When I first moved to LA to pursue modeling (and then acting) and even before I moved while prepping for the career leap, I lived by strict rules. Most of them were set for me by a couple photographers/agents who had been mentors or were helping to facilitate my bigger market move....taking me to NYC, Chicago, etc...obtaining meetings & shoots for me in bigger cities. I took it as gospel because if that's what it was going to take to get the hell out of Ohio and be successful as a model, then I sure as hell was going to do it, live it, eat it (or not eat it), drink it (or not drink it) and breathe it 24/7/365.
*at least 8 glasses of water a day (that's like for everyone)
*no soda, limited sugar
*strict diet (ok, i cheated a little on this one...after all, i work in restaurants for my thrival job), part of it involved nothing but fruit before noon and then, at one point, some weird diet where you don't mix carbs and proteins. I've also done no carbs, no dairy, no meat, no this, no that.
*no drinking the night before a job/shoot
*no salt the day before a job/shoot
*no eating the morning before a job/shoot (you'll look bloated if you do or have a "food baby bump")
*10pm-midnight curfew the night before a job/shoot (depending on what time I had to be at job/shoot the next day)
*gym 1-2 hrs 4-6 times a week.
*crazy bathroom routine....moisturizing, exfoliating, caring for the hair, caring for the skin, caring for the teeth....I'm not kidding when I say that sometimes it would take me 30-60 minutes to get ready for bed night after night after night after night.
Eventually something was going to CRACK and it cracked in the form of me finding a social life & also seeing how (in my mind), my "dedication" cost me a relationship that I held near and dear to my heart (it couldn't have possibly been that we just weren't meant to be together, duh). I stepped on the crack and broke my own back. Something had to give.....a drink here and there on a "school" night at a social event (after all, gotta network), staying out a little too late and being tired at a shoot (makeup and photoshop can cover that up). Blowing off the gym to go to the beach or just shop or have lunch (the gym is open 24 hrs, i'll go later). There's only so many hours in a day and well....what good is having success if you don't have anyone to share it with (i'm sick of sharing my victories with my cat). Of course, then it became a matter of also wanting someone, anyone....of the opposite to share that with. Straying from everything combined with loneliness led me down a Very wrong fork of the road that i already explored months ago ( you can read it if you choose, but it only goes into more complex detail of how bad I CRACKED)
It felt so liberating, but at the same time, I'm sure it hurt me as well. If you're not putting in the work, there are hundreds others who are....they're just as hungry (if not hungrier) than you and they will do whatever it takes to get the job. I've been thinking about this lately. What if I hadn't cracked. What if I were now to pursue things with the same passion, discipline and structure that I had when I first moved to Los Angeles. Only now I have the connections, somewhat of the financial means and the support system as well. Is it even possible at this point. Is it possible to have the same level of ambition that you had in your 20s when you're pushing 40? Hell, even the Queen of Blonde Ambition, Madonna, seemed to tail it off herself. Then again, she made it. she could rest on her laurels a bit. I'm still looking at some college loan debt. right there should be ambition enough. i'm so sick of those asshats.
Is it possible to find the balance between ambition, discipline and having a social life? Can you seal the crack, heal your back and know that others will have your back?
I don't know....but i'm trying to find it. Stick around for the journey. And for the record, I do sometimes offer up sacrifices to Jobu in order to help the Cleveland Indians. (if you have no idea what i'm talking about, I implore you to watch the movie Major League)
(and as always...all those who comment get votes from me as well)