Success is at your fingertips. Literally! Use these steps to take control of your career and find your way to acting success. You don't need to wait for the perfect part or the best agent. If you are able to be your best self and find joy in the craft you will meet new people and doors will keep opening. There's no time like the present!
1. DEFINE SUCCESS
Make sure you know what success means to you. If you don’t do this you will use a lot of energy to try to reach something that is unclear or someone else's version of success. For some people it’s money, for some people it’s recognition from others, for some it’s being technically brilliant. Some people see success as a single point and for others it is an ever evolving aim. There is no correct answer but if you don’t make if clear for yourself, how will you know if you’re there, or still on your way?
2. TAKE A MINDFUL APPROACH
Once you know what success means to you, set some goals. You’ll need some short term goals: weekly aims and your goals for the next 3 months. You’ll also need some long term goals: An aim for the year. For every goal, create 2 or 3 steps you can take. Make sure you have these listed somewhere so you can schedule them into your calendar and tick them off when they're done. Make sure you congratulate yourself whenever you achieve any step, however small. There will be bumps in the road and you may need to move goals or change them, that’s totally fine (see point 10!) and you don’t need to feel guilty. Keep a positive internal dialogue and creative three affirmations that will motivate you when you face a challenge.
Stay as playful as possible. Play games, do some improv, spend time with friends and family laughing and being playful. Try to create space for this in your life if it isn’t there already. This will unlock creative freedom and fun that will fuel your work.
4. KEEP LEARNING
We all know that online workshops are not the same as being in a studio. But this is where we are so don’t fight it, embrace it. Your acting craft and your career will be different than you may have pictured and that’s not necessarily bad. There are completely new opportunities, ways of shooting, performing, teaching and communicating that are creating a future we can’t see yet. Hone this part of your craft now so you’re not behind with the industry shifts. I've seen students build friendships, confidence and careers over the last year working solely online. Don’t knock it 'til you’ve tried it!
5. CONNECT WITH A COMMUNITY
We all need to feel understood and to talk about how we feel. Especially actors. If we aren’t connecting with other humans who can understand us, how can we access the parts of ourselves we need to create great characters? There are plenty of people out there who want to connect and collaborate.
6. CREATE A TRAINING ROUTINE
Schedule in some classes in advance and work out whether your practice is daily, weekly or 2-3 times a week. Do as much or as little is realistic for you but make a plan and stick to it. Each of these session should be structured with a warm up, some voice work, then an exercise like working on a monologue or accent work etc. This will enhance your confidence, ability and your playfulness.
7. TAKE A BREAK
Listen to your mind and your body. When you need a rest, take it. If you’re always needing a rest then maybe you’re being too ambitious with your time. Schedule in time purely for pleasure and relaxation (remember they are NOT the same thing!)
8. SET YOUR BOUNDARIES
Make sure you know what you will and won’t do for a job and in your training. For example I will not work on Sundays. Not all jobs need to be taken. Is it very long hours, no money for 1 line in an awful script? Maybe that time would be better spent working on your physicality at home for example. This is why knowing your long term aims is essential. It might sound unrealistic but it can only become a reality when you decide it is. How can you stop yourself burning out and making work that doesn’t benefit you at all?
9. KEEP CREATING
Keep making things, scenes, videos, food, crafts, poems, anything. Keep exercising your imagination and creativity, even when you think you really do not want to do anything acting related. Any kind of creativity is good for you.
Check in with yourself every monthly. Where are you in relation to your aims and what steps have you achieved? Reward yourself and acknowledge your development. Think about what shifts you need to make with your schedule. Maybe you’re working more or less, maybe you’re rundown and need a rest, maybe you have a lot more energy than last month. Remember you are your craft, so your training and work has to be in sync with the rest of your life for you to make long term progress.