On 8th September 2021 I joined the wicked women creative development course. When I originally applied for a place on the course, I thought I knew who I was. I believed I was confident in myself, and just wanted some support and encouragement to enter the industry as an actress. 6 weeks into the course and I can now say I most definitely am on a totally different journey aiming for something I didn’t even know I needed… those crafty wicked women!
During the first session we focused on introductions and I remember ending the meeting with two prominent thoughts:
1- What lovely people, how lucky am I to have this opportunity.
2- I AM SO OUT OF MY DEPTH AND INFERIOR TO THESE ESTABLISHED ARTISTS. HELP.
This was no fault of the other women; they were super accommodating and friendly, nobody made me feel this way other than myself. For as long as I can remember I have had a deeply internalised, toxic habit of constantly putting myself down. I was fully aware of this growing up through school, but I was of the belief that with adulthood I had gotten over this negative trait. However, sitting in that first session- I realised I most definitely had not. This was the first lesson the wicked women taught me…the first of many.
Over the next few sessions, I learnt more things about myself than I ever imagined possible. Seriously! One of the most poignant moments for me so far was during a session in which we were focusing on our elevator pitches and how to ‘sell yourself’. For one particular exercise we had to go around the group and each try to promote ourselves; explain who we were, what we did, how we are unique... basically making ourselves sound amazing- which we are! I personally found this extremely difficult which consequently had me really reflecting on the session and why this sort of exercise is so hard for me. When it comes to talking about myself it’s as though my mouth clamps shut and I am unable to form words that describe me in a positive light. If I was asked to do an elevator pitch for any of the other women, I can guarantee I would be fired up and deliver a pitch like no other. I could get them hired in seconds and have NO doubt about this. I am the best hype woman for others... but for myself- no can do!
After delving deeper, I came to the realisation that I’m certainly not alone in this problem. I think as women we have been made to feel our entire lives that we need to dim our light. We don’t want to be too ‘egotistical’ or ‘cocky’. Men on the other hand, will stand and discuss their qualities until they’re blue in the face… a lot of the time qualities that they actually don’t have, right? I feel that as a woman, I am almost afraid to stand and proudly say: ‘I am talented, I know what I want and I will stop at nothing to get this’. And why? Why on earth should I be anxious about believing in myself? I truly am my own worst enemy.
I had a lovely conversation with Claire during one session, in which she said to me ‘Eli and I believe in you, so why don’t you?’. I then made a promise to myself that going forward I would actively try to stop being apologetic about who I am. I am an actress in training, I am talented, I am kind. I’m not delusional and I know this mindset won’t be easy to withhold, but I know it’s one that I deserve. Women in general, deserve to feel this way about themselves. So go forth and believe in yourself, your power and your ability. I am now on a journey to being confidently and unapologetically me- and this is all thanks to those wonderful, weird, wacky, WICKED women.