What makes you feel special? Do you just know that you are? Does it take an accomplishment like getting a promotion, sealing a big deal, winning an award? Compliments or extra attention from someone you respect? An unexpected gift, such as flowers? Treating yourself to a mani/pedi or massage?
Not comparing yourself to others, living with gratitude, taking physical, financial and emotional responsibility for your feelings rather than relying on others to shore you up are examples of advice offered in articles and self-help books. Even so, at times it’s rewarding to let others know via words and deeds that they’re special to you. It’s nice to receive external validation.
But as an actor, author and resident of a big city, sometimes it’s easy to feel like a number, not a person. For example, when you’re crammed amidst fellow phone-tapping, huge backpack wielding passengers on public transportation. When you actually are a number: at a print looksee where they’re calling in different types. You stop by a photographer’s studio any time during a designated period, hold a dry erase board with your number (and name) and smile for a few pictures that take less than a minute.
The other day I was #210, and there were several hours to go. Or course I’m glad for the opportunity. Better odds than the lottery. If you’re not in it, you can’t win it. There’s a slim chance if you don’t get this project, you may be called in for another. Etc.
When industry professionals say they’ll get back to you within a certain time but don’t, even after you follow up as requested. An editor requested one of my manuscripts last April. And said in early January 2013 that I’d hear “very soon.”
Or I go to an audition where very specific wardrobe is required. I need to remember the unique abilities I bring to the table when I see a room full of similarly aged women dressed just like me. For some projects, selections may be based on physical characteristics alone. “I need a tall blond…to go with the husband I already picked.” “I need someone older, younger, fatter, thinner, less attractive, more attractive…”
On to the next opportunity. Because pursuing your dreams, not giving up, is special.