You don’t suck

Post originally written for parlepost.com

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Quote: Jen Sincero

Ever have someone hate you?

I once was tweeting with a director. (Yes. Tweeting with a director. It’s a thing.)

I had auditioned for him previously. He suggested we meet up for coffee. “Yes please!” Unfortunately it never happened. I stopped hearing from him. I attempted to connect with him on Facebook, but he never accepted. This did wonders for my self esteem.

Click here to read full post! 

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Tony. Why do I have to click links?” 

I’m a contributing writer to parlepost.com. In the hopes that I can stay on the team, I’ve asked readers to check out my content on their page.

“So like, is this content any different?” 

Nope! Still me talking in my own voice about taking control and being a happier person.

“Does this mean you’re done posting original content here?” 

Nope! But I’ll be linking the post that are up.

“Okay fine. I kind of like your content regardless. Are you, like, available for hire?”

You bet. Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com to discuss what you’re looking for and we’ll see if I’m a good fit!

Avoid the Norm: Find Your Own Inner Joy

Post originally written for parlepost.com 

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It was 12:48am.

I placed my tortilla chips, mozzarella cheese, and two PBRs (Tall Boys. Obviously) on the counter. I’m sure I was quite the sight.

Living a healthy lifestyle is something I take pride in. But I like a break from routine every now and then. Earlier that night, I also treated myself to a low key evening with friends. It involved draft beer and bar pizza. These were the perfect ingredients for a “Tony night off” – good company, good food, and a break from the usual.

As midnight rolled around, I was surprised to find myself more excited than I had been all night as I ventured toward the twenty-four hour Jewel Osco.

…right?

Why was this happening?
Was there something wrong with me?
Am I just not a normal social person like the rest of my friends?  

Click to read full post!

***   ***

“Tony. Why do I have to click links now?” 

So glad you asked. I’m a contributing writer to parlepost.com. In the hopes that I can stay on the team, I’ve asked readers to check out my content on their page.

“So like, is this content any different?” 

Nope! Still me talking in my own voice about taking control and being a happier person.

“Does this mean you’re done posting original content here?” 

Nope! But for now, I’m linking the post that are up.

“Okay fine. I kind of like your content regardless…so…are you available for hire?”

You bet. Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com to discuss what I can do for you. Or check out my very official posting here.

When Being Right Doesn’t Work

Post originally written for parlepost.com. 

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My name is Tony. And I’m extremely stubborn.

Despite being stubborn, I love to make people feel happier, more confident, and have a better understanding of themselves. In order to have this understanding, it helps to understand others. Which means, if I want to help people in this area, I must do the same. So I’m working on this whole “stubborn” thing and focusing on how to listen better – particularly when I don’t want to…

Click to read the full post! 

***    ***

“Tony. Why do I have to click links now?” 

So glad you asked. Last week I shared that I’m a contributing writer to parlepost.com. In the hopes that I can stay on the team, I’ve asked readers to check out my content on their page.

“So like, is this content any different?” 

Nope! Still me talking in my own voice about taking control and being a happier person.

“Does this mean you’re done posting original content here?” 

Nope! But for now, I’m linking the post that are up.

“Okay fine. I kind of like your content regardless…so…are you available for hire?”

You bet. Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com to discuss what I can do for you. Or check out my very official posting here.

BIG NEWS! (And a post….I promise…)

Hey TonyinChicago readers!

For those of you who have hit that “subscribe” button below – many thanks 🙂 I love seeing that others are resonating with the idea of being a more authentically happy person.

Because I want to spread the word of how much control we have over our own happiness, I’ve started applying to other websites.

(Fear not – TonyinChicago isn’t going anywhere 😉 )

In the meantime, I’ve started contributing to a new website called Parlepost.com. One of my favorite posts just got uploaded and I’m happy to share with you all today….

“The Journey To Happiness”

(This one’s for you, actors with day jobs!)

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.

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Click here to read the full post! 

***   ***

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 blog 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 at tony.rossi@gmail.com

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

I Broke The Rules

My name is Tony Rossi. Sometimes I break the rules. 

I do this every now and then. As other artists and entrepreneurs can attest to, there are periods where you’re not quite making as much money as you’d like. Which may or may not (but definitely will) cause you to do things that you probably shouldn’t be doing. 

There was a time where I did this and it really stuck out. 

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I won’t say where I was or what I was doing because it was highly illegal…okay that’s a stretch. It really wasn’t. I just found a loop hole that allowed me to steal wifi from an establishment that prefers you to give them money for doing so. Seeing as how I had been able to get away with this in the past, I figured…why not try again? So I did. And sure enough, I was recognized “Hey! Good to see you! When you get a chance, can you (actually do that thing where you pay us money because those are clearly part of the rules for being here)?” 

“Yeah! Definitely!” 

…I didn’t do it. 

The next couple hours were fear filled. “Are they going to say something? They’ll probably say something. I should probably leave. Or hide. This is terrible. I’m terrible. I’m a terrible human being. Is there someone behind me? I bet that’s them…

Which of course, only led to more negative thoughts….

“The staff must hate me. They must think I’m a scammer. They probably think I do this in every area of life. I bet they’ll go home tonight, think about how I’m a scammer, and text each other about what a dick I am….”

I should note that my whole reason for coming here in the first place was to feel positive, inspired, and excited to do work which can help me with my goals. Instead, I found myself furiously typing away at a post that I couldn’t wait to upload. (To my free blog.) 

Between my obsession for self help books and learning more about both myself and what others are thinking about, I’ve learned a few things that resonated that day: 

  1. We all could do better with checking in with ourselves. If the point of doing something, going somewhere, or being with somebody are supposed to make you feel good, do yourself a favor and ask if these things actually are helping you feel good. 
  2. Guys. No one cares about you as much as you think they do. I know, I know. This is a harsh truth. But think about a job you’ve worked in the past where you had an encounter with a coworker or customer. It didn’t go well. It pissed you off. You might have thought about them all the way home, complained about them to your significant other over dinner…..and then needed to unwind. With netflix. Or wine. Or both. The point is, we reach a point where we stop caring because we care way more about ourselves. We only care about the thoughts of others because it relates to ourselves. So do yourself a favor and just let it go. 
  3. This isn’t going to fucking matter a year from now. (Or maybe even tomorrow.) If anything, your trial and tribulation from today is going to make for an incredible story down the road. Because down the road, it’ll be just like your netflix and wine night – you’re going to stop caring about it. 

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Gotta love the quotes at Next Door Chicago!

So put things into perspective. Check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling. Realize that no one is thinking about you as much as you think they are. And realize that in the grand scheme of things – this incident really, really isn’t that big of a deal. 

Let’s 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 own terms.

He also loves to blog 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 at tony.rossi@gmail.com

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

Baseball is Not “Just Baseball”

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 wasn’t too long before I heard an announcement that the Harry Potter series would be turned into a movies. Like, real life movies. I should also note I lacked confidence, was terrified of girls (especially if I had a crush on them), and was eager to fit in with the popular kids. (I know, I know – the story of every eleven year old.)  

I made the decision: I was going to be cast as Harry Potter.

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….yeah. I had zero acting experience. I am not British. It didn’t happen. But I totally got paid to wear a green suit for a music video shoot one time…

This, my friends, is a very true story of what would eventually lead me to join drama club, continue acting through high school, pursue a BA in theatre, and move to Chicago to be a real life actor. That said, I don’t need to be Harry Potter. And today I much prefer plays over movies.

Reader note: If your name is Steven Spielberg, please stop reading and email tony.rossi@gmail.com. I’d be open to discussing “awkward guy who laughs too loud” in your upcoming film, despite my theatrical preferences….

Things change as we get older. Passions, goals, hobbies tend to shift. But those one or two passions that stick with us? Those are special. 

Before I wanted to be Harry Potter, I wanted to be a baseball player. I don’t anymore. (Sorry, Theo.) But I guess you can say I still like baseball.

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Another cool thing about Chicago – people here kind of like baseball. (Try watching this without crying. I dare you.)

What makes this special isn’t just the fact that a baseball team won. Yes, the championship was special. But the really special part of this video is watching the deep level of human connection.

That, my friends, is pretty effing beautiful.

This is much, much more than just a game.

I’ve always lived in either Chicago or New England. Know what that means for April? IT’S WEIRD. The weather can’t make up its mind 🙂 But there’s one thing that always makes me happy – baseball is back. There’s magic in the air again.

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. 

Also, this.

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The marquee outside Murphy’s Bleachers always makes me smile. 

Let’s 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 own terms.

He also loves to blog 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 at tony.rossi@gmail.com

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

“You might as well win in your own fantasies.” 

I don’t dislike work.

I wake up early on my days off. I exercise. I set aside business hours for acting, writing, and big picture goals. Unfortunately, most of this list doesn’t pay much. (Or anything.) I don’t dislike work. I just like a lot of work that doesn’t pay.

In January of this year, one of my part time jobs showed a decrease in shifts. I realized this would likely continue and that I would need to figure something out and soon. So I launched what I called my “creative income pursuit” – a search for day jobs working for people and places that inspire and uplift me. To no one’s surprise, there’s a lot more places hiring right now that would do anything but inspire and uplift me. And with each passing day, that negative voice looooves to chime in with his thoughts on my well being:

“Tony. You still haven’t figured this out yet. You know that, right? You can’t just keep doing this ‘work fun jobs’ thing forever. And if you really want to be happy, start dating, and buy new workout equipment, you’re going to have to, like, start making more money, And besides, how do you expect to be a well rounded human outside of acting if you’re not making any money? Seriously Tony…” 

Fortunately, I love distracting myself with positive and uplifting videos and audios. I found another good one shortly after one of my many spirals of negative thoughts the other night. It was from the monthly Dallas Travers Hot Seat Coaching Call that I get to from my Thriving Artist Circle membership. While coaching an actor, she shared a gem that she picked up from her spiritual psychology training: 

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I also like to write down cool quotes I hear and then hang them up in my apartment

Isn’t it fascinating how quickly we go to the negative? 

I often refer to that negative voice as a person. I call him Fred. Fred likes to “keep me safe” by pointing out all the gloom and doom scenarios that might or might not happen. Meanwhile, there’s another voice. I call her “cute girl who likes my hair.” What’s great about cute-girl is that she is much more kind and loving than Fred. 

“Hey you! First off, I love your blogs. They’re so funny! You’re adorable. Anyway, just wanted to say I noticed that you the other day you actually submitted for four gigs yesterday that you prefer not to work. That’s great that you’re taking action, even though it doesn’t exactly fall in line with your “creative income pursuit.”  Also, did I see you applied for two writing gigs and two talent agenicies in the past twenty four hours? Look at youuuu! Did I mention I love your hair…?” 

Let me be clear: Both voices are fake. Neither are real people talking…So…why not make up something awesome?

Let’s be happy.

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 own 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 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.

 

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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 😉 

I got shit done. It didn’t make me happy.

I woke up early. (It’s okay. I love waking up early.) 

I ate my favorite breakfast (chocolate oatmeal), listened to Wendy Braun tell me I’m amazing. Then listened to Mark Manson tell me to get my shit together. 

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I love my mornings like this – desk is cluttered (along with a Vitamin D pill), yet it’s got all the nutrients for the mind and body that I need. It’s awesome. It makes me happy. 

I went to Starbucks. 

I got shit done. I drank coffee. Then more coffee. (I love the gold card. I really do.) 

I went home. 

I got more shit done. (Not as much as I would have liked, but enough.) I listened to the Red Sox Spring training game. Tim Neverett retweeted me. I got an industry discount for a show this weekend. (My friends are awesome – thank you.) I texted friends. I exercised. I even went the extra mile and bundled up, got out my bike, and did a late night (for me) grocery run. 

Oh, and did I mention that I also saved money by skipping my original plan to take the train somewhere fun and creative like WeWork or Front Bar (where I would have paid more for coffee)? 

I. Crushed. My. Day. 

….and to be honest…it sucked. 

“Wait. Tony. You just just bragged about crushing it…why did it suck?.” 

It wasn’t until I did my late night grocery run that I realized how much I hate staying indoors all afternoon. I hate not having something to work on projects outside of agent submissions and day job gigs. There was a time when I loved to just lounge around and chill. That day is long gone. Today, I need something to do. Something meaningful. (Though, throw a script in my hands to memorize and suddenly I “need more down time.”) 

I realized that I’m wired in a way – or however the hell you wanna label it – that makes me want to do things maybe a little differently. I love my morning routine. I love getting work done from places outside of my apartment. But that’s not enough. Truth be told, I got revitalized by biking up the street to Aldi to get groceries in a sketchy part of town. I didn’t even mind that it took me a few extra minutes to unlock my bike because one of my lights needed fixing. (Don’t worry – I fixed it.) 

I like getting out. I like getting shit done. 

And it’s okay if you don’t. 

What matters is that you’re aware of what makes you tick and what turns you on.. In all senses. (Sorry, family friendly audience.) What matters is that you set a routine that’s obtainable and sustainable. It gets your own shit done and makes you happy. 

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I was my happiest self the week prior when I took advantage of getting some work done from WeWork….the coffee helps.

I hope you start to recognize that, my friends. Because you deserve to be your happiest self in the most authentic and awesome way possible. 

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.

How death can bring life into others

Mark Manson is the author of the book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.” As one might expect, it contains a plethora of choice language and is pretty direct and to the point. And yet, it is just as equally beautiful and powerful.  

He begins each chapter with a story. Some personal. Some not. The final chapter contains my favorite: He shares a touching story of the loss of his friend Josh. Manson was 19 years old when he lost him. Manson reveals that after a battle with depression, he came out the other end and eventually started bettering his life – likely in ways, in my opinion, that probably wouldn’t have happened had Josh not passed away. 

A couple of years ago, I wrote about my own experience and hopes after I lost one of my childhood friends, Dave Kendricken. (In the three years or so of writing, this has been by far my most popular post….he was a popular guy, what can I say.)  If you know me, you know I hate pain. I hate when there’s nothing but negatives and I’ll do whatever I can to change it. I wanted to find the positive meaning in the situation. 

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Someone called me “The Happy Guy” earlier that day….I was okay with it. 

First let’s clarify – this is not about pretending that things are fine, or pretending we’re happy when we really need to cry. You can ask the couple sitting next to me on my flight home to verify that. (Thank God I had a window seat.) This also isn’t about pretending that the positive meaning makes the situation a good thing. It means that given we can’t control the situation and we’re allowed to take away the beautiful moments that might never have occurred otherwise. 

When Dave died, I wasn’t happy about it. And today I’m not happy about. What I do feel is an abundance of gratitude that it brought me closer to my family (and some of his family) in a way that I hadn’t felt before. 

So how do both these stories help you? 

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Saw this at an audition last week. Figured it was good luck 🙂 

Manson also shares a dream after Josh passed away where the two of them were chatting. Mark recalls that telling Josh that he was sad that he died. To which Josh replies something along the lines of, “Why are you upset that I’m dead when you’re still so afraid to live?” 

That, my friends, is a beautiful takeaway. 

Imagine for a moment that every reader who read this part started to do things different in their life. Imagine that actors finally stop making money excuses and start finding ways to get seen for commercials and high profile theatre companies. Imagine if aspiring entrepreneurs took the leap and quit their day job (after the accumulated some savings, of course) and began creating the job they always wanted. Imagine that every single person who said, “I can’t do [that thing I really want to do] because of [time, money, etc.]” stated to do that very thing?

Most of us are too afraid to live. Most of us play the safe route. Many of us rob ourselves of we really want to do and what could make us most happy. 

As Manson reminds us – we are all going to die. So if that’s the case…what do we really have to lose? 

Let’s start living my friends. 

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.