Monday, March 28, 2016

HOLAwave: The Definitive Guide To Being Super Successful

[HOLAwave represents a series of guest blogs by industry insiders giving informative and educational tidbits for the Latino performer. They can range from acting and auditioning advice, tech tips, legal advice, marketing, producing tips, and so on. Get caught up in the wave– the HOLAwave.]

The Definitive Guide To Being Super Successful

Okay, I lied… by no means is this the definitive guide to “making it”. I was going for that classic online click-bait type thing. Although I’m currently living the dream, working on the biggest project of my life, I’ll tell you right off the bat, I’m not signed to a single representative right now. I’m laying here in the middle of the night, word-vomiting my positivity, with no clue of what tomorrow may bring for my career. Welcome to the reality of life. It’s not easy, but we have each other and I hope that if I achieve nothing else here, I can inspire a little bit more love and compassion in the world. It’s 2016, the current state of our country is embarrassing and we for damn sure need it.   

• Be Crazy
I think I have to start this off by confirming that, yes, I’m out of my mind. I am crazy enough to believe in myself and believe that I deserve to dream wild, ridiculous dreams without any regard to what’s “socially acceptable”. Now that sounds dangerous, but I believe that if you are willing to find a way to get your work ethic to match your wild dreams, you might just find something special. Delusional would be to believe that I deserve a lead role in an Oscar-winning film by just simply sitting on my ass and farting it into existence. Reality is knowing that I’m not the smartest, most naturally talented person in the world and I have to find a way to realistically achieve those goals. I can’t say this often enough– in NYC I’ve met and been around some of the most incredible, inspiring artists/human beings, and every second that I’m with them in the theater, in class, in life, I’m trying to soak in as much as I can.   

• Ask/Find Help
You know the whole “It takes a village…” talk, it works. I can’t count how many times I’ve made a complete awkward fool of myself trying to honestly ask for help. Most of the time, I’ll probably say something stupid, impatiently wait for the perfect answer and/or creep people out. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world. I’m not perfect, I know that, but I’d rather take the risk of letting people know where I’m at than beat myself up for not speaking from my heart. There’s a lesson to learn with every risk you take and somewhere down the line, if you can prove that you are genuine, you might just find some of the answers you are looking for. Someone will see the real you and do their best to help.   

"Patience is the key to life."
This quote is from the greatest fortune cookie I’ve ever gotten. Although at the time I used it to hit on a girl named Patience in my high school, I think this principle applies to everything I have to say. Have patience, because becoming the artist/person you want to be takes time. In the same vein, asking for help is an immediate action– but the right answer takes time. Don’t pull on strings that aren’t ready to be pulled. Don’t go up to the successful actor with the incredible agent, when you don’t have a credit to your name, and demand that they get you a meeting. When the time is right, things will work themselves out. In the past two years, I beat myself into my first real fit of depression obsessing over what could have been, only to realize that all those jobs I didn’t get, led me to be prepared for the fair shot I finally got with this show, my current project [the BBC One television series "My Mother and Other Strangers"].
• Self-Preservation
If you didn’t already know this, congratulations, you played yourself. Establishing yourself in any new business venture is incredibly difficult. Find a way to make your health and sanity a priority. Not only will you probably come close to starving, but there is a world of negativity out there that will try to break you. People will dump their egos, bad experiences and pure "haterade" on you just to make themselves feel better. Be strong, be bold, be confident. The actor Bryan Cranston said something along the lines of the fact that, in the acting business,  you need to be willing to be the player with the ball in the last seconds of the game, ready to take the final shot. I found boxing and relate it to my every day life. I know I’m not made to be a world champion fighter but I’ve been tossed around the ring enough to know that no circumstance in this world can hurt me worse than actual punches. Find what builds you up, keep your chin tucked and learn to be scrappy.

We can call this “Part One” of my over-the-top self-help, Tony Robbins rant, but the truth is I don’t have all the answers. As performers, WE DON’T KNOW. That’s the beauty of the journey. Only you can see through the lens you’ve been given. Enjoy it. Take the pain, the joy, the struggle and add it to your arsenal of life experience. If you’ve made it this far into this article, I’m proud of you (hell, I’m proud of myself). This is much less of a how-to guide and more of the kind of advice I have always looked for. I wear my heart on my sleeve to provide hope that if a random kid from San Antonio, Texas, with absolutely no connections, with no reason to succeed more than anyone else, can stubbornly decide to live his dream…you can too.

Aldo Uribe is a New York-based actor with experience in theater, film, television, commercials and print. Credits include work with INTAR Theatre, "Law & Order: SVU", Labyrinth Theatre Company, Investigation Discovery, Mike Tyson, and more. He is a founding member of INTAR Theatre's Unit 52 and a recipient of The Labyrinth Theater's first fellowship for young artists. He is currently in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, where he is playing the role of Master Sergeant Ray Noches in the upcoming BBC One television series "My Mother And Other Strangers" (written by Barry Devlin and starring Hattie Morahan and Aaron Staton). For more information about him, click here.

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