Fake It Till You Make it
Everybody’s heard of the phrase “fake it till you make it” which isn’t something I’ve always been comfortable applying, and maybe it’s because I’ve misunderstood what it actually means. I assumed it was an expression owned by untalented conmen full of bravado who would land a job they didn’t deserve because they imitated confidence and competence, but later failed to deliver because their life was counterfeit.
I understood this aphorism as actively misleading people with smoke and mirrors, lying with artistic license in order to lure others into a trap.
And maybe that’s still the case… But now, feeling deflated from my lack of work and self-doubts, I either quit this choice of career or I double down.
I’ve arrived at a stage in my career where faking “it” till I make “it” is a necessary tool to accomplish my goals.
Someone once told me that New York values an artist for what they’ve done so far and what they aim to do next, while Los Angeles only cares about what someone is doing right now.
I don’t know if this is true, but something about it rings a bell.
I remember going to Manhattan for a Saturday Night Live callback and getting a little taste of that comparison.
It was a beautiful couple of days, being flown to the Big Apple, hotel paid for, stroll around the city looking up at the skyscrapers, imagining one of those high apartments to be mine one day, and then slide into the theatre for my audition.
I didn’t get picked for the next round of casting, but it was one instant in my career where rejection didn’t get the best of me, where I was grateful to be asked and given an opportunity to perform in front of comedic creatives working at such a high level.
Perhaps I was giddy because it felt like I was beginning to live the American Dream.
While in New York, I was also invited to meet with a manager for an exclusive agency who had met me at Paris premiere of Valerian & The City Of A Thousand Planets.
Below is a photo of meposing with Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, Luc Besson and a bunch of other beautiful talented people which was quite a rush, but I was more taken aback to be on a line up with Alain Chabas; one of the great French actors whom I grew up watching on films like the iconic La Cité De LA Peur and the silly Didier.
I get on the elevator which takes me high above many Manhattan buildings, and step out to see a most glorious view of downtown.
The manager let me know that she liked my body of work so far, and we had a good conversation about what could come next, but unfortunately, I hadn’t met the standards for the Los Angeles branch of the agency, and this was my second turndown of the trip.
Rejection becomes routine for actors and has a way of grinding our self-esteem. That’s when useful, but tormenting questions, start to take over the fragile mind of a hungry performer.
What am I not doing?
And what more can I do?
Perhaps this is a normal symptom from expanding one’s vocabulary. After all, my twenties was comprised mainly from snowball success of stand up comedy and nothing more. I was content going with the flow, because despite challenges, it all seemed pretty easy.
Now I’m on Boss Mode of this game, and I had to restart at zero.
“Might as well earn my success”, says the Future.
It’s evidently difficult to be just one thing when I want it all; a strong and attractive body, a wealthy and healthy mind, a flourishing career with reliable influx of money and flexibility of time, blossoming friendships, exciting relationships, possibility of being a Father one day and excelling at the task, charitable connections with the community, and much more that I probably couldn’t even anticipate.
The main goal is the big silver screen, but frustratingly, there are many hurdles to jump, many people to impress, and I don’t know where to begin.
So much of me was destroyed in the past few years, and confidence perhaps took a backseat as I focused on crawling out of the rubble.
The aftershock of my trauma has believing in eternal life, which is not as fun as it first appears. That’s a lot of time to fill. It becomes difficult to feel like there’s a rush to get anywhere, and to stop trying at all seems inevitable.
Thankfully, a friend recently told me to “work on your career as if your life depended on it”, and this struck a chord with me.
To return to a once atheist point of view, to pretend as if I did only have one life, because after all, that’s possible, my new found faith in cosmic consciousness may very well be delusional.
So, one life…
What am I not doing?
And what more can I do?
The following months will be designated to answering these questions, as I revive my once flourishing career, and revise what it is I must do for Hollywood to make me part of the cinematic team.
And perhaps, it might also be wise to consider, what am I doing correctly, and give myself credit for the progress in what is a challenging process. After all, it is a lot easier to see the failings than it is to see the successes.
Now, I just need to make incremental changes in order to mimic the life I want to experience, as if it were already a reality. If only there was a term for that…
EDIT: This is a week later. Upon careful reflection, it seems I want to quietly disappear and call it a day on this career. I’m very tired of deluding myself that I have what it takes, and fighting for attention on social media platform isn’t the kind of acting I care to do. If I was any good, I’d be getting hired… I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but I am trained to be after all, so I welcome this ending and bid you adieu.
Thank you for reading, and if you enjoy reading these journal entires, or they help you in any way, I will be grateful for your contribution.
You can donate here, and feel free to ask me questions that you’d like me to explore. https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Lampaert
Till next time, unsure when this will be,