Consider This When You Don’t Get the Part

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You should have worn something different.”

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

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

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

Let’s go get ‘em, friends.

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

 

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

Thanks for reading!

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and blogger living right up the street from Wrigley Field. 

My blog is here to help others take control and live a more authentically positive life on their terms. Since working with a coach and learning more about personal development, I’ve started sharing my learnings with others. (I have a lot…)

If we’ve never meet – shoot me a tweet!  Would love to hear how you found this 🙂You can also find me on facebook, instagramYouTube, or check out my actor website

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

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When you’re STILL sick….and you have Cubs tickets

There’s just something about baseball and warm weather that makes us….happy.

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Got a nice view of Guaranteed Rate Ballpark on my flight home last month

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Add “dressing nice for the occasion” on top of that and it makes you EXTRA happy! 

 

So when I saw there were cheap Cubs tickets available for April – I jumped at the chance.

Problem was – I couldn’t find a free day until the end of the month. The literal end of the month.

The good thing was – this gave me pleeeenty of time to look forward to the occasions 🙂

Having fun things to look forward to is one of my favorite pleasures. I do the same thing with trips back home to Boston. Even though I haaaate the waiting game when there’s three months to go, there’s something special that happens when it gets closer and closer. And when the actual date comes? I’m over the moon 🙂 It’s a special feeling that we get because we endured so much waiting.

…so you’ll understand why I was in terrible mood the week leading up to the game when I got a sinus infection – that was still lingering by Monday the 30th 😦

I. Was. Livid. Cue the negative chatter….

 

“ARE YOU JOKING ME?!” 

“This TOTALLY happened the last time I bought Cubs tickets!” 

“I’m about to start rehearsals! I’m not going to have any time to see another game!” 

“I specifically wanted these because they were cheap! The next time I’m free, they’re going to be soooo expensive….”

“WHY DO I ALWAYS GET SICK WHEN FUN THINGS HAPPEN?! UGHHHH….”

 

 

The funniest part to me is, I have peers who still think I’m a “happy all the time” person. (Note: They don’t exist. If they do – they’re in denial and they’re worse off for it.)

As a die hard baseball fan, I’ve always been in a sour mood when it comes to missing out on a game. While this did happen to me last fall – this also happens a lot due to weather. And it reminded me of a family I met a few weeks ago…

I was sitting in Starbucks, getting some work done. (I got a spot I love right across the street from the ballpark.) Per usual, there were a plethora of Cubs fans getting ready to enjoy some day baseball (another reason I love this spot.) The only thing was – the weather wasn’t looking too good. In fact, it was snowing – which, if you’re a baseball fan – you know has happened throughout the country during the month of April. Yet, fans had still showed up, with blankets and layers. I loved it.

Another reason I love this Starbucks: The staff is fantastic. That day was no exception. Store mananger Benji was going around informing the customers of some disappointing news he just learned – the game had just been cancelled.

While no baseball fan likes to hear this news, there was one family in particular who were really disappointed. They had traveled a good distance to come to the game from Indiana – specifically for their daughter’s birthday.

Now that is disappointing.

After thinking about this family and how disappointed they must have been, I realized something – I didn’t have a real problem. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in the things we want and what we think we deserve, we forget how good we have it. We forget if our schedule is busy and we have to miss baseball games, it might be because we’re living an artistic life and get to work on things we love. We forget that if our vacation plans get changed – we’ll eventually probably be able to take another one. And neither mentions the fact that we get to afford baseball games and vacations in the first place.

What I had forgot about during my week long tantrum is that I live right up the street from the ballpark. Getting back to Wrigley isn’t that hard. Sure, scheduling a game is more challenging. But getting to go to a game doesn’t cost me a Metra ticket, a parking pass, or coming up with gas money. It takes a day that works for me, and a short walk to the ballpark.

That morning, I looked up Cubs tickets for May – and SURE ENOUGH there were $10 seats (face value) for the following week. And I just happened to be free on Tuesday, only eight days after my original game.

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4 Tickets. $40. That, my friends, is what you get for midweek baseball early in the season.
PS – BUY THEM AT THE BALLPARK IN ADVANCE, YOU’LL GET ALL THOSE STUPID ONLINE FEES WAVED! 

Note: This only started to click for me when I started to let go and accept how things were going. This is NOT AN EASY THING TO DO when you’re going through a go through – even if it’s something small as being sick. But when you do accept it – it’s incredible how much you realize is in your control that will allow you to be happy.

So go do it. (After you’ve had your temper tantrum….and doing so off social media, please.)

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

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UPDATE: I’m now on iTunes!

Check out the Tony Rossi Show podcast – you might even hear an extended version of this blog on the show in the near future…hint hint 😉 

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

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

How to stay positive (and sane) when you’re sick. (Again.)

What happened: Woke up with a dry throat. Woke up feeling like I barely slept, despite getting extra sleep that night. Woke up realizing, “Oh dear. I might be sick. (Again.)”

Despite this, I didn’t deter from my morning routine, complete with meditation and exercise. I’d keep an eye on whether or not I still felt dehydrated throughout my workout. If I felt like I was still dehydrated despite having chugged a bunch of water – I’d have my answer. 

What happened next: I got my answer. (It wasn’t what I wanted.) 

What usually happens then: I get angry. I throw a pity party, wondering things like “Why me?” and “How the hell am I supposed to get through the next few days?” 

What happened instead: “Ah. Damn. That’s not what I wanted…..Alright then.” 

Why: Because the combination of meditation and personal development books make you a superhuman….or at least a more positive one.

 

The book I’ve been reading is“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.  With meditation, a common practice is to simply notice thoughts as they come and go. What we tend to do, as Eckhart shares, is that we create an identity with the thought. Then the ego takes control, and all hell breaks lose. While I didn’t want to be sick this week, I also didn’t want to fall into my usual pattern of “This is awful and nothing will ever be okay!” Because…well, that’s not true, is it? 

I stopped trying to predict the future. I avoided worrying about whether or not I’d still be sick by the end of the week, where I knew I was going to be really busy. I just focused on acknowledging my thoughts. I knew my fears were there. But I figured if I’m going to be sick, I might as well take something away from this crappy situation. 

Besides…..

I’m never sick for longer than a week 

I didn’t have any big parties or fun events I was going to have to “power through”

I was so glad I wasn’t sick on Thanksgiving! 

A couple of weeks from now – everything will be okay and this will just be another blip on the radar.

Let’s put this into practical thinking: Right now I’m able to look at this from an empowering perspective. But what about when I’m sick, I’m at work, a customer is really bothering me, and I have a few other things on the agenda that day….how will I view things then? Will I still be “Mr. Positive” and be able to stay present and optimistic?? 

At the time of writing this, I’m just starting to feel the initial stages of the sickness. It’s at this point where I tend to think, “Oh, this isn’t that bad…” and then by either tonight or tomorrow morning, I’ll be like, “NOOOOPE THIS IS TERRIBLE!” So all this is to say that it’s much easier for me to view my situation from a positive place today. Tomorrow and the day after? I can’t say for certain, but there’s a good chance I won’t be all smiles and sunshine. 

If you’re someone looking to start embracing this attitude, but have those normal doubts of “What happens when _____ happens and I stop being happy?” I get it. I’m right there with you. I also think this is a great time to take another page out of “The Power of Now” and get present and work on just noticing the thoughts as they come. I personally love how Eckhart views the future. Paraphrased, he says, “You cannot cope with future fear because it doesn’t exist. Instead, tune into the present moment. That’s all we ever have to cope with.” 

I’m still working on this myself, but I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, let me know if this has helped you: What’s an area of your life where you can apply this? Have you applied this before? Leave a comment below or shoot me a tweet and let me know. 

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When all else fails, get some of Grandpa’s honey that he helps make himself with a nice guy named Chuck. It’s good stuff!  

Have a great (and healthy) week, my friends. 

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! 

Stop it. You’re not a bad person. (VLOG)

I got home in a bad mood.

I had zero reason to be upset this day. The night before was awesome. The morning was great. And yet – I still arrived back home feel cranky, upset, and stressed.

God I hate when I’m stressed after a good day. Why can’t I just be normal and enjoy the good things going without worrying about the bad?

Thankfully, I’ve had a lot of positive mentors relaying a bunch of powerful thoughts to me recently. Some of these were live. Others were through audios and recorded videos. And after listening to some of them that morning – I finally started to relax.

And then I got really excited…..and made a video about it.

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Why I stopped stressing out….Click the image to watch! (5 minutes)

Stop it. Give yourself some credit for being so caring. And then from that empowering place, we can finally start to fix whatever it is needs fixing.

Oh, and for the record – we don’t need fixing. We’re awesome exactly as we are. We’re just human and we need some growth and change from time to time.

Let’s go get ’em.

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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

The Bunny That Reminded Me To Stop Stressing

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.

This was seven years ago, so I don’t remember all the details. I do however remember the first night 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…

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Actual bunny

Okay lied. That wasn’t the actual bunny…but it is AN actual bunny….

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….

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Same actual bunny.

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 have auditioned for three different plays this month. 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.

How To Avoid A Letdown For New Year’s Eve

OH MY GOD IT’S NEW YEAR’S EVE.

Okay. You know the drill. When there’s a big event you’re excited for, you have the date circled on your calendar. You put in lots of time and energy just thinking about it. Then there’s planning, lots of messaging back and forth with friends, plus the “Oh my god, what on earth am I going to wear?”(We can’t show up looking like a jackass…)

I experienced something similar last week. It was Christmas morning. Not only was it my first Christmas with family in five years, but it was also my first Christmas with anyone in five years. (Don’t feel bad –it was my own choice). I decided last minute that this this had to be a good Christmas.

It started off great. I even got my workout in while my parents went to church.

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I may or may not have brought my laptop and workout DVDs with me…

When they got back, Dad mentioned he was hungry. “Perfect!” It’s Christmas! Why not make this morning special and grab something food and cocktails (emphasis on cocktails) before meeting up with the others?

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In my head, this was a glass of champagne and a pastry. We settled for Andy’s Diner. I had a slice of scrapple (It’s a Pennsylvania thing) and a Hurricane.

While the rest of the day went well, it was rather low key. I still wanted that extra “oomph” to really make it a day. I had a few ideas:

-Drinks at the hotel bar before bed.

-Room service (not nearly as fancy/expensive as you’d think) with drinks while watching “Love, Actually” (best Christmas movie of all time).

-No other ideas. This idea of a “perfect Christmas” just clicked into my head earlier and clearly one of these would work. 

…..neither worked. Everything at the hotel was closed. And I let it ruin my evening.

A few issues here: I didn’t plan ahead. I didn’t allow myself any other options. And I also didn’t allow the idea of that “perfect ending” to take place another night. (You can totally still watch “Love, Actually” before January 1st, even though it’s a Christmas movie.)

Ultimately for big and special events, we tend to set the bar pretty high without giving ourselves “breathing room” to let the evening go where it wants to go. Things come up. Places are closed. Some crucial aspect to your party don’t get there in time. (How are the ice sculptures coming for our party, by the way?)

On New Year’s Eve, focus on how you want to feel during the evening. Be aware it might not be “perfect.” Focus on what you can control. Personally, I want to have fun among friends I love, drink champagne at midnight, and laugh. A lot. I don’t want to feel stressed, and I definitely don’t want to feel like things “aren’t as good as they should be.”

Have fun tomorrow! Go out, get crazy. Or don’t. Do something low key. Whatever you decide on, make it fun and make it special.

Stress Free Holiday Tip

Talk to ya next year, friends.