How will I make 2019 better than 2018?
New Years is an especially perfect time for actors to ask this question.
• Where are you now, and where do you want to be this time next year?
• What will you need to do to get there?
• What specific actions do you need to take?
• What do you need to learn? And how can you learn it?
• Who do you need to become to create these results?
Passion and talent are necessary components of an acting career, but they are only the beginning. They are not enough.
The difference between the passionate, talented people who dream of being in film and TV and those who are actually doing it? Action. Consistent action.
Start where you are.
What actions do you need to take to move closer to your dream?
No matter where you are, there is something you can do. Don’t get caught in the trap of waiting until everything is in perfect alignment, because that day never comes.
If you throw up your hands and say, “It’s impossible, I’m too far away from LA and I can’t afford to go, so I can’t have my dream of being an actor,” then you will be in the same place next year. Maybe you really can’t come here this year (and I would be the first person to caution you to NOT go to LA before you are ready). And if you are already in LA, the following suggestions will still help you move closer to your dream.
There are a number of things you can do right where you are. Right now.
Here are some ideas:
-Sign up for acting classes
-Audition for local theatre
-Take a dance class
-Take voice lessons
-Make a list of award-winning or nominated movies and schedule time to watch those performances, paying close attention to what those actors do to make you feel such emotion
-Educate yourself about the business side of the industry: sign up for IMDb Pro and spend time learning who’s who, and how the different pieces connect
-Read books! If you’re a parent, start with my Hollywood Parents Guide. If you’re a young actor, start with Young Hollywood Actors
-Listen to podcasts! Yes, I recommend Hometown to Hollywood—at over 85 episodes now, it’s an incredible resource—an audible library of information on the industry, and stories of how successful people got their start. Listen while you drive or work out, but make the time and start to take in those episodes. Bonus: they will also inspire you!
-Get help! Take a course* or invest in a consultation with me. This industry is confusing and you can waste a lot of time—years of your precious life—approaching it in unproductive ways that get you nowhere. Or throwing money toward things that won’t get you closer to your goals. You can learn a lot in a short time by not trying to reinvent the wheel.
-Work on your whole self, not just your industry-related skills: become the kind of person who is capable of living at a level of high accomplishment
-Give your word and keep it. Practice integrity
-Be organized and professional
-Take responsibility for your actions
-Practice checking your assumptions
These are just a few things you can do, wherever you are in your journey, and wherever you live, to get closer to your goals this year.
How much do you want this dream? How much time are you willing to spend toward getting it? Acting can be a hobby, or a career, and both options are great ones. For some people, keeping it in the hobby category may be the best choice.
But if you want to act more than anything else in the world, let 2019 be the year you make some tangible progress toward that dream. Any career requires training, education, and work. Acting is not different. Make a plan, invest some resources, and take action. A dream without action is just a wish. A dream with action can become the blueprint for an amazing life.
Set your intentions for 2019 and follow through with action. What do you intend to accomplish? Make a couple of reasonable goals. Then make a couple of outrageous ones. Shoot me an email and let me know how it’s going.
Here’s to an exciting, beautiful year for all of us.
*PS—yes, this was a little foreshadowing. I’m launching my online courses early in 2019. Keep an eye on this space for announcements and special discounts available only to subscribers!