Before I get into my situation I want you to know that Im looking for real advice on what to do. No disrespect to your beliefs or anything but I am pass the point of praying or asking God for help because Ive already done all of that. I’m not thinking about killing myself even though sometimes I don’t think anyone would care even if I did. I moved here to Atlanta back in January from Tennessee. I hated living there. No one was doing anything special and I just got sick of being in such a small area. One of my ex best friends had been living here for 8 months and kept telling me that I should come out here for modeling and acting jobs. I want to be an actor for tlelvision shows, movies, plays or anything that will get me some exposure. When I came here my ex best friend told me that I could stay with him for a while, but he didn’t tell me that he already had 2 other roommates in his 1 bedroom apartment. Then he expected me to pay $500 a month to basically sleep in the living room with the other 2 people. So I ended up taking my stuff to stay with another mutual friend of ours who does hair and she lets me stay in her extra bedroom for the same $500 a month. But being here in Atlanta is nothing like I expected it to be. Right now I’m working for Wayfield Foods which took me forever to get the job with them and trying to save enough money to move into an apartment of my own and at least buy a bed. But I don’t know how im going to do that with the bullshit checks that ive been getting. My life is the same every single day and Im just tired of the same routine of waking up, going to work, sometimes having to babysit my friends daughter while she runs out once I get home from work and then just going to bed. I don’t know how to even get my foot in the door as far as acting or modeling because my ex best friend was suppose to help me with that. He has been an extra for Love & Hip Hop a few tims and has met people there. That’s the type of chances that Im looking for!!! I want to be like on reality tv and show the world what Ive got. I am also very lonely here because all of the guys are very clickish. I have only been to the club once and I felt very out of place when I first got here. My ex best friend took me and the other 2 roommates with him. I tried to talk to a few guys there but it was a total waist of my time. Everyone was just drunk or with their friends and not really trying to talk. I thought it would be esier to meet other men here instead of Tennessee since it’s Atlanta. I just feel like my life would be easier right now if I had someone to love me or help me instead of me doing everything bymyself and not getting anywhere. I don’t have a car to drive so I have to catch the Marta everywhere I go if my friend who I live with doesn’t want to take me somewhere. And she sometimes acts like she has an attitude with me being at her house even though she said it was cool for me to come. I really don’t know what else to do and praying isn’t cutting it. I’m ready to just say fuck everything and go back to Tennessee where at least some of my real friends are. Im sorry for typing a lot but this is just for real how I feel.
Well, you’ve certainly shared quite a bit regarding your present situation and circumstances living in Atlanta, Georgia. Since you want me to offer concrete advice, as opposed to sharing dosages of my spirituality, I’ll be very direct. You made a huge mistake leaving home without having a solid plan in place. While I certainly commend your efforts in jumping out on faith to pursue your dreams of acting and modeling, you did not prepare for any of the obstacles you would face in a new city. Atlanta is a very busy and competitive area, especially as it pertains to a growing population of aspiring, black artists. I think the excitement of joining your friend in his ATL adventures blinded you to the reality of having to be responsible for your own means of survival. You arrived to Atlanta without having a job, employment prospects, a clear idea of your temporary living arrangements or your own contacts related to your acting/modeling career goals. Now, you are faced with an uphill climb that is paved with more obstacles than you may have had to endure had you properly prepared.
First, please understand that no one is going to magically come along to save you or to make life easier. You must suspend those “knight in shining armor” fantasies and replace them with the idea that only YOU have the power to change your temporary circumstances. Though we have witnessed the Amber Rose and Black Chyna stories of an acclaimed rapper that transforms the nightclub stripper into a housewife, that reality isn’t to be hailed as your saving grace. Even if you did meet and fall in love with a wonderful guy in Atlanta, Georgia, it is not his duty or his responsibility to make you happy. Your focus right now must continue to be aimed towards securing your own place to live. I am glad that moving out of your girlfriend’s apartment is one of your top priorities. You do not want to wear out your welcome in her home and be faced with the dilemma of having nowhere to rest your head. Continue to be respectful towards your girlfriend despite her occasional attitude, as she is probably your best, tangible resource right now. I would also advise you to begin looking at affordable apartment buildings and placing your name on potential waitlists while saving your money. Give yourself a deadline to be ready to move out on your own and ask your girlfriend within the next few weeks if that timeline is appropriate. People are more tolerant with houseguests when they know that individual has a set plan to vacate.
While you are working at Wayfield Foods and saving money to move on your own, I think it is also important that you specifically decide to first invest your time into building a modeling career or establishing a career in acting. As an upcoming artist/performer, it is best that you initially invest all of your extra time and energy into one craft. You didn’t mention having any previous experience, so I am assuming that your first booking in Atlanta would be your first, professional gig in the entertainment industry. Once you determine which field to pursue first, set a goal that is higher than simply being cast as an extra for “Love & Hip Hop”. If your goal is to someday star as the lead in a summer, blockbuster film, you then give yourself a big dream to work towards while taking little steps. If your first booking is as a production assistant that sweeps up trash at Tyler Perry’s Atlanta studio, you wont then return to this feeling of failure or frustration. Your mind will automatically process the opportunity as a tiny step towards your larger goal. I don’t want you feeling less than your former friend if you aren’t presented with the chance to appear as an extra on “Love & Hip Hop”. His career may be aligned with yours, but you have to remember that your career goals and journey overall are going to always be separate from his.
Additionally, keep in mind that we exist in a very digital age where everyone has become their own casting agent, manager and marketing executive. There are numerous online, web series that are constantly casting for pilot episodes or returning seasons. You can use your cell phone or web cam to record yourself performing a 1-3 minute monologue. Upload the content to your Facebook wall, Vimeo or Youtube account and begin emailing or tagging the link to individuals you find on the internet who have their hands involved in an online, scripted series. You have to create your own opportunities in this day and time. It is a huge mistake to wait for your former friend or anyone else to carry you with them to meet the powers-that-be.
Once you secure your first acting or modeling opportunity that is when romantic love may find you. Going to the clubs in Atlanta in search of a relationship or companionship isn’t necessarily the best option. Ideally, the guy you end up dating will already share similar interests and have common, career goals if the two of you meet on set. Right?…
Finally, I certainly don’t advise you to return to Tennessee. There was a flame that ignited in your spirit that led you away from your comfort zone. When that flame was lit within me in the summer of 2008, I ended up moving to California and creating the platform where you obviously found me. It was so puzzling to me then why I had to travel 3,000 miles from home in order to start something that I’m sure I could have created in Baltimore. However, we are often pulled from our comfort zones in order to give our wings room to spread completely. Your energy was smothering in Tennessee and you will experience that same feeling if you return. I know that the financial struggle is difficult and the loneliness can sometimes feel excruciating. However, if you are able to endure the next few months of hardship, I guarantee you that each day will become easier. When I recorded my first video that went viral, I had less than $50 in my checking account, an air mattress plopped in the corner of a 650 square foot apartment in North Hollywood, and a half eaten Panda Express meal saved for dinner the following night. You stepped out of your comfort zone in search of unique opportunities, so please stop expecting your present journey to be normal or convenient. Had I understood that lesson, I would have never left Los Angeles prematurely.
You are indeed on the right track, despite how long and overwhelming your days may feel. Even though you didn’t properly plan your move to Atlanta, you are now in the perfect place and position to bring your tiny, Tennessee dreams to fruition.