While waiting for my turn to get a haircut, I flipped through Vogue. It was the edition with the Natalie Portman interview about Black Swan. Didn't read the article; when I said flipping through, I meant flipping through. However, I notice a photo caption that stood out. It mentioned that she practiced ballet eight hours a day the two months before shooting started. (Of course, this is not the extent of her ballet training.)
Reading things like that causes me to ponder the level of my dedication. If she had put in the amount of effort, I do...Would Black Swan be one of the must see films? Would her name be popping up in connection with various acting awards? Don't know about the film, but I highly doubt anyone would even remotely think of the performance as reward worthy.
Sure, it would be easy to excuse my level of dedication. I could point out that I have a day job, and it's possible she wasn't footing the bill for the ballet lessons. But that would be a cope out. Without looking at the list of actors, I can safely say that each one being considered for an award put in his or her dues.
I can safely say the actors put in their dues because it is impossible to reach that level of acting without doing so. And the level of dedication I establish now will, by habit, be the level of dedication I will have later.
Therefore, I am going to increase my level of dedication toward my acting career to that which Natalie put in toward her role. Why? Because I want to reach that level.