Since moving from Chicago to Los Angeles, my acting skills have gotten better, my network bigger and my successes more frequent, but that’s all relative to ground zero. I started acting at a later age than most, so I have a lot of ground to make up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in it for the long haul and I’m not expecting to be an overnight success, but there’s a difference between being patient and waiting for something to happen.
I’m a pretty proactive guy – I go to acting class, participate in casting workshops, belong to a variety of actor/writer groups, engage in discussions about the business side of acting and listen to numerous podcasts of actors and screenwriters to gain additional insight. Doing these things, however, does not give me a competitive advantage. It’s the bare minimum – the price of entry to pursue an acting career. Sure, some actors have had commercial success right away, but they’re the exception and not the rule. If it was that easy, everyone would do it. It’s not.
So back to my original question – what’s going to be different this year? Something has to change. To quote Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I used my free time at the airport and in flight over the holidays to think about what else I could do. As much as you tell people you do, you can’t fool yourself. There’s always more you can do. And by more I don’t necessarily mean more activities. You can go through the motions of something without actually getting the most out of it. I had to ask myself if I was truly immersing myself in my acting pursuit, or merely checking off a to do list to assuage my conscience on a superficial level. The hard truth is that it was largely the latter. Now, to be fair, there are some aspects of the craft of acting in which I have been fully invested, just not all.
This revelation, although I probably knew it on a subconscious level, served as the basis for the overarching themes of my 2013 resolutions. Yes, I have a formal list of resolutions broken out into sections and bullets that fall within the context of three major themes:
- Commitment – I will be more fully invested intellectually and emotionally in whatever I do
- Real Relationships – I will make the effort to go beyond a superficial level of familiarity with the people I meet
- Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone – I will challenge myself to overcome fears and insecurities to have new experiences and broaden my abilities
I plan to apply these themes to my acting, my online business and my health throughout the year. Hopefully, changing things up will lead to progress and satisfaction. At worst, I’ll be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I’m not just going through the motions. This blog is meant to be not only a chronicle of my activities from this point forward, but also a sounding board for thoughts and perceptions of the journey along the way (sorry for sounding lofty). Maybe, it’s also a way for me to be accountable to myself. Even if nobody reads this but me, there’s gravitas in putting ideas in pixels on digital screens that makes promises more real. We’ll see.