Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happiness List - Thanksgiving Style

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For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know that I have often posted Happiness Lists - things that, no matter what is happening, will always bring a smile to my face.

This month, I will revise this slightly and make this is list of things that I am grateful for.


This kind of goes without saying, but I have made some fantastic new friends this year and deepened old friendships. Notably:

Best friends, always: Candice Oden, Lee Cavellier, Dean Samaniego, My Mom
Friends I’ve met through Shows/Shoots/Classes: Christine Cox, Anita Vasan, Carmen Gill, Anna Marie Sell, Lexi Windsor, Elyssa Samsel, Zach Wobensmith, Steve Engelbrecht, Rhonda Musak, Quinn Vogt-Welch,
Old Friends who’ve become better friends in 2010: Brandon Walker, Kevin Stocklin, Bryant Lanier, Carolann Sanita, Gerritt VanderMeer, Richard Watson, Bobbi Owens, Nance Schick, Tom Tillotson, Tom Davis, Bill Zeffiro, Alan Gordon, Stephen Wilde
Friends who I don’t get to see enough: Jessa Watson, Henry Price, Jim Ellis, Julie Sachs, Courtney McLean
Friends through Twitter: @MarissaMutascio, @LanceCarter, @Dialect411, @AliciaYing, @PilateYourBody, @SierraRein

A roof over my head

I am very lucky to be able to live in my own apartment in the world’s greatest city. I even love the fact that my shower is in the kitchen and my bathroom is in the hallway. These quirks make it possible to live by myself on a self-employed salary, in Manhattan. I sit in my apartment at night, with the lights off, to allow the red neon lights to spill into my window from both the hotel and parking garage across the street. Magical.

The world’s greatest dog

My pride and joy, and my occasional frustration (“Do you HAVE to sneeze right in my face?”) She entered my life on November 27, 1995. When I went to take her home, I initially transported her inside a carrier, but she kept falling over as I drove the twists and turns through Malibu Canyon. So, I pulled over, took her out of the crate, and put her in my lap. Of course, having her in my lap as I drove wasn’t the safest plan. But the memory of her lying there, with her head on my arm looking up at her new companion, is absolutely priceless.

The best “day job”...ever

It is an an incredible gift to be able to run my own business and support/inspire hundreds of actors in the pursuit of their careers. I started this journey almost 9 years ago when I quit my (very lucrative) day job to pursue acting full time. I took on a side job as a membership & marketing director at a small non-profit for actors, and got to spend the next 3 years guiding and supporting their careers on a community level. When I moved to New York, I knew I wanted to do something similar, and found that my many years in marketing and acting, plus the work I did at the non-profit, made me uniquely primed to start this coaching service. The Actors’ Enterprise will be celebrating 4 years of operation in April 2011 - and this is thanks, in no small part, to all of the students who have trusted me with their careers. For that, I am humbly thankful (learn more here.)

Reaching a larger audience

That said, this year I made huge strides in getting the word out about my coaching, and I could not be more thrilled. I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and Time Out New York, I was a panelist at Backstage’s Actorfest, and was the special guest of a hour-long interview/radio program called “Coaches’ Corner with Andrew Poretz.” I was also named one of the “2011: 40 Women to Watch in Social Media“ by Scott Bryant. I am hoping for even bigger and better things next year.

A very successful year of acting

This year, I did an Under 5 on “One Life to Live”; shot a comedy short that has already won awards at film festivals; recorded a studio demo of a brand new musical and then did several fully staged readings of that show for industry guests; had the world premiere screening of a feature film that I starred in; became an associate artist of a theater company and starred in one of their shows... the list goes on and on and I am so excited for what’s to come (see the list here.)

Health Insurance

I’ve been lucky, thus far, to have had enough health insurance to cover the things that I have needed: medication for severe allergies, surgery for minor skin cancer, annual check ups. Not everyone has this, and I feel very, very fortunate.

Social Networking

I know a lot of people dislike the idea of being plugged in so much, but I have benefited tremendously (both personally and professionally) from my time on Facebook and Twitter. Not only have I gotten to know some really neat people that I, otherwise, would not have met, but I have gotten a chance to hone and perfect the kind of person I want to be in the world. The social networks hold you accountable for who you say you are, and are unforgiving while doing so. The trick has been to understand the difference between public and private life, and I am thankful I have (thus far) bene able to separate the two.

Other things that make me happy, today

• The colors of changing leaves - the reds and oranges take my breath away
• My special coffee, with flavors like “Chocolate Hazelnut Heaven” and “Banana Foster Float” (sound yummy? buy some here.)
• Writing. I adore writing.
• Being inspired. I am grateful for inspiration every day.
• Pizza.
• Cheese whiz. Especially the spicy kind.
• Guitar Hero.
• The possibility of true love.
• Taking a stand about who I really am.
PaperbackSwap - love that I can get nearly any book I want for next to nothing.
• Vintage clothes & jewelry.
• Making a difference.
• Movies that make me weepy.
• Music from my high school/college days.
• Crispy Bacon.
• Meeting new people.

And... I am happy that you have taken the time to read this blog! So... what are you thankful for, and what brings you happiness? Feel free to leave a comment and share. Or better yet, start you own happiness list and post a link to it in the comments section. I’d love to read it!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit

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