It’s the end of the year, again. That’s right: 2017 is coming to a close and many of us are starting to assess how many of our artistic endeavors were accomplished (or not) over the last 12 months.
For most actors, this time of year can be filled with a lot of anxiety and even sadness over feeling like they didn’t check off certain boxes that they’d planned to back in January. But rather than be upset about the things that didn’t happen, let’s take a different path this year. Instead of wallowing in the things you feel like you missed out on or didn’t do enough of or the person who booked more roles than you, let’s assess this year through a new lens.
Remember that you’re an actor and artist. That in itself is a gift that can’t be taken away just because you didn’t book an arbitrary number of jobs or secure the representation you hoped for. Being an actor is powerful and hopefully, you do it because you love it and you love telling stories that reach audiences. Sure, we all want the series regular or box office hit, but your power and ability to reach audiences are not limited to those two things. Whether you were in a web series, PSA, indie film, play, etc., if you gave 100 percent of yourself as an actor and told the story truthfully, you accomplished something this year that a lot of people didn't: You lived your passion, followed your dreams, and touched someone even if you don’t know it.
Sure, you can think of a lot of things that didn’t go your way, but why not make a list of the things that did? Write down everything you did this year that was out of your comfort zone. A bold step you made, a risk you took, a friendship you fostered, a connection you acquired, a new place you visited, a lesson you learned...you get the idea.
Now, make that list of what you didn’t accomplish and simply roll it over into the new year. The beginning of the year is an exciting time of actors (pilot season, anyone?) and it’s important not to enter it in a slump over the boxes left unchecked from last year’s list. This is an exciting time! Start preparing for it right now.
Are all of your sites up to date? Are your headshots a perfect representation of you and how you want to be cast this year? Is your reel ready to go and split into smaller clips that can be used for pitching? Do you have a target list of shows and casting directors you want to get in front of? Are you practicing your self-tape auditions often? Has your resume been cleaned up and ready to be seen as a professional working actor? Are your agents and managers clear on your goals for the new year? Are you studying the craft of acting daily? Have you defined your branding? Do you know what pilots will be casting in the new year?
See where I’m going with this? There is no time to be negative about what you didn’t do because there is much work to be done to prepare for the new season. Are you prepared? Are you ready? Eliminate excuses and get ready.
If there were things you didn’t like this year, change them. Do things differently. Take your career by the horns and own it.
If you just have to throw an end of the year pity party for yourself, you get one day to have the best pity party you’ve ever had and then you get yourself up and go get it done! Happy holidays and wishing you all a successful 2018!
Keena Ferguson, a multi-artist, is known for her bright warm smile, strong presence, and agility as an actress.
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