03 June, 2022

Ask Al: The Energy Behind the Decision

a little perspective
Dear Al, 

I have a career-related question and would love some advice: 

I just got re-offered my national tour contract. I am two years in to said contract, in a leading role. I had previously said no to year three of the tour, but now I’m thinking of returning because I love the production, the role, and performing— especially post pandemic.

It just feels potentially foolish "career-wise—" am I robbing myself of pursuing new opportunities? Am I pigeon-holing myself into this tour and role and not allowing myself to try new things? I wonder all of these, but also feel this new contract is a gift from the heavens after everything the performing arts world has been through. Am I looking a gift horse in the mouth? 

I would love to know your thoughts.



A few thoughts on this, points of various “camera zooms”

1. Big picture:

I think often we as actors—particularly female actors— feel that we are in a position of being PAWNS. Meaning, that we have very little power to choose our path with a lot of AGENCY. The truth is, on some level that’s true. Not all of us are Emma Stone.

Thus we fall into... 

2. Lack Mindset. 

Because Opportunities don’t come along as often as we’d design, we perceive ourselves to somehow be in deficit, and it can perpetuate a “Lack Mindset.”

The lack mindset sounds like the inner monologue of “NEVER ENOUGH”— (I’m never successful enough, thin enough, good enough, rich enough ...) And when we make decisions from the place of lack, we operate from a place of survival--a place of very-real desperation because we feel our livelihoods are actually on the line.

But the Lack Mindset? Is a GIANT LIAR.
It is crucial that you don’t make this choice from a Lack mindset, or dis-empowered female actor “mental space” because


3. There is no right or wrong decision here 

— EITHER will effect your life and future with likely equally worthy experiences and momentum—
But making any decision out of FEAR or LACK? I promise you will lead to some kind of deep regret. (I’ve made this mistake a few notable times...)

What I mean by it being a neutral decision is this:

  • You will return and continue on an awesome national tour to play a truly rewarding role in (maybe?) less exhilarating cities.
  • You might be a little bored sometimes but, whatever!
  • You’ll stash money away.
  • You’ll be employed an an actor IN THESE INSANE TIMES
  • and finish your Tour story on your terms.


  • You leave the tour
  • and grab the momentum of a re-energized show-business in NY or LA
  • And roll the dice! Taking a chance at your next big break!
  • Meet new people, make new connections.
  • It might yield “nothing” or it might change your life. Only giving yourself a chance will tell.
  • This choice gives yourself a shot to super charge growth and expansion beyond your pre-pandemic self....

Neither is wrong. Both have their pros and cons.

4. Final Point:


It’s not about the choice.
It’s about the energy behind the choice.
And if there is any whiff of fear inside that energy? Run the other way.
In the end you won’t regret it. 


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