Lost Angeles: Soldiers of Joy


For some reason, I've been sucked into the world of self-help. Since my last Lost Angeles installment, I've read stacks of books, written hundreds of lists, watched countless videos on YouTube, attended online seminars, signed up for daily inspirational lectures, and listened to books on tape while stuck in famous Los Angeles traffic jams. They all basically say the same things:
  1. Everything is energy. We live in a vibrational universe. Everything from rocks, to humans, to emotions carries a vibration.

  2. Emotions attract tangible results. If your emotional vibration is joy, your world will be filled with joyful people and things. If your emotional vibration is depression or anger, you'll have depression and anger around you.

  3. Choose to see the good in people. Treat people kindly, patiently, and with respect. Speak to their highest selves and they will respond accordingly.

So how does this relate to acting? Well, it has been my long-held belief that acting (all art, actually, but I'm going to focus on acting because I'm an actress) is a very, very special vocation. However, I didn't know how put my thoughts into words until I started reading all of these books and listening to all of these lectures.

Here it goes . . . since we live in a vibrational world where emotions attract tangible results, then actors are powerful! We're trained to feel. Our emotions elicit emotional responses in others which means that we can uplift a room very easily! Top actors are paid so highly because they make us feel good! These thoughts really made me happy . . . until I thought about the plight of most of the actors in the world . . . and I got really, really depressed . . . for about ten minutes. Many of us are working jobs that we don't enjoy, just scraping by, underrepresented, overlooked, scoffed at, living without basic necessities (like a car or health insurance), and most importantly made to feel that wanting to be an actor is akin to wanting to commit suicide. I really would be rich if I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “You're an actress? That must be soooooooo hard.” I know very few parents (except mine) who actually encourage their children to be actors.

But I'm here to tell you that actors (and artists in general) are the hope for the future! We're at a critical time in our history. The world is supposedly going to end, the world economy is supposedly limping along, and the job market is possibly teetering on the brink of failure. If this idea that vibrational reality is even a tiny bit true, if emotions really attract tangible things, if we reap what we sow from our emotional seeds, then we can't afford to let ourselves fall into the depression trap because depressed feelings will actually create a depressed physical environment, thus leading to more and more depression!

Solution? In my humble opinion, the world needs more joy. So who better equipped to spread that joy than actors?! We have gigantic hearts, we have the willingness to do it, and we have the training for it! When we feel, the audience feels. And because of that, we do have the power to change the world! In short, we are Soldiers of Joy.

Then I asked myself why many of us give up on the dream? I think two things stop us in our tracks. First, we forget why we get into acting in the first place. Second, we feel unsupported.

So . . . YOU HAVE HOMEWORK! My wonderful coach, Craig Archibald, has all of his clients write a mission statement. So write one right now. (Pause) Now when you go into the audition room you remember why you're there in the first place and everything you work on from now on is infused with the energy of your mission statement.

And last, I, Berda Gilmore Porterfield, hereby appoint myself to be your Personal Cheerleader on this day July 3, 2012. And as your Personal Cheerleader, I want you to know the following:

  • I believe in you wholeheartedly.
  • I wish you all the happiness, success, and health in the world.
  • I know without a shadow of a doubt that you will and are achieving everything that you want.
  • I love and appreciate your friendship, your talent, your drive, and your beautiful heart.

So now that you're armed with your mission statement and your Personal Cheerleader, let's get to work Soldiers of Joy!

*This blog post was inspired by the work of Craig Archibald, Esther and Jerry Hicks, Debra Poneman, and the web series entitled Awakening to Abundance.

Driving back from Phoenix.

Playing gun-woman for Marc's directorial debut.

Our new bulldog, Gretchen!

Half and half.