my manager called me last night and asked me if i wanted to go to japan for six months. We have an ironclad agreement that he is not to call me for three basic things: cruise ships, regional/stock theater and disneyworld -- or any combination therein -- but he feels obligated to let me know what's out there. and evidently, mickey mouse is hiring in Tokyo.
But there was more: several months on a cruise ship and a philly production of caroline or change were waiting in the wings. how odd that in one phone call, he would tell me about all three things that I categorically refused to consider.
as he went on about the disney thing, i remember thinking, wow -- i've always wanted to live in a foreign country. but to tell you the truth, it was strange, listening to all the details: pay rates, per diem, LORT agreements. it felt like he was talking to someone else. Those are the kinds of opportunities I would have followed when I first came to the city. Until I began to develop my own ideas, I was at the mercy of this business, forever wondering what I was or wasn’t doing to make the phone ring and waiting around until it did. My strategy was to throw myself into the fray and say yes to everything. I was a roman candle, exploding in every direction, sure, I was exhausted and broke. but it felt so good to run after my dreams at full tilt that I really didn’t care. My successes shaped my goals and priorities. When the ideas I came up with were more interesting than the opportunities that were being presented to me, I began to say no more and more often until I hardly said yes at all.
Suddenly, here I was, going no-no-no all over again, without hesitation.
I know that I’m not a negative person but when the moment presents itself, I genuinely enjoy saying no – and I honestly don’t mind hearing it. I think it’s a freeing thing to say and to accept, as long as you’re objective about it. The word no has to find its way through a situation that the word yes never seems to know of. Yes gives it to me. No compels me to shift gears and find another way. And work harder.
it's not that i can't go to tokyo and do a show in disneyworld if someone offered me the part, or that I don’t want to take the gig. it's just that, at this juncture in my career, i would rather do commercials/tv/film, so I probably shouldn't. and that means i won't.
What it really boils down to is this: Say yes to what you really want. Say no to everything else.