Since watching Ben Affleck collect a number of nominations and awards for Argo at the BAFTAs in February 2013, including nominated Best Actor in a leading role and winning Best Director, I’ve become much more aware of the number of actors and actresses creating their own films and TV shows to star in. Lena Dunham is both a main character and creator of the comedy-drama Girls, as is Mindy Kaling in The Mindy Project. When researching this, I found out that this was common in the film industry, with Barbara Streisand, Woody Allen, Tom Hanks and others starring in films they directed. At first this seemed to me a bit conceited, but the more I thought about it, the more I began to realise that they were just creating an opportunity in their chosen discipline, making something they were truly passionate about, they had a clear vision of how to execute their goals, rather than waiting around for the perfect projects to come along.
In this vicious cycle of thinking, I wondered why, in these times of recession and unemployment, we can’t create our own opportunities too. In today’s world, we are overwhelmed with the false hope that life happens and we will be rewarded at some point, that everything happens to us by externally driven forces and therefore we don’t have to work for anything. Similarly, we are bombarded with the negativity on how hard it is to get a job and create the lifestyle we want, which only lessens our appetite for the journey to our goals. We too easily cower away from success when something doesn’t go according to plan. But, after all, its dedication and perseverance, coupled with failure and vision, that lifts you to success, and only you have the power to nurture these traits within yourself.
The time for creating your own opportunities can spark from a moment in your life where you feel idle and helpless; but unemployment, for example, doesn’t need to be thought of as a waste. The desire to create your own opportunities can also come from a time when you are at a crossroads, or need a change in direction, or simply cannot find the place you want to be in. If you are lost, don’t stay in one spot and hope somebody comes to find you, but make use of your time to figure things out for yourself, because it is you who is living your life. For example, create a blog, whether its one full of photography and collages, or one of random musings and lifestyle posts. If you prefer talking, create a YouTube channel. Learn a new language or get to grips with a useful computer programme to enhance your employability. Volunteer for an organisation that you are passionate about. Self-advertise and create a greater media presence on social networking sites. Use connections or contacts and reach out. In the end, it all comes down to whether or not you decide that every moment is worth seizing, and that you should take possession of those idle times, in all aspects of social life and work life. You can be both a character and a creator in your own life and the bigger picture.