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  • Writer's pictureasotolewis

What Brought Me Here

Today is a new day and here we are in a new week! I am so thankful for each day that I am given to wake up and live my dream. I don't often talk about my journey to get here but it has definitely been a journey. I think I'm going to talk about that today. I'm about to open the vault and get real here.

In short I will start by saying this, I have always loved acting. I feel as if acting sets me free in ways that I can't explain. I know some people feel that working out alleviates stress, for me this is acting. Acting is my yoga, acting is my therapist, acting is my self expression, acting breathes life into me. Its funny to me that I feel so strongly about something yet held it back for all of those years.

I started acting as a child. I was in 4th grade, to be exact. I landed a couple of big projects and felt embarrassed by the way it was perceived in school. I remember practicing for a Spanish Burger King audition in an empty stairwell at my elementary school and feeling embarrassed that someone would see me. Nobody made me feel this way, this was all my doing. I was always given attention for speaking Spanish as if it was a cool thing, and it is a cool thing! I realized then that I simply didn't like attention. I'm NOT an attention whore although people who don't truly know me might disagree. I don't like people watching me, I didn't like people asking me to speak Spanish because it sounded cool. Although nobody was ever mean to me, I never liked feeling as if I was on display. I noticed that I shied myself away from being the center of attention although I always loved being loud, funny and peppy. I could play sports, I could dance, I could be in Cheer. I COULD NOT share my voice nor my passion. Makes no sense, huh. I NOW realize that this was me not finding my confidence. Perhaps if I would have taken some acting classes then maybe I would have found that security that I needed. Who knows?

As quickly as I got a well respected agent in San Antonio, I got out of the industry. It wasn't for me. I wasn't happy. This was my mothers dream. All of these things are what I told my supportive mother and what I tried to convince myself. It hurt that I left but it felt like the smart choice. This was not for me. I can never do it. I'm not good enough. I'm not THAT talented. I love watching the arts but not being a part of it. I'm not creative at all. Notice that everything is negative. All I did was beat myself up over quitting. So why did I do it? Downward spiral.

As the years went on, in my mind I always knew I would make it. How? Who knows but it was going to happen. Well, it doesn't fall on your lap so it hasn't happened. I would watch soap operas imagining myself on them, changing how they did the lines and seeing how I could make it better. I would sing in my room and sometimes record myself. I had talent but it Didn't matter because I was never good enough in my own mind.

In high school I felt the yearning desire to audition for a play. I didn't do it. I didn't have the courage. In drama class I was told that I have talent and that I needed to audition. I didn't listen. I couldn't. I wouldn't. I would sit in the audience wishing that I had the courage to do what all of those guys were doing. Instead I would be showcasing myself without my voice, in dance, cheer and sports. That's all I ever could do. Why did I do this to myself? Why make myself suffer?

To be honest I have many friends that have known me since 2nd grade and I wonder how many of them knew I had a desire to be an actor? They should all know and I am pretty positive that they don't. It was a secret that I kept hidden to myself and very well I might add. I'm not even sure my family knew this was something I was holding back.

Sophomore year I met my first love. That's a convo on its own lol! I met the person who wouldn't judge me and whom I can share all of my dream with. Or so I thought. After a couple of years I expressed to him that I really wanted to be an actor and that I truly think I can be successful one day. I was met with support but also with restrictions. I wouldn't want you being in scenes with guys or showing too much. You can't be too flirty or be "bad". Whatever that meant?! So what did I do, I buried the dream again. In college, I continued to bury the dream and was so jealous of people that would try it out!

Fast forward years of working in different career paths to find the right fit. Making good money and still not being happy. Fast forward some more and meeting my future husband who has always been supportive. Finally having babies and realizing that there is so much more to life than shame and regret. I told myself, screw it! I'm going to do it and I'm going to give it my all! I don't care what anyone thinks anymore! I am finally doing this for me! Thankfully my husband felt the same way and gave me the extra push that I needed. Because of his support I have been able to do things I never thought were possible. I started going to classes and truly letting it all go. I have been on plenty of auditions and have booked things I never thought I could. Ive been in plenty of projects and have made incredible lifelong friends. My career is just starting. I am so thankful that I finally found the courage in myself to push everything to the side and just do it.

I'm writing this super long blog because something told me that I needed to. This was heavy on my heart and I feel that someone really needs to see this. The story doesn't end with me living in sadness everyday that I wasn't doing what I love but instead there is a valuable lesson here. Be true to yourself. Know that you can do all things. If you need help, say something. Work on yourself always. Lastly, work OUTSIDE of your comfort zone. If I had done any of these things earlier in life then I wouldn't have waited until I was 32 to start again. I never want to blame anyone for me not taking control of my life. This was all my doing and I'd like to say I would change things if I could but to be honest I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. This is my time and I will not take it for granted.

Thank you as always for the support. It means more than you know!

- Alisha

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