Motivation is the energy that fuels success. But intention is the spark that ignites the motivation. Intention is my favorite word. There is power behind it. When you intend to do something, your actions become strong, as fear does not play a part. There is no room for the passive energy of “trying.” To try something gives you a way out. You can become complacent and lazy. I hope this helps you to uncover the truth in your own self-belief process and change what is needed for your own success. Here are four questions to help you determine where you are in your own game.
1. Have you been at this for years but still feel like you are trying?
At the beginning, with a rare exception, most people start out by “trying” acting. Once you begin to understand your craft, you try to get an agent. Once you secure an agent, you try to get auditions, then callbacks then bookings. Because this is a career that does not happen overnight, and actors have been in the “trying” mode for so long, it becomes a repetitive action that has been reinforced in their muscle memory. Think back to your first breakthrough in acting class. Did you feel great in the moment? Did you set a steadfast intention this would be your career? Or when you struggled with your next class, did that instantly fill you with doubts and put you back in the "trying" mode? When you have intention, you own each of your successes, and when you are struggling, you view it as part of the process that is serving you to make you better. Doubt is never part of the equation.
2. Have you booked jobs but then feel like you hit a wall?
When you get a booking, it feels fantastic but odd as it is actually taking you out of your comfort zone of “trying.” When your success is aligned with an inner belief that you are talented and worthy for your dream, then a laser focus and intention kicks in. And this will last in between bookings no matter how long it takes. When the Lakers go on a 10-game losing streak, get blown out of the playoffs or don’t make the finals, they never doubt they will never win another game. They keep on pushing, make changes and make it happen.
3. When you achieve success, do you rest on your success?
You have struggled for so long that when you book a job, it feels so good not to have to work so hard. Only this is actually the time when you must work harder! The trait of champions is that they cannot help but always up their game. Kobe’s incredible artistic display is a byproduct of how hard this man works. And it has been consistent throughout his entire career. This is what happens when one is connected to a higher purpose of path. The actors I work with who have won Emmys, Golden Globes, and SAG Awards all put in even more work and want more extensive coaching once a job is booked. Their actions back up their intention to be great at the role. They know a booking does not make you great. Your performance does. If you rest on any success, that is the level you will remain until you drop lower.
4. Are you addicted to the struggle?
Many are. We have Dr. Drew helping addicts. Yet no one is approaching this very common addiction. Actors emotionally and mentally give up between bookings. They self-sabotage at the final hour of producers sessions. They cause problems on set when they have finally hit the level they have dreamed to reach. They look around and place blame on everyone else. They confuse being in the dramatic arts with being overly dramatic about life. They create and feed off the energy of chaos where there is order. They have struggled for so long that this is their comfort zone. They know how to act within it. Because they are so caught up in their own dark web, they have not connected to shining their own light to inspire others.
No matter what level you are at in your career, if you have not adjusted out of the “trying” mode, then the feeling you receive from success will just be temporary. Even if that takes destroying the success you have actually built. Take personal inventory. Clear your shelves of anything outdated that no longer works in your current system. Replace it with the faster, more efficient hardware. You cannot connect to a wireless dream, if you are operating on a dial up system.
Right before a recent game, I told one of my Lakers players this.
“Set your intention with steadfast belief that the Universe will present the moment to back you up. You do not need to force a thing. Stay present. Step into the flow, and you will have the vision when the right moment is presented to you. Remember, there are no ordinary moments.” Actors, take note, as these words also apply to you. The ball always finds the energy. Your determination will always outlast your dream.
Constance Tillotson is CEO of Sterling Studio. Her studio had over 200 bookings last year. Actors in her studio are renowned for their extraordinary work in major feature films and television. Her booking actors range from 5-years-old on up. She is also a top pick for private theatrical coaching and preproduction preparation. She is an actor, writer, director, and producer. She also works globally with children building self-esteem through filmmaking. She is a talent manager at LA Management where she helms the careers of a select group of successful clientele. www.facebook.com/sterlingstudio