“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.”- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Before we delve into the nitty gritty I'm going to give you what I consider the first big/main tool of being a working actor to start the ball rolling. It will be what everything else in this blog is based upon and won't come as a surprise, just look at the title of this blog, it is the ability to be "PROACTIVE". Based on its defition, courtesy of GOOGLE, a person (or actor in this case)is creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen.
For an actor who is new to this business: here is some honesty….In this business you need to make things happen and show the arts community (and more importantly the people who can hire you) that you exist, because unless you are the lucky one in a million person who gets discovered on the street, no one in this business is going to know you are around unless you take proactive action, and, via the many ways we will discuss in future posts, make it so!
For an actor who has been around the block for a while: here is some honesty….A friend I know, who works with well known actors and screenwriters, with whom will remain nameless in this blog, said to me that actors are some of the laziest people he knows and, unfortunately, he is not the only one i've heard echo this sentiment, and, sadly, I have seen it with my own eyes as well. Am I talking to you? Are you one of those performers who just sits back and waits for the phone to ring? Perhaps from your college showcase months ago? Are you waiting to hear from the agent/manager with whom your expectations are that they are doing all the work for you? Perhaps your waiting for the friend to call who said they were going to cast you in their next big project that never seems to materilize? Are you keeping yourself free and not auditioning after that one callback for that potential opportunity for the chance they will call?
Listen, I'm not saying any of the above are a bad thing or waiting to be that one in a million who is discovered on the street either, but, I will say that you are very much limiting youself to opportunity and for truly cultivating and being in charge of your career by waiting for something to happen and/or counting on someone else to do all the work for you. And, most importantly, pertaining to this particular blog post, you are in no circumstances being "PROACTIVE" by doing nothing/waiting.
So time is a wasting. Let's get going. Let's turn the spotlight on YOU and only YOU can start the ball rolling.
So..first and foremost….
The quintessential way, in my opinion, to be a PROACTIVE ACTOR??
Start by doing…
5 THINGS A DAY FOLKS! I challenge you to do 5 actions a day that pertain to your CAREER as a performing artist. Hopefully those actions will be specific to your goals versus generalized actions, but we will get into more specific goals later. Meanwhile 5 actions a day will suffice to get you started.
Now your screaming at this page. How in the world is doing only 5 things a day going to get me anywhere. Well, think again! Five things a day adds up fast folks! There are seven days in a week. Figuratively speaking its like the power of compound interest. Your actions, like money earning interest, start to add up! If you are doing 5 actions a day that's 35 actions to your goal! At the end of the month, if you at least do 5 actions, 6 days a week (With a day to rest of course) you will have done at least 120 "proactive" actions to achieve your career goals.
And, like Newton's Third Law, every action (although you may not know it at the time) will create an equal or opposite reaction…
Let's look at an example…
You send an email to a theatre company for consideration for their spring show when you see the press announcement of the upcoming season and know there is a role that is right for you…
POSSIBLE "REACTIONS" from your action to the above:
a) Garners you a video submission/consideration;
b) A job offer if they know you already or are in a pinch or you just knocked it out of the park with a video submission;
c) A referral to someone else the theatre company knows for a different project;
d) Consideration for another project they are working on (perhaps you just answered their prayer of needing someone);
e) Sparked an introduction/connection with the person/theatre you reached out to so that you can reach out to them for other opporunties in the future. (This one even holds true if you hear no response becuase you can refer back to that submission in a new letter in the future if you see another project roll around or mention your initial letter if/when you ever meet them in person for whatever reason etc.)
f) And, who knows what else, the possiblities are endless!
So, now the next big question you are clammering to ask, But there is so much I want to do and accomplish? I have so many big dreams or career goals so how do I know what to do and where to start?
Well as Goethe states so eloquently, “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.”
The optimum words in this quote take "Action" and "Begin" it!
Literally pick something and start!!! No one gets anything done by debating what should be done for days upon end. For now, pick something you have wanted to achieve in your performing career and start taking actions to achieve it. You may surprise yourself. It may come faster and not be as hard to acheive as you thought.
C'mon, the world is your oyster! So Proactive Performer seize your power! The curtain is rising! Take your actions! And, just BEGIN!!!