I have had my own success as an actor and entrepreneur in the world of entertainment, but certainly not on the level of Tony Scott. If I had the deals with TV networks and was a part of such iconic films as Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop and the recent Unstoppable just to name a few, I’d be flying high…one would think based on all outward appearances Tony had it all and was enjoying it, right? Most actors and others involved in our biz would kill for his position and lifestyle.
Tony Scott, died yesterday after jumping off a bridge in what authorities are calling an apparent suicide. He was 68. Wow, unbelievable.
Apparently being rich, famous and talented was not enough. Apparently, the deep void he felt that had him jump from a bridge to end whatever suffering he felt, was much larger than his “success”. It’s important to say here that, in my humble opinion, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Where can one access the path to a happy, joyous and beautiful life/career experience then? It ALL starts with they way you think and the resulting actions you take.
I once had an opportunity about 15 years ago to become Tony’s personal assistant. I was at a crossroads in my career, before I bought Actors Connection, and was looking for something that would facilitate what I considered satisfaction and advancement in my life and career. I didn’t get the job (obviously) and went on my merry way, carving out a path that has been an awesome roller coaster ride with twists, turns and learning opportunities. But I always wondered what it would have been like to work for him. How did he create such a vast empire, contributing his many skills and talents to millions? I make it a point to model successful people and learn whatever I can from them.
His tragic and unexpected death (alleged as I write this, but investigators have found a suicide note) brings me back to what I call my mission these days in the area of providing information and services to actors. I have this thirst and huge desire to make an impact on the acting community through my programs and coaching. Why?
Through my own education and experience I ‘ve come to learn that pursuit of outward success (money, fame, fortune, recognition, an Oscar/Tony/Emmy – fill in the blank) is NOT what gets you anywhere unless the journey you are on ALSO includes the “thinking” that keeps your head and heart in alignment. After all, what good is having all that stuff if you’re suffering along the way, and may be suffering even if you get everything you say you want.
It’s not a cliche, it’s very true indeed, that the journey is by far more satisfying than reaching the destination. Once you get to where you’re going, you’ll want to find the next place to go. Once you get what you want, you’ll want something new. It’s the design of human beings.
This year I began creating more programs around the “context” of having an acting career instead of just the content of what to do. Think and Grow Rich Acting and my new APP program are just the beginning. I feel a pull to bring more awareness and enlightenment to a community that suffers more rejection and scarcity than almost any other…and that can be tough. Tony’s suicide brings a big lesson to those that will learn from it: Acting and show business are PART of our lives, NOT our entire lives.
Personally, I feel my ONLY JOB in life is to be happy, whatever that looks like. I could honestly give up everything I’m doing right now and do something completely different…as long as I was happy doing it. But don’t worry, I’m completely happy so I’m not goin’ anywhere! So I offer this question to you… Are you happy? If you are, then there’s your reason to keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re not, then you may want to look at earning a living doing something you truly love. Try something else. What? Anything…but find your passion and purpose, then go for it!
Weird I’m advising actors to possibly stop acting, right? Probably not good for my business. But truly, I want you to be happy FIRST and FOREMOST, whether you get that acting gig or not, have that agent or not, or become a rich and famous actor or not.
My vast sympathy and condolences go out to Tony’s wife and 12 year old twins, and to the audiences that will miss his great artistry. Tony, I trust you are at peace now.
To YOUR success and happiness, however you may define it. Lisa