I got in my car and pulled away from the agency’s pearly gates. Then I drove about three blocks away, pulled over in some fancy residential Beverly Hills neighborhood and started snapping away. I was eager and desperate to post a fab selﬁe that instant (no pun intended). Besides I did get all fancy and dolled up on this particular day. There I was sitting in my car taking pictures of just myself…cool! I have never felt more vain in my life. What initially started as a meeting to keep busy during slow acting season had quickly turned me into a complete, self-absorbed narcissist.
I took about fifty pictures to get one that I ﬁnally felt was “cute” and “just me out on a busy day.” I had become that girl: the girl that’s trying way too hard; the look at me girl; the “please validate my life by liking my pictures and following me girl.” I kept looking around to see if anyone was watching me. I was very aware of how ridiculous I looked. What was I doing? I’ve never been this person before. Why did I suddenly feel the pressure for likes and follows on a superﬁcial media platform? Did I suddenly feel like I wasn’t enough? Was it wanting the people in our industry to look at my social media pages and think I was “on my way to stardom”? Was it wanting to be part of the cool kids club? Whatever it was, I didn’t care at that moment, and I was determined to make it work.
In the following days after I met with Sally, I hit that post button hard. I went on a hashtagging binge. I tagged everything from #actress to #blonde to #hollywood. Let’s face it- I was desperate. And you know what? It was working. The more I posted and tagged, the more followers and likes I got. It became a little addicting. I spent the next few days constantly looking for Instagram-worthy opportunities. Instead of enjoying my Grifﬁth Park hikes (where I even had a rule to never take my cell phone with me), I was snapping away at every turn and tree branch. I even made my poor dog model for me… as if he gives two cents about any of it.
And the worst part is: I cheated. I was a total fake. Again, for every good selﬁe posted that week, there were fifty others that didn’t make the cut. Each picture had been put through a ﬁlter, and most were even photo-shopped (standard Instagram etiquette). Even when I said I was busy running around town auditioning, I wasn’t. For example, in a post that said, “Best part about acting is the ability to time travel,” I used an old pic from an audition I had months ago and put a cute comment on it. What it really should have said is, “Best part about acting is being able to post an old pic of me as I sit on my couch in my pjs.” The more likes and follows I got, the worse I felt. This was not the croc-wearing, frizzy-haired, zero-ducks given Agnes I knew. This was a version of me I wanted to world to think I was. I had completely lost myself.