If you’re reading this article I hope that means that you want to be apart of this crazy lifestyle AND that you’re looking to be inspired to pave a path of your own; and while I totally encourage and support your journey, there are a few things about taking complete control of your career that you should know. For example-
WHEN YOU “FAIL”, YOU ONLY HAVE YOURSELF TO BLAME.
I put quotation marks around the word fail because I don’t really believe in the word fail. I think “failing” or whatever word you use to describe not succeeding to complete something you’d hoped, are really just fabulous learning experiences wrapped in “Oh sh*t” moments.
You must fail at least once to learn how not to do something in order to learn how to do it. When you take control of your career and create projects of your own, often times when stuff doesn’t work out you literally have no one to blame but yourself. This (for people like me) can be a bitter pill to swallow when you hold yourself to a rather high standard.
For myself, I feel like I’ve dropped the ball or “failed” to do what I promised my “Macabre Mondays” followers. I said that season 2 of my web series would be premiering at the end of January. Well, it won’t be and that’s all on me. I failed to manage my time wisely and started my research way too late which means I’m filming way too late which means my editing and finishing of an episode won’t meet my deadline. My project, my fail. AND YET instead of falling apart I’ve compromised and decided that I would at least have a teaser for the series up by the end of the month. Now I know managing my time is as important than ever. Fails ALWAYS lead to new insight.
YOU HAVE TO BECOME YOUR OWN PR AGENT.
If, like me, you have no representation and are creating projects, you need to realize that with that means you must promote your work. Like allllll the time. You can’t be shy in this industry. No one’s going to know that a new episode of your show is out if you don’t share it on Twitter and Facebook or email and reach out to friends to share it as well. What good is putting great work out there if no one sees it?
But what if people get annoyed and take it the wrong way with me always posting my own work? Too bad, let them deal with it.
You can’t care what everybody thinks if you want to be successful. The worst that can happen is they can unfriend, unfollow or unwhatever you and honestly if they don’t support you supporting yourself you’re probably better off without them in your life anyways.
YOU NEED TO BELIEVE YOUR WORK IS GREAT.
One of the most poignant things I’ve ever witnessed in my acting class was when my teacher, the crazy amazing Brent Harvey, had one of my peers repeat these three sayings, “I am a good actor, I am a great actor, I am an amazing actor.” It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever witnessed as I watched a beautifully talented actress sit on the stage after a great performance and barely be able to repeat those words through her tears. The point of the exercise was to shine a light on how so many of us have a hard time telling ourselves (or others) that we’re great at what we do. How many times have you met someone and felt a little shameful about calling yourself an actor because you don’t feel like you have earned that title yet? Where is that line of earning and not earning begin and end?
Taking control of your career means you have to believe in yourself and your work because frankly, if you don’t no one else will. It means meeting new people and saying with pride what you do for a living and no I don’t mean talking about your waitressing job. For me, it should sound like this,
“Hi! My names Malia Miglino, I am an actress and make-up artist and currently have a web series that I created in production for it’s second season.”
If I met that girl I would be like, “whoa! good for her!” Not like, “ Huh? Who is she?” It’s a game of illusions and if you don’t believe you’re good enough now then keep faking it until you do.
Taking control of your career is a lot like getting your first car. It takes a lot work, hell it takes a lot of money, but it also feels good to have something all of your own to get you places. If you don’t take care of it, get in an accident or anything else in the myriad of stuff that could happen, at the end of the day you only have yourself to blame. All of that considered, most people don’t let that stop them from purchasing cars just like all the responsibility you have to take on by wielding your own career shouldn’t stop you from doing it.
You are good enough. You are great enough. You are amazing enough. Now get out and do it.