Lately, I have been struck by the generosity of artists around me. For the most part, I have had many people who are entirely willing to share with me the "secrets" that they have learned of the business. Any information they may have gleaned from their experiences such as where to look for jobs that I have never thought of or where to look for apartments has been helpful.
This is such a dog eat dog world, and often artists feel threatened by each other. I know I have felt this anxiety on many occasions such as when I am up for a role against others, and it's not clear who is going to get the part. At times such as these, it is human nature to "look out for number one." When it comes to casting, I'm trying to learn that since much of it is entirely out of my control, I may as well just do my best and let the chips fall where they may.
Now that I'm entering a different and even more competitive pool where people don't have the luxury of getting paid even if they don't get the part, I'm really having to prepare myself mentally. I find that the people who are the most successful and respectable are also the ones who are the most helpful. They don't seem threatened by anyone else. They are confident and calm, and many that I have met so far are even kind! Go figure! It's often people who I call the "ankle biters" who are so frantic about getting the job and taking care of themselves that they aren't willing or able to help those around them.
Everyone has a story and experiences that influence them in their personal interaction with others. I know that I can tend to fall into the nervous insecure category. However, by knowing this about myself and admitting it openly, I hope that I as I grow I can be more like the helpful and confident artists who I admire. In self defense, I don't feel that I've ever been one to deny help to anyone who needs it, but as a human, the competition factor often creeps into my mind. I know that on many levels this will never go away. My personality is what it is, but I hope that I can continue to learn, accept criticism and graciously be able to help others someday as much as I am being helped now in this transition.