It was 2014.
I was a newlywed allowing myself to binge watch television for the first time in my life.
My new husband, Justin, had encouraged me to put the energy I really needed into my acting dream--- see how far I could reach. I had been working professionally as an actor for years and had managed to whittle down my job juggling to just a handful of teaching jobs between acting gigs. My acting career was in an okay place. That year I had joined Actors Equity (the professional union for stage actors), a checkpoint I had working towards for years.
Though to be honest, I wasn’t quite satisfied.
Every year or so my good friend (and fellow Virgo) Aaron and I would share our “list” of desired professional and personal outcomes for the year ahead or next several months. I observed the list morphing over time, but nothing was accomplished quickly. Afterall, it had taken SEVERAL YEARS to cross off “join Equity”.
That September I marked my birthday with a time of reflection. I took part in a “Live Your Best Life Now” 5-day challenge, and envisioned what my five year plan looked like.
Where was I and where did I want to be?
Who did I want to be?
What kind of stories did I want to tell?
And how did I want to serve others?
Soon after the challenge,
I began working with a strategy coach.
I learned how to goal-set, how to put deadlines in place and nurture relationships. Over the next several months I worked with a variety of accountability partners who were also in the entertainment industry. We shared our goals and deadlines, lended support and shared our progress on small action items during our regular checkins.
I quickly learned that the reason I rarely checked off the big items on my list, such as “become a voiceover artist”, “take new headshots”, or “be on TV” was because they were huge goals-- made up of dozens of action items.
I had not been in the habit of charting out and checking off a ton of action items on my dream goals. For years I had looked at each goal as a giant mountain to climb and found it easier to use my energy working on various other jobs for other people -- ultimately not quite satisfying or lifting me up my own mountains.
With the help of my accountability partner, Craig, an LA-based television composer, we quickly determined that I was giving away a ton of creative work to my fellow creative friends and colleagues for FREE. I took the time to go through my calendar and tally the hours each week I was spending on work that did not support my ultimate dreams and goals and was frankly shocked-- some weeks were as much as 40 hours. “Imagine putting that same amount of time and effort into your own creative work and aspirations?” Craig asked.
I began having difficult conversations with friends and colleagues saying “no” to work that I had previously said “yes” to - turning inward and putting the energy back into my acting career. *Of course I still share ideas with friends and love to brainstorm, but it is not a full-time job, and I am more clear with myself how I spend my time. Furthermore, I do love this work-- it’s why I’m here as a coach!
That fall I created my first voiceover demo, researched how to book VO work and in January 2015 made my first phone calls to casting directors. And boy did I BOOK!
I recorded a commercial right away, then a series of four audiobooks…
A couple months later I had an amazing headshot session with my DREAM PHOTOGRAPHER….
I booked my FIRST SPEAKING ROLE FOR TV!
And so it went…
This month, within two years of my first reach-out I celebrate narrating my 30th audiobook!
Of course there is a ton of work ahead that I cannot wait to book, stories I look forward to tell, but in the meantime I AM living my Dream Career. Remember that quote “If you shoot for the moon, you’ll land among the stars”? That’s where I am, shooting for the moon, and I hope you are in pursuit of the same, whatever that looks like to you.
Through goal-setting, accountability and nurturing relationships I continue to move toward my biggest acting dreams.
And I’ve learned alot. Hence the creation of this blog.
As I learn industry lessons I believe there’s value in sharing with others in pursuit of similar goals and dreams. I am thankful for the many mentors, teachers, colleagues and accountability partners who have helped me along the way, and would LOVE to SUPPORT YOU!
In the months and years ahead you can look forward to step-by-step action plans, inspiring interviews and good old-fashioned advice here on this blog.
If you ever want more support, schedule a private session with me!
We can take a look at your current career, brainstorm your juiciest dream career, and work smarter (not harder) to create a plan that connects the two.
Please leave a comment below about where you are in pursuit of your dreams. I’d love to know. I’d also love to answer any questions you might have.
the global actor