How do you measure success? It’s a question that the entertainment industry forces you to ask yourself many times.
Is success directing/acting in a play at the National Theatre? Is it writing a hit musical? Is it having the opportunity to actually turn down work? Is it getting your foot in the door at a large venue? Is it getting a review in The Guardian? Is it earning more than minimum wage? Is it earning anything at all? Or is it simply finding the motivation to keep dreaming big when haven’t worked in six months?
We all measure success in different ways, for some you’re either making it big or you’re not making it at all. For others it’s the smaller things that give us success. And for some it’s measuring yourself against your peers. The latter one is the dangerous way of doing it – it usually leads to the Royal Court/NT/Donmar/Young Vic website, CV stalking, a bottle of wine and a drunken cry of “WHY NOT ME??” *
At the moment I’m trying to re-evaluate the way I measure my success (or lack thereof at certain times). It’s far too easy to look back five years ago and scold yourself for not seeing an opportunity that could have sky rocketed your career or forever anguish over that time you said something really stupid to someone really important. Likewise it’s all too easy to dismiss all of your hard work, moments of inspiration and praise from those you respect because for whatever reason it didn’t immediately propel you to instant stardom.
But you know what? Maybe the key to measuring your success is just being, well, realistic. Burns a bit to say that, even for me. Always dream big, and aim for the best but don’t diminish your own successes, however small, by comparing them to others who seem higher up the career ladder.
* Personal experience? Noooo. Never. Not at all. AS IF. Nervous laughing etc etc.