Rising to the Top

Do you feel like the “good guy” finishing last in your Art?
Do you watch others rise to the top, achieving stardom, who are essentially egomaniacs?

Why do THEY succeed, and you feel like you are barely being noticed?

You come to your Art from the deepest part of you, desiring to evoke change and emotion.  You want to make a difference in this crazy world, amongst so much current turmoil and pain.

Meanwhile the latest Transformers movie is raking in millions of dollars.
A song about killing and violence is top of the charts
Shady Artists are getting the record contract, movie deal, and gallery opening….

And it can be really easy to start going down the rabbit hole of,
Is this the ONLY way to make it today?
Is this what it takes to stand out from the crowd?

How do you stay in integrity with your Heart, and actually receive the acclaim you desire?

Are these two mutually exclusive?

It certainly can feel like that……

 

This week I watched a dear friend and colleague suffer.  She entered a contest where she created results that were astronomical.  She came to this contest with a pure heart, and pure intentions.

But her competition used bribery.
Her competition used dirty tactics.

And her competition won.

I found myself re-living so many moments of absolute frustration from my performance career.  I watched fellow performers rise to Broadway stardom, and behind the scene they were ungrateful, complaining, and in some extreme cases, were abusive.

I remembered a dancer who joined the Evita National Tour who showed up drunk and high for work.
I remembered a middle aged character man who sexually harassed several chorus women in my show, at a very highly respected regional theatre, and WASN’T fired.

How did we get there at the same time?

Did it matter WHO I was being, and HOW I showed up?

I found this week really coming into contact with a very strong need,
INTEGRITY

And I began to remember several other stories of success,

The Broadway star who welcomed me to his dressing room and posed for a silly picture.
The Acclaimed Director who shared stories of her children and gave me freedom to play in rehearsal.
The TV/Film star who shared his story with my whole tribe, offering free teaching and mentoring.

And I remembered sitting in a healing circle five years ago, my hands shaking as I wept, sharing my own story of shame and vulnerability and being shocked to the core when in this state, something truly special happened….

I wasn’t rejected. The group moved closer. And I experienced what I had been WANTING to experience all along,

CONNECTION.

I let the walls come down, and realized there had been a part of me I had kept hidden.  I kept it hidden behind blame, complaining, and comparison.

And I had a complete resurgence of my performance career.

The biggest difference?
HOW I FELT.

Tapping into this allowed me to build a whole new life from scratch, and build a business.  It allowed me to become the decision maker after years of feeling like my career and Art were completely out of my control. I wasn’t asking permission from the casting directors, or agents……I realized I actually had the power all along.  It took letting down the walls to see this.

I came into contact with HOW I wanted to succeed.

HOW I wanted to show up.

I was clear I wanted to affirm not only my life, but the lives of every Artist out there, as many as I could reach and touch.

It became clear I wanted to affirm you.

 

Indeed, there are going to be Artists out there who rise to the top without integrity.

But my question will always be, for how long?
Is that sustainable?

Our industry is filled with suicides, addiction, and misplaced obsessions.  There are so many Artists who have no idea who they are, they are so busy chasing an image or an idea….which is why they suffer so deeply and after a quick flame, burn out fast.

So, the power lies with YOU.

WHO do you want to be?
HOW do you want to show up?

Turns out, you don’t have to rise to the top one way.

You can rise in a way that affirms life FOR you and FOR your audience.

Take a moment, and ask yourself deeply,
What does SUCCESS mean for me?

 

Now create and connect to that every day.

Surround yourself with evidence and give yourself the support you need. We were never meant to do this alone.

You can create Art that rises to the top, and do this in a way that feels good; free, joyous, and full of connection.

Clarify how you want to show up, and watch your audience roll in.

I see your light, and it’s brilliant.

 

Photography: Caitlin Cannon Photography