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.)
Years ago, when I was shifting my focus from the dance world to acting, The Gap was looking to do a series of dance-inspired commercials, and I had a callback for The Gap’s “Khaki Country” spot. I knew the choreographer + the director, I loved the fun line dance + I just knew I would get it.
I had just shot 1 commercial for a regional department store named Mervyns, and on the way to The Gap callback, my agent called and said that Mervyn’s and The Gap were in conflict with each other + I couldn’t go to the callback. I was in tears. Devastated. I had to turn around and go home, feeling so angry that I had ever said yes to that regional Mervyn’s commercial that was now ‘ruining it all’ for me.
A few months later, all of The Gap-Khaki dancers went on to perform at The MTV Video Music Awards, and I watched the whole show and cried thinking, I had somehow missed my time in the spotlight.
Take a look at The Gap “Khaki Country” commercial here. (Click to view)
Eventually, I got over it, and picked myself up off the ‘woe is me’ floor. + found ways to re-align my mind with the knowing that everything really does always work out for me.
I learned to embrace 2 key elements that kept me going ….
Remember: Devastation can turn into elation, but rarely on your time line.
Mervyn’s did 12 spots that year. I was in 1 of them. They liked my performance + comedic timing so much that they offered me a contract to be their spokeswoman for all 12 spots the next year + then, the year after that, I was offered a 26 spot campaign, all written for me + my comedic voice and point of view.
The commercials became such a hit that I was invited to their headquarters to do personal appearances in San Francisco, given the star treatment at the W Hotel, driven in limousines to and from every shoot + got to participate in their charity work as well. It was so fun + fulfilling on so many levels.
It opened up doors theatrically as well. I’ll never forget shooting an intense role on NYPD Blue with Dennis Franz + Mark Paul Gosslear. My character storms out of the interrogation room at the end of the scene. Dennis leaned over to Mark and kept the scene going with, “I wonder if she can get us some free stuff at Mervyn’s.” Everyone on set, myself included, had a good laugh.
Had I been a Gap-Khaki dancer, none of the above would have ever happened.
And just as my three years with Mervyn’s was coming to a close + I was moving on to more theatrical work in television and film, we shot one last commercial for the holidays, where I got to dance.
I ended up being serenaded by one of my childhood crushes from The Partridge Family, David Cassidy, as he sang to me, “Do You Believe In Magic?” What could be more surreal and the perfect question to sum up my amazing journey as their spokesperson?
I even had my own set of sexy snowflake back-up dancers to enhance being transported to a magical winter wonderland.
Here’s a copy I found on youtube: (Click here to view)
Looking back, I realize that everything really does work out for us when we surrender trying to control how + when it will all happen. (This goes for acting as well as dating!)
The Universe always has bigger plans for you if can get out of your own way + allow the magic to happen.
Even now, many years later, any time I get a little bummed that things aren’t showing up exactly as I want them to, I have an old friend who will say to me, “Wen, I have 3 words for you….Gap. Khaki. Dancer.” In that moment, I realize that when I get out of the way of trying to control the outcome, thats exactly when the Universe surprises + delights me with something better than I had imagined.
Here’s to knowing that the Universe has bigger plans than you do + trusting in the future that you cannot see.
Love + Gratitude,
P.S. My guided meditation + visualization, “Everything Always Works Out For Me” will guide you through a powerful process to make peace with where you are + let go of trying to control the outcome.
I’d love to hear your comments below on how things have worked out better than you have planned…