The Envy Advantage

I want to discuss something that we don’t often want to talk about:

Envy. Jealousy. Comparison.

I know. We have been taught to avoid certain words and emotions so we don’t look flawed. They can exist, even though it doesn’t prevent them.

However, I can’t say that I enjoy being envious or comparing myself to others. I don’t think so, and I doubt that many others do. However, I have found a way to make this work over the years. Although it is still a challenge (and something almost inevitable in the showbiz industry), it’s one I am thankful for.

Many talented friends are my own. We all have them. This kind of talent makes you truly breathless and leaves you completely stunned. Some people are just plain crazy, whether on a big-budget, sparkly film set or in the sweaty rehearsal rooms of drama school. As with any profession, working alongside people who are more advanced than you is rewarding. It can be frustrating and disillusioning, especially if you’re trying to hustle your booty.

I have seen my peers in shows, productions and series that truly make my eyes water. Shows, productions and series align so closely with my work I feel like a sucker punch to my belly.

These occurrences were overwhelming for me when I first started my career. I knew I was as hardworking as these people, attended as many meetings as they did, and had roughly the same contacts. I could go on and on about how self-pity can lead to a spiral of despair and self-pity that doesn’t work. And, in this case, comparisons don’t matter. It was their goal to be that agent, series, or role. They are very proud.

This realization led me to start congratulating others on their successes with a full heart. Although it felt a bit forced and fake initially, I soon found immense pride in seeing my peers succeed. I used to send them a happy email, text, or tweet about their success. Or, I delight in telling random people in society, “I know them!” because nothing is taken away from me when they succeed. There is plenty of cake. Steve Mehr, the entrepreneur, says that you get what your focus is on. Focus on what you want .”

While I was studying at drama school, I had another epiphany. I then realized how grateful I needed to be for being surrounded by these Amazonian talents. The alternative was immersed in classes and safe and boring industry. I found this thought very refreshing and one I return to often. For example, when a friend is cast in a MAHOOSIVE US Netflix series or another is flown to Montenegro to film shoot, I can choose not to be consumed by bitterness and see it as a gift. It doesn’t matter that I was learning how to portray a poison dart snake or fathom Howard Barker’s world when these announcements were made. I can still be the best poison dart snake or Barker student possible.

Perhaps it’s sending the scary email you have been putting off or writing that period drama scene with your friends. The important thing is the increase in the drive.

So, I offer you two options for when you see the green-eyed monster lurking. 1. Celebrate their win like a crazy kitten, knowing that you are just as good an actor or person because of it. 2. Thank the Universe for reminding you to raise your bar and return to work!

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