Today, I was so honored and blessed to go see The Little Mermaid at the Hollywood bowl starring Sara Bareilles. I had begged my dad to get me tickets and he pulled through with some of the best seats I have ever had at the bowl. We had our own private box and the show was a knockout with a star studded cast. But my story today isn’t about how great I thought the show was. It’s about pursuing my own damn dream.
I am friends with an older gentlemen who works for Disney. What he does, I’m not actually sure. But turns out he is one of the guys who hired me as a host for Disney 365 a long tine ago. But we recently became friends when a mutual friend of ours introduced us. He is a great fun guy, and he constantly likes to buy me drinks. I’ve learned from him to drink slow and play drunk, otherwise I will end up wiped out and on my ass!
Apparently tonight he was at the show accompanying an actor who starred on Disney Channel. I actually know who the actor is because I have watched his movies and I’m actually kind of into him, but when I was introduced to him I played dumb and acted like I had no clue who he is or what he does. That’s all part of the game, right? We got along well, and eventually at one point in the night, had alone time just talking. I wanted to pick his brain, but I couldn’t tell if he was just as interested to talk to me as I was him.
We talked acting and the business. he asked what I did and I felt so reluctant to say that I to was also an actor. Here I was face to face with direct competition and he’s a more successful working actor than I am. It almost felt embarrassing to call myself an actor. But are we as performers merely defined by the amount of work we book? Money does not equal talent, and although he may be starring in more, I wouldn’t say he is better than me.
It was crazy the rest of the night. I rubbed elbows with Jodi Benson (original Ariel), Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Titus, Darren Criss, and many more. All night I had to keep my cool, but honestly on the inside I was fangirling. It was crazy socializing with all these people I watch and admire, and as much as I felt like I was one of them, I had this voice constantly reminding me I wasn’t.
Honestly, I never once felt out of place. Everything inside myself felt like I was meant to be there, but a tiny tiny part of myself felt like I didn’t deserve it. Like I was an imposter trying to fit into a world that wasn’t mine.
It hurt standing with that Disney star and watching people come up to him to take photos. But I stood back, smiled, and pretended to be happy. And genuinely, I was happy for this dude. I was excited that this was his life. Acting, premiers, photos, and fun. What beats that? I know that doesn’t equal happiness, and I’m not saying it does, but it’s my dream to live that life. And we all deserve our dreams.
I want to make it in this industry so badly. Being an actor is what I have imagined my entire life, and if it didn’t happen for me, I don’t know what I would do. It’s sad to face the reality and think that “maybe this isn’t for me.” Yet it’s hard for me to believe that. Yes, I do think from time to time that I am wasting my time, but I know in my heart of hearts that I will be a successful actor. And personally, I will never quit until it happens.