All posts by Cristin McAlister

Take stock of what you’ve done.

If you’re like me, you probably always feel like you could be and should be doing more to further your career. While I think it’s important to be driven, it can be exhausting. It can be incredibly stressful to be an actor and it’s very easy to compare yourself to others and their successes. This holiday season, I encourage you to stop for a minute and take stock of all you accomplished. Continue reading Take stock of what you’ve done.

I don’t have a timeline.

When I first moved to Chicago, a non actor friend of mine asked me how long I was going to pursue acting before giving up. My answer: I’m not going to give up. When I was preparing to move to L.A. last month, someone (this time an actor) asked me what timeline I was giving myself for succeeding in L.A. This time my answer was: I don’t have a timeline.

Continue reading I don’t have a timeline.


I don’t know what to write about. I keep trying to come up with something great and helpful about acting and being an actor but all I can hear in my head is “Be nice. Love one another. LIVE.”

The Chicago acting community has suffered some terrible losses recently. It seems in some way or another, everyone is affected and is feeling a sense of pain and sadness. I wasn’t lucky enough to really know any of the talented people who passed away. I knew them from auditions and seeing them in shows and hearing their names and because my friends were their friends. Unfortunately, it is only because they are gone that I now know what wonderful people they all were. The one constant has been a Facebook feed full of love and kind words and memories of people who were loved. And who loved. People who gave of themselves, looked out for others and were good friends to have. Yes, their careers have been mentioned but that is not what their loved ones are holding on to right now. They’re sharing memories of a kind gesture, a hug, a laugh, a drink, a song, and a love they are happy they had.

That’s what it’s all about, right? Life is short. Follow your dreams but remember that the part that matters is that you are following them. Not if you get where you think you should be. The part that matters is so much better than that. It’s happiness and kindness and a meal with friends and laughter. It’s living.

Be nice. Love one another. LIVE.



When I first moved to Chicago, a friend took me into his agency (one of the biggest in town) and they signed me. When that agency closed, he took me into his new agency (another big one) and they signed me. They must have really trusted this particular friend of mine because I never even had to audition. Lucky, right?

Not so much.

Because I never had to audition, I didn’t realize the work I needed to do. I was young, inexperienced and new to the city. I had no idea what to do. So I did what anyone would do: nothing. I was one of those actors who complained all the time that my agent didn’t know me and wasn’t sending me out. So while I had a really good agent, I spent a lot of time looking for another agent which, as any actor will tell you, is time consuming and frustrating. And since I spent most of time being annoyed at my agency for not getting me great auditions, I never bothered to build a relationship with them.



This January I made a list of goals. One of them was to write and perform my own one person show. In March, I did just that. That’s just three months into the year. Usually I cram all my goals into December and then get annoyed at myself for not trying earlier.

Look, I am not a writer. Sitting down to write this blog post has been something I’ve been avoiding all day. But I’ve always wanted to write and I’ve always wanted to tell my own story. But it scared me. A lot. I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think it would be good, or funny, or “enough.” Whatever that is.

Why am I telling you this? Because maybe there’s something that scares you and you think you can’t do it. JUST DO IT. Yep, I totally stole that slogan from Nike, but it’s a good one. It works. Continue reading DO WHAT SCARES YOU