His head was held firmly underwater. His arms were frantically flailing and splashing. As he struggled to breathe, the young guy could feel the life escaping him. Feeling like his face was about to explode, the hand on the back of his neck pulled the young guy out of the water.
He collapsed at the river bank, savoring every breathe he feverishly took. Finally able to catch his breath, the young guy asked of the perpetrator “What was that for? [gasp] You could have killed me! [gasp]”
“Young man, when you crave success the way you craved a breath of fresh air…that is when you will succeed. That is the secret of success.”
I don’t remember when I first heard that parable or even where I first heard it, but it is absolutely true!
Success in any business, but especially in the entertainment business is never a maybe thing.
It is deliberate. It is always a go all in, risk it all, go big or go home endeavor.
Are you a pretender or an actor?
Are you going all in, or just pretending you are so that you don’t have to face the music about how you gave up a long time ago?
Since you’re here reading this release when you could be seeing what #GrumpyCat is up to these days, let’s me know that you want to succeed as an actor.
In this release, I am going to be bringing you wisdom from the very beginnings of the industry, through today.
One of the recurring themes that you will notice is that, without fail, those that became legends in the industry and shaped the way you and I get to perform our craft today, went all in-all the time.
There was no in between. There was no gray zone of safety. They didn’t preface actions with “I’ll do this when I ____.”
None of them took no for an answer. When there was no way, they literally created the way and it paid off big time!
Take Lois Weber, for example. She has been credited as “the most important female director ever.”
She entered the industry at a time when women weren’t even allowed to vote! Despite hitting every barrier that her male counterparts hit, she also had to deal with a gender bias.
Yet, she is credited with the very first full frontal female nude scene with the film The Hypocrites.
In an interview, towards the end of her days, she said. “I didn’t see myself as a woman on set. I always saw myself as an artist. And art sees no gender, no color.”
So, what can you learn from her? There are no limitations to what you can do. It is all perception and will. If you feel that something is holding you back or keeping you from building the career you deserve, do what Lois Weber did with her 1916 film “Where are my children”.
Attack your perceived limitation head on.
This will put you in control of the issue and the conversation. That film was about abortion and birth control…in 1916. At a time when pants were a no-no, and women were not considered worthy of the right to vote, Lois Weber took control of the conversation surrounding her.
Your perceived limitations are likely minor by comparison.
Are you short? Stop putting risers in your shoes. Embrace your stature and create a category of one, where you are the only logical choice.
Are you a few pounds “healthier” than the industry norm? Spanx is not the answer. Create a category of one and dominate it. Amy Schumer style.
I’ll explain. Have you ever noticed that when a kid actor is discovered, all of sudden there are a dozen films slated that suit them perfectly?
Remember Haley Joel Osment and his meteoric rise following the Sixth Sense?
Same with Dakota Fanning. She rode her wave to War of the Worlds and beyond. Her star began to fade, when she became sort of lost in a sea of teenage actors which she mostly blended into.
Now think of an arrogant, almost smug but likeable middle aged actor with an unshakeable southern drawl…
Who comes to mind?
Billy Bob Thornton. Category of one.
He didn’t take 1001 speech lessons to learn to “talk Yankee.” He embraced what his limitation was and created a category around it.
Not to diminish his work, but I don’t think he would have had the career he enjoys today without embracing that southern drawl. Think about it. Does Armageddon work with a different actor in his place? Hard to imagine.
The theme of going all in is echoed in the story of Samuel Goldwyn. He arrived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant, after walking over the Canadian Border.
He had no formal education, no money, and simply went all in and figured it out. He was a founder of several major studios from Paramount to his namesake, MGM.
Starting as a glove salesman who left Warsaw, Poland on foot, and arrived in the US on foot, he went on to usher in the Golden Age of Hollywood. It wasn’t because he sold gloves and made films on the side.
He went all in! He didn’t take no for answer and when he encountered an obstacle, he found a different way.
His career is similar to that of David Geffen. They both built businesses, and either sold them or merged the businesses in ways not seen before their time. This was often their way finding an alternative route to get what they were after.
Geffen left the William Morris Agency to become a talent manager. While seeking a record deal for one of his acts, David kept hitting a wall.
No one wanted to give the unproven act a chance. So Geffen started his own label, signing the act to it. The rest is history. He went on to lead several other
companies, most recently DreamWorks SKG, yet another venture founded to “create a way.”
The takeaway here? Go boldly where others have been unwilling to go and do what they have been afraid to do.
Success isn’t always about breaking through barriers. Sometimes you just have to find a different way to get to your end goal.
What is that for you? Maybe no one wants to give you a chance at a leading role…so create one for yourself. It’s actually how Sylvester Stallone got his career off the ground.
Nobody would cast him, so Stallone wrote Rocky and shopped the script until someone agreed to fund the picture and allowed him to star in it.
See, it’s not always about simply refusing to quit. Often, success requires that you step back and take the road less traveled by. You might be thinking. “Sounds great Scott” but I can’t write a script!
So partner with someone who can. There are as many writers looking for opportunities in this town, as there are actors. Find a director that is seeking the same as you two and together you will have everything you need to get a great project off the ground.
Create what you need. Whether it’s an opportunity or a mere introduction. Create it!
Howard Hughes, during the filming of Hell’s Angels, pioneered and created an entirely new way of capturing live action. Unsatisfied with the look of the film, he created his own style of capturing the action in such a way that put the viewer in the midst of it.
This is similar to what James Cameron pioneered with Avatar. He created a 3D world almost completely in CGI. This hadn’t been done before, but realizing that his vision could not come to life using traditional means, Cameron created an entirely new technology to accomplish it.
So grasshopper, it’s time for you to do the same. Go create, fail and find a different way. Never stop trying but don’t make things hard on yourself either.
My inspiration for creating the BoostMyStar system and Community came from David Geffen. I looked around to find something that would provide me with the tools and strategies that I needed to succeed in the industry and found nothing.
So I created it. What we have in our tribe is special. It is actors from all walks of life, coming together with the goal of breaking into the industry by giving themselves an overwhelming advantage.
It’s what BoostMyStar allows you to do. You can immediately use it to give yourself credibility and leverage in the industry.
Every time I get an email from a member of the tribe celebrating a recent win, my heart swells with pride and joy.
I’m very proud of what we were able to create and you can read all about the BoostMyStar system here.
After all, this is where it starts. You can apply everything above and execute it perfectly, but if you don’t have the right pieces in place to get in the room and close the deal you’re just making it hard on yourself.
So, if you want to make it in the entertainment industry as badly as you want to breathe, this is the logical next step.
Go here now and you will see how this fits perfectly into the equation and how it will give you a tremendous advantage and set wheels motion, starting today.
Howard Hughes is credited with putting the final nail in the coffin of the Studio System in Hollywood. What will your mark on this town be?
It doesn’t have to be something as grand as that but it should be something. So, make it easy on yourself and check this out.
Until next time or until we cross paths on the lot,