Sometimes it gets hard. No one will dispute that. Sure, there are days when the sun is shining and birds are chirping and life is wonderful. And then there are those days when the sun won’t come out, the only bird out there pooped on you, and life flat out sucks. At least at that moment.

When those moments happen — and they will — the only thing you can do is hang on for the ride.

I worked with an actor late last year who was beaten down. Just really at the end, it seemed. She cried and talked about how damn hard this whole thing was, listed all of the things she had been doing to try and hustle and get somewhere and love her life, and then asked me, “How many more times do I have to do this?”

“Just one more time,” I said. “Just once more.”

Now, of course I sorta lied to her, because after that once more, there’s the next once more and the next and the next. But we never get to those other ones if we don’t stick around for that first “once more.” And when we’re looking at all of the “once mores” stretched out ahead of us, we’re overwhelmed, and that’s what causes inaction.

Worse, that’s what causes despair. That’s what makes us wanna pack it in and go home rather than enjoy the journey. In fact, it makes us want to stick out our tongue at folks who suggest we enjoy the stinking journey! Nyah!

But that’s why we’ve gotta try just once more, much of the time. Sure, there are absolutely good, legitimate, totally wonderful reasons to pack it in and go home. There are also some days when all you really need is the reminder that today, someone else is going home, and it’s your ability to try just once more that keeps you here for that big break.

One of my dear friends loves to say, “Don’t give up five minutes before the miracle.” I love that saying. Of course, you can’t know when that miracle is coming. You can’t know when your being on avail actually means something. You can’t know when your tier jump is coming. And really, if you could know, would you want to? How boring would the journey be if you could see before you began that you really needn’t show up at all ’til three years from now, so you could just clock out and do nothing for a while, rather than building relationships and getting prepared for the wonderful stuff to come?

When you’re down — which happens, so don’t be too hard on yourself for getting there — say, “just once more” to yourself. And then do something. Because that one thing could be what triggers that miracle you’ve been building toward all these years.

What are your tips for someone who may be facing the decision to give up? Have you “been there”? Share your resources for surviving this type of actor funk in the comments below!

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

Originally published by Actors Access at Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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  1. Diana Shield May 20, 2014 at 6:13 am

    I am glad to have read this article. Actually I read a lot of your articles and have your first book but it is my first time responding.
    It is a great reminder of the real struggle, commitment and sacrifice one must do in pursuit of one’s purpose. When I feel like calling it quits, life reminds me and I am glad to revceive the message. In this business one encounters rejection after rejection after rejection. But I realize it just wasn’t my time, so many factors goes into actually getting the role and I truly understand it is not personal.
    I have the control to go in to an audition and be prepared, trust in my crafting. When the audition is over I leave happy and content with my choices. I am coming back to acting after trying the 9-5, yet again, and realize it will never ever make me happy. It is truly difficult to let go of a dream that still burns within in me, even when that fire is dim. It is with my struggle, sacrifice and determination which will lead me to my happiness. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”.
    Thank you, Bonnie, for your amazing stories and beautiful inspirations. I truly am grateful.

  2. Justen Overlander May 21, 2014 at 7:13 am

    “Don’t give up five minutes before the miracle.”

    Love that! Love you, Bon! You inspire so many. Thank you for doing what you do. 🙂

    I find myself having more and more of the “down-days” lately where it just feels like I’m pushing against an immovable boulder. My location, financial situation, and lack of nepotism have always been nagging from the back of my mind. Now… NOW… I have my age nagging at me. It’s tough getting older in this business and watching all the spring chicks get their breaks. Am I right? Ugh!

    BUT… when I feel like throwing in the towel, I focus on other aspects of this industry. Acting is my first love, but when I’m not booking, I’m creating. Who knows? Something I create may just take off and give me that elusive “break” we’re all chasing.

    My advice to others — for what it’s worth — is to learn other aspects of the industry. The more you know about everybody else’s job on set, the better actor you’ll be. Whether you’re in LA or flyover country like me, nobody can stop you from educating yourself.

  3. Bon June 2, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Diana — I love your attitude about rejection. Well done! You really are focused on booking the room and building the relationships rather than worrying about any particular booking. Keep that dream alive, darlin’! Stay inspired!

    Justen — Love YOU! Thank *you* for always bringing me joy. 😀 YOU are why I do what I do, you know? 😉 I can point to so many actors who got that “break” after creating their own content, after a certain age, after sticking with it for as long as it takes.

    And YAY for all the information we can gather about this business and the people in it, wherever we are in the world! Aren’t we lucky that we’re around during this time when so much good info is out there?!? Keep rockin’, my friend! XO

  4. Ronald Crooks September 15, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Thanks Bonnie,

    I actually need this more than anything right now. To be reminded to do “just one more” time.

    I had a “breakthrough” moment of acting in my class two days ago. I just performed with all my heart, and incredible insights came pouring out of me. And just now read what you wrote. I guess I don’t have a choice, I really am in this for the long haul. Thanks


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