For those of you who don't know me, I am an actor, singer/songwriter and coach, with a BFA in acting from NYU's TSOA and CAP 21 (so many initials, so little time). Since I was 13 years old, I've known that I wanted to be a performer. Back then it was musical theatre, then I discovered acting as a separate entity and much later discovered songwriting and music (not of the theatrical nature). Whatever the outlet, whatever the genre, it's all I wanted to do. So much has happened along the way, though - things to dissuade and dishearten me. In the early years I brushed them off, discounting negativity and not caring what other people thought (unless, of course, it was positive). I suppose that made me a bit of an anomaly since adolescence is so often all about what other people think. I was a very confident, driven individual who always tried to balance the fine line between confidence and conceit. My hyper-awareness of this difficult issue, however, resulted in modesty so profound it ended up swallowing me whole, enabling my brain to accept negativity as gospel and allowing me to be convinced that the talent I had wasn't the talent that the world wanted to see. College kicked the confidence right out of me, and replaced it with ambivalence, insecurity, and dismal dissatisfaction.
So, after college I took a long hiatus from creativity of any kind, hiding out in the restaurant business and allowing myself the luxury of giving up. It is luxurious because it is so much easier not to care so deeply about something. It is so much easier to have a "regular" job at which you are tangibly successful, with a steady paycheck and people around you who revere and respect what you do. And you enjoy doing it, but it is not a direct reflection of who you are. It is much more difficult to do something when you are vulnerable, constantly second-guessing yourself, being judged by people who think they matter, knowing full-well that you'll NEVER be able to please everyone - that quite possibly the reason one person loves you will be the same reason you are hated by the next - and having the added pressure of seeking out the people you will please. It's all very overwhelming. Looking back, I have no regrets (though in my current wisdom I certainly would have done things, and dealt with certain people, differently) because, cliche though it may be, it has shaped who I am, and I'm really getting to like that person.
About to turn 30, fed up with myself and my job and my life and knowing that I needed to make some serious changes, I quit my job, sublet my apartment and moved to Europe for six months. Europe, once again cliche though it may be, changed my life. It was there that I cleared my mind enough to have the epiphanies necessary to change my attitude, once and for all, about being a performer, and to call Confidence back to my side. It was in Europe that I decided to commit to a life of rejection and shameless self-promotion. I suddenly felt I would instinctually find the balance between confidence and conceit, the ability to be modest while talking about myself, and the confidence to persevere despite rejection if I just hunkered down and gave it a shot. Upon my return to The States I immediately began submitting for projects in the Bay Area (where I was only planning to stay for a few months). In the first week I was here I booked 6 projects (four theatre roles and two short films). I looked up to the ceiling and thanked the universe for validating my epiphanies and showing me that the Bay Area would be a good place to start, and I have been working non-stop ever since... until now.