Last night a good friend of mine, Peter, was our guest speaker in class. He’s simply awesome. He and I used to do scenes together as classmates in scene study class a couple decades ago (hard to believe!) and I cast him as my “Uncle Conrad” in my first pilot that John Bowab directed. We had so much fun back then and we are still having fun now. It’s just so interesting to see his journey and how much he’s grown as an artist. Last night inspired me greatly. It was such a great reminder that we can keep marching up the hill. Peter is getting better and better roles and he’s still Pete! Down to Earth. Fun to be around. Great sense of humor. It was a breath of fresh air to see my old friend Peter.
I loved all the questions the students asked after watching only a fraction of the different reels we could have played. I truly enjoyed the great opportunities that last night presented. Last night it was Peter. Soon it will be you.
It’s unbelievable how quickly time passes. Will you use your time or let the time use you? Peter has used it so wisely as has all of our guest speakers. Our guest speaker before Peter was Sherri Shepherd who is also nicely on the way up. She’s using her talents and moving forward. All of our guest speakers have been so very inspiring. I can’t wait until you come and guest speak for our actors. We have a spot reserved for you. What do you need to do so that you can inspire people just by showing up to an event?
You need to train. You need to rehearse. You need to refine your unrefined talent and boost your confidence. You need a great group of actors with which you can grow. You have to stick with this each day and march up the mountain. (See yesterdays blog “Consistency”)
We are past the thing about “Can I do this?” Absolutely. You can. The question is will you choose to stick with it or will you get caught up in the dramatic excuses used by 98% of all actors who ultimately quit? Will you realize that “it’s just not a good time in my life now” is a cop out? Will you realize that quitting acting even temporarily to get your degree isn’t a good call (always act!) as many people never come back. Will you succumb to the temptations of moving out of state or out of country. Wild adventures have a way of tricking actors out of their careers. Can you beat the excuses back and keep marching?
March! Keep your eyes on the prize no matter what tempts you. Remember that quitting acting is never necessary. You can always act if you are focused. Last night Peter mentioned a couple years where acting wasn’t paying his full living so he did handy-man work to pay the bills. This was right in the middle of a long professional career. That’s fine. It happens. Did he quit acting? No way. He kept moving forward. Last night was his turn. Soon it’s yours.
This probably sounds like “pie in the sky” talk to some of you. I’ve seen it so many times. So many of my guest speakers (I average 12 a year) are simply actors I was in class with back in the day! They kept rehearsing. They kept auditioning. They booked and you will too. It’s not a magic formula. It’s not that they were so much more talented than everyone (in most cases this isn’t true at all). It’s that they kept marching. Even when people told them they needed to “grow up.” They kept marching. Even when people told them they wouldn’t date them because “they didn’t want to date an actor.” They kept marching. Even when people offered them high paying jobs but they had to quit acting, they kept marching. Can you commit to this march? Can you make it to your turn? It’s coming.
I remember times when I thought about doing other things. I’d already started teaching acting and I adored it, but I felt the call of law school. I nearly took my LSAT and I’m so glad I didn’t. Could I be a great lawyer? You bet your ass! Do I need to prove that to myself? No. I’m sitting on a winning lottery ticket. I was just distracted by temptation. I never lost my focus. I kept marching. Today is my day. I’m living my dream entirely. That’s what I want for you. Can you withstand all the various temptations and keep marching?
I know you can. I’ve seen it so many times now I’ve lost count. Each time we see someone living their dream it reminds us that we can live ours. We can’t see enough examples. Hang around people that are living their dream and are supporters of you. You’ll remain inspired. You’ll adopt the belief of “why not me?” You’ll know with 100% certainty you are in the right place. Acting is your destiny. Things are going to happen for you. Can you be patient? They may not happen today or even this year, but they will happen. Just. Keep. Marching.
How can you march right now after reading this? Call up an actor who challenges you and who you love to be around. Schedule a rehearsal for a scene that you love. Run lines. And…. Action!
Keep marching. The top of the hill is waiting for you. We’ll hold a spot just for you.
Onward and UP.