The passengers on a Delta flight from Cancun, Mexico to LAX Monday got a fright when Selma Blair apparently had a mid-air meltdown reportedly due to mixing wine and prescription medication. The Cruel Intentions, Hellboy, and Legally Blonde actress has worked steadily in Hollywood for the better part of twenty years, but the past few days have probably been the most trying of her career. TMZ reported that Blair was crying and mumbling incoherently, “He burns my private parts,” and “He beats me. He’s going to kill me.” And in a serious and potentially tragic turn of events, Blair was reportedly accompanied by her son Arthur, as well as Arthur’s dad and Selma’s ex-beau, Jason Bleick. Thankfully, the event ended without incident. Although she was taken off the plane on a stretcher, Selma was cleared to leave the hospital the following day. But one can imagine how things could have turned out differently–and possibly very badly–especially with a young boy involved.

It remains to be seen how this might affect Selma’s career as well as future opportunities being film production insurance can be very expensive and even Draconian–just ask Charlie Sheen! But it is refreshing, and most likely helpful, Ms. Blair came out with a heartfelt and gracious apology the day after the incident, writing, “I take this very seriously, and I apologize to all of the passengers and crew that I disturbed and am thankful to all of the people who helped me in the aftermath. I am a flawed human being who makes mistakes and am filled with shame over this incident. I am truly very sorry.” Selma could have very easily cited dehydration and/or exhaustion as seems to be customary in similar situations, but instead she attributed the “big mistake” to mixing alcohol with medication.

All of this sturm und drang may not seem applicable to a struggling actor or actress fighting through traffic trying to get to a commercial callback, but not taking note of a situation like this would be a mistake. Everyone in this town is just one project away from success. One role can change your life, and everything you do at that point could be scrutinized heavily. And such a situation might just be peachy for someone who’s lived on apples and raisins for the last year, but public criticism and scorn can be potentially lethal to a career.

It might be a good exercise to picture yourself as an A-lister (not a bad exercise, eh?) and think of the things that might mitigate your growth and perhaps put you in a compromising position. And then assess whether you need those things in your life or if you might want to lose them. Be it alcohol, drugs, dodgy relationships, unsupportive friends, embarrassing photos on your Facebook page, this is your shot and your stated mission in life; don’t let anything drag you down!