Answers 4 Actors

Monday, July 27, 2009

What you can Control!



I read these articles about goal setting. Lots of good stuff of course, but what bugs me is when they tell actors that if they set a goal like, “Star in a feature film, or series regular role” these self-described experts say you can make it happen.

Let’s look at the difference. If I want to write a book, which I have, and I set my goal to write 500 words a day, I have control over that. I do not have control over whether I get on the New York Times Best Seller List.

Now don’t get me wrong. You can take many actions in your control that may very well help to get you on that Best Seller list but still it’s not totally in your control to be on that list (unless your favorite uncle is the head of the committee that decides who is on the list).

So actors, yes, write down your goals. Yes, make a list of steps in your control that will help you get to your goals. Just be aware what you have control over and what you don’t have control over.

As those of you who know me and worked with me know, I am a avid supporter of actors, and all artists. I am not trying to burst your balloon. I want you to have your eyes wide open and to be smart in how and where you put your efforts.

Take action, learn your craft, make connections and do your marketing! Keep your head clear of how the world of entertainment works and don’t let what you do not have control over drive you crazy.

Yes there will be days where what happens to you IS NOT FAIR. The best actor or actress does not get the job. Promises made to you will be broken. It will sometimes appear that the bad guys win. Just stay on the course. Keep moving. Brush off that indignity. Let the naysayers go bug somebody else.

Remember your life and your career is a marathon not a sprint so just keep going.

So many times after a bad experience I can somehow find something to learn from it so I am not in the same situation in the future. Or I can share it with someone else like my students so they can avoid that situation.

This is also true with mistakes we make ourselves. Although none of us likes to admit it sometimes we actually were the one that was wrong. OMG We were wrong, I was wrong! Yes, true, that happens. The one thing you can always do is learn something from what happened. Unfortunately you may not be able to fix what happened, although sometimes you can, but you can always learn from what occurred. That’s why I do share in my workshops with students, mistakes I made in my life and career. If you can learn from my mistakes I have made something good out of something bad. That, I think, is one of the best things you can do in your life.

So write down your goal, create your steps that you can do. And keep going!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Huge Success Doesn't Fix Everything!


I have been watching for many years articles and stories about hugely successful people in many fields entertainment included who have sad even tragic stories. Why? When they get what they say they want so badly why does their life look so sad or even staggeringly tragic?

This morning I pulled out a yellowed, worn article that I had cut out of a newspaper a few years ago. It was about the suicide of an actor who had been on a series, who looked like to the outside world to be living his dream. I taped it to a card and on top I wrote, AN ACTING JOB DOESN’T FIX EVERYTHING. I put it on my desk where my clients could see it and where I could pull it out to remind actors that they need to put their life and their well being must be put on top of the Priority List.

As I hear about successful, famous people facing adversities, either self-induced or just the luck of the draw, I know we must remind each other that no success is more important than your health, your peace of mind, your friends and your family.

Don’t get me wrong! Success and great work achievement are important. We all want that. We all work hard for that. Of course that is true. But if you can’t be at peace with yourself in front of your own mirror when you are alone what good is all that success.

So definitely go out and fight for what you want to accomplish. Do what you need to do. But remember to spend time and effort on the gold that money can’t buy. Your health, both physical and mental. Your friendships. No, you really can’t buy true friendships. Your family. Okay maybe you didn’t’ choose them but do your best to care for them. And find joy and pleasure in all that life opens up to you that no amount of money can buy.

My heart goes out to those people who seem to have everything but we come to realize they were “lost”. We need to take care of each other. But first you must take care of yourself.