Oh man, how much do I not want to address this topic. But I NEED to. Over the past few years in my work with actors in the #GlobalActor Power Groups and with Private Clients I have encountered time and time again the desire for immediate results, and I get it. This career can be so difficult at times, but dare I remind you that “this career is a marathon, not a sprint”. Let’s be honest, it can feel like a FREAKING Iron Man at times, am I right?! But I bet you can look back on a moment (from earlier in your journey) to stay inspired, and I ask you to do that, right now, take stock in how far you’ve come from when you first decided to pursue this work.
You are obviously called to this work, and I’m guessing you are reading this because you want to feel more joy in the process of growing in your acting career. So as you submit, audition and hopefully book work you may (or may not) deem “dream work” this week, remember your why. Why are you still acting? So many have given up on the dream. But you are still here. You have a dream, so why not you?!
I want to encourage you to stay on your path this week. Think of me as cheering you on in mile 7 of your race (a marathon is 26.2), so stay steady and consistent from here on out. You have milestones behind you and likely the best is yet to come, but can you enjoy where you are today, here in this moment?
As you scroll through social media today, how about celebrating a past achievement? Leave yours here!
Please don’t beat yourself, or anyone else, up for the lack of bigger results. There are so many reasons why the stars may not have aligned for you yet, but that does not mean it’s time to sit around and wait. No, no, my friend, when’s the last time you saw a runner waiting in the middle of a marathon?
There may be many reasons for your lack of results. And the first one may be that you are wanting an Oscar when you haven’t even booked a film yet, wanting an Audie before you’ve even narrated your first audiobook. So, sign up for that 5K before you train for the marathon -- do you get what I’m saying?
Know that we all have our own level of drive. We all have our own definition of success. And you may or may not know the actions you need to take to hit your actual next goal-- you may not even be clear on that. You don’t know what you don’t know, am I right? Don’t let that delay you though. Figure out how you need to switch gears to continue your move forward.
Does your drive match where you want to be, and have you taken steps to course correct as needed?
Finally, at the end of the day if you don’t feel good about what you’re pursuing, what is the point? Which brings me to JOY. How can you bring joy back into your process and find it while you’re pursuing some of the bigger goals that can take more time?
Three things I’d like to offer:
1. Be open to finding joy in surprising acting opportunities
Some of the most fulfilling acting work I’ve had has been in audiobook narration, non-traditional voice work, standardized patient work and live-action performances at museums or other public spaces. If you haven’t booked a big job in awhile and could use a boost of confidence, why not get your actor brain active and flexible again AND make money too?
2. Make time for Self-Care
I’m still working on this myself, but are you getting at least 7 hrs of sleep a night, drinking half your weight in water each day and moving as often as possible. These basics will set you up for success as you continue along this “marathon” -- don’t worry I’m still talking about your acting career -- you are NOT required to run, though, I mean a marathon can be it’s own crazy experience if you’re looking for that kind of a rush!
3. Stay Focused and Accountable
Don’t lose track of why you are at this in the first place. Tap into your community of fellow actors, hire a coach, and just keep going, taking breaks as needed.
So what is your why? Leave it in the comments, and put it front & center this week.
We have limited time in our days, weeks, and months, right? As actors so often that time is filled with work we are doing just to pay the bills to support our acting career. We have 24 hours in a day-- which can sometimes feel like a lot, sometimes a little. You have more control over your time than you may think. How are you spending yours and how might you be able to make a shift to get more done and find time to rest and recharge so you are ready and confident to book more of the work you want?
Below are three ways to Make More out of the Time You have.
Daily & Weekly Actions
Be sure that the actions you take in your career are actually worth your time and are not you throwing spaghetti against the wall. How can you tell the difference? What is the current goal you are working towards? What are all the actions you need to take (building relationships, attending auditions, practicing mindset, creating marketing materials) to achieve that goal? Eliminate the actions you are taking that are not working. If you’re not sure, get another pair of eyes on your action plan. Consider working with a career coach or mentor - enrollment for the #GlobalActor Power Groups opens up soon - who can help you get crystal clear on your goals and the actions you need to take to achieve them.
Find Your Ideal Actor Day Job
You don’t HAVE to wait tables, temp or work another non-acting related job to support your acting career. If you’ve found a day job you love, well, then keep going, skip this section :) But if you’re NOT in love with your day job, may I offer the day job that shifted everything for me? Narrating audiobooks! The audiobook industry is EXPLODING right now and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. What better way to put your craft to work on a daily basis? Through narrating audiobooks I’ve become the breadwinner in my family AND have a solid income source that I can turn up or down depending on the other acting work coming my way.
Focus, Flex & Free Time
This is my jam for infusing my week with both rest and productivity. It’s scientifically proven that the human brain can only focus for a certain # of hours per day. That said, organize your schedule with 2 hour chunks of FOCUS time for the big rocks, the actions that require the most effort from you and will ultimately provide the biggest results. You may only be able to fit one or two of these blocks in per day. Flex time is time where you are working but maybe your focus is not so intense-- checking emails, updating social media, errands for work, etc. Free time is just that. Put boundaries around daily free time so that your body and mind have time to rest and recharge so that you are ready to focus again when it’s time.
Which of the 3 above will you explore this week? Let me know in the comments below!
Q. Elise, I am currently pursuing theatre, film, commercials and voiceover. How do I know where I should be putting my energy on any given day considering I’m pursuing several different things. Help! - Multi-passionate Actor
A. Multi-passionate Actor, you are NOT alone! Most actors work or desire to work in multiple mediums - or as I like to call them “tracks”. It IS tricky to move multiple tracks forward at the same time and almost impossible to do so without a gameplan. SO, let’s start by checking in on your long-term vision. More on that here!
Get Clear on Your Long Term Plan
What are the different tracks that you see in your long-term vision? What if you were to narrow them down to one or two, or at most three? In your long-term vision define the kinds of jobs that bring you joy and income (if that’s important to you, let’s get real!) -- if you’re not sure, do some research and dip your toe into these areas before deciding. Don’t know where to start, let’s chat during our next FB LIVE - Tuesday, September 3rd at 7pm ET.
Reverse-Engineer or Work Backwards from the Bigger Picture
Say you know you want to work in voiceover and TV mainly, start with that long-term vision and work your way backwards. Which tracks have you already seen success in? Which have you not even tapped into yet? If you are almost to a big goal in one area, keep going until you reach it, so you can feel success there and then switch gears to the other track and apply some of that success to a new area.
Get in Action on One “Track”
For instance, when I created my long-term vision several years ago I knew that voiceover could provide me with a solid foundation for income and I saw my long-term vision including voiceover, TV and theatre. At the time, I had reached a big goal in theatre (joining AEA) and was looking for a next big goal to conquer. I had virtually no experience (outside of a gig or two) in voiceover, so it was clear to me that now would be a good time to start, so I set a short term goal in that area.
When you are focused and get clear on an action plan for that track, it will be your main focus. It does not mean you must turn down opportunities in the other mediums... that wouldn’t make sense if you enjoy the work in multiple mediums, but that you are taking consistent, daily actions in one area until you hit that goal. Sometimes opportunities in other areas will surprise you, for instance, I have had clients working on a VO goal and an exciting next-level film opportunity came up. Always say YES to the “Hell, Yes!” opportunities. Not sure whether it’s a “Hell, Yes!” or not? Click here to find out. Success in any area of acting is awesome! Don’t overthink it. Isn’t working on exciting acting projects that pay well really what we’re all after?
So, Multi-Passionate Artist, what do you think? I’m sure you may still have some questions, as this can be a complicated issue, so if you do, no sweat. I’ll be hosting a FB LIVE in the #GlobalActors group on this topic Tuesday, September 3rd at 7pm ET. Bring your questions and I’ll have some answers!
the global actor