My vision board from 2013

My vision board from 2013

I just wanted to share my vision board from last year. It was the first time I had ever done anything like this. My in-laws and myself went out and bought about 20 magazines (plus I had quite a few Hollywood Reporters, Entertainment Weekly, etc) and we just clipped away and glued whatever we were drawn to.

The weird thing is, I don’t even know WHY I put some images on my vision board. But somehow every single image on this board resonated with something that happened to me in 2013.

SOME Examples (I could go on for days):
Savannah – no idea, NO idea why I put this up here. But the film I was in, East of Acadia, (starring William Sadler, Christopher Sarandon, Rachel Milner) ended up going to the Savannah Film Festival in October.

Thich Nhat Hanh – always admired this guy’s teachings. My mom and I got a random opportunity to go see him in New York in September, so we did! Always wanted to see him live!

Yellow Rose – This is so weird, I thought I put it on my board because it was pretty. NOPE. It ended up having a huge symbolic significance for me when I was going through an extremely difficult time. If you ever ride in my car you will notice I have a dried yellow rose in the dash.

Cameras, Lights: Well, I thought this one was obvious. I’m in the entertainment industry, I produced my own web series..But nope, the universe took it a notch further. I ended up learning how to edit in 2013. And getting accepted to the Cannes Film Festival (I think I can attribute most of the glamorous images to that)

A fresh start, images of houses with fireplaces and high ceilings: Dillon and I finally got our fresh start as newlyweds. Got a home with all of the things I had wanted, and didn’t realize at the time: pellet stove, cathedral ceilings, etc. Most importantly, a sanctuary.

Oh HA the oscar statue. Well I guess I can’t say my piece until after the SAG Awards are over, but I did do lots of screenings…in various places like the Academy Screening Room in NYC in 2013. wink wink.

Anyway, I am writing this to hopefully inspire some of you to create your own vision boards. Yes, have some goals in mind. But just snip through some images in magazines and stick some things on a poster board, EVEN IF you have no idea why. Because like me, you may be surprised by the end of 2014 with what you draw to yourself.

PS I recommend not sharing your current vision board online because you don’t want to be affected by what other people say and think about it, positive or negative. My new one is currently hanging above my desk, and I am totally pumped for the year ahead of me.

HAPPY DREAMING, y’all!

2014 and how I got here

I read this amazing, kick-in-the-ass blog from Talent Manager Jenn Lederer this morning.  I was having one of those weak actor moments on the couch, by the fire, wearing three layers of clothing, bundled up with my dog and sort of resenting myself for over-analyzing every move I am making in my career.  I also blame my inertia on winter weather and the arctic blast, but I’ll leave that to someone else to blah blah blog about.

Just then I decided to take moment of reprieve from my pity-fest and saw an email come in from Jenn Lederer that absolutely grabbed my attention and made me say, “Well that’s a weird coincidence,” considering I was going through exactly what she was detailing in her blog post.  The next words I read?  “don’t even get me started on coincidences, btw.”  

I had taken a seminar with her this summer that was extremely moving and encouraged me to just plow forward with my career in brave, new ways.  This email was a much-needed brush up.

You see, I normally go into a new year without TOO much of a plan.  Yes, I make vision boards (laugh if you want, but call me up and I will convince you to make one in less than 5 minutes) and yes I am all about working hard with goals in mind, but this was the first year EVER that I had already acquired employment in December as an actor for the first 8 months of the following year.  WHAT?!  All I could think was, “Gee, last year I did say I wanted to teach to supplement my income.  Gee, I did want to do this and that and this.   Maybe it’s all just working out.”  WELL, here’s the thing.  It’s important to remind ourselves that we  didn’t just magically end up where we are right now.  Whether it’s on the 100th floor of an office building, or sitting on the floor playing  games with kids, or driving cross-country to pursue our dreams.  No, we make our lives.

Jenn also points out in this fabulous blog post (yes I will provide a link so you can read it too) that we tend to think that the GOOD things in life just “happen” to us, while the bad things that happen to us are the only things that we are responsible for.  But what if we adopt the idea that WE are responsible for everything that “happens to us?”  And find the goodness in that!?  Holy crap, it’s a mega-mind shift.

Several years ago I was in an accident in which I was hit by a truck while crossing the street.  I had finally processed what had happened to me, and I was talking to my friend Jim Hetrick about it.  He said, “The thing that people don’t seem to realize is that everything in their lives…everything that happens to me, everything that happens to you, we bring it upon ourselves.  We attract it to us.”  I had JUST started to feel that was true, but I needed someone else to say it out loud.

Now I know what some of you may be thinking.  “I didn’t ask to lose my job!  I didn’t want a disease!” etc.  Yes, some EVENTS do happen in our lives that we do not personally control. BUT…what if you just accepted the idea that you have the power to change events in your lives?  That you weren’t just floating along through space?  Cause if that’s what you think, that’s what you get.

Obviously, I wasn’t thinking to myself “Gee, when will I get hit by a truck!  I really feel like eating some asphalt!”  BUT you know what I  WAS repeating to myself for YEARS?! “Nothing ever happens to me.  Nothing ever happens to me.  My life is so boring.” I was ungrateful and I needed a really huge wakeup call.  Well guess what?  Sometimes that’s why accidents happen!  And they aren’t coincidences…

Anyway, back to my worried self.  I thought about all the good things that are happening for me right now, and I decided to embrace them entirely as my own creation.  Then I spent an hour and a half laying out the groundwork for what I want in the new year.  Here’s what I ALREADY have laid out for myself this year:

Teaching Kids, ongoing acting as a patient at Yale Medical School,  shooting a short film, “Tracy on a Bench” with the magnificent John Henry Soto, releasing “Holding” for all the world to see, oh yeah…and going to Cannes Film Festival for a  production internship.

So I noticed that after the holidays I was feeling kinda down.  Like…what power do I have to actually shift my career to the next level?  When DUH, it hit me that I already am responsible for all of the great things I already have laid out for the year. And if I want more, I can go get it.  And obviously, I want more.

NO MORE EXCUSES.  NONE. ZERO. ZILCH.  No more thinking that good things just happen to me.  Cause I’m bringin it to myself!  And I wish you the same for 2014.

Also, check out the blog I was speaking of earlier (even if you aren’t an actor, this still applies to LIFE my friends).

http://jennlederer.com/blog/

Cheers.