I see actors make a lot of mistakes that could totally be avoided. When it comes to figuring out your fit in the vast marketplace of actors, where there’s a large supply and you’re not yet in demand, distinguishing yourself, i.e. defining your product, is ESSENTIAL. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
1. Not Studying – There is a tendency for the human mind to exclude or minimize what it cannot understand, which ultimately weakens its powers and perceptions. The trade-off is a seeming sense of safety in what is known and familiar. However, the exquisiteness of life is going beyond what you already know into the wonders of what is yet to be created and revealed. You’re here to fulfill your potential, not just have potential, and realizing that education and study is what expands your opportunities that begin with your thought process IS the key. Finding and figuring out what you’re uniquely selling could be done via an in person class, mentor/coach, book, video or online course and will assist you in climbing the ladder of success as well as give wings to the longings of your soul.
2. Staying Comfortable – Different ships, same boat. What I mean by this is that many actors think being active in a routine that has them in class, getting a few auditions, and adding one IMDB credit a year, though they may be different classes, auditions and credits, keeps them in the game of show business. Yes, I talk a lot about feeling good and being comfortable does feel good. But if you want more for yourself and your career in the manifested aspects of “reality” which translates into a discernable expansion in your network, resources, bank account and experience of joy, then you’ll want to learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Get out of your routine and include new things you haven’t tried before. Fear of failure is what keeps you stuck. F-A-I-L simply means First Attempt In Learning. After you try something a few times and fall, you’ll realize that ACTing outside of your comfort zone is the fun and very point of it all.
3. Treating Showbusiness Like It’s Not Your Business – Many actors love the creative aspect of the career they’ve chosen, have spent years learning their craft, then present themselves as ready and available for work. The business aspect of showbusiness isn’t a primary concern and will work itself out because their talent will shine and be the thing that gets the work. However what most actors haven’t realized yet is that show business is like every other business where the bottom line is the bottom line. You have to get ready to be ready for the business of show too. You’re the CEO of your own company, a small business if you will, and treating your career without considering the product you’re selling and to whom, will have you be out of business before you start. Starving artists stay starving because they don’t consider themselves business people. If you want to make money acting, then think like a business person, not an artist. Once you’re being paid to act, then you can bring forth that creative magic that only you can deliver. The good news is that business and marketing is a learnable skill, just like the craft of acting. It’s great to have some inherent abilities of course, but with a little bit of focus and practice, you can go from disaster to master in a short period of time. Begin now.
4. Giving Your Power to Others – “You are a luminary, a sage, a wise one, a high priestess/high-priest, a wizard, and a supreme manifestor.” I draw one of Doreen Virtue’s Archangel Oracle cards every day and recently got this one saying Take Back Your Power. I wanted to pass this message on to you because I believe as a creator, you have this power inside of you and need to be reminded…just as I did. This is the biggest mistake that I see most actors make. It is their own willingness to be so powerless over their own careers…not a victim per se, but wanting someone, anyone, everyone, even me, to “do it for them”. I recently got an email from a woman, who after one of my very descriptive and step-by-step, here’s what to do to get an agent posts, asked me to personally get her an agent or take me off of the mailing list, which of course she could also do herself! It’s ALL up to you, and not realizing even when you do have a rep, that you are in charge of your own career and no one will ever focus on it or care about it (not even your mother) as much as you do, is a MISTAKE worth avoiding…and easy too!
By the way, your talent agent and/or manager will thank you and be more receptive and attentive to you if you are aware of exactly what you’re offering that’s different from everyone else. What adjectives and language are you using in person or in writing? Being on the same page and working side by side in alignment is what that relationship is all about.
Have you made any of these mistakes? Any others you’d like to share that we can avoid too? I’d love your comments below!