My adieu to acting

"Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go." 
Hermann Hesse

Have you ever had a checklist of things you wanted to achieve before walking away from something?

Maybe you weren't the best at basketball in high school but you wanted to start in at least one game before you quit the team...

Or maybe you wanted to prove to yourself you could get that promotion at work before transferring to another company...

Or maybe you wanted to see how it would feel to kiss the girl or guy you've been on a few dates with before telling them it wasn't a great fit...

I know how you feel. When I started my pursuit to become a professional actor almost 5 years ago, I had a list of things I wanted to experience. 

I wanted to appear on a national television show. Check - I appeared on the hit show Nashville.

I wanted to be the lead in movie or TV episode. Check - I scared the bejesus out of people in an episode of Your Worst Nightmare.

I wanted to work with someone famous. Check, check - I've been fortunate to be on sets with Susan Sarandon, Melissa McCarthy, Joanna Kerns, Sandra Oh, and many other exceptional actors.

Most of all, I wanted to appear in at least one really good movie. You know, the kind that makes a mark and stands the test of time. I didn't really care how big my role was, I just wanted to contribute to the telling of a story that would live on beyond me.

I think I may have gotten my wish. A small independent film called "Little Sisters" just opened and is available online. It stars one of my childhood sheros, Ally Sheedy, and is being called "an instant classic." And moi has a small role in it. CLICK TO TWEET

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And now that I've checked off that last item on my acting bucket list, I'm ready to walk away from acting, feeling complete.

It's actually something I've been contemplating for months. Having given it my all for several years and having achieved a certain amount of success, I had to admit to myself that it just wasn't for me.

The cons, for me, started to outweigh the pros. When I realized that I didn't want the lifestyle of a successful actor, even if I were to reach the level where I could work on any project I wanted and get paid millions of dollars to do it, I knew it was time to move on.

But the cool thing is, I knew exactly what I was moving toward. Shift Bars, of course. My very own company, where we make something I truly believe in and help people in the process.

I don't regret a minute I spent acting. I met people who will be in my tribe for the rest of my life, learned how to tap into my emotions in a way I never thought possible, and had a lot of cool, soul-opening experiences along the way. And I don't rule out returning to it in the future if it feels right.

But now is the time for me to step fully into the person I'm truly meant to be. It's my own fault - I came to love my own life so much, I no longer want to pretend to be anybody else!

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Have you ever given up good for great? Whether it be in a career, relationship, or something else, I want to know. Please share your story with me on our Facebook page. I look forward to reading them each and every week...

To letting go and moving forward,
Emily