The Unexpected Upgrade

Today I have a special guest here on the blog, my head coach, Danielle Beckmann!  An actress, producer, podcast host of the popular Brooklyn Quarter, and all around incredible artist, she is a powerhouse helping our clients to go full time with their art. Today, she’s here for you to share how she took a highly embarrassing situation and turned it into am amazing opportunity:)  Enjoy!

“You’ve just been upgraded.”

Ahhh, what sweet music to the ears!

We all love upgrades, don’t we?

Imagine a moment where you’re about to fly cross country and the gate attendant tells you you’ve been upgraded at no extra cost. Nothing. Nada. All you have to do is stand there and accept this first-class gift.

What do you do?
Do you accept it freely and smile, sit in your comfy seat and order a mimosa?
Or do you fumble, stutter, and make excuses while delaying the check-in line?

Really, what would you do, <<First Name>>?

I have found that sometimes as artists we are so consumed with giving our gifts to the world that it’s hard for us to accept a free gift when it comes our way.

But what if free gifts were a regular thing? 

What if it was possible to receive a gift and accept it with deep joy and gratitude–no strings attached?

I very recently had to put this concept into action in my own life. One month ago I had the privilege of attending the 73rd Annual Tony Awards. I was chosen to be a volunteer seat filler at the prestigious show, and when the day finally came, I couldn’t have been more excited.

I joined the buzzing crowd filing into Radio City Music Hall and sat in the back of the orchestra to receive instructions. As I went to take my comfortably velvety seat, I heard a ‘reeeeeep’ and suddenly felt the fabric of my dress give way.

Something was not right. After feeling around and assessing the situation, I found out the awful truth: my vintage dress had ripped. And this was not a small rip. It was a 6 inch rip right up the center back seam of my dress.

All the negative thoughts flooded my mind:
“How am I going to stand up and sit down all night filling seats for celebrities in this condition!?”
“This is so embarrassing!”
“Can everyone see my spanx!? Will Bryan Cranston see my spanx!?!?”

After this moment of upset and overwhelm, I took a breath and something magical happened. I started to giggle. And the giggles turned into chuckling, and the chuckling turned into laughing.

I took another big, deep breath and surrendered to the night. Wherever it wanted to take me, whatever it wanted to say to me, I was game. I surrendered and decided to go with the flow.

Moments before the pre-show began, I was placed in a third row seat next to Laura Linney, Jeff Daniels, and Michael Kors. Before I knew it, James Corden was on stage, and the show had begun! At each commercial break I anticipated the signal from an usher to tell me to give up my seat…but it never happened. They never moved me. Apparently the person who was supposed to sit in Row CC Seat 509 couldn’t make it. I ended up sitting in the third row for the entire evening!

I got to soak in the energy, the talent, and the vibrancy of the awards, including the quirky moments during commercial breaks. I saw friends on stage, and friends in the audience too.The surrender led to flow and the flow led me to a place I never imagined. And where did I find myself?
Receiving an upgrade.

And, boy, did I take it gratefully!

If you feel stagnant and out of place in your artistic journey, as if your metaphorical dress has ripped, I want to encourage you: keep persevering, keep showing up.

Examine the places you are stuck, take a deep breath, and surrender them one step at a time today.


It might just lead you to an upgrade you weren’t expecting.

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