Friday, September 2, 2016

A Letter to Myself at the start of the Mentorship Program

Dear Bryan in 2011,

Welcome to LA! 

Congrats, you made it – it's no small feat to transplant oneself from New York City.
I imagine you’ve only just now found your apartment.
Cameron is on his way West to inhabit the other room.  

You’ve yet to learn to read parking signs and already have two tickets, from the same spot.

You’ve distilled your whole life into a trunk full of audition clothes, camera gear and a friend in the passenger seat.
It’s a marvelous beginning of the next chapter and you’re so damn ready to do this for real.

Venturing cross-country to a city you've never been to in pursuit of this career and lifestyle requires a bravery you’ve only just discovered.

Focus on bettering yourself, do what you do better than you’ve ever done it.
Competition encourages adaptation.

Netflix nature documentaries will teach you valuable lessons over the next 5 years, of which:

The single greatest advantage to a species’ survival is cooperation.

When one or more organisms coooperate, both are more likely to survive.
And the strongest only survive if their survival is sustainable.
Moving here wasn’t a BIG decision.  It was a long one.

Tisch West and the mentorship program are valuable, renewable resources 
for attaining a cooperative environment for learning from others' experiences. 
Like all resources, the program is a tool you have to utilize to benefit.
The more focus and effort applied, the greater leverage.

Start building the community of people you’ll climb mountains with.
Spend time together outside, in the sunlight.

Your first car gets stolen.  The second one gets totaled by a runaway Volvo.
Insurance is worth it.

You’ll write this letter to your past self in the hope that the current mentees make the absolute most of the community and opportunity offered them by this program. 

That they’ll share their experiences with one another to help each other survive.  
Giving that kind of help is the surest way of receiving it.

You’ll invite them to TW events so they can continue building the community, 
with their dreams and their goals and their friends.

Cameron is about to marry Nora and you don’t even know who Nora is yet.

I’d write you all the other magnificent experience you’ll have by 2016,
But you wouldn’t believe me. 

~ Bryan

[Bryan Dechart is a '09 Tisch Drama alumni, he was a mentee in 2011 and a mentor in 2013-2015.  He lives in LA and works as an Actor & Photographer: |]

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