NEW YEAR, NEW(ISH) YOU
Ah, the fresh start of a new year. Isn’t it just lovely to close one chapter and begin another? After such a long and restful holiday, we’re back to help you get your New Year off to a great start. Yes, it’s a bit late to still be making resolutions, but it’s never too late to dedicate your time to improving yourself! For lots of people, this means losing weight, being more thankful, cursing less, etc. (or all of those things if you’re someone like me). But because you’re an actor, you can use your resolutions to move your acting career forward or just improve your skills and appreciation in the art. Let’s get started. Auld Lang Syne it up.
THE PERFECT 10
Taking notes? Good. I’ve consulted the leading acting references to compile my very own list of resolutions for YOU to be the best actor you can be in 2017! Here are the ten:
1. Save dough – This should be a resolution for everyone, actor or otherwise. But as actors, we know the work may not be constant: a commercial here, a movie extra there. Save your money so you’re not stressed during those lulls, but also in case your dream role pops up across the country and you need to book a flight and hotel to audition for it. Be prepared!
2. Study the classics – A new year is a great time to take the time to snuggle up on your couch with cocoa and binge on the movies that inspired you to be an actor in the first place. Plus, there’s still a lot you can learn from the Humphrey Bogarts and the Bette Davises of the classic movie era.
3. Be a social butterfly – The last resolution aside, keep in mind that no door opens if you never get off your couch and get into the world. Marketing yourself on social media, on professional sites, at networking events, etc. can do wonders for your career by creating connections and making impressions. (Now realizing that you can totally socialize from your couch because it’s 2017. Even better).
4. Put in daily work – We’ve all heard that opportunity knocks. It doesn’t. It presents itself when you beat down the door. So make it part of your daily routine to better yourself as an actor, whether that means classes, making a daily video, whatever. Put in the work.
5. Make sacrifices – Priorities are important. Keep in mind aw you move forward into 2017 that you may have to give up some things in order to be the actor you’ve always wanted to be. Maybe you can’t play video games for more than an hour because you have to study lines, maybe you stay in for dinner to save the money. Whatever it means for you, just be at peace with the fact that you can’t do it all.
6. Say ‘Yes’ more often – You never know what one little project or one networking event may lead to. Stop making excuses and just say yes!
7. Take a risk once a week – Make it a priority to do something out of your comfort zone every week. After all, acting is all about stepping out of your bubble. Try doing something you’ve never done before and just see how great it makes you feel.
8. Be helpful and supportive – Acting can get competitive. If someone gets a role, well, you don’t get that role. It can be hard to be kind towards your opponents. But remember that acting is a community, and (hopefully) all actors are in that community for the same reason– to express themselves through the art and do what they love. Also keep in mind that kindness is contagious, and you never know what another actor could do for you.
9. Be grateful – Work may not come often. You may not book much. It’s ok! Just be thankful that you have the experiences you have! Didn’t get the part? Well, that audition was great practice for the next. Haven’t booked for a while? More time to write that screenplay you’ve always dreamed about.
10. Respect yourself – One bad audition can destroy an actor’s self esteem. Now put together a career of bad auditions. Acting is not for the faint of heart. But remember that YOUR ABILITIES are not always the reason that opportunities don’t arise. Maybe you were too pretty for the part. Maybe you were too tall. Brush it off! Keeping your head up and positive self perception will be better for you and your career in the long run.
Written by Katherine White / January 13, 2017