Accept Instead of Resist. Try it.

I was really excited about an upcoming work party. Not only was there free food and drink, but it had been forever since I had a fun night out. Before I left work the day before, I exited with a cry of “We’re going to have so much fun tomorrow night!”

(The underlined text may or may not have been slightly different with more adult language and references to alcohol.)

In any event, I woke up the next morning in a great mood, got a few things done, and had a fantastic workout. Around 3:00pm I got back from the gym. I started thinking about what else needed to get done before I left at 6:00pm. But first, I had to check my email. Obviously. What if I got an important email?? Not that this was likely. I checked anyway

There was an important email in my inbox.

It was asking about my availability for a great audition the following morning. “Wait, tomorrow? But I’m supposed to have so much fun tonight! How am I supposed to have all of this fun with a big audition tomorrow?”

I went to the party. When I got there, I informed my coworkers and bosses that they would have to do lots of fun things together without me. Shortly after, I left and went home to prep for the audition.  

I thought about something that my accountability partner, Jannica, had told me recently. It was relating to a different topic, but extremely relevant: Accept instead of resist. Since her telling me this, I’ve been thinking about different areas of my life where I could use this. The answer: All of them.

I have this tendency to get upset whenever things don’t go perfectly according to plan. It leads to stress and lots of frustration. Take this past week for example. I was supposed to have three days off. I ended up working on two of them. This meant the list of weekly goals that I was so excited to write in my brand new journal were going to change. I had to ask myself how else I could get these things done with less time than I originally planned?

I’ll tell ya this much: I certainly wasn’t planning on updating my blog at 1:00am….oh dear, it’s 1:00am. Let’s stop here.

Think about different ways you can apply this “acceptance over resistance” idea in your everyday life. I bet it’ll make you happier. Though if it doesn’t work, I encourage you to go out and be so overwhelmed with fun, you forget what you did the next morning due to the amount of fun you had the night before.

(I need to start getting out more.)


Stop Telling Me I Don’t Need To Workout

I generally write happy posts. Hence my #MakeSomeonesDay video. I like to try to share my ideas from when I’m feeling happy and full of inspiration in order to make others feel the same way.

That being said, you caught me in a feisty mood. I apologize in advance.

I don’t want to wait tables forever. Or tomorrow, for that matter. I have plenty of goals that I try and work on every day so that this doesn’t happen. Some of them are acting related. A couple are writing related. Some are random things that just make me feel better. For example, I’ve been craving a fun night out with friends. Since I started waiting tables on weekends, going out is rare. And nonexistent on weekends.

Then there are goals that are specific to me and no one else but me. One of these is a health goal. A goal that includes healthy eating and lots of exercise. “But Tony,” my friends tell me, “you’re so skinny! You don’t need to eat healthy! And you definitely don’t need to work out.”

ImageHere’s how I look. With a hatchet. That I wish I could hold while listening to people tell me I don’t need to exercise.    

Let’s stop right there.

I have several reasons for eating healthy and working out. And to be frank, I don’t need to explain for them to be good reasons. But since we’ve gotten this far on the particular topic, I suppose I’ll continue:

When I look my best, I feel my best. This allows me to be creative and do my best work. This helps me with my goals that I mentioned at the beginning. On weeks where I go to the gym four or more times, I normally have accomplished all or most of my weekly goals.

I’ve always wanted a six pack. STOP LAUGHING. Okay fine you can laugh. But it’s true. And I’m finally, finally starting to get one. Sort of. I mean, I can see it.

You’ve never seen me naked. Unless you have. In that case, please feel free to tell me all the changes that need to be made to my body. But if you haven’t, there’s no need to pretend you know how I look in my birthday suit.

Girls are complimenting me on my body. Okay so this is less of an all the time thing, and more of a one time thing. It was photo call for a show I was doing over the summer. I was changing in the house in front of others, because that’s what actors do. And why delay photo call by changing in the bathroom? That’s just silly.

I was getting ready to put on a shirt, when I heard one of the girls in my cast say, “Tony, you have a fantastic body.” Did I really just hear that right? As I was trying to figure out whether or not this was real or just a dream, I heard another girl shout – from the other side of the theatre – “Yeah Tony, you do!”I’m not sharing this to brag. I’m saying that hearing these compliments make me feel good. And it never hurts to hear that other people are noticing your successes.

We’ll ignore the fact that one of the girls had a boyfriend, and the other was married.

Okay. Now that I’m done sharing silly stories, I hope you realize that although I don’t need to workout, I certainly want to. I’ve actually gotten to a point where if I get hurt and can’t stick to my normal workout routine, I tend to fall into a funk and fall off track with my goals. And if I fall off track, that just means I’m going to have to wait tables even longer. And despite that I’ve met some really cool people from work lately, I really don’t want to be there forever.

Or tomorrow.

How To #MakeSomeonesDay

Many of you endured a full week of facebook and twitter posts asking for money for a project I started called #MakeSomeonesDay. If you missed it, you clearly don’t go on facebook enough. However, I’ll fill ya in real quick: My friends and I raised over $500 to give to the baristas at my favorite Starbucks (the one at North and Wells) in the form of gift cards and a generous tip.

Many of you donated, shared the link to the indiegogo page, or offered to help in other ways. I can’t thank you enough. If you donated, I put your name in the Christmas cards that went to the baristas. Which looked like this:

Names in the card

Then I included a $15 gift card to Target. Add the two together, and you get this:

Full Card

And if you’re wondering what your receipt looks like after buying thirty gift cards at Target, it looks like this:

Full receipt

Bottom of receipt

And then of course, we had to tip the baristas. Because that’s what this project is all about:


This took a lot of time to put together. And when all the cards were sealed and garnished with a candy cane, they looked like this:

all the cards

Pretty cool, huh?

I’ll let the video do the rest of the explaining. Please bear with my terrible video taking skills, as I thought it was a brilliant idea to do this myself. Also, shout out to Sean Kelly for helping me put it all together.


Get the message? Good. Now spread the word.

Consider What Goes On Behind Closed Doors

Hellooooo TonyinChicago readers!

First off, I can’t thank you all enough for spreading the word and donating to the #MakeSomeonesDay project. It’s making my day to see others get as excited about this as I am.  Less than 48 hours in, we’re already at $190. With the goal being $500, I’m confident we’ll reach it and surprise the employees at one of my favorite shops in Chicago with some gifts =) Again, thank you.

As I mentioned on the indiegogo page, the whole purpose of the project is to encourage others to say thank you to those in the customer service and restaurant industry. More specifically, saying thank you by leaving just an extra dollar for your server, or throwing your change into the tip jar. If everyone starts doing this, it makes a huge difference.

On that note, I’d like to talk a little bit about what goes on behind closed doors in said industries. There’s a lot that happens in restaurants that people don’t take into consideration. This isn’t because people are terrible….actually yes sometimes people are terrible…but if you’ve never worked in a restaurant, you’d have no way of knowing what kind of things go on in the kitchen, in the basement, etc. (If you’re thinking this is going in an inappropriate direction, it’s not. Sorry to my roommates friends, plus one or two coworkers who may be reading and thought otherwise.)

I work in a restaurant that is drastically different during the week versus the weekends. On weekends, we have bartenders, food runners, bussers, dishwashers, people prepping food upstairs, downstairs, etc.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a guy up on the roof doing work every day, unbeknownst to the rest of the staff (hopefully nothing to do with food). During the week, however, it’s just one or two servers and one cook. That’s it. Servers garnish the food, run it out to the table, make whatever drinks need to be made, and do whatever else needs to be done. SO. Because of this, it’s a little frustrating when you hear people say, “Oh, I didn’t tip much when I went out to eat earlier today. My server didn’t do anything.”

Listen, person that I just made up in my head (plus the girl who cut my hair last week) – not cool. You may not have seen your server do much. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t do anything. (We could also go into how your server only makes something around $4.00 an hour, but I’m going to assume you’ve read my “What You Might Not Know About Waiting Tables (But Should)” post and have it memorized by now.)

On that note, there are other occupations where lots of work goes in that’s unseen. Actors, pay attention to this one: I’m referring to our agents. I was at a bar recently with some friends and their friends – one of which was a talent agent. I asked him about his actor pet peeves, wondering how many of these things I was already doing to my agent without realizing. Some of them were simple: Actors calling in with questions that were already answered in their email. Actors backing out of auditions for various reasons (none of which made sense). He also mentioned, without complaining, how often he submitted actors for work. Just because we’re not getting called in for auditions all the time doesn’t mean we’re not being submitted. This was an excellent point that I’ve never considered. As a server, I can totally relate. Especially since it affects my income.

So friends, with it being that time of year, let’s take into consideration all the work that’s done for us which goes unseen. Maybe we can even go out of our way to say thank you for all this. It really goes a long way.

In an attempt to overwhelm you with more good cheer, I’ll end with a great facebook status that a buddy of mine, Matt, posted earlier today:

“If the World was always as positive and polite as it is around Christmas or when an amazing person dies, it would be a much better place. Maybe we should think about these things 365 days a year, not just 40 or 50 days a year. Just a thought =)”

ImageSome peeps from my first class at Second City. Matt is the smiley guy in green. If he weren’t a Yankee fan, I’d say he’s okay.  

Oh, and if your server actually is bringing everything to your table, they have full access to your food. Be extra cautious if you’re an A-hole. Or in the words of Walter White, “Maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”

Please help me #MakeSomeonesDay

This is a VERY last minute announcement, but that’s okay because it’s a very last minute project 😉 

I’ve decided to start spreading the message of saying thank you and leaving that extra dollar for those working in the customer service and/or restaurant industry. I’m going to do this through a fun and neat activity. I have a favorite shop in Chicago where I’m a regular at. I’m going to go in, tip the employees a very generous amount, and then put Christmas cards in all of their stockings – with a gift card to Target inside. 

Check out my indiegogo page (where you’ll be greeted by a very silly video of me explaining the project). And then SHARE it with your friends! We only have seven days to make this happen. THANK YOU!