Ain’t gonna like, I’m reminded every day that in order to “succeed,” you have to get out of your comfort zone.
The thing you fear doing the most, you must do. An Actor, An Entrepreneur, a Leader of People – you must be comfortable on the tight rope, with the uncomfortable, otherwise, you should go do something “safe” and be happy with that.
Being an Actor, Entrepreneur, Leader is not for the faint of heart. It’s for those who have a lot of heart – who truly want to make a difference, not only in their own lives or communities but out in the world at large. Those who are willing to reveal their whole soul – the dark and the light. Those who constantly get-out-of-the-box.
I’ve worked with hundreds if not thousands of actors, entrepreneurs, leaders. The hardest truth is that if you invest in yourself, you will get a return on your investment, and if you have nothing to invest (as in solvency), you are in the wrong professions.
My heart goes out to the actors especially. You all have special issues. First off, actors are required at every turn to invest in themselves – headshots, reels, classes, workshops, clothes, time, networking, creating content . . . well, the list is long – with absolutely no guarantee of a profit. You might make money, but to actually clear a profit? In fact, you might never make a profit, no matter how talented or determined you are.
Secondly, actors have to audition constantly and be okay (as in not frustrated or demoralized) if they only book a network, streaming, or cable gig twice a year, maybe less. Non-actors, can you even imagine going on 4-5 job interviews a week for a year and never getting a job? You would be demoralized and stop believing in yourself. Well, actors – WHO GIVE SO MUCH TO THE WORLD – live with this their whole careers no matter how “successful” they are.
“What am I doing wrong?” “How can I get to the next level?” “Why did so-and-so get that role and not me?” I hear these statements constantly. It’s negative chatter and that needs to stop, otherwise, you will get so frustrated, you will become a miserable, sour person who annoys everyone around you. (Take me as an example. I’m a very strong casting director with 24 years under my belt who now works alongside the doyenne of casting in the southeast, Shay Griffin, but there is such a stronghold in this region by one casting company that gets nearly everything in this booming market, we are without a casting job and have been for months. Do I complain and wallow in my own self-pity? Well, maybe for a few minutes . . but then I reinvent myself and my workshop/class offerings with all the many talents I have. I’m thriving in my new endeavors, and frankly, feel more authentic in what I do and how I touch people’s lives.)
The fact that you are getting opportunities is the win. Believe me, we only ask actors to audition if we think they are really good. There are no pity auditions. There might be “let’s try him or her out” auditions, but only because we saw something in their materials that sparked our interest.
Entrepreneurs and Leaders in Business, you have it so much easier, but still, it’s a hustle that never lets up. What is not easy for you is to find your best, most authentic self and then share that with everyone you meet. What’s more, networking is not enough, now you have to create videos of yourself talking about what you do and blast that all over social media, on your website, and on LinkedIn (which I still don’t love :). Talk about “putting yourself out there”! For the non-actor to feel comfortable in front of the camera? Heaven help you. But get out-of-your-box, because that’s where the rewards and “successes” truly happen.