Well-meaning coaches everywhere are telling actors to treat their careers like a business. We’re told to be the “CEO of our own Company”. We’re expected to spend a minimum number of hours working hard at our business. But working towards a bottom line “at all costs” is a prescription for anxiety and depression.
As Creatives, we often feel the pressure of having to prove what we’ve accomplished, especially at holiday gatherings. Consider this alternative:
Instead of listing what we’ve done
(or going down that rabbit hole of what we’ve
not done), let’s reflect on what we’ve
It is our life experiences, not our accomplishments, that make us who we are. Think about that.
Think about all the cool stuff you experienced last year – in the last decade – that has brought real impact to your life and is responsible for the awesome person you are. Look at your favorite photos. The best ones reflect experiences, not activities.
When we look at what we want to achieve in the next decade, we can choose to either be in a state of anticipatory delight or in a state of aggressive control. Our daily routines can either be filled with aliveness or crammed with forced discipline.
Every day, I am delighted to discover new, unplanned opportunities: auditions, table reads, theatre productions, showcases, interviews, etc. Actually booking a job is just the icing on the cake!
Let’s create 2020 Goals that make us giggle at the possibilities, ones that are free of promises to “do better”. When we play with setting career goals – I’m talking full-on play – we always end up having fun.
Over the last 5 months, I’ve taken money education classes through the Actors Fund in Los Angeles. The first seven weeks we examined our earliest money memories, our family history, our assumptions about money, and more. This was not easy, but with carefully guided homework and weekly discussions led by a professional social worker, we saw things more clearly. We discovered that while we (all artists) claimed to be broke or bad with money, none of us had the same amount of it. None of us had the same parenting around it, and none of us had the same “script”.
For years, I thought my script was one of “scarcity issues”. Turns out, that’s just a catchphrase used to sell wealth seminars. When I discovered what my true script was, the clouds parted, and I was ready to take on the next phase of unearthing my real numbers. Discovering exactly what I earned and spent each month – down to the penny – was both terrifying and liberating. Louise Hay says, “In order to clean your house you have to see the dirt.”
Money is just one facet of our lives that needs identification. It also applies to our talents – if we don’t know what are talents are, we will never use them wisely. When I work with entrepreneurs and artists (one in the same, really) I say, It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you. And we must begin with ourselves. What do I want? What kind of person do I want to be known as? What brings me joy? When we recognize who we really are, it frees us to fully express it. We no longer give away or talents, but instead we use them wisely, and life no longer slips through our fingers.