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Clean Up, Clear Out, Get Creative

PART 1 With the beginning of a new year, I’d like to talk about this word completion.  I had a career coach named Suzanne Lyons years ago who instilled this concept in me.  Suzanne basically shared that as human beings, we often avoid a feeling of completion because it takes us into uncharted territory and if we’re not complete in our lives, it’s easy to get stuck in our stories and easy to avoid a high level of accountability.  For artists in particular, it’s essential that we tap into a feeling of completion in order to be able to create everything we’re capable of. Completion essentially means being at peace with how things are.  You don’t need to fix it, improve it, or dwell on it, but how do you know if you’re complete? You feel satisfied; you’re looking forward, not backward, and the feeling in your stomach is a feeling of excitement and perhaps gratitude versus regret.  What completion allows for essentially is rebirth.  When we are complete, it allows for creation.  When we’re not complete, there’s no room for something new, and we’re bringing baggage along with us. Start by considering where in your life or in your career you feel incomplete, and write that down.  Perhaps you have an agent that you’re uncomfortable calling.  Perhaps you have some regret about dropping the ball on a project.  Where in your life do you experience guilt, regret, or hesitation?  That’s probably a sign that you’re incomplete in that area. Next, think about what action can you take or what decision can you make in order to get complete.  Create a realistic strategy by getting back to basics.   Remember, you can always do extra credit, but this way, your goal is manageable and not overwhelming. Finally, and this is where completion comes in, I want you to decide today that you are exactly where you need to be.  Every setback thus far is water under the bridge; it no longer exists. In the past, you may have struggled, but today, moving forward, you start your action plan with a clean…[ click here to read the full post ]

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Three Agent Tips

One of the most common complaints I hear from actors involves finding the right representation.  Snagging a solid agent or manager can be tricky, time consuming, and expensive.  A lot of actors experience the old catch-22:  “I need an agent to get work and I need work to land an agent”.  What’s an actor to do? Whether you feel like you don’t have enough time or money to grab the attention of an agent, or you question whether or not you’re ready for representation, you can begin planting seeds with prospective agents easily and inexpensively.   All you need to do is commit to these small steps. Apply a Laser Beam Focus I’m a big believer in “doing less more often”, so narrow your agent list to a manageable target group of about 10 agencies.  Ask for recommendations from fellow actors and any industry connections, such as casting directors, producers, acting coaches, etc.  Do you have a peer with representation whose career you admire?  Research their agency.  The Hollywood Creative Directory, available as a reference book in many libraries, and IMDB Pro are good resources to help locate names and contact information for anyone in the industry.  Don’t forget to plug in to online forums such as the Hollywood Happy Hour Yahoo Group.  You will be amazed by how easily you can access up to date information about any agent you may be researching. Reach Out On the Cheap People often think good marketing costs money, but there are numerous effective ways to get in touch with agents without breaking the bank.  You might market to your target agents by emailing, calling the office, sending a fax, dropping off a headshot, or asking a friend to make a referral call on your behalf.  Not only are each of these steps free or inexpensive, but they’re also highly effective. Remember, you don’t have to knock an agent’s socks off with your fancy marketing package.  You’re better off applying the Rule of Seven and sending out small, inexpensive touches on a regular basis. Make It Personal I’d say the most effective way to…[ click here to read the full post ]

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Getting Back to Basics

With a new year under way, I thought it might be a great time to get back to basics.  So, lemme give you a quick reminder of what I feel is the number one marketing rule every actor must know.  It’s called The Rule of Seven, and it’ll change your life. I work with an actor named Becky who has been pursuing an acting career for three years.  Currently, she’s got a handful of indie film credits on her resume as well as a couple of co-starring roles on television.  Becky has worked with a couple of ineffective agents and cultivated a handful of relationships, but she can’t seem to figure out why her big break eludes her. There is a simple reason why Becky is not where she wants to be.  She hasn’t been consistent in any of her marketing or relationship-building attempts.   She’s tried dozens of things at one time or another and met a handful of people, but never followed up and never developed a solid marketing strategy.  Becky is a dabbler. I can relate to Becky.  During the first few years of my business, I was so eager to get the word out and to become successful that I was willing to try anything.  And I did try just about everything.  I would advertise here and there, but never really see immediate results.  So, I’d change my strategy and try something else.  I would join a networking organization, but not meet the right people right away.  So, I’d quit and move on to another networking organization.  I was all over the place. The trouble was I was touching the surface of a lot of different avenues without ever really taking consistent and persistent action toward the success I yearned for.   I too, was a dabbler. In order to truly become successful and enjoy your journey to acting success without going broke or crazy, you must do less more often.  You must target fewer people more frequently in order to see real results.  You must focus on fewer projects more regularly so you can finish what you…[ click here to read the full post ]

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