One of my earliest memories is me believing, with every fiber of my being, that I belonged in the entertainment industry. I remember it feeling other worldly, like it was deeply seeded within my soul.
I believed with my body, mind and spirit that I was going to be in show business, maybe adored for my talent and working on high level and amazing projects for the rest of my life.
That was my goal. Simple and direct. And I believed it to be true.
Everyone I know has always told me how focused and driven, ambitious and hard working I have always been my entire life. Almost to the point where they would say for me to relax. They always recall me having very specific goals: Star in Broadway at a young age and then get whisked off to Hollywood. Settle down in California and work in film, television, record albums, perform in concerts and go back during a hiatus to star in Broadway for a few months here and there. Awards never concerned me but sure, I threw in an Emmy, Oscar, Tony and Grammy into my dream for fun!
I would be married to the love of my life and have two beautiful babies. Somehow I would always have time to balance it all. Never needed extravagant wealth, but I would be able to live comfortably, vacation when I wanted and actually own a house and pay for my parents to do the same and retire.
This is the dream of SO many people in the entertainment industry. And this dream is nothing out of the ordinary for an actress like me. I have the skill set to do all of this. Not to toot my own horn but I can sing, dance and act and I am an extremely hard worker. I tenacious and up for any challenge. I have worked professionally in theatre from the time I was 13 years old with this goal in mind for myself. I knew it would happen with every fiber of my being.
So what happened? Why didn't it all come true? Some of it did happen in a round about way, but it didn't happen at all like I believed it would. I'm not quite sure where I went wrong other than never realizing that this business is unpredictable, hard work and talent don’t really mean you will be successful, I ran out of money to invest in my career and I got older. My manager dropped me and my agents shelved me. I fired them and decided I would start over and find a fresh start but.....when you are 38 years old and haven't made a significant dent in show business. People give up on giving you the opportunities and auditions anymore. The light they once had in their eyes when they looked at you has now faded. And as you approach 40, you paddling in the middle of the ocean without a life raft. And all those people who used to call you for work, have gone silent. There's no coast guard to help you. Your career and financial security has sunk to the bottom.
It is never where I believed I would be. And it's all about your belief and hard work right? I knew that this business was harsh, but I always believed if i worked for it and treated others as I would want to be treated, i would be able to do what i love for the rest of my life. And contrary to popular belief, never got success quickly. I always had to work for my success. So I thought, if I can't control anything else, I will focus on my mindset being positive and fruitful.
But it I still ended up here. I still ended up 40 and wondering where the opportunities went?
Life has had its twists and turns, ups and downs, challenges and successes. This next chapter is revealing itself and I am doing my best to know it’s not permenant. Things are always moving and shifting in the entertainment industry and....I’m far from done.
Believe it to be true, dream big, but also know that if you work hard, master your craft and love what you do....you may not be able to do it forever. So savor every moment and every chapter of your career.
Copyright 2017 M Patterson