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.

Steep .jpg

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! 

Steep .jpg

Advertisements

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…

bunny.jpg

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….

bunny.jpg

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! 

If you’re uncomfortable – say something

Quick announcement!! 

I’m going to be doing my first ever Empowerment for Actors workshop! 

Location: Next Door Chicago, 659 W Diversey 

Date: Sunday December 18th, 7:30PM 

Cost: Free

Check the bottom of this post for more! 

It was day two of the RSNA conference at McCormick Place. I was working. As a live model. 

And let me tell you folks – while yours truly weighs 140 and is tall and lanky – he is a killer live model! Many a doctor have raved about how clearly Tony Rossi anatomy comes through via ultra sound.  

24176965_10100784449673919_4013996584815564427_n.jpg

Disclaimer: We all do this as willing participants. We get emails asking if we want to participate. We then get a booking email. Upon arrival, we sign a form agreeing to participate and recognizing we can withdraw at any time. So if we later decide, “Nah, I’d rather not expose my anatomy to a bunch of strangers today,” we get to do that. 

How being an ultra sound model works: You lay on a table, much like the one you would see in a visit to the doctor’s office. A doctor then performs an ultra sound on you on whichever body part is being examined that session. 

Now typically, my least favorite day of the sessions is abdomen day. In order to see our abdomen accurately, we’re asked not to eat before arriving. I. DO. NOT. LIKE. NOT. EATING. But this year, I found myself with a new session to dislike: Pelvis day. I had never done this one before. 

“Ah,” I thought. “So that’s why the email told us to make sure we were wearing boxers….” Still, I didn’t think it would be a big deal. I’m comfortable with my body, and I didn’t mind them moving the probe a little lower. 

The session began. I didn’t like it. The session continued….and I really didn’t like it. These guys were getting the probe right up there. “HEY!” I thought to myself, “I MIGHT BE SINGLE AGAIN BUT THAT AREA IS RESERVED!” 

All joking aside, I was very uncomfortable. And I didn’t know how to express this without upsetting people or compromising my paycheck for the day. Fortunately, my doctor was a very nice person with excellent bedside manners. He continued to ask me if I was okay. He reminded me that we could stop if I wanted to. I nearly did. I nearly spoke up. Inside, part of me was screaming to say, “You know, I really would actually like to stop. I’m sorry for being an inconvenience when I know this is what you’re all here to see, but I actually was mentally unprepared for this particular session. I’d feel comfortable if we stopped.” 

But each time I thought this, another voice chimed in. It had some other thoughts: 

 

Tony. These doctors flew in from around the world to get hands on experience for this. They need you to participate.

You’d be causing a major inconvenience if you asked to stop. You know you’re going to really upset them if you back out, right? 

Remember you’re getting paid for this? You need the money. And besides, you woke up at 5:30am to be here….don’t blow this. 

 

Now, had I realized what this session was going to entail before signing up, I probably would have declined. Now I know I should ask what body parts they’re scanning if I participate in the future. It was the sudden “Hey, we’re about to stick this stick really close to some intimate areas! You ready?” that caught me off guard – so much so that I didn’t have the courage to speak up. There was all this imagined pressure and it was easier to keep saying I was fine. But the truth was I felt very uncomfortable and trapped. 

Another disclaimer? Sure! ONE MORE TIME! This was a very safe space. I was in the room with respectful people. I’m grateful that I learned this lesson in such a safe space. 

I still wanted to share this story because we’re living in a time where a lot of people are coming out with stories of being physically abused in inappropriate ways. I can see how very easy it would be for someone to not speak up when caught with a sudden, “Hey, you’re cool with this, right?” when working as an actor in a play or a film. If I hadn’t had this experience, I probably would have gone along with whatever the director had asked me to do if I was thrown a curveball on set. 

I hope that everyone gains the courage to speak up. Our respect for ourselves speaks more volume than any paycheck can provide. 

Feel free to pass on if this would be helpful for another friend to hear. And if this resonates with you, I’d love it if you would leave a quick comment saying so, or to shoot me a tweet

Let’s be brave. 

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 

 

***   ***   ***

Hey acting friends….

Have you ever said the following?? ( I have…)

“I’m stressed and can’t enjoy myself. I thought this was supposed to be fun?”
“I’m getting discouraged with the amount of rejection I keep getting.”
“I want to get the part, but I feel like everyone is angry at me when I audition. I don’t want to feel like I’m not wanted.”
“Paying the bills is just draining me…”

NEXT WEEK I’ll be doing my first ever live workshop!

Some things we’ll cover….

-More empowering ways to view auditioning
-What to do when you feel like people are upset at you for being in the room (auditions, rehearsals, etc)
-Start seeing networking as something fun
-I’ll give you a “start doing” and “stop doing” list for when it comes to an acting career
-I’ll share some exercises on “how to be happy without the fluffy BS” that I came up with myself

Sunday December 18th @ 7:30pm
Next Door Chicago – 659 W Diversey

ONLY 10 SPOTS!

(Oh, and it’s free)

Email tony.rossi@gmail.com for questions or to RSVP

***   ***   ***

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! 

3 Things to Try When You Don’t Want To Be Productive

Sometimes we don’t feel like doing the “very important” things we need to do. 

And it’s okay when it happens. 

Like when it happened to me. Yesterday. 

The context: I had plans to go to a coffee shop to do some important work. I specifically picked the location because of how close it was. (And I had a free coffee coupon.) 

What happened: I didn’t make it. I was practically there, but unfortunately I arrived to find the Chicago Police Department blocking off the area before I could get closer. 

What I did from there: I went back home. 

Great story. I know. (Minus the police part. Except I still don’t know what they were protecting me from…) 

What happened next: I got home. I settled in. Made some coffee, and got to work. 

…except I didn’t work. 

In fact, I kept procrastinating. I was checking things I didn’t need to check, then getting upset at myself for not being “better and productive.” Which certainly didn’t help. 

While I tend to get a lot done in the mornings, this just wasn’t happening yesterday. Fortunately I eventually got out of my rut, but it took some time – time that I would have rather spent – well….being productive 😉 

Here are a few things I did that can also help you, should you find yourself in this situation: 

  • Forgive yourself. You’re not a terrible person for not wanting to get things done. You’re human and you’re just not feeling it. You can spend time analyzing why, or researching how to be better. Or….you can just forgive yourself and instead accept however it is that you’re feeling. 

 

0719171502.jpg

Another gem of a mantra card I got from the wonderful Dallas Travers

 

  • Give yourself permission to “do it wrong.” I was at an awesome workshop last week. We got tips on how to be a more productive entrepreneur. We were specifically told “not to work from our bed”….so guess where I worked from? (Hey. It worked.)  

 

  • Let it go. I ditched my running order of how the day was going to go. I even removed some things from my list for the day. I picked out the non negotiable and went from there. 

Do any of my entrepreneur friends out there like to switch things up? How has this worked for you in the past? Please share below – we got other readers who would love to hear 🙂 

Have a kick ass rest of your week. 

Let’s go get ‘em.

***   ***   ***   

Thanks for reading, friends. 

If you don’t know me – I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. 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…)

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

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

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. 

0403171319a

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 😉 

How to (Professionally) Put Yourself First

 

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.

 

0321171940.jpg

Note: You can also put yourself first by going to the movies for the first time in six years…though you might be surprised that the seats have gotten MUCH nicer….also, “Hidden Figures” is awesome. 

 

Go get ‘em, 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 terms.

He also loves to write first person 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 whether or not he can do some writing for you!  tony.rossi@gmail.com

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

What to do when you feel like you’re undeserving (like I did last week)

It’s funny how quickly we can talk ourselves out of something we want. 

I personally experience this a lot when it comes to what other people will think of me. 

“You want to do…what?” 

“Why do you think you deserve to to that?” 

“You do realize you’re a [insert reason here why I can’t have that thing I’m asking for because I’m too young, too behind in my career, etc], right?” 

Of course, these are all thoughts I’ve made up in my head. And yet, they still come to mind quite frequently. 

Which is why I was surprised to find myself turning my bike around to head into the Steppenwolf box office Sunday night. 

It was Opening Night for “Straight White Men.” It wasn’t on their calendar. They weren’t selling tickets. Yet there I was, dismounting my bike, and peeking through the glass to see if the box office was even open. 

They were. 

The following is a close description of what I said upon walking up to the window: 

“Hi! Okay, like, I know this is a long shot, but like….and I know you aren’t exactly selling tickets for tonight’s press opening of Straight White Men but like…do you, maybe, have anything available for tonight’s show?” 

…they didn’t. 

I exited. As I did, I recognized the playwright, Young Jean Lee, exiting the theatre. She was with two other people dressed nicely. They all looked very important – much more importantly than the guy who just asked for tickets to opening night of the show that wasn’t even being advertised. (Side note: This, of course, was my perspective given my situation.) There I was – a non union actor with a non union agent, with a laundry list of Chicago acting goals in his journal back home, who was walking behind them out of the theatre. 

Needless to say – I was not exactly feeling on top of the world. But here’s the crazy part – the box office staff responded in a manner I was NOT expecting:

“Yeah man! Sorry, I got nothing for tonight. But like, yeah! I mean…please come back and see us!” 

He almost seemed apologetic for not having anything for me. For not having any seats for the show that wasn’t even on the calendar. 

Here’s the thing, friends: We come up with all sorts of reasons in our head why we aren’t enough and why we don’t deserve our big, crazy, ridiculous goals. The goals that are literally triple the size of our checking account. And yet, sometimes we still get a kind reply – or an apologetic reply – that it’s just not our time yet – from the Universe. (Or the dude from Steppenwolf Box Office. I need to get his name.) 

Our goals do not dictate our awesomeness. We are awesome and deserving exactly where we are today. 

Oh, and wanna know the best part? 

I may or may not have crashed their after party. Here’s a recap: 

-I mingled with a few of the actors.

-I had an ever so short interaction with playwright Young Jean Lee. 

-I had an awesome chat with some of the costume team.

-I was told by one of the designers from the New York team, “You’re going to be on this stage one day.” 

Here’s the thing: These were nice, awesome and inspiring people. I’m willing to bet they’d be just as nice to any other actor in my position. And yet, it helped. It made me feel deserving. 

But let’s pretend we didn’t crash the after party and didn’t get this reassurance from people we respect and want to emulate. The words I heard that night that gave me so much confidence were something I could have chosen to feel confident about regardless. 

I want you to feel confident regardless of your situation too. 

You are awesome. You are deserving. If you have an opportunity – please take it. 

Sound good? Good. 

10289818_10100424430490249_2137058778775818663_n.jpg

Let’s go get ‘em. 

_________________________________________________________________

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.