"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

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An Attitude Adjustment

Charlotte emailed me the other day and I'm going to dissect a few things that stand out.

Charlotte, we don't know each other so I want you to know, I am giving you this advice with nothing but love. It might not sound like it, but I want you to succeed. In order for that to happen, however, you have to look at what you've done and see that you already are succeeding. We just need to give you a little bit an attitude adjustment.

Let's take a look here:

Alright well i guess i should begin with letting you know im 16 and unfortunately stationed in Birmingham , AL (every theatre kids nightmare).  
I don't know why you feel the need to trash the city you live in. Birmingham has plenty of history and tons of things to do. Opening with that turns me off and makes me wary because you're coming to me for advice from a place of deep ungratefulness for the life you currently have. That makes me think that if you don't like my advice, you're going to discount everything I've said and all the time and effort I've put into my advice for you. You will then blame me for your unhappiness. That's a lot of pressure!  
anyways with things to think about like my future all i want to do it act, sing, and dance. ive trained in ballet, hip hop, and tap for 12 years. I take singing lessons from The Amy Murphy studio (mixed belt soprano)and I also take acting lessons. 
Did you take all your classes in Birmingham? Would you have not had those opportunities if you lived elsewhere? Do you understand why someone could be taken aback from your attitude?
All i want to do in life is theatre and/or musical theatre obviously im interested in broadway and actual movies, but being realistic realize college is necessary. what would you reccomened as top schools for musical theatre or theatre? do you know of any less known places? prefered locations are cali or new york tho anywhere would b alright. also I read some of this on your blog but what is your view on the American musical dramatic academy.. it sounds almost to good to be true.

I cannot tell you my recommendations for musical theatre or theatre schools because a school that I would consider to be excellent for me, might not fit your needs. You need to do your own research and contact the schools you're interested in to learn about their curricula and requirements.  You've been studying the performing arts for over a decade - any school would be lucky to have you - but you need to also believe that you would be lucky to have the school you eventually get accepted into. Your email to me, with a distasteful opening and multiple spelling and grammatical errors, as well as an admittance to only skimming an article about a subject I already covered, leads me to believe that although you are showing me that acting and dancing is your life and you are 100% committed to performing onstage, you are also lazy when it comes to anything you have to do offstage.

As a musical theatre school grad, YOU are going to have to be in charge of your career. YOU are going to have to learn how to brand, promote, and sell yourself. You might get cast in every production your college produces. You might never know what it's like to not have your name on the cast list. But then, once you're out of school, and you're competing in the real world where there are thousands of girls just as pretty, just as talented, and just as amazing, the only thing that will separate you is your attitude and work ethic. Now, at 16, YOU are going to have to make sure that the incredibly talented actress and dancer you want to become, is a smart, articulate, and humble actress and dancer now. You are going to have a fan base; you probably already have one, and you need to remember that the only way to keep them, and to grow them, is to always thank them for continuing to support you. Without fans to come and watch you dance, sing, and act, you have no one to perform for, and are therefore not a performer.

Being an actress, and especially being a struggling one, is incredibly hard work. I hope you never have to find that out. I hope that it is all very easy for you and I know all of your fans and friends and family hope the same. But only for as long as you're kind, respectful, hard working, and thankful.

Thanks for reading, Charlotte, and I wish you the best of luck in your college search.


  1. I'm going to have to second everything you say here. Charlotte sounds incredibly lucky (dance, singing and acting lessons?) but luck isn't everything.

  2. Excellent response! Good luck with everything, Charlotte- Lira's advice is spot-on.

  3. Great, great post, Lira. So important to know that attitude contributes to everything we do.


Play nice.