"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Monday, April 25, 2011


When I blog, I am usually at my computer, facing East, facing the window that gets the most sunlight at 10:30. I am listening to Pandora, and I am usually alone. If it's a Monday morning, I hear the gardeners for the building whack the weeds and blow the leaves. If it's a Monday afternoon, I hear the little boy who lives next door run to his door after school, with his mother laughing behind him. If it's Monday evening, I hear the wheels of a suitcase from the guy coming home to apartment 102.

I am alone. And yet, I am not alone.

I am surrounded by people who care. I am surrounded by over one hundred yous. I can't see you, I've never met you, and yet, you will read the words I write and you will care.

You will care.

The fact that I don't have to do anything except be myself and share my successes and my fears, and you'll still be right here, right next to me, is a type of love that is new in this digital age. It shouldn't feel real, it shouldn't feel like avatars and usernames are real people who love me, but it does. It's funny, isn't it? Through sophisticated science and technology, I can put my thoughts and feelings into words, get it translated into binary code, send it out through the cable lines, and feel a connection to people who are not in my room, not in my apartment, not in my own personal world. And yet, through blogger, can feel connected to all of you.
01001100011011110111011001100101 spells Love. Funny, right?

I felt alone last Friday. I do not feel alone now. You've been here all along. Rooting, hoping, supporting. I just couldn't see it. I can see it now.

I think every artist feels alone. What artist hasn't put up some type of show, some type of painting, some piece of their soul, only to be rewarded, praised, admired, when the artist herself can only see the mistakes, the things she would have changed if she could, the things she wants to fix. She doesn't see the same things everyone else does. She doesn't see art or success. She sees garbage and mistakes. At some point, the artist has to let go of her fears, let go of her inner critic, hear the things being said to her and just listen and accept.

I need to listen, I need to accept, and I need to be proud of everything I've achieved. This is hard. But by golly, I owe it to my invisible support system.

I owe it to you.

Can I thank you enough? Probably not verbally, probably not by writing, but I can thank you and show you my gratitude by accepting your praise, your compliments, your support, and keep on doing this.
You believe in me? You believe it's just a matter of time? Well then, I will be patient too. I will believe in me too. And I will keep on plugging away and getting closer and listen and accept that my support team believes that I can do this and believes that it will work out.

Thank you, The Skirted Wordsmith, Kerri Moseley-Hobbs, Marc, Kevin, Shay, Kate @ Manhattan Actress, Zuri, kelsey., Ophelia thinks hard, Angela, The Kid In The Front Row, ACTRESS CONFESSIONS, Cool Henderson,  Brandi Ford, and to the several people who posted anonymously. It takes a lot of time and effort to write the things you all did and I'm very thankful.

And a big thank you to this Anonymous poster who then, unfortuantely, either felt they were too harsh or embarassed by the words that they said, fearing I'd take it in the wrong way because there's some great things here. So I'm posting it:

your feelings are justifiable and not wrong.
but maybe that's the issue. not your acting skill, but your feelings that are affecting your attitude.

you've got the skill and in many cases you've got the validation from others. but here's the thing. this is a business. we're not curing cancer, we're not saving the world, we're entertaining people and selling stuff. period. sometimes we get money for it. sometimes not.

you say that's not good enough. why am i not on tv? why is it so hard to pay my rent? why am i not going out more? why can't i get in front of TV CDs?

because you can't. that's life. why is there always traffic on the 405? because there is. does it open more doors and give you more opportunities to pity yourself? does traffic move faster when you're feeling sorry than when you're not? maybe. only you can answer that.

but the two main things i came here to say are:
1. what WOULD be good enough? do you have specific measurable goals and a plan of how to get there? or are you just living life based on the kindness of others to give you a job, say something nice, offer you an opportunity. are the expectations you've set for yourself really for you? or for others to fulfill for you?
(try dallastravers.com or another career coach if you don't have a clue as to what i'm talking about)

2. quit. go ahead. please. get out of the running so that i don't have to compete with you. because, i want to book the job and it will make my job SOOO much easier if you're not there to compete with me.
(does that comment piss you off? it should.)

all of the above is said with more love than could possibly be expressed through a blog comment...
I love Paragraph 4. Why am I bemoaning the fact that I can't get in front of the casting directors I want to get in front of? BECAUSE I CAN'T. So what am I going to do to help myself? That was a question I didn't even come up with because I was in such a sorry for myself funk. I missed the obvious question that helps get everyone out of the self pity state! What am I going to do to help myself? I can't go any faster than I can on the 405 at all hours of the day, but I can take Sepulveda, I can take Coldwater Canyon, I can go to 3rd Street Promenade and just enjoy being so close to the ocean until I'm ready to go home. I can do other things to fulfill me while I'm still doing this!

And then there's Point 2 that Anonymous makes. I read it and I wasn't angry. I wasn't pissed off. Because after reading the first word, my gut reaction is, "Well, I can't quit." I won't. Then the parenthetical - did that comment piss me off? No. It didn't. Because I want you to book the job too. I want you to book the job too!

And then the last comment - so incredibly superfluous, because I knew you wrote the whole thing with love, I could feel it.

I could feel the love from EVERY commenter.

In my post, I had asked other struggling actors to tell me of their successes so I could help feel a part of something bigger than myself. Instead, the largest Cheerleading Team Ever busted out their pom poms and cheered ME on, reminding me of my own successes.

This, this is bigger than myself. This connection to the world, to all of you, is bigger than myself. And I feel it. Boy, do I feel it.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


  1. Thanks for this blog post, which says what blogging is all about (and acting, really) - the sharing of love with another person. I talked to the acting students at my old high school last week, and the number one reason they said they acted is because they got to feel what it was like to be another person, which helped them to love others more. It's all about the love. And you're one of the few blogging actors I follow, because you just exude love for your fellow human being, especially your fellow actors.

    And just remember, for every person that posts, there are ten others who silently send out a prayer or good vibes to you. As I tell my friends (and myself), "Someone in the world is praying for you right now, and you don't even know it. And thousands of people pray for you *every day*." There's even a whole organization called the Fraternity of St Genesius whose entire purpose is to pray for people working in film and theatre every day! http://www.stgenesius.com/whoweare.html There are so many more people in our corner than we'll ever know.

    So keep on being you, and blessings on you, Lira.

  2. I'm happy to hear you received such overwhelming support! And, I'm so happy this week is starting off with a little more hope than the end of last...

  3. This blog makes me happy because I've been where you've been. I've gotten discouraged and thought about giving up. I've gotten big breaks and found myself breakless. And it's hard. The busines we've chosen is hard. My boyfriend reminds me of that when I get a callback and don't book the job or an exec reads a script and simply doesn't like it.

    Other people choose the safe path, the easy path. But as artists we've chosen this ridiculous hard path, a bumpy and difficult path, measured by callbacks and bookings, never knowing of the victories we've had in classes and workshops, on short film sets and 99 seat theatres, the praise and love from casting directors who have to go with the "star name."

    My 72 year old mother is sick and isn't really able to leave the house and sometimes she gets down about it. But she'll and say "I had my pity party and I'm moving on." I think everyone (especially in this business) needs to throw an occasional pity party. But I'm glad to see you're moving on, picking yourself up and getting ready for another round in the ring. You know this is what you're meant to be doing. Keep on doing it.

  4. Hey Lira, I'm a pretty new follower of your blog, but I have to say that I know what you're feeling, and it's completely valid. I'm based near Boston, and even though the competition is not nearly as fierce up here as it is out in LA, it's still hard to get paid bookings. But I decided early in my career (and life, really) that my success would be based on me and my efforts, and on nothing else. Because then, it's not in my control. I can't control who's going to cast me or pay me or whatever, but I can control my actions and attitudes, so my happiness is based on that because then, no one can take it from me or make it impossible for me to achieve. If I'm not seeing the results that I want, then I cry and whine about it to my husband for a while (it's totally okay to do that, by the way) then get over and it and get back to work. Usually it means that I have to change what it is that I'm doing because what I'm doing already isn't producing the outcomes I want.

    Hopefully this is coming across in the right way - I mean it to be encouraging, to validate what you were feeling the other day as far as the frustration and isolation, because we ALL feel that, probably more often than any one of us is willing to admit. I also mean it to reassure you that you CAN do it! You already know what it is that you want, so go kick some butts and get it!

  5. Thank you, Cole, I had no idea!

    And Zuri, you have no idea how happy it makes me that I see your commercial on all the time. I'm crossing my fingers it's union and that it'll go on for two more years!

    Hollie, I think the pity party is a necessary evil that we have to go through; it's the realization that the way we're living isn't what we want and it helps us identify what else we want and make and prioritize our own personal goals again. I feel better because I now have other things I want to focus on in addition to the acting world...like writing a sitcom pilot and winning contests! Go you!!

    Diana, of course it's coming across the right way. And what you say rings true; the other day I sat down and said, okay, this isn't working how I want it to, what else Can I do? And now the new goals have pushed me forward into a more positive state with much more enthusiasm that I've had.

    It was an emotional valley, but I'm at the top of the hill now! I can see all of LA and it's beautiful!

  6. wow. i am floored. you totally just called me out. i have never been quoted in a blog post (and with such love!). ironically, i saw that you took down my comment on friday right after i posted it. after i had convinced myself that it was not a computer error (i'm not an experienced commenter, i almost never comment), i proceeded to scold myself for going too far and sticking my foot in my mouth. again. (i tend to do that in life).

    but, your post made me so freaking frustrated. because i have been there. too many times. every day. and i felt so much sympathy for you that i actually got a little angry at you for not being able to see how successful you are! and how appreciated you are. both as an actress and a blogger. but i was worried that i was just projecting my own career issues onto you. i mean, who am i to go and dump advice all over some stranger who is having a bad day? particularly when i should have been applying that "advice" to myself! so that's why i posted anonymously. because i felt guilty.

    but you are SO amazing that you were able to see past my less-than-eloquent projections and find the positivity in my disgruntled words. that is truly a testament to how amazingly patient and insightful you are. i am humbled. and i thank you.

    now, in reading THIS post, i am struck by the paradox that although you found motivation in my words, they would never have come to being if you hadn't been brave enough to express your frustrations in the first place. and i think that is the mark of the best and most influential actors. those that are able to express themselves time and time again (and in an often less-than-flattering light) with such an intensity of emotion. it is that raw bravery that engages us and touches us as an audience and calls upon us to reflect on our own inner thoughts and emotions. and you, Lira, have figured out how to engage and inspire us. and i am touched. so thank you for your bravery. i look forward to experiencing more, through whatever medium you choose.


  7. Aww! What a beautiful post! It's wonderful to see how many people from all around the world have come out to support you - in good times and in bad!

    I'm sorry that I didn't comment, I was taking a mini-vacay mostly because my heart was hurting too. I'm glad to see that you/we are not in this alone, there is a such a large, supportive net of fellow actors all around who definitely understand both the good and the bad.
    Your words and those of your noters truly resonated with me.

    We'll always be here for you - with pom poms ready! :)

  8. Kay!!

    I didn't delete ANY comments! In fact, I had a few anonymous comments that made it to my inbox, but when I checked my post, didn't show up in the comment feed! I thought people were feeling bad and deleted them! I didn't delete any!

    So, well, then, hooray! Glad yours made it to me! And I'm glad you can feel the love I felt from you!

    I keep saying to others that we storytellers are storytellers because the world needs us to make others FEEL. To remind them, and ourselves that LOVE is the best Feeling in the world, and we are the lucky ones chosen to promote it.

    It's a sweet gig when we are able to find the outlets to do it continuously.

    Thank you for your comment, thank you so, so, much. It helped reinvigorate me and readjust some of my goals! <3

  9. This is one of the most beautiful posts (with some of the most beautiful comments) I have ever read.

    Honestly, Lira, you have such a beautiful heart that is so deeply honest and does not shy away from tough questions or being called on your crap and it's all so damn gorgeous I am tearing up right now.

    You are so very, incredibly, deeply loved.

  10. Obviously, you can act.

    If you wanted to, I know you could do stand-up, or improv, or sketch comedy, or write and star in your own webseries/tv show/movie/etc.

    Your writing, and, more specifically, your own voice as a writer, is vibrant. You spoke of looking for other doors. I'm not trying to be motivational here, I'm trying to state the facts. You can do stand-up. you can do sketch comedy. You can do improv.


Play nice.