10/24/13 In the spirit of trying new things and networking and meeting new people, I attended an event with Joe this past week. Say yes, right? Anyways, I have been to many many entertainment networking events. This event was a tech networking event, so not necessarily in my field but saying yes to opportunity. Well, needless to say, it was interesting. And not in the way that I thought it would be. Actually to be honest, I thought it may be a little boring. Anyways, giving a little back story, when I used to teach and when I worked in the corporate world I was always embarrassed to introduce myself and say what I do. "Hello, I am MaryAnn and I am a teacher." Or "Hello, I am MaryAnn and I am an analyst for a big bank." I really hated introducing myself. I was not proud of what I did and my careers. (Although, looking back I should not judge myself in this way and should have been proud of my accomplishments in both of these fields.) I was probably ashamed deep down because it was not truly what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I wanted to introduce myself, "Hello, I am MaryAnn and I am an actor/performer/singer/model/etc." That is what I wanted to say. And thankfully, for the past two and a half years, I have been able to introduce myself that way very confidently and very proudly. Until this tech event when I introduced myself "Hello, I am MaryAnn and I am an actor." Only to have the people I just introduced myself to basically look at me like I am an idiot, give me a half smile and turn away. Bummer, finally I am super proud of what I am doing and the progress I am making (always want more of course) but to have them completely dismiss me and look at me like I was dumb. I understand where maybe they would have gotten the predetermined assumption that everyone in LA is an actor and they are all dumb and uneducated and chasing a meaningless dream. I have come across some interesting characters while being here and I see why some of those stereotypes exist. However, I was completely judged without even saying ten words. Long story short, I used to judge myself so harshly when it came to stating a career and now the tables have turned and I was being judged very obviously because of the career I deliberately and diligently have worked so hard to label myself as. Taking a step back, I am using this as a reminder to be proud of the journey I am on and that we all should try not to judge ourselves or each other, but to appreciate instead.