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Looking Back to Look Forward

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As I begin writing what could possibly be my last MITB blog ever (Official Announcement), I can’t help but reflect on the evolution of my life and career that I’ve shared here with this community.

3 years, 36 blogs written and a whole lot of growth.

When MITB first began, I had just returned to LA after an extended hiatus on the east coast, and found myself re-entering the LA scene wiser, but in some ways more cautious.  I found myself containing the  risk-taker that resides in my soul, and focusing on the task at hand. Survive in LA.

I was terrified that all of the soul-searching and journeying to self-love and wellness that I had worked on, would slip away against the hills of Hollywood, and I would find myself “down and out” again.  Instead, what happened was I created and grew a thriving side-business, that although I resisted it at first, just wouldn’t go away.   The demand for my skills grew, and the referrals and clients have been on a steady stream for 3 years now, and so I’ve embraced it.

In the process, I strengthened my negotiating skills, refined my communication skills, aligned myself with incredible people and projects, and learned the power of non-attachment. You see, as an actor, we are selling ourselves, we are the product, and let me tell you, it is difficult to practice non-attachment when you are literally and figuratively attached to the product.

My crowdfunding business, even tho it’s still entertainment based, was something I found I had no attachment to.   I clearly saw that my knack for crowdfunding, was impressive.  My talent was a gift, and the proof was in my consistently successful campaigns. However at the same time, I could just as easily walk away from a client or a project because my heart was never fully invested.  I was being hired to complete a job, not a deep-held dream.

This experience, this knowledge, has now translated into my acting career, and the results are incredible. In my last blog, I wrote that I had been going on more auditions in the first few months of 2016 than I had in years, and the amazing thing is, that that trend has continued. In fact, I believe I’ve had more auditions (including a network TV callback), these past few months, than I’ve had in the previous 5 years!

So what changed? Besides embracing my grey hairs and increasingly curvy Mom-bod, I simply LET GO of attachment AND sunk deeper into the knowingness that I am talented. I started listening to the feedback I was getting from acting coaches, classmates, casting directors, and others that had witnessed my work, and for once in my life, I actually started to believe that I was good, that I was worth it and that I deserved this career that I’ve worked so hard for.

I love the Indie community, I was cast and shot 2 Indie feature films, this year, and a few months ago, I assembled a tiny, but mighty team, to produce a micro-budget short film in my own home. (Puppet Trailer). It feels good to be creating my own work, but it feels GREAT to be auditioning on a regular basis.  For the first time in a long time, I feel like I am on the team, sitting in the dug-out about to bat, instead of the bleachers!

There is something so powerful about owning your awesomeness.

Additionally, when Ms. In The Biz began, I wrote blogs about my journey to self-love,  Weighing In, and if I’m to be honest, I’m still on that journey, but I’m getting better every day.  I’ve been seeing a nutritionist, I’ve lost a little more weight, but more importantly I’ve established a support system and opened up a conversation and dialogue in the Industry, that wasn’t so easy to talk about 3 years ago. I’ve also recently began a 200hr yoga teacher training  course which finds me diving even deeper into self-love and transformation.

And of course, I also blogged a little bit about love and dating, and this week I began filming for a Reality Docu-Series called Radical Dating– “Breaking thru the Barriers to Finding Love Over 40”… yep, I am 42, and still single, but not for long!   I am committed to being OPEN to the relationship coaching that the show is providing, and being committed to the action steps that my coach will be assigning me. All, while being filmed!  Wowzers , can you say vulnerability?!

So as we close this era of Ms. In The Biz, I look back with great pride with all that we as a community have accomplished, and I smile at all of the many personal strides I have also made, and in part, that is because I have had such an amazing support system here at MITB.

At the end of the day, believe in yourself, work hard, stay focused, and surround yourself with a positive community, and to quote Dr. Seuss, “Will you succeed?!  Yes, you will, 98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.”

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Leah Cevoli

About Leah Cevoli

Leah Cevoli is a multi-talented entertainment professional whose work stretches across many genres. She is a rock ‘n roll enthusiast, body image activist, a certified yoga teacher, and fan of all things horror, Leah's acting credits include appearances on high profile tv shows like HBO’s "Deadwood," and voice-over on the Cartoon Network hit "Robot Chicken". Leah is a contributing writer for Ms. In The Biz and the founder of AllShapesAndSizesWelcome.com: Body Image & Women’s Issues in Entertainment, a group of women who speak on panels and at conventions nationwide. Leah has a reputation for crowdfunding success and social media magic. To date, her company, GreenlightYourPassionProject.com has managed 50+ campaigns, and have been instrumental in raising over $5,000,000 for indie projects. Her latest projects include: the feature-length documentary "Remember The Sultana" narrated by Sean Astin, the gritty feature-length drama, "Girl Lost," distributed thru Cinema Epoch, and the light hearted comedy, "Dance Baby Dance". All three films were released in the spring of 2018.