What, like it's hard?
One of the reasons I wanted to get out of New York was because it made me lazy. I had everything at my beck and call. I could order in any cuisine I wanted instead of cooking. I could take a cab if I didn't want to walk or take the subway. I could pretend to be working hard at something, put the least amount of effort in it and still walk around and say "I'm an actor. I'm a model. I'm amazing" because I lived in New York and was surviving. It is very easy to work your job, pay your bills, go out to dinner and tell yourself you are nailing it because everything around you is fancy and shiny and full of people so you can hide the fact you haven't done shit.When it comes to work, I have found I tend to be three different types of people. I've met these people outside of myself as well. I see them in a lot of creatives but then again, I hang out with mostly creatives and I am certain this exists in every field. These are three people I am when working.
I am this person honestly the least amount of the time. Or I used to be. I know many hard workers and guess what? They are successful, thriving powerhouses. When I work hard, I see results. It's like going to the gym three times a week, eating right, and drinking lots of water. You feel great, you see results, you are the hero of your own life. You keep going because why wouldn't you? You are checking those boxes and climbing that ladder.Currently, I am working on a novel, a collection of essays, my Instagram for fairy tales, and growing a blog following. I love doing all of these things. I find when I stay consistent (like posting a story every day), I am successful. I get followers, I add 1500 words, I check my boxes off. I feel proud of myself. I want to keep it up and see how far I can go. What they tell you about hard work is true: it really does pay off.
Starting Out Hard And Then Getting Cheese Fries
You take a day off from the gym. It's fine, you worked out consistently for weeks. Then another day. Then it's winter and who wants to exercise in the cold or leave the house and here we are, back to not working out, eating right, and I'm getting cheese fries. This is the worker I am the most. I start out strong, determined, hungry. When I achieve some goals, I get cocky. I allow myself to step back and take a break.I would go to an audition and have another lined up in the afternoon. If I killed the audition, I'd make an excuse not to go to the other one and do something fun instead. I could always find someone to do the fun thing with and I'd talk about my audition and that would feel like I won the battle. I now realize I did not win the war. Because if I didn't book the first audition and skipped the second, I got nothing but a fun afternoon when I could be a working actor for several weeks.I am not condoning skipping out on fun all the time but I am very guilty of complaining when I haven't tried nearly hard enough. I whine about not having a lot of followers on my blog or story Instagram but I haven't been posting consistently. How can I expect strangers to be interested if they don't know what I am about? How can I get people to want to read my shit if I write a blog every four months? I'll never finish my novel if I don't work at it because books need words and words come from the author, not out of thin air.Working hard for five minutes somehow encourages me to stop working for a month. I can still make progress but it is incredibly slow moving which frustrates me and I am prone to give up. This is the worst part and one I fail to see until it is too late and I have to start from scratch again. I don't have a boss breathing down my neck or anyone to report to. It doesn't matter if I don't make my word count goal to anyone but me. This leaves the door wide open for the hard work to last as little time as possible and the rewards to take over.
Making Up Hard Work But Never Working
I am guilty of this, a lot of New York actors are guilty of this, it is the easiest work to do. You make it up. Not out right lying about the hard work you are doing but taking excuses for a break and fluffing them. I can list all my projects and it sounds like I am busy but if I am not working at them, I'm basically making it up. I can say I am writing a novel but if I don't write for six weeks, I should not saying I am writing a novel. I am still a writer, still an actor, but that's just a facade if I am not working at it either of them. It's a Band Aid to put over the lack of effort.This is so absolutely easy for me to do. Easy and tempting. And I do it far more than I should. In a city where you struggle to get by and just get to work on time, things fall to the wayside and sometimes, I don't want to pick them back up. I just say I have and continue on my way towards my little house on a plateau because I am for sure not heading upwards. I can tell myself something good will come my way. It's only a matter of time. That's just such bullshit. You can't have something good come along just by willing it. I mean, I guess you can but that has yet to happen to me. Anything good comes from hard work and determination. I can't give up on day 14 of my 30 day arm challenge exercise and expect toned arms. Well, I sort of did...I've been all three of these people. Currently, I am a hard worker and it has taken root. I think maybe because this is my second round with the city and I am older and I don't have time to fuck around any more because I know fucking around gets me no where. I know nothing will come of me making the same excuses and not trying as hard as I possibly can. I know not to run myself ragged. I know to keep a schedule and to make reasonable goals. I can do this. Sure, I may not have a new gym membership but I'm working on another part of myself for now.It is so damn easy to play pretend here in Neverland. It's so damn easy to give up when you just rely on yourself. There are dreams I want to achieve so desperately so why do I think I can get off the train before it reaches the station? I can still have fun afternoons. That beer will taste so much better after the checks go in the boxes. You know, when it is an actual reward instead of an excuse. When I can call myself a hard worker and only a hard worker. I'll still get cheese fries sometimes though.