Octavia Spencer – Embrace The Mess

Octavia Spencer gives a speech about overcoming the odds and becoming the actress she dreamed to be.


Unmarried, and no family. Life is unpredictable. I thought that by this age I’d be done with my semi-successful acting career, but married and raising a family. Well, I wasn’t semi-successful as an actress, I’m hugely successful.

Know that you’re going to alter the way our world works in ways you can not even imagine, but as you move forward, please, please, please, oh please, don’t let yourself get caught up in the trap of comparison.

You know what I’m talking about. Ignore the silly 30 under 30 list that the internet throws at you before you’ve even had your morning cup of coffee. If I had to read 25 actresses who broke through before 25 … When I was first starting out, I tell you guys, I would have stayed in bed because I guarantee you that none of them looked like me. None of them.

So, know this. You’re going to continue to evolve in unforeseen ways. You are full of complexities and wonders that haven’t even begun to surface. Life’s unpredictability will draw these out, and what defines you now will be mere shades and hues of a more vibrant you over the next five, 10, 50 years. Honestly, I can’t even think of anything more literating than that. Knowing that life will look differently than you think it will.

So think big. Show up early. Stay late, and bust your asses. Excuse me for the profanity. But stay focused so that your change in growth is intentional. Don’t let who you’re becoming be shaped by disappointments. Also, don’t let yourself be shaped by achievements either. Remember your kipling. If you could meet with triumph, and disaster, but treat those two imposters just the same.

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Treat them just the same.

The journey you take now, will be led by you alone. Let me say that again. The journey that you take now, will be led by you alone. Don’t let that scare you. Oh, no. Let that liberate you. Keep moving forward, and don’t be frustrated when your path gets messy because it will get messy. You’ll fall, and you’ll fail along the way, wildly.

Embrace the mess. Say it with me.