I often feel like I am in a battle of two versions of myself, one version of myself wants to do everything, completely immerse myself into the creative world and stretch myself so thin that only pure adrenaline gets me through and the other version of me wants to continue living my life like I have for the past 20 odd years and wait…and wait…for someone to tell me. “Ok, now it’s your turn.” It wasn’t until a few months ago that I had the wake up of a lifetime and decided to start my own web series. A complete passion project where I would venture into the world of hosting ( a job I had always refused prior, I’m an actor! Blah blah) film completely myself, EDIT completely myself and share with the world and it’s through that, that I realized just how paralyzing waiting really is.
The second I released the first episode of “Macabre Mondays,” my vlog / documentary style series wherein each episode I feature a different location, usually historical in nature where either a heinous crime was committed or is suspected of paranormal activity (double points if both); people started reaching out to me to congratulate me on doing something for myself all by myself. The congrats continued as each episode aired and people I would have never expected shared my series without me asking. A researching team contacted ME to help with research, a newspaper reporter came to ME to ask for information on a building he’d been obsessed with for years. I was teaching myself to do things I’d never done before and I was learning that I enjoyed taking control of my career, I loved the feeling of completing something I would have run from before and that feeling lead me to take that into other creative parts of my life.
I have always been an artist by nature but shortly after moving to LA I decided I needed to focus on being an actor and make-up artist and not distract myself by doing other things. It’s sad to me now to think of how much time I wasted just waiting for someone to find ME when really I could have been spending all this time being creative every. single. minute. That creative momentum and new found confidence I had gained from creating my own series brought back my love of sketching. I started off with buying a sketchbook. I reconnected with a comic character I had created in middle school called EggMan (there may even still be some faded remnants of him on some desks in Seattle.) From him I started dabbling in the art of calligraphy, then returned to my sketchbook for some still life, then I created some new characters and started posting them on Instagram and THEN I was contacted about the opportunity to collaborate on co-writing a children’s book and illustrating it. The scared version of myself wanted to say no, that I didn’t have the skill set and it would be too much to take on. I said yes.
Then, I was contacted about another opportunity, to bake something for a Top Chef style dessert and appetizer competition at the IAWTV holiday party representing my web series. Everyone that knows me knows that I love to cook and bake but I set an impossibly high standard for myself and the pressure of coming up with something not just good but that accurately represents my series AND will have to be judged seemed like the scariest thing in the world. I said no out loud so many times….but than I said yes…..AND I WON!!
I’ve learned that saying no to things that scare you in your career are often what you should be saying yes to. I wish I had said yes a hell of a lot more when I first moved out here. It took me starting my own web series to reconnect with my creative self and I’ve found that people really love to work with people who fight for the career they want so FIGHT and BELIEVE and CREATE and when you want to say no…say YES.