Ever Tried. Ever Failed.

I had so many dreams of where I wanted to go, who I wanted to be, and what I wanted to do.

You have your own story to tell.

Theater companies I wanted to start with classmates, movies I wanted to be in, directors I wanted to work with, stories I needed to tell.

I packed the life that I knew with socks and a toothbrush into my backpack and I slept on couch, after couch, after couch, after couch at friends apartments in New York until I wore out their rent paying roommates’ welcome.

I didn’t want a “day job” – I was an actor, I was a writer – I had to get a day job. I dusted pianos at a piano store on Ludlow Street for five months. I worked on the property of a Shakespeare Scholar for a year pulling weeds and removing bees nests. I went on unemployment once but not for long, I couldn’t handle the guilt.

Eventually I was able to pay rent for a spot on the floor on the lower East side, but my roommate had a breakdown and disappeared. I helped hang paintings at galleries; paintings that inspire you to think, “I could do that.”

And then, finally, after two years of job and couch surfing, I got a “job”. In application processing. As a data enter-er, at a place called Professional Examination Services. And I stayed for six years – six years.

From the age of twenty-three to twenty-nine; well they loved me there. I was funny. I smoked in the loading docks with the guys from the mail room and we shared how hung over we were. I called in sick almost every Friday because I was out late the night before. I hated that job. And I clung to that job.

Because of that job, I could afford my own place. My dream of running a theater company with my friend and fellow Bennington graduate Ian Bell had died. I had only the one window – I myself could not look out the window, it was quite high. No “acting agent.”

When I was twenty-nine I told myself, “The next acting job I get, no matter what it pays I will from now on, for better or worse, be a working actor.”

But something good happened; I got a low paying theater job in a play called “Imperfect Love,” which led to a film called “Thirteen Moons” with the same writer. Which led to other roles, which led to other roles, and I’ve worked as an actor ever since.

I didn’t know that would happen. At twenty-nine, walking away from data processing, I was terrified. Ten years in a place without heat, six years at a job I was stuck in, maybe I was afraid of change.

Are you?

But this made me very hungry. Literally. I couldn’t be lazy, I couldn’t be. And so at twenty-nine, and at very long last, I was in the company of the actors and writers and directors I had sought at that first year, that first day, after school. I was, I am, by their sides.

Raise the rest of your life to meet you. Don’t search for defining moments because they will never come. The moments that define you have already happened, and they will already happen again. And it passes so quickly – so please, bring eachother along with you.

You, you just get a bit derailed. But soon something starts to happen, trust me, a rhythm sets in. Just try not to wait until like me, you’re twenty-nine before you find it. And if you are thats fine too. Some of us never find it. But you will, I promise you, you are already here. You will find your rhythm or continue the one you have already found.

Don’t wait until they tell you, you are ready. Get in there. Sing.

The world might say you aren’t allowed to yet. I waited a long time out in the world before I gave myself permission to fail. Please, don’t even bother asking. Don’t bother telling the world you are ready. Show it. Do it.

What did Beckett say?

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.

We burn very brightly, please don’t ever stop.┬áThe world is yours. Treat everyone kindly, and light up the night.

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— Transcript made from a video (Are You Scared of Change) made by Mulligan Brothers

 

 

 

Identity – by Jaret Grossman

One thing changes us, one thing. And that’s who we perceive ourselves to be. So I don’t care if you have to play mind ticks with yourself about where you came from or what genetics you’re born with or what skills you actually have. But its all about the culture that’s set within. See, its January first and you’ve got these resolutions right, well lets break down that word.

What are you trying to resolve? Whats in conflict? Well whats in conflict is, who you are right now is not who you want to be, or who you need to be, for that matter. See there’s a gap, and you have to understand that gap and you need to close it. How do you close it? Well first you make a decision. You decide right here right now, that you’re no longer going to keep up with this set of rituals that you’ve created for yourself. And your not going to call it “a set of rituals.” No no no no no.

You know it as sleeping nine and a half ours, as hitting the snooze button three times before you wake up, as checking facebook every time you hit your computer. But make no mistake about it, if you’re doing it every single day, then its a culture. Its a routine that you’ve set for yourself, and its about creating a new tone. Its about creating a new standard. Its about creating a new way of life.

So you decide to make a new pattern and you take action with it and you stay committed to it. Because you’re going to get pumped up, you’re gonna get excited, you’re gonna be energetic to wright down those resolutions or to make goals, to make that initial decision. But whats left after that energy fades? And I promise you it will fade.

Whats left is you. The measure of the man, the measure of the woman. Beyond the smoke, behind the mirrors, what is left is you. Your effort, when the energy fades do you stay true to your word? Because your word is your bond. You made a promise, are you going to stick to that pact?

Decision, action, and commitment. That’s what forms a new identity. Because that’s the one thing that changes us. See, politics aside, Marcus Luttrell made up in his mind that he wasn’t going to die on that mountain top. He knew in his heart of hearts that he wasn’t going to go out that way. That’s how you can get through broken bones. That’s how Michael Jordan is able to have, what most people would call a “career game,” with the flu. That’s how Michael Phelps wins his seventh medal by one one-hundredth of a second.

He is getting dominated the entire race, his hands are all the way back just before the other guy is going to touch the wall – and before you can blink, he is able to touch the wall. That’s not motivation, that’s not passion, that’s not skill, that’s not even desire. That’s not wanting it more than the other person – that’s identifying with something so deep. That’s something resonating inside you that says “I do not lose. This is who I am. And there is no alternative, this is how its going to be.”

And that’s when you change long term. See you’ve got weak parts, and you’ve got strong parts. Its about which one you’re going to reinforce. See Kobe Bryant, he knew he had to divide himself. He had to separate his personal struggles from when he stepped onto the court, that’s why he created the Black Mamba. You’ve got weak parts and you’ve got strong parts, that you’ve got to be able to flip the switch and know when the ruthless, competitive, that killer instinct is going to come out.

This new identity that you formed for yourself, who do you see yourself as?

Who do you really see yourself as?

Because when that changes, then the mechanics change.

identity