Did I know how to act and sing at this time? No. How could I have known? Aside from what rudimentary things I’d picked up from being a dancer in musicals, I’d never done either.
Was I good at acting and singing at this time? No. How could I have been? Aside from the rudimentary skills I’d picked up from being a dancer in musicals, I’d never done either.
You get the picture.
So, there was a voice. Calling to my soul. And images in my mind. I could see, despite all of my fears and doubts — and the repeating mental sound bites of my parents’ fears and doubts — that there was something inside of me that needed to grow and expand. That becoming a singing, dancing actress — and sharing myself with the world in a radiant, expressive, and expansive way — was somewhere, somehow, a possibility.
And so began the uphill battle. The battle of not only learning, building and realizing my talents…but, most importantly, of realizing my self-worth. And of holding that self-worth deep, deep within the depths of my mind, body, heart and soul.
After 6 years of fumbling, and stumbling, and trying, and learning, and releasing relationships, and becoming physically incapacitated, and doubting myself continuously, I finally emerged from the hellish cocoon that bridged girlhood and womanhood. I was a singing, dancing actress with full health, a couple of decent credits, and a pocketful of confidence. Look at me, teacher lady who told me I should go ‘back to anthropology’. I did it. I’m a motherfucking butterfly. I have arrived.
It was time for LA.
I’d already overcome so much, I thought. LA will be an easy adjustment.
So, so cataclysmically wrong.
What sassy little Hollywood-bound Carrie didn’t know was that she was still looking to others for validation. Boys, producers, agents, friends. Even though she had the skills and the experience and the fancy makeup kit, her soul was NOT ready for the challenges of the most saturated actor market in the world.
And so began the ultimate challenge — what my first year in LA was all about: realizing my self-worth, and locating it deep, deep within.
I cannot express to any young artist how important this is. This is the single most important thing you can do as an artist — because it does not matter how talented you are if you don’t have a strongly rooted sense of self-worth. I repeat: it does not matter how talented you are if you do not have a strongly rooted sense of self-worth. If you don’t believe in yourself, if you don’t have a strongly rooted sense of self-worth, then why should Mr. Agent believe in you? Why should Joe or Jane Hollywood honor and value you and treat you like a Queen/King, as you deserve to be treated?
Locate. Your Worth. Within.
Once Upon a Time, there was a little voice inside of me that told me to sing and act. What that voice didn’t know was that this 7-year journey would end with the most beautiful gifts. The gift of self-worth. Of knowing that no matter what the outside world presented or reflected, that I could handle it. That I am strong enough, worthy enough, talented enough to take on any challenge.
I wish I could say I read some post like this and everything just clicked. Boom! Worthy! But there are no magic downloads. Only continual surrendering, releasing, learning, overcoming, and trusting. I wish I could say I wake up every morning feeling like a radiant goddess. I don’t. I have to remind myself of my worth all. the. time. But I really don’t know any other way to live. If you do…if the worth thing comes naturally to you, then YAY you. Keep rockin’ your worthy self. J
Worth within, kids. Worth within. It’s the new parachute pants.