Tell me what ya want, what ya really really want…
Last Friday, the ever-empowering @ErinCronican retweeted @NYActorsTweetup’s quote: “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.” ~Madonna
In addition, I snagged this Tweet from @ACTORSandCREW back in March: In #Film, the first thing you must do is decide what you really want.”
How does a person figure out what they want? How do you know you want something? Why do we so often not allow ourselves to actually want what we want? I think one of the most powerful, essential things a person, an actor, can do for themselves is to pin down what they really desire. Mostly, this is accomplished by listening to our instincts through trial and error. For example, why does a child pick up one toy and drop another? They listen to their impulses, their gut reactions; trying out one thing and trying out another. Identifying what you want to achieve in this career happens by being honest with yourself. And through this honesty, it’s important to be open to what we find inside, as opposed to judging or pushing away our truth. Our emotions and instincts are there to guide us through this wilderness of a world; to reflect back if we are really on track with what we want, need, desire… or not.
As a base line, do you want to focus more on theatre or film? That dictates where you will live. Past that, are you wanting to live in a regional market, or go balls to the wall for a career on Broadway? Do you want to become a series regular, or supporting actress? This is just the very surface, but will completely change where your career (literally) takes you.
Firmly declare what you want in your life, and phrase it positively. So instead of, “I don’t want to do poorly at this audition,” or “I probably won’t even book this job” try “I am a great actor, and I am excited to share my story and preparation.” Just altering our words makes us feel a completely different way (more positive)! Speak this out loud, sing it in the car, do a dance for how it feels, whisper it to yourself, write it down. Visualize yourself in that audition room as a calm, prepared, enthusiastic actor (or whichever positive words are grounding and centering for you). And do remember that nothing is too high or too low for us; everything in this world is available and attainable.
So what can you start doing today to make your career, and your life, more focused on what you truly want? Start with awareness. Start with specificity. In addition to what you are drawn to by impulse and instinct, what would you fight for? What would you go to war for? That is what matters to you most. This is what you truly want. Explore your findings, and watch what notes they strike inside. Know thyself. First and foremost, know you.
Feel free to share your discoveries, and what you find works to help you define and stay focused on what you want. I would love to hear what you observe, and what additions and changes you are making to the way you pursue your goals :)