Light a Fire

Light a Fire

Light a Fire

You don’t go back to school anymore, but September still feels like a time to get busy.

So take advantage of the feeling.

Take a minute to reconnect with the big picture.  The project that is your life.  Your acting.  And your longing to be among the best. Write an email to yourself with new thoughts about what you really like in your work.  What you like to watch in others.  And what you’re sick of seeing.  What are your new insights about the business.  About yourself.  Off the top of your head, write down a new set of goals.

Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Welcome back.  Now ask yourself: am I ready to recommit to this project?  Yes?

Good.  Then here we go.

What are the new steps you want to take?  Re-edit your reel?  Meet a new list of casting agents?  Good.  Highlight your next two steps.

Put them in your calendar.  This will probably mean making a phone call or going online to make appointments.  Do it now. (Or make a date with yourself to do it.)  Look for the ways you can translate items from your list of goals into do-ables in your calendar.  This transforms dreams into reality.

Now, consider new acting skills and techniques.  It’s time to up your game.  You’re very good at talking for real with a script.  Good at listening.  Good at finding humor.  Good at getting to yourself emotionally.  You’ll want to continue to practice those skills.  But how about creating surprise?  It has been my experience that if you can surprise a casting person twice in a two page side you get some very genuine respect.  If you can surprise her three times, you get a wow!

What about your physical life?  The technique of what to do with your hands.  Have you become a master at that?  You can.

What about the goal of including your most provocative self into your work and doing so without any muscle or gripping?  (This is when acting is really a pleasure to do and a pleasure to watch.)

Are there any new techniques for feeling comfortable in the waiting room even when scary competition is waiting there, too?  (Yes, there are!) Learn them this year.  What a difference this will make in your work and your life.

Now go back to the email you’re writing yourself jot down new thoughts about acting, about where you feel stuck and the very real possibility of getting unstuck, of making everything better.  Know that this will make your life richer and deeper.

Think about your true allies.   The people who see you, know you, affirm you.  Make a list, then take a minute to drop them a note and thank them.

Use this exercise to clarify what you can do, today, tomorrow, next week, to become the artist you’ve always known you were born to be.

And light a fire under your ass.  You’ll enjoy the heat.

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