It’s Okay To Not Feel Okay

Every Sunday I do a video on Facebook live. I call them #SundayVideos. (Clever. I know.)

This week I shared how I’ve been going through some challenges and had to remind myself that in the thick of things – it’s actually okay to not “be okay.”

I also talked about how this doesn’t make you “unhappy” and how to differentiate it from being sad and miserable.

For the full video (three minutes) – click the screenshot below!

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So just remember friends – it’s okay to not feel okay sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with you. And we cant wait to see your best version of you again – when you’re ready.

Let’s go get ’em.

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Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

 

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1 Reason You Don’t Need a Standout Resume

The following shares how I felt after booking a job with one of my favorite Chicago theatres. It was originally written for Backstage.com. Read on, my friends 🙂  

Have you ever had an audition where you thought, “There’s no way I’m going to book this.”

I recently had an audition for one of my favorite theaters in Chicago. I didn’t care that it was an understudy gig—it was my type and a chance to work with people I love. I wanted it.

After reading the script, a few thoughts came to mind, compliments of my inner critic. I call him Fred. Fred proceeded to tell me the following…

“There’s no way you’ll book this.”

“You’re so not right for the part.”

“That character they want you/me to read for is how old? Oh god. Ha! Good luck with that.”

I told friends I wouldn’t book it. I told my parents I wouldn’t book it. I figured this would just be a chance to meet some decision makers who would consider me down the road.

And then I booked the gig.

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I was a little excited to work on this new Calamity West play! 

 

I’m fairly certain after reading the offer email that I scared away half the customers at the coffee shop I was working in. I was thrilled! I hadn’t even had my second cup of coffee yet but immediately knew it was going to be a good day.

Of course, it wasn’t long before Fred chimed in again…

“They probably just had a low turnout.”

“This is just their B cast. They don’t actually expect you to go on.”

“It’s not a big deal. I’m sure the other friends you saw at the audition booked it, too. You’re nothing special.

As a result of working with coaches who I believe to be experts at personal development, I stopped listening to Fred. Mentors including Courtney Rioux, Dallas Travers, and DaJuan Johnson have all helped me remember that I do deserve it and I am perfect for the part. Even if it was a low turnout and the rest of my friends booked it as well, I’m still awesome. I’m still enough.

Careful of your own Fred. He means well, but he’s not as smart as you. You are awesome. You are enough. And you don’t need a standout resume for that to be true.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends.

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

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How to stay sane after your favorite team just lost (Diehards Only)

How does one stay sane after your favorite team – the one you just poured time, legit money, and far too much energy into – gets eliminated?

Let’s face it: You’re hurting. You’re not a casual fan. You’re a die hard. And now you have to face the inevitable pain that comes from your favorite team losing: Jokes from your friends who were rooting for the other team. Jokes on social media about how terrible your team is. The plethora of rants from friends who label themselves experts (“IF WE HAD JUST HANDED THE BALL OFF MORE DURING THE 2ND AND 3RD QUARTER PLUS INSERTED THAT GUY INSTEAD OF THIS GUY….) And heaven forbid you support – *ahem* – a team that’s vastly disliked by the majority of people….

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Lisa and I were a little happier a few weeks ago…..

There’s good news and bad news: The good news is that something new and shiny is going to get the attention of everyone on social media in a week or two, and this will all just be a bad dream. The bad news is you still have to get through these two weeks.

And for some of us – who live, eat, breath, and sleep our sports team – this is no joking matter. And yet there are some who treat it is such. *Sigh*

To help prepare, here are a few responses from others you’re likely to hear regarding the outcome of the game. You’re likely going to find these are well intentioned and lovely people – but they just don’t get it like you do. You’re a die hard. (And you’re awesome for it.) Read on, die hard. Read on.

 

“Your team has won SO MUCH. Don’t the other guys deserve a chance?”

This is usually said by the nonchalant sports fan, or your friend whom you bond with over other things (movies, career things, etc). But sports? Not so much. These friends will likely shout something like, “Kick a field goal!” during a baseball game in exchange for laughs. Regardless, they mean well. They just don’t grasp the depth of the situation.

Simply share the following situation to your friend: It’s like having a child who is competing in the spelling bee. If your child is a repeat champion and is going for three in a row, you’re still not about to root against your child and pull for Freddy, because “Freddy has never won before and deserves it.” Of course you’ll be happy for Freddy if he wins. But are you rooting for him? No, you silly goose, you’re rooting for your child! Otherwise, what kind of parent are you?! The true die hard will never root against their team. You know this. And that’s what matters.

 

“That’s okay that we lost! It’s almost (season of an entirely different sport)!”

This is likely being shared by an optimist. I’m an optimist and am sure I’ve been guilty of this one. But there’s a difference between being positive and pretending not to feel negative. This is often said as someone doesn’t want to feel negative. Perhaps this has been said by someone who likes the other sport in question more than the game that just happened. But a true die hard won’t accept this.

Case and point: I’m an avid biker. My bike is like my baby. If something happens to it – I’m not happy. Recently I was riding my bike to the theatre along with my new, nifty, iPhone 7 in my pocket. I was feeling pretty great until I returned to my bike to find that someone stole my wheel. I was livid. At no point did anyone say to me, “Well that’s okay about your bike – you have that new iPhone, right?” No. Because while I love my new iPhone, I also love my bike. My bike was what needed my attention in that moment.

Your team needs you and it needs you now. Numbing the pain by focusing on something else is a disservice to the team you just poured your heat and soul into all season. Don’t worry, other sport. We’ll get to you in a minute.

 

“I don’t care we lost. At least my team MADE IT this far….”

Oh, honey…..

Again, this can often fall into the “pretending to be happier than I actually am” category. It’s also an easy defense mechanism to ward off fans of teams who are taunting you, but didn’t make it that far.

This person is trying so hard, and you love them for it. But it’s not the time for celebrating – at least not yet. It’s like that person you see posting on instagram about all their success!….when you know that really, this person is also struggling financially and with their relationships. (On a serious note – give love to these people because they definitely need it from us.)

Back to sports: There most certainly will be a time for celebrating (because yes – your team did advance this far and that is awesome), the die hard knows this isn’t the time for that. There is a time for mourning and that time period follows the loss. Mourning periods are different for everyone, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Simply take your time to reflect on the loss, and celebrate on your team’s accomplishments when you’re ready.

 

“Who cares? I mean, it’s just a game….”

Walk away. There’s no need to participate in this conversation.

Final thoughts: This post was a bit sillier than usual 🙂 I wrote it because I love sports. I love the passion that gets poured into a team. And while I hate losing, there’s something oddly therapeutic about allowing myself to feel sad after a loss. While I don’t let it get to me like I used to, I definitely need my mourning period.

I hope this helps you with your own, fellow die hard. Feel free to share with your teammates – when they’re ready, of course.

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

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Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

Let’s go get ‘em.

Well…this is awkward….

…I didn’t write a new post for this week.

Fortunately there’s a post I wrote last November that really resonates with me this week – “How to stay positive (and sane) when you’re sick. Again.”

….yup 🙂

See y’all next week!

What happened: Woke up with a dry throat. Woke up feeling like I barely slept, despite getting extra sleep that night. Woke up realizing, “Oh dear. I might be sick. (Again.)”

Despite this, I didn’t deter from my morning routine, complete with meditation and exercise. I’d keep an eye on whether or not I still felt dehydrated throughout my workout. If I felt like I was still dehydrated despite having chugged a bunch of water – I’d have my answer. 

What happened next: I got my answer. (It wasn’t what I wanted.) 

What usually happens then: I get angry. I throw a pity party, wondering things like “Why me?” and “How the hell am I supposed to get through the next few days?” 

What happened instead: “Ah. Damn. That’s not what I wanted…..Alright then.” 

Why: Because the combination of meditation and personal development books make you a superhuman….or at least a more positive one.

 

The book I’ve been reading is“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.  With meditation, a common practice is to simply notice thoughts as they come and go. What we tend to do, as Eckhart shares, is that we create an identity with the thought. Then the ego takes control, and all hell breaks lose. While I didn’t want to be sick this week, I also didn’t want to fall into my usual pattern of “This is awful and nothing will ever be okay!” Because…well, that’s not true, is it? 

I stopped trying to predict the future. I avoided worrying about whether or not I’d still be sick by the end of the week, where I knew I was going to be really busy. I just focused on acknowledging my thoughts. I knew my fears were there. But I figured if I’m going to be sick, I might as well take something away from this crappy situation. 

Besides…..

I’m never sick for longer than a week 

I didn’t have any big parties or fun events I was going to have to “power through”

I was so glad I wasn’t sick on Thanksgiving! 

A couple of weeks from now – everything will be okay and this will just be another blip on the radar.

Let’s put this into practical thinking: Right now I’m able to look at this from an empowering perspective. But what about when I’m sick, I’m at work, a customer is really bothering me, and I have a few other things on the agenda that day….how will I view things then? Will I still be “Mr. Positive” and be able to stay present and optimistic?? 

At the time of writing this, I’m just starting to feel the initial stages of the sickness. It’s at this point where I tend to think, “Oh, this isn’t that bad…” and then by either tonight or tomorrow morning, I’ll be like, “NOOOOPE THIS IS TERRIBLE!” So all this is to say that it’s much easier for me to view my situation from a positive place today. Tomorrow and the day after? I can’t say for certain, but there’s a good chance I won’t be all smiles and sunshine. 

If you’re someone looking to start embracing this attitude, but have those normal doubts of “What happens when _____ happens and I stop being happy?” I get it. I’m right there with you. I also think this is a great time to take another page out of “The Power of Now” and get present and work on just noticing the thoughts as they come. I personally love how Eckhart views the future. Paraphrased, he says, “You cannot cope with future fear because it doesn’t exist. Instead, tune into the present moment. That’s all we ever have to cope with.” 

I’m still working on this myself, but I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, let me know if this has helped you: What’s an area of your life where you can apply this? Have you applied this before? Leave a comment below or shoot me a tweet and let me know. 

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When all else fails, get some of Grandpa’s honey that he helps make himself with a nice guy named Chuck. It’s good stuff!  

Have a great (and healthy) week, my friends. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

You Can’t Afford NOT to Invest in Personal Development

Post originally published on Backstage.com 

It was one of those auditions where I didn’t feel like I deserved to be there.

When I arrived, casting was on break and I felt intrusive. Suddenly, I was self-conscious of everything I did. Am I sitting too casually? Should I put my phone down so I’m ready when they are? My head was spinning, despite not having one negative word said to me—the negative chatter was all my doing.

It was an uncomfortable reminder of how easy it is to feel small, insignificant, and a general sense of “not enough” as an actor. We see the clients behind the table, often with a delicious spread in front of them. (“This cheese is for anyone, yeah?”) If we’re struggling with finances, we notice the nice clothes the clients are wearing. Meanwhile, we can’t wait for payday so we can finally buy a new pair of nicer dress shoes. All the while trying desperately not to make it obvious how much we’d really, really like to get cast so said paycheck can come sooner.

When this negative chatter goes off and running, focusing on disempowering thoughts and emotions, what are we supposed to do?

Returning home from the audition, I grabbed a snack (they didn’t share the cheese) and pulled up a Backstage article written by casting professionals. Slowly, started to develop a more empowering view of myself as an actor. Later in the evening when I was making dinner, I listened to a recorded coaching call I had saved where Dallas Travers shared some empowering ways to view yourself as an artist, specifically when it came to finances.

Since learning about the world of personal development, I’ve taken it upon myself to consume self-help books and podcasts. Just as important, I believe all actors should invest in professional development specifically for the craft. Read articles. Listen to acting podcasts. Consume positive and empowering content from the people who have been in your shoes and know what you’re going through. Doing this not only drowns out that negative chatter, it rewires our thinking so we believe, rightfully, “Yes. I am enough. They’re lucky to be seeing me today. I’m awesome for doing this.”

I’ll end with one of my new favorite mantras from “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brene Brown, an excellent author who writes on personal development and learning to dismiss that negative chatter: “Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Let yourself be seen.”

Don’t hide who you are, actors. Don’t overcompensate, either. Just let yourself be seen and trust that it’s enough. Let’s go get ‘em, friends.

***    ***   ***

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

How a bunny rabbit reminded me to be happy

In 2009 I decided I was going to move to Chicago.

I was about to enter my senior year. During class the previous semester, a professor mentioned some cities around the country that are great for pursuing theatre. Chicago was one of them. Seeing that I had an aunt and uncle living in the city, plus always wanted to try living outside of New England, I decided to check it out.

I contacted my aunt and uncle and booked a flight.

While I don’t remember all the details, I remember the first night of my first visit very well. The weather was nice, so I went for a walk with the two of them around their neighborhood. I specifically remember this because we saw a little guy cross our way…

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Actual bunny from that day 

Okay I lied. That wasn’t the actual bunny. (But it is AN actual bunny, guys…)

I wasn’t used to seeing bunnies randomly on the sidewalk. 21 year old Tony was thrilled. That trip, I decided I was moving to Chicago. (I suppose a couple of other things influenced my decision.)

It wasn’t an easy transition after the “I’m going to move!” honeymoon phase ended. I remember being scared about so many things: Would I have any friends? Would I get cast in anything? Will I be able to afford my rent? How do I even get an apartment? We’ll save Long story short, it all worked out. (A lot of credit goes to my family and other kind souls…we’ll save that for a future post 🙂 )

Fast forward seven years and two weeks:

I was taking a walk. It was another beautiful night. I usually don’t take walks at night, but I needed to get out of my apartment for a bit. I was stressed. I felt behind on my goals. I was about to enter hell week for my workout program (check #TonyDoesHell week for updates!) and wasn’t looking forward to it. And we won’t even get into the confidence issues I was having that night.

Then I saw a little guy. A little guy I hadn’t seen in seven years….

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Same actual bunny from that day

Okay I’m totally kidding. There’s no way it was the same one.

But I did see another bunny rabbit. And I thought back to my first day visiting Chicago and realized what I have been missing: I’ve overcame a lot to get to where I am. Now I’m living in my own apartment, paying my own bills, have an agent, and am auditioning for projects that make me stupid excited just to show up for. In comparison to where I started, I realized this: I am successful.

It’s easy to get weighed down by everything that life does. I think it’s even easier to forget how far we’ve come and all the good things are happening because it’s so freaking simple to focus on the negatives.

I hope you’ll join me in continuing to seek the good things that are right in front of us. I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends.

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

There’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t need fixing. But this might help…

I saw another friend yesterday post about how they were struggling with self esteem.

Automatically, I found myself furiously typing. “Here’s how I used to feel. Here’s how I feel now. Here are three things I recommend. And here are some ways to flip your perspective….”

I stopped.

Will this even matter? Will they actually listen to me? Who the hell am I to help this person? And how can I share this with them so that they take my advice, rather than dismiss it? 

I have this inner dialogue every time I see a friend share that they’re in pain. I hope someday to have a better way of helping them.

If I could share a message today for anyone – friend or other – who might be struggling with self esteem, this is what it would say:

At the risk of sounding like a broken record….

There’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t need fixing. You are not broken. You just suffer with incessant negative chatter. You’ve bought into one of the bullshit beliefs, like that other people’s opinions of you get to dictate your self confidence. Or that your resume dictates your self worth. 

I know the feeling. I’ve suffered it a lot. In fact, I still do. 

I don’t want you to suffer anymore. I hope you take the time to start reading personal development books, working with a life coach, and finding more positive people to spend time with that already have the confidence you desire. Do it. You can’t afford not to. And if you can’t do it for you – do it for someone you love. Someone you can’t bear to be in pain. You can help them by starting with yourself. 

Finally….stop taking yourself so damn seriously 🙂 Most of our problems go away in a day, a week, or a couple months. We find new problems. Don’t worry. This problem will go away and that future one will too. 

And when you forget all of this because you’re a normal human being who forgets stuff – no sweat. Just hit the reset button. Being perfect is s waste of time and energy, anyway.

I love you guys. 

 

I really do.

 

Let’s go get ’em.

 

***   ***   ***

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

An interview. With me.

GUESS WHAT YOU GUYS?

“Tony. Stop shouting.”

Sorry Fred.

I’m going to be speaking as part of “Homeset!” this coming Saturday!

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“The thought behind the series is simple – artists flourish when they are in conversation with one another, and experiencing and examining one another’s work — especially in times of social and political unrest. It propels our aesthetic and understanding farther forward, and stokes the fire of active engagement.” (Quote source here) 

 

Below is a Q&A with me and Denise. I wanted to share this here because the themes I’ll be speaking about Saturday go hand in hand with what I blog about. Thoughts? Tweet me! 

Denise: What inspired this piece?

Me: Before I realized I loved talking to others about personal development themes, I was involved in network marketing for three years….and I failed a lot. There were a plethora of embarrassment, but with it came valuable lessons. I learned a lot about branding and content, and it’s actually what led me to start doing #SundayVideos on facebook live every week. Those messages were a big inspiration for the work I’ve started sharing in person – like what we’re doing here tonight!

What really inspired me to start sharing positive messages has been a four year journey where I keep finding more and more ways to see tedious life challenges in a more empowering way. Once I discovered how much happier this made me, I couldn’t not share it with others!

Denise: Has anything you’ve learned recently surprised you?

Me: Since working with a life coach and consequently learning about the world of personal development, I just assumed that immersing myself in self help materials (books, blogs, podcasts, etc) were the way to go. But actually the past month has made me realize that a more proactive way to approach personal development is to a) get clear on what areas you want to specifically learn and grow in, and b) actually complete the exercises come up in the materials. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve skipped most parts where it involves actually completely exercises. I’m currently reading a new book with a lot of “write down this” sections – and I’m not skipping this time! So it’s been surprising to realize that after all this time where I thought I was an expert, I was really just an novice. I have a feeling that in another four years I’ll find myself in a similar boat.

Denise: What challenges you as a creator?

Me: Confession: Being a life coach and doing live workshops and talks has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I’m grateful it’s happening! Yet…I’ve yet to get out of my own way when it comes to creating opportunities for my acting career. Putting on a show? Producing my own short film? This is where I’d normally tell others to stop listening to that gremlin voice saying, “You could never afford that,” or “That will take way too much time…”

I KNOW that’s not true! I’ve freaking done it before with raising money for non acting endeavors! I just get overwhelmed and then listen to all my doubts. So if anyone wants to give ME a motivational pep talk on this – let me have it. I’m a good listener.

Denise: What do you want to see more of?

Me: I want to see more of my peers celebrating the little things: Getting called back to that same casting house, regardless if they book. Getting seen by their favorite theatre company. Their first booking for a non union industrial. I want to start seeing more happiness and confidence before we’ve “made it.”

It’s easy to let our friends and family to dictate our success. Waiting for other people’s approval for achievement is a recipe for stress, anxiety, and a path to being miserable. Why? Because it’s out of our control!

Sure, there’s something to be said about setting high goals and measuring your progress. I just think that success is something younger people tend to “wait for,” and along with it sits our happiness and confidence. One of my mentors Dallas Travers says, “You can’t build on success you don’t acknowledge.” If we can’t be happy with the little wins – we’re just going to keep setting the bar for happiness higher and higher. So let’s start now, yeah?

Denise: What should folks know about what you’re bringing to HOME SET?

Me: That I’m loving this process of helping others – and that I’m doing it because I started learning this stuff because I needed it. Just because I’m “teaching” and sharing it doesn’t mean that I’m don’t need it myself. I very much do. The themes I talk about are usually the ones I need the most.

I find this usually is applicable to anyone teaching a skill to others. I used to get turned off because I thought teachers and motivational speakers were condescending. Then I started hearing some of them share that they’re also still not perfect with what they were sharing. It made them seem more human and more likable.

I want my peers who read, see and hear my work to know that I’m a constant work in progress.

“You are perfect, whole and complete – but you’re not finished.” –Preston Smiles.

 

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

 

Here are the deets! 

Pop Magic Productions invites you to HOMESET, a quarterly salon series bringing artists together to share ideas. Each HOMESET will give 3 artists space to showcase their works in progress, lesser practiced skills, and interests in a casual atmosphere.

The thought behind the series is simple – artists flourish when they are in conversation with one another, and experiencing and examining one another’s work — especially in times of social and political unrest. It propels our aesthetic and understanding farther forward, and stokes the fire of active engagement. 

In an effort to cultivate these nurturing spaces for artists, and in response to the need for more cross-exposure in the Chicago arts scene, HOME SET was put into action.
Join us in reactivating our community this winter. Connect with creatives whose interests and passions can bolster your artistic practice. Support the growth of Chicago’s independent art scene.

January 6th, 2018
Location: Secret Location in Uptown (You will receive the address
when you RSVP @ dime.io/events/homeset.

​The acts of the night are:
​Oratory by Tony Rossi
Arcana Obscura with Cassie Bowers
All The Happy Endings We Were Promised by Lucky Stiff
Music by Kathryn Lachey

Snacks & Drinks will be provided. You are also free to BYOB.

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Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

2018 won’t save you

“TONY. WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME ABOUT THE NEW YEAR?!”

Relax. I’m going somewhere (positive) with this….

Look, we all see a lot of interesting social media posts this time of year.
“I love the first snow!”
“What the f**k is my f**king coat?! #loveloveactually
“Can’t wait for the annual actor holiday party!  #totalcheatnight
“Ughhh….I ate too much for my total cheat night…” #worthit #round2tonight
Okay those are just mine. I’m sure you’ve seen others that are richer in content. At the same time, I’m also guessing you’ve seen a variety of not so positive messages this time of year….
“SERIOUSLY 2017?!” #sooverit
“Can we just get into the new year already? 
“Next year is going to be so much better….”
“I just got fired for reading Tony’s blog at work. #unsubscribing”
Whether you’re #sooverit with 2017 or just excited for 2018, I have news for you: 2018 is just a date on the calendar. 
 
Of course there’s nothing wrong with using dates on a calendar or any kind of “new beginning” as a force of positive motivation. But let’s not confuse external motivation as the only source of motivation. That said, I’m not here to crush your “positive bubble.” . Instead of relying on a date on a calendar or any kind of external motivation, what do you have at your disposal that you can use as internal movtivation?? 
 
If you’re eager to learn more about this, I recommend reading up on some of the thought leaders who have been in the game a little longer than me. Some of my favorites include Brendan Burchard, Darren Hardy, and James Clear
But Tony – I’m here! Can you give me any tips or advice that might be a little more helpful in the meantime?
I thought you’d never ask….
On my flight back to Boston, I compiled a lost of positive and empowering thoughts. Feel free to print out or write them down as reminders when you’re feeling frustrated.

Empowering thoughts:

  • 2018 will have setbacks. Buckle up 😉 (Sorry…that wasn’t empowering…)
  • 2018 will also have beauty. Keep your eyes open so you don’t miss it.
  • You are absolutely allowed to find beauty in your setbacks
  • Just because you’ve never done something before that a lot of others have been doing who are a lot (older than you, younger than you, etc) doesn’t mean you can’t start exactly where you are
  • Sometimes things can be a lot easier than they seem

 

Thoughts for my single friends:

  • Being single allows you time for things you might not have if you were in a relationship. Enjoy them while knowing that it won’t stay this way.
  • Please…you can find a new boyfriend without making a bunch of physical changes. Stop reading blogs that tell you otherwise.
  • List five reasons you’d make an amazing partner. Consider how many people currently in relationships aren’t getting those qualities from their significant other. You get to give those to someone.

Goal thoughts

  • Sometimes the hardest part that you’ve been dreading for so long won’t be nearly as bad as you make them out to be in your head
  • Ten years from now, you’ll probably have achieved a lot of your goals. And you’ll wonder why you wasted so much time freaking out.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself that you stop enjoying the journey.
  • There are going to be parts you look back on fondly that will surprise you

Setbacks:

  • Your situation that’s happening right now is just that – it’s happening now. That doesn’t make it permanent.
  • You’re hard on yourself because you care. Be proud that you care.
  • Sometimes that negative voice in your head will get very loud. That doesn’t make it true. Volume does not equal truth.
  • Your week might start out with six bad days, but that seventh awesome day will make everything worth it.
  • You don’t have to be happy right now. But keep the flame of hope alive for when you’re ready to get back up

And a Tony thought for you…..

  • YOU ARE AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, AND CAPABLE OF GREATNESS EXACTLY AS YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU ARE. 

 

“Start where you are, with what you have – because what you have is plenty enough.” -Eric Thomas. 

 

I’m #notperfect. But if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re not either. Why not try something empowering instead of disempowering this week – or hell, this year??

Thank you for reading – whether it’s your first time or one hundredth. I’m grateful for you. You deserve to feel amazing. Go after what you love.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends.

 

PS – Thanks to all of you who did make 2017 so memorable 🙂

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Photo by Garret Sacco 

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Photo by Nicole Shuberg Photography

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Photo by Johnny Knight Photo 

 

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Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe! 

It caught me out of nowhere

All of a sudden I was in a shit mood. I figured it was one of those “we’ll always have shit days” type of thing.

Until I reflected. I was shocked at what I discovered.

 

What happened: I had started my day off the usual way: Exercise, personal development, Starbucks morning. All signs pointed to a good started

What happened next: I had an incredibly unproductive work session. Lots of negative chatter. Suddenly I was focused on everything that was going wrong, and doing my work from that place of “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not there yet,” “I’m a failure….”

The rest of the day: Not good….(shocker) 

Fast forward to the next day. I was well rested. I was in a better mood. Sleep has a funny way of making you feel better, doesn’t it?

I now had a bunch of new perspectives. Not only was I looking my situation from a fresh perspective, but I was relistening to my book (“High Performance Habits” – Brendan Burchard) with a new perspective too.

What happened next:

-I literally did the same routine. Relistened to the chapters I had listened to the day before, as per my practice….but now I heard the words in a different light. (Hence why I do this.)

-Yesterday it was new information. It was a spotlight on all the things I’ve been doing wrong, as well as things that are missing in my life. Personal development tends to do this – create awareness. Yet that day in particular, it was a BIG learning moment of a lot of things I was doing wrong. But it happened so gradually in this book that I didn’t realize it was the cause of what started a negative loop hole.

Now I can look at this information completely different. “OH. Yeah that was the part when I realized that I’m working a lot, but achieving little. No wonder I was so upset…” It made me remember that the fact that I’m not earning enough money is really holding me back. Which then, in turn, made me really upset when I went to Starbucks and started applying for jobs online….

Personal development is a wonderful tool to help you notice the trouble areas. It’s kind of like lights in your car indicating you need to check your engine. It’s GOOD to know about this information. However, if every time that light went off, you started to focus on how much of a failure you are for not keeping better care of your car, these signals could do a number on your self esteem.

The biggest take away I got that morning was that the whole point I was READING this book was to become better. Getting better doesn’t happen just by listening to the chapter. It doesn’t happen by even completing the exercise – although you should and it’s a great start. It happens when you FINISH the book, COMPLETE the exercises, and then….read it again. Keep applying and deepening these principles into your brain.

And remember that you’re awesome just for starting. A lot of people won’t even do that.

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In case you or your talent friends need a positive and quirky guy at your office….

Let’s go get ‘em.

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Tony News! 

I just held my first ever “Empowered Actor” worshop at Next Door Chicago!

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Markell, Olivia, and Rebekah were SO MUCH FUN to have! 

I’m helping actors feel more confident, discover their self worth, and remember to have fun along the way to that “booking more work” thing.

Know someone who could benefit from this? Email me at tony.rossi@gmail.com

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Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂 

Wanna see more? Check out my actor website or YouTube channel!

Wanna make sure you never miss a post? Click the “Follow” button in the right corner to enter your email and subscribe!