Recently on a FB page for lady comics one girl was going back to her college to give advice on being in the industry and asked, "What do you wish someone had said to you when you first started?" I went to leave a comment and instead ended up writing a letter to my younger self. If I could travel back in time and talk to firghtened me, here's what I would have said...
It's me! You! I mean. Us! Haha! (We love Bill & Ted's.) Anyway I met a witch who cast a spell allowing me to send one letter to 17 year old me, here we go!
First up, Mom is gonna be mad at you for a while. Don't worry she still loves you, it's just tough love. She really wants you to take that softball scholarship, but don't sweat it she'll come back around when she sees she didn't raise a quitter. You being on TV really helps her and Dad understand what the fuck you're doing. You're saying "fuck" now, a lot, and you like it. It's ok you didn't go to hell... Oh yeah! Don't live in Little Armenia! You're ginger hair sticks out, we get robbed several times... Back up your lap top, I wish I had our freshman thesis "Why Barbie is a Bitch".
What you need to know about this industry you're relentless to be apart of...
1) Fake it. Everyone else is.
People say "fake it till you make it" but it's always in jest. Fake it harder and better than everyone else. Example: Around age 23 you will be scared while you're pitching a TV show and faking confidence. On the other end of the table is a development exec scared she/he might make the wrong choice choosing which shows they develop and are faking that they know what's a hit and what's not. They don't, they can't.
Everyone is a faker and that's ok.
2) There is no right path.
A Rabbi once said "All roads lead to God". It's the same with comedy. Just cause Kristen Wiig was a groundling, doesn't mean you have to drop a few grand on wigs and glasses... Do not spend more that 30$ on a wig!
3) Socialize. It's different from networking.
You know how we get panic attacks... Heads up, you're gonna have panic attacks. Calm down you're not having a heart attack. (Dramatic much?) Our panic attacks and anxiety keep us from parties. You're a good faker but listen to me when I say this, its the most important advice I can give you, this is serious...
Go to the parties, Andie. Bring the weed.
4) Keanu is gay. You can stop swooning.
One of my favorite improv games you will get to do several times in any school that teaches improv (skip Groundlings btw, you don't like it there) "Bad Scene." People are brilliant when they operate from a place of fearlessness and straight up passion and love for what they choose to spend their time doing.
Micheal Jordan talks about this a lot. Accept the fact that, like sports, you're gonna lose sometimes, most of the shots you take won't fall. But you will miss 100% of the shots you don't take which could be considered "fails". If you already accept that failure is inevitably going to happen then you won't be so terrified or shocked when it does. You'll get the rebound quicker cause it didn't knock you on your ass as hard. Some of the best things happen when you fail, sometimes even success.
Let me put this in a way that 2002 us will get it... Ninja Turtles, sure the scientists "failed" but in their failure they created crime fighting, pizza eating, pun slinging teenage turtles. Fail, make it a goal, do it often. Celebrate your loses just as much as your wins. Celebrate more in general.
I like the way Steve Harvey put it as well, "Jump"
6) Love often. As much as possible.
Don't be afraid. Notice I'm talking about fear a lot. Let go. Believe him when he says he loves you. That was hard for him to do and he meant it. All of them mean it. Let them love you. (Only don't play the game "Just the tip" that's how you lose your virginity.) Love yourself more. Pack up love along with all the VHS tapes, the industry will not hand this out at your welcome party.
Yes, there is a welcome party. Yes, you organized it.
7) Trust your gut!
(Realizing I'm putting links in this letter to you, myself, and the ranch still doesn't have electricity or internet. They JUST got solar last year... BTW lights? Overrated).
The gut is our second brain. Lots of the things I'm listing I know you've read over and over again in motivational shit but it's fucking the truth! (Told you we love that word.) Trust it. Fine tune it. If you get "red flags" or you all of a sudden have a stomach ache after you did a meet an greet with a new agent. "Listen to your stomach" is something I've said to us too often. My gut? That bitch is on point. Yours could use some work. At this point in our life we finally are starting to trust ourself. It took forever and a lot of getting fucked over and I wish so much that someone had told us when we were 17 living in Woodland Hills "Trust YOU. Make decisions for you, by you. Nobody gets to live your life but you." Meaning managers, agents, lawyers, whatever they'll all give you their opinion, but let your gut influence you, she's on our side always.
8) Wolves are good. Get yourself a wolf.
When I watched the scene"Wolf of Wall-Street" (a movie you wait too long to watch cause you're a feminist then realize you love the movie) where he picks up the phone and sells the shit out of some penny shares, I said "Holy cow! I need a new agent." If you meet with an agent and your gut says "Ew, slimy, this guy is kinda a creep, a lizard, too hungry... like a wolf!" SIGN! There are wolves everywhere in this town and you want them one your side or else you'll be fed to them.
Don't date em.
9) You're gonna wanna throw up your food. Don't. Just breathe.
Wooooo!! You gonna have downs gurrrl!! This town, if you know zero people or even if you do, it can be hard. You'll interact with people with influence (while you are in your vulnerable, I'm chasing my dreams, 17, don't know anyone, mom isn't talking to you, state) and they will say shit that will make you wanna throw up your food. For some others you'll see its that or drink, or do drugs or roids. The most valuable commodity is you. That you are different. That you don't blend in. The fact that there is no other Andie Bolt is the only thing we really have that no one else does. This town is full of beautiful, hilarious, funny, witty, writers, comics, artists, so many amazing talented people but no matter how hard they try they can't ever be me, us, you. Conversely we won't ever be them. Don't change. It's written a million times in your yearbook "Never Change!" "Stay Cool!" Whatever it is that makes you different, if only even slightly, magnify it. There's a weird phenomenon, people try to hide whatever it is that makes them different. Their southern draw, their religion, their birth marks or scars. I say shine a light on it cause it's what you have that you don't have to create but instead can inspire your creation.
Know how you just got bullied A LOT! Like Tim McIrvin throwing rocks at you bullied? Well, that shit don't let up. He's invited to your sister's wedding btw, that's your first panic attack. But life is high school on repeat. You didn't fit in at home or at school and you won't here. It's fine, Tim and Forrest (their real names not changed to protect anyone) they gave you thick skin. You survive out here because of it.
The first agent you meet says " lose 30lbs or gain 30lbs." You're an athlete you're all muscle. Too big to be a leading lady, (they say) and to "thin to be a funny best friend" (they say). You end up throwing up your food. A bunch. It's not gonna book you parts, you're playing college basketball and constantly tearing muscles and spraining things. The trainer is your life saver, Summer Bloom is gonna pull you out. Be kind to yourself. It's a disease. You have so much compassion for others it's not till you're almost 30 that you finally start having compassion for yourself, I think we could get there a little sooner. But girl you better know that even WITH and eating disorder you average 26 points a game and land MVP!
Don't hide. Don't ever. You're ginger, you burn, your tits are small, your core is thick, you will NEVER tan, the freckles don't connect! Then when they are casting red heads they'll dye some blonde model's hair. But stop worrying. It's all gonna be ok. Doesn't matter how deep of a hole you fall into out here, there's always a way out. Can't say this enough love yourself as much as possible, don't look to others cause sadly this town is full of talented souls who can't love others, they're too busy hating themselves. Don't think your version of a "hole" is what makes you unwanted. It makes you relatable so you can now go back and shine a light on the freckles, the birth marks, your eating disorder. You have some great jokes right now about your eating disorder, it's gonna be ok.
10) Build a home. Don't move to Little Armenia!
Gurl, we've lived in our car, we shared a bunk bed in an apt that got robbed 3 times! You never sleep the same after that. Don't think "I'll save money by living in a shitty toxic environment". It's the only place where you get to spend time loving yourself. Shaking off the "noise". Doesn't have to be 'spensive only has to be positive.
11) Stay. Don't give up.
You're good at this but are constantly afraid you're making the wrong choice. You're not. Wanted to mention that a dear friend ours recently said... "The older we get the less competition there is."
Listen Bolt, if we could be happy doing anything else we would. We would. We just need a Movie Studio thats also Crossfit box, with a place you space you can have bakery, empower women, and keep your horses and dogs!
We'll get there. Just breathe.
Mom gets cancer, you'll forgive her for everything and you realize she's the bravest woman you know, and is once again, like in high school, your hero, your champion. She's there for you when you need her most and you are vice versa. While making a doc about how she plays Warcraft (they get wifi right after you leave) you'll learn from interviewing tons of gamers and patients dealing with hardship that life really is too short. Don't wait.
If someone tells you they love you, they mean it.
All our love,
You. Us. Me.
- July 10th Tractorpullfestathon Stand Up
The Open Door @ 930
- July 12th Sketch Cram
UCB @Midnight Tickets: http://losangeles.ucbtheatre.com/performances/view/33764
- July 17th NETumorHumor Stand Up Benefit
NerdMelt Showroom @730pm FREE Bring cash for prizes
- July 18th Pog Slammer!
Comedy Store @7:30 $5
- Aug 7th Tractor Pull!
The Other Door 9:30pm 5$
- Aug 9th Sketch Cram
UCB midnight 5$
Thanks for visiting! If you wanna contact me just email me at andie@RedBoltFilms.com!