As I Quietly Keep Working

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.

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Femoir The Podcast: Episode 68 – Show Notes

resilienceWe’re back with another Femoir: The Podcast episode- can you believe it friends? All this time! And we’re back! And it feels sooooooo good.

In this episode, I talk about Steven Pressfield and three of his most significant books (at least for me):

1. The War of Art

2. Do the Work

3. Turning Pro

I also mention National Novel Writing Month, Family Guy, Pirate’s Booty White Cheddar Puffs and Smart Puffs Wisconsin Cheddar.

We’re back. And it’s very cheesy (aaaaaahhhh- get it!?).

Alright, Alright, Alright already!

MMcConaughey120309_08-fullI grabbed coffee with a comedy friend of mine this weekend. We were discussing our projects and all the ways to be a good performer in this career and whatnot. We also discussed just balance in general- talking about how to fit in fitness with everything else we are juggling. I mentioned how hard it is to find time for a workout. And he relayed the following story:

His friend worked with Matthew McConaughey on set for one of his projects not long ago. He said that they worked on lines together and spent tons of time together over a period of several months. And he said, in that time, McConaughey always found time- no matter how busy or strenuous their schedule- to get his workout on. They were getting up at 5 am and working well past midnight. But he would always find time to workout. Even if it was at 2 am when he had to be back up at 5 am, he found 30 minutes to get on the bike and get in a good sweat.

And then he said something really telling. He said, “The people with the things we want and admire are willing to do what most of us aren’t.” Or something like that. I’m paraphrasing. I didn’t record our conversation. That would have been weird. And I’m enough of a weirdo as it is.

But that idea struck me. I’ve thought about it before and even written about it. But it was never so clearly illustrated as it is with a man who’s career and work ethic I admire.

Yes, I work pretty hard. But there’s room for improvement. There’s always room for improvement. I’ve been slacking on my workouts lately. I don’t like it. It doesn’t make me feel balanced. It makes me feel bloated and insecure. So how do I get the body I want and admire? I have to be willing to do what most people aren’t. I have to be willing to make sacrifices. More sacrifices than I’m already doing.

I don’t yet have the luxury paying my bills easily through creative projects. It’s coming- I’m sure- but it’s not here yet. So I have to give myself every advantage. And I have to work harder than those around me. In every way. And that means getting up earlier, working out more, and not making any excuses for why I don’t yet have what I want. I’m not patient enough to wait for it to come to me. I’ve gotta get clear about what I want and go out there, work my ass off, and get it.

No excuses. Only results. Let DO this.

My BOP

Saturday, Feb 22 is my bestest friend in the entire world’s birthday.bop

I don’t often talk about her in blog form. But she’s been one of the most important people and constant support systems in my life.

If you ever hear me talk about how grateful I am for the inspiring, loving, supportive people in my life, you better believe she’s at the top of that list.

She’s a jet pilot and a devoted wife and a disciplined athlete and a brave badass and a talented skiier and an inspiration. Just to name a few roles she plays any given day.

I like to make people laugh. And I love to make both strangers and loved ones laugh. But there is no happiness or satisfaction I get more in any aspect of my life than making that chick laugh.

She works her butt off every single day. People sometimes compliment my  work ethic. And while I appreciate it, I’m nothing compared to this woman. She’s does more in one day before I wake up than I can do in an entire week. I’ve never heard her make an excuse for anything or anyone in the 20+ years I’ve known her.

We don’t talk every day. Because we don’t have to. We know we’re always there for each other. No matter what.

We call each other BOP. I’d tell you why, but it’s a story about us. And this is about her.

I adore her. She’s my favorite person on the planet. She’s my best friend, my chosen sister, my biggest fan, my unconditional support system, and my daily inspiration.

I hope you’re lucky enough to have a best friend like her in your life.

But you can’t have her. She’s already taken, buddy, so back off.

Happiest of Birthdays, Bop.

Love,

Bop

Week Off

Last week, I did a very strange thing for me. I took a whole week off working.

To be fair, I love my work. I love to create. It’s how I relax. When I finally make it my career, I’m going to be the most uptight relaxed person you ever met.

But because I do work on so many projects and am constantly focused on performance and creating, it can make me distracted at times. And when I’m away from it and think there’s a lot I should be doing, I can get a little worked up.

So I made myself a promise to take the week off last week when I was at home visiting my family and friends for the holidays.

And let me tell you… it was great.

It’s easy to lose perspective when you’re totally engrossed in something. I think I had lost a little perspective in my own world. And by forcing myself to not constantly produce, I got to breathe a little deeper and enjoy the present moment even more.

But most importantly, I got to just hang out with my family without anything else on my mind.

Sure. After Christmas when everyone was just relaxing by themselves, I may have done a little organizing for our upcoming Other Client List shoot. But I wasn’t working hard. Just a lil. And just because it’s relaxing.

And rest assured, after about 20 minutes, I joined my dad in the living room and drank cheap wine and watched terrible network TV.

And it was awesome.