It might not feel like there is much to celebrate at this moment, and we must all keep doing our part to listen, learn, grow, and fight for equality. This blog should not distract or detract from the progress we are working towards as a society but rather serve as a gentle reminder of potential shifts in perspective in our daily lives.
Celebration is inherently active. It is not a natural reaction to something or even a feeling but a responsive action that one can choose to partake in. Birthday parties don’t just plan themselves. Weddings don’t just happen without at least a couple of people making a plan. We have the power to choose to celebrate what we celebrate. How fantastic is THAT? Think about it, we can choose to celebrate the small victories. We can choose to celebrate what makes us unique. We can alter our perspective and celebrate our growth rather than place our energy in inevitable situations that seem in the moment like hurdles. Now financially we may not want to throw ourselves a party for each of these feats (and who has the time, really?) but what we can do is celebrate by being kind to ourselves in these moments. We can take the time to acknowledge our successes as well as implement self-care in response to challenging situations, in part, by treating them as learning experiences.
It is easy to get disheartened in this industry, either through lack of work, lack of auditions, feelings of inadequacy, etc. but the one thing that all of these mood assassins have in common is that they are both immediate and changeable. None of these are permanent conditions, even feelings of inadequacy. If we choose to celebrate small victories such as getting an audition, feeling more confident in an audition setting, creating a new character, or even memorizing some lines for a piece then our whole sense of being will be uplifted. Not only do humans thrive on these positive feelings and can even become healthier and more energized by them but they are much easier to self-induce than one might think. Just by making the choice to buy yourself that lunch out today because your Yorkshire accent you’ve been studying with the IDEA website has improved a bit, you may actually be lengthening and significantly improving your whole life.
A lot of new actors wonder if they have “the look” or “the voice” for acting. They seek validation from some outside source whose opinion is beyond their control. Here’s the thing, if it’s really what you want to do (which I will assume it is if you are asking these questions) then you should not only go for it but figure out what sets you apart (and I can guarantee that you can find a multitude of examples). Celebrate these differences! Respect your uniqueness!
When the negative feelings do come, that is when the real work comes in. It is in these moments that we should analyze the situation further and look for the opportunities within the challenges. This is not to say we should avoid feeling sad or taking things to heart- these are distinctly human emotions that should be treated with individualized self-care rituals. That being said, the perception of many situations can ultimately be reframed in our minds and make us more well rounded beings. We can choose to celebrate events that would on the surface appear disappointing. Didn’t book the gig you were excited about, even though you felt really good about that audition? Celebrate the opportunity you had to present something to that casting agent who may not have picked you for this role or project but will possibly remember you fondly for the future! Celebrate the things you learned from doing that audition and the addition of that new voice you created to your repertoire! Celebrate the good feeling you had about that audition and hold on to that bit of confidence so you can insert that into your next audition! There are so, so many things we can be celebrating in any situation if we only remind ourselves to look for them. Eat that ice cream. Take a little time to relax. Meditate (Steve has a great guided meditation if you need help with that one). Take a celebratory nature hike. You deserve it!
Celebrate what makes you you. Celebrate your achievements, however small. Love yourself and celebrate the time you have on this beautiful planet!