The Actors Society Salutes - Women's History Month
The Actors Society has put together an Alumna Roundtable to celebrate Women’s History Month. We have asked our alumni panelists to detail their experience as women and artists by answering several questions curated by alumna Yasmin Le Comte (Class of 2019).
The value of their insight can’t be overstated!
We begin our 3-week series with up-and-coming actress and Class of 2017 alumna Saida Fakher with credits such as “Bad Vibrations,” “Swipe,” and “You Weren’t There,” and 1999 graduate Jessica Pimentel: a television actress and musician known for her work on “Orange Is the New Black,” “Person of Interest,” and “Law & Order.”
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what advice would you give?
You're loved, you're beautiful and stronger than you think. Have patience when you want to run, have hope when you think about your dreams, and trust your gut feelings! Don’t surround yourself with people that don’t make you feel good about yourself or don’t believe in you. You don’t need that—period.
When you have a vision in life, that’s the universe showing you your best life; what your best self can achieve. The key is getting yourself in a positive flow—in the energy of greatness—to appreciation and gratitude.
Be bold to eliminate everything in your life that’s not serving you, so that what’s meant for you can come to you!
If I could go back in time to a time right out of high school—and the four or five years to follow—I would give myself the following advice (although, I think this advice would hold up for anyone)…
Do not be afraid to take big risks. When opportunity knocks she may only knock once, and I promise you that the things you choose not to do because of fear, leaving the familiar, insecurity, and inconvenience, you will regret much more than the things you choose to do wholeheartedly. (Trust me!) I have taken risks that allowed me to fail miserably in front of thousands of people and I wouldn't change a thing, but oftentimes, I think of those opportunities that I missed because of my own choices.
Do not allow other people's projections to stop you from working towards your own goals. Many times people will discourage you from pursuing your dreams because your dreams are out of their comfort zone. They may be afraid to lose you. They may be afraid that you might fail and think they are protecting you. They may be even more afraid that you may succeed. Some are just jealous that you are pursuing your dreams and want you to stay right where you are and be miserable like them. Do not let acquaintances, friends, family members or romantic partners discourage you. Those who love you will support you, guide you and encourage you to be everything that you want to be no matter how unreasonable it may seem.
Although it is a wonderful and therapeutic act to rejoice in the success of others, do not look to anyone else's life or career as a measure of your own. we are all on our own path and each one of us has their own trajectory. It is impossible to know what lies in the future and you must maintain your focus on your work and yourself and what is best for you. Even if you feel that you are constantly being overlooked and passed up, everything can change overnight. That also holds true for someone who is experiencing a great amount of success—that can change overnight as well. The important part is to enjoy the journey and learn from each experience to become a well-rounded person with a fulfilling life.
Do not compare your looks to others. We are constantly force-fed images and ideals of beauty when the truth is this: beauty exists everywhere. Your own beauty is unique and appreciated everywhere you go. Many of us feel the need to modify our physical appearance in hopes to be more marketable or appealing. But so often what we're force-fed as being beautiful are trends that come and go. So if you choose to modify your appearance in any way, whether it's a haircut, losing or gaining weight or doing something more permanent, make sure that you're doing it for yourself, to make yourself happier and healthier and not to look like someone else. What's the point of looking like someone who already exists when no one in the world looks like you?
Stay tuned for more...