a state of inner joy, you will experience a seemingly joyful world full of possibility.

The tone of your experience is always preset by you, since what you see on the outside, is simply a reflection of your inner state of consciousness.

How does this affect your acting career?

You will spend most of your life as an actor, not getting the role.  It is how you handle + internalize NOT getting the part that will determine your success.  How will you let rejection affect your state of mind?

You can either use each audition as a chance to create a compelling character, play in the room, leave + let it go.  Or you can use each audition as a chance to beat yourself up for not being good enough, when you don’t get the part.

When you don’t book the job, it’s easy to go back + replay your audition in your mind, telling yourself…

“I should have said this line differently.  I should have worn blue.   I should have taken more time with it.  I shouldn’t have taken so much time with it.  I should have stood for that scene.  I should have sat for that scene.  I should have been different, better, prettier, younger, older, wiser, and on and on and on….”

When you play the game of “If I only did this audition in a different way than how I chose to do it”, you are telling yourself + the Universe…”I am the problem.  I need to fix something.  I am not enough.”

It’s one thing to learn from an audition experience + walk away realizing, “I could have listened more, been more present or have connected more,” but if you did your work + just didn’t get the job, instead of beating yourself up,  making it all about you + what you didn’t do or say or be…

Try this mantra….

EverythingAlwaysWorksOut

Since our lives become a mirror of our inner state of being, I have a feeling this mantra must have been very present in the internal mindset of the following actors who didn’t get the part, but didn’t let it ruin them.  They all went on to have huge careers.

Here are 10 successful actors who did not get the role, but also, didn’t dwell on it. (more…)

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What To Do When You Don’t Get The Part

I’ve been there.  I’ve auditioned for roles that have gone to someone younger, to someone older, to a more well-known actor, to an actor you’ve never heard of, to a blonde, to a brunette, to a guy, to another ethnicity, you name it, I’ve experienced it.    I’ve been released from “avails” + have seen lucrative campaigns come to an end.
 
Yes, an acting career is like a marathon-length rollercoaster ride.
 
The key is that every single time I’ve used what other actors might deem as a setback or a failure, to fuel me.  

Ultimately, I’ve used each experience (after the initial shock is over!) to deepen my trust in my own future, to believe that good always finds me, to lift myself up + to keep going. (Some days are easier than others, of course.)

But when I do this, things have always surprised me in the most miraculous ways and none of it was what I would have planned.
 
Ultimately, you have to….

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Of course the work of doing this is an inside job.  This internal work is part of your work as an actor. The ability to do this is what will get you to where you want to go.
 
So, now that we are 6 months into the year and you may have experienced some surprises +  some “setbacks”, dig deeper than ever before and really …. (more…)

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How To Handle Rejection

When you don’t get a callback or book the job you’ve auditioned for, do you beat yourself up or do move on easily?  It might be comforting to remind yourself that every successful person has been rejected along the way!

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If you’d like some proof that every successful person gets rejected along the way, here are a few of my favorites rejection quotes…. (more…)

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10 Examples Of Why You Shouldn’t Care What Others Think

One of the highest places you can get to
is being independent of the good opinions of other people.”
– Dr. Wayne Dyer

So, you didn’t get the part. They “went another way.”  When this happens, do you take it personally, feel rejected and start questioning yourself or your talent?  Or, do you tell yourself, “it’s just one opinion and something better is on its way to me.”

What if the people the entertainment industry considers to be “experts”, are sometimes wrong?  Here are 10 examples of why you shouldn’t care what others think! (more…)

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