The Hidden Power of Surprise

Written by Dallas Travers, CEC

You know the importance of surprise in your acting craft. The best moments arise when you don’t have an agenda for how you think a scene should unfold. Well, I’ve got an important marketing message for you that mirrors this acting truth: you must be willing to surprise yourself.

You cannot fathom what is possible for your future and you certainly cannot plan for it. So the opportunity and challenge that awaits is to simply replace your need to know with a willingness to find out.

You don’t have to know precisely HOW you will book your next big job. You can only know for sure that you want it and that you’re willing to leap toward it.

That’s why you cannot reach your full potential without the element of surprise.

Remember this: When the what is clear and the why is strong, the how takes care of itself.

When your goal is clear and your desire is strong, how you get there unfolds on its own. And trust me…the road is always surprising and it often brings about bigger results than you planned for.

In order to harness the hidden power of surprise, you must simply:

1. Define clearly what you want. Clarity about what you want paves the way for the “how” to appear.

2. Tap into a deep desire. What is your why? What’s your motivation for being an actor in the first place? Make sure this ‘why’ is strong and much bigger than you are. Acting is your purpose and you must fill your tank everyday with that strong feeling of purpose. It’s inside of you, but you’ve got to access it and bring it to the forefront.

3. Trust that the goal is already on the way. This does not mean that you can just sit at home and wait. Your resume will not grow if you’re not growing. Instead, take inspired action toward your goal and be willing to surprise yourself. Stop trying to control the process and laser in on the end game instead. The how will happen.

Have you been leap of faith in your career? How did the element of surprise work in your favor? Let me know in the comments.


Respected as one of the entertainment industry’s leading experts, Dallas Travers teaches actors the career and life skills often left out of traditional training programs. Her groundbreaking book, The Tao of Show Business, has won over five awards including first prizes at The Hollywood Book Festival and the London Festival along with the National Indie Excellence Award. She has helped thousands of actors to increase their auditions, produce their own projects, secure representation and book roles in film and television.

If you’re ready to jump-start your acting career, get your FREE Thriving Artist Starter kit now at

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