Turning Your Dreams Into Reality

by Sheryl Thompson on November 3, 2008

Originally published in the Vancouver Actor’s Guide September 2006 newsletter.

When I decided to make the move to Vancouver to pursue my acting career full time, my mom expressed concern that I’d be “unemployed” once I arrived without a traditional job waiting. I reassured her that I wouldn’t be unemployed, I’d be “self-employed” but it wasn’t until I’d uttered those words that the enormity of what I was about to do hit me. (I soon discovered there’s nothing scarier than watching your dream become a reality!) Recognizing that 12 months later I would not be in the financial situation I was currently in, I knew I had to change the way I had been viewing my acting career. Instead of the part time commitment it had always been, I had to make it my full time focus or there was no way I was ever going to succeed.

The key for me was creating an action plan list of all the things I had to accomplish before and after I arrived in Vancouver, with deadlines for completion. Creating this list made me feel in control of my career and reminded me that I was building a business – not just moving from one job to another. Each time I crossed something off my list, it brought me one step closer to my goal. I can’t say it has been easy and there are still some things I’m working on. For the first couple of months, I had a hard time adjusting to my new life. I had been getting up for work at 6:00am for over 7 years and the days looming ahead with nothing to fill them was overwhelming at times. I didn’t get discouraged though and knew if I was going to make a go of it that I needed to search for opportunities myself instead of waiting for them to come to me, as I had in the past. I found that work and opportunity came easily – all I had to do was look for them.

I still have to remind myself why I’m here as sometimes, I’m tempted to fall back into my old life. I miss the financial stability but I don’t miss working for someone else. And my mom? She was visiting last month and as we were discussing my life, she said, “You know, I’m jealous of what you’re doing. You’re following your dreams and that’s something not a lot of people do.”

Sheryl Thompson is a working actor who relocated from Calgary to Vancouver to pursue her acting career after working in Calgary in the oil and gas industry for numerous years. Please feel free to visit her website at www.thesherylthompson.com.

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