A Motivating Kick in the Pants

Just a few words of wisdom (stolen from a well known marketing campaign) … Just Do It. Put away the excuses. Put away the what-ifs. Put away the “when the weather is nicer and I have more energy.” The time is now. There will never be the perfect time, or the easy time, or the time when all of the pieces will line up exactly the way we want them to. So…

Just Do It.

January and February are prime months for new year’s resolutions, and when June rolls around, many actors have already felt that initial surge of motivation start to wane. Excuses start creeping in, and then we start hating ourselves for (once again!) letting go of our goals, and the vicious cycle goes, and goes, and goes…

So, I thought I would help address some of the common excuses we actors tell ourselves so I can help break that cycle:

“It’s too expensive to do a mailing right now.”
I think it is more expensive to let your headshots gather dust on your bookshelf. Someone once asked me how much I spent on headshots, and how many were sitting on my desk. I answered him, and he said, “Wow. That’s an expensive paperweight.” Moral: Waiting costs money too.

“I am too nervous to audition.”
Nerves about auditioning cannot be addressed in class or working at home- they can only be addressed by practicing in the audition room! The good news? Unless you are rude or are TERRIBLE at your audition, you will probably slip under the radar and they won’t notice small flubs or missteps. Moral: Auditioning is the best medicine for nerves.

“I am too busy to market myself.”
There are two versions of this phrase- busy with acting work, or busy with everything else. I’ll address both. Acting Work: Great news! You’re reaching goals and making it happen! But too busy? You cannot afford to lose the momentum you have worked so hard to achieve. Marketing is just as important in good times as in bad. Everything else: If your day job, social life or hobbies get in the way of your acting career, it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself why. If you really want to reach a goal (in this case, being a working actor) you have to find a place for it in your daily life. Moral: There’s no place for “too busy” in this business (busy-ness?)

“I need to complete my website / reel / postcards /  headshots before I can get out there.”
This really is two separate issues. First off, money and time are always a factor, but if you are really serious about your career, you will find a way to pay for your marketing materials. Period. (You find ways to buy those shoes, or to pay for the newest gadget. You’ll find a way to pay for these too if you make it a priority.) Secondly, you can still move forward while you are waiting for your materials to be done. If you keep waiting for things to be perfectly done, you will be waiting for the rest of your life. Moral: You need to get out there so you HAVE a career to market.

“I’m am an artist, I shouldn’t have to worry about this business stuff.”
Yeah, you’re gonna have to get over that one. Art and business collide the minute you try to make money as an actor. This is called commerce. Surround yourself with people and/or teachers who will help you access the business in a way that doesn’t make your head explode. If not, you’re are decreasing your odds of success tenfold. Moral: Your business efforts allow you to make art!

Those are just a few of the excuses that run through my head. If you have others that are making you feel stuck, shoot me an email and I’ll give you the motivating kick in the pants you need to help you reach your goals!

Erin Cronican’s career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. She currently is the Coach and Founder of The Actors’ Enterprise, and pursues a professional acting career in New York City. To learn more, check out www.TheActorsEnterprise.org and www.ErinCronican.com.

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