So many times in life we get discouraged by external factors. My family does not have the resources or the contacts. I am too fat. I am too skinny. I am too tall. I am too short. I am not as pretty as her. I am not as built as him. The reality is that the opportunities in life are endless and there is room for every color, shape or situation.
When I decided to pursue a career in what had been my hobby for so many years, I knew that the road would be difficult. Deciding to move to Los Angeles and pursue acting was far away from my comfort. Still, even when there were no Actors, Singers, Artists, Producers, Directors, Writers, Investors, etc… in my family, no one to help me cut the line, I knew I wanted to go and chase that urge, that passion. I left to study acting, find an agent and start auditioning in the Actor’s Disney World… Hollywood. I was discouraged so many times by people back home. They would tell me there was going to be too much competition. Their other argument was that I should stay closer to what I already knew (my hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico or Miami, Florida, which is where I finished college). But, my heart was pushing me to go and see what was out there for me.
I am not planning to write a book of my life…yet… so I will keep this simple. I lived in Los Angeles for ten years, back and forth because of different situations life threw at me…mostly positive. I could say that many things I was afraid of did happen. The story of the young actress that moves to LA and then is “seduced” by that “manager” that wants to represent her is one of the many stereotypes that I did experience. But just as I did with that one, in every other situation I was able to carry myself with maturity and I never lost myself or my values. Nobody should lose themselves in the process of trying to “make it” in any business. Unfortunately, we see that too often, especially with the younger ones in Hollywood. I held my ground and to this day it is one of my proudest decisions. I could go on and on with stories.
Life threw a curve ball at me (that will be for another post) and now I sit here in Florida writing these lines. It has been a transitional year for me where I had to step back and figure out how I was going to approach that ball. Do you ever have those moments when you feel discouraged, still unsure as to what direction you want to take? My direction will be to keep going forward. It is about maintaining the faith that God has a plan for you and that as long as you are persistent and what you do comes from a good place in your heart, then there is no reason to fear.
I want to introduce to you, in case you haven’t seen them yet, to FORTE….
I have been supporting this group since they started participating in America’s Got Talent. Aside from the fact that I know one of the member’s brothers and that they are very talented, I believe that there had to be another reason I felt so drawn to them. Later I read a post by member Fernando Varela and it spoke to me. He wrote about the times in life when one is rejected, when you loose something right when it was so close to you, but then you just keep going and eventually that moment comes when things just start working out for you. Everything you have endured leads to that point and then you realize that the best plan in your life has been to NOT GIVE UP.
And that was it. That was when I was reminded, and God knows that I needed that, that for us that work in this business or in ANY business, it is a matter of moving on. Take rejection, take criticism and then move on. The day will come when you will see your dreams come true. It could be to have a child, to have your own business, to travel to Greece, get a movie or a record deal. In life you have to be persistent and always do what you love.
I have struggled and struggled trying to become a respected Actress. Guess what? I was not in Spielberg’s or Almodovar’s latest movie, but I have worked, I am working and I will continue working. And because it is about doing things that you love and make you happy, I have recently started Writing again. It has been in my heart for a long time and now I plan to dedicate more time to put into words the spirals that I have in my head.
Congratulations to FORTE for making it all the way to the finals. It is not about the outcome, but the process. They did not win the final prize but won the hearts of so many people like myself. I know that they will continue to be successful and the best is yet to come. I am glad that Fernando never gave up!
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