Do you sometimes feel like you are trying so hard but are just not getting anywhere in your acting career?
You’re making contacts, you’re applying for roles, you’re on social media promoting yourself, and you have an agent who is putting you forward for roles… But you never hear back, right?
Or you go to audition after audition but never actually book the role?
You may even get a flicker of doubt; am I doing the right thing? Will this ever work? Will I ever be good enough?
It’s perfectly normal to feel this way at times. But, you can choose to give up when you have hit a block, and many do, or you can choose to turn your mindset around, keep going and make magic happen, regardless of what it takes to get there.
Because the thing is, being a professional actor isn’t easy and it’s not supposed to be either. That’s why only the most dedicated, strong minded and persistent actors actually make a career from acting.
So, you can take the easy road out and stick with the 9-5 job that you keep saying you hate, then keep wondering what would have happened if you had persevered. What if your break was just around the corner? What would your life be like now had you just stuck with it?
Or you can keep going regardless of what is going on around you, or how you feel, because if you are really made for this, you would never be seriously thinking about quitting because it’s part of you. It’s who you are.
Sure, you might humor yourself every now and again by wondering what you could do instead, or saying you’ve had enough, you just want an easy life. But you and I both know that you were born for this and there is no other option.
Now here’s how to turn this feeling of being stuck around quickly!
1. Get real.
How much of what you are thinking to yourself is FACT and how much is a story you are telling yourself? Do you really never hear back or book auditions? Or does it just feel that way? Track your figures to take emotion out of the equation and to find out what the reality is.
2. Your reasons WHY need to be strong enough
Answer the following questions:
- Why do you want to be an actor?
- Dig deeper! What does it really mean to you?
- What difference will it make to your life? To those around you?
- How will it feel to get there?
- Is it worth it?
3. Get crystal clear on your vision for the future.
Where do you want to be in 10 years-time?
Close your eyes and visualize it. Where are you? What do you spend your time doing? Who are you with?
Work through all of your senses and make the colors, textures, smells, tastes and sounds vivid in your mind until it feels like you are already there living it.
Then ask yourself…
What did I do to get there? What person did you need to be and what actions did you take?
4. Set your goals and be bold!
If you aim high, you are likely to reach a higher level than if you’d set your sights lower, but set some more achievable ones as well to keep you motivated as you tick off your achievements.
Set your goals for 10 years, then 5 years, then 1 year, 3 months, this month, this week and TODAY!
When you’re setting your goals ask yourself why you want every one of them, and if your why isn’t strong enough, wipe it off the list to allow yourself to focus on the ones that do really matter on a deeper level.
Now look at that list.
What do you need to do daily, weekly and monthly to make it happen?
5. Share your goals.
If you’ve told people your goals, this will help to keep you accountable. Put it out there into the universe that you intend to achieve your goals and will do what it takes to make it happen.
6. Reward yourself every time you achieve one of your goals.
Yes- every single time you hit a goal, reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything big or costly, just something that makes you feel good.
7. Keep a list of awesome achievements.
Write a list of everything you can think of that you have achieved at any point during your life (not just acting related), and keep adding to that list. Then, when you have times where you are doubting yourself, look back on this list to quickly turn your mindset around and get your head back in the game!
8. Remember this…
THERE CAN BE NO SUCH THING AS FAILURE, WHEN THE BURNING DESIRE AND STUBBORN REFUSAL TO BACK DOWN OVERTAKES LOGIC OR REASON.
You weren’t born to be ordinary… You were born to shine!
Eirian Cohen is the founder of Northern Star Acting and co-producer of ESG Media, LTD. (If you want to really develop your craft, we are holding auditions now for our acting for film and television courses in Leeds and Sherburn in Elmet)