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.

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Tony is a theatre and film actor living in Chicago, just up the street from Wrigley Field 🙂 He loves helping others to become the happiest version of themselves so that they can live more fun, fulfilled lives on their 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 😉 

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How We Can Relate to “Perfect,” Successful People

Ever tried to relate to someone successful?

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No, no, sorry. I mean someone really successful?

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Anyone else excited for baseball season? (Picture from facebook.com/davidortiz)

There we go.

I love reading books by inspiring authors and listening to powerful speakers. Yet I’ve been guilty of just “hearing” their messages in the past without fully digesting their message. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

I find there’s a couple reasons why we can’t relate to some of those incredible, ridiculously successful people:

They seem perfect. Their level of success is more than “I quit my day job.” They did quit their day job. Then made six plus figures at their dream job, plus have a drink waiting for them upon entering Starbucks. Sometimes it’s hard to relate when we’re still waiting tables, plus get our names spelt wrong on our coffee cup.

They seem condescending. Take Eric Thomas, for example. He doesn’t just share his message. He shouts it. And he’s not afraid to call you out on your poor habits. When we hear a lot of messages like these, we sometimes take it personally. Kind of hard to listen to a message when we’re busy being offended.

Here’s the thing: Whether it’s in a classroom, at a presentation, or in our apartment as we’re reading, there’s a powerful message being delivered to our ears. Yet when we think about those themes I just mentioned, we’re really replying with “You’re too perfect for me to relate to” or “You’re being mean, so I don’t want to listen.” Kind of a negative response, isn’t it? But let’s not kick ourselves for our thoughts. That would be silly. Instead, let’s refocus them.

Think about this instead:

They’re trying to help. They didn’t just roll out of bed thinking, “Maybe I’ll go onstage today and tell people how to be better.” They’ve dedicated their lives towards helping others. They don’t just want to help – they need to!

They’re genuinely concerned for us. Many of the best speakers and authors went through some kind of struggle – usually a big one. The “harshness” of their tone or message isn’t because they’re mad that we’ve slacked or neglected our goals. Rather, it’s because they don’t want us to go through what they went through.

They’re like, really excited. Again, they do what they do for a living is because they need to. Yes, it’s also what they love. Combine the two and you’ll get a very excited person who can’t wait to share their message.

“But Tony, what if I really don’t relate to this successful person?”

The cool thing is that there are a lot of speakers and authors out there. It’s all about finding which one best relates to you in terms of style and personality. What also helps is learning about their past and upbringing. While I didn’t always love Eric Thomas, I become much more attached to his work after learning about his story.

As you learn from other successful and inspiring people, remember that they’re trying to help. Start looking for which ones have a style or story that relates to your own.

And then….start your own journey. Maybe you’ll be able to inspire others in your own way 🙂

Ever have someone tell you that you “can’t” do something?

I met a guy last night who told me “singing was his passion.” Despite this, he was too scared to go after it as a profession. It made me realize just how many people don’t go after what they want. In my experience, there are two big reasons for this. One is that they’re like the guy-from-last-night who was too scared to do something bold. Then there are people who are ready to take action, but are convinced by others not to. Unfortunately, it’s often because people say it will be “too hard” or it “won’t work.”

So, I have a question for you: Is this you?

Have you ignored your passions or stopped doing something you loved because someone told you that you can’t do it?

You can do whatever the hell it is you want to do. It might take a long time with a lot of hard work. But you can make it work.

A lot of people like to go down the route of reason, as opposed to the other route of hard work and failure. You can’t really blame them. We’re taught to be successful, not to fail. What we don’t realize (and I talked about this last week) is that failure is a good thing. It usually teaches us something, which leads us to our eventual successes.

Here are some of my favorite ways to get on track when it comes to those difficult goals:

1) Remove or spend less time with people who doubt you. If you’re surrounded by negativity, it’s going to make you negative too. Continuing to listen to people who doubt you is going to make you doubt yourself.

2) Spend more time around inspiring people. Same thing works the other way around. If you’re around people who inspire you, it’s going to have an impact. Seeing them take risks will make you want to do the same. Figure out who those people are in your life right now. Then call them and invite them out for coffee.

[Waits for phone to start ringing]

That’s okay. I’m free tomorrow too.

3) Spend time doing personal development. I believe this one is a MUST for anyone pursuing a career in the arts. Your confidence will skyrocket. You’ll pick up small ways you can make changes for the better, while getting rid of those pesky, negative habits. Oh, and you’ll find you stop doubting yourself.

While I certainly hope that reading this has gotten you pumped up and inspired, I understand that it might not. In fact, it’s perfectly acceptable to read this and think, “This is just your opinion. Are there really others who follow this same mentality?”

[Guys in the back murmur in agreement]

I thought this might be the case. Lucky for you, I have a few friends who are pretty damn inspiring…

1) Katelyn Collins

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Photo credit: David Noles

Katelyn is my dear friend and “partner for life” from Salem State University. She made the move to NYC to pursue acting almost immediately after graduation. In addition to her theatrical talents, she started making her own protein bars. In fact, she’s on a mission to start her own company! You can follow along Route 6 Protein Bar on facebook. Not only are they delicious (I’ve tried two), they’re made from natural sources and raw ingredients. In other words, not the garbage you get from convenience stores.

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Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/Route6ProteinBar

2) Nicole Beachaine

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Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/woodsybug

Another dear friend from Salem State University. A talented artist who loves to think outside the box. For example, she decided to start making art from guitars. GUITARS.

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Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/woodsybug

3) Courtney Rioux

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Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis is no stranger to Courtney’s name. But when you’re working with a life coach who is also a Chicago actor, fitness enthusiast, and has received training from Tony Robbins and Dallas Travers, it’s hard not to share her talents!

Courtney is a life coach for actors. Her work involves positivity, goal setting, and personal development. I didn’t think having a personal development coach was necessary, especially with an actor’s budget. But I took advantage of one of her free clarity sessions (she offers four a month). The session went so well that I joined her accountability group later that day.

Oh, and remember how I mentioned being around inspiring people will inspire you? Her husband Scott just quit his job and started his own business. That’s two inspiring people, right there.

You’ll notice everyone here is pursuing a path that’s uncommon, making it much harder to achieve their goals. But they didn’t let the difficulty get in their way, and they’re certainly not listening to those doubters mentioned earlier. That’s pretty damn inspiring if you ask me.

What are some goals you’re holding back on that you can start pursuing? Is there a way to remove yourself from doubters and spend more time with people who will cheer you on during?

Find a way and then make it happen.