Weekend Wisdom

Bayne Gibby ’91

13
“The power of saying no.”
“I currently make my living as an actor in Los Angeles, but for many years I did a lot of acting work for no money. I had been told that I should say yes to every opportunity to perform, to get as much stage time and experience in front of a camera as possible. And I did. I moved to New York City and did it all: unpaid play readings, sketch-comedy shows, comedic videos . . . you get the idea.
 
“Then I started booking some professional acting work and decided I wanted to work for free only if it was something where I could learn something new, something really spectacular, or a project with people I knew I’d love. Right on cue, an acquaintance asked me to do an unpaid play-reading performance. I read the play, and I really didn’t like it. It didn’t meet the new criteria I had created for myself. I said no. I told him that I didn’t connect with the material.

“Now, please read this next part carefully because, unfortunately, this type of thing happens quite a bit. This male acquaintance said that I probably didn’t like the play because I didn’t understand it. (Ahem.) I respectfully expressed that I did understand it, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. He was taken aback.

“My experience at Kent Place definitely contributed to my confidence and clarity when it comes to standing my ground. Learning to create your own boundaries can be a tricky process, but this experience was a memorable one because, ultimately, it was very empowering.”
 

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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.