never have a backup plan

A lot of times people ask me if I have a timeline for acting… Do I have a certain number of years I plan on staying in LA? The answer is no. And this is the face I make when I say it :)

mer sass

I try not to plan too far ahead. I don’t set ultimatums. All I know is that I love acting, and I know that I am supposed to be here in LA right now. With each passing day I am taking one more step toward becoming a successful actress. I am constantly making progress – auditioning, going to classes, meeting casting directors, etc.

I will say I have thought about what would happen if this didn’t work out – if one day I suddenly realize I’m sick of auditioning and not booking roles. But I don’t know if one can think about it that way.
I think you have to think: failure is not an option.
I love this quote from Dylan McDermott:

“If I had said I better have a back up plan just in case it didn’t work out, guess what? I’d still be busing tables. Never have a backup plan. It’s a very dangerous thing.”

It’s nice to remember that I have a degree in advertising with a minors in business and Spanish from the University of Texas in my back pocket. But for now, not pursuing acting scares me way more than pursuing acting.
Albert Schweitzer said:

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Marisa Ross, casting director for How I Met Your Mother said in a recent interview:

“As an actor, you have to love what you do. If you don’t love everything about the process of being an actor, then don’t do it, because it’s a heartbreaking profession. You are constantly rejected and you don’t even know why.”

I hear stories all the time of well-known actors and their long road to success. I recently read the following about Oscar-nominated actor William H. Macy:

“He counted three runs of 50 or more auditions for which he got no response or callback whatsoever. That was obviously not because there was something wrong with his acting. Rejection is part of the game; it’s what keeps the stakes high and success more gratifying.”

This is not an instant gratification business. They say it takes years to become an overnight success. Why not just enjoy each day and treat every audition as an opportunity to play? (I swear I didn’t mean for that to rhyme.)

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3 Responses

  1. Well said. I think this is so applicable in life period not just acting. Thanks for the inspiration this morning.

  2. Meredith says:

    Thanks Linds! Yes, I think it applies to EVERY job! :)

  3. alfred says:

    I have to really state the truth here-it's not rejection it's really not fitting..
    a lot of the time you don't get cast because you simply are not what they see the character to's like when you go to the store and get new you get anything that's there randomly or have an idea in you head what kind of socks,shirts,pants you need?

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