by Gregory Watkins
With the new year of 2018 upon us, it’s a good time to think about your acting goals for the coming year. Your goals should be unique to you and where you are at, but here are a few to think about:
1. Get into class. Make your training a priority and be Consistent. While you are there, spend plenty of time on your scene preparation and give it all you’ve got! World class athletes are always training and working to get better. Being an actor is no different, as an actor is an emotional athlete. As Edward Norton said “The more you do your homework, the more you’re free to be intuitive: But you’ve got to put the work in.”
2. Update your marketing materials. How is your headshot and resume? Is your headshot current? Does your resume need updating? Are you assembling digital material for a reel? Your marketing materials are your packaging as an actor. It’s good to review these and make sure they are current and show you off in the best possible light.
3. Work on self-submitting. While having an agent is great, you should not rely solely on them for your career marketing efforts. You should continue to self-submit for a wide variety of projects to get you and your face out there in front of producers, directors, and casting directors. Acting is a business and YOU are the product. MARKET your product!
4. Strengthen industry relationships. Once you meet a casting director, director, producer, agent, etc., you should stay in touch with them. You may not be right for the part today, but maybe there is a role you are perfect for in six months. So stay in touch and keep your face in their mind for when your role comes up!
5. Work on personal development. We all have strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to recognize what your weaknesses are and slowly work on improving those weaknesses and turning them into strengths. Maybe you need to be more self-confident, or more aggressive, or self-disciplined, focused, etc. Figure out your weaknesses and work on them!
6. Spend time being a student of human behavior. When you are in Starbucks next take some time to observe human behavior. Look at the people around you. Chose one in your mind and try to really observe him or her. What is this person like? What makes him absolutely unique? Name three qualities that make this person different from all the others in the shop. Can you pick up a gesture he is doing? Try to imagine the life of this person. What does he do for a living? Does he have a family? Where is he going now? Use your imagination. If you would dramatize this person’s life, what type of film would it be? A love story? A drama? A comedy? Why? Perhaps in a scene you are working on the coming months, there are aspects of this person you can bring into the character you are playing. As Meryl Streep said “I’m curious about people. That’s the essence of my acting.”
7. Have more fun. A lively, grateful spirit goes a long way toward helping you have the right positive attitude toward achieving your career goals!