Ditch the Back Up Plan

As a child, I wanted to perform on the stage, TV and film. Literally anywhere there was an audience, I was dancing or acting. But along the way I received some very ‘sensible’ career advice from many people, teachers, parents, partners. “Acting is not a stable job/ its really hard to get work/ this is just a hobby / you need a real job.” I’m sure they were well meaning but it literally blew my dreams into flames. The reason being because I listened to them.

I thus created a ‘Back up Plan.’ The thing I could do if the acting didn’t work out. So, I worked on my back up plan. I went to university to get a degree in nothing related to performance. I got a job in nothing related to performance and I lived my life doing nothing relating to performance. I literally lived my back up plan.

Where was my dream? Back on the shelf where I had left it 20 years ago. Remember good old Gillian McKeith with ‘You are what you eat’. Well its kind of like that. If you focus all your energy on your back up plan then that is all that will come out. You have no time or energy for your dream and if you have no time for your dream then it isn’t going to happen.

Ricky Tomlinson aka Jim Royle once said to me “If you want it enough, you can make it happen”. Never a truer word spoken. I did want to be an actress, but I didn’t know how to want it enough because I was too busy working on the back up plan. At the time I was studying for my non performing degree remember.

I had so many opportunities but didn’t see them because I was too busy non-performing. I saw all the opportunities that my Back up Plan created but non from my dreams and so I have lived a very successful back up plan so far. But was it my dream? No it wasn’t. Could I have achieved my dream? Yes if I wanted it enough.

If you want something enough, you have to put your all into it. If you want to be great at something, work hard at being the best at it. You have to live, think, breathe your dream. Don’t let anyone stop you. If you want it badly enough you will make it happen. Apparently Samuel L Jackson didn’t get his first major movie role until he was 46, Morgan Freeman was 52. There is never a time limit on achieving your dream.

So I have still got a chance right?

There are actors out there struggling to get work but there are actors turning work down because they are too busy. There is no reason why the latter could not have been me.

I urge you to take that blooming Back-Up-Plan you’ve got and burn it. Burn the hell out of it and never utter another sentence from it. Get yourself a new plan- your World Domination Plan. Live the life that you have always dreamed of and don’t let anyone stand in your way (said in a very passionate, performance like way!!!!)


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