Happy Holidays everyone!!! I know this is a busy time of year for most of you. As the year is about to end, this is typically the time to reflect upon the things we are grateful for and also reflect upon which goals we accomplished this year. (Yes, year in review post coming soon). I've been busy just like everyone else, so I am doing my "what I am thankful for post" now.
I am thankful for everything God has given me and has done in my life. That includes so many wonderful things. Before I get to those, I just want to say that I am very thankful that my faith has remained intact throughout this journey of becoming an actor living in NYC, even though I, like anyone else, have moments of doubts. That being said, here we go: I am thankful for my super duper incredible (and very sexy) husband. I am a private person and don't post too much on social media about us or our marriage, but I am one lucky girl to have someone like him. A man whom I trust, who supports my dream, and who makes me laugh. He is my best friend; my everything. I am thankful for a loving family (which includes my immediate family and my in-laws). I believe my parents raised me well and they have never once not supported me when it comes to pursuing acting. Same goes for my brother and sister. I hate not being able to spend time with my family during the holidays but such is the nature of working retail in NYC. I'm hoping to visit in January though. I am grateful for friends who stay loyal even though I am a busy, extremely introverted person who finds it difficult to hangout or stay in touch frequently. I am thankful for my sweet little kitty Sophie who makes me so happy when I think about her little face. I'm thankful for our health. I am thankful for our apt and for the location in which we live--across the river from NYC--(even though I don't make it a secret that I would rather be living in an apt in the East Village. Sigh.). Going back to my faith, I am thankful that I found a church where God's truth is spoken with conviction and yet with love, and where so much is done to help not only the people of NYC, but also people from all around the world who need a helping hand (even though I do attend as often as I should). I am grateful for my survival job. Not only because it pays the bills and pays for my acting things, but also because doing makeovers and selling makeup is a great job. I tried the typical actor thing--waiting tables--for 6 months when I lived in Virginia and I don't think I could do that again. (Just like many actors couldn't do retail for as long as I have.)
And let's get down to the reason why I write this blog. I am incredibly grateful that I am able to follow my dream. The journey has been amazing and I am really still just getting started. But I cherish the entire process-the hard work, the events, the disappointments, the connections I've made, and those moments in which I do actually get to act. I write this blog for myself, as a way to reflect and keep focused, but I also write in order to inspire others to follow their dreams. Just do it. No matter what. It starts with a small step, but all it takes is one step in the right direction. I know sometimes because of circumstances we have to put our dreams on hold, and that's okay. That's life. Don't let it stop you. Where there is a will there is a way indeed. I'm sure you have read these amazing stories of people overcoming incredible obstacles, that most of us can't even imagine, and accomplishing extraordinary things in their lives. My obstacle when it comes to pursuing acting is something that is not so noticeable and it is actually a choice I've made. It is the choice I have made to not use profanity in any of the roles I take (among other things, but this is the issue that arises constantly). Sometimes I feel so discouraged because I know this will stop me from playing parts. Great parts. Amazing parts in fact. I feel like I cannot look for agents because I'm afraid to ask someone to represent me and then present them my list of restrictions. And let me tell you, that list probably isn't going to change. I feel like people in the industry will think I am crazy especially since I am still a nobody the world of Hollywood and should be taking whatever comes way and am in no position to be making requests like that. It is so hard and humbling for me to read a script prior to an audition and then have to ask if I am able to leave out or substitute a curse word. And lately, every script I've read has cursing in it. When this happens only once in awhile it's easier to deal with. But when it happens one script right after the other it starts to weigh on me. But I know this is my path. The way God has intended for me personally to pursue this career and if it's going to happen, this is how it's going to happen. So I keep on sending those requests in faith. (And BTW I don't judge Christian actors who do curse.) And that means letting go completely of a role that seems so fulfilling. But it makes me especially thankful for every single acting job I get. And guess what? Only twice I can remember since moving here in 2005 has the cursing been necessary for the character. (When it is, I politely and graciously turn down the opportunity.) Which is pretty incredible when I think about how many roles I've played over the years. That decision makes the journey harder for sure, but also more fulfilling because I am trying to put God first. So that is why I constantly emphasize how blessed I feel to be working on a new project. Our obstacles can become our testimonies-what makes our story and us unique.
I always thought making these sort of lists was corny. But as I started writing this post I realized there is something that actually does occur deep inside when taking time to write down and really think about what you are grateful for. I can't explain it, but I feel more encouraged, fulfilled, and deeply happy about where I am in my acting career. I don't feel as bothered by the fact that I am not yet making my living from acting, or by the fact that I live in New Jersey. (Half joking but that is actually a big deal for me because when I lived in Manhattan I was one of those people who swore I would never ever live in Jersey. Even though I'm in the NYC area--12 min away from Times Square when there is no traffic--once in a while I still get sad when I reminisce about living in the city itself.) But those things seem like nothing now.
So I encourage you to make the list too. And I encourage you to take at least one small step towards following your dream. And I encourage you to choose to be happy and grateful wherever you and whatever you are doing.