Erin is one of my sisters and has graciously written a guest post about how she too is a firework in progress. I am so blessed to call her family; we became sisters when my dad married her mom when we were kids and we’ve grown incredibly close throughout the years. She is an actor living in New York City and one of the most active, confident, and positive people I know. She has developed an incredibly strong sense of self in a career where rejection is common and physical appearance can dictate whether or not you’re hired. She has followed her dream since she was a little girl and has been in movies, television shows, commercials, radio and print ads, and on Broadway. The city is her treadmill and she has always led a highly active lifestyle by walking everywhere she can. Through every step of my journey, Erin has been cheering me on with her boundless enthusiasm and her unwavering belief in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. She has always led by example and has taught me how to have faith in myself. Her healthy lifestyle, passion for acting and unwavering optimism is an inspiration to me. I’m sure it will be an inspiration to you too!
Hello fellow fireworks in progress! I’m Courtney’s sister, Erin, and am thrilled and honored to be a guest contributor and look forward to sharing a city gal’s perspective on how to live a healthy and happy life. I moved to NYC 16 years ago (GASP! I guess this officially makes me a New Yorker?!) to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where I majored in Drama. Acting was always my passion from the time I was a little girl, so it was bit of a no-brainer I would follow this path. While the road hasn’t always been clear and obstacle-free, the journey has been a rewarding one thus far, and I feel so blessed to be able to call myself a working actor in a city that both rewards and challenges those pursuing artistic careers.
The biggest question people ask me all the time (in addition to “Was that you in that Robitussin Commercial?”) is how I handle the constant rejection. Now, I’d be lying if I said I had an easy answer for how I’ve lasted this long, but like anything good in life and worth fighting for, it takes hard work, perseverance and a positive attitude. The happier you are with yourself, the more confidence you exude, and the easier it is to let the “no’s” roll off your back without shedding too many tears. I may not be able to control whether or not I get the job, but I can control the way I handle the entire process. And let me tell you, it feels a whole lot better to take a deep breath and move on, versus letting rejection eat you up.
How though, can we get to this place where rejection is no more than a mild inconvenience versus a life-shattering occurrence? One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given goes something like this: Don’t believe the person who tells you you’re the most amazing actor/(insert your profession here) they’ve ever seen. Because if you believe that person, you’ll also believe the person who tells you you’re crap. Period. Don’t put all your marbles into any one person’s faith or lack of faith in you. Have faith in yourself and let that be your guiding principle. ALWAYS. If you know your own self-worth, talent and beauty, then you don’t need anyone else’s validation and this, my friends, is the key to letting go. To letting that rejection blip on by and to moving on to life’s next challenge.
In order to get to this place of self worth and extreme confidence, it takes constant work and care. As an actor, my body is my instrument and one that needs to be cared for every day. This means, making healthy food choices and always finding the time for exercise, even if it just means walking from audition to audition instead of taking the subway or doing some yoga before bed. It doesn’t take a gym or expensive equipment…it just takes dedication and open eyes. And I promise you…the moment you start believing in yourself, the world will be watching and waiting to put your name up in lights.
How do you maintain faith and confidence in yourself? Who helps to remind you when you forget?