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Raise Your Vibration – Energy is Everything!

Your personal energy is an extremely powerful thing that surrounds you all the time. It is everywhere and is a core part of us but most people don’t know how to manage it for their benefit. When I took a course years ago hosted by T. Harv Eker of Millionaire Mind fame, he said “Everything is energy and energy is everything”…and along side that he also said “The way you do anything is the way you do everything”.  So in my putting two and two together, I read into it that your energy determines the way you do things in the world….well duh!

I’ve noticed that a lot of people (actors) don’t even know that their own personal energy is directly related to their career milestones.  I’ve often heard people say of me that I have a ton of energy.  Well let me confess now that it almost always created, doesn’t come “naturally” and I have practiced generating it for years.  So to folks who don’t see me in the morning after a late night out, or after a full day leading a seminar when I am spent, I say to them…I created it and you can too.

Your potential as an actor lies just as much in your learning to manage and increase your personal energy as it does in your talent and skill set.  Honestly, what good is having all that talent if you don’t have the energy to market yourself, go to auditions or class, or muster the physical (and emotional) energy to STAY in this business through the many obstacles that WILL present themselves?

I’ve been working with vibrational energy a lot recently in conjunction with a good friend who has created a business all around raising one’s personal energy to increase the global energy on the planet.  Raised Vibration uses the acronym VIBE…Visualize, Intend, Believe and Experience.  I won’t go in to that too much here, but suffice to say, being AWARE of your personal energy and how you affect others with it, and how you are affected by the things you see, hear and think, ALL make a huge difference in the outcomes for the goals you have in your personal life and career.  Your personal energy is what allows you to live the life you desire and deserve.

The idea that energy can move and create is nothing new. Throughout history, different cultures have
benefited by tapping into and working with different forms of energy.  Eastern philosophies and practices that have seemed “mystical” are now much more accepted and common.  Holistic methods of healing are now sought out when traditional drugs and cures fail.  There is definitely something about this energy conversation…whether you choose to believe it or not.  It’s only recently that energy work has emerged in the West and for those who experience it’s amazing power, they soon realize anything is achievable.

And how does this relate to the art of acting?  Isn’t it that energetic connection that you are seeking when performing a scene with another actor, or the connection with an audience when on stage live and offering up your energy to move, touch and inspire?  In the end it’s ALL energy.

It also takes energy to DO all of the things it takes to get ahead in today’s show BIZ.  Look at any successful actor and they seem to have boundless energy.  Interviews, rehearsals, performances, photo shoots, special events and fundraisers, personal appearances…the list goes on.  Trust me, no one who is at the top level in the acting community got there sitting on the sidelines waiting for others to lead them down the path to success and a day “off” doesn’t exist.

Moral of this story is to find that place, space, and resource that provides and maintains the energy needed BEFORE you need it!  Really, right now is the EASY part.  When you are working at your biz, in your biz and on your craft DAILY, you’re gonna need it!

Check out www.raisedvibration.com for some great info and as a potential resource for your personal energy.  You’ll be glad you did!  Lisa Gold

Are You Committed? Hesitation is a Career Killer.

I first read this quote on “Commitment” when it was given to me in a seminar over 30 years ago!  It got my attention and has been something I live from every day…when I’m faced with even the smallest choice or decision.

In our acting community, I find indecision one of the reasons we don’t have what we say we want in our careers.  Why “choose” when it seems better to leave so many options open?

  • Indecision brings delays – and you want it FAST, don’t you?
  • Regrets usually come from what you DIDN’T do, not what you did do.
  • When you are busy deciding, someone else already did, and now has an opportunity that you do not.

Much of what is taught at Act Outside the Box is around taking action and choosing.  I see a lot of actors doing just the opposite, thinking that if they leave the doors open, someone will invite them through and show them the proper or best pathway.  It really just doesn’t work that way.

Read this quote by Goethe and see if it resonates with you like it did with me.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

I invite you to take action and make a commitment to yourself and your career RIGHT NOW in any area that you’ve been thinking…”hhhuuuumm, someday I’ll do that”.  Be BOLD (says GOLD!)

6 Ways to Conquer the Fear of Rejection

The going price for any worthwhile win is 10 setbacks. If you can handle that failure rate, you have what it takes to succeed.

Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock and Richard Burton never won an Oscar.  Babe Ruth was never named Most Valuable Player.  Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson all lost elections for the presidency before they won one.  Losers?  No. Legends.

Early in my career, when I was struggling actress, I made a list of all the roles in musical theater I wanted to perform.  Some, I admit, were far out of my reach, (to young, too old, not enough dance skills, wrong color, not the right chops, ugh!), and I wasted tons of time wishing and hoping it weren’t so.

If you’re in the acting game you better get used to hearing the word “no.” If thinking that becoming a successful, heck (really?), even wealthy and famous actor was easy, everyone would want in (ooops…sooooo many do! ). Rejection helps knock out the weak. In my case, those early rejections forced me to really listen to my potential in the marketplace and find out what I needed to do and change in order to transform the “no, thanks” to “where do I sign?”

You can’t escape rejection.  You can only let it go.  Here are some exercises that paid off for me big time:

  • Dissect thoughts under the microscope. When faced with a challenge, what do you tell yourself?  “I’m no good . . . this is too hard . . . I’ll never make it . . .?”  Don’t let negative self-talk sabotage your attitude.
  • Identify realistic fears. Whom do you fear?  What might go wrong?  Who has the power to reject you?  Why would that person say no?  The answers will help you prepare your best, and facing them will help you keep your composure.
  • Focus on the moment. Keep your perspective.  Rejection lasts only a moment, and once it’s over, you’ll be able to move on to the next opportunity.
  • Be more assertive. Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people.  Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.  Learn to express your own needs (appropriately), and say no when you genuinely can’t be of value or when you know you can’t fulfill.
  • Analyze every failure, but never wallow in one. Harry Truman once said, “As soon as I realize I’ve made one damned fool mistake, I rush out and make another one.”  Failure is a condition all of us experience.  It’s our reaction to our failures that distinguishes winners from losers.
  • Don’t rationalize away the hurt. Turned down for the gig? Didn’t get the contract?  No call back, or even a call period?  Lost out to your biggest competition?  Don’t let your worth be defined by others.  Get back in the game.  It’s not a permanent condition; it’s a short-term setback.

Ten setbacks are the going price for any worthwhile win. I LOVE statistics so look at the major league baseball standings at the end of any season: Out of 30 teams, only eight make the playoffs, and only one winds up winning the World Series. Out of all of the guys on the team (by the way, no women!) how many can you name?  There are the players in the Major Leagues and then there are the STARS.  In the end, the annual standings show that there are 29 losing teams and thusly hundreds/thousands of losers?  Hardly.  Really?  Come on!  Are you in the GAME or not?  In my book the only way you’re not is quitting, and YOU’RE not a quitter, are you?

Lisa’s Moral of the Story:  Don’t get dejected if you’ve been rejected. Just get your skills perfected!

Directors and Agent attended February 2012 First Thursdays Networking Party

First Thursdays – A warm spot in a suddenly cold week 2.2.2012

 

Elana Mudgen, Tracy Costa, and Shirley Faison What a great time we had a February’s First Thursdays!  We had so many newbies show up and each one of them networked with the class and style our industry guests have come to expect.  The room was a buzz with news of the AFTRA/SAG merger and the upcoming Super Bowl (GO GIANTS!!!). I’d like to thank Elana Mugdan for bringing along the FABULOUS Bill Connington and of course Read more

10 Simple Ways to Earn and Save MORE Money

In case you thought I was going to include winning lottery numbers in this post, I’m not! (aaawwwww!)  The answers I have for you all take work, discipline and good old fashioned ACTion!

I love sharing ways to end the “starving artist” conversation.  So if you want more money, take a good look at these 10 simple (not easy) actions that you can take today that will, in the end, make AND keep money in your pocket.

1. Reduce the number of opportunities you pursue. Focus, focus, focus.  What are your goals? The more opportunities you’ve got, the more likely you are to make mistakes with investing your time (time is money, right?)  If you can’t give ONE opportunity the attention it deserves, you’ll lose money in the end.  This is usually the case pursuing unpaid “opportunities”.

2. Increase the percentage of time you spend marketing yourself.  Let go of the “little” stuff that occupies your mind and efforts.  Reduce the time you spend on paperwork, trade some “craft” time for “marketing” time, and give up other busywork you’re seemingly always involved with. Use the extra time to get yourself in front of as many people possible that can hire you via direct mail, email, social media and in-person networking. Read more

First Thursdays – Kick Off to the New Year! 1.5.2012

I can’t believe it!  You partied without me and it inspires me to know that the turnover of this event to Tracy Costa was FLAWLESS!   Fabulous industry guests attended and grace us with the present of their presence this new year.  Nadette Stasa, CD with Background/Foreground generously gave every actor in the room the opportunity to qualify to take her 3 week on-camera commercial class for F*R*E*E.  And as a special bonus treat for all, actor Richard Kline, probably most famous for playing gold chain wearing, chest hair baring, neighbor Larry to Jack, Chrissy and Janet on the 70’s hit Three’s Company stole the show, ahem, party!  Way to go Tracy, way to go!  I can’t wait to come back for a visit in February for the Oscars!  Can’t wait and miss you all, Lisa.  CLICK HERE to see all the pics from our Holiday party!

7 Common Actor Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

What practices are surefire ways to ruin opportunities? Read this so you can avoid them at all costs.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this or some variation of it: “I tried doing X. It doesn’t work.” While it may be true that one approach may not work for a particular person or situation, it’s been my experience that the ACTion is less often to blame than the implementation of it. In fact, many actors make mistake after mistake based on their limited knowledge (hey, they don’t really teach this stuff in acting school) about how marketing really works. Always consider we are in a “supply side” market place…many, many, many more actors than are ever possibly needed at any one time.

Here’s a quick review of 7 of the most common ones and how to avoid making them.

1. Aiming at everyone. No one can be all things to all people; if you try, you’ll end up being nothing to no one.  Actors paint themselves into a corner because of a misplaced fear that by narrowing their focus or targeting less people, instead of carefully selecting who they market to, that they’ll be missing opportunities. But aiming at everyone is an oxymoron; the best “traditional” marketers understand that by narrowing their target audience they can increase the intensity of their brand’s appeal, creating interest more quickly. You’re better off being the first choice of 10 percent of the “other side of the casting table” than being one of 10 options for everyone.

2. Betting on rationality. This mistake is terribly dangerous. Choosing actors to cast in to projects or represent is often a left-brain effort, where rational thinking doesn’t often take place (hey, you’re talented…isn’t that enough? Nope.)  Most folks in this business often choose based on other things like emotion and that influences decisions that sometime baffle us.  Don’t try to figure this one out and don’t try to convince industry why they should work with you; connect with them instead. They’re depending on their gut more than you realize.

3. Advertising your aspirations. We all aspire to make a film that’s No. 1 at the box office, win a Tony, make a great deal of money, and become a household name. I’m not saying not to HAVE the aspirations, but outside of your business planning and support system, advertising your aspirations only invites people to continue to wonder when you will achieve them, making you sometimes doubt yourself.  Very few actors fully achieve any of these, let alone all of them. Aspirations are, by definition, promises that can’t be fully kept. Don’t announce them, just try to live by them—use them within the “mental game” of your business and rally your troops. But outside of your inner circle, don’t put them on external loudspeaker.

4.  Seeking approval by committee. If you can’t agree with your family on what type of pie to serve at Thanksgiving, how can you expect a roomful of “creatives” (cd’s, et al) to agree on something as subjective talent? Everyone’s taste is unique, and the fewer people involved in the creative approval chain, the better. If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up with a gooey mess that nobody wants to eat. The best committee is a committee of one. You!  Make choices, stick to your guns and remember, if you only try to please yourself, at least one person is always happy.

6.  Starving the budget. An anemic marketing budget may save bucks but it will cost you business and gigs in the long run. If you don’t have a healthy cash flow, with a reasonable percentage allocated to marketing, you’re not a real business and will be OUT of business sooner rather than later.  Notice I said a marketing budget, not money for more acting classes.  Yes, you have to invest in keeping the skill set competitive, but if you’re not marketing regularly and have the financial resources to do so on-goingly, you’re SOL (pardon my abbreviation). Find the best way to save and then spend the money. Also, keep in mind that sometimes investing in your own education to learn about how best to market is included in this (hint, hint).

7.  Anticipating industry will act very quickly. When was the last time you leapt out of your seat to do exactly as an ad instructed? Marketing doesn’t work that way, and as consumers we all understand that. Yet when you mail out our headshots, do a show, meet an industry guest at a seminar/class/workshop, we somehow expect to see immediate results. It takes time to seed a message, and credibility grows through consistency. Plan your efforts well, and stick with them. As obvious as it sounds, every time you start over, you’re starting over.  Consistency is KEY.

8.  Chickening out. Plans are terrific, but plans are just words on paper. Even though I’m a GREAT supporter of having a business plan, it’s amazing how much time and money actors spend on getting their acts together.  Often when it comes to “pulling the trigger” on a plan of action, many succumb to stage fright when it’s time for the curtain to rise. It’s easy to come up with reasons NOT to do something, surrendering to fear of the unknown. But just as writers aren’t writers unless they write and actors aren’t actors unless the act, marketers aren’t marketers unless they market. Not everything you do will work, but with each mistake you’ll be learning and growing. The key here is to ACT OUTSIDE THE BOX.

There you go. 7 tips that can save you time, money, and a lot of frustration as you learn from the mistakes of others, including me. Now you’re free to make new mistakes of your own (when you do, I’d love to hear about them).

To Your Success, Lisa Gold

Box Office Friday – Larry Crowne

Today’s movie, Larry Crowne, is one of my favorite KINDS of movies.  Romantic comedy, known in the industry as RomCom, is a favorite escape.  Humor, romance, some kind of silly conflict to over come, popcorn and familiar faces as I sit in a dark theater with a big screen.  (I’m not a movie-at-home/Netflix kind of gal!)

What I think I like most about this one is that it is also directed by Tom Hanks.  Now there’s an actor to admire not only because of his acting but for how he lives his life.  He’s managed to have a life and career untouched by controversy, drug or alcohol abuse, has a loving marriage…heck, he’s a GREAT guy and creates an atmosphere on his set of fun, play and ease.  He hasn’t written a tell all, produced any illegitimate children, screwed over any partners or done anything that anyone could call him a bad guy for.  I’ve seen interviews about the atmosphere he created on this movie…playful, easy, and no “struggle” allowed.  He’s loved by cast and crew alike and that translates to what we viewers see on the screen.

And that’s the point – a career filled with joy and pleasure, goodness and abundance, starts with a life that is full of the same.  Many actors seem to think that a successful career is what will have them have a happy and successful life.  I think it’s the other way around.  If  you enjoy what you’re doing in life, then that IS success.  Stop struggling (it’s optional!) and start enjoying the process.

Lighten up, have fun, and like Larry Crowne, make the best out of what some could consider a set back.  Life is what you make it and so is your career!  I’d love to hear how you are ENJOYING the process of pursuing your acting career!  Tips or hints to help other readers take the struggle away would be very much appreciated!  Lisa Gold

No More New Years Resolutions

2011So here it is, another year. Funny how we make such a big deal out of the turn of the calendar page. Really, what’s different? Today followed yesterday and precedes tomorrow…just like usual. I guess it’s just the global agreement that this is a chance for us to start over, begin something new or improve the things that could be enhanced a bit.

Lots of actors make resolutions to do the things they didn’t the year before so that THIS year they can really get out there and work! Well I’ve noticed that the actors that have this attitude on March 7th, August 21st and October 16th are the ones that really get it. EVERY day is a chance to start again, take on new practices and get in or stay in action. Read more