Slow and Steady Wins the Race


Amber Sweet HEADSHOT“Slow and steady wins the race” has recently become my mantra — my coping mantra. It was actually something Judy Greer said in her book and I wrote it on a post-it note and now look at it every day, in a conscious effort to keep my head up and my eyes on the prize.

A while ago I decided to veer away from my typical non-fiction and picked up two autobiographical books by two very funny ladies, Mindy Kaling and Judy Greer. I’ve admired both women from a distance for some time, identify with them both for separate reasons, and wanted a glimpse into their artistic journeys, respectively. Both books had exactly what I was looking for: humor and candor. They both skillfully use comedy to drive home themes like patience and trusting yourself, as well as de-bunking the “over-night success story” myth (it really doesn’t exist). Everyone has their own journey and it will happen when it’s meant to. All things I knew, but the reminder didn’t hurt. These two women struggled to get where they are, and even after having achieving so much, they still contend with the challenges of the industry, and everything that comes with being an artist. It was very entertaining to read their stories, and I recommend that you buy both books, but I did want to share my three favorite take-aways.


Headshots. Acting class. Print sides. Learn sides. Update your reel. Repeat. So many things to do and stay on top of. Having a list of things you constantly need to keep in check (in order to stay relevant and hire-able) can be tedious, but if we want to be able to play with the big dogs, we have to be reinventing ourselves, growing, and refining our craft and our brand all the time. Judy Greer encourages having a manifesto (it’s waaaay cooler than a to-do list); having something to inspire us and hold us accountable for the things we want to attain. In her book she says, “…A manifesto should sum up how you want to treat your days, what your priorities are, how to deal with people, how you deal with the earth, and how you want to spend your time. Read it often and know that manifestos are allowed to change…it’s like a lifelong evolving resolution.” It will give a vision for who you want to be, and set you on a (daily) mission to mature as both an individual and as an artist.


Mindy Kaling wrote a 30 page essay in her book about her journey to success through failure (it’s literally called “Failing at Everything in the Greatest City on Earth”). Mindy said she really enjoyed writing this chapter because, “who wants to read about success?” It was one of my favorite chapters to read; I like hearing about the struggle, not because I am some weird masochist, but because it reaffirms my belief that no great success was ever achieved without failure.

“Nothing will work unless you do.” — Maya Angelou

If you failed, it only means you tried. You gave a big middle finger to fear and you did the work. It’s hard but when you get knocked down, you must pick yourself back up and try again.


Mindy Kaling said something that has stuck with me, and in writing this I am reminded of the value and the truth in it…and also having to ask myself why I haven’t done this yet…one more thing to add to the manifesto:

“If I can give one bit of advice to any drama major, high school theater kid, or inmate who is reading this in prison with dreams of being cast in the prison play, it’s this: write your own part. It is the only way I’ve gotten anywhere. It is much harder work, but sometimes you have to take destiny into your own hands. It forces you to think about what your strengths really are, and once you find them, you can showcase them, and no one can stop you.”

All three of these things are directly related and are things that you can do right now! Construct your manifesto, take destiny into your hands and create something for YOU, and use your failure as a stepping stone to success.