How to Avoid Desperation

In this week’s video, I’ll address a question I get asked a lot.

“How do you keep fear from getting in the way of your best work when you haven’t worked in a while?”

You and I both know that fear is poisonous in the audition room, as well as in your marketing.

So, what is the secret sauce behind keeping fear at bay so you can freely follow your dreams?

Watch this week’s Acting Business Bite to find out.

Now, it’s your turn… How do you overcome the fear that arises between acting gigs?

Share your thoughts in the comments box below.


25 Responses to “How to Avoid Desperation”

  1. coops says:

    #ABB – Always Be Beyoncé

    • Dallas says:

      Oooh… love it. Or as Beyonce would say, “Always be Sasha Fierce”.

    • DAVOUD says:

      Beautiful shelves Dallas.
      I think it is as well important keep studying philosophy and psychology. This is of course vital even during the gigs, still somehow between the jobs since more flexible time in hand, if unplanned it can easily cause anxiety. Boost up your spirituality and perception towards life. You do not be religious doing this. rEvalue everything you believe in on and on reexamine. You build up integrity for not making you and your career a puppet in hands of others who many times can act upon very basic needs than the genuinely artistic ones. Then you can be ina place like Travolta saying no to 35 m.

  2. A good set of points to stay “clear” and not slip into discouragement.

    I don’t need a J.O.B. at this point, but still get uneasy during weeks like this one, both Holy Week and Passover, when things are naturally slow.

    It’s a boost to be reminded that I have plans to pursue more commercial acting — and can put it to work on Monday, when everyone is “back”, and can start to develop a table read of one of my plays, also a perfect project for a slow week.

    So glad to be a TAC member. Thanks, Dallas

  3. It is a huge challenge to generate enough income to sustain a reasonable lifestyle in a major metropolitan area like Los Angeles, and yet still have the time and energy to devote to all the techniques of pursuing acting mentioned in this video. A few hodge podge gigs here and there, although they may be different sources of income, in most cases do not add up to enough to cover rent, utilities, groceries, gas, and then on top of that, the outrageous expenses related to pursuing acting. It’s possible that most actors are far more comfortable with being in debt than others, but it’s the ones who aren’t that seem to suffer the inevitable vicious cycle that eventually forces them back out of the business and back into a time-sucking day job, thus losing the momentum generated by the brief chunks of time when acting can be the sole focus.

    That being said, I do love these videos and always find useful information I can put into action immediately. Thank you so much.

    • marie-francoise says:

      Hi Miki!

      I totally agree with you! your post made a lot of sense. I have been in that cycle countless times myself and have office job now. I did realize early on however that I don’t want to be in a full time job so I found a part time one that also gave me benefits (I have a child so that’s important). It does mean that I have less to spend on clothes and holidays (which I believe are also important) but I couldn’t stand to have the life & soul drained out of me in a full time job so its a sacrifice I am (temporarily) willing to make.

      Now, on your other points — Dallas did suggest a myraid of things to do in order to generate additional income its probably better to focus on just one, at least at first (It took Brad Pitt about 20 years to have all that going on so lets give ourselves a break!). If you are in a time-sucking day job that pays well (if it doesn’t then quit), then maybe now would be a good time to invest in those rather expensive voice over class, make a demo real and make connections with VO producers and agents. I bet within six months you will have made some real headway and could be soon doing just that for income as VO work is really lucrative! I’m talking to myself as well as you because I have found the ‘multiple streams of income’ part quite challenging and overwhelming too. Sometimes I have to listen to the video more than once and allow all the negative voices to calm down before I can latch on to one golden thread that I can use.

      Thank you for your comment. It made me feel less alone! Wishing you well in your journey Miki!
      Namaste, Marie-Francoise

    • Dallas says:

      Thanks, Miki for your comments. I totally appreciate how expensive it can feel to live in a large city. The main reason I encourage you to have multiple streams of income boils down to the energy behind it. When you know you have money coming in from your J.O.B, plus a VO gig, some film work, etc. you can release any desperation you might feel in your next audition because the rent is covered (or can be) in a variety of different ways.

  4. Andy Gates says:

    Thanks Dallas, it’s always great to get your boosts of encouragement when that negative voice of mine likes to chime in. That can sometimes lead to desperate thinking. I like how your approach is balanced and sane. The answer can sometimes be simple like “stay active”! Good to hear.

  5. Emilie says:

    Thanks a lot Dallas !
    That's so important for actors and artists.
    I understood your third point only few months ago and it made a big difference in my life and my work. Since I have lot of acting and directing proposition only by releasing the pressure I always had about money !

  6. Carrie Rutledge says:

    Yes! I get the fear part. My challenge is actually to be acting everyday. I practice cold reading at home, but it’s so much better to get feedback and work in a group. The more I’m acting (class, shooting my own content, whatever) the more I get called in and the more confident I am. I’d love to get a group of actors together and do readings of content were writing or work on cold readings.

  7. Nice putting fear in perspective, Dallas! As you were talking, that little critic voice popped up and kept rationalizing ways to negate your suggestions but all that voice is is the same fear that fuels desperation or any other kind of negative “-ation” that my brain likes to invent to keep me small. FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real. I always repeat that to myself. I’m the only one holding me back. Time to let go!

    • Dallas says:

      Michele, fear is powerful. It shows us what matters. But you’re right. It really can be false and designed to keep you in the status quo.

  8. Lisa J says:

    Love this TAC Bite…really great to hear today. I think I will start taking acting class again since I’m not in a show. When money gets tight I guess I can always babysit?! And of course I am always marketing…thanks Dallas!

    • Dallas says:

      Thanks Lisa! Don’t forget… you can form your own actors group to read plays, review sides, etc. That way you’re always acting even without spending extra cash.

  9. Shaelynn says:

    Love love love the info that you give! Very grounded and down to earth in a business that so often is not! It helped me not feel embarrassed about all the things I do to support myself and my family so I can still create. Thanks so much for the reminders…..

    • Dallas says:

      Shaelynn, thank you. I really admire your ability to release the self-judgments that might come up when your only income isn’t acting income.

  10. I nip those fears in the bud by creating my own work…

    Thanks Dallas!

  11. Brooke says:

    Thanks Dallas! I’m a director, and your ideas are invaluable to me. Actors, you’re not alone – directors, producers, and artists of all kind get paralyzed by fear, too!

    I’ve had this video bookmarked, but unopened, since you posted it, and just watched it for the first time today while I was in a bit of a fear funk.

    As a director, I was indulging the fearful thoughts, too, like “but my work is so dependent on others! what if other people somehow keep me from doing my work? what if I can’t get enough passionate present actors on board to share my work with me? what if the world doesn’t need any more directors?”

    Thanks to your video and the inspiring comments below, I remember that the work is the thing – if I give myself permission to keep directing (reading, working on the script, vision, rehearsal activity plans, etc.), and keep forming relationships with other passionate people, then the collaborators will come.

    The universe really does give you exactly what you need when you need it – if you’re open to receiving it :)

  12. Arrrrrgh….I need to work with you again, Dallas! This was so great and so focused! I know you are the MAVEN of career coaching. Looking forward to future programs I can join – your 42-day-book-a-job challenge was one of my most successful actions in the last 10 years. Thank you for being so generous with your time and advice! Lotsa love!

  13. Everyone aim to become an actor or actress,having a good attitude and work hard is the best way to success.Be open minded in everything and think positive.

    how to be a actor

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