7 Ways to Re-think your Career (and Life) in 2016 pt.1
What??! A new year is upon us already. Gulp. Forgo the resolutions (which have scientifically been proven to not ever win out!) and instead, try to take a more practical day-to-day approach to the work, your career and your life’s goals and purpose. With little steps come big victories.
1. It’s not personal.
There are going to be setbacks in your life and career that hurt on a personal level. I mean we bleed!
You’re going to get cut and be wounded in this game of life. I have a student who got mostly cut out of (sorry for the knife metaphors here) a major TV show he had booked. It was a big role, but when the show finally aired, he mostly ended up on the cutting room floor. (Or I guess nowadays, it’s the trash bin icon on the editor’s computer.)
It hurts, I get it. (Especially when you invite friends over to watch the premiere. Womp. Womp.)
But here’s the thing. It happens, it’s the business, he’ll be okay, and so will you. It’s not a reflection on you as an actor. All you can do is show up, do your work, and let it go. You got the credit, you got the paycheck, and most importantly, you had the experience. It’s time to keep moving on.
2. Face Down Your Boredom.
Boredom is inevitable for creatives. And it’s essential. Our obsession with ”“ and addiction to ”“ our phones makes boredom even more insidious. We get on an endless facebook or twitter loop or go down the Instagram hole. This isn’t what we need to be doing when we’re bored. Science shows our brains need to have moments of repose. That’s a re-charging center for the brain. Literally doing nothing. That can’t happen when you’re constantly surfing social media to make yourself feel bad about your boredom (and your life).
Louis CK says: “ ”˜I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world what you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ”˜I’m bored.’”
3. It’s about the work.
Sometimes underprepared people get through the cracks, but ultimately, success in acting comes from doing the work. Be prepared. Get your acting together. So what if someone else got a job because they have 10 million social media followers? If they can’t do the job, they won’t keep getting the opportunity. So keep honing your craft in class, keep making your own work, keep the company of other artists doing the same, and stop comparing yourself to everyone else. It’s your life, dammit!
4. Never start a sentence with “I never…”
Is it even true when you say, “I never ”¦ Fill-in-the-Blank.” Probably not. If it is, stop saying it anyway. Change the attitude, change the narrative.
When we change the stories we tell ourselves, our reality will adjust to the new narrative. You’re worthy of the things you want, and if you work toward those things with a positive mindset, you will be amazed at how things can change.
5. Instagram is the new resume.
Instagram and other social media platforms are not going anywhere. Stop complaining about it. Get over it. We don’t moan about needing headshots (well, we do, but we get them, because they’re a part of the business). Same with all the new social media Apps popping up every day. It’s another point of access to achieving your goals. It’s a social tool. It’s a way of sharing your views of the world. Or it’s just another part of being alive in 2016. Stop comparing and despairing. Put your beautiful face on your App of choice and start using it as an expression of yourself. Because it is. (But don’t get addicted and use it constantly out of boredom! ”“ please see #2 above!)
Part 2 of this Blog next week.