Some Thoughts on Body Image.

I’m a skinny male…and I’m uncomfortable with my body right now.

First off – is it even acceptable for a man to be talking about body image? What about all the women who have it worse trying to fit into the mold that society tries to put us in? And if it IS okay for a man to be talking about this – what do we do when all we can focus on are the things we DON’T like about ourselves??


In episode #17, of the Tony Rossi Show podcast, we talk about the following….

-What do we do when we have a problem that we’re uncomfortable sharing because we know others have it worse than us?

-How are we supposed to focus on the positives when there’s so many negatives about ourselves we don’t like?

-And why the hell did you post an image of your belt loop with the #notperfect hashtag on your instagram earlier this week?!

We’ll get into it all. I promise.

Click here for the full episode! The Tony Rossi Show is about learning how to manage the inevitable challenges that life throws at us, and to better recognize that we’re all enough – regardless of where we are in life and career.

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

***   ***   ***

Newest episode (#17) of the Tony Rossi Show podcast is UP! 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

Advertisements

My favorite advice I learned from Heather…

“You don’t have to validate your passion.” –Heather Hiatt 

Heather is a working actor and Gallup certified CliftonStrengths coach. She’s also the founder of The Magnetic Actor Method which teaches actors to believe in themselves again, stop overthinking and nail it on the first take.

She and I got a chance to talk on the Tony Rossi Show podcast and I learned a lot about Heather and how she thinks. Some favorite themes included…

-How actors can start believing in themselves again

-Why you SHOULD tell everyone you’re an actor when you’re asked “So what do you do?”

-And my favorite: We don’t have to validate our passions. 

Check out the full episode here. And to view more episodes on the Tony Rossi Show, check it out on iTunes!

You can learn more about Heather on her actor website, Magnetic Actor website, or follow her on instagram!

***   ***   ***

Newest episode (#16) of the Tony Rossi Show podcast is UP! 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

How to get off lonely island

This week was really challenging.

This month has been challenging.

In the beginning of his new book, “How to make disease disappear,” by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, he talks about how most illnesses aren’t just an “all of a sudden” thing. Rather, they’re a cumulation of things – there was just one “tipping point.”

Well I experienced this first hand with my mental health this week.

In this week’s episode of The Tony Rossi Show, I go into details about a lot of personal events that have been challenging for me recently.

Click here to check it out on iTunes, or here for the RSS feed…if it you don’t have iTunes 😉

I hope this help you with whatever challenge you might be going through. And remember – you’re enough exactly where you are. Regardless of your challenges.

Let’s go get ’em, friend.

***   ***   ***

Newest episode (#15) of the Tony Rossi Show podcast is UP! 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

Why you keep “failing” (and what to do about it)

Does anyone else have trouble sleeping?

Iused to have a REALLY hard time sleeping….and while I wanted to blame my body, that “I’m just born this way,” and a bunch of other factors – there was one big piece missing as to why I wasn’t sleeping well: I wasn’t educated on sleep.

“What? Educated? On sleep? What do you need to know besides turning your devices off an hour before bed?” Turns out there was a lot….

Some of you know that I do Facebook and Instagram live videos every week, which I call #SundayVideo. In this week’s #SundayVideo, I share more on what exactly I learned, and how that relates the challenges we face in our own lives: We often get frustrated without ever having to learn WHY we’re so frustrated. We fall into the “I’m just born this way” myth… Sorry. But it’s bullshit.

I hope you got value this week. And if I can help – message me or shoot me an email 🙂 tony.rossi@gmail.com

Remember – you’re enough exactly where you are today. Especially if you’re #notperfect. (Like me.) Go get ‘em, friend.

Click here watch! (9 minutes) 

 

***   ***   ***

Newest episode (#14) of the Tony Rossi Show podcast is UP! 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

That Awkward Moment You Have To Spend Lots Of Money…

I’ve had two scenarios over the past year where one of my electronic devices crapped the bed (like, where did that phrase even come from?) Both times it cost me a lot of money. Both times….I lived regardless.

Scenario #1: My phone stopped working. 

It was the day after my girlfriend and I broke up. (As if things weren’t bad enough.) My phone suddenly wouldn’t stay on for more than a few second before flickering off. So I brought it to Verizon and learned some bad news: I needed a new phone. Like, yesterday.

That was the bad news. Here was the good news: I now had an excuse to get an iphone. I love it. It’s far better than any phone I had before. I also got a free bluetooth speaker and started listening to self help books and podcasts while I biked. (And I bike a lot.) 

So a bunch of good things came from this really, really inconvenient situation.

As for the money? I put it on a credit card. Yes I’m still paying it off. But fast forward eight months and I’m so much closer to paying it off, thanks to free financial coaching at Next Door Chicago.

 

Scenario #2: I spilled water on my laptop. 

Friends…don’t do this. It’s a very, very expensive spill.

I went without a laptop for a bit. And I live on my laptop.

What I did instead? I used my phone and tablet. Not perfect, but it got the job done. OH, and I got it back IN TWO DAYS. It was expensive, but it was back as good as new in just two days….also, I didn’t lose any of my information. #win

And the money? It came out of my savings. Because I’m trying this thing where I don’t put more money on my credit card. (We’ll see how it goes…)

 

Here’s the point: There’s going to be situations where we lose something valuable or have to spend a lot of money. Or both. (Ugh.) And you’re going to be okay. You’re not dead. You’ll adjust and still move on. Parts of it will suck. But you’ll still be awesome.

Don’t let external events define you. You’re #notperfect. But you’re #stillenough.

Go get ’em, friend.

IMG_1658.JPG

Some cool Chicagoans decided to make a sign saying LOVE for everyone commuting on Lake Shore Drive recently! 

***   ***   ***

Have you checked out the Tony Rossi Show podcast yet? (I heard it’s good…) 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

Oh – and I’m now on iTunes! #TonyRossiShow

How to (Professionally) Put Yourself First

Last year, I had two experiences the really changed the way I view things:

Experience #1:

It was a shit day. And it was only 10:06 am.

My internet bill was unusually high. I had two emails informing me of projects I participated in that needed fixing. An employer was asking me to come in early. Oh, and then my bike got a flat….I wasn’t exactly feeling “authentically positive,” like I strive to be.

I got another call from the employer. They were requesting a new time change for the day.

“Oh sure! No problem.”

This wasn’t the answer I wanted to give. I don’t like changing my schedule. But I wanted this job. And I needed the money. After realizing the other things I needed to get done that day (not to mention a new thing where I had to fix my bike,) I realized this wasn’t going to work. I called back the employer, requested an alternative time, and worked out a compromise.

Experience #2

Different day.

I got a text before bed from a different employer. It said my weekend shifts had been reassigned and that I would now be working in the suburbs. Since I don’t have a car, I typically avoid these shifts. I replied back, respectfully declining the assignment. They answered with an offer to reimburse me for travel. I started to realize that not only was this a longer shift (aka – more money) but it could score me brownie points with the company.

I almost took it. But again, I remembered other responsibilities I had that day. I respectfully declined again….they offered me back my original shifts.

Putting yourself first

It’s easy to think we have to do what others want. I find this goes double when we’re younger and “working our way up” to some of our goals (particularly financial ones). We don’t want to upset or offend. We really don’t want to lose potential income. But in both these experiences, I realized that I could make double the amount of money I was currently making, but still go to bed stressed out with things like scheduling and less time on goals and personal projects.

I needed to take charge. Even if it meant earning less.

When you find yourself wanting to put yourself first – that’s okay. Remember to a) be professional, and b) be upfront with your communication. And c), realize that as you do this, you’re exercising a form of self care that will allow you to better serve others.

Go get ’em, friend.

IMG_1668.jpg

Lake Michigan – my other form of self care #nofilter 

***   ***   ***

Have you checked out the Tony Rossi Show podcast yet? (I heard it’s good…) 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

Oh – and I’m now on iTunes! #TonyRossiShow

Why there’s nothing wrong with you (even though you think there is)

I recently had a class with Robyn Coffin.

Robyn is a Chicago actress best known for playing Cindy Herrmann on Chicago Fire. She’s a teacher at Vagabond School of the Arts and just an all around delightful human being.

And perhaps most important of all, she’s also had the honor of being the first ever guest on the Tony Rossi Show Podcast. (It’s like, a really big deal…)

32072646_10100866005784819_13346842800553984_n.jpg 

Last week in class, Robyn shared a powerful lesson on how we all learn lines differently – some are auditory learners. Some are visual. And some need to be sitting in their favorite chair with a glass of wine, while visualizing the day that, they too, are an honored guest on the Tony Rossi show. (She’d didn’t flat out share this last point, but it was pretty obvious through the tone of her voice…..)

We also discussed how different things may be challenging to us due to our nature. For example, she shared how hard math was for her because she was a lefty!

What this really highlighted for me was how we’re all different and we each have different learning styles….

And yet – how often do we try to “fit in” by assuming that there’s a one size fit all approach??

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach” – Robyn Coffin. (Who said this in class and I wrote it down but she might have said it differently so don’t please don’t anyone sue me….)

I tried fitting in a lot in high school….and quickly realized it wasn’t working. I was a skinny male, loved musical theatre, never had a serious girlfriend, and didn’t look like any of the popular kids….so naturally I just put two and two together and realized I might be gay…..

…even though I was never attracted to men.

One of my favorite things about being involved as a member of the Chicago acting community is that I get to hear the perspective of my peers. They too have their struggles. They too feel like they’re “not enough” at times. They too wonder, “Is this acting thing ever gonna work out?”

Guys. We are enough. And we’re enough regardless of whether or not we’re “like” anyone else.

As Darren Hardy recently said on one of his darrendaily’s – if something is popular, there’s a good chance it’s not worth pursuing.

So relax and ENJOY that you’re different. It’s okay to have your own style. And realize that there’s others just like you who are going to love you for being your unique, awkward, and #notperfect self.

Let’s go get ‘em, friends.

***   ***   ***

Hey! Did you check out the Tony Rossi Show podcast yet? 

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 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

Oh – and I’m now on iTunes! #TonyRossiShow

Consider This When You Don’t Get the Part

What’s up my friends?! This post was originally written for and published on Backstage.com

There are two factors that always help remind me that I am enough, regardless of what my resume says:

  1. When I practice self-care, a non-negotiable in my book.
  2. When I get hugs and encouragement from friends booking the jobs I wanted to book.

This happened recently while on a three-day shoot. I was an extra. My talented friends, on the other hand, were principles.

One of these friends was named Andrew, who I had met a year prior during my stint as an intern at a casting office. I specifically remember Andrew because he walked into the casting office and crushed his audition. And he nailed the callback. All signs pointed to him booking the role. Spoiler alert: He didn’t book it.

Between takes, Andrew and I got a chance to catch up. We discussed the audition where we met and he even inquired as to who had booked the part. I didn’t know, but I was able to tell him that they ended up casting someone who wasn’t even at callbacks that day.

After Andrew’s callback, the decision makers on the project chose to make Andrew’s character a little bit older. As a result, Andrew was out of the running. They held a third round of callbacks and made a new choice. Of course, poor Andrew was left in the dark about all of this.

I don’t know about you guys, but when I book the room but not the part, my negative chatter (I call mine Fred) can get a little aggressive.

“You totally didn’t say the lines right.” 

“You should have worn something different.”

“You didn’t actually do as well as you think you did. In fact, you should probably call your old boss because you’re clearly meant to be a waiter the rest of your life.”

The thing is, you probably did book the part. You probably did a great read with the lines. But in this business, there are often factors that are out of our control. There certainly are things you can control that do warrant some focus and self-talk, but let’s also recognize and accept the plethora of other factors we need to let go of.

To all the Andrews out there who are talented, funny, and charming as hell on set, keep it up. You’re doing great. There are people who realize it, even if they can’t give you the part right now. It’s only a matter of time until it’s your turn. When it is your turn, let me know on Twitter so I can give you a shoutout!

Let’s go get ‘em, friends.

me and andrew.jpg

And when all else fails – take a break and unplug from the biz and see a Cubs game! (That’s Andrew on the left) 

 

***   ***   ***

Hey! Did you check out the Tony Rossi Show podcast yet? 

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 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

Oh – and I’m now on iTunes! #TonyRossiShow

GUEST POST: Heather Hiatt

Today’s read is a Guest post by Heather Hiatt.

I connected with Heather recently and have been LOVING her blogs. She’s unapologetically herself, shares personal stories, and leaves the reader with a feeling of, “Oh wow. I feel so much better now!”

So why WOULDN’T I ask Heather to write a post for TonyinChicago? 

If you’re an artist and have fear around your craft – the auditions, the scary action steps you could be taking, etc – this post is for you.

 

Chasing Fear

By Heather Hiatt 

When I was younger I was a bit of a  daredevil. I don’t know if it was actually me, or if it was just that the Oahu terrain practically required it.

There were countless deep mountain pools and waterfall cliffs to be jumped from. Lots of skinny-ridged hikes with plateaus in the clouds, and dark caves and deep jungles begging to be explored.  

And if I’m being really honest, my most harrowing cliff jump happened only because my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend jumped first.  

I was not going to be outdone. 😬 #competitive

One time, a group of us climbed through a small hole in the Ko’olau mountain range into a working tunnel that transports water from one part of the island to another.  Once inside, we blew up rafts, donned headlamps, grabbed the feet of the person ahead of us and let the water carry us…somewhere.

We were in complete darkness…. floating THROUGH A MOUNTAIN.

At some point, our “leader” found our exit point (how??), and, one by one, we deflated our rafts and shimmied out of the mountain and back onto the trail that would eventually take us to our cars.   

Still gives me nightmares when I think about what could have happened.  

Here’s the really incredible thing.

You’re doing something scary too.  Every day. You’re chasing an acting career that most people only dream about.

So, sure it’s scary, in the sense that you don’t know the outcome,  but doesn’t that make it kind of exciting, too?

You’re inside of a mountain and don’t really know how you’re going to get out.

You’re leaping off the biggest cliff of all and you don’t know where the bottom is.  

You’re doing it because your dream is worth it, and anything can happen.

Anything can happen!

Isn’t that thrilling?

And what about that insidious fear in the audition room?

Yes, it’s nerves, but it’s really just your body telling you you’re excited.  And reminding you how much this career means to you.

Let me ask you this.

Do you go to scary movies?  If so, why do you go?

I think it’s because scary movies are intense and exciting, right? After the movie you’re downloading with friends a mile a minute, your heart is racing, and you feel giddy, relieved and still, a tiny bit freaked out that *that* just happened.

Kinda like how you feel after a great audition, right?  

We actually thrive on the adrenaline rush of fear!

It’s why we played with the Ouija board then,  and why we’re obsessed with Stranger Things now.

So, I have an idea.

What if you treated your whole career–  and more specifically the audition process– like you were going to a scary movie?  

Why are you not chasing your fear even more?

Don’t face your fears. CHASE your fears.  

Force yourself to be scared. Do what feels uncomfortable.  

The actions you take to chase them will result in a more spine-tingling journey with bigger and more thrilling results.

You don’t need to jump off a cliff or go see a scary movie to feel afraid.  Being an actor is like living on the edge 24/7!

Here’s an action item for you: Get even closer to the edge.

Is there a scary phone call to a casting director, producer or director you’ve been wanting to make?

Is there a marketing postcard you want to send out but you don’t want to seem pushy?

Is there a short film you want to produce but you don’t have the guts to ask for help?

Is there an actor you want to collaborate with, even if it’s just for a self-tape?

Here’s your invitation to do it.

Pick something that feels scary.  Then pretend you’re about to watch that horror flick and chase the hell out of that fear the same way you’re chasing the hell out of your dreams.

Your quick-breath, flushed cheeks, and fast-beating heart will let you know you’re alive.

And that you survived.  

Chase.  Not Face.

1…2…3.. GO!

Heather Hiatt is a working actor and founder of The Magnetic Actor Method which teaches actors to believe in themselves again, stop overthinking and nail it on the first take. Get started with her FREE Magnetic Actor’s X-Factor: Audition Guide.

***   ***   ***

Check out the new Tony Rossi Show podcast!

 

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 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

Oh – and I’m now on iTunes! #TonyRossiShow

The Journey To Happiness (A Chicago Edition)

A year ago, I wrote down some words that had summed up a lot of my journey so far. I learned an important lesson that’s still relevant today….

The search

When I first got to Chicago, I wanted a job. Any job. I had moved to pursue acting, but I couldn’t be an actor without money. So I applied anywhere and everywhere.

My first gig was at a toy store. I made $8.50 an hour. The staff and customers were kind, but the job didn’t excite me. Between the pay and my desire to do a bit more exciting work, I needed a change.

I got an office job. I was a receptionist. (I know. Not very exciting.) I made $9.00 an hour and worked 40 hours a week. With a few exceptions, both the staff and the clients here were not too kind and caring….I very much needed a change.

I worked as a tour guide…and needed more consistent hours.

I got a full-time office job with benefits….and needed more flexible hours.

I worked as a waiter….and needed to find my sanity after every shift.

I was making progress. But there always was something more.

The lesson

While this journey looks a bit frustrating, there was actually an interesting theme going on: With each new job came a new need. The new need helped me get me closer towards discovering a job that would make it easier to act. But I didn’t know the new need existed until after starting the new job. While painful at times, I was stretching and growing. I was discovering more about myself.

After stretching a bit more (while experiencing a plethora of discomfort), I found there were three needs that were non negotiable for me:

         1. I needed a job that paid me enough. If I couldn’t pay my bills, I couldn’t act.
2. I needed a job that gave me a flexible schedule. If I didn’t have the time – I really couldn’t act.
3. I needed a job that kept me sane. If I wasn’t happy – I really, really couldn’t act.

When I first arrived to Chicago, I didn’t realize I needed all three things. In fact, I’ve encountered other actors who can get by with just one or two of these. And some of them have other needs they want filled based on their situation. (For example: Some of them just need money and security because they have a family to provide for.) These needs were unique to me. While I still don’t like to admit it, I needed to go through the discomfort in order to better discover them.

The journey

Discovering your own unique needs is a rewarding experience. It also allows you to see each opportunity as a necessary step. This is a much better outlook than considering yourself a failure because it didn’t give you what you ultimately wanted in the moment. Start becoming aware of your own needs and find ways to enjoy the journey….I promise, it’s a lot more fun this way.

6906_10100427679798609_3605973547668276506_n.jpg

I had some smiles that day at work….

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

This post was originally written for parlepost.com

***   ***   ***

Check out the Tony Rossi Show podcast!

This week we had a special interview with Chicago artist Robyn Coffin! 

***   ***   ***

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 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

Oh – and I’m now on iTunes! #TonyRossiShow