A number of years ago I began taking acting classes as a hobby. Before I had discovered hypnosis, I needed a creative outlet to go along with my 9-to-5 job. The classes were for improvisational comedy at Whole World Theatre in Atlanta.

After a while, I was in an “advanced” class with a number of other students. Some had previous experience acting. Others, like me, had no previous experience. I viewed the veteran actors — those who performed in front of sold-out crowds every week — as being completely different creatures from myself. They were “actors.” I was a student.

When this advanced class concluded, some of the students were chosen to form a new group. Others, like me, were asked to continue taking classes. I instead took a break and stuck around to help out behind the scenes.

Many months later, a fellow student of mine (who also had no previous acting experience) from that group had his first opportunity to perform in the “big show” on a Saturday night.

It was a big deal at the time. Before the show, I sat down next to him and asked an honest question with a slight sense of wonder: “Did you ever think you’d make it this far?”

His reply: “Yes.”

I didn’t realize it until much later, but the truth was that I had never believed I’d make it that far. I didn’t believe myself to be an actor. “They” were actors. I was a just a journalist.

Simple as that.

What’s notable is that both my friend and I took our beliefs and made them our reality. We each became what we believed we would become.

Years later, I returned to acting with that knowledge and thus, a new attitude. With some hard work and a little patience, I fully expected to make my way to the stage. I proceeded to perform in front of live crowds every week.

And yes, even though I’ve long since retired, I’m still an actor.