To excel in the entertainment industry, in any industry, the first thing you have to do is decide who you want to be.
If you want to stay in alignment with yourself, with your dream, and with God, you have to remember that you carry a unique gift, and you have to identify your purpose and your passion. When you’re in those moments where everyone’s talking about you, everybody’s looking at you, everybody’s waiting to see who you really are, and you’re not sure who’s on your team and who isn’t, you have to be 100 percent connected to your passion and your dream, because ultimately they will reveal your truest self.
Be patient, because learning to trust yourself is a step-by-step process. You might make mistakes, and if you do, I hope you’ll learn from them. But you can’t give up on trusting your voice. Don’t accept someone else’s version of you or someone else’s perception of you. You can’t get in the habit of becoming what someone else says you are.
The challenges you encounter can help you recognize your authentic self — but you have to go through the doors that close on you.
Those closed doors, like when I left Making the Band, aren’t the end of the world. Sometimes they actually help define the fire, the clarity, the big in you.
Because of the Dreamkillers I encountered and the doors that were shut in my face—which I kicked down, and through which I kept going — I learned that I have a resistance to giving up. That’s an important resistance to develop. And developing it is simple: just keep going! Every time you feel like giving up, don’t.
Get up. Take another call. Go to another dance class. Try another pirouette. Kick again. Resist giving up. Soon that door will open and another pathway will be made clear.
You can’t give up. You can’t, because it will never stop. If you think that you’ll get to this place where everybody loves you and it’s peaches and rose gardens and there are no thorns — no! When you’re following your dream, you’re always evolving, which always brings some struggles with it. My hope is that this book teaches you to embrace that process.
Now that I’ve carried my vision for so many different artists, more people respect what I say and believe in what I tell them. More people are willing to listen than they were when I first started. What I had to say was not always believable in the beginning, because people don’t always trust the visionaries — the ones who see what’s not yet there.
I’ve built the muscle to sustain that time period when I’m in the field of doubters. I can just skip through them like I’m skipping through the field of poppies in The Wizard of Oz. The doubters have faces and names and swags and suits. And sometimes there are flying monkeys and trees throwing apples at me too! But I’m like, “Oh, here I go through the field of doubters,” and I just skip through them as best I can. I don’t try to explain myself anymore. It does no good. Because if an explanation goes wrong and they get the sense that they’re right, they’ll grow into an ugly monster tree that’s a lot tougher to skip around.
Whenever I’m challenged by professional doubters, I let them know I have no time for smallness. Greatness is fulfilled, not bought or manipulated. It requires a process and a period of faith.
Do you have enough faith to allow greatness to be fulfilled? Or are you gonna doubt and try to limit your success to the box you’re in right now?
When you take that first step toward trusting your voice, there’s what I call a moment of suspension, when you’re out there by yourself. It feels like you’re walking on the moon. But then the rhythm changes and you get back into what you have created — this new space, this new art, this new place, this new level, this new freedom in yourself, this new muscle, this new thing. You reach a spot where even the doubters can’t deny that something’s happening, when you’re in rhythm with who you really are and it feels different. It happens to everyone who sticks it out through the doubt.
It’s funny: once I fight through the doubters and get the vision to where it’s supposed to be, they all get happy.
There are lots of professional doubters in the world, and every artist or creative person will be surrounded by them both before and after success comes along. My advice is this: Go right through them. Go around them. Stay on your toes, like a boxer, and block, block, block if you have to. Keep them in their place. And if you don’t have the strength to block them all yourself, make sure you have people around you (like me!) to do the blocking for you.
Despite the closed doors and resistance I went through after Making the Band, despite feeling like I’d lost my team by losing my connection to Puffy and the artists he worked with, I chose to keep going. No matter what. No matter how hopeless I felt in the moment.
The pathway God made clear to me wasn’t just a continuation of where I was; it was a pathway that would carry me to heights I’d been aiming for ever since I was a little girl.
Watch the Video
Excerpted with permission from Dance Your Dance by Laurieann Gibson, copyright Laurieann Gibson.
* * *
Keep going at that thing you’re trying! Listen to the Lord’s voice, your inner voice, and keep going! Keep creating! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full