Wanna know something strange???
Whether you’re at the top or the bottom, there’s only one way to go…
It’s the middle that gets tricky and it’s where most actors are stuck. They’re not at the top level of the industry and they’re not at the bottom of the barrel either.
They’re somewhere in between where the possibilities seem endless. You can go up, you can go down, you can go sideways. You can go up slowly and come crashing down, so on and so forth.
It’s kind of like the old saying goes about having enough rope with which to hang yourself. Because, so many of us are stuck in the most unpredictable career stage, I wanted to bring you strategies from actors that have navigated it well.
I wanted to bring you what’s working right now to make big industry moves, no matter where you are in your career right now. Like always it’s presented with no frills, nor fluff just the hardcore strategies that you can dig into and put to work immediately after reading this.
Meet Stacy. In fact, many of you reading this have met Stacy. She’s in that highly coveted career stage, where her star is about to break through and go stratospheric. Stacy is a primetime TV staple, does 3-5 pictures a year and what is on the horizon for her is amazing. Her plate is totally full!
When you have a chance to sit down with a Stacy, the logical thing to ask would be about how she landed this role and that role, and about her preaudition routines. All valid info, but it’s not what’s important.
What matters is what led her to that point, and that’s precisely what we talked about.
Before I get into that, you first have to understand that “secrets” tend to be pretty anticlimactic and not very earthshattering. I’ve said this before and it’s important to note here too. It’s not so much the information that’s important.
What’s more important is what you do with the information! More on that in a bit…
What led Stacy to being in such high demand?...Her team! She found a good agency that took an interest in developing her career rather than simply putting her headshot on the wall.
It’s important that you do this too. Make it a priority to find your Ari Gold: someone who will go to bat for you and who is as invested in your career as you are. It may take some effort, but the great thing is that you only have to do this once.
In a previous release, I wrote about how to get a fantastic agent, so I won’t go into detail on the strategy for that here. Just know that you will need a few resources to get top tier representation. Namely, you will need stellar industry credentials and a good social media standing. More on that here.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Kenneth. His story is too tragic and too common. Kenneth hung up his acting shoes (yes that’s figurative) and called it quits a few years ago. We came up in this industry together and at some point, life just took us down different paths.
He was like a brother to me and we never really talked about why his career went downhill…until now.
I want to preface this by stating that Kenneth is about 6’2 and 220, with biceps larger than I care to compare to my own LOL! Looking at him, you would think he was a linebacker.
During our conversation about what went wrong in his career, he cried. I cried. And, I’m pretty sure our waitress was sniffling too at some point.
Here’s what happened: he simply trusted the wrong people. He is such a big personality and everybody instantly loves Kenneth, so he was surrounded by “head nodders.” In their eyes, he could do no wrong and everyone boosted his ego to unbelievable highs that didn’t match his industry standing at the time.
It got so out of control and he got so “Hollywood” that he ended up in an onstage scuffle and punched someone who can’t be named due to an NDA…Let’s just say this guy may or may not have tiger blood running through his veins.
Kenneth then walked off the set and never set foot on another. I don’t condone any type of violent act whatsoever, under no circumstance!
He takes full responsibility for his actions, and he knows that he was wrong. That’s what makes it even more painful, having to own the mistake. He now lives in NorCal and makes a pretty good living selling cars. But he’s plagued by the “what ifs” and his life today is a far cry from his potential.
The moral here is to stay centered and true to yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the accolades that come with this business. I’ve seen actors make it to Sundance as a 3rd lead who crash and burn with the same ego problems and are never heard from again.
Conversely, I’ve seen people climb from the shadows of obscurity for simply being real and for being great to work with.
Part of the problem was that Kenneth surrounded himself with people who were well intentioned but could not live up to his potential. This created a scenario in which they were hoping to hitch a ride on Kenneth’s star and sought to please him, instead of creating a symbiotic relationship.
It was great to catch up with both Stacy and Kenneth and everyone else I sat down with. I compiled a ton of Q and A type of material sourced from the questions that you guys send in, so I’ll put together a release on that soon.
There is such a contrast between these two that I felt it was important to showcase them in particular.
With everyone I spoke to, there were recurring themes and a big similarity. Everyone who was struggling to get a foothold in the industry and finding it difficult to make progress was working in their careers rather than working on them.
That means that they were focused on acting classes, reels, headshots, credit counts instead of quality of credits, etc. They were focusing on the minutiae.
Working on your career means that you have a big picture focus and you are working to expand your career by focusing on marketing yourself to the industry, networking with decision makers, and doing all of the things that bring real progress.
Also, everyone who had momentum and was doing well in the industry had a stellar reputation to point to. Here’s what you can do about that and it works whether you’re just getting started or whether you’re ready to pour jet fuel on the fire and take things to a whole new level.
So where are you in your career grasshopper?
What are you going to do to move the needle and make big career moves? Start here and see where it takes you. Ultimately, you have to follow the trend but stand out from the crowd.
Let me know what your next move will be in the comments below, or shoot me an email. Just make sure that you’re doing something today that truly moves you toward where you want to be tomorrow.
See you at the top,