In this day in age it is so easy to start looking up to and idolizing celebrities and public figures, especially how social media promotes these people nowadays. I've always admired famous actors and actresses like Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro, Hilary Duff, to name a few. But I never found myself really looking up to anyone for inspiration or reliability, until Lea Michele hit more of her fame with GLEE and then released her book: Brunette Ambition.
The entertainment industry is tough enough as it is. Between to grueling auditions, the wait times in between each gig, the criticism (good and bad), not knowing when your next job will be, the competition between your colleagues, I mean the list goes on. I found Lea Michele's book so refreshing and inspiring in ways that I can relate into my professional career and my personal life as well. Her book focuses on her journey from childhood to her current adulthood how she got her start, faced rejection, learned about herself and so much more. She even through in her personal tips for keeping the mind, body and soul healthy with fitness routines, makeup suggestions, meal recipes and more.
There are so many important life lessons Lea shares in this book that not only resonate strong with the crazy biz of show business, but also apply to really anyone in life trying to "make it" in whatever it is they're striving for or working towards. After reading this book backwards and forwards, 10 of these life lessons really stuck out to me and have inspired the direction of my life...
1. "IT'S POSSIBLE."
That one is self explanatory.
2. "Put yourself out there. Things won't just come to you into your lap. You have to CHASE. Ultimately, be your own hustle."
Especially in the entertainment industry, people aren't just going to walk up to you and hand you a leading role. Just like your boss isn't going to randomly decide to give you a promotion. You need to be your best seller and sell what you do and what you do best to earn what your talent deserves.
3. "Finding role models who resonate with you."
Having role models in your similar career path makes it easy to relate to. It's not about wanting to be WHO they are. It's about learning from them and relating what they've accomplished to your accomplishments and learning how they succeeded doing the things you're working towards. Plus, if you find things in common with them, all the better! Lea Michele and I both share the love for being on stage, which makes it easy for me to relate to her journey through the industry. And not to mention gives me major hope for my own career.
4. "If you've been given a gift, its your responsibility to honor it and use it well." Audra McDonald.
That is a direct quote that Audra told Lea when they worked together on Broadway. Let it sink in...if you've been given the gift to help people, you have no choice but to execute it. If you've been given the gift of creative hands to make art, its up to you to deliver. Whatever your special gift is...YOU'VE been given it. Are you going to let it go to waste?
5. "The way you dress can reflect on how you respect your job."
I noticed this when I left my part time talent coaching job to my full time administrative/theatre assistant job at a performing arts center. I hated what I ended up doing at the arts center so I started slacking on my appearance to work...and for anyone who knows me personally knows that is NOT me....at all. I used to LOVE getting dressed up for work and when I realized I didn't care about my job, I didn't care how others saw me. And that's when I knew (among other things) something wasn't right and I had to make a change.
6. "Keep the people who have your best interest at heart around you."
Whether that be friendships, relationships, family members, whatever. If they're not 100% rooting you on, time to make that circle smaller. Nothing can set you back more than a negative support system. We don't have time for that around here.
7. :Tune out all of the noise."
By that statement, I took that as turning off the ringer on your phone, not checking social media, not even putting on the TV, and just spending some well deserved you time. We get so consumed with what other people are doing, what picture we're going to post next, that we don't realize how mentally draining all of that can be. Take a break...it'll all be there later.
8. "Don't try to look like everyone else. Stop disguising your uniqueness."
Sometimes it doesn't help to look like everyone else. After all, Lea's ethic look and unique features are what helped her book all of her known roles...including Rachel Berry on GLEE.
9. "Having a well rounded life."
By that I learned excelling in more than one thing can add value to your life and your career. For instance, acting and modeling are my main lines of work, but I also became a certified makeup artist to learn as much as I can about that world to ultimately help me out on set behind the scenes. (And, who doesn't like to make some extra money every once in a while?) Take a class, go to a seminar, read up on some important skills, watch how improving your knowledge can take you to new heights.
10. "Be proud of your accomplishments."
At the end of the day, you lay your head down with you at night. If you're not rooting yourself on, then who will? Take everything you've done with your head held high. You went for it and you did it. Cheers to you.
If you're looking for a good read with lots of honest tips and an uplifting story, Lea Michele's Brunette Ambition won't disappoint. Thank you Lea Michele for being such a big inspiration to me and my life and my dreams.
Quotes and reworded blurbs from Lea Michele Brunette Ambition. Sold at your local bookstore, online and Half Price books.