Thursday, April 30, 2009

As You Go Forth

This article is one I wrote originally for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's graduating MFA class this spring, and wanted to share it with you as well. Enjoy!

Dear Graduates:

The World has no idea what's in store for it.

You are each unique in the theatre world. You must embrace the realization that there is only one of YOU, and you will contribute in your own unique way.

No one has your vision. No one can know your path. No one can choose your path -- except for you.

The world will be changed immeasurably by each one of you.

Too often, actors take that powerful realization for granted, as they become lost in the sea of daily activities, striving to achieve the Dream.

You are on to new endeavors, new relationships, new challenges -- some foreseen, others that will threaten to knock you off course.

You will never be lost if you remember one thing... one thing so many actors forget, whether they are off to regional theatre excellence, Broadway, Hollywood or television, or start a theatre of their own.

As you go forth, remember:

You Have the Power, the Gift and the Ability
to Design Your Life

No matter how clearly you have thought about how you would like your life to be, sit down quietly by yourself Within the next 7 days, and write in concrete terms the results you want, what you intend to have accomplished, one year from today.

Then write the results you want 3 years from today. Then 5 years.

Go at least 5 years out, but then also -- and this is very important -- look back at your life as if you are reading a eulogy someone has written for you. What will they say about you? What amazing things have you contributed to the world of art? What difference have you made to life on this planet?

This is not a frivolous exercise. Psychologists and others studying such things have found there is true power in the written word, and the effect it has on the outcome of one's desires. This is not mere 'goal setting.' This is deliberate creation.

One thing is certain: If you don't chart your course, believe me... there are so many others out there who will be glad to chart it for you, not necessarily with your best interest at heart.

Performing this exercise within 7 days will help solidify who you will bring into your life, and for what purpose. So when unforeseen circumstances DO attempt to knock you off course, your declared Purpose will help keep you on track.

There was a recent study of two twin boys who grew up together in identical circumstances. One became a bum, living in the streets of Chicago. The other is very wealthy, and strives to assist people with financial difficulties by creating financial education programs.

When asked why he lives his life on the streets, surviving day to day, the one man said it is because his parents were alcoholics.

When asked why it is that he is so successful, the other man claims it is because his parents were alcoholics.

Take what is given to you, be thankful for what you have, and use it to your advantage, so that you can serve those around you with your gifts.

Here's to Your Empowerment!

--Tom
Copyright (c) 2007, 2014 Tom Brooks and The Empowered Actor Initiative. All Rights Reserved.

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