It IS a Wonderful Life!
By Jessica Sitomer

“Dear George,
Remember no man is a failure who has friends.
Thanks for the wings.

I was about to get in line at Whole Foods today, but because the guy in front of me was stopped in front of the chocolate display, I wasn’t sure if he was at the end of the line or not. When I asked him, he looked at the line and then looked at the chocolate bar in his hand. He said he was in line, then looked longingly back at the display. I asked if that was the chocolate bar he wanted because I’d hold his spot if he wanted to continue looking.

“This brand makes a chocolate bar that’s spicy. I know it doesn’t sound good, but it is,” he explained.

“So get both,” I encouraged.

A sad expression clouded his face as he responded, “I shouldn’t… the recession.”

Usually, I don’t watch the news because I don’t like what they’re talking about. It’s not that I’m in denial, I just feel so helpless watching the scary news stories: murder, terrorism, economic crisis. Why subject myself to horror? I wouldn’t go see Saw, and the DP was my friend. I know there’s an economic crisis. I know these are uncomfortable times… scary times.

In It’s a Wonderful Life, the town folks of Bedford Falls, fall victim to a scare and rush to pull their money out of George Bailey’s Building and Loan. George understands their fear, then inspires them to stand together as a community, puts their minds at ease with enough of his own money to tide them over, and eventually things get better for the town. George builds a community so people can get out of the Potter slums and into their own homes.

Then in true representation of the world, the story gets cyclical, and once again, George, finds himself in money trouble and believes he’s worth more to his family dead than alive. It was this decision that gave him the insight to a world without him. He saw how different people’s lives would have been had he not touched them with his kindness. In the end, his friends come to his aid, grateful to have the opportunity to give back to a man who gave so much.

In these scary times, turn to your friends both to give support and get support. Practice random acts of kindness. Worrying and complaining won’t make you feel better and won’t change anything. If you must talk about the economic crisis or the unstable state of our industry, talk about what action you can take to keep yourself going. Like Bedford Falls, we’ll have good times and bad times, and through them all, we’ll have our friends.

I told the guy that he was right, there is a recession—all the more reason to buy himself a second chocolate bar to do something extra special for himself. I said that I had a feeling he’d earned it. He smiled and bought the second chocolate bar.

And… Action!

1. Imagine what the world would be like if you weren’t born. Think of all the lives you’ve touched and how they are better off for it. What if you hadn’t been around to help?

2. What is a project you want to create or be a part of? A story that you want to share? A look you want to create? Who is a character you want to play? How would the world benefit from your work? How would the world suffer without it?

The world is suffering enough without you holding back your talents. BE FEARLESS! TAKE RISKS! SHARE YOUR SOUL AND PASSION WITH THE WORLD. We need you!

I answer an Entertainment Industry Coach question, daily at