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Riding It Out


It’s “that time of the month” again… blogging time. My greatest blogging fears are realized: I have nothing inspiring to say. I’m all dried up. Things have just been kind of shitty…

An email from my commercial agent landed in my inbox! Subject line: Downgrade. That doesn’t sound good. I open it up and read that, as it turns out, my scene is not in the final version of the national commercial I was on such a high to have booked. Contract over. Good-bye residuals, au revoir financial rewards. Ugh.

Oh look, it’s an email from my theatrical manager! Maybe it’s an audition for a network TV show to make up for the commercial debacle. She’s “concerned…” Well that’s never a good word to start off with. I take a deep breath and muster up the emotional energy to read on. She’s concerned that we haven’t had more success. Maybe I need to invest in new headshots. And maybe I need to address a couple of other changes as well… She’s right, but it still stings. Ugh.

I know! I’ll go to Capoeira class. That always makes me feel better. Wait…what!? Why can’t I remember the basic sequences? Why am I not keeping up with the drills? Surely I’m better than this by now. And holy shit- that game at the end of class! What WAS that? It’s like I’m a full-blown beginner all over again. Ugh.

Wahhhh… What do I need to do? Change my whole entire life? Give up entertainment? Trade in Capoeira for a new hobby? Everything just sucks right now! Or maybe it’s just me.

Then boom! Yesterday something happened. My spirit was lifted.

I got a commercial audition with a casting director I had re-connected with recently. Much to my surprise, she randomly recognized me out and about in a social setting. She had booked me on a project a few years back and has since founded her own company which is now one of the most notable in the commercial world! To my even greater surprise, not only did she call me into her office very soon after our run-in, but she enthusiastically shared that she tried to get me in for a National Commercial she was casting while I was out of town! Wow. I expressed how flattered (and frustrated) I was to have missed that opportunity- especially given my stroke of bad luck with the aforementioned commercial- but she assured me with such warmth and positivity that there will be more. Little did she know, this incredibly supportive interaction alone, regardless of any jobs, fed and completely reinvigorated my sad, frail, starving little soul (not to be dramatic, but I was a Dramatic Arts major, after all).

My spirit was lifted even higher by an inspirational TED talk that came across my Facebook newsfeed.

Influenced by the words of Mark Cuban, tech Entrepreneur Alysia Silberg shares, “You can fail a thousand times. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what all the nay sayers say. It doesn’t matter all the negative comments. ‘Cause one day you will get it right. And it will feel spectacular. And that will give you the motivation to keep going. It will give you the confidence and self-belief to know that you are capable of absolutely anything you set your mind to.”

She then goes on to describe entrepreneurism as a rollercoaster ride. “It is like an adrenaline rush second to none. And every time you think you’ve done something right, you drop. And then you go up. And then you drop.”

Ain’t that the truth!?

Come to think of it, that reminds me of a re-cap my Capoeira professor shared about Mestre Boneco’s lesson on growth where he explained that growth is not linear. Sometimes we take two steps forward and five steps back. It is a cyclical process.

Hmmm… sounds a bit like that rollercoaster.

So hold onto those moments that make you feel spectacular and use them as fuel to keep going through the dips. The lows are as much a part of the ride as the highs. And only if we keep taking action toward our goals through all of it can we trust that the highs will come if we just ride it out.

And when you’re at the top of that high… let go, raise your arms, and enjoy the ride down. Weeeeeee!

View the entire TED talk below for more inspiration.

How do you stay in the game through all the peaks and valleys of your career? What fuels you to keep in pursuit? Are you giving yourself enough credit for doing the work, or are you too heavily focused on judging the results? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Brittani Noel

About Brittani Noel

(Actress/Producer/Capoeirista) Shortly after graduating from USC Brittani produced/starred in her own award-nominated indie webseries Stockholm, written/directed by Emmy & Streamy Nominee Scott Brown. On a mission to give her acting resume a kick in the butt, Brittani began training in the Brazilian martial art, Capoeira. Little did she know how dramatically that decision would transform her entire life. Since starting her training in the fall of 2011, Brittani has co-produced the multi-award winning musical webseries Destroy the Alpha Gammas, is Associate Producer on upcoming webseries gRIDLOCKed, appearing along with Andrew Keegan (10 Things I Hate About You) and Richard Riehle (Office Space, Bridesmaids), and guest-stars in upcoming comedy Disillusioned from Director Shilpi Roy (Hipsterhood). While continuing to take on interesting acting roles, Brittani is currently co-producing Brown’s short film The Other Side and recently moved up a cord level in Capoeira.