There is a moment in each of our lives when we feel we've reached an invisible glass ceiling. We can see beyond what we've accomplished and believe that what we dream of is just beyond our reach. Sometimes the dreams and goals seem impeded external circumstances: racism, sexism, chance, luck. When blocks arise that have to do with many circumstances beyond our control or whether they are imaginary, there comes a time in each career when it's time to re-access our dreams and turn them into goals.
"Truth-telling would also begin to inform the roles she went after, with Ellis focusing on bringing to life the stories of marginalized Black women who’ve been stifled or completely erased from history. It’s why she’s played women like Price, Salaam, gospel-music legend Mattie Moss Clark (in the Clark sisters biopic) and, most recently, civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer in an upcoming project. In the current climate, where truth is being suppressed among debates about critical race theory, Ellis is more determined than ever." -Aunjanue Ellis, Essence Magazine
I love Aunjanue's reflections in this month's essence. Because she hits on this very thing. Believing we're meant to be the red carpet "it" girl when in reality we hate the red carpet is the perfect metaphor. As long as we're convinced the path to our most fulfilling life is by following rules that have no importance to us, we will always feel an unusual resistance. The universe is telling you that the things you believe you're "supposed to be doing" even when you dislike them or find them trifling is a sign that you're not in alignment with your core purpose. That's when it's time to do the thing you should have been doing from the beginning:
1. Figure out what's truly important to you
2. What you're meant to learn
3. What you are uniquely qualified to do
4. Putting those values into operation in your life.
While delivering truth is the motivation, the acknowledgement Ellis is receiving this Oscar season is a nice bonus. She knows what it’s like to work hard on a project only to have no one respond to it upon release. And she’s had the experience of trying to be the “It girl” only for it not to go as planned. Still, bigger than any award in this moment is the opportunity to be a part of something dear to her that’s being lauded by critics and loved on by moviegoers. To work with Smith and uplift the young actresses who play their daughters in King Richard; and to celebrate the legacy of Price, Richard Williams, and their girls. It’s why Ellis says the biggest reward of all is not just to have this moment but to be her truest self in it. “You want to do the whole,” she explains. “I felt like, Okay, well, I’m in these films and stuff. I need to be all this and be all that. But then I was like, No, I don’t. I don’t, because every time I feel like I make that effort to present in that way, it is an astronomical failure. I think that’s the universe saying to me, ‘Girl, it’s okay being you. You know what you want to do. You know what you want to accomplish. Do that. Put that energy in that place.’ So I’m good with that. I’m good with that.” From Essence magazine article, 'Aunjanue Ellis' Moment of Truth' by Victoria Uwumarogie.
is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers