The Struggle. Have you heard about it? As an Actor, Writer, Filmmaker, Artist. Human being, It’s definitely real. This life is tough, that much is true, but how you carry yourself through that "struggle" will ultimately make it easier or difficult.
How you say?
Let’s start by breaking something down
[ ˈstrəgəl ]
VERB: struggle ·
-make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction
During the past year I have come to the conclusion that the "restraints or constrictions' that I have felt in the "struggle" are 98% of the time limitations that I have consciously or subconsciously created for myself buy process of unhealthy or negative thinking.
Let’s rewind. Los Angeles 2010 to 2013. New, fresh face in town trying to make a splash in the Hollywood film scene. Meeting the right people, schmoozing with the players, rubbing elbows with people that can easily change my entire life with a phone call. Working on my craft but trying to survive at the same time. I mean we all have got to eat right? I've been at the door, I've seen inside but for whatever reason it wasn’t my time to walk through it. And that’s ok. At the time it was a little deflating of course. There I was, inches from stardom or at least I thought so, but still so far out of reach. Why? Was I not good enough? Did I not have what it took? Blah blah blah? That was the line of questioning I diverted to. As opposed to figuring out what I needed to do to get in that door with a positive perspective. But looking at it now, it all happened for a reason, everything happens for a reason and I'm grateful I didn't make it because honestly, i would know how to handle it. Looking at it now. I do.
Everything is a matter of perspective. Nearing the end of 2013 I was going through a life changing event. I had woken up. I was put on an inward journey to find out what makes me tick. For the past few years I was catering to everyone else’s view of me and letting that effect my thoughts. It wreaked havoc on me. I felt lost. Until i was put on the path of enlightenment. I had become extremely spiritual and I finally reconnected with who I truly was at heart. With such a self-discovery I knew exactly what I wanted to do for not only myself and my family but the entire world and universe.
My time in Los Angeles had come to an end, I was on the verge of moving back to San Francisco with the thought and feeling of my life all of a sudden going backward. I mean I moved to Hollywood to break through, now i was retreating back to SF. But was it really a retreat? Nope, it was a new beginning. I wrestled with these ideas of going backwards but noticed that they wouldn’t stay long because overall, I was happy. I had moved back to a place that I loved, surrounded by genuine people most importantly my family who loved and supported me. Unfortunately we all don't have these things and everyone’s story is different, but if I can make a suggestion to you, no matter where you are in life your happiness is everything. There should be a time in one’s life for deep self-reflection. Upon receiving insight from that reflection one should take total responsibility from there on out for all of their actions and choices. Only then will you stop playing the blame game and start making moves for yourself.
I came back to San Francisco wounded but alive. Really alive. I didn't know what that feeling was at the time but now I do, it was congruence. Everything was in its right place. Even though at the time i was searching for something more. Not seven day into my return to the Bay I was offered the leading role in a film. During that shoot my now good friend Jeff Brown, a tremendous filmmaker pulled me aside and said "Now I bet this whole time coming back to San Francisco you thought you were going backwards, didn’t you" I looked that man in his eyes and said "absolutely".
That my friends is the arrow. There are going to be times in your life where you feel that you are being held back, embrace those moments, because those moments are preparing you for what is about to come. With the right lenses or perspective going backward becomes part of the whole and is just as important as going forward. You can't change the past or worry about the future, but you can control right now. So do it. Take control of your life and do whatever it takes to be happy, in a healthy way of course.
I had the wonderful opportunity of being a part of production today on a new PG&E commercial for Northern California. As a freelance filmmaker I'm not too picky on the jobs I take. I think its a blessing that I get to work in this industry and be a part of a collaborative effort to convey an idea. As long as I'm close to production, I feel like I'm home in a sense. The days fly by and there’s nothing more satisfying for myself as a filmmaker and as an Actor as well to successfully pull off a project. There are a lot of moving parts during a full blown production but when everyone is one the same page and performing on a high level of precision, its pure magic. You can feel it on set.
Surround yourself with people you like to work with, especially in this industry but in anything you do. You might not get to work with them all the time (unless your somebody like Adam Sandler, or Scorsese who almost always use the same crews) but when you do it makes its much more rewarding when you can. I'm thankful i get to be a part of something like that. A crew who believes in each other. It's awesome. Yeah it's a struggle for all of us, but that’s the thing, we're all going through it, in the same and very different ways. So be kind, Keep pushing. Don't get discouraged because you’re essentially doing something and working in a field that you love. Love hard, give 'the struggle" the respect it deserves but don't let it sink you, its a part of life but not the only thing in life. Find a way to turn the struggle into something that help you rise. Have fun.