Often when I am procrastinating or in a less than delightful mood or just wasting time on the internet, I go to Buzzfeed and look at the latest adorably witty animal photos/memes posted on the site. The latest one was of 25 Existential Animals: http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/25-existentialist-animals. Yes, I’d say that my one cliché “girly” downfall is my love for furry, wide-eyed creatures. Anywhoo, while giggline at the thoughtful dog staring at a stuffed animal version of himself, I was reminded of the great George Bernard Shaw quote, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.”
Strangely enough, Buzzfeed reminded of my most recent revelation as a performer/artist extraordinaire being: That I have to make my own journey, create my own work and to not let others tell me who I am or what I should be doing. As actors, I feel like we are constantly throwing things against a wall, hoping something will stick. We submit to every part we feel is right for us, whether or not we actually feel passionate about the part. Sometimes we think way too far ahead as in, “This will lead to this, will lead to this, will lead to this and then I’ll be able to this and then I’ll be FAMOUS!” These thoughts are damaging and counterintuitive to what it means to be an artist.
As Shaw (and the cute dog says), create yourself. Don’t let others, i.e. casting directors, producers, directors, tell you who you are, don’t search through film/theater history to type yourself and compare yourself to somebody else. Be somebody new. As I enter into my quarter life crisis, I’m finding that myself to be a bit braver. I’m embarking on creating my own work, and through that work, I’m learning about myself and what my self actually is. I see my career as constantly evolving, but my focus is narrowing now. Choosing a career in the arts certainly isn’t easy, but I feel so lucky to be pursuing a vocation that pushes me outside of myself so that I can continue to grow.