It’s Oscar time again! Just this morning, media outlets announced the Oscar nominations for 2013, and the glamour of it all is just about oozing from every TV across the globe. After all, hailed Oscar winners like Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball), Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry), and Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) exude supreme confidence and tremendous magnetism while prowling the red carpet. But what these preeminent actors also have in common is the fact that they were all once homeless.

 It can be hard to imagine, but in pursuing her acting dreams in New York City, Halle Berry lived in a homeless shelter in the late 1980’s. “I was probably about 21. But a girl had to do what a girl had to do. You can do that when you’re 21 and ambitious, and your eyes are this big and you don’t want to go home,” she stated in a Reader’s Digest interview. Hilary Swank and her mother were homeless for a brief period when they moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of Hilary’s dream of becoming an A-lister. This monumental aspiration involved the comforts of an Oldsmobile ’88, a net worth of $75, and a mother’s sheer belief in her daughter’s talent–all of which ultimately lead to Hilary’s career success.

But there’s more! Daniel Craig, Jim Carrey, Sam Worthington, Rose McGowan, and Martin Sheen likewise found themselves living out of a car, or living on the streets for a period of time before their careers took off. It’s safe to assume they all experienced hard days filled with self-doubt, and frequently–if not constantly–questioned their life decisions. But they also shared a compelling determination to become an actor, a conviction to rise above obstacles, a mandate to keep working, and an overriding ambition to show the world the bright, shining star within their hearts.

So, for those of you who are presently tackling difficult challenges while pursuing your Thespian dreams, don’t lose sight of the prize. You are more than your present circumstances. Yours in a noble struggle, so keep up the good work. And keep believing!

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