On the Verge of Quitting Acting?
Life on life’s terms.
The COVID-19 pandemic is highly unmanageable for so many of us. We wear our masks, we wash our hands, elect people who we hope will have more effective policies, and try not to go insane. Fixating, therefore, on people “leaving the business” in the midst of this calamitous moment may feel tone-deaf.
However, there is something upsetting to me about our peers who have put their acting careers on hold, and whom I know will never come back. Some of them have proclaimed they have outright quit.
Now, there is nothing wrong with that. Frankly, acting and being an artist is a job, no more valuable in my mind than any other. COVID’s devastation has only expedited the a valid process many of us go through; after some time we realize we’d rather do something else than acting. Excellent, “God bless and Godspeed,” I say with the utmost sincerity.
There is, albeit, another class of us: those who cannot imagine our lives without doing this, for better or for (mainly) worse. We believe we’ve tried everything, and we have worked tirelessly to get our foot in the door. This phenomena existed pre-pandemic, many actors have pounded the pavement for years, even decades, some with moderate success, finally deciding to call it quits.
They may not want to give this up, but they see no path forward, no way to make it sustainable. No way to make it “happen.”
Working with people pre and post pandemic, we agree with some of these people on the verge of quitting. There is no way to make it happen…on their terms.
We, at Artist’s Strategy, believe with strategy, accountability, and humility almost ANYONE can build a sustainable career as an actor.
The question is this: are they willing to drop the values, beliefs and actions that will not make that possible.
The Beauty of Free Will
We have clients who were working regularly before this pandemic, who are now just as unemployed and irrelevant as the bulk of us. As opposed to accepting that the old ways of doing things do not exist right now and may never exist in the same way again and therefore adapting as needed, they want to hold onto what was “working before.”
They didn’t have to think about how they could make their art sustainable, how they could improve their business in every respect, what sacrifices they could make to ensure longevity. Seemingly, they could have their cake and eat it too.
Now, however, is a different epoch. Are they willing to change as necessary with the times? To do things they never had to do before? Or will they choose to instead do what feels more comfortable and safe?
Then there’s my story…pre-pandemic and pre-Artist’s Strategy, I was one of the hardest working people I knew. I wanted this more than anything, it had been my dream since I was a little boy, and seemingly every choice I made was in line with making that dream become a reality. And yet, I refused to engage with social media, or really marketing of any kind, despite the fact it would obviously better my odds, because it violated some vague “principles” I had.
It’s not always marketing, some clients may completely refuse to engage with self producing, targeted networking, building a secondary income, or whatever their insecurity is in any one area. However, if what they are currently doing is breeding unsatisfactory results (pandemic or otherwise) and they are not willing to tackle the things that make them uncomfortable, they cannot say that they want this more than anything. They have made their choice.
If you are on the verge of quitting, but really do not want to, ask yourself:
- “Have I considered the marketing, time management, secondary income, self producing elements of my business?”
- “Have I taken the minimal but vital step of planning out step by step how I, and not ‘fate’ can make this a reality?”
- “Have I truly done everything? Or have I only done the things I am comfortable doing?”
- “What am I not willing to do to make this really happen? What am I still holding onto? Is this something I am willing to let go of?”
At the end of the day it’s about what makes us happy. There’s nothing wrong with giving this up. We only ask that you understand that that is a choice…there is always more you can do if you really want this.