Every day, I see promises of instant results. Actors are targeted more than we care to admit. We so desperately want a change in our careers that we actually believe the promises are true. Worse, we believe that instant results are better than long-term results. Most people would rather pop a pill to cure their aches and pains instead of investing in regular body movement like Tai Chi or morning walks. The red flag for these promises is usually a number in the ad like, “Top 6 Foods for Weight Loss!” “Top 3 Ways to Triple Your Income!” We see the number 10 (or less) and suddenly intense hope fills our being, and hope springs eternal.
My recent booking slump has really me gotten down. I resisted seeking help, because like most actors, I told myself that I couldn’t afford it. I kept hoping that something would turn around. Finally, I realized that I couldn’t afford not to seek help. After investing in private coaching, I felt confident and energized. I breezed into my auditions knowing that things were changing for me. I planned my month in advance as if I booked everything. Then . . . crickets. No bookings and only one callback. I can’t understand this. I mean, when I first came to town, opportunities just flowed to me. Bookings came immediately and often – all with no agent and no coach. Then yesterday, while I was doing the dishes, it occurred to me that I was looking for instant results.
Don’t get me wrong – I believe that good things can happen right away. (In fact, they have.) I also believe that hope is necessary. It is, after all, the only thing that fuels our pursuit of happiness. What is wrong, I believe, is getting caught in the trap that the artist’s journey is linear – believing that if I do A, B, & C, then D will automatically happen. What is wrong is sitting in the disappointment of non-instant results. I believe in the coach, the support group, the “Top 10 Tips”, but I also know that these artists’ survival tools are meant to used over and over and over. When I do the daily work, expect nothing, and hope for everything, the world of all possibilities opens up to me.