It’s Up To You To Listen, Nod Them To Death, & Do What You Want To Do
Hey There! My name is Alesha! Oh well. As I was posting, I found a whole slew of posts I missed from my 1st blog post. So I started over lol. You might read a few of my posts twice. I was trying to honor where I started after getting on Medium and whoops, In order to clearly understand my story, it’s best to read these in this order. It’s almost like reading chapter 4 then jumping to 15 lol. More in likely another mistake will happen. I even tried waking up at 4 am to play catch up haha. I thought I wanted to save these for a future book. I’ll stop posting the intros as soon as I stop digging from my old blog post bank. These are from 2014, a period from my school days. At this point, we were in 2015, just last year! Won’t lie, this could probably use edits.
Welcome 2015. You came in an awesome fashion. Chicago style. (Originally written on 1/11/2015. Currently trying to figure out why there is a white space in this, again. Blogger you’re killing me. Borderline considering moving all my posts to another platform).
Anyways, I recently read Social triggers “http://socialtriggers.com/why-people-fail-be-the-exception/"
If this is your first time visiting, welcome. If you refer back to a few of my blog posts, you will understand that I’m not a fan of college. I had several experiences that got me to that point. Anyways, when reading social trigger’s “Why people fail to be the exception” it really hit home for me. He basically said no matter how much success he had, people always told him to go get a regular job. Why is it that people always want you to settle for less, he asked? That’s when I started writing this blog post in my head. .
Background on me. I went to Catholic schools my whole life. Even as a young person in my catholic grade school, I noticed back then that they had low expectations of me and they had a thrill of putting me in a category. They assumed everyone was ghetto and the teachers thought they were doing every kid a favor by being there. Any one that knows me know you won’t see me running around dying my hair 10 different colors screaming “what the f***” walking down the street. That has never been my style. They let bullies bully, rumors run rapid I have always been a little bit different and ahead of my peers because my mom taught me things at a early age. I also had some life experiences early in life that caused me to handle life situations in a mature matter.
They had a place for me and I surpassed it. Basically how they saw me and how I saw me were different. We were not on the same page. Also, I never let people use “that” excuse that I’m a product of a single parent and you dont have this, this or this. I found myself saying “STOP IT” & quit making up excuses for me ALOT. I’m not a victim, yet people kept trying to put me in that role. Long story cut short: they did many things to me to try to sabotage me and to keep me from being successful. Trust me, they tried hard. Too hard. Painfully hard.
I notice the same thing happening to me in college. In my time in college, I have been told that I won’t be successful, kicked down, and basically made to feel like a nothing by several professors. I love my college friends to pieces and I don’t regret them at all.
To steal what I’ve said in my otger blog posts. I’ll start off by saying that I don’t see college the way a lot of peers do. #1. I do not think getting a degree is my defining moment. #2. Having a degree does not mean I’ll be wealthy. #3. We are all told this: go to grade school, go to high school, go to college, get a job. Believe it or not, we are molded to be robots and be like everyone else….I realized this my first semester of college that I have fallen in the same trap. So why is it that we fail to be an exception? How can I be the exception? Here’s my two cents on it (and my attempt to answer the million dollar question).
Criticism. I’ve learned early in life you’re ALWAYS going to get unsolicited advice (that I didnt ask for) from people. But my reaction to it is what counts the most . For example, when my advisors tell me how behind I am, or say every other thing under the face of the sun, the easy response would be to get frustrated and angry in front of them. I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) to recognize negative comments and I continue to improve my response to this. Note, I do not avoid eye contact either.
I do keep this in mind: Everyone has opinions. It’s really easy to point out things that others are doing wrong, or ways that I should think about things. It’s harder to point out the wrong things you are doing yourself. Every time someone gives me some unsolicited advice, the first thing I ask myself: Are these people in a position that I want to be in? Here’s an example of the things I’ve heard over the years.
“Go get a good paying job like everyone else”
Your degree can be your backup plan, just in case your entertainment jobs don’t pan out.
All of these sound great and are well-intended pieces of advice, yet are ultimately useless. Again, I love
I do not expect most of friends or peers to understand my perspective on this. It’s hard for most to see college from a pragmatic angle due to socialial and cultural pressures. I can only speak for myself, but I have too many dead friends due to suicide because the college pressure became too much. If second chances existed, I rather have college dropouts as friends then dead friends. At some point, fronting appearances should be put on the back burner.
Like I said earlier, when people say these things to me, I ask myself:
Again, in my line of work a degree doesn’t necessarily get me ahead. It doesn’t guarantee me wealth or entitle me to a job. Let’s put it this way: when I submit to acting or modeling jobs, the last thing that comes up on casting director’s mind: What’s your GPA? What field is your degree in? To be blunt. They don’t give a damn about what I did in college, what colleges courses I took and they want to see if I can fit into their project. I appreciate that my friends tell me that they want to see me graduate, that having a degree will be my backup plan if my current plan A doesn’t workout. I still don’t think a degree will get me where I need to be, even though I’m busting my bubble bending over backwards to pay for it. Just being honest. For my career path, knowing people, getting around people that knows more than I do, and being opening to learning things I don’t know will help me. A manager that I’ve been in contact with told me he had no formal eduation past high school. His desire to know more than he knows, getting mentored by some people in the industry led him to be manager to one of the biggest stars in the world. I won’t name drop but what I will say is I’m learning tons of valuable information from all this. Now. IF my career was in corporate or one that requires a bachelor’s degree that might be a different story. But I’m not working for anyone. I’m willing to do what most won’t to live a life that most don’t. I’ll steal I read in a James Alculter post: I just want to say for the record that I’m not opposed to working for anyone (or knock people that have regular jobs. Do what works best for you always!). The jobs I’ve had were fun. Early on i realized that I didn’t want to do this for the rest of my life. Which leads me to my next point.
Job Security. I think a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their mind around the fact that there are ways to get paid without a 9 to 5er. To most, having a 9 to 5er is the most stable and comfortable option. When I tell people that I’m a paid model, they say “so when will you get a normal job, that won’t last forever.” Yes, it’s crazy that I can get paid to get my picture taken. Yes, I do have more than one source of income and as soon as I leave college I will take on more acting jobs. It saddens me that I made the choice to turn down ALOT of auditions and acting opportunites for classes. UGHHH. Again, I do not overly boast or brag about how much. The only way people will know I’ve been talking with managers and A&R folks is if they read this post.
I believe enough in my plan A. Having a plan B means I truly don’t rely and have enough faith in my pain A. People around me do not believe in my plan A either and push for me to go for the safe and stable option.
Fear. It’s hard swimming upstream when the river flow is going the other direction. Or when most people are swimming downstream. I intend on swimming against the current.
Here are legit excuses that I could use:
I don’t have a car.
I’m cut out of a lot of organizations in college.
I don’t have a degree (yet. I might burn it)
I’m distracted with family stuff
I don’t have a ton of money.
So I taught myself how to drive. As embarrassing as it was to me (and a major blow to my ego), my family wasn’t big on letting me drive at 16. I went to a smaller high school so the big thing was getting licensed up at 16. I did beg because I worried that I would be really distracted when I was older. No avail. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And finally while everyone’s back was turned (I went away to college and taught myself). Well some of the acting roles I’ve accepted I need to get behind the wheel and do some fancy tricks. My mom has wondered how I’ve gotten down to Alabama and other places on my own. You do what you got to do. I’m starting to pick up modeling and entertainment gigs all over the place. These gigs are changing my life for the better and there’s no way in hell that I’m slowing down now. No telling where I will end up next. :) I do not have the jackpot I like to have, paying off college is taking the huge
I attend a lot of webinars. I recently went to one that really caught my eye. She basically said to “Shed Your Limiting and Negative Beliefs” and “You don’t manifest what you want, you manifest what you believe.” This is sooooo true. If I believe it can happen, it will. If I don’t believe it won’t happen, it won’t. Simple.
So Derek Hel, of social triggers. You ask how can I be the exception? I hope I answered.
I’ll nod them to death, & do what I want to do. I absolutely refuse to explain my college situations to everyone I meet on the street. Plus it’s hard to understand something unless you been through it. Anyways, since several of them have been a source of negatively for me, instead of getting bitter, angry, and upset, I’ve simply ignored them and reached out to people in the industry that can help me (who want to see me succeed). I’m into modeling, acting, and singing. I recently been accepted by an A&R rep, I have access to an manager and a whole network of casting directors. I did not post about this anywhere except here (well I did on Twitter but none of my friends really follow me on there but a few). Why should I blast it on my personal Facebook talking about who I know all the time? I’m not the bragging type at all, and nope not name dropping anyone in this post. I’ll let my actions speak louder than words. Several of my college professors underestimate me (and that’s totally ok) and I’m not going to go out my way to prove things to them. I won’t. I’m just a number to them. I’ve been reaching out to people that know more than I do and it’s paying off big. (I did mention I’m repeating myself above right?) A tip from the manager: he basically said he didn’t have any education past high school, but because he was interested & opened minded to learning things he didn’t know, because he reached out to people that mentored him, because he got to know people, it paid off big and that’s why he’s in the position he’s in. I’m doing the same thing, but I’m being incognito about it. To those college prof with the nasty comments? They have every right to say what they want and I have every right to ignore it. I have a lot of modeling gigs and music projects in the works by sticking my neck out there and getting to know people. There’s several of them tried hard: I wont forget my advisor telling me that you will be jobless at 30, I’ll never I’ll never forget how I felt in my time in college.
I refuse to fall in that bitter, angry and pissed off cycle that some of my other friends who had a hard time fell into. It’s a way of thinking and a mindset that if you don’t catch yourself doing it and rise above it, it can get you. I’ve come to understand this: not everyone is rooting for your success, unfortunately there are some people that find it thrilling to kick you down, and no matter what you are always going to have haters. I can say many of my experiences in college have better prepared me for the entertainment industry. FYI. I have documented everything. I have emails. If some professors find it thrilling to knock others down, then knock yourselves out. Just know I’ll have some stories to tell people one day. Somebody somewhere will say that have it easy and I didn’t have to go through anything. Then I will say, wait a minute youngin.
Being successful is the best revenge.
How can I be an exception? By pushing forward despite setbacks.