5 Ways to Set Realistic On-Camera Career Goals for the New Year

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Photo Source: Photo by Danny Feng on Unsplash

If you’re looking to boost your TV and film career in the new year, there’s a strategy to it. For years, clients have come to me for help on how to jumpstart their professional journey when feeling stuck in a proverbial rut. Although the main focus should be on perfecting your craft, there are many elements you must consider in order to have a successful on-air career. 

It’s important to set goals in order to build your business. To help keep you on track, here are five ways to stay focused and book more work in the upcoming year! 

1. Look at the big picture.
What is your end goal? Do you want to be a series regular? A talk show host? A commercial actor? Only once you’ve verbalized what you want can you start working toward that goal. Research your ideal roles, actors playing those roles, and gear your demo reel content and headshots toward that character style. Make it as easy as possible for casting directors and talent agents to visualize you in those roles. Also, make note of what resources and tools you’ll use to achieve these goals. Perhaps you’ll start attending ongoing classes, take part in webinars, or sign up for private coaching.

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2. Recognize challenges.
What are the challenges preventing you from reaching your goal? Challenges can come in all forms. A demanding survival job, children, a poor-quality demo reel, lack of time management skills, and more. Whatever the challenge, it’s important to list them all and a proposed solution. As an actor, some things are truly out of your control, but others are in your control. It’s important to recognize the difference. For instance, the amount of work put into becoming a stronger performer, creating and promoting your own content, and building self-confidence on-camera and off, is all within your control. It’s truly empowering when you focus on becoming a better performer.

3. Make a marketing plan.
Once you’ve established what roles you feel you’d be right for, it’s time to share it with the world! You’re a business. Building your online presence will boost that business and draw attention to your work. This includes marketing materials such as casting website profiles, a professional demo reel, a personal website, and headshotsUtilize social media to connect with others locally in the TV and film industry like talent agents, casting directors, acting community groups, and more. There you can find out about workshops, networking events, social media live Q&As, and more. Always be hungry to learn and be a part of something bigger than you!

4. Write out a timeline.
Writing out a reasonable timeline will make reaching your goals more attainable and concrete. Without a written timeline, you can get overwhelmed and try to tackle too many tasks at once. This leads to actors not making any real progress. Ask yourself what lists will support you in these efforts. Do you want to set goals by type? Or maybe the order of priority? Every actor is different, so do what will work best for you and your schedule. Once you set out your timeline list your action steps including date and time, and describe your life after you complete these action steps. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Visualizing life after you’ve reached your goals will help keep you motivated. 

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5. Hold yourself accountable. 
Accountability is key when trying to stick to a timeline. The best way to hold yourself accountable is to work with a certified coach or check-in with yourself on a regular basis. Decide whether a list of weekly accomplishments or a checklist that’s been completed will be best for you to stay on track. Make notes of what helped, what held you back and how you will move forward. Seeing a solution on paper will help put it into action.

Putting all these actions into place will ensure a more productive, profitable, and pleasant year to come. You have the talent, now it’s time to get motivated and make it a memorable new year!

Inspired? Check out Backstage’s TV audition listings!

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Nicole Sellars
Nicole Sellars is a certified professional media coach and founder of TV Hosting Academy, a talent development and branding group for influencers, reporters, TV hosts, and on-air contributors. Sellars is a seasoned TV host, anchor, and actress who has trained dozens of successful on-air performers and continues to consult on the ever-changing media industry. Her clients have gone on to work for national news networks, host their own show, and launch their career as an on-air contributor.
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