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! 

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What Harry Potter Taught Me About Myself

I used to think I was going to be a Harry Potter when I grew up.

I was eleven. I was a skinny guy with glasses. It wouldn’t be long before they would announce that the Harry Potter series would be turned into a movie series. As someone who was eager to fit in with the popular kids and maybe get some female attention for a change, I made the decision: I was going to be cast as Harry Potter. 

Note: I had zero acting experience. I am not British. Don’t bother asking me how I planned on getting an audition. (Without a passport.) 

Many of us go through phases as we grow older. Our passions, goals, and hobbies change. Which makes those one or two (or five) things that we continuously love even more special. 

I have always loved baseball. My passion for baseball never left. And it was because of my passion for baseball that I found myself hanging out with the techies within the theatre department during my sophomore year. Previously I had always been hanging out with the actors. Since learning about how much they loved baseball, I realized that they shared the same passion for the game as I did. We hung out, watched games, drank beer, and caught Red Sox games together. I had found my crowd. 

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2008 Playoffs. The Red Sox were down. Unfortunately those rally caps didn’t work. 

Today, I live in Chicago. There’s no shortage of Cub fan stories that you can find. Some of which will probably move you to tears. Which is why I believe that baseball is truly a special game. And is much more than just a game, regardless of your team affiliation. 

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I encourage everyone living in Chicago and surrounding areas to take a closer look at those around you during the month of April. Are your friends smiling more? Are your coworkers approaching their (non baseball) work with an extra zing? I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s baseball season. It’s a special time of year. 

Finding those things we’re passionate about makes life a whole lot more fun. 

Don’t downplay those passions, friends. You’re robbing others of your joy. 

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! 

The myth about money

Let’s role play for a minute, shall we? 

So you just got a job. A good one. Like, really good. Hell, this job is SO good that you have a killer salary for a killer company. And best of all? It’s well known! Your company is frequently in the news and YOU, my friend, are often in the spotlight. You get kudos from high school friends you haven’t heard from in years. Hell, they don’t understand the hard work you do day after day, but who cares? You’re living the dream! 

Oh, but here’s the catch – because this company is frequently in the news, your job performance shows up in the headlines. Like, a lot. I know, it’s not fair because the rest of your friends with jobs don’t get news stories written about them on both good and bad days. But hey – this is part of the job, right? 

So you have a bad day. That makes the head lines. All of a sudden you’re under fire. It doesn’t matter the fact that you had one of those nights you couldn’t sleep the night before. And no one really gives a shit that you went through a break up. All they see is that you didn’t do your best. And boyyy are they letting you hear about it! 

Also – don’t bother trying to defend yourself via social media. This just opens you up to criticism. Yup. Criticism from people who will never relate to you because all they see are the headlines. They don’t see the lifestyle that surrounds it. 

Of course, this is YOU we’re talking about. And this is just a pretend fantasy, yeah? So why don’t we go ahead and both cut you some slack. We KNOW you’re a good person. You’re just a good person who is human. You make mistakes, but we know you’ll bounce back. 

…..did ya get all that? 

Good. So now let’s cut these guys some slack:

Your favorite baseball team that got eliminated from the playoffs 

-The well known athlete on your favorite team who keeps getting injured and “isn’t worth that salary.” 

-The goalie who got pulled in the 2nd period because he gave up five goals. 

-The athlete who made a butt load of money after being traded to your city but has yet to produce anything. 

 

Because let’s be honest: You and I aren’t living their life style. You and I haven’t lived a day in their shoes. You and I are different than they are. You and I have different joys and sorrows in life that trigger us in different ways.

And please, don’t buy into the myth that making an obnoxious salary means you’re allowed to be criticized. It’s bullshit and it’s hurting you to believe it.

Let’s be kind and send love to those we really want to be succeeding in the first place

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! 

Dear Actors…..

Hi. It’s Tony.

You might know me, you might not. (Either way it’s cool.)

I just wanted to share some thoughts with you as a 29 year old actor, still working day jobs, and very much looking forward to…not working day jobs. I’m not where I want to be yet. And I have my share of “Am I doing this right?” days. That said – I know I’m exactly where I need to be and exactly on the right track.

Three years ago, I started reading personal development books. “Tony… I’ve never heard of personal development.” Here’s the Tony-version: Personal development involves books, materials, and other types of formal/informal training that either give you a better understanding of yourself or of others. You’ll learn about these things in a positive and productive way. With consistent application, you become more realistic about your goals while remaining optimistic about the obstacles. 

Personal development has changed my life in a lot of ways. But if I had to sum it up in one word, it’d be this one: confidence. I feel better about myself. I feel better about how I look. I feel unstoppable when it comes to my goals. It’s pretty bad ass. And because of personal development, I’ve found I bring a better “Tony 2.0” to my acting career. I’m unapologetic for who I am as a person, so I’m unapologetic when I audition. I’m more confident when presenting myself. And if I mess up in class – eh. It makes me more human. Not a bad thing at all. 

This wonderful thing I found isn’t something everyone knows about. I see a lot of people who could be crushing it in their field, if only they had more confidence. But fear not, friends. I got good news: Personal development can be learned by anyone. In fact, you’re hearing this from a guy who use to loathe reading. (Unless the title started with “Harry Potter and….”) 

So if you’re not a reader, not into personal development, and haven’t yet gained that confidence that you year for, I’ll share a little secret with you that I picked up. This is just for you. And it’s this – You are awesome. 

Seriously. You’re a badass. Think about it: You’re purusing an acting career. You’re here for a reason. And unless you find yourself hating the stage, hating the camera, or dreading the thought of your friends and family all crowding on the couch to watch your debut on Chicago Fire, please know you’re doing the right thing and you’re on the right path. (Especially if you think you’re, like, way behind from where you should be.)

So do yourself a favor – realize right now – yes, RIGHT NOW – that you’re a badass and don’t need to apologize for any “imperfections” that may or may not exist. You’re not doing the class a disservice by bringing your weird interpretation to the role. You’re not bothering the casting associates who are sitting in for your general call. If they are bothered, it’s because they need a career change – not you. So take charge. Acknowledge your inner awesomeness. You. Fucking. Deserve it. 

It’s time you acknowledged it. Actually, you should have started this yesterday, but I’ll cut you some slack. So please. There’s a lot of people out there waiting for you to show up, be you, and even pay you for doing what you love. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

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PS – If you’re a Salem State University student, please hear these words…but also realize you’re on the right track. After sitting in and chatting with you guys this past week, I’ve found that you guys are well aware of just how fucking awesome you are. Kudos, my friends.

***   ***   ***

Tony is a theatre and film actor living in Chicago, just up the street from Wrigley Field 🙂 He loves helping others to become the happiest version of themselves so that they can live more fun, fulfilled lives on their own terms.

He also loves to write blogs on how to do this. 

Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life, or to inquire if he can do some writing for you!  You can reach him attony.rossi@gmail.com

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you hit that “share” button for friends and family to see 😉 

Strugging? Have a setback? So were these 5 MLB All Stars…

Whether you’re a fan of baseball or looking to become an All Star in your own field, this one is for you.

Being a die hard fan myself, I often think about how wonderful it must be to be an athlete. Sure, there’s a hectic travel schedule and you’re under a big media spotlight. But how cool is it that you get to work every day doing what you love?

Last month I watched the 2016 All Star Game played in San Diego. (From my studio apartment. In Chicago.) I couldn’t help but notice there were a few athletes playing who weren’t exactly living an all star life in their recent past.

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Jackie Bradley, Jr: This season he’s been on fire for the Red Sox. The guy is a becoming a fan favorite in the Boston area after his impressive 29 game hit streak. I’m sure many fans aren’t thinking about how only a year ago he was struggling at the plate and endured multiple visits down to the Paw Sox – a Red Sox AAA team. I even doubted whether or not he’d be in Boston in 2016.

Will Meyers: This man got a standing-O practically every time he was featured in the All Star game. He was representing the Padres in their own ball park, much to the delight of the fans. Speaking of fans, anyone remember the time he got heckled relentlessly by Red Sox fans during the 2013 playoffs after a fielding blunder?

Wilson Ramos: This year the 29 year old represented the Washington Nationals for the National League. However, he endured a devastating struggle five years ago: Just after his rookie season, Ramos was kidnapped from his home in a hostage situation in Venezuela. Many were more concerned about his life – not the fact that he might never play baseball again.

Steven Wright: The knuckleballer for the Red Sox humbly accepted his first All Star nomination this year. After listening to him in a post game interview, fans got a chance to hear how he nearly quit baseball five years ago. Had it not been for the support of his wife, he probably would have. (Men, take note.)

[Source: The wonderful journal of Tony Rossi….but notes were from post game show on WEEI ;)]

David Ortiz: What’s not to love about David Ortiz? We’d be here all day if we were listing his accomplishments for the Boston Red Sox. All loyal Sox fans are familiar with his triumphs. But what about his struggles? Having just listened to a podcast, it was revealed that he broke down in tears after being released from the Minnesota Twins. He wasn’t sure he’d play baseball ever again.

[Source: Boston Red Sox Podcast – “A History’s Perspective.” Guest: Adrian Burgos]

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I miss the guy already. Caught him at Fenway earlier this season! 

Anytime there’s an abundance of evidence showing failure and setbacks, I tend to focus on more of them. I often see them in my acting career as well as my journey as a fitness and mindset coach. What I can’t see in those moments? The future. When we can’t picture an awesome future, it’s hard to get through the struggle

I love these stories. They share how a #notperfect chapter doesn’t dictate our final conclusion.

Go after that conclusion. The struggle isn’t all there is.

Go get ’em.

The problem with a “crazy, awesome” life

I used to be a big fan of the phrase “crazy awesome life.”

Lots of money in the bank. Taking frequent vacations. Doing work that doesn’t feel like work. And best of all, time to spend with those who matter most to us.

I think the bullet points are all important pieces to the puzzle we should aim to put together for ourselves. With that, I’m rethinking the phrase. There are plenty of people I know who would like a better life, but don’t necessarily want to put in the time or effort to create it. Instead they “settle” for what they have. And god do I hate that word….

How then do we share with others why it’s worth it to put in the extra work?

Recently I watched a video from Marie Folio. If you’re an entrepreneur, this channel is for you. Her tips are incredibly insightful. Her delivery is kind, quirky, and unapologetically herself – something I love to see in others!

This video was  on “How to Overcome A Devastating Setback.” In the video, Dr. Cathy Collautt uses a phrase multiple times that jumped right out at me: “In order to live a life worth living….”

A life worth living.

A crazy and fun life is more than just fun. It’s necessary. That means we have to put in the work. We have to go through setbacks. We have to spend time paying our dues now so that we can reap the benefits later.

There’s another story I’ll share from Jim Rohn’s “The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle.”

A master gathers his servants and gives each a number of talents (wages). He tells the servants to look after them carefully. Two of the servants went out, traded, and doubled their talents. The third, being more cautious, decided to bury his. When the master later asks how they fared with their talents, the third servant must confess his actions. The story concludes with the master taking away his talent and giving it to one of the other servants. (Another lesson entirely – we’ll save that for a future post.)

We can take all our money and hide it so we never go broke. We can lock ourselves in our homes and avoid other people so we never get sick or expose ourselves to danger. We could stay single the rest of our lives so we don’t experience a broken heart.

….none of that to me sounds very fun. Certainly not a “life worth living” in my book. There are even studies showing that companionship and love leads to a longer life!

I say it’s more than just “nice” to live a crazy, awesome life. It’s necessary. I’m going for it.

There's no way

Wanna join me?

Let’s go get ‘em, my friends.

Do work that you love (and don’t play the lottery)

I’ll be honest – I hate the lottery.

For starters, it implies that there’s an easy way out. It implies that life is going to suck unless we’re that one in a million person who had things “just work out.” I’ll stop here. It’s making me upset…I don’t like being upset.

Second, it implies that once we reach a certain point in our lives, then we’ll be happy.

I call bullshit on both these points. Especially the second one. Let’s talk about that.

I moved to Chicago to be an actor. These days I spend more time at my promotional job and working from home coaching others with their health goals. I don’t neglect acting, but I certainly spend more time in the other two areas. Once I have more time for acting (and trust me, that’s coming), I’ll definitely be happier. However, time is not the only indicator on whether or not acting makes me happy.

If you’re a member of the Thriving Artist Circle, you know that Dallas Travers does one-on-one coaching calls each month. More recently, she and Roz Coleman were coaching actors on their goals – and it wasn’t at all what I was used to. I was used to the “do what you need to do to be a fulltime actor.” With this call, it emphasized being an actor and doing the type of work that you truly and honestly love to do.

*Record screech* Wait, wait? I thought being a fulltime actor was the answer?

Being a fulltime actor would be fun because it would mean less time working JOBs and working on what we’re truly good at. Now let’s fast forward to that magical day where acting pays all the bills: What is it about acting that excites you?

-Is it sharing a message to others that they wouldn’t have otherwise learned through your work?

-Is it telling stories in a specific way?

-Is it the process of dissecting a script and getting to know your character?

Because of it’s any of those , I got some follow up questions for ya:

-Will doing industrials for corporate companies help with this?

-Will doing film work – where I have little to no rehearsal time – help satisfy my passion for character work?

-Is that one liner role on Chicago Fire going to satisfy my need for dissecting a script?

This isn’t to say that the answer will be no. In fact, my dream job is to be a full time theatre actor.  Yet all three of those examples are jobs that I would gladly take.

Tony stops writing for a moment to see if he had any missed calls/emails about said work.

…Sorry. Anyway, the point is to focus on what you do want and how you do want to feel. I recommend focusing on those things now, prior to that magical day where you have financial freedom and can do whatever you want.

If you watched my facebook video earlier this week, you say that it breaks my heart seeing people working jobs they hate. Life is too short. Go after what you love. And be sure it is, in fact, what you love.

Speaking of which…love you guys. Thanks for reading.

Go get ‘em.

Have a friend who would like this? I’m always grateful for shares or shout outs on social media. The more people we can reach sharing messages of positivity and support, the better =)