the big picture

I flew to Texas last weekend to see my family. I did a few things I wanted to do in Dallas… ate at MiCocina (may or may not have driven straight from DFW to MiCo… not ashamed), went to church with the fam, and well, that’s about all I care to do in Dallas anymore… So headed out to the lake.

When I leave LA, I want to get as far away from city life as I can. As soon as we got there, I walked down to the dock. I swear it instantly calms me.

I noticed some heads sticking up out of the water. I thought they were turtles. Others thought they were water moccasins. I grabbed our binoculars to check it out. Turns out there were both.

What’s interesting about binoculars is yes, they help you see something far away much more clearly, but once you have them up to your eye, it’s actually very hard to locate the exact object you are trying to see. Because they magnify so intensely, you are only seeing a very small surface area which makes it difficult to locate a specific point… especially trying to see a tiny snakehead in a lake full of water that all looks the same. You’re essentially trying to navigate with blinders on.

I didn’t really think much about all of this binoculars business until I went to acting class a few days later (as I mentioned in my previous post) and our teacher reminded us that when thinking about our careers,

“Don’t look through blinders; look at the big picture.”

What a perfect analogy. And exactly what I needed to hear.

He reminded us that we are building a career. We can’t worry about not booking one audition. In fact, we don’t have time for that. We should have so much else going on (which I definitely do) that we don’t have time to sit around and wonder whether or not we booked that job. We are already on to the next audition, script we are writing, web series we are shooting, etc.

He said regarding his own career,

“I have so much going on that it is impossible for me to fail.” 

We must wait. Not sit around and wait for the phone to ring. But wait for the success that we know one day will come. Be patient. Something great is around the corner. All the frustrations we have regarding not-booked auditions are working together to create opportunities for us in the future… and the booked auditions that will eventually come as a result will be well-worth the wait.

I have to remind myself daily to have this positive outlook and perspective. Some days it’s easier than others… We all have our days. And I do think it’s okay to get frustrated occasionally – that means you are passionate about what you are doing and genuinely want to succeed. I think just the right amount of frustration keeps us working hard, keeps us motivated, keeps us self-propelled.

But it’s so important to look at the positive side of things that at first glance might not seem so positive. And it’s so important to look at the bigger picture instead of dwelling on individual events.

If I focus in on one audition, I lose sight of the big picture. I am looking at my career through blinders. But if I take a step back and put it into perspective, I am better able to see that this is just one tiny snakehead in that lake that is my career… Did I take that analogy too far? Whatever. I love analogies.

So yeah. I might not be booking every role for which I audition. But with each audition, I am getting better at what I do, becoming more confident, establishing relationships with casting directors, etc. All these little things are working together to create the perfect storm of success… I’ll save that analogy for another day.

I think one day we will all look back on the frustrations we had today and we will say, “Ooooooooh. I get it now.”

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