I had noticed a pattern.

I was sending emails and texts to my closest friends and I was saying things that I don’t normally say.

Stuff about how hard things have been. Stuff about the “piling on” that was my data loss at the hands of iCloud, the loss of my dear friend, the end of 16+ years of having a weekly column, having rolled my ankle TWICE in November and being totally out of my beloved pole classes right now (leaving me mushy and filled with energy I usually burn off in four 600+ calorie workouts per week)… STUFF.

None of this stuff was coming from a very positive place.

Call it year-end malaise. Call it holiday funk. Call it a whole bunch of not-so-great stuff happening right in a row after having had a spectacular year… for nine months.

A shitty finish is never fun — especially when everyone else out there is celebrating the year, toasting the new exciting things to come, posting photos of all their WINS.

Now, when I write about the fact that this business is just sometimes damn hard, I have advisors who recommend I take the posts down. (This post in particular had a mentor of mine VERY worried that I would never again have a job in showbiz, because I revealed too much about how hard it can be.)

But today, over lunch with one of my besties, we talked about the Fancy Folks who never post a multi-tweet rant, who never cry in public, who never hint that they may be going through something scary, who never make this business look hard.

Y’know what? Fuck them.

They’re lying to you. This business *is* hard. And I think it’s totally unfair to reach a certain tier in this glorious industry of ours and then LIE TO EVERYONE about how cushy it is. Because it’s never cushy.

Sure, there are stages of the game at which you have improved conditions under which you get to attack some of the problems, and those improved conditions can make the stress a little less severe than it was when you were trying to figure out how to pay rent between copy-credit-meals gigs and your three survival jobs, yes. But to behave as if there’s NEVER a bump in the road, there’s NEVER a change that takes your breath away for a moment, there’s NEVER a tear shed over the fear that keeps you up at night is to LIE TO EVERYONE and that’s just not cool.

I’m certainly not saying that everyone needs to share all their trials and struggles, every bitch and moan, every stubbed toe and every near-miss along the way. Of course not.

We are all engaged in the “dreams come true” business, here in Hollywood, and that means we HAVE TO sell the dream. We HAVE TO make that red carpet look gorgeous. We HAVE TO remember that there’s a reason Hollywood Blvd. is actually paved with crushed glass in the mix, so that the street itself *sparkles* when light lands on it! We are IN the dream business. So, of course, we have to do a bit of spin even on our own lives when we might rather mope about.

But there’s a difference between putting it all out there and putting some of it out there and putting nothing but spin out there, right?


Remember when you see it looking so easy that you’re observing not just spin but an outright lie much of the time. And when someone shares nothing but the hardships, that’s false too. Because there are ups and there are downs and everyone has all of them. I promise you.

So when you see someone sharing the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the blissed out and the mad, THANK THEM. For they’re trusting you to know what’s real and not let it scare you off from your pursuit. They’re staying human. And human is way better than FANCY, if you ask me.

Stay real,

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

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  1. Linda Watters December 15, 2015 at 4:39 am

    I share my “real” with a close relative and one of my besties in another city. They are my cheerleaders and two of the very few people I can talk to honestly about my down moments. Part of my branding is that I’m “cheery” and “up” all.the.time. Yes, my default mode is high on the “happy” scale but I do have my moments. Also. both of them are not familiar with the industry in my area so that really squashes my urges to gossip. No point in gossiping if the other person has no idea who you are talking about, right?

  2. Linda Zollo December 15, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Thanks for today’s BonBlast and this follow up. I had wrote a post awhile back on the SMAFninja Facebook page expressing how grateful I am to have a place and the support that is a “non-me” self absorbed group. And that dedicates one day a week to celebrate each other.
    I can so relate to what you have said and when I see this behavior splashed all over my news feed and I begin to feel negative or jealous I jump off the site immediately.
    I refocus my mind to anything positive. I try not to engage with anyone right away so I don’t spread negativity.
    Also, I find something positive and inspirational to post or repost, because if I am finally this way I am certain so of my fellow friends may be feeling the same.
    On the flip side to all the Fancy Folk… there is a reason why the tabloids and shows like TMZ are so successful. I personally avoid all of that nonsense, but many whom lives are filled with hardship or just plain negativity LOVE to see others fail and there faults.
    I love your POV Bonnie and it is very healthy and helpful what you have shared 🙂 Thank you.
    xoxo <3

    1. Linda Zollo December 15, 2015 at 9:22 am

      Dang auto correct!! “FINALLY” is to be *FEELING*
      “THERE” is to be *THEIR*

  3. Joe J Thomas December 15, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    You’re not alone, Bonnie.

    When I get to feeling like that, I take a look at what I’m angry about. Then I try to turn it around into something that helps me or others grow.

    For example, a few weeks ago I got tired of people who constantly were patting themselves on the back… or worse: paying other people to pat them on the back! When I thought about it more, I realized it was because it goes against my view on how the art of the industry is treated (and mistreated). So, to come up with a positive, I coined a new phrase and put out a graphic (featuring my wife’s photography).

    The phrase is “True art does not lie in the adoration or fame of the artist, but in the heart of the work and the soul of the audience.”

    The graphic version is here if you’d like a peek:


  4. Sonia Carroll December 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I feel I have a pretty strong eye for reality but I too get hit by the constant stream of fancy folks even though in the back of my mind I know it’s just their “highlight reel”.

    I remind myself, Sonia they are not going to Instagram themselves lying on the floor crying because life got to much or standing in front of the mirror looking at parts they hate. They won’t be highlighting the troubles or downfalls they are having becomes that stuff is real and that stuff doesn’t get as many “likes”. So I remind myself. Social media for the most part are the highlights. The good parts. The fun parts and that’s ok.

    It’s still ok to showcase those parts. It’s ok to be able to look at your own socia media for a life boost when you need it. I create mine as an Inspo place for me. Somewhere I can go and be reminded of all the good times I’ve had in the past and will in the future. Somewhere I can be realistically reminded that I’m just having a bad day not a as life. I have the photos to prove it. So I can’t exactly lie to myself.

    I also remind myself this is true for others also. And some more than others. Some places online showcase lots of highlights and that may truly be their life, but it may also truly be their highlights or just their hopes for life.
    That is may not be their lambo, or daily flowers from their boyfriend. They may actually be in a car shop or in a florist snapping away. People can create vey creatively.

    So the days when I’m feel a little less yahoo I invest in one very special and highly powerful tactic….. I take a Digital Detox!!

    I stay away from social media for a few days. I wake and don’t check my phone, instead I reach for a fitness magazine to fine tune my knowledge or acting book or I get up and drink my hot water with lemon, admire my view and go for a walk along the beach.

    I remind myself that I do have a nice life and I just have to remember the highlights I have surrounding me everyday. Those highlights I’m reminded of by coming offline. By looking at my life instead of looking at others.

    By embracing my highlights and being in the moment. Right there. Right now.
    xo Shine Bright x Sonia

  5. Bobbin Beam December 16, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Wow! Such truth in what you say. Boy do I hear you! I feel so happy reading this today Bonnie, because just last week I’d published what could be a companion piece to this . I wrote about something that our industry, and a lot of businesses have in short supply; humility. Humility is not sexy, because it’s real. It’s not the Facebook profiles the egos constantly plaster in your face. My post is targeted within the voiceover side of the business, it’s on point and totally in line with what you’re saying. I cite a lot of additional worthy articles in that post. If you are so inclined, it’s here: https://bobbinbeam.com/2015/12/08/4203/

    Peace to all and Happy Holidays!

  6. Bonnie Gillespie December 16, 2015 at 10:57 am

    First off, thank you, everyone for your comments here and the emails and tweets. I love that this is hitting home right now! The feedback is treasured!

    Linda W. — Yes! So great to have cheerleaders from afar, people nearby, folks outside of the industry, and people who can see you exactly as you are without it doing any “brand erosion.” Really smart!

    Linda Z. — Isn’t the Facebook group a wonderful place of non-narcissists eager to support one another? So great! I love that you have the ability to recognize right away when the stream is filled with stuff that’s not good for you so that you can immediately go away and refocus. VERY smart! For me, I watch TMZ because I study the Brandprov action happening there. Which celebs engage in on-brand ways to help steer the public perception of who they are and what they do through that media attention? But yeah, I fast forward through the Kardashians. No. Interest. LOL

    Joe — Wonderful graphic! Thank you for sharing it with us. Let your wife know her photography is lovely and goes perfectly with your wise words. I too am *always* asking, “What’s the lesson here?” when I’m in a negative place. There is ALWAYS a lesson. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be having the experience, right?

    Sonia — I think that’s it, isn’t it? The steady stream of “fancy”… it makes it really challenging to remind ourselves that we know better than to believe it’s reality. Digital detox is BRILLIANT! I do the same thing and it always helps. ALWAYS! You’re brilliant and lovely. Very smart reframing of the highlight reel we ALL use social media to be for us.

    Bobbin — Yaaasssss! Humility is so important! Gosh, yes! That’s a perfect way to sum it up. Thank you for sharing your post and these wise words here as well. I think especially this time of year, we get bombarded with a lot of less-than-humble stuff and balance is so dang important, isn’t it?

    Love you all, beautiful people! THANK YOU for this convo!

  7. Sarah Demeestere December 22, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I was one of those fancies but I didn’t post about it all over social media. No one was ever quite sure on which island I was or in how many houses I lived. I enjoyed a pretty luxurious life for the past 12 years and then one day everything disappeared in a week’s time. Pouf! Nothing left. Anywhere. Clean slate.
    After a year of grief, I slowly started seeing how much I had gained from this loss. So much! One of the most life-changing realizations I got is that all our most valuable treasures are inside us. Things that surround us come and go and come and go again. But what we have inside (our love, our emotions, our soul, our talent, our strength etc) is always there and when you pay attention to it, it grows and blossoms forever and ever. Today, it is my inner gifts that guide and lead me on the journey of life experience. And when I see a beautiful chick in my new favorite car, I am happy for her because she’s enjoying whatever she’s enjoying. Her experience allows me to automatically tap into my own joy.

    Fine print: this does not happen over-night, it’s a lifelong journey. Enjoy 😉

  8. Chandra Ryder December 22, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I’m loving your blog posts here these days. I feel like I’m getting to know you better than I ever did at Showfax and you were always awesome there too.

    I also needed this. I’m getting ready to launch a blog again – both with fiction writing and my thoughts on the creative pursuit and I’ve been wondering if it’s worth it to write about the ups and downs and everything in between. But like you said – we as creatives needs to see it all, not just the fancy highlights, because it gives us the fuel we need to keep going.

  9. Bonnie Gillespie December 25, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Sarah — Yes! I love this: “All our most valuable treasures are inside us.” YES! So beautifully stated. Thank you!

    Chandra — Thank you! As I’ve been importing all the YE OLDE POSTS (from my 1998 to 2010 blog), I’m realizing what a wonderful experience I had, sharing more of my process and personal stuff in my blog and having comments open so that a community of spectacular people could engage with me, ongoing. There’s a different vibe to those posts and with my love affair with Twitter starting in 2008 and then everyone running off to Facebook and such, I just stopped the upkeep and I’m pretty thrilled that I can bring more of these personal ones back here NOW… and I’m over the moon excited that you’re joining me for the new journey here. <3

  10. Jonathan Riggs December 26, 2015 at 10:37 am

    What a beautiful and helpful post, Bonnie. Thank you.


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