Calling for an initial consultation, Aurora (name and other personal details changed for privacy) expressed deep discouragement over her inability to hit her target weight – no matter how much she dieted and exercised, those final 10 lbs were stubbornly ruining her life.
Imagine my surprise when she showed up for her appointment a few days later looking like Linda Hamilton in the first “Terminator” movie – so sinewy and ripped she could have put an Olympic sprinter to shame!
Chatting a bit to establish rapport, I learned that she was here in Miami Beach on an expired visa, hated her day job as a waitress at a sports bar, and spent most of her free time applying for acting work at modeling agencies around Miami. “It’s terrible,” she exclaimed:
“I never get the job! They never call me back! They only want women who are over 5’10” and I’m only 5’6″! Maybe if I keep losing weight, I will look taller?”
“Hmmm,” I replied. “So is acting is what you really want to do? Are all agencies like that?”
“Of course not,” she scoffed. “That’s just Miami, it’s so superficial here! I don’t even want to do TV commercials, I want to be a real actress doing stage plays but I’m not finding any success at all!”
As we continued our pre-talk, she confessed a secret wish to move to New York and do off-Broadway theater. It emerged that although her parents back in Italy were extremely supportive, she was still too worried about the risk of relocating to consider pursuing her ambitions full tilt.
“What if I’m lonely?” she asked. “What if I can’t find a job? What if I hate NYC?”
“Let’s try an experiment,” I said, and lead her through a progressive relaxation exercise. As she fell into a trance, I set the stage.
“Imagine that it’s 6 months from now and you’re already in New York,” I told her. “See what you see, smell what you smell, hear what you hear. You’ve been living in a cute little apartment in Brooklyn for a few months now. What does it look like? Do you have a kitchen table with flowers on it? What do you see out the window?”
“Incredible!” she murmured as she began to describe her surroundings in vivid detail.
“So what is your life like here?” I asked. “Do you go to acting workshops at night or during the daytime? Were you able to find a bartending job that you actually like?”
“Yes!” she announced, “it was all a lot easier than I thought it would be! And I have a great acting coach too!”
“What are your friends like? Have you met anyone else there you can connect with? Are you really the only aspiring actress in New York on an expired visa? ”
“No!” she replied, giggling. “I have wonderful friends from all over the world and most of them are in my exact same situation! I’m having the time of my life, this is the best decision I ever made!”
“And how do your parents feel about this? Are they worried for you?”
” They are so proud,” she said, sniffling. “Especially my father. He says he always knew I had it in me.”
Satisfied, I prepared to lift her back out of her trance and told her to take one last look around so she could recognize this place when she saw it again in person.
Counting slowly backwards from 10, I watched carefully as she opened her eyes.
“I don’t know what to say,” she said. “But that was amazing. Thank you so much, I’ll call you soon for another session!”
Aurora emailed me a month later to let me know that she had sold all of her belongings shortly after our session and moved to NYC to pursue her dream. She apologized for taking so long to get in touch and explained that between work and rehearsals, she had just been too busy.
No further sessions were required.