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Stop Waiting In Line and Find a New Path!


Tristen I would like to share a story with you that I first heard from the wonderful Jack Plotnick. Jack is a talented, working actor that often gives seminars about his audition technique for $5, and proceeds go to charity. You can check out more free and awesome thoughts from Jack here on his website.

The story below is an abridged version. The original text can be found in the book Taking Chances by Dale Dauten.


There once was a young man who went out into the world to seek his fortune. He wandered for many days, until he saw in the distance a grand mansion upon a hill. Out front, there was a very long line of people waiting to get in, so he got in line and waited.

The young man waited and waited but the line did not seem to move.

“What do you do here to pass the time?” asked the young man. The woman in front of him replied, “We worry.”

Time passed, and at last, the young man could wait no longer and his legs carried him away. As he moved forward along the line, he noticed the people seemed to appear older and older.

He saw some birds flying and, with nothing else to do, he followed in their direction, walking along a fence. He had been walking for quite a while when he saw the end of the fence come into view and it stopped near the back door of the mansion. There he found the back door of the home wide open. His heart leaping into his throat, he walked inside.

“Welcome!” a dozen voices said in unison. “Come in, come in,” they were all saying.

“Welcome home!” a woman said, squeezing the young man’s hand. “We’ve been expecting you!”

“I can stay?” he asked.

“Of course. You’ve arrived.”

“But what about those in line?”

The woman looked out the window at all of the folks waiting and worrying and said. “Them? They will wait.”


Every so often, I have an epiphany. That my hard work and pounding the pavement has become complacent. I’m still doing the work, but it hasn’t actually been working for quite some time.

It’s at those times where I need to go into my little cocoon and take a good, long look at the tactics I’ve been using. I need to find out what part of my life I can really shake up. And it’s hard. Especially after so many years – I feel like I’ve tried everything.

Last year, I went “into my cocoon” and came up with the answer of writing my own show. I had zero reason to believe that I was capable of that – I had never written anything. It wasn’t easy. It look a lot of research, googling, reading, and classes to learn just the basics.

Let me just tell you, I think years from now I will look back on that one decision and be able to say that it changed my life. I have a writing job now. A great one. I’m learning so much every day and would have never dreamed I would be here a year ago.

The scary part is, now I’m wondering what else I have in me. If I didn’t even think I was capable of writing and I was, what else is in there. It might be time to revisit my cocoon again and do some soul searching.

I challenge all of you to take some time this week for yourself and find a new way to change it up. You may feel as if you’ve “tried everything” but there might be more in there, waiting to be set free. It’s time to really bust out of your comfort zone and try something bold. Gutsy. Ballsy!

Don’t just wait in line and worry, try a different route. You may find success is waiting for you, doors wide open, ready to welcome you in with open arms.

Tristen MacDonald

About Tristen MacDonald

Tristen MacDonald is a working actor & screenwriter in Los Angeles, currently recurring on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and the spokesperson for three national brands. Other credits include recurring on NCIS: LA, Grey’s Anatomy, Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger, national commercials for Amica, Taco Bell, Toyota (and dozens more), and the Groundlings Sunday Company. Tristen is also the founder of Happy Actors, an online community providing tools, resources, and training to help actors thrive. Happy Actors’ mission is to reshape the collective psyche of the next generation of artists and rid the world of “struggling actors” forever.