A Big Life: Encouragement for People in the Arts –
Once I was on hold for a role in a national commercial…and then they released me.
Once I got the understudy in my favorite play…instead of an actual role.
Once I almost got the lead in a wonderful musical…and then I wasn’t cast at all.
Dee Wallace in her profound book Bright Light: Spiritual Lessons from a Life in Acting talks about the time when after being known as a “scream queen” in horror films, she got the lead role of “Mom” in Steven Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. This film was the #1 grossing box office hit for 10 years and to this day it remains in the top 10. Dee naturally felt like this should have been a pivotal moment toward a change in her career….but it wasn’t. It was just a great project.This rang a bell for me. Success isn’t a straight line. But it isn’t a line heading upward either.
It’s more like a circle.
If I think of success as a circle, this means sometimes a project will be “big”
and sometimes the next one will be “small”. If I think of any given project as having more status than any other, I
am back to thinking of success as a line leading to the “top”. But there is no top. There is no “here” and there is no “there”.
early career disappointment around. In fact, now she teaches positivity. She got lots of terrific projects after E.T. Most recently we were honored to have her here in Portland to film an episode of Grimm. Part 2 of Dee’s debut as Monroe’s Mom airs Friday February 28th (tonight) on NBC. Don’t miss it!
For a related encouraging post on “project work”, click here to read Empty Yogurt Cartons and Waiting Around.