Dare To Be Different
Let’s talk about being different and not fitting into a societal “box”. I've always been a bit different, and over time, I've learned how to embrace it. Here are a few things that I’ve picked up that I want to share with you….
In late high school, something snapped in me. I was going through a lot. Around that time, I was doing some modelling and people would say to me that I was too curvy. After worrying that I wasn’t what casting people were looking for….I just decided to say ‘screw it.' I was tired of trying to be what everyone wanted, and I was getting exhausted trying to listen to everyone else but myself. I wanted to be my person with my style. When I moved to LA, everyone used to tell me that you needed long hair and big boobs to work as an actor. So, I cut all my hair off, coloured it jet black, and made it my version of rocker sexy. I didn’t care what they wanted. I got tired of all the pressure to fit in and be what society wants you to be. I just needed to be myself and try and find myself along the way. When I started working with an agent in LA, they kept saying ‘oh, you have jet black hair. It’s not TV friendly’. I responded back ‘well then why are you meeting with me? Let’s see if it’s TV friendly’. Then, I started auditioning and before long I was getting jobs doing national commercials as ‘the girl in the band’, and they paid WAY more than other gigs. It worked so well, and they LOVED my jet black hair. In some commercials, I’d play guitar, some I’d play keyboard but regardless I was working. And to be a consistently working actor in LA was something. Through that experience, I met a director. It got to a point where I stopped having to audition for him because this director would call up my agent and say “I need Heather for this shoot I’m doing this weekend.” I was so happy that I didn’t try to please everyone else. I had found a niche and it was working. Being different had paid off, and although some would say I was “typecast” in my mind type cast was better than not being cast at all. I was constantly working, and I looked exactly the way I wanted to look at that time! I felt comfortable in my skin, and I didn’t mind being different than everyone else. When people used to tell me that I couldn’t do something because of who I was, I used just to tell them “well, let’s see.” It made me want it more!! Once I stopped trying to fit every mold, and became confident enough to embrace my eccentricities, things started to fall into place. Earlier on in my career in music, I found that everyone was listening to the radio and trying to write songs like what they were hearing. I realized that to be successful, you had to try something different because people had already heard those sorts of songs. Sure, it’s hard to go against the grain, but that’s when people take notice. I realized that it comes down to deciding if you want to follow trends or if you want to set them. Even though setting them can be even harder at times, the payoff can be much more rewarding. Personally, I don’t want to follow any trend. I want to make my mark in life, but just note….it won’t be easy either way. However, I’d rather be known for having my style than just be another one of the many. At my day job, I even have a unique style which is different than my colleagues. They tend to dress very formally in traditional suits, but I dress more artistic! This helps build relationships with my clients. I talk to my clients like we’re out talking on the street, not like we’re in a fancy car dealership. My clients have a few different nicknames for me, like ‘Red’ and ‘Lambo Gal’, the list goes on and on. Most importantly, they like that I’m different! And being different makes work a lot of fun. By being different, being laid back, and ultimately by being myself, I find I’m able to connect better with this eccentric brand of cars that I sell and the clients that purchase them. Ultimately, whatever the situation, you’ve might as well dare to be different. Rather than being the outcast, you might just rise to the top! I’m not saying it will be an easier road, but it at least it will be your road, and once you succeed you’ll know you did all your way!