From: Future Amy
To: LA Newbie Amy
Subject: Welcome to LA!
Date Written: September 6, 2020
Date Received: September 6, 2006
Welcome to LA! How was your flight? I’m just kidding, I know it was fine, although I don’t remember the details because it was 14 years ago! Hi, it’s your future self, just popping in with a quick greeting and some words of advice to get you started in LA.
“Success is a journey, not a destination”
I know, I know, you’ve seen this on magnets and sometimes you even think you understand and believe it. But there’s still something nagging at the back of your mind saying, “yeah, but once I achieve THAT, then I’ll really be successful.” Sorry, no.
If you believe success is a destination you’ll just end up hustling, striving, and holding yourself apart from happiness and a sense of accomplishment. You have success now. High School Amy Schloerb believed that success was graduating and getting into a good college. College Amy Schloerb believed success was, again, graduating and starting a good career. Now that you’ve arrived in LA, you’re thinking a “good career” means booking bigger and better jobs consistently and continuously until you’re the next Reese Witherspoon.
Okay, not gonna lie, I still sometimes think that, but then I remember the truth: Setting goals is great, but continuously moving the goal post on what it means to BE SUCCESSFUL is soul crushing. If you keep thinking, “yeah I did that, good for me, but now REAL success is up there” guess what? “Real success” will always be “up there.” Wherever the F either of those things are….
Instead, put the goal post of success inside you. What?! What the heck does that mean?! It means enjoy the process and the journey because, spoiler alert, that’s all there is: Journey. And then more journey, some more journey, a quick detour journey to a foreign country (oops! I’ve said too much!), followed by, you guessed it, more journey! It’s quite a trip! Bahahahahaha! Oh, stop rolling your eyes, you know that was funny!
There’s gonna be ups and downs, highs and low, abundance and “slow times” - and the sooner you recognize that that’s just what this career IS, the happier you’re gonna be overall. You’re “in the arena” (look up the Roosevelt quote, it’s good) and that means you’re already successful.
All acting work is real. Enjoy it.
Don’t treat any acting job like a stepping stone or practice session for a “real job.” THEY ARE ALL REAL JOBS. Different budget levels maybe, but your job is always the same. Know your lines, know what you want each scene, and do your work. Rinse and repeat. Any idea that “oh, this is good practice for when I’m REALLY working” is nonsense. You’re REALLY WORKING now! Stop missing out on the fun you’re having right now by continually telling yourself that this job doesn’t count. It counts! Enjoy it! Celebrate them all!
Don’t wait for permission or perfection to create stuff and put it out into the world. Just do it! Lean into your inspirations and follow them full out. Play, explore, throw stuff up online, and again, rinse and repeat. Some of it might be crap, or maybe only a handful of people will ever see it, but what you will learn in the process will be invaluable. Oh, and fun. Tons of fun!
No one cares.
If you think someone is judging you, chances are good you’re really just projecting your own self-judgement onto them. Abandon judgment altogether and remember that while you’re busy worrying about “what they think” they are probably just as worried about “what YOU think” and you’re both so caught up in this stupid game of self-obsession that no one has stopped to realize, ta-da, no one cares what anyone else is doing! Or maybe we all care, but only in the “oh that’s cool!” sense rather than the “why would you do that?!” sense. Does that make sense? I hope it does, because reminding myself of this fact on a regular basis is freeing.
Let's wrap this up!
I realize these little bits of advice sound perhaps like cliché platitudes, but if you really stop and sit with them for a moment, you’ll find their truth has the power to embolden you. Over the years you’ll forget them at times, and then you'll re-find them at exactly the right time. Again, trust and enjoy the journey.
I probably have more thoughts, but these are the good ones, and [REDACTED] just [REDACTED] so I gotta go.
Oh, one last thing! Buy stock in [REDACTED]. I know, weird, right? But trust me, [REDACTED] is the wave of the future.