Every day on social media, I see friends of mine talking about big auditions and meetings they have.
I often have these too, but I choose to quietly keep working.
I see pictures of people who have small parts in productions I played a major role in broadcasting to the world how much they’re doing and getting hundreds of “likes” for it.
I think about doing the same, but instead choose to quietly keep working.
I see peers of mine snagging major film and TV roles. The world knows their names and I struggle to pay my bills. I could feel jealous or I could be over-zealous about my close connections to these superstars.
Instead I smile and am glad for their success because it means there’s still paid work and new opportunities to be had in comedy. So I know I should quietly keep working.
I could advertise my social media and spend precious time and money gaining “likes” and “followers” so I look like I have a huge following.
But I’d rather spend my time creating and my money on producing content I love. So instead I choose to quietly keep working.
People talk to me about their intense training regimen or post pictures of how hard they work on their diets and exercise.
But I don’t mention my own commitment to fitness. I don’t post gym selfies. Instead I smile, give them encouragement, then quietly keep working.
Many friends of mine have active social lives brimming with fulfilling hobbies. They get the opportunity to travel and have adventures and pursue lives outside of their careers.
While I sometimes do too, I recognize that it’s not usually my life at this moment. I want a successful career. So I quietly keep working.
I see people at Happy Hours and being social. I see their smiling faces and know that my own window for being “young and free” is ticking.
But I don’t mind. I prefer to focus on what I want most. I prefer to work on me, which often means sacrificing some elements of the present to create the future I want. So I quietly keep working.
I could share more details about my own life and my own successes. I could share every meeting I have and every agreement I sign. I could hint at every development deal I have and every time someone bites on one of my many projects.
But I know I’d only be doing it to seek outside validation. So I’ll wait until I’m ready and have something really exciting and important to share. And I’ll wait until I know I’m sharing it for the right reasons. I’ll be sharing out of excitement and enthusiasm, not insecurity or validation. And until then, I quietly keep working.
Things are happening. I’m making deals and I’m gaining traction. But I know that I’m doing these things for me, not to show off to the rest of the world how great I’m doing. I’m doing them because I need to. I’m hardwired to create, perform, imagine and entertain. I know some of the deals are going to fall through and I know some of them are going to help me catapult my career.
But most importantly, I know that no matter what continues to happen, I’m going to continue to do what I do best: quietly keep working.
Maybe I should be more of a showman. Maybe I should be more of a bragger. Maybe I should over-exaggerate my involvement in certain projects and with certain people to seem more impressive.
But that’s not my nature. And the type of people who are impressed by that aren’t the type of people I want to impress. Instead, I have faith in my own talent, my work ethic, my bonds and interactions with others, and my body of work will speak volumes more than any caption I could put on a social media post. Sometimes this works in my favor and occasionally it works against me. But in the long run, I know it will pay off. Even if my journey is windier than many of my peers, I’m a firm believer that when I am able to rise to the top, I’ll have no problem staying there. Because I quietly keep working, and let that speak for itself.
I’m writing this post not to brag about how much I work. But just because I feel the need to express the approach I take to my own work.
It’s so I can feel liberated to go back to continuing to quietly keep working.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m tired of talking about myself. I’ve got an imagination to serve who I can only hear when I’m quiet and is only satsified when I’m working.
So I’m off. To quietly keep working.