As a life coach for teen girls in Los Angeles, Iâ��ve worked with a wide variety of girls struggling to find their authentic voices. As one might expect, Iâ��ve also encountered my fair share of budding starlets. Iâ��m particularly drawn to this ambitious bunch because I also grew up pursuing a dazzling career in the entertainment industry. Subsequently, Iâ��m all too familiar with the inherent trials and tribulations of that pursuit. Now I feel compelled to support and guide our next generation of entertainers in order to avoid the pitfalls of life in the limelight.
From the outside, the glitz and glam of the entertainment industry is certainly alluring. Who doesn’t want to wear designer clothes and attend exclusive parties? For me, acting was the perfect blend of artistic expression, exploration of the human spirit, and well, a path to fame. As a young girl, acting was my first love. I loved auditioning, and landing leading roles in small productions came easily. As I hit puberty, I entered the dreaded era of pimples, braces and bangs. As if struggling to feel comfortable in my own skin wasn’t bad enough, I got the distinct impression that casting directors were measuring me against other girls largely by my appearance. Very quickly, the vibe in the audition waiting rooms shifted from comradeship to competition.
Continuous rejection started to take its toll. I could feel little pieces of my pride and self-worth being chipped away every time I didnâ��t book a gig. I began to see the roles I didnâ��t land launch my competitors into megastardom. It was a hard pill to swallow when I saw Scarlett Johanssonâ��s career take off after she booked the role we had both auditioned for in The Horse Whisperer. I felt even worse when I saw Lindsay Lohanâ��s instant fame after starring in The Parent Trap, a film for which I had attended multiple call backs. Self-doubt and embarrassment started to wreak havoc on my psyche. Since actors rarely receive constructive feedback about auditions, I was left to obsess about what went wrong. I remember bawling, wondering what was so wrong with me that I couldnâ��t book the game-changing roles.
I stayed in the game long enough to acquire amazing training at the Tisch School at NYU, and eventually made the big move to Los Angeles. I can see now, though, that it was my fear of failure, not my passion, that kept me from walking away sooner. My identity was so largely rooted in being an actress that I didn’t know who I would be without it. I allowed casting directors and colleagues to make me feel insecure. I finally realized that the number of credits on my IMDb page did not determine my worth. Acting was only one of the many gifts I had to share with the world, and as long as I let others determine my value, I would never truly be happy.
Time and time again, young entertainers lose themselves in the pursuit of fame and often fall prey to industry pressures. In my work coaching youth actresses, it’s my mission to share my hard-won lessons. Our work together focuses on achieving laser-sharp clarity around personal needs and values in order to make self-honoring career choices. I help girls understand their self-worth as something that comes from within, not from a leading role. I empower girls to use their voices when pressured to lose weight. Most importantly, I provide a safe space for girls to shed their characters and step into their most authentic selves.