I'm going to talk about me for a second. I grew up in St. Louis, raised a preachers kid and moved off to Los Angeles at an early age. I had no idea what I wanted to do, I thought it was for school so I went to college, got a BA in International Marketing and 80,000 dollars later I wanted to do nothing with that degree. I got into acting. The MOST competitive thing to be in. You are in a room full of people who look similar to you. Casting doesn't know who they want, the clients, agency, producers, directors, etc, NO IDEA. You get a casting call "looking for African American men 18-30 with a nice smile..." whew...glad they described me to a T...and 400 other AA men with a nice smile. I auditioned for months, if not years before I got my first acting job. "MOMMA I MADE IT" wait til you see me on the small screen, I'm getting you that car, it's a national commercial, all my hard work paid off. Booked...filmed...got paid my day rate....4 months later (still auditioning booking nothing) the commercial comes on tv...I was cut from it. Ego blow, Tears, God why you let this happen to me? Mom calls, we didn't see you in that commercial is there another one?..No Ma'am I didn't make the cut. I have no idea what to do with my life. I know it is not working a 9-5, I love to entertain, I love making people smile, laugh, and the only way I see myself doing that is in the entertainment industry.
Sometimes I would go to an audition and see people who have 3-4 commercials running at the same time and instantly I would feel defeated. I would think they got it, so by the time I walked into the room and it was my turn to audition my confidence was low. This went on for years. I would book one a year if I lucked up. I've taken multiple classes, improv courses, read books and nothing. I had all the knowledge but no results. It made me question everything, I prayed for the commercials but God doesn't give them to me he must not be real, if I can't be in the entertainment industry I'll just give up on everything, I live in this small apartment, roaches, no food, F my life! I've had many tearful nights.
So one year I decided to change my mindset. Crying, cussing, beating up on myself didn't seem to work so I needed to try something different. I decided that I am going to be that guy on tv multiples of times. Between me and you before those other guys had multiple commercials and shows on tv they had 0, zilch, nada, nothing on tv... they started with 1. I told myself on that December, starting January that this is going to be the best year ever no matter what. Even if I made it to December and haven't booked anything, it was going to be the best year EVER! I was sleeping on my brother's floor in a small 1BR at the time (things went really downhill) and I had bad credit, no car, no bank account, just a bike, a small tin can with all my savings in it. So what BEST YEAR EVER! I did some editing on the side, some photography, to make a little money, I would ride my bike, catch 3 trains and ride some more to get to a job, that wasn't even paying, I don't care best year ever! February comes I book a commercial with 2 spots...Oooo...they played it A LOT. Used that money to pay creditors increase my credit score. This was a fluke, I usually get at least one a year (some of the time) I don't care best year ever, on my bike riding back and forth to my brothers, I missed the last bus??? WTH?! slept on the bench, well BEST BENCH EVER!!! I don't care. Every struggle that I have was the best struggle ever and it didn't deter my mind set of having the BEST YEAR EVER! My bike was stolen while at my brothers, Ugh set back, bought another bike, STOLEN AGAIN, come on now! Oh well, they needed the bike more than me, BEST YEAR EVER! BEST YEAR EVER!! a residual check comes. Ooo Ok I get it I needed to think bigger than bike, I had a bike mentality I needed a car, I bought a car, not knowing if I was always going to continue to make payments, I can dig it. Nice new (new to me) car a couple months later I book another commercial. Ooo I'm good for the year. Nahhhh I'm greedy, I said I want this to be the best year ever. I have plans, this isn't about me anymore. I'm out to prove a point. A changed mindset effects everything that you are doing in life.
Even if it didn't it sure beats crying, cussing and beating up on myself. I had more energy, I smiled more, I got cocky (to myself). My agent sends me on another audition I was sure I wouldn't have booked. A dad? With a white wife? and a kid? Yes I have a son but that was different ( I was in HS, prom, one decision led to a lifetime decision lol). I looked in the room and saw BOOKERS! I know these dudes commercials. I felt that sadness again, that this isn't for me, but I also heard No Willie BEST...YEAR...EVER...I lifted my head up and was like wait I'm a booker too, bring it! 2 weeks later after the previous national commercial I booked this one as well. 3 nationals and the the years wasn't over yet. That year I decided to push photography especially in the urban community where a lot of the only influences a lot of these youth have is from gangs or other peers who aren't doing much in their lives either, like the blind leading the blind (no offense to blind people they are amazing actually, let me have this example). I wanted to bring the BEST YEAR EVER mentality to them. They can make it, don't think your life struggles is it, obstacles make you stronger, like lifting weights or anything that takes time. Weak Now, Strong Later. This is just the tip of the iceberg for me. I have too many other blog post to do to give it all in just one. LOL. Follow my journey. I will continue to post more.