Be you. Not your friend.

Actor friends. Stop me if you heard this one. 

You did a show. It went great. You loved your cast. The show closes. Next thing you know, someone from your cast goes on to book a bunch of awesome things….

-A role with your all time favorite theatre company

-A speaking role on a Chicago television show

-Another speaking on a non Chicago television show. 

Meanwhile, you were…

-Working in more shows, but not ones that were getting the attention or publicity as your friend’s

-Continue to work day jobs that you don’t like. 

-Later find yourself in between projects and embarrassed to answer the question, “So…what are you working on right now?” 

I’m a big fan of Marie Forleo. She spoke about comparison in a recent episode of “Marie TV” (which you can watch in full here). I’ve included some of my favorite quotes: 

“There are not limited spots on the podium.” 

“[The comparison impulse] is addictive, deadly, and will destroy your happiness if you let it.”

“People say, ‘comparison is the thief of joy.’ I’ve called it ’The hamburgler of happiness!’”  

When one person is succeeding next to us in our field, It’s very easy to get upset. But here’s the really crazy part of all this – most of the time we don’t bother to examine why that person is ahead of us. Personally I think our energies are better directed at our own goals and tasks, but let’s pretend “you can’t help it” for a minute….(For the record, I think that you “can’t help it” it’s bullshit, but I’m in a good mood and still have some coffee left, so I’ll play….)

I recently saw two different successful actor friends pop up on the internet for multiple theatre companies I want to work with. Wanna know what I discovered? They’ve been doing theatre in Chicago for a while. Like, a long while. We’re talking my list of top five favorite Chicago theatre companies when before they had hit double digits in age. Wanna know what I was doing before I was ten years old? Drawing pictures of baseball players. And watching baseball. Really anything that could make me believe that I was going to be a baseball player. 

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Sorry guys. 29 Year Old Tony is not going to be a baseball player. But he pulls off this Red Sox winter hat pretty well, in my opinion…

My friends. It is a waste of time to look outside your own lane. It’s yours. Besides, once I start booking roles with said theatre companies….is it really going to matter that I arrived at the same finish line as them just a couple of decades later? 

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In the meantime? I’m okay with being in the email newsletter for Broken Nose Theatre. They’ve been pretty cool to work with 🙂 

I think not. Who knows – maybe we’ll all do a show together. That’d be awesome. 

Let’s go get ‘em. 

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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 terms. Contact him for a free one-on-one to see if he can help you with your own mindset and happiness in life at tony.rossi@gmail.com

PS – Rumor has it that he loves when you share his content with friends and family.

What Happens When You Focus On Highlight Reels

So I have no television.

Having no television means you don’t watch a lot of the things you used to. When I get the chance, I’m a sucker for watching baseball highlights.  They show the pros at their best. The announcers are excited. There’s music playing in background.

I love ‘em. But they give us a false impression. This is especially the case if they’re focused on a particular individual.

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As if the pic isn’t great enough…it’s from a site called “Chowder and Champions.” 

On September 12th of last month, Papi launched the 500th homer of his career into the bleachers of Tropicana Field. He was the 27th player in baseball ever to do so. When he returned to Fenway Park in Boston, a pregame ceremony was held in his honor. It even included a montage of all 500 of his home runs. As a diehard fan that adores David Ortiz (with a life goal of receiving a bear hug from the guy), I can guess watching it live was pretty neat.

Here’s the thing: That reel was a highlight reel. What it didn’t show was his slump of ’09, where it took nearly two months to hit home run number one of the season. It didn’t show when he was tested positive for banned substances shortly after. And as far as I know, it didn’t show the time he got ejected and beat the crap out of the dugout phone in Tampa (ironically, the same place he hit number 500).

This isn’t to take away any of David’s incredible accomplishments. Rather, it’s to emphasize that even the best have their bad days. These typically don’t get shown.

As an actor and entrepreneur, I know all too well the frustration of seeing others succeed at the goals that I so desperately want. I see their facebook page. I see photos from their second national commercial. And oh, they work with that agent I’ve been trying to get a hold of? Of course they do.

It’s easy to get frustrated.

Know this: Frustration and jealousy is a choice. It’s not necessarily a switch we can flip that suddenly makes us happy. It’s something we can gradually incorporate into our routine over time. (Message me. I know some tips 😉 )

Even the best have their bad days. Comparing ourselves to their highlight reel is a waste of time and energy. It leads to disappointment and focusing on what we don’t have. Look at what you’ve already accomplished on your own, unique, and individual path to success.

So…what are you going to do to make today amazing?

#gogetem

Jealous Of Successful People? Try This Instead

I’ve been chatting a lot with people regarding the topic of jealousy and comparing ourselves to others. It’s an easy trap to fall into. Your friend gets a speaking role on Chicago Fire. You’re still struggling to find representation. Clearly they’re doing something right and you’re not……right?

WRONG!

I’m going to ask you to put aside your thoughts that you “absolutely know to be true,” as well as your pride, just for the next few minutes. If you’re always getting jealous and comparing yourself to others, this could be a game changer.

Stop the comparison

Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. I’m not talking about age. I’m talking about your specific beginning to whatever path you’re on. It’s your path. Just because someone reaches their goals before you is irrelevant. Stop paying attention to them. Start paying attention to you.

Stop focusing on the negative areas

A habit I’ve noticed that jealous people have is that they’re putting their energies into the wrong places. When they could be focusing on what they could do better at their next audition, they’re focusing on how unfair it is that someone else got the part they wanted. Not only does this lead to a bunch of negativity, but it’s a waste of energy. Literally, it’s exhausting. You need that energy so you can reach your own goals. Don’t worry about theirs.

Next, avoid the mindset of “they got the part because they’re better than me.” If you are an actor, start reading Backstage articles. Get involved with Dallas Travers and Courtney Rioux. You’ll very quickly learn that there’s a million and ten reasons why you didn’t get cast – and it usually has nothing to do with you.

But that’s a topic for a future post.

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Start focusing on bettering yourself

I want you to try incorporating a new mindset: Your friend isn’t better than you. Usually they’re just merely having their “Aha!” moments at a quicker pace.

What’s an “Aha!” moment? It’s the moment where something just clicks in your head and you literally say “Aha! I never thought of it that way!” Having these moments can lead to overcoming obstacles and significantly less fear when chasing your goals.

For example, your friend on Chicago Fire may have had an “Aha!” that they learned in class. Maybe it was regarding something they were doing wrong in the audition room. Because they put themselves in an environment where they can better themselves (a classroom), they were able to move past this obstacle.

Actor or not, start reading personal development books and articles (Leave a comment below and I’ll message you some). Surround yourself with positive and inspiring people (I have another list for that). Avoid anyone and anything that will lead to jealousy or negative thinking.

No negativity

“Tony. This is amazing. I need more. What’s next?”

Here’s the thing: While I have resources, I’m not a teacher. I’m not a motivational speaker. I’m a guy with a blog on a free platform. Maybe someday I’ll conclude my posts with “For $200, I will be your mentor!” For today, you need to start elsewhere. You’ll need to consistently incorporate these positive traits in order for them to become a habit. Once they become a habit, they’ll be ingrained in your head.

And then….you’ll be awesome.

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Find ways to incorporate this mindset on a regular basis. Start small. Then go bigger as you get more comfortable. But start today.

Still not sure where to begin? Comment below. I’m here to help. And won’t even charge you $200 (but will totally accept if you’re offering).