A few years ago, while in a workshop with the divine Barbara Deutsch about making your career happen, though I forget the exact context this was said in, I distinctly remember her asking, "Who's in your front row?" Who are the people who are going to be there for you no matter what?
Because this business is rough and rife with uncertainty. There are plenty of people who will tell you you can't do it. Sometimes, those people might even be inside your own head. So, who can you call on when...
- ...you left your agent, broke up with your significant other, and are considering going back to graduate school?
- ...you're performing an 11pm show on a Monday night at your local Fringe festival, it's 5 minutes to show time and you've got 2 people in the audience?
- ...it's 2 a.m., you're drunk and you're about to text that guy you know you shouldn't be texting?
- ...you're moving?
- ...it's Tuesday and you think you should quit? Again?
- ...you're not really sure who cares about you and what you do?
- ...you just want to give up and eat ice cream?
Sure, the general answer should be "Call your therapist!" but if that's not an option, call your front row. Those people who will pick up the phone, rush right over, tell you you're awesome and that those pants make your ass look amazing. They might not be in the same city as you, but they are there. Once you start making that mental list, you'll also start to realize there are way more of them then you could have possibly imagined.
And if they're really good. They won't even tell you not to quit, but ask you why you want to. They'll make you realize on your own that you didn't want to quit after all. Or maybe you do. And that's ok too.
I've been calling on mine a lot lately. To you, and you know who you are, I say thank you. I couldn't do any of this without you.
Let's all have ice cream, ok?