Guest Post by Ali McGarel – “Being Uncomfortable”

Dear LA, 

If you’re going to keep stealing my friends, you better take care of them. 

But also – know that you’ve got some good ones coming to you. Like Ali McGarel. (Click here for her website!

Ali is an actress in Chicago (soon to be Chicago) and just started writing a blog – and it’s very much Tony Rossi approved. Enjoy 🙂 

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Being Uncomfortable

by Ali McGarel 

Hi, I’m Ali. I’m an actress best known for playing young roles with complexity. I enjoy the weird, the quirky, the loner, the bubbly, the–unique! I’ve performed in several films and web series and also find fulfillment in creating my own work. I’m the co-owner of A Ginger & A Brunette Productions, and created the web series “That Moment When…”. When not performing, you can find me being a badass barista, rapping to Childish Gambino, and obsessing over Britney Spears (once a stan, always a stan). 

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I recently got promoted as a Shift Manager at my work (#Starbucks #tobeapartner), and I’m in that really weird transitional period where I’m not sure what the hell I’m doing yet. And it gives me anxiety. I’ve been wishing I could just be a barista again, so I could go to work on autopilot. So work would be easy. So I wouldn’t feel uncomfy.

I think a lot of us live our lives on autopilot. And it makes sense. We love what’s familiar. We love being comfortable. But is that comfortability taking us where we want to go in life?

I WANT to be a Shift Manager. I want that raise. I want that higher sense of responsibility. And that in-between phase of being uncomfy is necessary to get me there. Any change in your life, big or small, requires some state of uncertainty. No one starts anything new knowing all of the answers. Trust me, if I could pass this phase and go straight to Pro SM with 2,000 closing shifts under my belt (shout out Matt), I would. But that’s just not how it works. I think back to when I first started out at Starbucks, bright eyed and bushy-tailed. I had anxiety then, too. I thought there was no way I’d be able to learn all of the drinks, let alone keep up when it’s busy. But look at me now! Morning Rush? No problem! All new things become familiar in time. And then they aren’t so scary anymore.

So think about the big change you want to make in your life. Right here, Right now.

Do you want to go back to school? Do you want to leave your current job? Do you want to open your own business? Do you want to move across the country? Now think about what’s holding you back. Sure, maybe there’s some logistical reasons why you may refrain from taking action. But I’m willing to bet there’s also fear of the unknown.

But REMEMBER…all big, awesome changes happen on the other side of being uncomfortable. So instead of avoiding this feeling…maybe we should be CHASING it.

Think about ways you can chase being uncomfortable in your life. And then, once you’ve reached that new goal, become uncomfortable again.

Keep that process going until you’ve reached all of your wildest dreams.

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Newest episode (#19) of the Tony Rossi Show podcast is UP! 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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

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Some Thoughts on Body Image.

I’m a skinny male…and I’m uncomfortable with my body right now.

First off – is it even acceptable for a man to be talking about body image? What about all the women who have it worse trying to fit into the mold that society tries to put us in? And if it IS okay for a man to be talking about this – what do we do when all we can focus on are the things we DON’T like about ourselves??


In episode #17, of the Tony Rossi Show podcast, we talk about the following….

-What do we do when we have a problem that we’re uncomfortable sharing because we know others have it worse than us?

-How are we supposed to focus on the positives when there’s so many negatives about ourselves we don’t like?

-And why the hell did you post an image of your belt loop with the #notperfect hashtag on your instagram earlier this week?!

We’ll get into it all. I promise.

Click here for the full episode! The Tony Rossi Show is about learning how to manage the inevitable challenges that life throws at us, and to better recognize that we’re all enough – regardless of where we are in life and career.

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

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Newest episode (#17) of the Tony Rossi Show podcast is UP! 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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

My favorite advice I learned from Heather…

“You don’t have to validate your passion.” –Heather Hiatt 

Heather is a working actor and Gallup certified CliftonStrengths coach. She’s also the founder of The Magnetic Actor Method which teaches actors to believe in themselves again, stop overthinking and nail it on the first take.

She and I got a chance to talk on the Tony Rossi Show podcast and I learned a lot about Heather and how she thinks. Some favorite themes included…

-How actors can start believing in themselves again

-Why you SHOULD tell everyone you’re an actor when you’re asked “So what do you do?”

-And my favorite: We don’t have to validate our passions. 

Check out the full episode here. And to view more episodes on the Tony Rossi Show, check it out on iTunes!

You can learn more about Heather on her actor website, Magnetic Actor website, or follow her on instagram!

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Newest episode (#16) of the Tony Rossi Show podcast is UP! 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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

How to get off lonely island

This week was really challenging.

This month has been challenging.

In the beginning of his new book, “How to make disease disappear,” by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, he talks about how most illnesses aren’t just an “all of a sudden” thing. Rather, they’re a cumulation of things – there was just one “tipping point.”

Well I experienced this first hand with my mental health this week.

In this week’s episode of The Tony Rossi Show, I go into details about a lot of personal events that have been challenging for me recently.

Click here to check it out on iTunes, or here for the RSS feed…if it you don’t have iTunes 😉

I hope this help you with whatever challenge you might be going through. And remember – you’re enough exactly where you are. Regardless of your challenges.

Let’s go get ’em, friend.

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Newest episode (#15) of the Tony Rossi Show podcast is UP! 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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

Why you keep “failing” (and what to do about it)

Does anyone else have trouble sleeping?

Iused to have a REALLY hard time sleeping….and while I wanted to blame my body, that “I’m just born this way,” and a bunch of other factors – there was one big piece missing as to why I wasn’t sleeping well: I wasn’t educated on sleep.

“What? Educated? On sleep? What do you need to know besides turning your devices off an hour before bed?” Turns out there was a lot….

Some of you know that I do Facebook and Instagram live videos every week, which I call #SundayVideo. In this week’s #SundayVideo, I share more on what exactly I learned, and how that relates the challenges we face in our own lives: We often get frustrated without ever having to learn WHY we’re so frustrated. We fall into the “I’m just born this way” myth… Sorry. But it’s bullshit.

I hope you got value this week. And if I can help – message me or shoot me an email 🙂 tony.rossi@gmail.com

Remember – you’re enough exactly where you are today. Especially if you’re #notperfect. (Like me.) Go get ‘em, friend.

Click here watch! (9 minutes) 

 

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Newest episode (#14) of the Tony Rossi Show podcast is UP! 

By the way, I’m Tony. I live in Chicago. (Duh.) I’m an actor and podcaster 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

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

Your Artistic Struggle Doesn’t Have to Suck

What’s up my friends?! 

This post was originally written for Backstage.com. Which you know because you already follow my posts there….right? (RIGHT?!) 

Sorry. Read on. 

It was a rainy Tuesday afternoon and I couldn’t wait: in a few hours, I’d be attending my first-ever opening night performance and after party with one of my favorite big Chicago theaters. Mind you, I hadn’t purchased the tickets—yours truly is in credit card debt and waiting to book that national commercial. These were comps. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t be going to this premiere event.

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It was kind of good. 

Speaking of finances, I knew I had to check my accounts and go over a few things before I left for the evening. This absolutely was not my favorite part of the day (see above), but it was necessary. And that day, it was extra necessary.

You see, I had made a grave error while attempting to make a small credit card payment the night before. Instead of making a small one, I made a very large payment, accidentally paying off the entire thing. I quickly called my credit card company but they couldn’t do anything because the payment was still “processing.” So I called my bank and got the “We’re experiencing a higher volume than usual” message before waiting on hold.

To add insult to injury: I had to message my acting coach about the check that she wouldn’t be able to cash because of my mistake. Why did I hire a coach? Because I had recently auditioned to attend the School at Steppenwolf, a move that would cost another several thousand dollars.

So here I was with a negative bank account, credit card debt, waiting to let my acting coach know if and when she could get her money, and wringing my hands over whether I’d get accepted to the school. Needless to say, it was not a relaxing day. Luckily, I had a trick, one I learned from thought leader and author, Preston Smiles: ask empowering questions.

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I stole this photo – with love, (duh), from Preston’s Smiles Facebook page. He credits @jennaphillipsballard with the photo. That’s all. Carry on! 

During challenging situations like this, we can ask, “Will this matter three years from now? What good is here that I currently cannot see?”

I didn’t know how this issue would be resolved. But no, it wouldn’t matter three years from now. And the good here is that I can tell this story to inspire others who will realize I didn’t just make it big overnight and with ease. This takes work. This takes nerves. This takes mistakes and over-drafted bank accounts and bounced checks.

So what’s your challenge? Finances? A broken heart? Frustration with the industry? Will any of it matter three years from now? (Hint: Probably not.)

Let me know. Let all of us know. There might not be any evidence of your triumph yet but believe in yourself now anyway. And then when you’ve made it to the top, shout it to the rooftops.

You deserve to feel amazing exactly where you are today.

Let’s go get ’em, friends.

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What’s that? You want to hire me for coaching?!

Or maybe give an empowerment talk to your group or school?

Email me!  tony.rossi@gmail.com. Let me know how I can help.

Same goes for questions – you can ask those for free 😉 

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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

It’s Okay To Not Feel Okay

Every Sunday I do a video on Facebook live. I call them #SundayVideos. (Clever. I know.)

This week I shared how I’ve been going through some challenges and had to remind myself that in the thick of things – it’s actually okay to not “be okay.”

I also talked about how this doesn’t make you “unhappy” and how to differentiate it from being sad and miserable.

For the full video (three minutes) – click the screenshot below!

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So just remember friends – it’s okay to not feel okay sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with you. And we cant wait to see your best version of you again – when you’re ready.

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! 

 

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.

 

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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! 

What happens when you “fail at love”

So I was into this girl. 

I hadn’t been “into” anyone in a long time. I was stressed waiting tables and it felt like the stress never left me. It was also, ironically, during this time that I started eating healthier and following a new workout regiment. Between the two, however, I found myself lacking energy and a zest for life. That longing to be in a relationship again? Gone. Arousal around women? Non existent. Hoping a cute girl would leave me her number at work? …okay I still wanted that. But everything else just seemed to have evaporated. 

So the fact that three years later, I was suddenly interested in this girl and found myself flirting with her, was a big deal, you guys…

Of course, this wouldn’t come without the natural negative self talk (or who I sometimes refer to as “Fred”):

You’re not what she’s looking for. 

She definitely wants a guy with more relationship experience than you. 

Do you even remember how awkward you were during that one time a bunch of you were hanging out? She totally remembers that….

Are you even sure she’s a good fit for you??

I was confused. I let it stress me out. 

And then…a better voice chimed in: 

Fuck it. Let’s just find out if any of that is actually true. 

I gave up trying to figure things out in my head. All I knew for sure was that I really liked this girl. She was really fun to talk to. We texted all the time. I felt a spark I hadn’t felt in a really long time. I didn’t know if she was going to be right for me – or me for her, for that matter. But I decided that I’d rather find out and fail than not find out at all, based on speculation that was in my head – most of which probably wasn’t true. 

And we dated. And it was awesome. 

And then….it ended. 

I finally had gotten my, “Will this even work” answer. (It wasn’t the one I was hoping for.) 

Here’s what else I learned: It was totally fucking worth it. 

This doesn’t mean I’ve been happy and sunshine since the break up. It doesn’t mean the end wasn’t scary and painful. It just means that despite the rocky ending of the crazy and brief roller coaster ride – I can’t wait to get back in line and try again**

Sometimes when you “fail,” you still have a lot of fun trying.

 

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**(Not the same line. The other metaphorical line. Preferable not through Tinder.) 

Let’s go get ‘em, friends. 

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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!