In a town full of “dreamers”, filled with camera ready-sculpted bodies, flawless skin and flowing tresses, peace isn’t the first thing to come to mind.
By Schantelle Cason
Hollywood is it’s own microcosm of “perfection”.
LA’s driven by the entertainment industry, and everything changes once you enter its radius. Awards season seems to create a never-ending supply of red carpet events and invites by invitation only. There’s an array of industry celeb charity events, and private parties. Being on the list, makes you a part of the “in crowd”, even if you’re a friend of a friend. In many ways, it’s a lot like high school—where all the beautiful and cool people meet up and dish on all things entertainment.
The truth of the matter is Hollywood can be hard on you soul. It will force you to grow thick skin, fast. A huge part of the artist’s process involves rejection and trying to “book the job”. Many levels are involved in playing the “game”. As an actress, I may not always get the audition, that depends on so many factors like do I have a heavy hitter agent or manager? Even though I want to be seen for the part, has the roll already gone to a named talent/celebrity? If I’m seen and I do manage to get a callback, then my next goal is to book the job. Like an athlete in the zone, when I book a gig, there’s an energy and knowingness about me. My eyes shine, blazing internal fire, like Serena when she’s in the zone serving up aces on the tennis court.
I’ve found that in Hollywood, you must define your “dreams” and create a burning desire to achieve them. I quickly learned to establish clear boundaries, and set superior standards for myself. For survival in this town, I had to become unwilling to compromise myself, so that I don’t compromise my soul. I’m constantly reminding myself that all blessings flow in divine time.
In the meantime, here are some heartfelt suggestions to balance your artistic pursuits. Identify and recognize the unique thing you have to offer. Remain “fearless” with a willingness to be bold. Stay true to yourself and never be afraid to re-invent you. And finally, be prepared to put in the work—when others are sleeping, stay on top of your game, by getting private coaching, working out, and educating yourself on the industries players.
Spend time with people worthy of your friendship and share your goals with like- minded folks. These folks will be your rock, even when you haven’t booked a job in a year. They will check in with you because they know, love and respect you and because they share a genuine bond. Real friends don’t care about your Facebook friends/followers, likes, re-tweets or your latest Instagram.
Most importantly, I discovered it’s empowering to do the thing you love. In doing so, you honor your souls desire and your dreams become your reality. Letting go and allowing Divine to intervene turns everything into an amazing gift.
I’ve found that when I take all of those things into consideration and live life at my own pace, I‘m at peace. A bit of yoga, group hiking and meditation does wonders for my soul. It’s possible to find peace wherever you go because it comes from within. I’ve managed to experience bliss filled moments here in Hollywood, profound inner peace, and pure joy on my artists/life’s journey. I wish the same for you.
Schantelle Cason is an actress & voice over artist whose been featured in national & regional TV commercials, voiced hundreds of radio spots and kick butt interactive games. She’s been featured on “Lincoln Heights”, “Strong Medicine”, “All My Children” & “OLTL”. She’s performed on NYC and regional theatre stages and worked Post Production with Edmonds Entertainment and Disney Studios. She’s currently in pre-production on a documentary on the rebuilding of NOLA, post Hurricane Katrina & writing a children’s book series with her daughter Lana, entitled “Lana Loves…” She lives in Los Feliz.