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Comparison to more successful people?

What I'm about to say may seem very banal.  All my life I've loved the performing arts, and my parents supported it as best they could by sending me to acting lessons etc, singing classes. I've always excelled at it and dreamed of formulating a career where I could make a living wage from the film or entertainment industry.  Not necessarily fame, but a living wage. My parents never understood it and insisted I have a "plan B".


My circumstances growing up were difficult - my mother abused us and left me with CPTSD, OCD and a whole realm of other issues that have constantly held me back.  I was kicked out of acting school after wrapping on a feature film when I was 18, because my agent said "people like [me]" don't ever make it.  I was crushed and studied media at university,  my "plan B", and let my dreams die - my mental health has prevented me from ever being able to pursue what I really wanted. 


Seeing actors and actresses win these crazy awards at way younger than I am now is crushing.  Not even young actors, but the likes of Jennifer Lawrence or Taylor Swift who had won accolade upon accolade and enough money to never work again by the time they were my age. How could I ever compete? I'll admit I am a perfectionist, but now I feel like there's almost no point starting, because I'll never be what I have defined as success.  What doesn't help is I was always touted as a bright kid who excelled beyond my peers, and what a glorious downfall I have had. I feel like I never met my potential and some of it is for reasons beyond my control. I want to push through and try anyway, but I'm worried my anxiety will forever hold me back from even trying.


Re: Comparison to more successful people?

It's hard for parents these days giving career advice in the age of disruption. It's going to be dated, however well intended. And, let's face things, it's not always even well intended. Sometimes haters gonna hate (even on Taylor). Some things are the same but these are frontier times for most people in most industries.


One perspective on work options for creatives worth mentioning is all the work creatives do, also informs the art. Rowan Atkinson is an engineer. If he wasn't there'd be less of an engineers approach in his comedy and then it wouldn't be Rowan Atkinson.


Considering for a lot of artists it can take many years of groundwork to become an "overnight success". Calling other work "Plan B" doesn't really fit with the situation. I think it's more productive and contingent to approach it as a question of skill portfolio spread or being someone of many talents.


I'm saying this partially regarding finding the best path to success. I think I'm mainly saying this for the sake of artists doing art that's about things. Instead of art about being an artist, which I often find, kind or ironically, less artful.



Re: Comparison to more successful people?

Hi @GraceUponGrace 


I do understand what you are saying about lost chances. Having parents refuse their support must have been hard for you - and had they even given you ideas about your self worth? I think not as your mother abused you and that is so hard to overcome


My mother wasn't at all easy to get on with either so although I was yanked out of school at 16 by the time I was 17 I went to night school - but then - it was not my choice of a career but turned out to be a good thing that I studied accountancy.


It takes a lot of courage to make a decision to strike out on our own so I get that you lack self confidence


You don't say how old you are but my idea is not to let age stand in our way - currently I am learning as much as I can on the internet and there is a lot there to study. But that's not for everyone. 


It seems you are anxious about your anxiety - that's really tough. What a pity to miss out on a chance you can't see yet. I really feel for you. And I do understand - it was not easy for me to follow an academic life in the face of my mother's disapproval.


Everything worth doing has a price - I do know that - so I hope you can reach out for your proper future. And your post is not banal at all. Actually - it must be so heart-breaking not to have achieved your choice of a career


All the best



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