Success often comes when you at least expect it. But most of the time, many of us give up on our dreams over the years as we believe once over 40 that big chance will never happen.
Not the first artist to find opportunities expanding rather than diminishing as she gets older, Dowd -mostly known for her great roles as a supporting actress– is nowadays no longer concerned about any label applied to her. “You can call it character actor, or anything you want,” she says. “Now say what you will, it’s perfectly fine, I’m doing the work I love.”
However, there was a time when things weren’t easy for her. The following is a speech she gave at the 2018 Glamour Women of the Year Summit, opening up about finding success later in life. A story that still makes our hearts sing.
We thought to share it with you, in case you weren’t aware of it, because it might give you the inspiration you need to keep knocking on that door and help you change your inner narrative in midlife.
Many people asked me what I did between the ages of 30 and 56? Because, as we know, life is long – she said-. Well, I kept my love story alive—and by love story, I mean the love you have for the work that you do. Pay attention and take care of it. It doesn’t mean there won’t be ups and downs; there will be plenty of them. But keep the love story alive. Pay attention to where you are and celebrate the small victories.
The actress, who had an unshakable faith that all would work out, suggested staying humble is very important too.
Stay grateful for every single day and for all that goes on in that given day – she says.- I can tell you from experience there is nothing worse than an ego gone wild. Darlings, stay humble and grateful. It will suit you. It will support you. Use your manners. Manners are a wonderful and forgotten thing. Use them. Darlings – she explains-. take many trips out of your head and into your heart and soul. That is where freedom lives. That is where lack of judgment lives. And that is where hope and love thrive. It’s a very good compass, that heart and soul. Consider it as often as you can. I promise you this: The answers come with the silence. In the quiet. The answers for you and the secrets that are yours alone to know come in the silence. You don’t find them in the phone or in the computer or on the television. Consider nature a very good teacher. Keep learning.
Of course, her journey wasn’t always smooth. Recalling when she came to New York she said:
I’m not kidding you—I had no agent, no job. I stood in front of Broadway houses—I didn’t care who saw me—and I said, ‘How are you?’ to the theatre. ‘I will be seeing you soon, and I will not be in the audience. I will be on your stage, and I thank you.’ I did it countlessly. Don’t obsess about the details of how. Just let the universe know, ‘Excuse me. I’m coming. I’ll be here in a minute. And thank you’. I remember those days of loneliness and despair. When I didn’t have an audition or anything happening, I would go straight to the bedroom, I would take out my monologues, and I would do them. And I would remind myself in the mirror, ‘You are an actress, and you are in charge of your life.’ It is not for others to say—no, yes, anything—you are in charge. That is the gift you came into this world with.
Know that all that time you’re spending not being an amazing success may very well be practice for becoming a shining star later on. You are not a failure: you’re sharpening your skills, seriously considering your path, experimenting with different outcomes, and working out what will make you successful.
Be wise, age playfully.