I’m not much of a gardener, although I would love to grow beautiful flowers. Something I hear myself say over and over is, “I don’t have a green thumb.” The truth is, if I turned that thought around and put my attention on watering and feeding my plants, the result would be a flourishing garden.
If you truly believe something will not happen, chances are it’s not going to happen. Why? Because the choices you are making are not supporting your goal. A student came in for her lesson a few weeks ago disheartened after her audition. She didn’t hit the notes in her song, wasn’t clear on her choices, forgot the words, and basically fell apart. When we looked at what led up to the audition, she shared she had not done her acting or voice homework. She had also convinced herself the note was a reach for her. The next week, she met with her voice teacher, was in a positive state of mind, told the story beautifully and – no surprise – hit the note! If you open yourself up to the possibility that what you want could really happen, there is a much more likely chance you will get what it is you are hoping for. Want some food for thought? Here are three reasons you may be struggling to reach your goals in your acting career.
1. You are not preparing for success. How many times have you heard yourself say, “I’ll never get the part,” “She’s prettier than I am,” or “Why did I even bother going to that audition?” How about turning those thoughts around? If you don’t have 100 percent proof that what you are thinking will actually manifest, you may as well think a thought that’s more helpful and will support you in getting the results you want. We make up most of what we think anyway, so feel free to rewrite your “script” so that it works for you. What will life be like if you don’t have these negative thoughts but positive ones instead? You very likely will have positive outcomes!
2. You may be giving up too early. A parent of a young student of mine called the other day wondering why she was still bothering to take her daughter on auditions. She was getting a lot of callbacks but hadn’t booked a job in the two years she has been auditioning. Not staying the course will never get you the job. Callbacks are a sure sign you are on the right track. As long as you are doing what it is you are supposed to be doing – studying, keeping your marketing materials up to date, staying physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy – you are setting yourself up to succeed. It may not be in the time frame you would like, so allow yourself to enjoy the process in the meantime. Make sure you have other things in your life that bring you joy while waiting for the gold nugget in your acting career.
3. You are hitting a slump. We all get overwhelmed and have setbacks at times. Life ebbs and flows. Take a look at the three As: Awareness, Acceptance, and Action. Be aware of what is happening. Accept that you are doing the best you can at this moment, and if you are not, take some action. If you are telling yourself a negative story, ask yourself how that benefits you. It’s a simple concept but not easy – change your thoughts. Act as if what you desire is already yours. Fake it till you make it. Affirm what it is you want in a positive way as if it is already happening.
As an actor, you already know that when you are playing a role, you must make your performance real and believable. I invite you to take the same approach when it comes to your mental preparation for your acting career. Connect with the genuine emotion and truth of what you want – then make yourself believe it.
Master your craft, empower yourself, and enjoy the journey.
Denise Simon is a New York-based acting coach and career consultant who has been involved in the entertainment industry for more than 25 years as an actor, teacher, director, and personal talent manager. For 10 years, she was an associate with Fox Albert Management, one of the leading talent management companies in New York, where she managed such clients as Scarlett Johansson, Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino, Lacey Chabert (“Party of Five”), and Judy Reyes (NBC’s “Scrubs”). Denise has coached hundreds of children and young adults appearing regularly on Broadway and in television and film, as well as educating parents on the business of show business.