The Competitive Life: A Precept for Living

Don’t compete! It isn’t necessary or required. Being well schooled or being in the habit of practicing your craft is your requirement in order for success to happen; that is to say… if it ever happens. For what we do or contrive to do as actors is our addiction to nothing more than a personal dream. Ultimately, we may or may not reach fruition because of the hard work I profess to be our most necessary ingredient for even a chance at success. The fallacy of it all, simply stated, is society’s assessment of the meaning of success.

For the masses, success has as its equivalent only one descriptive word: money.

The other day a well-known actor very succinctly summed up our world in a nutshell. When I asked him how things were going he responded with, “It’s time for me to hit the lottery again.” The actor I’m referring to was coming off a tremendous run in a network television series. In the past, I had heard him thank God for his luck to have experienced such great success. Yes, he’s a good actor, by no means a great one. As John Houseman might say, our actor is a journeyman. He recognizes the frailty of our profession. Some of our strongest brethren never experience acclaim or monetary rewards comparable to their strenuous efforts at reaching for the stars. In other words…the expertise you develop is absolutely a necessity in order to maintain your own sanity. You are the one who must be satisfied your attempts at success are at least well founded.

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