“Fulfillment comes from developing your own talents, not wishing for someone else’s” -Unknown
We’ve all been there. You are sitting in your PJs mindlessly trolling your Facebook news feed and BOOM someone you know has just been cast in that amazing part, at that amazing theatre, doing that amazing play. The entire community rejoices with 57 “likes” and comments. You are super excited and join the congratulatory celebration.
Then you feel it. That twinge of jealousy and disappointment. “Oh man, they didn’t even want to see me audition for that.” You start to wonder if you’ll ever have an opportunity like that? Then that voice in your head starts whispering “Well of course you won’t get a chance like that. You didn’t go to the right schools. You aren’t talented enough, pretty enough, smart enough…. ”
I don’t know the source of the quote I opened with though I’ve known it since high school. It’s always provided me with the strength needed to silence that nasty voice that pipes up whenever I am dealing with professional jealousy. The only way to overcome professional jealousy is to stop comparing yourself, stop looking at what everyone else is accomplishing and start accomplishing something yourself.
For me, the jealously is only a passing thing. Its my ego wishing that people were impressed with me, wishing I had the security that I imagine other people have. It’s a blip on my emotional radar that is easily remedied by reminding myself of simple truths. I remember that my love for my friends is stronger than my ego. I remember that no one is totally secure in their talent or job. I can be truly grateful to be surrounded by talented dedicated artists, and learn everything I can from them. I am also thankful that when I’ve been successful in the past, my friends have always been excited and supportive.
I will not succumb to bitterness and jealousy. I will use successful actors as my model, as my example, as proof that a life in the arts is possible and potentially lucrative (or at least livable). Successful friends are living proof that dreams come true. They are walking examples that people with similar backgrounds can make an impact. So I will work harder. I will spend more time practicing, I will spend more time in class. I will develop my own talents rather than wishing for someone else’s.
When I get jealous its because I am operating under the false belief that I would be happier living someone else’s life. Remember that this life is not easy for anyone, even if it seems so. Everyone, no matter how successful, has had their own struggles and disappointments. So stop wasting time wishing are start working.
So you’re not working now? Read more plays, add some new monologues to your repertoire, write more, take some classes. Keep sharp, because you don’t know when you’ll be called upon to be at your best. Also, the more time you spend working on yourself, the less time you have to compare yourself to others. Find creative outlets so you don’t become blocked and bitter.
Remember that what you have to offer is completely unique, and trust that eventually someone will be looking for exactly what you are offering.