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Posted by Chandre Laura Cloete
Richard "RB" Botto Richard "RB" Botto
Today’s blog comes from Stage 32 member Chandre Laura Cloete of Hollywood. About a year and a half ago, Chandre decided to move from South Africa to LA to pursue her creative dreams. She has since built up a very versatile career working as an actress, boom operator, set crew member, and assistant director.

In today’s very inspiring blog, Chandre shares her experiences since she arrived in LA including insight into her recent successes. In addition, she shares 3 special words which encourage her to keep moving forward no matter what the circumstances.

I thank Chandre for her contribution to the Stage 32 blog!

Enjoy!

RB

It was a bittersweet goodbye for me about two years ago. I was leaving my family and friends behind in South Africa to pursue my dreams in America.

When you have dreams like I did, it’ll feel like everyone around you is failing to see what you see, disagreeing with your dreams, and constantly shutting you down.

“This is fairytale talk!”

“You need to get your head out of the clouds!”

We've all heard this at some stage in our life. But just because others don't see your dreams as becoming reality, doesn't mean that they can't. You need to push through and persevere. The world only dreams when it’s asleep, and I want to show everyone that your dreams can still be there when your eyes are open.

In 2012, I was scouted by Elsubie De Lange(director of Just You in South Africa) and was given the opportunity to take part in the International Talent Showcase (ITS). It was at this point that all my dreams started unravelling before my very eyes. The experience was incredible and I received a call back to partake in an internationally-led show called the ARTS in the June of 2013.



At the ARTS, when a group of South Africans hit the stage, all the South Africans in the audience, including me, made sure to cheer the loudest, making sure that America knew we were there and that we dominated. It was such an amazing experience! Throughout my time there, I spoke to top casting directors and agents, went to seminars and learned so many new things about the entertainment industry.

I eventually made my way to Los Angeles, California and what an experience it was. On my first night in Los Angeles, one of my close friends and I were still wide awake at 2 am, so we decided to go for a drive and at one point, ended up walking to the Hollywood sign. I felt like such a tourist, but at the same time, as the Hollywood sign unraveled before me, I realized that I had made it, through all the blood, sweat and tears, the traveling, the goodbye's, the hard work. Just standing there, in that moment, it all felt worthwhile.



It's amazing how life works! I live in Hollywood right now and every single day, I make sure to look up at that sign. There always comes a time in life when you tend to take things for granted, but that's when you need to remind yourself of what it took to get to where you are right now. I am reminded of that every day, just by looking up and seeing that sign and remembering the feeling I had when I first saw it.

Live a life of gratitude and you will be blessed forever.

I have been living in Los Angeles for over a year and a half now and I have treated every day as a new adventure. I decided to further my education by studying acting at the New York Film Academy. And following the completion of my studies, I am now on my work permit, and the work has been such an incredible journey. I have been to several auditions, several screenings at Warner Bros, seen multiple television shows, worked on set as a part of the crew, reached out to agencies, and more.



There are many more adventures headed my way and I'm looking forward to them all. Los Angeles is my new home town now and I couldn't have asked for a better life. Having faith when you have a dream is the number one rule, and for all those who have a dream, remember these 3 things:

Ask. Believe. Receive.

Anything is possible if you believe it's possible. All I want in this life is to inspire people. We are given this one life, with no pauses, rewinds, fast forward options or extra lives, so I encourage you to make it count! We live as if we are immortal creatures, but we need to realize that time is limited. All too often, we don't achieve all we want. We need to share our gifts with the world. We think we have time, but we forget that time is one thing we will never have control over. Whether you’re moving or standing still, sleeping or awake, time keeps ticking. So I encourage you to do all you can with the time you are given.

My mom has taught me that if the dream is big enough, the facts don't count. My dreams are bigger than my financial status, bigger than my expertise in the field I want to pursue in, bigger than the negativity, bigger than everything that counted against me to pursue my dream. This is why I am where I am right now and still continuing to strive for success. I live a life of never being satisfied. Enough is never enough. Once you’re satisfied with where you are, with what you are, with who you are, it becomes your comfort zone and a comfort zone is a deadly place to be in.



Wherever you are on your journey to your dream, always remind yourself of that feeling you had before your journey started. That empowering feeling to do whatever it took to reach that dream of yours. Success only comes after failure after failure after failure. I find this beautiful because this pushes your limits, your capability, your self-esteem, your EVERY THING to breaking point, and just before it all gets too much, the achievement comes! Always remember to sacrifice a little but here and there, and you will reap the benefits.

The world is your oyster. Go and make the most out of it.



 

(On another note, I was introduced to Stage 32 a few months back by my dad (who is still in South Africa) and it has been a game changer! You make so many connections and even new friends through Stage 32. I have loved being on here, it's like Facebook for the industry. Wherever I am I always encourage everyone I know to join Stage 32.)


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As always, Chandre is available for questions or remarks in the Comments section below...

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