Jealousy and anger is a tough topic for me to talk about, because as I have grown up and gotten more involved in this strange industry and been in a variety of relationships, I have realized how jealous or angry I really can get. It’s an ugly side of me, every time I get jealous I tell myself I’m never going to feel this way again (I will rise above it!) but inevitably something happens and there I am again, cursing in my head and throwing my hands up in the air, saying, “f**k acting,” “I hate LA,” “everything is so unfair,” “Why me!”, etc.
We all have felt both at some point in our lives, whether it be about our career, that sexy new girl our boyfriend is seeing, or the person you know will get the part over you because they have red hair and that’s just not a look you’re ever going to rock!
Why do we feel jealousy, though? What dark place in our hearts or minds does it come from? The idea that we should have what someone else has, that we have worked harder or been through more, or flat out just feel we deserve it. How do we take that feeling and channel it into something productive? How do we make this flawed feeling we all have into something fabulous?
- First of all, allow yourself to be jealous or angry. I’m a big believer in not bottling things up; I did it for years in a relationship, and yes, that bottle will get too full and it will explode. They are feelings, so feel them!
- So now you’ve got this jealous rage built up in you. Someone booked a gig, you wish it had been you, and that’s not a bad thing, it means you still care. It means you are still hungry to be in the industry. It means you should still be in LA, so first, congratulations, you’re still here and fighting for your dreams. Now as much as you want to throw out a passive aggressive congratulations and then be done with it, don’t.
- Instead, be happy about it. If your friend booked a TV gig, think about how you would like them to react had it been you who booked it. You’d want them to celebrate with you! You’d want them to dream of scenarios where you get bumped up to a guest star and then with this money and recognition you and your friend can finally get your movie off the ground and become the next Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. So get over yourself for a hot second and be happy for them! In all honesty, you probably could have done the job but didn’t quite fit the part—that happens, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Once you recognize that, you can channel it into something fabulous! This, in my mind, is the most important step, and why in certain ways I like getting a bit jealous from time to time. Use it. How did they book this gig? What are they doing that maybe you aren’t? Don’t hurt yourself or try and be something you aren’t because that’s not going to book you work either, but take time to evaluate—maybe it’s time to update your website or do some student films so you can update that reel of yours. Maybe you need to channel that anger or jealousy into writing a little short film to shoot with your friends, and by the time you do all those things you’ll probably no longer feel jealous, and hopefully will have created something pretty fabulous!
Checkout this TED Talk on jealousy—it’s pretty great and sums up most of my feelings about jealousy, and also talks about how in some strange way we wouldn’t have some great art if it wasn’t for jealousy. Also who doesn’t love a great TED Talk?