Kaizen for Actors

Safety quality complexity and speed 

Must have goals, and rules of engagement like frequency, private time, discipline to do the work then enjoy, 

Enough already Grasshopper! It seems that everyone in the industry is chasing the magic formula for finally making it in this business. 

Fortunately, it now comes in pill form! Take 2 everyday and you will wake up a star in no time… 

Obviously I’m kidding, but it you look around at your circle of industry friends they are pretty close to searching on Amazon to see if that exists. 

When I talk to actors nowadays, everyone is obsessed with new success hacks, affirmations, nailing the perfect morning routine so that you can carry positivity throughout the day, etc… 

All of that is important but what if you didn’t need any of it? 

What if the secret to making big career moves had nothing to do with any of that? 

Imagine if all you had to do, in order to build the career of your dreams, was just one thing every day?

Well, it really is that simple. 

To fully understand what I’m talking about let’s take a quick trip to Japan. One of the toughest parts of human history to look back on is what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Bear with me for a sec, this is important. 

For most of us 1945 was a few lifetimes ago, but I think we can all agree that it’s not exactly ancient history. 

Think about this. How did Japan go from being reduced to piles of rubble to what is widely considered the most technologically advanced country in the world? 

This is not just a history lesson, it has everything to do with your acting career. 

See, there is an ancient Japanese principle called Kaizen and if you apply it to your career, you too can make the same improvements. 

Here are the implications. Consider what we just talked about regarding Japan (reduced to rubble and then became the most technologically advanced country). Why is it that they were able to do this, after basically being wiped off the map, while other countries that went undisturbed for centuries did not progress nearly as quickly. 

It’s the same reason that actors who have been in the industry for decades get stuck and do not progress, while newbies come out of nowhere and skyrocket overnight. 

It all comes down to Kaizen. 

Here’s what Kaizen is. It means “continuous improvement.” 

That’s a no brainer you might think, but how many people are actually practicing it? 

It’s kind of like the saying “a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” When you are living by the principle of Kaizen you are committed to making incremental improvements everyday. 

As actors, we are typically told that we have to shoot for the stars and swing for the fences. However, while you try to make one giant leap, there are other actors that slowly creeping up and that will surpass you before long. 

Every time you swing for the fence and miss, you end up right back where you started. What it really takes is a hybrid approach. 

I’m a big proponent of making yourself uncomfortable by going out for roles that you are not prepared for, pursuing and meeting people that you are not supposed to meet yet, and I do believe in shooting for the stars. 

As an actor you should aim to improve your skillset and your marketability, more on that in a bit, by just 1% every day. If you only did that much, where would be after just 1 year? 

If you swing and miss, no problem, you are still making improvements and moving forward everyday. 

Whether you are trying to rebuild an entire country or if you are just building an acting career, Kaizen can get you there. 

Think of it this way. It takes about 500 words to speak almost any language conversationally. So if you resolved to learn just 1 new word everyday it would take you just over a year to speak the language proficiently. 

The task doesn’t seem so daunting now does it? 

Maybe you want to learn how to do your own stunts, so that you have an advantage over other actors. There are about a dozen base moves that a stunt actor must master. 

If you resolved to work on one a little bit each day and focused on just one move per week, you would be a stunt actor by summertime! 

Want to master a new dialect and open up more on screen opportunities for yourself? Take it one day at a time. Dialects are determined by how a syllable is pronounced. Focus on just one syllable per day and again, you would master your new dialect in record time. 

Reach out to someone you want to work with, whether it’s a director, another actor, producer, etc. everyday. 

Don’t aim to contact the whole town at once, just reach out to one new person everyday. By the end of the year you will have contacted 365 industry decision makers. 

That is more than most actors will attempt throughout their entire career. 

That’s the Kaizen difference. 

So give it a try and chronicle your journey. At first, you may feel like you’re not doing enough. Trust the process and stick to it. The results will be compounding, and you will be amazed at just how much you are able to accomplish in your career. 

You also want to make sure that your industry reputation and marketability are top notch. Here’s how you do that.

I’ve seen actors do everything else correctly and neglect this part. What happens is that your potential gets ahead of your reputation. 

To make sure that you are fully able to capitalize on every opportunity that comes your way be sure to handle this now. Don’t let it be an afterthought.

So what will you take on Grasshopper? What career moves will you plan on making? Let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email. I read every one that comes through. 

See you at the top, 


P.S. One of the most common questions I get from actors, is about how I can help them to move their careers forward. Since I can’t be everywhere at once, this is the next best thing.