Actors: Ditch the Industry Goals and Find Success in the New Year!


Happy New Year readers! Even if you’re reading this article in July, after the fact, you’re still experiencing the world of the future versus living in the past. And if you’re reading this article in the year 2067, my question to you is: Do hoverboards actually hover now? If it is a new year, regardless of what month you’re reading this, it’s time to think about how to change and/or move your career forward, right? That is true in many ways. But when actors, writers, directors, and other creative types make advancing their careers their top priority, I ask; What are you learning? We all want to succeed, but it will be because we are well rounded and focused on other endeavors that will attract the success we want, or often times, won’t see coming.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Life happens when you’re busy making other plans?” When we dedicate every waking hour to our career goal(s) and nothing more, we miss out on life. But if we try to balance everything out, we may be surprised when our goals actually become realities. For example: this past summer, I was heavily involved in a writing project. It was my all-consuming thing at the moment and I put off acting slightly. I auditioned when called in, but I was planning on re-branding myself in the fall and focusing solely on my writing until then. Cut to a phone call I was in the middle of with an editor, when I get another call on the other line. I check my message to find out that I booked a co-star role on a popular TV show. It was incredible, and more so because I wasn’t expecting it. And even as I was returning the call to the editor, I still wasn’t thinking about it.

Life is funny that way. For me this year, my New Year goals are a mix of industry things and non industry things such as: travel to a new state, finally watch Breaking Bad, and find a hobby that I enjoy and will do at least once a week. I have plenty of career stuff on their as well, although none of them are described using terms as: BOOK, AUDITION, or SIGN, because those are great things to aim for, but it should be the focus on the stops to get there and not the actual destination that we should strive for. If I’m attending five casting director workshops a month and taking a weekly scene study class, then I’m doing everything right that I can to try and get myself working. If it doesn’t immediately come, that is not because of me, it is simply not my time. But I’m still being a kick ass actor in the process. And then when it is my time to shine, I’ll be ready. And so will you.

So if you haven’t already, I advise you to make a list of goals for the year (even if you are reading this at a point where there are only 2 months left in the year, that’s plenty of time to get s**t done). Here is a fake list for an imaginary actor that could lead to great success at any given reset point.

* I will take art classes.

* I will write and produce a comedy sketch for YouTube.

* I will read all of the Harry Potter books by June.

* I will get up on a karaoke stage by myself and rock the mic.

*I will study with a new acting teacher.

* I will see more theatre.

* I will volunteer every Sunday in the month of March.

* I will take an online college course in an interesting field.

*I will consult with a personal shopper.

*I will take a week off in November.

So hopefully you get a sense of the kind of balance you should strive for. And it’s also okay if you aren’t able to check off every single item off your list by the end of a year or given time frame. It’s more about the effort you put in towards trying new things, or even considering them. It makes you a better person, a better artist, and a better life-liver (which is actually the same thing as person, I just think life-liver sounds like a fun dinner option name). So give it a try and may you reap enormous benefits from a well balanced you in any New Year! Good luck!