The best success stories always seem to originate from the greatest struggles. Hence I embraced every obstacles along my path and welcomed hardships as if they were vital components to my journey to becoming successful. I took on the role of the starving artist, on a constant grind, living a messy and unhealthy life. I played that role with grace and a little “je ne sais quoi” that made this way of living… comfortable.
The fact that I could ride smoothly on this bumpy road and always find the positivity in it gave me a false sense of accomplishment.
The truth is, I was failing… big time!!
Ahh the F word… Failure by definition is: ‘the lack of success’ or ‘the omission of expected or required action’. I fitted both of these definitions.
I had reached a point in my life where it just wasn’t working and I didn’t understand why. I was doing everything possible to further my acting career, it was my only preoccupation. I was giving it my all and the fact that it wasn’t progressing made me feel depleted.
I was miserable. In my opinion, I was failing at being a successful working actress, but after some investigation within myself I realized I was failing at a much bigger and more important task: I was failing at being human.
I had become so consumed by my dreams and passion that they had blinded me. It had turned into this toxic relationship — you know the kind that is so passionate, and so intense, you end up losing yourself in it, forgetting who you were before the relationship started? It’s almost as if you stay in it because you got nothing else, and the sensations it gives you, good or bad, are so strong, you can’t help but feel alive.
But what eventually ended up happening is that I, Madeleine (the person, not the actor), felt empty. I felt like I had given so much trying to be something, that I’d forgotten about just being me. I forgotten about just being human.
Yes, it is great to work and put energy on a project, a job, or a goal, but the most rewarding work is the one you do on yourself. What’s the use of being the greatest at anything if you’re not the greatest at being you first?
The day I understood that, everything changed. It no longer made sense to me to lead an unhealthy lifestyle for the sake of a career. My well being and health now come first. I made the choice to love myself more than anything else in my life. Only since have I been able to rekindle my relationship with my first true love: acting.
We are now the happiest and strongest we’ve ever been together.
Simply because I’ve succeeded, at being me. I
have found me, my center and my voice as an individual. I am no longer defined by external factors which, in my opinion, is the greatest victory and I have my failures to thank for that!
This story is by Madeleine Claude – actor and writer
Madeleine was born in Brazil, then adopted and raised in Quebec city by a Belgian mother and a French Canadian father. She is the absolute representation of ethnic and
cultural diversity, which distinctly infuses her work as an actress.
Madeleine graduated in 2009 from New Image College of Fine Arts in Vancouver after completing the acting program for film and television. She since has traveled the world and studied with some renowned acting teachers, including the acclaimed coach Larry Moss. Her most recent credits include; the lead role in Dilemma, a drama about the injustices of NYPD’s stop and frisk policy. The film was selected by many film festivals across the States.
Madeleine has recently settled in Toronto, Canada where she is completing her first personal project, an experimental documentary about Self-freedom.
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