I feel like my career has really shifted in the last year and a half. My mindset has changed, and with it, the entire way I approach everything. I find myself much less focused on a lot of the standard "actor" tasks... post cards, agent-hunting, casting director workshops... I'm not doing any of that anymore. Not to say that I won't ever again, but I'm just not spending a lot of energy focused on it.
Instead, I have been trying to get out there. To get involved. To contribute to industry organizations I believe in. To attend reputable industry events with independent filmmakers. To generate my own project pipeline and support filmmakers whose work I respect and admire.
It's not a magic carpet to the red carpet, but my career has really started to move forward, and it's entirely more fulfilling than sitting around waiting for a postcard to trigger a phone call. I may be inching my way into recognizable projects, but I'm making giant strides into the film community and I can see it over and over...
It's moments like when the third person at an event comes up to say hello to me, the actor/writer/director/festival darling I'm standing with (and secretly adore slash hope to work with someday) raises an impressed eyebrow and says, "Wow. You really know everybody, don't you?"
Or similarly, another LA Film Fest guest recognizes me from the festival circuit. Spoiler: I don't have a film on the circuit... nor have I ever (yet). I used to think I couldn't rub elbows with the people who have unless I did. I used to be wrong.
Or when the crazy-talented Sundance writer finalist is introduced to my manager at another event and says to him, nodding for emphasis, "She's a good one. She's a really good one."
Or the night a small collection of wonderfully talented actors gathered around my living room coffee table and read my screenplay out loud, and nailed it. Then the recording I have of them declaring in the post-read discussion, "Those characters are so much fun! I love them!" over and over again.
None of those things would have happened if I hadn't decided that I deserve to be here. That I didn't need to be invited to act... to write... to connect with people. I could do it all on my own.
It's true when they say, Don't wait for them to give you permission. Or to encourage you to join the discussion. You have to do it yourself. You have to get your own butt out of your yoga pants and slippers, do your hair, swipe on some lipstick and show up.