Mark Pellegrino on self-esteem

“Sandy Meisner once said, ‘it takes twenty years to be an actor’, and for a long time, I struggled with that concept. What the heck does that mean — twenty years to be an actor — because you go through a two-year programme learning the craft of acting.

“But then there’s this whole thing called you that you have to deal with. You have to learn to implement what you’ve learned in the real world, and you have to overcome all kinds of internal blockages. 

“My journey has been one of overcoming myself. The ‘enemies’ I at one time perceived as blocking my progress; they weren’t blocking my progress. It was me doing that and giving them permission to do that.

“For me, the primary obstacle that I’ve had to overcome — and still struggle with to this day — is a self-esteem issue. It’s an issue of, ‘I am important enough and valid enough to assert myself in this moment.’

“Whether that means I have to contradict the director’s advice or stick my neck out and perform something I’m uncomfortable with or take a stand in some other way.

“I find that assertiveness rests on how you esteem yourself, and that has taken many, many years to build up. I don’t think self-esteem is just something you’re born with; I don’t think it’s something people suggest into your subconscious. That’s a part of it. But mainly, it’s the emotional reward for seeing how well you function in the world. You can only get that emotional reward once you start sticking your neck out, pushing that comfort zone, and going beyond. 

“That’s what I had to do over time. That’s what my journey is: building my self-esteem so I can live and act in the world the way I want to.”

Source: Mark Pellegrino on The Mindscramber Show (2021)