Dear grasshopper, one of the things I love most about writing for you is that I’m constantly challenging myself to dissect what has worked to take actors to the next level. Today’s release really made me do that in a way that I hadn’t done in a while.
This turned out to be one of the most important pieces of content I will probably ever write. Once you understand what I’m sharing with you today, your swagger will absolutely change for good!
I’m about to break down for you the 3 bubbles that exist in the industry and how you can operate within them to thrust your career forward. Once you know what the 3 bubbles are, and you can identify which bubble you are operating in at any given time, you will have an unbeatable strategy for moving forward.
Not only that, I’m also going to cover how to make yourself irresistible in any given situation to achieve your desired outcome, specifically how to quickly connect with a casting director, producer, agent, or anyone else in the industry.
No one in our business has ever talked about this before so I’m happy to bring it to you now.
Before I get to that, it’s important that you understand the unspoken architecture that rules the industry. Most of us never give it a second thought, and in doing so, we do our careers a big disservice.
There are 3 main circles or bubbles that you will be operating in at any given time. It’s important that you know which bubble you are in, so that you can conduct yourself accordingly. Most of us see our careers as linear, when in fact we must conquer one bubble in order to move up to the next one.
The 3 bubbles are the newcomers bubble, the dailies bubble, and the insiders bubble.
Let me break this down further. The newcomers bubble consists of actors with no or little experience. If you find yourself at a cattle call more often than you would like, chances are you are in this bubble.
Then there’s the daily bubble. This is where most actors get stuck. It’s a middle ground between newbie, and full timer. In this bubble, you likely have an agent or you are at least in the process of selecting one. You will already have several professional credits on your resume and you should be working somewhat consistently.
Finally, you have the insider’s bubble, which is pretty self explanatory. In this bubble, you are in the know. You have made valuable contacts within the industry and you have become a “full timer.” Most of us strive to be in this bubble but the reason that so few make it has nothing to do with talent, looks, or lack of connections.
The reason is that we tend to look at our careers as a linear event rather than a series of stepping stones.
Here’s the real secret…
In order to graduate to the next bubble, you have to operate as though you are already there. If you’re reading this, you are likely familiar with the concept of “act as if.” This is it in practice. See when you are in the newcomers bubble, you have to act as though you are in the daily bubble.
When you are in the daily bubble, you have to act as if you are already a member of the insiders bubble.
You do this by creating a series of mental associations for those you are trying to influence.
Here’s what that means…
We are all governed by what are called cognitive biases. Basically, these are the filters through which we process the world. You might be familiar with some of these already, such as the herd mentality effect, wherein if you see a crowd of people running in one direction you are likely to join them without any information as to what they are running from.
These cognitive biases are the way our brains are wired, and they make up what we know as instincts. Like them or hate them, if you look at any major social or pop culture movement, at the core of it is a leader who has mastered the use of cognitive bias.
Whether you study The Beatles, Eminem, or even the Harry Potter or Twilight Saga movements, they were all highly skilled in the use of the cognitive biases. I’ll explain how you can use the cognitive biases in your career in a moment.
There are 3 of them that can be highly useful to you, as they are “stacking biases” that empower each other and magnify their effectiveness.
These are the ingroup bias, the herd mentality bias, and the credential bias.
The ingroup bias, speaks to our tendency to identify with people in our peer group. So, if you can get the casting director to associate you as a member of their peer group, rather than just another headshot, you are in like Flynn.
Let’s look at this in the context of an audition. Your goal would be to get the casting director to associate you as a member of the bubble above the one you are currently in, because that’s where they perceive themselves to be. So, if you are in the “dailies bubble” the casting director should associate you with the insiders bubble.
Anytime you hear someone name dropping, this is the ingroup bias at work. If you go into an audition and can work the actors you look up to into the conversation, this forms an association between you and them in the mind of the casting director.
For example, if you are auditioning for a comedic role, you could speak to how you learned your comedic timing by studying Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. This creates an association between you and the insiders bubble.
It may sound too simple to be effective, but remember that this is the way our brains are hardwired.
We already discussed herd behavior, and it’s pretty self explanatory: following the actions of the crowd.
Here’s how you can exploit this cognitive bias in an audition setting. This is actually something that I have personally used for several years and it never fails. The more people that are in the room, the better.
It instantly builds rapport and works in conjunction with the ingroup bias, making it super powerful. Also, because you will subtly direct the casting director to take an action, it puts you in control of the situation and the room.
It’s the palm reader trick. I simply walk into the room introduce myself as I normally would, while walking over and shaking the CDs hand. By the way, most actors won’t do this so it immediately resets the casting director’s rhythm and sets you apart from the crowd.
As they reach their hand out, I gasp softly and instead of shaking, I turn their hand over and read their palm. Yep! Truthfully, I know very little about palm reading and I don’t have much interest in the subject.
I learned just 3 things to look for on someone’s palm. This allows me to speak to both what the presence of those elements mean, or what their absence means. Either way, I always have something to say.
Remember these are stacking biases, so here’s where the herd mentality comes into play. Inevitably, everyone else in the room, will begin to study their own palms. When they do this, you have activated the herd mentality bias, with you as the leader of the herd.
This exchange should last no more than about 30 seconds but it never fails to fascinate and build rapport with the people you are trying to influence. After you finish your short narrative about the CD’s palm, you can return to the audition setting with a command of the room.
It’s as simple as that. Master these 2 stacking cognitive biases and you will be able to control a room. When you can control a room, you control your career. When you control your career, you get to decide when you are ready to graduate to the next bubble.
If you are currently in the “dailies bubble” and want to move to the insider’s bubble, act as if you already are and pair those actions with the stacking cognitive biases of ingroup bias and herd mentality. Then you will be able to take your career to the next level and become an insider.
As you move from one bubble to the next, you may find that people will start looking for confirmation that you belong. The best way to counteract this is by using the credential bias to your advantage. The credential bias is the reason that we assume people in white lab coats are doctors. We assume they have credentials and rarely question their authority.
The best way for you to “credential up” as an actor is here.
This is by far the most effective way for you to increase your credibility in the industry and it’s the perfect companion piece to everything else we covered.
Your head might be spinning after that. It’s a lot to take in but don’t overcomplicate it. Just try it out. Start with the palm reader trick and let me know how it goes. It you need any support I’m only an email away or leave a comment below.
I can’t wait to hear about your success, with these strategies.
P.S. I could literally write an entire book on the subject because the rabbit hole is that deep. If you think I should, shoot me an email or leave a comment below and let me know. This only scratches the surface and is perfect to get you started. If you want to learn more, I’ll bring you more on this in the coming weeks.