22 Sep We Are Powerful Beyond Measure

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? … There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you … And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –Marianne Williamson

This quote has always struck a chord with me. As a young girl, I was three years advanced in math classes (I know…nerd alert!) and I continued my hard science studies until I left grad school. I was a starting fastpitch softball pitcher, even as a freshman in college. I have always pursued the arts, whether it was years of dance, singing in musicals and choirs, and performing in plays. And somewhere along the line, my straight-A passionate self felt the need to apologize for being an ambitious woman. This has caused me to be fairly quiet when meeting new people, hesitant to share who I am for fear of offending or intimidating. I realize this is not a new problem, but it is something I am trying to unlearn.

And now I find myself in a new place full of new people who don’t know me. It is THE place, if you are an actor working in Film and Television. I am surrounded by more opportunities than I knew existed, but I am ALSO surrounded by the highest concentration of actors. I have a great community from the classes I have taken here, and I am starting to meet LA Casting Directors and establish relationships. But it takes time, especially if you’re not used to putting yourself out there right from the start.

And that is what I have realized- in order to work in this town, people need to know who I am. I LOVE LA. There is something in the atmosphere (no, not the smog…very funny) that gives me the drive to work harder than I ever have in my life. And this is coming from a girl who lived/worked in a lab as a Genetics Ph.D. research assistant. But I’m learning that I can work as much and as hard as I possibly can, and it won’t come to much unless I allow myself to be seen. I have to go out there and meet people. Meet people who are working in this industry. Meet Casting Directors. Meet writers. Meet other actors.

And I need to allow myself to be ME. Not apologize for who I am or concern myself with what others will think. As Dr. Seuss said, “Those who matter won’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” And how many times have you seen someone being their true, authentic self and been inspired by their beauty? It is one of the most enthralling things in the world- and in my opinion, it is why good TV and movies are so popular. You can sense when people aren’t holding back and are putting their whole selves into an endeavor, and it is exhilarating.

I love this talk from Anthony Meindl about being your present, authentic self:

“What if you just took off your mask? You will get stung. But it’s worth it. It’s worth living out in the world that way. Some people are not going to get you. Some people will be threatened by your honesty. Some people will try to thwart you or yes, even figuratively sting you. But that’s really what we’re all here to do — meet ourselves and other people out in the world without wearing a mask.”

So here I am, in LA. I am thrilled to be here, and the researcher in me happily spends hours researching the fall line up, casting directors, new projects, etc. But I also need to put the work in to let people know that I AM HERE. I need to embrace the power, let my own light shine, and allow my authentic self be seen.

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