Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for bad company corrupts good character.1 Corinthians 15:33 (NLT)
Be constantly aware of the company you keep because you will become like the people you hang around with; for better or for worse.
This is especially appropriate if you have made a big move to a new city and the only people you know in this new game are your drama school mates. The ol’ drama school days of enforced proximity are now over and you are free to choose your own company. It could be that you have remained incredibly close with several drama school mates and more power to you if that’s the case. There are few things that can compare to relationships forged in the fire of drama school training.
But always remember: associate with people who you can LEARN from and who ENRICH your life, rather than those who would prefer to sit in a cafe whinging about their rubbish agent. Everybody needs a time to vent and all close friends rely on each other for this outlet. But if that’s all you are hearing day in day out, the only thing you’re actually learning is how to whinge, how to blame others and how to lament after once-sought goals instead of actually working towards them.
Many actors don’t even know they’re life has become one giant whinge because they’ve never been called on it. They have done it so much, for so long, that it has now become fused into their very existence as a personality trait. These type of individuals tend to use their mates as ‘whinging crutches’ so they can continue to cope with their day to day. However, psychiatrists and psychologists have yet to add whinging and bitching to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It’s a band-aid on a broken leg. All the whinge-crutch actor achieves is the unconscious act of dragging more people back down the plughole with them. If you catch a mate circling that drain, point them straight to TheLongHaul.com.au .
TAKE HEED! This DOES NOT mean you become some kind of TV Evangelist energiser bunny that refuses to engage in any kind of negativity, flashing laser-toothed smiles at everyone and chiding:
“Child, you could be achieving right now, instead of indulging in all this ‘boohoo me’ stuff. This is worse than self-negati-vi-TY. You’re becoming a negativ-a-ME. Believe in that absolute, intrinsic power that you hold in the deep recesses of your heart of hearts!”
This is called ‘being an insensitive butthole’.
It may sound trite, but finding people who value the same things in life as you will make your life FAR richer! If you value raising a family and going camping in the bush, what’s the point in hanging around those primarily interested in getting inebriated, blowing their per diems on drugs and buying obnoxiously expensive designer-wear? We start to tackle these curlier issues in our next whopper of a section on mental health. But for now, regardless of where you are in your career, you must know that you will have to wade through a mountain of human BS. But since you’re here reading this as a Biz-savvy actor, we hope that it’ll now be easier to distinguish the differences between those who are happy to let you stand on their shoulders and those who will drag you into their own whirlpool of bitterness and anger.